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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

Flag Lowering

The UNO flags will be lowered to half-staff today, Nov. 15, to honor the memory of UNO retiree Frederick Gartin. He passed away recently at the age of 68.

Gartin, a custodian in UNO Environmental Services, went on disability retirement in 2000 after several years of service to the university. Services were held Nov. 9 in Omaha.

Fall Honors Ceremony Set for Thursday

UNO Interim Chancellor John Christensen will host the first Fall Honors Ceremony Thursday, Nov. 16, to recognize departments and individuals for a variety of extraordinary contributions to the university.

"It is truly a privilege to work with the talented men and women who comprise our campus community," Dr. Christensen said.  "UNO has the most dedicated, accomplished and distinguished faculty and staff a chancellor could ask for."

The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom.  The different areas of recognition include:
- Departments which have represented UNO as part of the University of Nebraska's Departmental Teaching Award Selection process;
- The new Step Up Award, given to 12 individuals or teams who have gone above and beyond their normal responsibilities to truly "step up" and make great things happen at UNO; and
- The recipients of the UNO Strategic Planning Awards, who have demonstrated particular creativity or responsiveness in support of focusing on students, promoting academic excellence or community engagement.

The Fall Honors Ceremony is free and open to the entire campus community and public. A reception will follow the event. For more information, call 554.3502.

NU Flex Enrollment Meeting Today

NU Flex enrollment materials will be distributed to all UNO employees this week. The electronic enrollment deadline is Friday, Dec. 1.

"The electronic enrollment will be available through Employee Self Service (ESS) during this year's enrollment period," said Esther Scarpello, fringe benefits manager in the UNO Office of Human Resources. "Lab sessions will be available for those not familiar with the electronic process."

ESS is a Web application service available online at to all University of Nebraska benefits-eligible employees. ESS allows employees to interact with their own SAP data, such as pay advices and current benefits options. It is designed to be a more convenient and secure method for employees to get information without the hassle of forms or lines.

To access the site, employees need their ESS ID and password. If you are a SAP user, your ESS ID and password are the same as your SAP login. If you are not a SAP user, your ID is the letter "O," followed by a zero and your five-digit SAP personnel number. If you cannot locate your ESS password, contact the UNO Helpdesk at 554.4357 or send an e-mail to

In conjunction with this year's annual enrollment period, three campus events will be held according to the schedule below:

NU Flex Enrollment Meeting
An explanation of enrollment materials and a question-and-answer session will be available.
- Today, Nov. 15
2 to 3 p.m.
Milo Bail Student Center U Mon Hon Room

Lab Sessions
The goal of the sessions is to help familiarize faculty and staff with ESS.
- Friday, Nov. 17
10 to 11 a.m. or 3 to 4 p.m.
406 Roskens Hall

For benefits packet-related questions, contact Scarpello at 554.3660.

NSF Announces 10th Annual Circle of Kent Dinner and Honorees

The Nebraska Shakespeare Festival (NSF) will induct two longtime volunteers -Gerry Phaneuf and Dalia Sudavicius - into its honorary Circle of Kent Sunday, Nov. 19.

Phaneuf, the festival's visual historian, has taken photos of the Shakespeare on the Green productions since it began in 1987. Phaneuf, husband of festival co-founder and artistic director Cindy Melby Phaneuf, also has helped with grant writing, organized support functions for the festival and served in many other ways. In addition to her role with the festival, Melby Phaneuf is also a UNO professor of theatre.

Sudavicius, a freelance artist, has donated artwork for the festival's program covers and posters since 1997.

The NSF Circle of Kent was created to thank and honor some of the artists, audience members, benefactors and board members who, through their service to the festival, have helped shape the history of the annual event.  Named for Kent from Shakespeare's King Lear - whose loyalty, service, and devotion to his king stands as an example of someone giving far more of himself than ever was asked - this order honors individuals who have, over the years, given such service to the festival as to warrant a special place, a higher honor in the history of Shakespeare on the Green.

The induction dinner will be held at the Upstream Brewing Co., 171st St. and West Center Rd. To reserve a seat for the event, call Lenore Polack at 393.7304.  A cash bar will open at 5 p.m., with dinner at 5:30 p.m. and a program at 6:15 p.m.

The festival is preparing for its 21st season of free Shakespeare plays, presented near UNO in Elmwood Park for three weekends in June and July. The 2007 shows will be "Henry V" and "Love's Labour's Lost."

Vern Raburn to Be Honored Nov. 29 at Durham Lecture Series

The UNO Aviation Institute will host its annual Charles W. Durham Distinguished Guest Lecture Series Wednesday, Nov. 29, in the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center. The featured speaker will be Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation Corporation.

A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m., followed by Raburn's lecture at 7:30 p.m.

Since its inception in 1998, Raburn has led Eclipse Aviation Corporation to achieve numerous advancements in its quest to change the way people travel. To date, the company has raised nearly half a billion in capital and has made significant progress toward the certification and delivery of its flagship product, the Eclipse 500 jet.

With more than 25 years experience as a senior executive in the information technology industry, Raburn is a successful entrepreneur who has also helped to shape the course of the information technology revolution and the high technology industry. In the mid 1970s, Raburn opened one of the nation's first computer stores, the Byte Shop of Westminster. Shortly thereafter, he joined Bill Gates as one of the first employees at Microsoft Corporation. He served at Microsoft as president of the Consumer Products Division and was responsible for the company's entry into the retail channel.  

During the past 25 years, Raburn has consistently taken companies to the highest levels of success. Following his tenure at Microsoft, he served as executive vice president and general manager of Lotus Development Corporation, where he played an integral role in the successful launch of Lotus 1-2-3. He has also served as chairman and CEO of Symantec Corporation and Slate Corporation. Prior to founding Eclipse, Raburn worked as president of the Paul Allen Group, overseeing high technology investments for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.  

Raburn's passion for high technology is exceeded only by his love of aviation. Since he first learned how to fly as a teenager, he has accumulated more than 6,500 hours of flight time and has earned his multi-engine, instrument, commercial and rotary ratings. He holds type ratings in more than 15 aircraft types ranging from WWII bombers to piston airliners to modern corporate jets. He is on the board of directors of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the Executive Council to the FAA's Research, Engineering and Development Advisory Committee (REDAC), and the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Presidential Advisory Board

The Charles W. Durham Guest Lecture Series and Scholarship Program was established by the Aviation Institute to thank Charles Durham for his inspiration as the lead co-founder of the UNO Aviation Institute. The Aviation Institute holds the Durham Lecture every year and presents the guest speaker with the William F. Shea Distinguished Contribution to Aviation Award. This award is given in honor of the Aviation Institute's founding director, William F. Shea, and is presented to those who have impacted the aviation industry during their varied aviation careers.

For more information or to receive free tickets to this event, call Vida Hill at 554.3424.

Nominations Sought for 2007 UNO Women of Color Awards

Organizations and individuals in the Omaha area are being asked to nominate women of color for the 2007 UNO Women of Color (WOC) Awards.  The awards will recognize women of color for outstanding contributions in six categories - arts/humanities, business/entrepreneurship, education, community service, science and technology, and youth leadership.  Nomination forms, which are available online at, are due Monday, Dec. 11.

"These awards recognize women of color who have done extraordinary work on their own in these categories, as well as mentoring others in these fields," said Sharon Ulmar, WOC committee co-chair and assistant to the chancellor in the UNO Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity. "We encourage people from the metropolitan community to nominate women of color they believe should receive accolades for their selfless efforts."

Award recipients will be honored Wednesday, March 7, at the 2007 UNO Women of Color Awards Luncheon.  The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the DC Centre, 11830 Stonegate Circle.  The theme for 2007 is "Healthy Women."

The guest speaker will be Alabama physician Dr. Regina Benjamin.  Known for her contributions in rural and family medicine, Dr. Benjamin attended Xavier University in New Orleans and was a member of the second class of Morehouse School of Medicine.  She received her medical degree from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and completed her residency in family practice at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon.  She also holds a master's in business administration from Tulane University. 

After graduation, Dr. Benjamin chose to return to the region in which she grew up, starting a family practice in Bayou la Batre, Ala.  Made famous from the motion picture "Forrest Gump," Bayou la Batre is a small shrimping village located along the gulf coast.  After several years of moonlighting in emergency rooms and nursing homes to keep her practice open, she converted her medical office into a small rural health clinic dedicated to serving the large poverty-stricken population in her community.  Like many others in the gulf coast, Dr. Benjamin had to deal with the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the town's only clinic. 

In 1995, she became the first African-American woman, and the first person under 40, to be elected to the American Medical Association (AMA) Board of Trustees.  Dr. Benjamin also serves on the Board of Physicians for Human Rights.  She is a 1998 Mandela Award Winner, a former Kellogg National Fellow, has been featured as ABC Television's "Person of the Week" and, in 1996, was chosen by "CBS This Morning" as "Woman of the Year."

A panel of judges from the WOC Awards Recognition Planning Committee will select the 2007 winners based on nominations submitted by Dec. 11.  The committee is comprised of women from area schools – UNO, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Metropolitan Community College; local nonprofit businesses – Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, ICAN, Omaha Housing Authority and Omaha Community Action; and local for-profit-businesses – AHL Consulting Inc., State Farm Insurance, Journal Broadcasting Group, Wells Fargo Bank and Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society Inc.

Award recipients will be invited to participate in community speaking events, and to serve as role models and mentors for various university-related programs and activities.

To request nomination forms, call 554.2779 or send an e-mail to  For more information or to access online nomination forms, visit the WOC Web site at

Campus Security Offers Holiday Safety Tips

Campus Security would like to remind the campus community of some common sense safety tips to practice during the holiday season.

"With so many students, staff and faculty rushing to get shopping done or taking care of end-of-the-semester tasks, security issues may take a backseat," said Paul Kosel, assistant manager of Campus Security and traffic at UNO. "A few simple tips can make a big difference."

- When a person leaves his or her room or office, lock it up, even if it's only for a few minutes.
- Avoid leaving valuables or packages in plain view in a vehicle. Place them in the trunk or between the seats. When possible, do so before parking.
- During the holiday break, take valuables home from campus offices and residence halls.
- Anyone who is going to be working on campus late in the evening or when few people are around should consider advising Campus Security so that an officer can pay special attention to the area.
- Anyone entering a locked residence hall, apartment building or campus building should make sure the door closes completely. Strangers should not follow anyone into a secure building.
- Students who live on campus and are leaving town for the holidays should make sure they have someone keeping an eye on their residence and leave emergency contact information.

For more information, call Campus Security at 554.2648.

Spring 2007 Book Orders Due

The UNO Bookstore would like to remind faculty that spring 2007 book orders are now due and should be submitted as soon as possible.  Please contact Scott Dickey at if you have questions regarding your book order.

Heartland Refugee Resettlement Benefit Raffle Under Way

A partnership between a non-profit fund-raising class at UNO and Heartland Refugee Resettlement (HRR) aims to raise refugee awareness and funds for area refugees this week on campus. The two groups will conduct a raffle event, "Omaha: A Place to Call Home," through Thursday, Nov. 16.

Students have collected more than $3,000 worth of donations from local businesses and individuals, said Paul Sather, director of the UNO Service-Learning Academy and American Humanics. Prize packages run the gamut from memberships to restaurant meals, to even an original painting, he said.

"Heartland Refugee Resettlement does great work in our community," Sather said. "Getting our students involved and thinking through fundraising makes this a real-world experience for them."

The prize packages being raffled are listed below.

Calling All Couples ($500 value): a $20 gift card to Roja, admission for four to The Funnybone, two sandwiches at Honey Baked Ham, an autographed copy of the book Send Me Tulips by Kathe Oleson (with artwork by Kristin Pluhacek), a free tuxedo rental from Randall's Formal Wear and a Fontenelle Forest membership package.

Eat Free for a Month ($400 value): $20 to Moe's Southwest Grill, two free appetizers at Red Robin, $15 to Cheeseburger in Paradise, $25 to Sam & Louie's New York Pizzeria, $25 to Red Lobster, five free Chipotle burritos, six free meals at Schlotzsky's, two free Outback Bloomin' Onions, five free meals at Runza, $15 to Chili's, $100 to Cheeburger Cheeburger, $25 to Old Chicago, four free meals at Fazoli's and $15 to Famous Dave's.

Family Fun ($500 value): a Dairy Queen 8-inch cake, a YMCA six-month family membership, a $250 Dirkschneider photography package, four UNO Maverick hockey tickets and a parking pass, and five Swimtastic family swimming passes.

Feel the Music ($450 value): an MP3 player courtesy of Best Buy and four hours of Baseline Studio recording studio time.

What's Cookin' ($250 value): a Junior League Toast to Omaha cookbook, a crystal-embellished apron, a Williams-Sonoma gift basket, a Come on Into my Kitchen cooking class, a $40 HuHots gift card and a $25 Gift Card to Nestle Tollhouse.

Get Your Game On ($550 value): a Susan Ann Koenig one-hour life coaching session, a YMCA six-month individual membership, one yoga class at the Omaha Yoga School, an autographed Nebraska Cornhusker football, Creighton basketball tickets and an Ashley Lynn's tanning package.

Constellation ($500 value): a Ron Garvais original painting.

Raffle tickets may be purchased in any combination for the available packages. The cost is $2 for one ticket, $5 for three tickets, $10 for eight tickets and $20 for 20 tickets. All proceeds will benefit HRR.

The gift packages will be on display, and tickets will be on sale in the Criss Library today through Thursday, Nov. 15-16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Representatives from HRR will also be on hand to answer questions about their organization and mission. A drawing for the winners of each package will be conducted Thursday, Nov. 16.

For more information, contact Sather at 554.6019 or

UNO Film Society to Present UNO Film Festival Nov. 16

The UNO Film Society will hold its fourth annual UNO Film Festival Thursday, Nov. 16. The festival will showcase short films from local college students and will be held at Westwood Cinema, 2809 S. 125th Ave. (Westwood Plaza, 120th and Center St.). The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Monica Yoo at

India Spring Break Opportunity Available for Students

During Spring Break 2007, 35 University of Nebraska students will have the opportunity to visit India to learn about Indian society and culture.

The trip is scheduled to start March 7, 2007, with Omaha and Lincoln students returning to Omaha March 19.

The spring break trip will be combined with an educational visit to UNO's sibling university, the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur (considered the MIT of India). It will also include visits to Delhi, Calcutta, Bangalore or Pune, and Agra. There will be many opportunities to interact with locals, corporate executives, government officials and nonprofit agencies.

An information session will be held Friday, Nov. 17, to discuss the trip. All interested students are invited to attend. The session will be held in 241 Arts and Sciences Hall at 4 p.m.

"This is a unique opportunity! Any undergraduate major may apply," said Krista Cupich, study abroad advisor at UNO. "Students cover only the cost of airfare from Omaha to Delhi, passport and visa fees, plus travel insurance. All local costs associated with travel with India, including hotels and meals, will be underwritten by infoUSA."

The application deadline for this program is Friday, Dec. 1. Sponsors for the program include UNO, infoUSA and the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur.

For more information, plan on attending the Nov. 17 information session or contact Cupich (554.2293 or