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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. 26, 1994, The Gateway reported on the new UNO Criminal Justice doctorate program. The fourteen students enrolled in the program were required to complete 90 additional credit hours after receiving their bachelor's degree. Vince Webb, chairperson of the UNO Criminal Justice Department, was very optimistic as the program began: "We're feeling really comfortable and hope to recruit a variety of students and expect great things from them."

Date: Aug. 26, 1994
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

Falun Gong Exhibit Opens Tonight at UNO Art Gallery

The UNO Art Gallery and Daniel Wilkins, professor of physics at UNO, will present artwork created by Chinese Falun Gong practitioners in a show titled "Toward Spiritual Freedom: The Art of Falun Gong." The exhibit will open tonight, Aug. 25, with a reception from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the UNO Art Gallery.

"Truth, Compassion, Tolerance" explores the practice of Falun Gong - an ancient Chinese tradition of meditation and self-improvement - and the ban and oppression of its practice in China. Wilkins has practiced Falun Gong and been interested in its role in China since 2001.

The 17 featured artworks - paintings and pastel images - focus on personal courage and the cruelty and persecution that Falun Gong practitioners have faced in the People's Republic of China. "The artwork illustrates the inhumanity of religious persecution, while at the same time portraying the extraordinary power of people and belief," said Colleen Heavican, director of the UNO Art Gallery. "Some of the artwork focuses on torture, and is visually arresting and disturbing at the same time."

The exhibit runs through Sept. 3. The UNO Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Weber Fine Arts Building. The exhibition is free, handicapped accessible and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from noon to 4 p.m.; Thursday from noon to 8 p.m.; and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Heavican at 554.2796.

UNO in Princeton Review's Best Midwestern Colleges

UNO has again been selected for inclusion in The Princeton Review's new college guide, The Best Midwestern Colleges, which was released this week.

Based on statistical information and surveys of college students and recent college graduates, the guide showcases top schools in 12 Princeton Review states – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. UNO was included in the guide for the first time last year.

UNO's Princeton Review entry noted that the university is "in ascension," according to the entry on academics in the Web site. Students provided the comment material.

Also on the "Academics" page, another UNO student comment read "substantial efforts have been made and will continue to be made to make UNO a bigger and better university to attend in the coming years."

Princeton Review's guides highlighted 644 colleges and universities across the nation; 163 in the Midwest. Just five other institutions in Nebraska - Creighton University, Doane College, Hastings College, Nebraska Wesleyan University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln - received a listing.

The Princeton Review launched its regional college guides several years ago in response to a growing trend for students to attend colleges and universities within two- to five-hour drives of their homes. The regional guides focus on the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and West.

Information in the guides includes data on admissions, financial aid, student body demographics and academics. The regional guides, like the national one from The Princeton Review, also present an inclusive cross-section of academically outstanding colleges.

The Princeton Review is a New York City-based company known for its test prep courses, education services and books. It is not affiliated with Princeton University or Educational Testing Service. Princeton Review books are published by Random House.

For more information, call 554.3502.

August Employee of the Month: Les Valentine

If you've ever wondered what happens to documents and photographs when they are sent to Archives in University Library, look no further than Les Valentine, archivist and the UNO Employee of the Month for August.

belck_valentine"Virtually everything in Archives is unique and must be handled individually," he said. "A lot of our time in Archives involves examining materials and deciding how particular items may best be organized, preserved and made accessible to researchers."

A member of the campus since 1972, Valentine earned his master of arts in history from UNO in 1980. That was when he said his career path took shape. "This program created an interest in working with primary source documents and libraries in general," he said.

He began working in the University Library interlibrary loan office in 1983 and transferred to Archives and Special Collections in 1986. He completes his tasks with the aid of Archives assistant Cynthia Taylor and student worker Claire Thalken.

Of all the items he works with, Valentine said he most enjoys working with the Archives photograph and artifact collections. He also likes visiting with alumni and others who have donated those materials to Archives. "I have spent a lot of time working with Archives photograph collections, including thousands of photographic prints, negatives and slides," he said.

Co-workers say that Valentine is a valuable individual because he is very knowledgeable about his field and is detail oriented. "For more than 20 years, Les Valentine has served admirably as the university archivist for UNO," one nominator wrote. "An enthusiastic advocate for the university and its history, he is dedicated and tireless in his efforts to acquire, preserve and promote UNO's many and varied historical records and artifacts."

Throughout the years, Valentine said he has enjoyed visiting with UNO alumni about what it was like at the University of Omaha during the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. "Most of these individuals are proud of OU/UNO and were/are concerned that their years here are not forgotten," he said. "The significance of the Archives collection is largely due to the importance that individual UNO alumni have placed upon the preservation of UNO history."

When he's not busy archiving, Valentine said he likes to spend his free time away from UNO golfing, bowling or working in his yard.

As Employee of the Month, Valentine will receive a plaque, portrait and monetary award. Nominations for the Employee of the Month Award at UNO are accepted year-round. All UNO faculty, staff and students are eligible to nominate individuals for the honor. Nomination forms are available in Human Resources, 205 Eppley Administration Building.

(Pictured above: UNO Chancellor Nancy Belck and August Employee of the Month Les Valentine.)

For more information, call 554.2321.

"Consider This" to Explore Ways to Prepare for College

This fall, hundreds of Nebraska high school seniors are gearing up to apply to approximately 3,500 colleges. How will they know which school is right for them? How will they pay for it?

Host Andrea McMaster's guests David Cicotello, director of New Student Enrollment Services at UNO, and Joan Jurek, director of College Planning for EducationQuest Foundation, will help answer these questions on this week's episode of "Consider This."

The program will air tonight, Aug. 25, on KYNE-TV Channel 26 at 11 p.m.

According to this week's guests, preparing for college should begin long before the senior year of high school. Cicotello will give some planning checklists for students. Jurek will also give steps to help families determine how to pay for college. The EducationQuest Foundation was formed in 1998 as a private, nonprofit organization with a mission to improve access to higher education in Nebraska.

This edition of the program will be rebroadcast according to the following schedule:

Nebraska NET1 (statewide)
- Sunday, Aug. 27
11:30 p.m.

NET2 (NET's cable network)
- Monday, Aug. 28
1:30 p.m. (CT)

-Wednesday, Aug. 29
8 a.m. (CT)

"Consider This" is a production of UNO Television. It also airs on The Knowledge Network of Greater Omaha. For a list of days and times, visit the Web at Archived editions of the program are available on the Web at

Campus Security Offers Advice on Magazine Solicitors

Like clockwork, the fall semester begins, and magazine solicitors arrive at UNO. This year is no exception.

Campus Security encourages the UNO community to heed the following advice on how to deal with potential magazine solicitation scams.

The typical magazine solicitors are in their late teens or early twenties, both male and female, and blend in on college campuses. Some claim to be working on class projects for the UNO School of Communication, UNO Television or KVNO. Others claim to be working toward a scholarship, and some accurately represent themselves as magazine solicitors.

The Omaha City Code requires a solicitor to obtain a permit to solicit within the city limits, as well as permission to solicit on university property. Magazine solicitors rarely, if ever, have the necessary permit and, as of yet, have never been given permission to solicit on UNO property, said Paul Kosel, assistant manager of UNO security and traffic.

"In most cases, magazine subscription solicitors work as independent contractors or for contractors, but not for the company for whom they solicit," Kosel said. "The potential customer may or may not actually receive a magazine subscription and runs the risk of being scammed."

In some cases, although not yet at UNO, the solicitor uses the sales pitch as a pretense for criminal actions, Kosel said. At UNO, the solicitors can most frequently be found near the Milo Bail Student Center, University Library and student housing.

"I'd strongly encourage everyone at UNO not to speak with these solicitors and to contact Campus Security with a location and description of the individual," Kosel said.

Campus Security can be contacted at 554.2648.

32nd CMIT Round Table Sept. 1

Dirk Mattfield from UNO's sister university in Germany, Technical University of Braunschweig, is visiting Omaha and will visit the UNO College of Information Science and Technology (IS&T) Friday, Sept. 1.

Dr. Mattfield will be presenting his work on "IT-Integration of Terminal Operations Planning" at the 32nd Center for Management of Information Technology (CMIT) Round Table. It will be held in 164 The Peter Kiewit Institute from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

For more information on CMIT 's upcoming research round tables, visit the Web at Those wishing to attend must R.S.V.P to Sue Fienhold at 554.3770 or, by Aug. 28. Pizza will be provided.

Library Café Opens for Service

UNO Food Services announces the opening of its newest eatery on campus - Library Café.

Located on the main floor of University Library, the Library Café will offer an assortment of menu items. It will feature Starbucks coffees, espressos and soft drinks throughout the day. Homemade muffins, breads and pastries will be available every morning, and an assortment of sandwiches, salads and soups will be offered in the afternoon and evening hours.

The café will be open weekdays according to the following schedule:

Monday through Thursday
7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, contact Sue Baker at 554.2400.

Chair Massage Service Available in HPER Sept. 15

The Mav-Rec Wellness Stampede and Campus Recreation will offer the first chair massage session of the fall semester Friday, Sept. 15.

A station will be set up in 213 Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Building from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Andrea Porter, a certified massage therapist will administer the massages. The cost is $10 for a 15-minute session. Walk-ins will be accepted if time permits. The service will also be available Oct. 20, Nov. 17 and Dec. 15.

To schedule an appointment, call 554.2539, or stop by 100 HPER.

In the News

- In the News Ron Abdouch, public affairs and community service, was quoted in the Aug. 7 edition of the Omaha World-Herald. The article highlighted Address It Now and Omaha Neighborhood Scan, projects initiated in cooperation with the Neighborhood Center for Greater Omaha.

- Brent Bowen, Aviation Institute, was cited in the July 27 edition of the Omaha Star. The article highlighted "An Evening of Honor," which was held July 18 at UNO. Dr. Bowen received an honorary membership award at the event.

- Blaine Burnham, Connie Jones and Matt Payne, information, science and technology, were cited in the July 27 edition of the Omaha Star. The article explored "Wannabe Techie Goddesses," a day camp held for Girl Scouts this summer at The University of Nebraska Medical Center.

- Tom Gouttierre, dean of international studies and programs, and director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies, was interviewed Aug. 24 by CBC-TV on the role and challenges facing Canadian troops in Afghanistan. Gouttierre also was interviewed Aug. 24 by GQ Magazine about the anti-drug campaigns in Afghanistan.

- Lourdes Gouveia, Latino/Latin American Studies, was quoted in the July 20 edition of the Omaha Star. The article previewed an immigration reform voter outreach event held July 22 in Omaha.

- Lynn Harland and James Jones, marketing and management, were quoted in the July 26 edition of the Omaha World-Herald. The article explored blending personal business and business in the workplace.

- Rita Henry, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, was quoted in the July 24 edition of the Daily Nebraskan. The article discussed challenges college presents for some non-traditional students.

- Leslie Iwai, fine arts, was featured in the July 2006 edition of Today's Omaha Woman. The article explored how a trip to Sierra Leone has influenced Iwai's career path.

- Deepak Khazanchi, information systems and quantitative analysis, was quoted in the July 28 edition of the Omaha World-Herald. The article discussed the retirement of David Hinton from his post as dean of the College of Information Science and Technology (IS&T). Hesham Ali began his role as the new IS&T dean July 31.

- Stephen Shorb, University Library, was quoted in the July 29 edition of the Omaha World-Herald. The article announced the installation of a new Jun Kaneko sculpture in University Library.

- Glenn Sowell, physics, was quoted in the July 27 edition of the Republican (Wakefield, Neb.). The article explored the University of Nebraska Medical Center summer science workshop, held June 19-22, which Dr. Sowell participated in.

- Samuel Walker, emeritus professor of criminal justice, was quoted in the Aug. 6 edition of the Omaha World-Herald. The article highlighted the joys of living in Dundee.

If you are a member of the UNO community and have been interviewed by the media – local, state, regional, national or international – we want to know about it! Send an e-mail with the particulars to Please include a contact name and phone number. For more information, call 554.2243 or 554.2762.

In Print

If you've authored or edited a book, article or other text that's been published recently, we want to know about it! Send an e-mail with the particulars to Please include a contact name and phone number. For more information, call 554.2243 or 554.2762.

On Stage

OMDC to Present "b*mod4" Sept. 15-16
Omaha Modern Dance Collective (OMDC) will present a concert, "b*mod4", featuring the work of four local and regional choreographers Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15-16, at Creighton University's Lied Education Center for the Arts, 24th and Cass St. The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. each night.

The event will feature dances created by Omaha choreographers Susan Dickson Matsunami, Kelly Holcombe Hanneman and Mary Waugh Taylor of the UNO Moving Company, as well as former Lincoln resident Sara Semonis.

"We brought together these four choreographers because they have produced full bodies of work and are currently at the peak of their creativity," said producer Taffy Howard, director of the sponsoring Omaha Modern Dance Collective (OMDC.) "Anyone who comes to the concert will find out why we're calling it 'an explosion of creative energy!'"

The concert's unusual name, "b*mod4", reflects the variety of the choreographers' work and the diversity of modern dance, Howard said. "‘b*mod4' can have several meanings," she said. "Be modern, body modern, four modern choreographers... It's like modern dance itself, which often has multiple layers of meaning and challenges the viewer to find his or her own interpretation."

The concert marks a rebirth of sorts for OMDC, a group that has worked to support modern dance since 1980 but has been out of the public eye recently, Howard said.

"For the past several years, we've taken a break from producing concerts," she said. "We'll have some absolutely electrifying dancers onstage – many of them trained in our own classes – and some with professional backgrounds in both modern and ballet."

The "b*mod4" is being presented with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and is open to the public. Tickets will be $15 for adults, and $12 for students and senior citizens. Reservations are available by calling 551.7473. For more information about the concert, send an e-mail to

Members Sought for University Chorus
Calling all singers - University Chorus is looking for you!

University Chorus, a mixed chorus of more than 70 singers, is open to all students, faculty and staff. The group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 12:50 p.m. in 105 Strauss Performing Arts Center.

"This ensemble is designed to meet the music needs of singers who wish to continue their choral experience," said Matthew Harden, assistant professor of music at UNO. "It is a performing organization that has varied programming but emphasizes larger choral works."

The University Chorus performs two concerts a semester, and collaborations with other Omaha arts groups are constantly sought.

For more information, contact Dr. Harden at 554.3608 or

If you are a member of the UNO community and are involved in an upcoming performance, we want to know about it! Send an e-mail with the particulars to Please include a contact name and phone number. For more information, call 554.2243 or 554.2762.

On Exhibit

Mark you calendars! A documentary photography exhibit, "Floating Population - Guangzhou, China: A Visual Study," by Peter Szto, professor of social work at UNO, will open at the UNO Art Gallery Friday, Sept. 8.

An opening reception will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will feature Chinese music and refreshments. The images will be on display Sept. 8 through Oct. 16.

For more information, contact the UNO Art Gallery at 554.2796 or Dr. Szto at 554.2330.

If you are a member of the UNO community and are involved in an exhibit, we want to know about it! Send an e-mail with the particulars to Please include a contact name and phone number. For more information, call 554.2243 or 554.2762.