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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

The March 1961 issue of That You May Know reported that the University of Omaha (OU) faculty recital group planned to present an evening of music March 19 by Philip Bezanson, a professor of music at Iowa State University. Professor Bezanson planned to conduct the faculty recital group himself, which included OU staff members James Taggart, James Peterson, James Price, Helena Bell and Mildred Slocum. The recital was free of charge and was scheduled to be held in the student center at 7 p.m.

Date: March 1961
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

Second AD Finalist on Campus Wednesday

The second final candidate for the UNO athletic director position will be on campus Wednesday, March 21. Students, faculty, staff and the public will have an opportunity to meet David Miller, former associate athletic director at Southern Methodist University, during a reception at the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center starting at 5:15 p.m.

All final candidates will meet with various campus groups, community groups and UNO Interim Chancellor John Christensen. There is no set date to make a final decision on the position. More than 70 applicant files were reviewed by the search committee, which is chaired by John Langan, dean of the UNO College of Education.

Civic Participation Projects Forum Today

This year's project grant awardees will be summarizing their projects and achievements at a forum set for today, March 20.  The event will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Dodge Room.

Grants will be awarded for up to $1,500 for Civic Participation Projects and $650 toward travel grants relating to Civic Participation.  To register for this event, e-mail Alice Woll at or call 554.2427.

Projects are under way in a variety of fields like music, education, political science and foreign languages, as well as in the UNO Colleges of Business and Information Science and Technology. Displays and briefs will be given on projects that received funding.

NU to Co-Sponsor Research and Innovation Conference

Shane Farritor and Jeffrey Hicks - two Nebraska men who helped create homegrown firms transforming research into commercial products and found their genesis in public-private collaboration - are among the presenters lined up for the third annual Nebraska Research and Innovation Conference.  The sold-out event featuring academicians and business people from across the state will be held Wednesday, March 21, at the Qwest Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.

Farritor, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), used his research in a partnership with surgeons at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) to launch Nebraska Surgical Solutions - which produces miniature, lipstick-tube-sized robots used in microscopic surgery.

Hicks helped develop computer-assisted, decision-making software now used everywhere - from satellites in space to soldiers on the battlefield. He is president of the nationally acclaimed company 21st Century Systems Inc., founded by a former UNO professor and headquartered in the Scott Technology Center on the UNO campus. 

"We need to gear up the spirit of collaboration and invest in scientific endeavors, or this state will get left behind in our emerging era of technology and innovation," said Pete Kotsiopulos, vice president for University Affairs at the University of Nebraska.  "Partnership among business, government and education may be the single most important ingredient for the economic success of this state."

The conference - sponsored by EPSCoR, Bio Nebraska and the University of Nebraska - welcomes hundreds of individuals from research, higher education, government and industry to a daylong program of distinguished speakers, educational sessions, panel discussions and opportunities to exchange ideas.

Keynote speaker William C. Harris, president and CEO for the Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz), will underline the theme of the conference, speaking on "Nebraska Controlling Its Own Destiny or Others' Will."  Harris, who served at the National Science Foundation and as director general of Science Foundation Ireland, is nationally and internationally renowned as a leader in coordinating public/private partnerships to encourage investment and innovation. 

"This is where the world of academia meets the world of business," Kotsiopulos said.  "This is a place where academic and business people can talk about collaboration in their research and using innovation as a launching pad for commercializing their work."

Last year, the conference was a two-day event with separate research and innovation presentations.  In 2007, the one-day program features parallel presentations with how-to sessions for innovators, entrepreneurs, business and economic development officials.  "We're pulling everyone together to create a synergy between folks doing research and those investing in commercial enterprises," Kotsiopulos said.

"This conference is a way of showcasing successful partnerships between industry, government and academia, and is a way for scientists to showcase their research," said Dr. F. Fred Choobineh, director of Nebraska EPSCoR, a federal program to increase Nebraska's research capacity. "We need to continue to look for new opportunities and discover what works best for Nebraska." 

Julie Karavas, president of Bio Nebraska, stressed the significance of the conference. "There is fantastic research and innovation occurring in Nebraska," she said.  "This event will provide the information and tools necessary to transform ideas into commercially viable products and services, and provide the necessary business tools to ensure inventors have the business structure needed to support their ideas."

Conference highlights include the following topics and presenters:

- Expanding Boundaries in Academia and Industry
Nebraska innovators with past and present connections to higher education explain how to break down barriers between higher education and industry to commercialize university research and technology. 

- Planning Your Business
This session focuses on identifying and mastering the key elements of a business plan, with special attention to technology ventures. 

- Partners for Your Business
Collaborative initiatives in Nebraska supply a wealth of resources to foster economic development, create a skilled workforce and bolster economic prospects. 

- Financing Your Business
Experts present a primer on a variety of financial opportunities for innovations and businesses at various stages - including more traditional financing, as well as private equity capital like angel and venture funds.

- Achieving Medical Quality Care through Advanced IT
Efforts focus on developing wireless technologies to reduce medical errors and decrease the estimated annual 44,000 to 98,000 preventable deaths in U.S. hospitals.  Examples include automated recognition that blood products have been delivered to the wrong room or that a pending medication dosage of administration time is in error.

- Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid
The National Cancer Institute has launched an initiative to accelerate cancer research discoveries by transforming the research into a more collaborative, efficient endeavor and link researchers, physicians and patients in the cancer community.

- Innovations and Technology Use for Distance Education in Informatics Education
This presentation features opportunities and challenges of technology-based options for distance learning in health informatics - many now used at UNMC.

Keynote Speakers
- William C. Harris and Leroy Hood, president of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, will talk about "Health Care of the 21st Century." 

For more information, visit the Web at or contact Mary Kay Roth at (402) 472.7127 or

Speech Center to Host Student Lunch & Learn Workshop

The UNO Speech Center is sponsoring a free student Lunch & Learn Workshop on "Communication Across Cultures: Presentation Skills for Non-Native Speakers" Thursday, March 22, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room. Free pizza and pop will be provided.

The session has been designed for non-native English speakers. Students are invited to learn more about tips for non-native English speakers presenting in English, how to adapt a presentation for multicultural audiences and how to avoid common cross-cultural miscommunications.

To register for the session, contact Marlina Howe at the Speech Consulting Center at 554.3201 or

HR to Present Performance Evaluation Workshop March 21

The UNO Office of Human Resources will present a performance evaluation workshop Wednesday, March 21. The event, which is designed for new and experienced supervisors, will be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Council Room.

Participants will learn to:
- Improve communication and lessen conflict between supervisors and employees;
- Address "problem" evaluations effectively; and
- Write objective, clear performance evaluations.

The trainer will be Mary Sweaney, assistant director and manager of employment in the UNO Office of Human Resources.

To register or for more information, call 554.2321.

Borders and Waldenbooks to Offer Educator Discount

Borders and Waldenbooks are extending a 25 percent educator discount on select store merchandise to UNO employees Thursday, March 22, through Tuesday, March 27.

To obtain the discount, individuals must present their university ID. In conjunction with the bi-annual Educator Appreciation Event, all Omaha Borders locations will host a reception Friday, March 23, from 4 to 8 p.m.

For sale details, visit the Web by clicking on this link.

For additional information, contact Melissa Davidson, educational sales coordinator, at 926.3693.

"Using iTunes to Manage Teaching Content" March 23

The Center for Faculty Development (CFD) is sponsoring a session on using iTunes to manage a variety of teaching content.  The event will be held Friday, March 23, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Umonhon Room.

Jeremy Lipschultz, director of the School of Communication, will present "Classroom Video: Using iTunes to Manage Teaching Content." The session will explore how to download video from the Web, import it into the iTunes interface and employ meta data to search vast content.

By organizing video, cued segments may be delivered to students via a laptop computer and projection system.  The latest media technology opens the door to advanced teaching, research and service possibilities involving digital video.

To register, contact the CFD (220 Arts and Sciences Hall) at 554.2427 or  Refreshments will be provided.

For more information, contact the CFD or Dr. Lipschultz at 554.4856 or

Participants Sought for Aging Research Fair

The UNO Department of Gerontology and the School of Social Work will sponsor the first-ever UNO Careers in Aging Week this April.  In conjunction, an Aging Research Fair is set for Thursday, April 12. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Nebraska Room.

At UNO, faculty and students from many different schools and departments are actively expanding knowledge about aging through research, publication and teaching. The Department of Gerontology is inviting departments and organizations to promote and present their ongoing, aging-relevant work at a "poster session" during the fair.

Displays consisting of posters, books or other media are welcome. Those interested in participating in this event should R.S.V.P. to or by Monday, April 2.

Interested participants should provide the following information when registering:

- Name;
- Contact information;
- Title of work;
- Type of table needed: one six-foot table or one-half of a six-foot table;
- Request for use of pin-up space for a poster;
- Request for use of electric plug outlet; and
- Request for use of Internet plug outlet.

Graduate Faculty Meeting Notice

The annual meeting of all graduate faculty is scheduled for Wednesday, April 4, at 2:30 p.m. in the Roskens Hall Auditorium. 

Presently, the agenda includes information on electronic submission of theses and questions to pose to UNO Chancellor candidates.  If there are additional subjects you would like to be considered for the agenda, e-mail them to Nicole Kersten at by Friday, March 23.

Submission Deadline for Reimbursement Accounts March 30

The deadline to submit 2006 expenses for employee health care and dependent care reimbursement accounts is Friday, March 30. Any claims for reimbursement for 2006 expenses received after March 30 will not be processed.

For more information, contact Esther Scarpello at 554.3660 or Jacque Christenham at 554.3659.


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