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Hamlet Opens This Week

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" will open Nov. 16 in the Weber Fine Arts Theatre at UNO. Pictured above, Maria Vacha will portray Ophelia and Qadir Khan stars as Hamlet. The production is on stage Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 29-Dec. 2, with all performances beginning at 7:30 p.m. Cindy Melby Phaneuf directs the UNO Theatre production. See the story below for ticket prices.

history photo

Members of the University of Omaha Women's Athletic Association congregate on the steps of Joslyn Hall during the fall of 1937.

This Week in Campus History

On Nov. 14, 1968, The Gateway, reported that first-year University of Omaha (OU) students were expected to dazzle students and faculty at the Freshman Talent show that morning in the auditorium. A variety of musical acts were planned, including a solo, a duet, a pianist, and even an accordion. The event had also scheduled dance numbers by Chi Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha sororities. The talent show was sponsored by the OU student council and the officers of the freshman class. Classes were not dismissed for the event.

Date: Nov. 14, 1968
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

Football Playoff Tickets Available Today


Tickets will go on sale today, Nov. 14, at 9 a.m. for UNO's second-round NCAA Division II football playoff game.

At the Saturday, Nov. 25, playoff game, the Mavericks will host the winner of the Nov. 18 first-round game between North Dakota and Winona State. Kickoff is set for noon at Caniglia Field.

Ticket prices are $15 for reserved seats in the west stadium. General admission prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Football season ticket holders have the option to purchase their same seats before the 9 a.m. sale. All tickets will go on sale to the public today at 9 a.m.

Fans may purchase tickets in advance in the athletic business office, located in the lobby of the Lee and Helene Sapp Fieldhouse or by phone at 554.MAVS (6287).

NU Health Insurance Premiums Announcement

Editor's note: The following announcement was issued Nov. 13 by the University of Nebraska Central Administration.

You won't need to watch your blood pressure for this news; just hold onto your paychecks and celebrate.

Health insurance premiums for 2007 will remain exactly the same as this year for full-time faculty and staff at the University of Nebraska.

"We're very happy about keeping prices unchanged for medical and dental insurance offerings," said Keith Dietze, director of universitywide benefits.  "It has been many years since premiums did not increase. In fact, I can't remember the last time this happened."

All NU employees should receive the 2007 NUFlex benefits packet, which provides more complete details regarding benefits, price tags and enrollment. 

But Dietze doesn't want anyone to miss the good news: No increases in medical or dental insurance premiums for any of the three available medical options, and no increases in co-pays or deductibles.

Dietze pointed out that some part-time faculty and staff, as well as NU retirees, may see increases in health care premiums.  A small portion of Medicare-eligible NU retirees will see a slight increase in their health premiums, and non-Medicare eligible retirees will see higher premiums in several categories.

Generally, however, the health insurance situation is very healthy and Dietze said there are a variety of reasons why.

"This is the result, at least in part, to our ongoing efforts," he said. "We have worked hard over the past few years to implement new health insurance programs that allow us to keep costs down. By keeping on the edge of new health trends, we have managed to stay ahead of the curve."

Dietze highlighted programs specifically related to wellness, disease prevention, and prescription drugs, especially greater use of generic drugs. He's also enthusiastic about an enhanced and expanded disease management program to actively assist people with chronic medical conditions, which employees will learn more about in coming weeks. 

All NU campuses and their benefits departments have supported and been very helpful in these efforts, Dietze continued.  "I think everyone has jumped on the bandwagon; everyone is doing their fair share, pulling hard to try to keep costs down.   We've also had valuable input from the Universitywide Benefits Committee." 

Dietze also believes NU employees are taking greater responsibility for their own health care and personal medical costs.  "We're seeing increased use of generic drugs.  Claims are down. People are taking better care of themselves."

He stressed there are no guarantees for the future. "No one can predict what will happen after 2007.  But, working together with faculty and staff, we will continue striving to put together the best and most economical benefits package possible for our employees."

For more information consult your NUFlex benefits material or contact your campus benefits office (554.3660).

SAC to Meet This Morning

The Staff Advisory Council (SAC) will meet today, Nov. 14, at 9 a.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Council Room. All faculty and staff are invited to attend.

For more information, contact Mary Sweaney, SAC president, at 554.3668 or

Interim Chancellor Christensen to Speak at Omaha Press Club

the name

UNO Interim Chancellor John Christensen will be speaking at a noon forum at the Omaha Press Club (OPC) Wednesday, Nov. 15.

Non-Press Club members are welcome to attend the event. The cost to attend is $15 and includes lunch. The forum will start immediately at noon.

"We're excited to have Dr. Christensen as a speaker," said Chris Allen, associate professor in the UNO School of Communication and an OPC member. "He's been a great communicator for the university."

For reservations, call 345.8008. The OPC is located on the 22nd floor of the First National Center Building, 1620 Dodge St.

"Consider This" to Feature Domestic Violence Survivor

The Domestic Violence Coordinating Council of Omaha estimates that, since 1997, 50 people in Omaha have been killed as a result of domestic violence. Most victims of domestic violence are women and, for most victims, escaping is a matter of survival.  Even after police respond, many victims find it difficult to leave the relationship. This week on "Consider This...," host Andrea McMaster will investigate a recent domestic violence survivor's story.

The program, a UNO Television production, will air Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 8 a.m. on NET2, NET's cable network.

McMaster will talk with survivor Polly Mitchell, who was held captive by her husband for 10 years. She lived with emotional abuse, physical brutality, gut-wrenching fear and, finally, found a way to free herself and her four children.  In March of 2004, her husband, David Mitchell, was sentenced to up to 20 years behind bars for his crimes against her and their children.

Sue Michalski, R.N., training and education director for the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, will also be a guest on the program.

If you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship and needs help, the YWCA has a 24-hour abuse hotline that can be reached at 345.7273.

ITS Announces Lotus Notes Storage Increase

Information Technology Services (ITS) announces an increase in the standard quota for individual Lotus Notes e-mail accounts. The quota has been increased for all users to 100 MB, from 500 to 600.

For more information, contact Dean Hayes, manager of ITS Customer Services, at 554.4357 or

Academic Regalia Notice for Dec. 15 Commencement

Commencement for December graduates will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capitol Ave. Faculty members are asked to assemble no later than 1:30 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall.

Faculty who plan to attend the ceremony are asked to order their academic regalia from the UNO Bookstore (554.2336) by Friday, Nov. 17.

Chair Massage Service Available in HPER Nov. 17

The Mav-Rec Wellness Stampede and Campus Recreation will offer the first chair massage session of the fall semester Friday, Nov. 17.

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 Friday, Dec. 15.

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

Criss Library Catalog Downtime Set for Nov. 21

The Criss Library catalog will be down Tuesday, Nov. 21, starting at 1 p.m. for software upgrades. The downtime will last approximately five hours. Off-campus access to electronic resources will be affected.

"While the library attempts to schedule these routine maintenance tasks during intersessions and breaks, this is not always possible when working with our vendor. We hope the inconvenience will be minimal," said Karen Hein, director of library operations. Patrons may contact the Reference Desk at 554.2661 for assistance. 

For more information, contact Hein at or 554.2144.

Annual Fall Scholastic Children's Book Fair Nov. 27-29

Wild about books? Like to share your treasures with others? Then come visit the UNO Library Friends annual fall Scholastic Children's Book Fair Nov. 27-29 in Criss Library!

Books for children of all ages, holiday titles, instructional materials, games, videos and toys will be available for purchase. Proceeds from the sale benefit Criss Library's juvenile book collection. 

"It's always fun to come do some holiday shopping at the book fair," said Melissa Cast, education and reference librarian.  "The book fair will also continue its support of local literacy efforts. Donations for the Open World Mission and the One World Community Health Center will be accepted."  This summer, the Criss Library was recognized for putting more than 700 books in the hands of Omaha children.

The fair will be located on the main floor in the center aisle of Criss Library.  Dates and times for the event are as follows:

- Monday, Nov. 27       
5 to 9 p.m.

- Tuesday, Nov. 28
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

- Wednesday, Nov. 29
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, contact Cast at

R.S.V.P.s Due for Nov. 15 Leslie Retirement Reception

UNO faculty and staff are invited to attend a retirement reception for Jim Leslie, president emeritus of the UNO Alumni Association. Leslie will retire in December after 33 years as the association's president.

The reception will be held Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center. A short program recognizing Leslie will begin at 5:30 p.m. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Those planning to attend should R.S.V.P. to Sheila King prior to the event at 554.4802 or

Geography Awareness Week Lecture on Sudanese Migration

David Chand will present the 2006 Geography Awareness Week lecture on "The War in Sudan and Sudanese Migration to Omaha" Wednesday, Nov. 15. The lecture - which is open to all faculty, staff and students - will begin at 7 p.m. in 115 Durham Science Center (DSC).

Dr. Chand is an associate professor of political science at UNO. He has also served as executive director of the South Sudan Institute of Peace and Development (SSIPD) in South Sudan (1999-2001), and as ambassador and director of the Peace and Human Rights Department for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Khartoum (1997-99). Dr. Chand is also a founding member of the South Sudan Independence Movement/Army (SSIM/A).

For more information, contact Christina Dando in the Department of Geography/Geology at 554.3134.

HPER Biomechanics Laboratory to Host Cerebral Palsy Talk

On Friday, Nov. 17, the UNO Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Biomechanics Laboratory will feature a presentation by G. Bradley Schaefer, M.D.  His presentation, titled "The Medical, Genetic and Legal Aspects of Cerebral Palsy," will begin at 1 p.m. in 200 HPER.  The event is free and open to the public.

"This talk will focus on the difficulties of diagnosing an infant with cerebral palsy," said Lisa Holst, project assistant for the HPER Biomechanics Laboratory. "While our lab focuses on a biomechanical prognostic test, Dr. Schaefer will give us a broader understanding of why the medical community hesitates to give a diagnosis of CP, and give us details of any genetic and legal aspects which hinder this diagnosis."

Dr. Schaefer received his B.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of Oklahoma (OU). He also completed a pediatric residency and a fellowship in genetics, endocrinology and metabolism at the OU Health Sciences Center. Dr. Schaefer is currently the Omaha Scottish Rite, Masonic Professor of Child Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is the director of the Hattie B. Munroe Center for Human Genetics and the associate director of the Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation.

He has achieved board certification in pediatrics, human genetics and pediatric endocrinology. A founding fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Schaefer has authored more than 200 scientific articles, book chapters and invited reviews. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Child Neurology and is a member of the National Advisory Board for the Sotos Syndrome Support Association.

His clinical practice focuses on the genetics of neurologic conditions, neurosensory abnormalities and craniofacial malformations. His research centers on human clinical genetics, with an emphasis on neurogenetics and neurodevelopmental disabilities. This research utilizes computerized image analysis to quantify developmental changes in the brain, the face and the inner ear.

For more information, call Holst at 554.3075.

Performances of "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" Open Nov. 16

The UNO Department of Theatre will open its performances of William Shakespeare's tragedy "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" this week at UNO. A preview performance will be held Thursday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m., with additional showtimes set for Nov. 17-18 and Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

The performances - all directed by Cindy Melby Phaneuf - will be held in the UNO Theater, located in the Weber Fine Arts Building. The house opens at 7 p.m., with a 7:30 p.m. curtain time. An interactive talk-back session with the director, designers and cast will be held immediately following the Friday, Dec. 1, show.

"Hamlet" is regarded by many as Shakespeare's most powerful play. Actors love it; academics are engrossed by it; audiences are challenged by it; and directors want to direct it.  Audiences often find the story compelling and the young prince one of Shakespeare's most sympathetic tragic characters.

From the moment audiences see Hamlet standing - dressed in black, mourning his father's death - they are able to empathize with his anguish. Hamlet endures as the object of universal identification because his central moral dilemma transcends the Elizabethan period, making him a man for all ages. In his difficult struggle to act within a corrupt world, yet maintain his moral integrity, Hamlet ultimately reflects the fate of all human beings.

Tickets for "Hamlet" are currently on sale at the UNO Theater box office, located on the first floor of the Weber Fine Arts Building. Ticket prices are $15 for general admission, and $12 for students and seniors. They may be purchased in person, via e-mail at, or by calling 554.2335.

For more information, contact Ron Zank, UNO Department of Theatre secretary, at 554.2406.

"Leveraging Resources" Brown Bag Session Nov. 28

Faculty, staff and graduate students are invited to attend a brown bag session on "leveraging resources" Tuesday, Nov. 28.  Sponsored by the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research, the event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) U mon hon Room. 

Three expert project directors will talk about their success in maximizing grant funding and university resources to achieve their project goals. The speakers will include Alan Kolok, biology; Jack Shroder, geography/geology; and Rick Yoder, Nebraska Business Development Center.

Participants are invited to bring a lunch. Sponsored Programs and Research will provide beverages and dessert.

For more information, call Sponsored Programs and Research at 554.2286, or visit the Web at

Participants Sought for Nov. 28 Strategic Planning Focus Group

The UNO Strategic Planning Steering Committee and its Environmental Issues and Strategies Task Force are sponsoring a focus group Tuesday, Nov. 28. It will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Dodge Room.

Faculty and staff are invited to discuss six prioritized issues that were identified at the May 2006 Strategic Planning Advance. The issues involve a variety of topics including course delivery methods, growing competition in the recruitment of students, affordability of a UNO education, enrollment of students from underrepresented populations, recruitment and retention of faculty and staff, as well as employers' expectations of college graduates. The focus group will provide input to assist the campus and units in developing strategies for addressing the issues.

The task force encourages participation at the forum, which will provide a means to voice opinions on a number of critical issues UNO is facing.

Box lunches and drinks will be provided for all participants. Those planning to attend are asked to R.S.V.P. by Wednesday, Nov. 22, to graduate assistant Lindy Gustafson (554.2535 or For more information, contact Gustafson or Environmental Issues and Strategies Task Force Chair Bill Swanson (554.2612 or

Campus Holiday Open House Dec. 6 in the MBSC

Interim Chancellor John Christensen and Interim Vice Chancellors Julie Totten and Sheri Rogers, along with Faculty Senate President Jim Shaw and Staff Advisory Council (SAC) President Jennifer Forbes-Baily, invite faculty and staff to attend UNO's annual holiday open house. The event will be held Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom.

To view a special invitation from Dr. Christensen, the vice chancellors, and the Faculty Senate and SAC presidents, click on the following link:

Open House Invitation

Those planning to attend should R.S.V.P. by Wednesday, Nov. 28, to Bob Cairns at 554.2311 or


- Tom Gouttierre, dean of international studies and programs, and director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies, was the lead-off speaker for the Nebraska Secretary of State's Diplomatic Conference - "Nebraska: America's International Heartland" - which was held Oct. 30-31 at the Omaha Hilton Hotel.  Gouttierre's presentation focused on Nebraska's global reach.

Have you done something noteworthy in your profession? E-mail "People" items to "People" appears in the Tuesday edition of eNotes.