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Theatre Season Opens Oct. 5

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

"Man of La Mancha," the first production of the UNO Department of Theatre 2006-07 season, will take to the stage for a preview performance Thursday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the UNO Weber Fine Arts Building Theatre. The cast of characters (pictured above from left to right) includes: Krystal Kelly (Aldonza), Paul Coate (Cervantes, Don Quixote and Alonso Quijana) and Edward Baye (Sancho Panza). See story below for details.

history photo

A Nov. 9, 1956, homecoming bonfire rally takes place northwest of the University of Omaha Field House.

This Week in Campus History

On Oct. 4, 1988, The Gateway reported that Lorie Fridell, a professor of criminal justice at UNO, had been appointed to the Omaha Police Policy Advisory Committee. Dr. Fridell's first official committee meeting was Sept. 21, and she told Gateway reporters that she planned to focus her efforts on policies concerning suspect pursuit and use of firearms to detain suspects.

Date: Oct. 4, 1988
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

Criss Library, Dr. Guinter Kahn Addition Dedication Oct. 11

Dedication ceremonies to unveil the new Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library and Dr. Guinter Kahn Addition at UNO will be held Wednesday, Oct. 11, beginning at 11 a.m. at the new facility.  The three-story, $6.5 million addition is located on the north side of the Criss Library, overlooking Dodge Street and University Drive North.

Construction on the addition began in June of 2005 by Hawkins Construction and Alley Poyner Architecture.  The brick-and-glass Kahn Addition combines a variety of high-tech features along with traditional library facilities.

The area contains 31,000 square feet of new space, which includes lighted shelving for 50,000 books and almost 3,000 journals and magazines, more than 430 new study seats, nine group study and seminar rooms, a café with seating for 70 and nearly 200 additional network computer connections. 

In addition to a café, the middle and lower floors of the addition contain high-tech study rooms with ceiling video projectors, flat screen monitors and cameras, with which students can produce their own video presentations.  The main floor also has a gallery space currently displaying the printed works of The Yellow Barn Press.

A study area located on the top floor is a modern update on the traditional reading room, with windows overlooking Dodge Street. The room has 50 carrels with computer connections that can be checked out for graduate student use.  The UNO library is the first in the nation to use a new system of lighted shelving for the 50,000 books the room contains.

A 2,300-pound untitled ceramic sculpture, created by Omaha artist Jun Kaneko, is the centerpiece of the addition's top level.  Kaneko creates the world's largest fired ceramics at his downtown Omaha studio.

"The Kaneko sculpture of a giant head is unnamed," said Stephen Shorb, dean of the Criss Library.  "I'm sure that, in time, the students will come up with their own name for the sculpture."

Additional high-tech features of the library include a daily Hubble Space Telescope program and a Satellite Communications for Learning (SCOLA) language learning center.  Three-hour video feed discussing earth and space science will be available from NASA each night, in addition to images from the Hubble Telescope.

"Library users can listen on special FM radios as they watch the Hubble video presentation," Shorb said.  "We also will have video feeds of four different language channels provided by SCOLA.  We hope this will reinforce SCOLA's mission of bringing people together through language."

Shorb said the university hopes to attract a gathering of UNO international students and language learners in the new facility.  "There's lots of interesting foreign language content that we can provide, and the facility is designed to compliment what goes on in the classroom," he said.  "We're moving beyond books to create an information-rich resource for our campus and entire community."

Renovations outside the library include a 3,600-square-foot reading garden that is accessible from the lower level of the building.  "All the new spaces are designed to create a more comfortable and productive environment for our students and researchers," Shorb said.

The library renovation and expansion were made possible through a leadership gift from the project's principal benefactor, the Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Memorial Foundation - which began in 1978 and has generously supported a variety of educational and scientific endeavors, including higher education, cultural, youth and social service activities.

In 1909, what has now become the Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company took shape in the mind of Creighton University medical student Dr. C.C. Criss.  As a student, he sold insurance part time to help finance his education.  While still in school in 1910, Dr. Criss and his wife, Mabel, purchased the charter of the Mutual Benefit Health and Accident Association.  He served as treasurer, president and chairman of the company that would later become Mutual of Omaha. 

Mabel Criss joined Mutual of Omaha as a stenographer and office manager, later becoming Mutual's first woman officer and a director of the company.  She is credited with overseeing construction of the original Mutual of Omaha home office.

The library addition's namesake is Dr. Guinter Kahn, a 1954 University of Omaha cum laude graduate.  He is the principal benefactor of the expanded and renovated library.

Born in Trier, Germany, Dr. Kahn and his family immigrated to the United States in the late 1930s due to economic hardships and anti-Semitic persecution.  He graduated from Omaha Central High School and enrolled at Omaha University, graduating in three years.  Dr. Kahn was then accepted at the University of Nebraska Medical Center's College of Medicine and graduated with honors in 1958.

Dr. Kahn taught at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where he became aware that patients in an experimental study were growing unwanted hair as a side affect of the drug minoxidil.  He reasoned that a topical solution might have the same effect and produce a "cure" for baldness.  The results led to his 1974 patent and development of the product known as Rogaine.

For more than 30 years, Dr. Kahn has practiced dermatology in Miami.  As a committed philanthropist, he also has traveled extensively throughout the world, lecturing on the horrors of the Holocaust and advocating tolerance and justice.  In 2004, he celebrated the 50th anniversary of his graduation from the University of Omaha by making an extraordinary gift to support the UNO library expansion project.

The donations from Dr. Kahn and Dr. C.C. and Mabel Criss were made to the University of Nebraska Foundation.

For more information, contact Shorb at 554.3740 or

The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that has been 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 campus capital improvements.  For more information about the foundation, visit the Web at

New IDEA Award Will Honor NU Faculty Innovation

University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken has announced a new university-wide faculty award that will be presented for the first time next spring. The Innovation, Development and Entrepreneurship Award (IDEA) will complement the University of Nebraska's highest awards for teaching and research, and will recognize faculty excellence in engagement and outreach.

IDEA will honor faculty members who extend their academic expertise beyond traditional boundaries of the university in ways that enrich the broader community. Faculty members will be honored for working with citizens, businesses, government and non-profit organizations; other educational institutions, communities or regions to develop new ideas, technologies, programs; and businesses that strengthen the region or community economically, educationally or governmentally.

"We have a tradition of honoring excellence in research and teaching," Milliken said. "The university's engagement mission is critically important to Nebraska, and many faculty have a direct impact on the economic, cultural and educational growth of the state. This award will acknowledge excellence in their endeavors."

Potential areas of achievement include:
- Development of research and technology that results in economic growth;
- Partnerships with the schools and communities that improve quality and access to education;
- Creation of new regional, national or international partnerships across public and private sectors that foster economic growth;
- Initiatives that promote improved health, environment and social services;
- Cultural activities that enrich the community's understanding of the arts, letters, and history of the state, nation and world; and
- Service, research and consultation with government, social agencies, community organizations, and other civic or private groups working to build a better society.

Up to two awards will be given each year for a sustained record of excellent accomplishments and documented impact in the creation of economic growth or partnerships with businesses, schools or communities; commercialization of research and technology; or initiatives that improve social or cultural understanding.

Recipients will receive an award of $3,500, a presidential medallion and a plaque. The award will be presented with the prestigious OTICA (Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award) and ORCA (Outstanding Research and Creativity Award), which are given by the president each spring. These three awards are the highest faculty awards given by the university.

For more information, contact Sharon Stephan at 402.472.7554.

Maverick Mojo Creators to Speak at PKI Today

Ervin & Smith Advertising and Public Relations has developed a new advertising campaign aimed at educating college-bound high school students about the benefits of attending UNO.

Ervin & Smith created the "Maverick Mojo" campaign to promote school pride and reinforce the message that UNO is a traditional university offering students a complete college experience in the heart of Omaha.

The UNO campus community – students, faculty and staff – is invited to learn more about the campaign and meet the creators today, Oct. 4, at The University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute Atrium from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

"Maverick Mojo" can be described as school spirit that cannot be contained - a confident attitude and the true essence of what it means to love your school. The Maverick Mojo ads feature college students in typical college situations exhibiting extraordinary school pride. The campaign appeals to teens by using irreverent humor and real UNO students.

"We used the lives of UNO students as the basis for the Maverick Mojo campaign because we felt it was important that kids be able to relate to the students in the ads," said Bill Ervin, creative director at Ervin & Smith Advertising and Public Relations. "We're also incorporating non-traditional advertising vehicles to reach teens, including online marketing, text messaging and guerilla tactics."

Ervin & Smith created a Web site specifically for the university's recruiting efforts. The Web site ( features interactive chats, photo galleries and video biographies of real UNO students having real college experiences. The campaign also includes radio, print ads, billboards, direct mail and television.

"Maverick Mojo was created to connect with high school students in the college selection process," said David Cicotello, director of UNO Recruitment Services. "But we believe it will also resonate with current UNO students, alumni and the entire community of Maverick supporters."

For more information, contact Marian McDonald at 554.3674 or

UNO Spirit Day Set for Oct. 6

Show your school pride! New this semester, the UNO Spirit Committee will sponsor a campus spirit day the first Friday of every month. On that day, all UNO students, faculty and staff are invited to dress in Maverick gear.

"We have instituted this new idea to boost morale on campus," said Marie Lee, co-chair of the UNO Spirit Committee. "Starting this month, eNotes will announce to all faculty, staff and students that ‘First Fridays' are wear your UNO colors/gear days. Show your UNO pride by participating!"

"First Fridays" will officially kick off this Friday, Oct. 6.

"If you don't have Maverick gear, then wear red, black or white, and show your UNO colors," said Kay Bret, co-chair of the UNO Spirit Committee.

For more information, contact Lee (554.2581 or or Bret (554.4841 or

Actress Lidia Ramirez to Present "I Love America" Today

"I Love America," a one-woman show that tells the story of immigrants at sea, will be held today, Oct. 4, at UNO. The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin at noon in the Milo Bail Student Center Nebraska Room.

Each year, hundreds of Dominican Republic citizens risk their lives in the 74 miles of water that separate the country's shores from Puerto Rico. Their goal is to pass as Puerto Ricans in the hopes of gaining entry to the United States.

Actress Lidia Ramirez will perform a one-hour production of "I Love America," detailing the accounts of those heroic men, women and children. In the voices of seven characters, Ramirez will portray the courage, optimism and resilience the journey requires.

"We hear what people are willing to leave behind - home, family and friends - in exchange for the promise of a better life," said María Isabel Garza, education specialist with multicultural affairs at UNO.

Today's performance, which is being sponsored by the UNO Student Programming Organization, pays tribute to those who made it, as well as those who are part of the tragic and anonymous drowned-at-sea statistics of the government record books.

For more information, contact Garza at 554.2248 or

UNO Theatre Season Kicks Off Oct. 6 with "Man of La Mancha"

This October, the UNO Department of Theatre will kick off its season with the beloved Broadway musical "Man of La Mancha" by Dale Wasserman, with lyrics by Joe Darion and music by Mitch Leigh.

D. Scott Glasser, assistant professor of theatre in the UNO College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media (CCFAM), will direct the UNO production. All performances will be held at the UNO Theater in the Weber Fine Arts Building. The theatre opens at 7 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. curtain for all evening performances.

There will be a preview performance Thursday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m. Additional performances will run Oct. 6-7 and Oct. 11-14, with a special matinee show Saturday, Oct. 14, at 3 p.m. The Wednesday, Oct. 11, performance will be ASL-interpreted, and an interactive talk-back session with the director, designers and cast will follow the Friday, Oct. 13, show.

"Man of La Mancha" tells the story of the classic novel Don Quixote as a play within a play, performed by author Miguel de Cervantes and other prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition. The production is the story of a knight's romantic and noble journey as he strives to right all wrongs and win the heart of a good woman while dueling windmills along the way. "Man of La Mancha" is the classic comic tragedy of mankind's struggle to defeat all odds to dream impossible dreams.

Ticket prices are $15 for general admission, and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased in person at the box office (located on the first floor of the Weber Fine Arts Building), by e-mail at or by phone at 554.2335. For more information, contact Ron Zank, UNO Department of Theatre Department secretary, at 554.2406.

The Yellow Barn Press "A Typographic Adventure" Opens Oct. 11

University Library at UNO will host an exhibition of Neil Shaver's private presswork Oct. 11 through Dec. 15. on the UNO campus.  Since 1978, Shaver has printed more than 30 titles, all of which will be on display.

The exhibition, The Yellow Barn Press "A Typographic Adventure," will open Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. with a presentation by Shaver, The Yellow Barn Press proprietor, and his collaborator and book collector, Jack Walsdorf.  The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Shaver's connection to UNO started in 1978 when he took his first printing class led by Harry Duncan.  Shaver also produced his first book, Metanoia, during that time.  In 1983, Shaver met wood engraver John DePol, and they began a collaboration that lasted until DePol's death in 2004.  Many of DePol's distinctive wood engravings grace the pages of a number of The Yellow Barn Press books.

Walsdorf, the author of more than a dozen books relating to the history of the printing and bibliography, will reflect on his experiences with Shaver and The Yellow Barn Press.

The Yellow Barn Press, originally based in rural Iowa near Council Bluffs, is significant not only for the high-quality craftsmanship exhibited in the printing, but also for the attention given to printing books about books and printing.  "Neil's craftsmanship makes paper and print a thrilling tactile and visual experience, and that is even before you get to the quality of the content," said Oliver Pollak, a professor of history at UNO.  "He shows that the book arts preserve a half-millennium-old way of communication that is still vital in the age of rapidly developing electronic print technology."

Marvel Maring, fine arts and humanities reference librarian at UNO, also is impressed with the handiwork of the display.  "The Yellow Barn Press books are gorgeous examples of traditional, hand-set letterpress printing produced with a sensitivity to elegant title pages and page layout, paper choice, cover design, illustrations and binding," she said.  "The additions of John DePol's wood engravings add to the richness.  We are fortunate to have this collection and delighted to feature it this fall."

For more information about the exhibition, contact Maring at 554.2992 or

UNO Disability Services Accommodations Available

October is Disability Awareness Month. The following is the first installment in a series of informational articles designed to raise awareness of disability-related issues on campus. The articles have been provided by the UNO Department of Disability Services.

Week One: UNO Disability Services Registration Process
A number of UNO students have disabilities and need accommodations in order to have access to their classes and activities. These students can obtain accommodations by completing the registration process at the UNO Disability Services (DS) office. Any student with a physical, medical, psychological, learning or other type of disability may be referred to DS for consultation and assistance. Students who wish to register are asked to follow these steps:
1. The student contacts the DS coordinator, Kate Clark, to indicate their interest.
2. Documentation of a disability is provided by the student.  If a student is unsure about what type of reports to provide, the DS coordinator is available to help clarify the UNO documentation guidelines.
3. The student will meet with the coordinator to discuss accommodation requests and learn about departmental policies and procedures.
4. Instructors are notified of the approved accommodations by the DS coordinator, and the student meets with each instructor individually to discuss their needs.

For  more information, call 554.2872.

October FEAP Schedule Announced

The Faculty/Staff Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) provides short-term counseling, assessment and referral services for faculty, staff, their spouses or significant others, and family members. FEAP offices are located in 206 Eppley Administration Building.

The October schedule is as follows:

- Oct. 5, 6, 17 and 26
8 a.m. to noon

- Oct. 9, 19, 23 and 31
12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Appointments are free and available by calling 554.3120 (UNO) or 559.5175 (UNMC).

Participants Sought for "Healthy Lifestyles" Program

Attention all faculty, staff and students: A new exercise program on campus is seeking participants who would like to become more active.

Dave Daniels, assistant director for fitness/wellness and instructional programs at UNO, and senior exercise science students will lead the "Healthy Lifestyles" program. Nutrition, stress management and physical activity will be covered.

If you answer "yes" to the questions below, Daniels invites you to register for the "Healthy Lifestyles" program:
- Would you like to learn how to become more active?
- Are you interested in eating better?
- Do you want to become more conscious about the foods you eat?
- Could you use a little stress management?

"This program was created by senior exercise science students to help students, faculty and staff lead a healthier life," Daniels said.

Interested individuals are invited to stop by the program's table at the UNO Health Fair Thursday, Oct. 5, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom. The program officially starts Tuesday, Oct. 10, and those who attend will receive a free water bottle.

For more information or to register, contact Dave Daniels at 554.2008 or, or Lori Tostenson at 554.3917 or

Fidelity Representative on Campus Oct. 19, Nov. 16

Fidelity representative Chad Anderson will be on campus for individual counseling sessions Thursday, Oct. 19, and Thursday, Nov. 16, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To schedule an appointment, call 1.800.642.7131.

"The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" Oct. 6

The Charla Series at UNO will open it's 2006-07 season Friday, Oct. 6, with a film screening of "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada." 

The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 6 p.m. in the Eppley Administration Building Auditorium.  A discussion with Steven Torres, an assistant professor of foreign language and literature at UNO, will follow the film.

"The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" - starring Tommy Lee Jones - features ranch hand Pete Perkins, who looks to fulfill a promise to his recently deceased best friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico.  The film highlights Perkins' dangerous and quixotic journey into Mexico.

The event is sponsored by the UNO Office of Latino and Latin American Studies (OLLAS), the U.S. Department of Education, and UNO Student Organizations and Leadership Programs. 

For more information, call 554.3835.

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.

Teams Sought for 13th Annual UNO Bell Tower Challenge

The 13th annual UNO Bell Tower Challenge is set for Wednesday, Oct. 18.

At noon, teams of students, faculty and staff will compete to stack as many food cans as possible while the bells of the Henningson Memorial Campanile chime. Awards will be presented to the teams that stack the most cans, the most creative teams (which can include costumes) and the most enthusiastic teams.

The event is sponsored each year by Eta Sigma Gamma, a health education honorary at UNO.

"We would love to set a new record this year," said David Corbin, event founder and a professor in the UNO School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. "That means we need to collect more than 5,700 pounds of food."

All canned goods will be donated to the Omaha Food Bank ( More than 33,000 pounds of food have been collected for the food bank since the event's inception.

Dr. Corbin cited a recent Omaha World-Herald article, which highlighted the food bank's need for community assistance.  It stated: "The higher energy prices over the past year are forcing more working families to seek emergency assistance from Omaha's food pantries."

The Omaha Food Bank distributes food to about 360 agencies in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, and the demand is up according to the Omaha World-Herald: "During the first seven months of 2005, it (the food bank) had distributed nearly three million pounds of food. Through July of this year, the food bank exceeded that number by more than 300,000 pounds."

The deadline to register for the Bell Tower Challenge is Friday, Oct. 13, at noon. To access the entry form or for more details about the event, visit the Web at

For more information, contact Dr. Corbin or Shandalee Ramet, Eta Sigma Gamma representative, at 554.2670 or

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.