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University of Omaha Band Convocation in the Arts and Sciences Hall auditorium, February 1956, under the direction of OU Assistant Professor of Music Arthur R. Custer.

This Week in Campus History

On Aug. 7, 1987, The Gateway reported that UNO had made significant improvements in its health care services. A new, part-time medical doctor was hired to work a combination of morning and afternoon hours four days a week. In addition, a new student health insurance plan was initiated. This plan required students to be seen at the school health center before an outside referral was made. These steps, along with the hiring of a registered nurse six months prior, made the UNO Student Health Center a more flexible and effective option for students.

Date: Aug. 7, 1987
Source: The Gateway
Compiled by University Library Archives

James Peters

Finding His Way

by Sonja Carberry

Back in Omaha after a seven-month trek through South America, UNO grad James Peters has cut the hair he let grow into an unruly mop and trimmed his bushy beard to a midnight shadow. In a yellow button-down shirt and crisp jeans, he looks very 20-something Omaha.

But part of Peters is still south of the border. ...continue

UNO Commencement Aug. 11 at the Civic

More than 480 students will graduate Friday, Aug. 11, during the summer commencement ceremony at UNO. The event will be held at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capitol Ave., beginning at 2 p.m.

rogersSheri Rogers, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at UNO, will receive the Chancellor's Medal. Dr. Rogers began her tenure at UNO in 1994 as an assistant professor of teacher education in the College of Education. She directs the Center for ePortfolio Based Assessment and campus accreditation, facilitates the Academic Quality Improvement Program task force leaders and oversees the myMAPP (Mapping Academic Performance through ePortfolios) initiatives. In addition, she coordinates PK-16 initiatives, including the Dual Enrollment Program and the Omaha Public Schools/UNO Early Entry Pilot.

aspen wildDarcy Aspen Wild, an Omaha native, will present the student commencement address. She will receive a bachelor of arts degree in communication with an emphasis in speech communication. Aspen Wild is interested in pursuing a career in public relations, training or event planning. 

The commencement ceremony also will feature the following:

mclarneyMike McLarney will receive the Order of the Tower, UNO's highest non-academic award. He has been president and CEO of United Way of the Midlands (UWM) since 1989. An avid supporter of UNO, McLarney has actively engaged the campus community in the design and implementation of the research, policy and program development activities of UWM. Under his leadership, UNO faculty and researchers collaborated in the creation of a comprehensive report that is playing a key role in focusing culturally appropriate social and human services programming for Hispanic youth in the community.

denneyMike Denney will receive the UNO Alumni Association's Citation for Alumnus Achievement. He has been head wrestling coach at UNO since 1979. Denney recently led the Mavericks to three consecutive NCAA Division II national championships, and his 1991 team also won a national championship. The 2005-06 team also received the school's third national dual meet title. UNO has posted 14 top-three finishes in the past 16 years and has not finished lower than eighth place since 1980. The Mavericks have garnered more top-10 finishes (26) than any other Division II school. The 2004-05 Mavericks were academic national champions, the first time a team has won both the academic and team championships in the same year.

For more information about the Aug. 11 commencement, call 554.2358 or 554.3502.

School Receives Coordinating Commission Approval

The criminal justice program at UNO has been granted status as a school, a move that will help ensure its ongoing development as one of the leading criminal justice programs in the United States.

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents approved a proposal to designate the UNO Department of Criminal Justice as the UNO School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at its June 15 meeting.  The designation received final approval from the Nebraska Coordinating Commission on Post-Secondary Education Aug. 3.

"This move recognizes the stature and importance of the school to the state and to the University of Nebraska," said B.J. Reed, dean of the UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS), which houses the criminal justice program. "It is one of the university's most nationally recognized programs, and this designation will help solidify its role regionally and nationally."

The UNO Department of Criminal Justice was created in July 1971 just prior to the establishment of CPACS. What began as a small academic enterprise focusing on law enforcement and public safety has expanded, Dr. Reed said. It now includes a large and academically diverse faculty, large numbers of undergraduate majors and doctoral students, an active research program and substantial community activity in the form of partnerships with local, regional and national organizations interested in crime, crime control and the administration of justice.

To consolidate those partnerships and foster collaboration among faculty and students, the department has developed the Juvenile Justice Institute and five research initiatives – the Community and Rural Policing Initiative, the International Criminal Justice Initiative, the Police Professionalism Initiative, the Sentence Outcomes Initiative and the Racial Justice Initiative. Each has a coordinator who is responsible for its work and direction.

John Crank, professor of criminal justice, will serve as the school's interim director.

"This is an exciting time to be involved in criminal justice at the University of Nebraska," Dr. Crank said. "Already nationally recognized for its education and scholarship, the program's designation as a school is a strong ‘next step' in its evolution. We recognize and appreciate the contributions of those individuals who have worked diligently to bring the school into being."

Dr. Crank also said the designation will help the university sustain its commitment to the needs of the dynamic Omaha and Lincoln communities and surrounding region, as well as strengthen its role in the fields of criminal justice and criminology nationally.

At present, more than 600 undergraduate students are majoring in criminal justice on the UNO and University of Nebraska-Lincoln campuses. There are 65 full- and part-time students in the master's program and 35 full-time students in the doctoral program.

The school designation does not require additional faculty, staff or physical facilities. External funds will be sought to support the research and outreach activities of the institute and the initiatives, Dr. Crank said.

The UNO School of Criminology and Criminal Justice will join four other UNO schools: the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation; the School of Social Work; the School of Public Administration; and the School of Communication.

For more information, contact Dr. Crank at 554.2610.

Revised Overall Economic Development Plan Now Released

A new report by the UNO Center for Public Affairs Research (CPAR) provides both a snapshot of economic conditions in North Omaha and a meaningful outline for future community plans. The 2005 Revised Overall Economic Development Plan (OEDP) was done in collaboration with the Omaha Economic Development Corporation (OEDC).

"This document puts it all into a great perspective," said Michael Maroney, OEDC president. "As a city, we need to look at issues of education, employment, income and transportation in North Omaha. Too often, people and organizations have tried to address just one part of a problem. All of what this report looks into is linked, and an overall plan is needed."

The OEDC was established in 1977. The OEDP report generated by CPAR is the first major plan revision in 27 years. The OEDP general service area is bounded by Ames Avenue on the north, 16th and 13th Streets on the east, Cuming Street on the south and 40th Street on the west.

"In that area, we've seen the population numbers decline, but it seems to be stabilizing," said Bob Blair, a UNO associate professor of public administration and co-author of the report. "We also know, in general, that income lags the rest of the city, and that while education levels have improved over time, they are still lower than in the rest of the county."

Other general findings:
- The OEDP general service area's unemployment rate is four to five times greater than the rest of Omaha and Douglas County;
- Lack of transportation limits employment choices and options;
- There are more jobs in the service area than there are people who live in the area; and
- There are a declining number of housing units, but a relatively large number of building permits issued for new construction.

"Economic development has been a major issue for the city, and it has made a difference, particularly downtown," Maroney said. "Omaha's corporate and civic leaders need to see that a better, stronger North Omaha is good for our whole community."

In addition to Blair, Jerry Deichert, director of CPAR, and Heather Bloom, CPAR research associate, worked for several months on the OEDP with assistance from Jordan Fuller, graduate assistant. 

"We know OEDC's staff and board will take what has been put together to continue their analysis and discussion of issues," Dr. Blair said. "The information will be used for development plans and strategies."

Strategies and goals that are addressed in the OEDP are listed below.

Economic and business development
- Job creation and income generation
- Capital formation
- Industrial and commercial development
- Business development
- Land assemblage

Housing and community development
- Residential development
- Land assemblage

Organizational development and capacity building   
- Organizational financial capacity building
- Resource development
- Community relations development
- Program development

"These strategies and goals will evolve over time," Maroney said. "What we can't afford to do is waste time. The area we are looking at has faced challenges since before the OEDC came into existence. That is simply too long, and people need to see meaningful change happening not in the near future, not soon, but now."

For more information, call 346.2300.

CFD and SLA/American Humanics Relocate to ASH

The UNO Center for Faculty Development and Service-Learning Academy/ American Humanics Office is now located in 220 Arts & Sciences Hall. The phone numbers, which are listed below, remain the same.

Center for Faculty Development

Service Learning/American Humanics

Mavericks Near Start of Fall Practice

MavericksThe Maverick football team will take the field for pre-season camp Tuesday, Aug. 8, in preparation for the 2006 season opener versus the University of Nebraska at Kearney Saturday, Sept. 2. The team will not work out in full pads until Saturday, Aug. 12, and will have its first two-a-day sessions Sunday, Aug. 13. 

The Mavericks will meet the media and the public for the first time Tuesday, Aug. 8, at 2:30 p.m. at Caniglia Field. A total of 105 players will be on the field at the start of  practice. The Mavericks have 33 letterwinners back, including 10 starters.

UNO finished the year at 8-3 and shared the North Central Conference (NCC) title before losing in the second round of the NCAA II playoffs to Saginaw Valley State. The NCC title was the second straight, the fifth under Maverick head coach Pat Behrns and the seventh all-time for UNO.

The Mavericks return seven players who earned first- or second-team all-NCC honors. First-teamers include offensive lineman Ben Hochstein, tight end Zac Herold and running back Kyle Kasperbauer on offense, and linebacker Kenny Onatolu on defense. Second-team players include defensive back Randy Kush, linebacker Bobby Danenhauer and punter Don Grafton. Herold earned first-team All-American honors as well.

Fall Faculty Workshops Set for Aug. 14-17

The 2006 Faculty Workshops, sponsored by the UNO Center for Faculty Development (CFD), will be held Aug. 14-17.

The New Faculty Workshop will be held Monday afternoon, Aug. 14, and Tuesday morning, Aug. 15. The Graduate Teaching Assistant Workshop will be held Monday afternoon, Aug. 14, and will feature a new, one-day format.

The Part-Time Faculty Workshop, open to new and experienced part-time faculty, will be offered the evenings of Aug. 16 and 17. This workshop is being offered twice so part-time faculty can choose the evening most convenient for them.

The workshops have been a tradition at UNO for more than 30 years. They provide new faculty and teaching assistants with an opportunity to meet one another in an informal setting while learning about UNO. Discussion topics will include UNO's metropolitan mission and strategic goals, students, academic support services and faculty development opportunities.

For more information about the workshops, contact the Center for Faculty Development (554.2427 or or Deborah Smith-Howell, assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs (554.4849 or

Auditions for Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra Aug. 14-18

The Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra (MUS 4130-001) and Chamber Orchestra (MUS 2730-001) will hold auditions for the 2006-07 season Aug. 14-18 at the Strauss Performing Arts Center.

The Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra, the official concert orchestra at UNO, is open to students, faculty and staff. Rehearsals will take place each Monday from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

"It is one of the most venerable and well-respected orchestras in Omaha with a history dating back to its founding in the 1920s," said Christopher Stanichar, director of orchestral activities. "The orchestra allows community members to continue to hone their musical talents by playing favorite works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and many others."

This year, Dr. Stanichar will celebrate his fifth year as conductor of the ensemble. Those interested in auditioning should call 554.2251. Details also are available on the Web at

Smokers Sought for UNMC Study

The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) Pulmonary Clinical Studies Unit is seeking people who wish to quit smoking for enrollment in a yearlong study that will use nicotine vaccine (NicVAX®) and smoking cessation counseling. There will be four to five vaccine injections over a six-month period.

To be eligible, individuals must:
- Be at least 19 years of age;
- Smoke at least 15 cigarettes per day;
- Be in good general health;
- Have a hard-wired phone at home to transmit electronic diary information; and
- Be able to make visits every one to two weeks during the first 16 weeks of the study.

Eligible subjects will receive compensation for participation. For more information, call 559.8296, or send an e-mail to

Participants Sought for Tech Day Sept. 6

Information Technology Services (ITS) will sponsor its annual Tech Day Wednesday, Sept. 6. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Nebraska Room.

ITS invites departments and organizations to promote their technology services at this event. Individuals who provide a technology service to students, faculty and staff and would like to participate in this event should contact Joyce Crockett at 554.3364 or by Friday, Aug. 11. Wireless connections are available.

Interested participants should provide the following information when registering:
- Department/organization name;
- Technology service offered;
- Number of tables needed;
- Number of electrical outlets needed; and
- If an Ethernet connection is needed instead of a wireless connection.

Royals Tickets Available While Supplies Last

Free general admission tickets to the Aug. 16 Omaha Royals game at Rosenblatt Stadium are available to interested UNO faculty, staff and students while supplies last.

The Royals take on Albuquerque at 7:05 p.m. The tickets may be picked up in University Affairs, 108 Eppley Administration Building. For more information, call 554.2762.