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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 Dec. 2, 1988, The Gateway reported that the second annual "Dickens in the Market" was host to a special feature created by the UNO chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. Ten members of the organization were arranged into teams of two to grace five buildings in the downtown Omaha Old Market area with window displays. The owners of the stores supplied the necessary materials or gave the students a budget for the display. The top three windows were awarded cash prizes - with the winner receiving $200, second place receiving $100 and third place receiving $50. Half of the money won was required to be donated to the chapter. "We think this will be good advertising for the chapter and a way to raise money for doing the Symphony Showcase in the spring," said Jennifer Johnson, a UNO senior majoring in interior design.

Date: Dec. 2, 1988
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

NET Television to Air UNO Program on Madagascar's Ecosystem

Rapidly declining rainforests on the island of Madagascar are threatening the existence of the country's unique ecosystem. Researchers from the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha are working to preserve the island's endangered plants and animals.

NET Television will air "Madagascar - Conservation vs. Survival" Sunday, Dec. 3, at 6:30 p.m. on NET1 (In Omaha, Channel 26 or on Cox or QWEST, Channel 12) and in high definition on NET-HD.

Madagascar is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of Africa. Approximately 80 percent of the island's plants, and all of its native primates - mainly lemurs - are endemic or found nowhere else in the world. At least 19 lemur species are already extinct.

A production of UNO Television, "Madagascar - Conservation vs. Survival" details the struggle the country faces as it tries to balance feeding a growing population with preserving endangered and globally unique habitats.  The program highlights how the Henry Doorly Zoo is cooperating with local organizations in Madagascar to meet these conflicting goals.

A UNO Television production team traveled to Madagascar and followed zoo personnel, local experts and graduate students from Madagascar as they captured lemurs to collect blood and tissue samples, and perform field medical examinations. The data is used to identify at-risk lemur populations, migration patterns and new species, as well as to help prioritize which endangered habitats to protect.

Additionally, the zoo's horticultural experts are reintroducing endangered orchid species back into the wild on the island. After the fieldwork, the graduate students were brought to Omaha, where they compiled and analyzed the data in laboratories at the Henry Doorly Zoo.

"Because Madagascar's ecosystem is unique, it is extremely important to protect the remaining rainforest from destruction, largely due to cropland and grazing land expansion," said Gary Repair, executive producer at UNO Television.

Major funding for "Madagascar - Conservation vs. Survival" was provided by the Theodore F. and Claire M. Hubbard Family Foundation. Additional support was provided by the National Public Radio program "From The Top" and HunTel Communications Inc.

Actor Danny Glover narrates the documentary, and musician Peter Buffett composed the original music. The program was recorded and produced in high definition.

For more information, contact Repair at 554.2516.

AIDS Awareness Event in MBSC Today

The Women's Resource Center will host an AIDS Awareness Day event today, Nov. 30, in the Milo Bail Student Center Nebraska Room. It will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

"The event is designed to bring STD/HIV awareness to the community at UNO," said Tumelo Gobagoba, director of the Women's Resource Center.

At the event, the Nebraska AIDS project will be conducting free on-site HIV testing. Free food and refreshments will also be served.

For more information, contact Gobagoba at 554.2730 or

Mav Kids to Host Dec. 10 "UNO Hockey Day" at Qwest Center

New this season, Mav Kids will host "UNO Hockey Day" Sunday, Dec. 10, at Qwest Center Omaha. Children ages six to 16 years old and their parents are invited to attend the 2 p.m. UNO vs. Bentley hockey game.

Festivities will begin at 1 p.m. with a bus ride from the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building (HPER) parking lot to the Qwest Center Omaha for the 2 p.m. game.  The bus will return to HPER at 6 p.m., following the game.

The cost (per person) is $18 for student or activity cardholders, or $22 for the public.

The price includes the following:
- Game ticket;
- Transportation;
- Meal coupon (hotdog or nachos, chips and drink);
- Post-game "Meet and Greet with the Team";
- Maverick bull horns headpiece; and
- Qualified staff supervision.

The registration deadline is Tuesday, Dec. 5.  To register, stop by 100 HPER or call 554.2859.

Kwanzaa Celebration Dec. 1 at UNO

The UNO community is invited to a Kwanzaa program set for Friday, Dec. 1. The free event, including food and a guest speaker, will begin at noon in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom.

Carlos Carr and the Omaha Community Kwanzaa Group will give a presentation focusing on the principles of unity and collective work, and responsibility.

Kwanzaa, a holiday that celebrates African traditions and American customs, was created in 1966. The name Kwanzaa comes from a Swahili phrase meaning "first fruits." In ancient Africa, the time to harvest fruits and grains was a time of celebration.

The UNO event is designed to share the basic concepts of, and answer questions about, this cultural tradition celebrated Dec. 26-Jan. 1. "We strive to educate our students about the traditions and cultures of others to see that our differences give us grounds for knowing more about each other rather than distancing from one another," said Sharif Liwaru, cultural awareness programs adviser at UNO. "Celebrations like this make it possible to celebrate family, community and culture."

For more information about the Dec. 1 event, contact Liwaru at 554.2711.

UNO "First Fridays" Spirit Day Set for Dec. 1

UNO spirit

Show your school pride! The UNO Spirit Committee will sponsor a campus spirit day the first Friday of every month. On that day, all UNO students, faculty and staff are invited to dress in Maverick gear.

"We have instituted this new idea to boost morale on campus," said Marie Lee, co-chair of the UNO Spirit Committee. "We invite all students, faculty and staff to wear your UNO colors/gear on ‘First Fridays.' Show your UNO pride by participating!"

The final "First Fridays" event of the semester is set for Friday, Dec. 1.

"If you don't have Maverick gear, then wear red, black or white, and show your UNO colors," said Kay Bret, co-chair of the UNO Spirit Committee.

For more information, contact Lee (554.2581 or or Bret (554.4841 or

Fall 2006 BFA Thesis Exhibition Opens Dec. 1

The UNO Art Gallery will present the work of four UNO bachelor of fine arts (BFA) thesis candidates in Speculatio Verto: Observation Interpreted, the Fall 2006 BFA Thesis Exhibition. The exhibition will open Friday, Dec. 1, and run through Friday, Dec. 15. An opening reception will be held Friday, Dec. 1, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the UNO Art Gallery.

The thesis exhibition is a thought-provoking display of observations that features the work of UNO students Jeff Halvin, Dan Lowe, Katrina Pierce and Bart Vargas. Halvin's photographs of ready-made and fabricated elements construct photo-narratives to make ideas credible through the power of visual imagery. Lowe uses video installation to invite viewers to reflect on childhood memories to break down barriers and incite an emotive response. Pierce actively explores space and printmaking through the examination of a 99.9 percent germ-free, clean environment to expose the things that exist all around us, regardless of whether we can see them or not. Vargas' sculpture installation examines the ambiguity of the self to find its specific origin.

It is the mission of the UNO Department of Art and Art History to prepare artists to enter into their field with the skills necessary to make significant contributions to the practice of art. The BFA with studio emphasis degree provides an extensive, well-rounded, performance-oriented background that not only equips students with intense knowledge of their practice and broad critical understanding of visual culture, but also prepares students for entry into a competitive art community and/or pursuit of higher degrees. After two semesters of rigorous independent study and a final semester of focused, individually-designed concentration in their selected area of emphasis, BFA candidates are required to participate in the thesis exhibition as the culminating element of their study.

Each BFA candidate in studio art is also required to present a public thesis talk to articulate and defend the philosophical, aesthetic, historical, critical and technical aspects of their work. Halvin, Lowe, Pierce and Vargas will be joined by bachelor of arts in art history candidates Elise Brazeal, Elizabeth Mostek and Tammi Owens in these public presentations. Each art history candidate will present a scholarly paper that addresses critical, creative and theoretical thinking, and analysis of a specialized topic in their area of emphasis. Fall 2006 thesis talks will be held Dec. 4, 6 and 8 from noon to 1 p.m. in the UNO Art Gallery.

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.

Holiday Card Program to Benefit Scholarship Funds

The Faculty Senate and Staff Advisory Council have teamed up once again this year to sponsor the annual Holiday Card Program.

All interested faculty and staff are encouraged to donate the money they would normally spend on greeting cards for colleagues to one of two scholarship funds at UNO – the William Gerbracht Memorial Scholarship Fund (recipients are children of faculty and staff) or the General Scholarship Fund. Additional donations are also welcome. In return, a seasonal greeting that acknowledges contributors will be distributed to all UNO departments Dec. 12.

Those who wish to donate should send a check (payable to UNO) to Cashiering/Student Accounts by Friday, Dec. 8. Donors should designate one of the two scholarship funds listed above and indicate the name or names they would like to appear on the seasonal greetings card.

To access a donation form, click on the following link:

Holiday Card Form

For more information, contact Rhonda Sheibal-Carver at 554.2625.

COS Open Lab Session Planned for Grant Writers

The next Community of Science (COS) open lab session will be held Friday, Dec. 8, at noon in Room 207 of Criss Library.

The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research 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, call Nancy Schlesiger at 554.2286.

Campus Sidewalk Construction Notice

Due to sewer maintenance, the sidewalk west of the Durham Science Center at UNO will be closed for a minimum of one week starting today, Nov. 30.

As a safety precaution, pedestrians are asked to use alternate routes - such as detouring through a neighboring building like the Weber Fine Arts Building - during the construction.

For more information, call Butch Baker at 960.9817.