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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. 20, 1971, the Faculty Staff Bulletin reported that students from UNO, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and Nebraska Wesleyan University teamed together to stage a kidnapping of Omaha Mayor Eugene Leahy. The mayor was taken to the UNO Student Center Ballroom, where he was held for "ransom" to help raise money for Meyer Children's Rehabilitation Institute. Students from Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and Sigma Kappa sorority took collections throughout the Omaha area to free the mayor.

Date: Nov. 20, 1971
Source: Source: Faculty Staff Bulletin
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

Sam Walker Testifies on New Jersey State Police

Samuel Walker, UNO professor emeritus of criminal justice, testified Nov. 21 about the need for citizen oversight of the New Jersey State Police.

Dr. Walker testified before the New Jersey Advisory Commission on Police Standards in Trenton, N.J.  The commission was established by New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine to make recommendations about the future of oversight for the state police. Walker testified that continued citizen oversight is necessary to help law enforcement agencies maintain the highest professional standards and avoid problems that result in the abuse of citizens' rights.

The New Jersey State Police have been under a federal consent decree for the last five years.  The agency was sued by the U.S. Justice Department for racial profiling.  Dr. Walker said the federal judge in the case is about to dissolve the consent decree, and the Governor's Advisory Commission was created to determine whether permanent state-level oversight is necessary.

Dr. Walker testified that continued oversight is working well in San Diego; Boise, Idaho; San Jose, Calif.: and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.  In each of those cases, the citizen oversight process identifies problems and recommends policy changes for the law enforcement agency.

"Oversight is a national trend," Dr. Walker said.

In April of this year, the New Jersey Attorney General's Office hired Dr. Walker as a consultant to prepare a written report on the future of the state police. The report was released today and was the basis of Dr. Walker's testimony.

Dr. Walker's testimony and the questions from members of the commission lasted two hours.  For more information, contact Dr. Walker at 554.3590 or

Blue Line Club Luncheon Nov. 24

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The hockey season is here, as is the tradition of kicking off a Maverick hockey weekend with a Blue Line Club (BLC) luncheon. The next luncheon will be held Friday, Nov. 24, to commemorate the UNO vs. Notre Dame series.

At this week's luncheon, hear from the opposing coach and UNO players Bill Bagron (No. 24) and Eddie DelGrosso (No. 7). Also featured this week will be a parent panel including Steve and Linda Eickman, Bill and Judi Parse, Jim and Laurie Knapp, and Rich and Chris Scero.

The luncheon will be held at the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center. The buffet opens at 11:15 a.m., followed by a program from 11:40 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost is $20 for BLC members or $25 for non-members. No reservation is required to attend.

The early-bird membership drive ends this Friday, Nov. 24, so get your friends to join the BLC by the third period of the Notre Dame game! All BLC members will be eligible to win an autographed jersey, stick or free 2007-08 BLC membership. The winners will be announced at the Saturday, Nov. 25, game. The membership levels and costs are as follows: UNO student membership, $10; power play, $40; hat trick, $150; and corporate $300. 

For membership information, call Bev Sanders at 496.2403.

In celebration of the BLC's 10th season, it is offering chances to win a trip to the Frozen Four in St. Louis. The gift package includes two game tickets and a three-night stay at the Renaissance. The cost is $5 a chance for the public or 5 chances for $20 for BLC members. Tickets can be purchased at the BLC booth on the north side.  Blue Line Board members will have tickets for sale, as well.

For more information, contact Shirley Fey at 554.3422.

Nov. 28 Strategic Planning Focus Group Event Postponed

The UNO Strategic Planning Steering Committee faculty/staff focus group event set for Tuesday, Nov. 28, has been postponed. Watch for the new date and time in a future edition of eNotes.

For more information, contact Lindy Gustafson at 554.2535 or

UNO Thanksgiving Holiday Hours Rundown

The following hours will be observed on campus in conjunction with the 2006 Thanksgiving holiday:

Criss Library Hours
- Wednesday, Nov. 22
 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

- Thursday through Friday, Nov. 23-24

Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Building Hours
- Wednesday, Nov. 22
6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

- Thursday, Nov. 23

- Friday, Nov. 24
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

- Saturday, Nov. 25
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

- Sunday, Nov. 26
Noon to 8 p.m.

Note: Group Ex. classes will not meet Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 22-Nov. 24. Classes will resume Monday, Nov. 27. 

Open Computer Labs Hours
- 300 Arts and Sciences Hall
Wednesday through Sunday, Nov. 22-26

- 104 Durham Science Center
Wednesday through Sunday, Nov. 22-26

- 211 Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building
Wednesday, Nov. 22
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 23

Friday through Saturday, Nov. 24-25
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 26

- Criss Library
Wednesday, Nov. 22
7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday through Friday, Nov. 23-24

Saturday, Nov. 25
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 26
Noon to 12 a.m.

- Milo Bail Student Center Elmwood Room
Wednesday, Nov. 22
7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 23-25

Sunday, Nov. 26
Noon to 12 a.m.

- 158A The Peter Kiewit Institute
Wednesday through Sunday, Nov. 22-26

- 401 Roskens Hall
Wednesday through Sunday, Nov. 22-26

Football Playoff Tickets Still Available

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Tickets are currently on sale for UNO's second-round NCAA Division II football playoff game, set for Saturday, Nov. 25. The Mavericks will host North Dakota at 12:05 p.m. 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.

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).

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 dollars 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 of 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 serves 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.

Library Copy Card Exchange Concludes Nov. 30

Remember the old library copy card - the green card with coins on it? The last day the library will issue vouchers redeeming the value of the old copy cards is Thursday, Nov. 30.

Check your coat pockets, desk drawers and billfolds, and turn those copy cards in for value on your MavCard. Any vouchers issued through Nov. 30 may be redeemed at the MavCard Business Office through Dec. 15. The office is located on the second floor of the Milo Bail Student Center.

For more information, contact the library circulation desk at 554.3206.

UNO to Present "Works in Progress" Colloquium Nov. 30

Poetry and nonfiction are the focus of "Works in Progress," a fall faculty colloquium planned for Thursday, Nov. 30, at UNO. The event will feature UNO English professors Michael Skau and Susan Maher.

The colloquium will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room. It is free and open to the public.

Dr. Skau will present "Conversations with the Old Poets: New Poems," while Dr. Maher will showcase "Conversations with the Landscape: Deep Map Country on the Great Plains."

For more information, call 554.2772.

Scott Downing Retirement Reception Set for Nov. 30

After 37 years of service to UNO, Scott Downing of the UNO Department of Mathematics will be retiring at the end of this semester.

A retirement reception for Dr. Downing will be held Thursday, Nov. 30, from 3 to 5 p.m. The reception will be held at the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center in Centennial Hall East.  The mathematics department invites the campus community to stop by and wish Dr. Downing good luck in his retirement.

For more information, contact Peggy Mainelli in the mathematics department at 554.3430 or

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