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A Job Well Done

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

Effie Swinarski was named the 2005 Employee of the Year May 2 at the annual Faculty Senate/Staff Advisory Council recognition dinner. See story elsewhere in this issue for details.

history photo

Pictured above, sunshine on OU Fieldhouse commencement cermonies, Spring, 1958.

This Week in Campus History

On May 14, 1971, The Gateway reported that Greg Knudsen, UNO Student Senate vice president, was to travel to Yugoslavia during the summer. A double major in speech and broadcasting and political science, Knudsen planned to stay with a host family for four weeks and submerge himself in the culture of Yugoslavia. Although one member of his host family spoke English, Knudsen was expected to know enough Serbo-Croatian to communicate with locals. Expenses for this trip were paid for by The Experiment in International Living. In turn, Knudsen agreed to speak about his experiences to Omaha-area organizations and schools.

Date: May 14, 1971
Source: The Gateway
Compiled by University Library Archives

Reg Chapman

The Kid's Doing All Right

by Warren Francke

In Danville, Ill., they boast of native sons: Donald O'Connor, Gene Hackman, Dick and Jerry Van Dyke. Now another son of the Illinois-Indiana border, Reg Chapman, is making a name - in television news with WNBC in New York City.

But Chapman, 37, got his start in Omaha, where he is kid brother to John Chapman, weekend sports anchor at WOWT-TV. ...continue

Effie Swinarski Named Employee of the Year

Effie Swinarski, lead toddler teacher with the UNO Child Care Center, found out how much her peers appreciated her last December when she was named Employee of the Month. She received additional kudos as Employee of the Year last week. The award was presented at annual Faculty Senate/Staff Advisory Council recognition dinner May 2.

"It was an honor to have been recognized," she said. "I was very surprised. I knew I was eligible but never gave it a second thought."

Along with the recognition of a job well done, Swinarski also received a monetary award, which she plans to put toward a savings account for her foster child. She said she is appreciative of both her Employee of the Month and Employee of the Year honors.

A love of children is one reason Swinarski excels at her job. On a daily basis, Swinarski sings, dances and blows bubbles to help make the day fun for her small charges. She said that knowing she touches a child's life in a special way, even if he or she is only in her care for one semester, is why she enjoys her job so much.

"I am responsible for what occurs during the time the children are in my care," she said. "I am a supervisor for three teacher aids but am also responsible for overseeing as many as 45 teachers who work here at the center."

An 18-year employee of the university, co-workers say Swinarski has become a role model for her peers. One nominator said, "Effie started working at the UNO Child Care Center in 1987 as a part-time teacher assistant one year after the center opened. In 1989, she was promoted to the lead toddler teacher position, which she has held ever since. She has brought continuity, consistency and structure to the toddler program, as well as to the child care center. She inspires others to be the best they can be and promotes professional excellence at all times."

A graduate of the UNO Goodrich Program, Swinarski said her background in early childhood education has been beneficial to her work at the center. "I also worked at Bergan Mercy Child Development Center for six months in 1987," Swinarski said. "I was a preschool teacher aid. Working with children has come natural to me. I enjoyed working with preschoolers but find toddlers to be a blast!"

She said singing with the children at UNO is her favorite task, but she spends a lot of time helping them with their social skills, and they learn a lot from each other, too. Colleagues said the children also greatly benefit from working with Swinarski.

"She has done a tremendous job over the years," another co-worker said. "Effie has a great caring for the children who attend the center and has their best interests at heart. She works well with the staff and the parents of the children who attend the center."

In her leisure time, Swinarski likes to travel and practice photography, which she is currently incorporating into a family scrapbook. In addition, she is a board member for the Omaha Association for the Education of Young Children (OAEYC) and completes a variety of volunteer work.

For more information, call 554.2321.

2006-07 OWH, Distinguished Scholars Announced

The UNO Honors Program has announced the 2006-07 Omaha World-Herald and Distinguished Scholarship Scholars. These students will be honored this fall at a special banquet at UNO.

The student honorees, their respective high schools and planned courses of study at UNO are listed below.

Omaha World-Herald Scholars
- David A. Loscutoff (home-schooled) will study computer science in the UNO College of Information Science and Technology.
- Veda M. Darling (Ralston High School) has an undeclared major and will study in the UNO College of Arts and Sciences.

Scottish Rite Distinguished Scholar
- Matthew J. Pinnt (North High School) will study mathematics in the UNO College of Arts and Sciences.

Distinguished Scholars
- Ashley M. Hamernik (Millard South High School) will study creative writing in the UNO College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media.
- Austin M. Zach (Columbus Scotus High School, Columbus, Neb.) will study computer science in the UNO College of Information Science and Technology.
- Axelle F. Verboon (Lincoln Northwest High School, Lincoln, Neb.) will study biology in the UNO College of Arts and Sciences and music performance in the UNO College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media.
- Ann E. Stenehjem (Kearney High School, Kearney, Neb.) will study pre-business in the UNO College of Business Administration.

For more information, call 554.2598.

Applicants Sought for Kolasa Scholarships

The UNO chapter of AAUP will award the Bernie Kolasa Memorial Scholarships for UNO graduates entering a graduate program during or after the summer of 2006. Students graduating from UNO during the summer or fall of 2005 or the spring of 2006 are eligible to apply.

There are two awards of $1,000 each. Dr. Kolasa, a political science professor, was a longtime leader in the UNO chapter of AAUP.

Applications should consist of a letter of application and a copy of the student's resume. The letter should include the student's grade point average (GPA), his or her proposed area of study and the reasons for interest in this area. Additionally, areas of consideration will include potential for success in graduate school and profession, leadership qualities – especially in the area of community service and activities that would indicate the student's breadth of interest beyond the chosen field of study.

Although the awards will be predicated upon the student's acceptance into a graduate program, acceptance need not be shown at the time of application.

In support of the application, two or more letters of recommendation should be sent from persons familiar with the applicant. These should address the areas of consideration outlined above.

The UNO chapter of AAUP awards at least two $1,000 scholarships each year to students who are graduating from UNO and are going to attend graduate school at any accredited college or university.

All materials should be sent to:

AAUP Scholarship Committee
c/o Dr. Sandra Squires
115J Kayser Hall
UNO campus

The deadline for receipt of applications is June 15. Awards will be given at a luncheon honoring the scholarship recipients in late June or July.

For more information, contact Dr. Squires at

University President to Address Faculty Senate Today

The UNO Faculty Senate will meet today, May 10, at 2:15 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) Nebraska Room. University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken will give a short presentation between 2:15 and 2:30 p.m. All interested members of the campus community are invited to attend.

For more information, contact Hollis Glaser, Faculty Senate president, at 554.4896, or Sue Bishop, coordinator, at 554.3598.

Mav Golfers Open National Meet Play Today

MavericksUNO will make its second straight appearance in the eight-team NCAA Division II national meet this morning, May 10. The five-player team, which captured the North Regional title last week, will tee off on The Meadows in Allendale, Mich., in the first round of the 72-hole tournament.

The Maverick lineup includes seniors Amanda Stock and Mandy Houtz, and sophomores Lindsay Newton, Lynn Mulligan and Carly Froehlich. Stock finished fourth in the regional, and Houtz tied for 10th.

UNO finished seventh in the national meet last year. The other teams entered include Rollins, Lynn, Western New Mexico, Grand Valley State, Western Washington, Ferris State and Minnesota State, Mankato.

In addition, eight individuals won berths in the tournament through their finishes in the four regional meets.

2006 Spire Celebration of Keyboard Arts May 11-14

Some of the region's top emerging pianists will share the stage with award-winning faculty and private teachers in conjunction with the 12th annual Robert M. Spire Celebration of Keyboard Arts May 11-14 at UNO.

The series of recitals begins Thursday, May 11, in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. "This is an opportunity to hear, in recital, the winners of prestigious regional and national keyboard competitions," said James Johnson, the Spire Professor of Music and coordinator of keyboard studies at UNO.

All concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. The performance schedule is listed below.

Thursday, May 11
UNO Graduates and Undergraduates

Friday, May 12
An Evening of Classics

Saturday, May 13
Nathan Green in Recital
(Winner of the Spire Competition Grand Scholarship Prize)

Sunday, May 14
An Evening of Concerti

Tickets are $5 for general admission, and $3 for seniors and students. Proceeds will benefit the UNO Department of Music.

For more information, call 554.3427.

Difficult Dialogues Core Group to Convene May 15

Starting Monday, May 15, a core group of UNO faculty, staff and administrators will convene to begin the process of creating opportunities for open, productive dialogues on issues of religion, sexuality and race.

The meeting, which kicks off a weeklong workshop, is part of the Ford Foundation's Difficult Dialogues initiative created in response to reports of growing intolerance and efforts to curb academic freedom at colleges and universities. More than 600 institutions of higher education submitted proposals for programs to encourage dialogue, and UNO was one of 27 to receive funding.

The two-year project at UNO is titled "Breaking Silence: Difficult Dialogues at the University of Nebraska at Omaha." The effort is directed by a team of UNO faculty – Nora Bacon, associate professor in the UNO Department of English; Shereen Bingham, professor in the UNO School of Communication; and Hollis Glaser, associate professor in the UNO School of Communication. Cynthia Robinson-Moore, assistant professor in the UNO School of Communication, is scheduled to join the team when Dr. Glaser leaves UNO to assume a new post in New York City at the end of May.

"The Difficult Dialogues program dares each of us at UNO to take a risk," Dr. Bingham said. "It invites us to participate in dialogue with others who may think very differently than we do on sensitive and controversial issues, at this moment in history, when our community is divided on issues of race, religion and sexuality. Participating in genuine dialogue on difficult issues requires courage: it opens the possibility of learning something new that might change what we think or who we know ourselves to be."

The Difficult Dialogues core group at UNO includes 20 faculty, 10 staff and three administrators. They represent diverse departments, disciplines and programs whose work is particularly important to creating an inclusive campus, Dr. Bacon said.

The weeklong workshop, scheduled for May 15-19 at the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center, will be facilitated by Stephen Littlejohn and Leslie Fagre, consultants from the Public Dialogue Consortium and experts in dialogue theory and practice.

Participants will learn to:
- Understand how people construct social realities in communication with others;
- Understand the moral and values basis of difficult issues;
- Identify typical patterns of communication used when encountering contentious, difficult issues and the limitations of these;
- Appreciate dialogue as a form of communication that enables constructive exploration of difficult issues;
- Use a variety of models for dialogue;
- Frame issues and ask questions in a way that makes constructive communication possible;
- Facilitate dialogue, especially in the classroom; and
- Teach dialogue to students.

They then will have the summer to incorporate what they have learned into their plans for teaching or co-curricular activities for the 2006-07 academic year. A core group reunion is set for Aug. 17 at which participants can share their ideas with others.

The core group members and the areas they represent are as follows: Lori Arias, International Studies and Programs; Meredith Bacon, Political Science; Frank Bramlett, English; Mike Carroll, Goodrich Program; Maggie Christensen, English; Kate Clark, Disability Services; Ana Cruz, Communication; Carol Dillon, English; Karen Falconer Al-Hindi, Women's Studies; Carolyn Fiscus, Native American Studies; Jim Freeman, Multicultural Affairs; Farooka Gauhari, Biology; Rita Henry, Student Services; Peggy Jones, Black Studies; Teresa Lamsam, Communication; Kent Lavene, Student Affairs; Sharif Liwaru, Cultural Awareness Programs; Carol Lloyd, Teacher Education; Bonnie O'Connell, Art and Art History; Patty Patton Shearer, Athletics; David Peterson, English; Kathy Pettid, Counseling/University Division; Joe Price, English; Shireen Rajaram, Sociology; Dori Richards, English; Barbara Robins, English; Lisa Sample, Criminal Justice; Thomas Sanchez, Sociology; Connie Sorensen-Birk, Project Achieve; Mary Sweaney, Human Resources; Peter Szto, Social Work; Barb Treadway-Janousek, Student Organizations and Leadership Programs; and Paul Williams, Religion. Sarah Moulton, English, is the project's graduate assistant.

For more information about the Difficult Dialogues initiative at UNO, contact Dr. Bacon at 554.3318 or, Dr. Bingham at 554.4857 or, and Dr. Glaser at 554.4846 or

Summer Group Ex Classes Begin May 15

Campus Recreation and the Wellness Stampede have teamed up to host a variety of Group Ex classes this summer at UNO. Session 1 will run from Monday, May 15, through Thursday, June 1.

All classes will be held in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building. Group Ex classes are free to all current students and Campus Recreation cardholders. Summer activity cards are available for $30. Classes will not be held May 29 (Memorial Day).

To access a schedule, click on the following link:

2006 Summer Session 1

To have a schedule faxed or mailed to your office, call University Affairs at 554.2358.

For more information, contact Dave Daniels at 554.2008.

13th Annual Intercampus Golf Classic May 24

Registration is under way for the 13th annual University of Nebraska Intercampus Golf Classic. The event will be held Wednesday, May 24, at the Arbor Links Golf Club in Nebraska City, Neb., with an 11 a.m. shotgun start.

The event is open to all University of Nebraska employees (faculty, staff and graduate teaching/research assistants). Golfers of all skill levels are encouraged to play.

The four-person scramble emphasizes fellowship, fun and interacting with new people from other campuses. The tournament committee will assign individuals into playing foursomes based on skill level. Every attempt will be made to match players from different campuses. Requests for specific playing partners cannot be accommodated. Awards and pin prizes will be given for team and individual play.

Flights will be determined after completion of the round. Eight shots will be required from each member of the group over the 18 holes. Additional rules will come with registration confirmation.

The registration fee is $49 per golfer and includes an 18-hole green fee with cart, driving range with unlimited balls, team awards, individual pin prizes and a sack lunch while on the course. The deadline for registration is Wednesday, May 17.

Registration forms are available in Campus Recreation, 100 Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building. Payment should be made to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

For more information, contact Mark Powell at 402.472.4772 or

Male Research Participants Sought for UNO Study

Adolescent boys in grades seven, eight, 10 and 11 are sought for participation in a study conducted by researchers in the UNO Department of Psychology.

The study is aimed at understanding adolescent perceptions and interpretations of parental control in the context of everyday situations. Participants will fill out a questionnaire that asks for their interpretations of hypothetical interactions between parents and an adolescent. Participation takes approximately one hour. Participants will receive movie passes or a check.

For more information, contact Fumiko Kakihara at or Lauree Tilton-Weaver at 554.3848 or