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University of Omaha Fieldhouse interior undergoes construction in 1949.

This Week in Campus History

The Feb. 18, 1938, issue of The Gateway reported that a fire had started in a janitor's room in the basement of Joslyn Hall during the previous week's Monday night classes. University of Omaha students and Omaha firefighters attempted to put out the fire while some on-lookers jokingly cried out: "Let 'er burn!" Although damages were not mentioned in the article, given the "apparent unconcern of people strolling through the smoke-filled halls," the newspaper guessed that they were probably minimal. It was also reported that last Tuesday's morning students were still greeted with a smoky odor hanging in the air.

Date: Feb. 18, 1938
Source: The Gateway
Compiled by Criss Library Archives

Alexander Williams

At Your Service

by Beverly Newsam

While some of his fellow students are still snug in their beds, Alexander Williams is on campus preparing for the day. It is just one of many changes he has faced during his transition to student body president/regent at UNO. ...continue

"Nickel and Dimed" Production Opens Tonight

The UNO Department of Theatre will present "Nickel and Dimed" Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23-24, and Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 28 to March 3, on campus. The production - written by Joan Holden and based on Barbara Ehrenreich's book, Nickel and Dimed, on (Not) Getting by in America - will be directed by Doug Paterson, UNO professor of theatre. A preview performance will be held tonight, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m.

All performances will start at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at the UNO Theater in the Weber Fine Arts Building (WFAB). The house opens at 7 p.m., with a 7:30 p.m. curtain. There will be an interactive, talk-back session with the director, designers and cast immediately following the Friday, March 2, show.

Adapted from Ehrenreich's best-selling book about the working poor, this investigative seriocomedy follows a character based on the author's journey into minimum wage America. "Nickel and Dimed" asks "Can a middle-aged, middle-class white woman make it on minimum wage in middle America?"

Tickets can be purchased in person at the box office (located on the first floor of the WFAB), via e-mail at or by calling 554.2335. Tickets cost $15 for general admission, and $12 for students and seniors.

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

UNO Study Abroad Opportunities Announced

Interested in a free, six-week study abroad in Italy? Students with freshman through junior status and a 3.0 G.P.A. or higher are eligible to apply for a variety of opportunities.

The 2007 Nene Field Ambassador Scholarship application deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 28. Applications are available in 241 or 238 Arts and Science Hall (ASH). This year's ambassador will spend four weeks studying the Italian language, followed by a two-week international seminar on democracy and active citizenship with 50 other students from across Europe and the United States.

Other application deadlines are as follows:

- UNO: Arabic in Morocco
Location: Ifrane, Morocco
Cost: $5,000 to $6,000 (all inclusive)
Deadline: March 2

- USINDO Summer Study
This summer opportunity in Indonesia is for seniors, graduate and post-graduate students.
Location: Indonesia
Cost: $1,500 for a 10-week study program
Deadline: March 9

- UNO: W.U. Wien Exchange Program
Vienna School of Business and Economics
International Summer University
Undergraduate Business and MBA Program
Location: Vienna, Austria
Cost: Approximately $600 (plus transportation)
Deadline: April 4

- UNO Exchange – W.U. Wien
Vienna Spring Program May 14-25 (graduate students only)
Location: Vienna, Austria
Deadline: As soon as possible

- University of Amsterdam
International Summer School for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Cost: Approximately $3,000 (plus transportation)
Deadline: April 6

- University of Vienna International Summer Program
Emerging Europe
July 14-Aug. 11
Location: Strobl, Austria
Cost: Approximately $3,450 (plus transportation)
Deadline: April 13

- UNO: MAUI - Utrecht Network
Summer: Democracy, Inclusion and Active Citizenship (Italy) or Environmental Sciences (Slovenia)
Semester: 20-plus semester or academic year locations throughout Eastern and Central Europe
Summer Cost: Approximately $600 (plus transportation)
Deadline: Feb. 28

- UNO: Graz Summer School - Center for Economic and Social Studies
Graduate and recent Ph.D. students
July 15-22
Location: Graz, Austria
Cost: Approximately $300 to $400 (plus transportation)
Deadline: TBD

- UNO: Helsinki School Economics Mikkeli Business Campus
Multiple Sessions between April 30 and Aug. 30
Location: Mikkeli, Finland
Cost: UNO tuition, transportation, and $300 to $400 for room and board (per month)
Deadline: March 26

Many other opportunities for summer or semester study are available. To learn more, visit the Study Abroad Library in 241 ASH or send an e-mail to

Walt Disney College Program Campus Visit Set

A representative from Walt Disney World will be on campus Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 27-28, to discuss the Walt Disney College Program. Presentations will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Dodge Room A.

Learn how you can build your résumé and gain college credit while working (and playing) at Walt Disney World - ranked number one in BusinessWeek's "50 Best Places to Launch a Career." All students are invited to attend.

Visit for more information and to complete an application.

For more information, contact Katie Martikainen, Walt Disney College Program UNO Representative, at 984.4485.

Geography Lecturer to Discuss Social Justice Feb. 23

Don Mitchell, distinguished professor of geography and chair of the Geography Department at Syracuse University, will present a lecture on "New Axioms for Reading the Landscape: Paying Attention to Political Economy and Social Justice" Friday, Feb. 23. It will begin at 3:30 p.m. in 115 Durham Science Center. The lecture is free and open to UNO students, faculty and staff.

At the Feb. 23 lecture, Dr. Mitchell will focus, particularly, on struggles over the border and migrant work in California, as well as argue for a better account of understanding the landscape as the place where social justice is given form. His talk will discuss how attending to the relationships between mobility and status, and among processes operating at different scales, allows for a fuller view into how landscapes are formed, what they mean and how the struggle for a more just society can be advanced.

Dr. Mitchell is the author of The Lie of the Land: Migrant Workers and the California Landscape (1996), Cultural Geography: A Critical Introduction (2000) and The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space (2003) - as well as numerous articles on the geography of homelessness, labor, urban public space and contemporary theories of culture. Dr. Mitchell is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. He is the founder and director of the People's Geography Project ( and a member of the Syracuse Hunger Project.

Dr. Mitchell's visit is sponsored by the UNO Department of Geography/Geology, the UNO Geography Club and the Visiting Geographical Scientists Program of the Association of American Geographers. It is being held in conjunction with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Anthropology and Geography.

For more information, contact Christina Dando at 554.3134.

CCSW to Sponsor Heart Health Coffeehouse Feb. 28

Did you know that heart disease is now the leading cause of death for women? Do you know the warning signs of a heart attack for women? All UNO faculty, staff and students (male and female) are invited to attend the "Heart Health for Women" Susan B. Anthony Coffeehouse to learn more about women and heart disease, and what can be done to promote heart health.

The UNO Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women (CCSW) is sponsoring the Wednesday, Feb. 28, coffeehouse event that will feature Geri Moore from Creighton University. Moore is director of the fitness testing laboratory at Creighton University. The coffeehouse will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 100 of Criss Library at UNO. The library café will also be open, and attendees are invited to bring their lunches.

For more information, call 554.3660.

The CCSW serves as an advisory council to the chancellor and other university administrators on issues that relate to women faculty, staff and students. The commission's goal is to provide a forum for women at UNO in conjunction with the organization's core themes of A, B, C - Awareness of women's issues, Balance in women's lives, and the Community and women's roles.

Strategic Planning Forum to Focus on Student Engagement

Student participation in community engagement will be the focus Friday, March 2, at the spring Strategic Planning Forum. The day's activities will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will conclude at 1 p.m. at the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center. All interested members of the campus community are invited to attend.

Planned activities include an overview of the new myMAPP Campus and Strategic Framework Web sites, a panel on best practices for unit-based strategic planning, an activity designed to solicit strategies for addressing the strategic issues identified at last spring's strategic planning event, a poster session focusing on student involvement in the community, as well as a panel of faculty, staff, students and community members who will present an overview of their engagement activities.

For more information or to R.S.V.P., contact Lindy Gustafson, graduate assistant, at 554.2535 or

Women of Color to Be Honored at March 7 Luncheon

Two physicians, a drama director, a banker, a community relations ambassador and a student are the 2007 recipients of the UNO Women of Color (WOC) Awards.

The group will be honored at a luncheon Wednesday, March 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the DC Centre, 11830 Stonegate Circle.

Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey and University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken will be in attendance at the fifth annual luncheon to congratulate the nominees and winners. This year's theme is "Healthy Women." The guest speaker will be Alabama physician Dr. Regina Benjamin.

"This year is the fifth anniversary event, and we are proud to recognize the achievements of this diverse group of women," said Sharon Ulmar, WOC committee co-chair and assistant to the chancellor in the UNO Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity. "The honorees' insights, diverse perspectives and experiences are being highlighted and celebrated during Women's History Month in an effort to encourage continued and future involvement of women of color in our community."

The awards acknowledge outstanding contributions and leadership by women of color in the Omaha area. Organizations and individuals were asked to nominate women of color for the awards in six categories: arts/humanities, business/entrepreneurship, education, community service, science and technology, and youth leadership.

The 2007 award winners are as follows:

- Llana M. Smith, drama ministry director at Salem Baptist Church, is the recipient of the Arts and Humanities Award.

- Cynthia R. Swoopes, regional emerging markets manager at Wells Fargo Bank, is the recipient of the Business/Entrepreneurship Award.

- Maria Valentin, community relations manager at ConAgra Foods, is the recipient of the Community Service Award.

- Cristina Fernandez, M.D., assistant professor at Creighton University, Creighton University Pediatric Clinic and the University of Nebraska Medical Center Pediatric Residency Program, is the recipient of the Education Award.

- Huiing Pang, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of anesthesiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, is the recipient of the Science and Technology Award.

- Francesca Hannah, a student at Central High School, is the recipient of the Youth Leadership Award.

The event's keynote speaker - Dr. Benjamin - is the founder and CEO of Bayou Clinic in Bayou La Batre, Ala. She is the first African-American woman, and the first person under 40, to be elected to the American Medical Association (AMA) Board of Trustees. Time magazine named her one of the "Nation's 50 Future Leaders Age 40 and Under." 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."

Jamie Gutierrez Vela, president and owner of Midwest Maintenance Company Inc., will serve as the mistress of ceremonies.

The luncheon is open to the public, and tickets are $25 per person. Organizations can reserve tables of eight for $300. The event is sponsored by UNO, State Farm Insurance and a grant by the Nebraska Humanities Council.

To access luncheon registration forms or for more information about the event, visit the Web at The deadline for registrations is Tuesday, Feb. 27.

For more information, call 554.2779.

Nominations Sought for CCMA Diversity Awards

The UNO Chancellor's Commission on Multicultural Affairs (CCMA) Awards Committee is seeking nominations for its 2007 Diversity Awards. The deadline is Wednesday, March 7.

The CCMA Diversity Awards will recognize (in each of three categories: students, faculty and staff) those who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity on the university campus or in the community through mentoring, outreach initiatives or other activities that advance the institution's goal of inclusion.

Award guidelines and nomination forms are available by clicking on the link below:

CCMA Diversity Awards

For more information, contact Karen Hayes at 554.3240.

NU Tech Day Set for March 14

The 2007 NU Technology Day will be held Wednesday, March 14, at the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center. NU Tech Day is a one-of-a-kind event, attracting an audience of highly skilled campus and system-level professionals who are knowledgeable about and interested in the integration of emerging technologies into teaching, learning and research.

NU Tech Day attendees are often early adopters and represent the most innovative and creative areas on their campuses. Attendees range from IT executives, mid-level IT managers, faculty and specialists in technologies - such as digital video, Web and instructional design, cybersecurity, application development, networking, streaming, animation and graphics.

Those planning on attending the event are asked to register on the NU Tech Day Web site ( Keep checking the Web site for up-to-date information.

Today's Office Professional "Spring Fling" April 3

The Today's Office Professional "Spring Fling" is set for Tuesday, April 3, at the ESU #3 (6949 South 110th St.). The topic for the event is "Dealing With Difficult People." It will be led by Sherry Sivey and Janet Tschudin with the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC).

The three-hour workshop will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and costs $59 (price includes a continental breakfast). Groups who register four or more at the same time will receive a 10 percent discount on registration fees.

To reserve a seat, visit the Web at or call 595.2900.

The NBDC is a cooperative program of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the UNO College of Business Administration. The NBDC Business and Technology Solutions Division is a leading provider of results-based, interactive professional development programs. The program serves the citizens of Nebraska and has trained more than 65,000 people at more than 750 companies.