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

This Week in Campus History

On Oct. 15, 1937, The Gateway reported that the University of Omaha library was so overstocked with books that space for students was becoming sparse. There was room for optimism, however, because construction of the new campus building at 60th and Dodge was well under way. The new library, on the first and second floors of the northeast wing, provided more than double the current space for study and reading, as well as sufficient shelving space for the thousands of volumes currently located in off-site storage.

Date: Oct. 15, 1937
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

2006 Fall Convocation Today

Interim UNO Chancellor John Christensen will deliver his state-of-the-university address today, Oct. 11, in conjunction with the UNO Fall Convocation. Dr. Christensen's address is titled "A Snapshot in Time: The State of the University, October 2006."

The event will be held today at 10 a.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.

The University Choir and University Wind Ensemble are scheduled to perform at the convocation. Academic regalia will not be required or practiced as part of this year's convocation event.

The convocation will be immediately followed by a dedication ceremony at University Library at 11 a.m. To culminate the occasion, a reception will be held at the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom following the library event.

Criss Library, Dr. Guinter Kahn Addition Dedication Today

Dedication ceremonies to unveil the new Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library and Dr. Guinter Kahn Addition at UNO will be held today, 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 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 with traditional library facilities.

The area contains 31,000 square feet of new space that 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 complement 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.

Additional events are listed below:

Thursday, Oct. 12
All Day
"Tech and Tour Day"
- Free tours will be held to highlight the library's new Satellite Communications for Learning (SCOLA) Language Learning Center and video feed from the Hubble Space Telescope.  SCOLA is a non-profit educational organization that receives and re-transmits television programming from around the world in more than 30 native languages.  Four large flat screens will stream in SCOLA programming to the library.  Audio for the shows will be routed through wireless FM headphones.  The NASA video feed covers a variety of earth and space science topics and is also displayed on a large LCD monitor.

-University archival displays and items from the library's Afghanistan collection will be displayed on the main level.

2 p.m.
The UNO Library Friends will present $25,000 for the library's juvenile collection.  Children from the UNO Child Care Center will be in attendance.

Friday, Oct. 13
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

"Student Appreciation Day Lunch"
A free lunch will be available to all UNO students.

1 p.m.
Members of the Golden Circle Alumni Group (class of 1956) will tour the library.

3 to 6 p.m.
Any member of the community can sign up for a Library Friends membership at no-cost.  The usual cost is $25 per individual.  Not only do UNO Library Friends receive expanded check-out privileges, but they also may use interlibrary loan.  

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

The Yellow Barn Press "A Typographic Adventure" Opens Tonight

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 tonight, 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 Theatre Season Continues Tonight with "Man of La Mancha"

The UNO Department of Theatre season continues tonight, Oct. 11, 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.

Performances will run Oct. 12-14, with a special matinee showing 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.

Borders and Waldenbooks to Offer Educator Discount

Borders and Waldenbooks are extending a 25 percent educator discount on select store merchandise to UNO employees Thursday, Oct. 12, through Tuesday, Oct. 17.

To obtain the discount, individuals must present their university ID. In conjunction with the Educator Appreciation Event, Borders will host a reception Friday, Oct. 13, from 4 to 8 p.m. at its 72nd and Dodge St. location.

For sale details, visit the Web at

For additional information, contact Melissa Davidson, educational sales coordinator, at 926.3693.

HR Seminar Series to Highlight Social Security Oct. 13

A Social Security representative will be on campus Friday, Oct. 13, to answer questions at the second installment of the Human Resources Informative Seminar Series.

The presentation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center U Mon Hon Room and will be repeated Friday, Oct. 20, at the same time. All interested faculty and staff are invited to attend.

Tonya Freeman will present general information about Social Security, as well as answer attendees' questions. Those who pre-register prior to the event are eligible to receive a personalized Social Security printout.

The UNO seminars are scheduled monthly from September through April. Topics will include personal financial management, social security and retirement planning.

For more information, contact Esther Scarpello at 554.3660.

Department of Mathematics to Host Lecture on Epidemics

The UNO Mathematics Department will host a lecture Wednesday, Oct.18, on "Modeling Influenza Epidemics Across Small-world Networks" by Gregg Hartvigsen, associate professor of biology at SUNY Geneseo. The talk will take place from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in 256 Durham Science Center. Interested faculty, staff and students are invieted to attend.

"Small-world networks (or scale-free networks) are common mathematical models in computer, social, genetic, neural, or physical networks in which most of the nodes have few connections, and a few nodes are highly connected," said Dora Matache, assistant professor of mathematics at UNO. "Recently there has been a lot of interest in using these mathematics models for modeling the spread of epidemics."

For more information, visit the Web at

Syllabus Statements Notice for Students with Disabilities

October is Disability Awareness Month. The following is the second 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 Two: Syllabus Statements About Students with Disabilities
National statistics have shown that one in every 11 college students has a disability. With figures like this, it is likely that there is at least one student in every class with some type of disability. As a result, it is recommended that faculty include in each syllabus a statement asking students to inform them of any special needs to ensure that those needs are met in a timely manner.

A further recommendation is that the statement be read aloud by the faculty member during the first week of class. This approach demonstrates to students that the instructor or faculty member is concerned about meeting the needs of all students. Furthermore, it affords students the opportunity to make their accommodation needs known early in the semester.

The following is a suggested statement for a course syllabus: "Accommodations are provided for students who are registered with UNO Disability Services and make their requests sufficiently in advance. For more information, contact Disability Services (EAB 117, Phone: 554.2872, TTY: 554.3799) or visit the Web at"

Oct. 20 Faculty Brown-bag to Address Oral Presentations

Would you like to incorporate oral presentations into a course? Do you need help on how to do it more effectively or how to provide effective feedback on oral presentations?  If so, plan to attend the faculty brown-bag workshop on "Incorporating Student Presentations Into Your Class," set for Friday, Oct. 20. It will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in 143 Arts and Sciences Hall.

Presented by Marlina Howe, Speech Center Consulting coordinator, this workshop will introduce the UNO Speaking Across the Curriculum program and resources available to assist faculty through the new Speech Consulting Center. The center provides free speech consulting services for faculty, staff and students.

The faculty brown-bag will highlight:
- Incorporating student presentations into a course;
- Providing effective feedback to students on their presentations; and
- Using evaluation criteria for grading presentations.

To register for the session or for more information, contact Howe at the Speech Consulting Center (554.3201 or Those interested in attending are invited to bring their lunch. Desserts and refreshments will be provided.

Andréa Stanislav: The Unenchanted Opens Oct. 20 at Art Gallery

This fall, the UNO Art Gallery is presenting a fantastical sculpture and installation exhibition.  AndrĂ©a Stanislav: The Unenchanted will open Friday, Oct. 20, and run through Sunday, Nov. 19.  An opening reception will be held Oct. 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the gallery.

The solo exhibition will feature various work by Andréa Stanislav: The Unenchanted, an assistant professor of art at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.  Stanislav practices a multimedia approach to art making, inspired by the language of film, architecture and pop culture.  Scientific studies in the psychology of perception inform her work, as well.  Her multimedia installations and sculptures combine formalism, concept and interactivity to create an experiential environment that explores worlds we can and can't see, but intuitively know are real.

Andréa Stanislav: The Unenchanted focuses on Stanislav's mythic creatures and environments constructed to play with viewers' perceptions.  Her fantasy landscapes are enhanced through the use of alternative media, including glitter and fur, and sound and video elements that produce a multi-sensory experience. 

"I am interested in constructing fantasies of ambiguity and disorientation.  My work begins in dreams and intuitions," Stanislav said.  "By making tangible a dreamscape, I intend to offer a subversive dialogue that the visitor self-initiates in an attempt to order their perceptions in an environment of sense and nonsense."

Stanislav received an MFA from Alfred University and a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago.  She worked on the design and production of Matthew Barney's Film "Creamaster 3" and has had numerous residencies, including two at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha; Flax Art Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Lab-Site at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.  Her work has been exhibited widely in national and international exhibitions, and she has currently begun a public art commission for the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis.

The UNO Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Weber Fine Arts Building. The exhibitions are 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, call 554.2796.

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.

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. 17 and 26
8 a.m. to noon

- Oct. 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).

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.

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

Call for UCAT Grant Proposals for 2006-07

The UNO University Committee for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT) is announces the availability of travel grants for designated themes to increase capacity building in teaching and learning.

Applications are encouraged for both interdisciplinary conferences focusing on teaching and learning, as well as for disciplinary conferences with tracks or sessions focusing on one or more of the following themes:
- Seamless transitions (P-20 transitions from pre-kindergarten through graduate school);
- Portfolio-based assessment;
- Recruitment and retention;
- Active learning;
- Facilitation of interdisciplinary collaboration;
- Learning communities;
- Diversity; and
- Scholarship of teaching.

The committee is accepting proposals on a monthly basis, from August through April, or until funds are expended. UCAT will fund grants up to $750 for each award. Proposals are due by the 21st of each month.

Application forms are available on the Center for Faculty Development Web site ( Applicants must submit one hard copy and an electronic submission of the application. Electronic submissions should be in "rtf" or "MS Word" document formats, and should be sent as an e-mail attachment to Alice Woll (

Hard copy submissions should be sent to the Center for Faculty Development in 220 Arts and Sciences Hall. For reference, examples of successful models of applications are available on the Center for Faculty Development/UCAT Web site ( For more information, contact Teresa Lamsam, associate professor of communication and the 2006-07 chair of UCAT (554.4853 or