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First Fall Colors

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

The ivy draped across the Weber Fine Arts Building echoes the change of seasons for the campus.

history photo

Pictured above: Omaha University students congregate south of Arts and Sciences Hall between classes in the fall of 1946.

This Week in Campus History

On Sept. 24, 1971, The Gateway reported that Irwin Schlass had been hired as a new instructor in the UNO Drama Department. Schlass had received his B.A. from the City College of New York and his M.A. from the University of Denver, where had had specialized in directing. Prior to arriving at UNO, he taught a directing seminar at the Colorado State Penitentiary. According to Schlass he had enjoyed working with the inmates: "There are a lot of creative people in prison. They have an innate sense of conflict. Conflict is the essence of drama."

Date: Sept. 24, 1971
Source: The Gateway
Compiled by University Library Archives

James Peters

Australian Finches Aid UNO Professor's Research

by Deb Derrick

When it comes to studying human behavior, Rosemary Strasser gets a little help from her feathered friends. Colorful Australian Finches are helping Dr. Strasser - an assistant professor of psychology at UNO, who holds a courtesy appointment in biology - understand why we behave the way we do. ...continue

Flag Lowering

The UNO flags will be lowered to half-staff today, Sept. 28, in honor of UNO retiree Harold Retallick. He passed away Sept. 20 at the age of 90.

Dr. Retallick, a professor emeritus from the UNO Department of Geography and Geology, retired from the university Aug. 1, 1986. He had been with the university for more than 21 years.

Services will be held today at 11 a.m. at Westlawn-Hillcrest Funeral Home, 5701 Center St.

NU Foundation Awards Grants for New UNO Programs

UNO is the recipient of two grants from the University of Nebraska Foundation to bolster newly created academic programs on campus. The Institute for Collaboration Science and the Mathematics Learning Center were awarded a total of $235,000. The foundation awards grants each year to worthy campus projects.

The University of Nebraska Foundation's grants committee awarded 10 grants - including the UNO grants - across the university system, totaling $1.05 million for 2006-07. Much of the annual grant resources are made available from unrestricted donations to the foundation.

The UNO programs receiving grants are listed below.

Institute for Collaboration Science (ICS)
The ICS received a $125,000 grant. Plans were started for the institute in 2005 with the belief that to be successful and profitable in an ever-changing marketplace, organizations must master the art and science of collaboration. It draws upon experts from across UNO, including business, information science, psychology, communication, education and public administration.

"It is very possible the institute will become a national center of expertise on collaboration processes, methods and technologies," said Gert-Jan de Vreede, director of the ICS and a professor of information systems and quantitative analysis. "We have been able to launch initiatives for research, community outreach and education in the field of collaboration science - all of which help position the University of Nebraska as a national and international academic leader in this newly-emerging field."

Roni Reiter-Palmon, the institute's director of research and a professor of industrial-organization psychology, said the grant has enabled them to "transform a vision into a going concern." "We have incorporated all relevant disciplines to examine the science of collaboration, and our members represent decades of research, teaching and outreach experiences," she said. "We also have rich representation from a wide range of fields, including finance, defense, R&D, software engineering, logistics and project management."

In the short time the institute has been operating, it has opened offices on both the north and south UNO campuses, created a cross-disciplinary research team and developed a collaboration science lecture series. It is also developing an academic course on collaboration, designing a mobile laboratory to facilitate research and education, and has involved faculty from six colleges to create connections among theoretical and applied research.

Science and Mathematics Learning Center (SMLC)
The SMLC received a $110,000 grant. The center is a new program led by the UNO College of Arts and Sciences to serve students through science and math tutoring, specialized instruction, and courses and assessment of the effectiveness of general education in science.

"This center is vital for providing enhanced learning opportunities in science and math for all students," said Jack Heidel, chair of the Department of Mathematics. "The grant enabled us to start immediately in preparing a proper physical location for the center on the first floor of the Durham Science Center."

The College of Arts and Sciences has created a faculty committee from various science departments to begin planning the physical center, as well as plans for how the new center will function and carry out its important mandate, Heidel said.

The center will also work closely with an established program led by UNO and Metropolitan Community College to increase the number of college-level graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (collectively known as STEM areas). The program, known as STEP (STEM Talent Expansion Program), is made possible through a five-year, $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

"We are very gratified with the enthusiastic responses from each of the campuses to our request for proposals," said Grants Committee Chair Veronica Haggart, a University of Nebraska graduate and St. Paul, Neb., native."It is always rewarding to see how the boost to the programs selected for funding enables the university to further enhance the lives of so many people, both on and off the campus."

In March, grant applications were submitted to James B. Milliken, president of the University of Nebraska, from each of the campuses' chancellors, who were instructed that grant proposals must be tied to campus priorities and the university-wide strategic framework. It was then the job of the foundation grants committee - a group of 13 - to make final recommendations to the foundation's board of directors in June.

The University of Nebraska Foundation has been an independent, nonprofit organization raising private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for more than 70 years. Last year, more than $77 million was provided for students, faculty, academic programs, research and building and campus capital improvements. For more information, visit the Web at

Fall Study Abroad Fair Today

Are you looking to broaden your horizons through international education, or do you want to learn how you can fit study abroad into your degree requirements? Explore your study abroad options today, Sept. 28, at the Fall Study Abroad Fair.

The event, "2006-2007 The Year of Study Abroad," will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) Plaza. The rain location will be the third floor of the MBSC.

At the fair, information will be available on UNO sibling institution exchange opportunities, UNO-directed study abroad programs and third-party study abroad program providers. An international bake sale and a scholarship raffle will also take place.

UNO International Studies and Programs is sponsoring the event, which will be held annually.

For more information, contact Krista Cupich, study abroad and international admissions advisor, at 554.2293.

Collaborating Center Open House Oct. 11

The UNO community is invited to attend an open house Wednesday, Oct. 11, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Collaborating Center for Public Health and Community Service, 115 S. 49th Ave. The event will celebrate five years of promoting the health and development of Nebraska's populations and communities.

"The Collaborating Center is a unique place where the UNO and UNMC campuses and the communities we serve come together, and it is home to more than 15 community agencies and several university programs," said Melanie Kiper, community service associate with the Center for Public Affairs Research.

Programs housed at the center include the Neighborhood Center for Greater Omaha, UNMC/UNO Master in Public Health Program, Family Economic Success Initiative, Nebraska Municipal Clerk Institute, Certificate in Fundraising Management Program, UNMC Department of Pediatrics Section on Child Health Policy and CityMatCH.

Those interested in attending should R.S.V.P. by Oct. 9 to Michele at 561.7580 or, or complete an online form at For more information, contact Kiper at 561.7585.

UCR to Host Brown Bag Oct. 12

The University Committee on Research (UCR) will host a brown bag, "Tips for Preparing a UCR Grant Proposal," Thursday, Oct. 12, at UNO. It will be held in the Milo Bail Student Center Jenkins Room at 11:30 a.m.

Sharon Sobel, current chair of the UCR, will moderate a panel of former UCR chairs and successful grant recipients. Refreshments and dessert will be served.

For more information, contact Sobel at 554.3630 or Sponsored Programs and Research at 554.2286.

Nominations Sought for Who's Who Among Students

UNO has been invited to participate in the 2006 Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges program by nominating outstanding students on the basis of scholarship, leadership, citizenship, service to the university and potential for future achievement.

Student Organizations and Leadership Programs is seeking faculty and staff to nominate juniors, seniors and graduate students for this honor. Nominees must have completed more than 58 hours and earned a minimum 2.5 cumulative G.P.A.

A nomination review committee will select the recipients. Nominees cannot have been selected in previous years. If you would like to confirm whether or not your nominee has been selected in the past, contact Erin Cron, chair of the nominating committee, at 554.2711.

To recommend eligible students, fill out the Who's Who Student Appraisal Form online at All recommendations must be made by 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 27.

Annual UNO Health Fair Oct. 5

UNO spiritEditor's note: The UNO Spirit Committee has designated this activity as a UNO spirit event.

The 2006 UNO Health Fair will be held Thursday, Oct. 5, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Milo Bail Student Center. It is open to all faculty, staff and students.

The event is sponsored by Student Health Services (SHS) and the Wellness Stampede, UNO's health promotion program.

The 2006 theme is "Discover the Treasure of Your Health." Approximately 30 vendors will offer a variety of free screenings, information and giveaways.

The free screenings will consist of a vision test, skin cancer examination, blood pressure checks, a body composition test and a chair massage.

Comprehensive blood draws will be available at the fair. They will include a cholesterol panel and thyroid, kidney, liver, blood sugar and diabetes screens. The cost is $22, and the confidential results will be mailed directly to participants' homes. For an additional $12, males can have a prostate cancer screen included in the blood results.

A 12-hour fast is required for all lab work. Registration must also be completed before the event. To register, call SHS at 554.2374.

For more information about the fair, call Lori Tostenson at 554.3917.

Season Tickets Available to 2006-07 Theatre Productions

Season tickets for the UNO Department of Theatre's 2006-07 productions are now available for purchase. The cost is $40 for the general public, and $30 for UNO faculty, staff, students and senior citizens.

The 2006-07 season is as follows:

- "Man of LaMancha" by Dale Wasserman, Joe Darion and Mitch Leigh
Oct. 5-7, 11-14

- "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare
Nov. 16-18, Nov. 29-Dec. 2

- "Nickel and Dimed" by Joan Holden
Feb. 22-24, Feb. 28-March 3

- "Student Showcase"
March 29-31 (free to subscribers)

- "Our Country's Good" by Timberlake Wertenbaker
April 12-14, 18-21

To purchase tickets, call 554.2406 or stop by 315A Weber Fine Arts Building. For more information, visit the Web at

Fall Convocation Set for Oct. 11

Mark your calendars for the 2006 UNO Fall Convocation. The event will be held Wednesday, Oct. 11, in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall at 10 a.m. Interim UNO Chancellor John Christensen will deliver his state-of-the-university address. All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.

The convocation will be followed by a processional to University Library for a dedication ceremony, and a reception will be held at the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom following the library event.

Friends of Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra Fundraiser

The Friends of Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra have entertainment books available for purchase. The cost is $25, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra, UNO's Concert Orchestra.

The entertainment books offer numerous deals for Omaha-area restaurants, travel and entertainment. The Friends of Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra is a support group for the orchestral program at UNO, which assists in raising scholarship funds for music students.

To purchase a book, contact Christopher Stanichar, director of UNO Orchestral Activities, at 554.2768 or