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Staff and students pitch in to fix a pinball machine in the UNO Student Center game room during the fall of 1972.

This Week in Campus History

On March 8, 1957, The Gateway reported that a 1942 University of Omaha alum was working hard to bring American art and literature to Cuba. Francis Donahue was employed as the American cultural attaché at the U. S. Embassy in Cuba. OU professor Christobal Espinosa had kept in contact with Donahue and reported to The Gateway that the OU Spanish major had written pamphlets in Spanish about famous American writers that hopefully would be used in schools throughout Cuba.

Date: March 8, 1957
Source: That You May Know
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

NU Board of Regents to Meet Today

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents will meet today, March 9, at Varner Hall, 3835 Holdrege St., in Lincoln. Committee and task force meetings will begin at 8 a.m., and the board meeting will start at 1 p.m.

The full March agenda is available online at

Today's HR Seminar to Focus on Women's Retirement

Wendy Becker, a TIAA-CREF consultant, will be on campus today, March 9, to offer advice and answer questions about women's retirement planning at the next installment of the Human Resources Informative Seminar Series.

The event will be held today, March 9, from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center U Mon Hon Room. The seminar will focus on the unique retirement planning concerns of women of all ages.

The UNO seminar series is scheduled monthly from September through April. Topics will include personal financial management, social security and retirement planning.

For more information, contact Esther Scarpello at 554.3660.

"Consider This" to Explore Bird Flu Preparedness

Sharon Medcalf is just one of many specialists at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and The Nebraska Medical Center who can be called on to educate their employees about bird flu and how to prepare for an epidemic.

This week on "Consider This," host Andrea McMaster will speak with Medcalf about her role. The program will air on KYNE-TV today, March 9, at 11 p.m.

Medcalf, associate director of the Center for Biopreparedness Education, travels the state educating people on how to be prepared during disasters. Her talks now focus mostly on bird flu. The center - funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - is a joint endeavor of UNMC and Creighton University Medical Center.

"You could dwell on all the info about bird flu (H5N1), but we don't know how deadly it will be until it becomes a pandemic. That won't happen until the virus mutates and becomes easily transmissible from human-to-human. There are so many things we don't know until it begins," Medcalf said.

"We're tasked with educating responders for any disaster, whether intentional or unintentional," she said. "We're very involved with educating anyone who wants to be educated."

Medcalf has given her bird flu pandemic presentation more than 200 times since the center was formed in 2002. She presents for forums, church groups, professional organizations, associations, business and civic organizations, and to retirees of organizations and junior high schools. She speaks about ways individuals can prepare themselves and their families.

This edition of the program will be rebroadcast according to the following schedule:

Nebraska NET1 (statewide)
- Sunday, March 11
11:30 a.m. (CT)

NET2 (NET's cable network)
- Monday, March 12
1:30 p.m. (CT)

- Wednesday, March 14
8 a.m. (CT)

"Consider This" is a production of UNO Television. It also airs on the Knowledge Network of Greater Omaha. For a list of days and times, visit the Web at Archived editions of the program are available on the Web at

February Employee of the Month: Gary Meyer


If you are a UNO employee or student who has offices or classes in Allwine Hall and the Durham Science Center, chances are you have experienced the efforts of Gary Meyer, director of IT for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Meyer provides computer support for more than 200 faculty and staff members on campus with the assistance of another full-time staff member and two part-time student workers. He said the interaction with so many people keeps his workdays interesting.

"I like working with people!" he said. "The college has a wonderful and diverse collection of faculty, staff and students, and working with them is wonderful. There is a great group of IT (information technology) professionals on campus, and working with them in pursuit of the same goal of providing excellent IT support to the campus is really a great experience."

In July, Meyer will celebrate his six-year anniversary at UNO. He first became involved with electronics when he joined the U.S. Air Force. After that, he installed and maintained computers in hardware and auto part stores for nine years. He also did similar work in hospitals and for Motorola production and repair facilities.

He interviewed at UNO and was hired as a server administrator for the complex systems simulation lab in 2001. After organizing that lab, he began supporting the scientific portion of the college, including the departments of biology, chemistry, geology/geography, mathematics, physics and psychobiology. Two years later, he became director of IT for the college.

As a director at UNO, he said his routine is "anything but normal. On any given day, I can be doing anything from ordering computers to installing a new server, to troubleshooting a Lotus Notes issue and helping a student retrieve a lost file from their USB flash drive."

Meyer also advises departments on IT issues and works with the dean's technology committee to determine student technology fee budgets. The many aspects of his position at UNO help make his work enjoyable.

"In many of my previous jobs in the business sector, there were days when I would wake up and just dread going to work," he said. "I can honestly say that I have not had one day in the past six years where I woke up and said ‘I really do not want to go to work today.' That, in and of itself, is very unique. To be able to have a job that you actually enjoy doing and to be able to come to work every day and look forward to being able to help people is just something that most people wish for but never find. I have been lucky enough to find that here at UNO, and I am proud to be a part of this university."

Frequently, Meyer can be found troubleshooting and maintaining computer workstations and servers that run Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. He also helps faculty, staff and students resolve application, printing and network issues, as well as advise departments on their technology needs.

"I am the college liaison for IT, and I work with many of the other colleges' IT staff, as well as ITS, to provide the best possible IT services we can offer to our faculty, staff and students," he said.

One nominator said they appreciate the knowledge base Meyer has and the positive attitude he radiates on the job. "Gary is a dedicated and highly competent employee. He has extensive responsibility for the digital technology of the college and is required to work with hundreds of different users, including faculty, staff and students," a co-worker wrote. "In all of this work, Gary is knowledgeable, customer and service oriented and - even in very difficult and challenging situations - pleasant and supportive. He is a truly exceptional asset to the college and to UNO."

Constant learning is what Meyer said has made his job so fulfilling. "The fact that my college is so diverse allows me to work on so many different computer hardware and operating systems, as well as applications," he said. "My job is never boring and is constantly changing, which allows me to learn so much more about my profession than any other job I have had. I enjoy working with the faculty, staff and students, and resolving their issues so that they can accomplish their teaching, research, outreach, support and learning responsibilities."

Another co-worker said that Meyer is very prompt in responding to calls for assistance, which is much appreciated by many. "Whenever I have a computer-related problem (and that happens often enough), he answers my calls and e-mails in a matter of minutes if he is available at that moment," one individual wrote. "I appreciate very much his friendly and helpful attitude. I never get the feeling that I am bothering him. UNO is lucky to have Gary."

Being named Employee of the Month is an honor that Meyer does not take lightly. "I appreciate the fact that I was even nominated," he said. "On a daily basis, the faculty, staff and students that I support thank me for helping them out with their computer needs. It means a lot to me to have some of them take the time to write up a story about how I have been able to help them."

He said he really enjoys his time working at UNO and appreciates the friendliness of the people he provides computer support for. "The fact that the people I support are grateful to have someone like me here to help them out means a lot to me," he said. "In the corporate world, people's attitudes toward IT is always a mixed bag. When things are not working, the IT guy is the first one to get criticized. Working here at UNO, that scenario is farthest from the truth. The faculty, staff and students I support are always friendly and always have a thank you to offer."

Although he loves his job at UNO, Meyer said he also values the time he spends vacationing with his wife and two sons, as well as swimming, golfing and just being outside.

As Employee of the Month, Meyer will receive a plaque, portrait and monetary award.  All UNO faculty, staff and students are eligible to nominate individuals for the honor.  Nomination forms are available in Human Resources, 205 Eppley Administration Building. 

(Pictured above: Meyer and Interim UNO Chancellor John Christensen.)

For more information, call 554.2321.

Pi Kappa Alpha Katrina Relief Effort

Members of UNO's Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity will be working to make a difference during this year's spring break. The fraternity will be leading a group of more than 20 students to New Orleans March 10-16.

Working in conjunction with Campus Crusade for Christ, Pi Kappa Alpha members will be making the 24-hour drive to New Orleans to aid in the relief effort brought about by Hurricane Katrina. Led by Justin Loehr, the students hope to make a huge impact because of the recent drop in volunteer groups offering their help.

With only five percent of homes rebuilt in the disaster area, much of the volunteers' time will be spent on the gutting and rebuilding of houses. Some education majors are also involved and will be helping out by tutoring many of the kids devastated by the hurricane.

For more information about to the Pi Kappa Alpha Katrina effort, contact Justin Loehr at or Mike Gladson at

LGBTQ Ally Training Set for March 29

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) ally training will be offered Thursday, March 29, in the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center Centennial Hall.

Two training sessions will be offered, although participants need only attend one. The first session will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, and the next session will be repeated from 1 to 4 p.m. Participants are asked to arrive 15 minutes early to check-in and enjoy refreshments.

The three-hour program will explore bias, discuss how anti-LGBTQ bias hurts others and offer specific techniques to be an ally. The training will be facilitated by members of the UNO Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Allies (LGBTQIA) Dialogue Group and the ally training committee.

Space will be limited for each session. To reserve a spot, contact Kent Lavene at or 554.3008.

New Daylight Savings Time to Affect myMail Calendar

Due to the mandate of the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005, Daylight Savings Time (DST) begins earlier this year - starting Sunday, March 11, instead of the traditional 'first Sunday in April.' It will end the first Sunday in November.

Computers and other systems and devices that store time and date information, including the Lotus Notes (myMail) calendar, will be affected by this change. Information Technology Services (ITS) has taken preliminary steps to help minimize the impact of this change by updating information on the UNO servers and e-mail system.

Action also is required from all computer users on campus. If your computer operates with a Microsoft Operating System (the majority on campus), a patch is required and should have been automatically downloaded Feb. 14. Depending on how your computer is set to handle updates, this patch may have already been installed.

Apple Macintosh computers will also require an update. Apple has released a patch exclusively aimed at correcting the issue. The patch is very clearly labeled as "Daylight Saving Time" and will come up automatically if you have set your updates to run on auto. Lotus Notes (myMail) must be closed while running the update, or it may not patch properly. ITS suggests running the Mac OS Software Update manually to ensure you have Lotus Notes closed during the update.

If you are unsure of your settings - or if the patch has been applied to your computer or you need help installing the update - contact the primary computer technician for your department or college for assistance.

For more information, contact ITS Customer Services at 554.4357 or

Criss Library Announces Spring Break Hours

Criss Library announces the following hour changes for Spring Break:

- Sunday, March 11
Noon to 9 p.m.

- Monday, March 12, through Thursday, March 15
8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

- Friday, March 16
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Regular hours will resume Saturday, March 17. For more information, contact the library circulation desk at 554.3206.

In the News

In the News

- Rami Arav, philosophy and religion, was featured in a story on the March 4 KETV (Channel 7) newscast. The segment examined the lost tomb of Christ documentary.

- Joseph Brown, psychology, was quoted in the Feb. 4 edition of the Alliance Times-Herald (Alliance, Neb.). The article focused on distracted driving that causes accidents to be under reported.

- Harl Dalstrom, history, was quoted in the Feb. 25 edition of the Omaha World-Herald about historical secret meetings that gave birth to statehood.

- John Langan, dean of the College of Education, was quoted in the March 8 edition of the Omaha World-Herald about the search for the next UNO athletic director.

If you are a member of the UNO community and have been interviewed by the media – local, state, regional, national or international – we want to know about it! Send an e-mail with the particulars to Please include a contact name and phone number. For more information, call 554.2243.

In Print

- Renat Sabirianov, Wai-Ning Mei and Jin Lu of the UNO Department of Physics recently co-authored and published a paper in the IOP Publishing journal Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter (

The paper, "Correlation effects and electronic structure of Gd@C60," appears in the current online edition at The paper is also featured in the February 2007 print version of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter.

If you've authored or edited a book, article or other text that's been published recently, we want to know about it! Send an e-mail with the particulars to Please include a contact name and phone number. For more information, call 554.2243.

On Stage

Nebraska Day of Percussion March 10 at UNO
Drum roll, please.

The fifth annual Nebraska Day of Percussion is set for Saturday, March 10, at UNO. The event, sponsored by the Nebraska Percussive Arts Society and the UNO Department of Music, will be held in the Strauss Performing Arts Center on the UNO campus.

Hundreds of percussionists throughout the region are expected to attend the day's activities, which will feature clinics and performances by top-notch drummers and percussionists. All interested members of the public are invited to attend.

The day's events will conclude with a finale concert/clinic featuring internationally renowned drummer Steve Smith, who played in Journey and Vital Information.

"If you're into drumming, UNO is definitely the place you'll want to be March 10," said event organizer Tomm Roland, coordinator of percussion studies and multicultural music at UNO.

Areas of percussion covered this year include drum set, Brazilian percussion, electronics, concert percussion, jazz percussion and keyboard percussion. In addition, there will be activities for select Omaha area high school percussionists, a fundamentals clinic geared for beginning drummers and an opportunity to meet Steve Smith. The finale concert will begin at 7 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

The day also will include vendor and percussion displays, along with chances to win prizes.

All-day tickets, which include the evening clinic by Steve Smith, cost $15 for the public and $10 for Percussive Arts Society members.

For more information or a complete schedule of events, contact Roland at 554.3155 or

UNO Symphonic Wind Ensemble to Present "Bandemonium" March 25
The Symphonic Wind Ensemble at UNO will be presenting a concert, "Bandemonium," Sunday, March 25, at 3 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. Tickets will be available at the door at a cost of $4 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, and are free with a UNO MavCard. The performance will include the regional premiere of Roger Cichy's composition "Pandemonium," which was commissioned by a consortium of collegiate concert bands, including UNO.

The Wind Ensemble, conducted by James Saker and associate conductor Erica Neidlinger, will begin their program with Jack Stamp's "Cloudsplitter Fanfare." Other pieces on the program include "The Seasons" by Philip Sparke, Eric Whitacre's "October" and Henry Fillmore's famous circus march, "Rolling Thunder." A performance of a masterwork for winds, "Sunday in Mexico" by American composer Robert McBride, will conclude the program.

The guest conductor for the concert will be Lt. Col. Alan L. Bonner, who served as the commander and conductor of the U. S. Air Force Band in Washington, D.C., for four of his 26 years in the Air Force. Prior to this appointment, Lt. Col. Bonner was the commander and conductor of the band at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

Though he is now retired from the Air Force, Lt. Col. Bonner serves as the national executive director for Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma National Band Honor Fraternity and Sorority at their headquarters in Stillwater, Okla., and serves frequently as a guest conductor of collegiate and professional wind bands throughout the country.

The newest members of the "UNO Bands Hall of Fame" will be inducted at the conclusion of the concert. A complimentary reception honoring the inductees and the guest conductor will be held following the performance.

For more information, call 554.3427.

If you are a member of the UNO community and are involved in an upcoming performance, we want to know about it! Send an e-mail with the particulars to Please include a contact name and phone number. For more information, call 554.2243.

On Exhibit

"Hearts & Hands 2" Book Arts Exhibit at Criss Library
Criss Library is hosting "Hearts & Hands 2" - a national juried student book art exhibition - through Thursday, March 15.

The event will showcase the best examples of the broad range of books being made by graduate and undergraduate students in accredited academic institutions. It is free and open to the public during regular library business hours.

Books completed in book arts, graphic design, photography, printmaking and writing courses will be featured, including works from UNO graduate Frances Osugi. The juror was internationally known book artist Tim Ely, proprietor of the Planetary Collage book arts studio in Colfax, Wash.

Ely's work is exhibited internationally, and he is the recipient of an NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, as well as many other honors. He reviewed 70 entries and selected 40 based on what he calls "a core of substance" and "a search for intention." He also evaluated the books on their merits, including craftsmanship, technical proficiency (they must open well!), "optical awareness" and access (physical, mechanical and metaphorical).

Each book in the exhibition "invited a close look" from the juror, and he said the best work made him "inspired to return to his studio re-energized."

For more information about the "Hearts & Hands 2" exhibition at UNO, contact Marvel Maring at 554.2992 or

If you are a member of the UNO community and are involved in an exhibit, we want to know about it! Send an e-mail with the particulars to Please include a contact name and phone number. For more information, call 554.2243.