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Giving Back

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

Kat Runnels, a social work freshman from Omaha, wipes and scrapes away years of dirt and grime last week during fall break from the windows of the South Omaha Arts Institute (Casa de la Cultura) at 27th and N streets. Runnels was one of more than 200 UNO students who helped to clean up and renovate the building during the fall service learning project. 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. 25, 1943, The Gateway reported that the University of Omaha (OU) and the United States office of Education were offering 23 tuition-free war training classes on campus that semester. Nine of these classes had never before been offered, including engineering and drafting for women, wood technology and food dehydration. According to OU Applied Arts & Sciences Dean Carl Helmstadter, all of these courses were designed to "provide college level training in needed occupations today for men and women whose contribution to the war effort can be increased by short, intensive courses." These classes were fully funded by the government and were offered both days and evenings every few weeks to accommodate student schedules.

Date: Oct. 22-28, 1943
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

UNO Earns Community Service Honor Roll Listing

On a day when more than 200 UNO student volunteers were finishing up three day's of work on a neighborhood cultural center, their university received notification of a national level honor. UNO has been included in the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll that was announced Oct. 17.

The Honor Roll is co-sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The recognition is presented in cooperation with Campus Compact, a national coalition of nearly 1,000 college and university presidents, and supported by all the major national higher education associations.

More than 500 colleges applied for the Honor Roll. UNO was listed among the 141 institutions recognized.

"We are excited to be among those honored. Hundreds and hundreds of UNO faculty, staff, and students have made this possible," said Paul Sather, director of the UNO Service-Learning Academy. UNO submitted ten volunteering and service learning projects in its application, including several Hurricane Katrina-related efforts.  "The university's service learning work has made a tremendous difference in the lives of people both in our metropolitan community and nationally."

This was the inaugural year for the Community Service Honor Roll, and the announcement was made in Chicago during a celebration of the Campus Compact's 20th anniversary.

"Higher education is a powerful engine of civic engagement and is central to achieving the President's vision of active citizens and connected communities," said Stephen Goldsmith, chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service, an independent federal agency tasked with fostering an ethic of volunteerism and service in America. "We applaud America's college students and the universities they attend for stepping up to help people in need."

The honor roll announcement came on the last day of UNO's Fall Break project.  More than 200 students spent three days doing renovation work on the South Omaha Arts Institute, also known as "Casa de la Cultura," near 27th and N streets in Omaha. The organization is a non-profit agency that is devoted to cultural preservation and education for youth and adults interested in Latino arts.  Students from a variety of disciplines on campus took part.

"The volunteer work over fall and spring break is always gratifying, and it receives a great deal of community attention," said John Christensen, UNO interim chancellor.  "The role of a metropolitan university is to engage the community and service learning exemplifies what a university can do to help others while teaching our students."

Since 1998, the Service-Learning Academy has served more than 200 community agencies. Also, this past year, UNO conducted an extensive outreach and relief effort to help the nation's other UNO—the University of New Orleans—as it recovered from Hurricane Katrina.  More than $6,000 was raised, a student from the University of New Orleans came to Omaha to discuss post-hurricane campus life, and students from Omaha, through a campus ministry organization, went to New Orleans as volunteers. 

The six colleges and universities that received top honor roll recognition were broken into two categories—hurricane relief and community service. The President's Award for Hurricane Relief went to Jackson State University, Louisiana State University and Tulane University. California State University, Monterey Bay; and Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis received the President's Award for outstanding community service.

For more information, call 554.3502.

FEAP to Offer Emotional Intelligence and Resiliency Workshop

The Faculty/Staff Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) will offer a free workshop titled "Emotional Intelligence and Resiliency." A morning session is scheduled for today, Oct. 24, and an afternoon session will be held Wednesday, Oct. 25. All faculty and staff are invited to attend.

The presenters will be Marlene Schneider, counselor at UNO and the University Nebraska Medical Center FEAP, and Sandra McKenzie, staffing consultant at UNMC Human Resources. The duo will discuss factors necessary to become emotionally intelligent and resilient.

The dates and times are as follows:

- Today, Oct. 24
9 to 10 a.m.
Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) Gallery Room

- Wednesday, Oct. 25
MBSC U Mon Hon Room
1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

For more information contact Marlene Schneider at 554.3120 (UNO) or 559.5175 (UNMC). To reserve a seat, call Kristy Johnson at 554.2321.

CCSW to Host Faculty and Staff Networking Reception Today

The Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women (CCSW) will host a networking reception for UNO faculty and staff today, Oct. 24. It will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Criss Library Senior Scholar's Room, located on the southeast corner of the third floor.

People attending can meet and greet new faculty and staff and get reacquainted with other colleagues from across campus. All are invited to also take a tour of the new library addition.

"Everyone is welcome – so don't miss this opportunity to network with other UNO faculty and staff," said Esther Scarpello, CCSW co-chair.

Refreshments will be served.  For more information, contact Scarpello at 554.3660 or Marvel Maring, CCSW co-chair, at 554.2992.

SSWO to Host Voter Awareness Panel Discussion Tonight

Mid-term elections are less than a month away. Do you think that you are an informed voter?

The UNO Student Social Work Organization (SSWO) and the Nebraska chapter of the National Association of Social Workers will host a panel presentation tonight, Oct. 24, at UNO. The event, titled "Voter Awareness: Be Informed Before You Vote," will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Nebraska Room.

At the event, individuals will have an opportunity to gain insights about social issues and the politics behind them, as well as find out how to obtain information about political candidates' positions on issues.

"Come to this event and learn how to become a more informed voter," said Nancy Kelley-Gillespie, assistant professor of social work and SSWO faculty advisor. "Child welfare, education, peace, aging, workforce and sexual minorities issues will also be discussed."

For more information, contact Dr. Kelley-Gillespie at 554.4886.

Staff Advisory Council Elections Under Way

The Staff Advisory Council (SAC) is currently conducting a campus-wide election for six staff members to serve three-year terms on the council.

"Staff should have already received a form to vote for delegates for the 2007-2009 terms," said Mary Sweaney, SAC president. "Those elected, will have a chance to be a part of campus activities, meet other people within the university, spread spirit and better understand the workings of the campus."

The ballot deadline is Friday, Oct. 27, by 5 p.m.

For more information about SAC or its activities, contact any current SAC member, or visit the Web at

For more information about the elections, contact Sweaney at 554.3668.

Bookstore "Spooktakular Sale" Begins

The UNO Bookstore is currently offering discounts during its Oct. 23-Nov. 3 "Spooktakular Sale." During the sale, buy any regular priced sweatshirt and receive any regular priced T-shirt or cap for half price.

Bookstore sale hours are as follows:

Monday through Thursday
7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Jacinda Brooks at

Ukraine Professor Available for Class Presentations

Hyihoriy Zaspa, a professor from Cherkassy Technological University in Ukraine, will be in Omaha and at UNO through Wednesday, Nov. 8, as a visiting scholar. James Dick, a professor in the UNO College of Education, is serving as his host.

This is Zaspa's second trip to the United States and to Omaha; the first was in the spring of 2002.

While at UNO, he plans on spending time in the Criss Library, meeting with various administrators, learning more about the UNO College of Information Science and Technology and working with International Studies to plan for a possible fall 2007 visit of his university's rector.

Zaspa is available for class presentations and small group discussions with faculty. His area of expertise includes the Ukraine in the Post Soviet period--especially the Orange Revolution.

UNO's Center for Economic Education has also arranged meetings with teachers at Conestoga and Crestridge elementary schools. The two schools study Ukraine as a part of the social studies curriculum.

For more information on his visit or to schedule a class visit, contact Dick at 554.3464 or

"Consider This" to Explore School Safety Concerns

This week on "Consider This" host Andrea McMaster and guests will explore the topic of keeping schools safe.

The program airs Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 8 a.m. on NET2, NET's cable network.

McMaster's guests will be Susie Yokley-Busby, a Safe Secure Discipline coordinator for Omaha Public Schools. Dr. Todd Stull, a psychiatrist at The Nebraska Medical Center, will also join host McMaster to share with viewers why he thinks U.S. schools have become a place of violence.

"Consider This", a production of UNO Television, also airs on the Knowledge Network of Greater Omaha. Visit the Web at for days and times. Archived editions of the program are available on the Web at

UNO Orchestras to Present Oct. 30 "Hauntcert"

The Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra at UNO will present the orchestras' annual "Hauntcert" Monday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. Tickets are available at the door for $5 for adults, $4 for students and seniors and free with a MavCard.

"Hauntcert," an audience favorite, will feature an exciting program of spooky music and guests," said Christopher Stanichar, director of orchestral activities at UNO.  "Everyone is invited to attend this family-friendly event and come dressed in costumes."

The program will feature works by Mendelssohn and Mussorgsky, Holst's "Mars" and favorite show tunes. The orchestra, conducted by Dr. Stanichar, will present the concert in costume.

For tickets or more information, call 554.3427.

UNO to Celebrate Day of the Dead Nov. 2

The Office of Latino/Latin American Studies of the Great Plains (OLLAS) at UNO will host the Day of the Dead celebration Thursday, Nov. 2. The event, a pre-Columbian tradition, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UNO Art Gallery in the Weber Fine Arts Building. It is free and open to the public.

The Day of the Dead tradition, later mixed with Catholic rituals, is celebrated throughout the Americas, said Lourdes Gouveia, OLLAS director and associate professor of sociology at UNO.  In Mexico and Central America, people build elaborate altars in honor of a particular person or group. They then fill the altars with items that the honored person or group enjoyed in life.  This year's altar pays special homage to Latina/Latin American U.S. and local artists.

The Nov. 2 celebration will feature an altar in the gallery and refreshments--Day of the Dead bread and traditional Mexican hot chocolate.  A brief presentation on the history and the contemporary manifestations of the tradition will begin at noon.

For more information, call 554.3835.

Donors Sought for Nov. 2 Student Government Blood Drive

Student Government will sponsor a blood drive Thursday, Nov. 2. Donors are needed for the event, which will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Nebraska Room (MBSC).

"Our goal is to have 100 people give blood and we can't meet that quota without your help," said Steve Massara, student body president/regent for UNO.

Those wishing to donate blood can schedule an appointment at by entering code: 009129, or sign-up in the Student Government Office, located on the first floor of the MBSC.

Faculty and Staff Appreciation Pancake Breakfast Oct. 27

The sixth annual Faculty and Staff Appreciation Pancake Breakfast will be held Friday, Oct. 27, at UNO. The event, sponsored by the UNO wrestling team and coaches, will be held from 7 to 9 a.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Maverick Buffet.

It is open to all UNO faculty and staff. The menu includes all-you-can-eat pancakes, syrup, coffee, orange juice and milk. A women's and men's pancake eating contest will also take place. 

For more information, call Geri Backora at 554.2506.

COS Open Lab Session Planned for Grant-Writers

The next Community of Science (COS) open lab session will be held Thursday, Nov. 2, at 3 p.m. in Room 207 of the Criss Library.

The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (SPR) hosts these monthly hour-long sessions to demonstrate the various on-line resources available to faculty and graduate students through COS.

Reservations are not required.  For more information, contact Nancy Schlesiger at 554.2286.

Douglas County Voters' Guide Available

The Douglas County Voters' Guide, published annually by the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha, is an unbiased, non-partisan look at all candidates running in the Nov. 7 General Election.

Included are brief biographies of each candidate plus their answers on issues of current concern to voters. The guide is available on campus at the locations listed below.

- University Affairs
108 Eppley Administration Building

- UNO School of Communication
140 Arts and Sciences Hall (ASH)

- Criss Library
Circulation Desk

For more information, contact Rita Shaughnessy in 107H ASH or at 554.6057.

Fidelity Representative on Campus Nov. 16

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

To schedule an appointment, call 1.800.642.7131.

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. People who would like to confirm whether or not a potential nominee has been selected previously should, 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.


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