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Spotlight on Student Employment

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

Pictured at work (left to right) are March Spotlight on Student Employment recipients Shannon D. Jackson and Brooke Lukassen. The students work in the UNO College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media (CCFAM) Dean's Office. See story below for details on the Spotlight on Student Employment recognition program.

history photo

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 1949 issue of That You May Know reported that Chi Omega, a nationally recognized sorority, wished to pledge 45 students from the local University of Omaha (OU) chapter of Pi Omega. This was the university's "first affiliation with national social sororities," and OU President Milo Bail optimistically predicted that more national Greek organizations would arrive on campus by the fall semester.  The official induction of young women into Chi Omega was scheduled to take place on campus April 1.

Date: March 1949
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

CCMA Announces 2007 Award Winners

The Chancellor's Commission on Multicultural Affairs (CCMA) at UNO announces the 2007 winners of its annual Diversity Awards. These awards recognize current UNO faculty, staff, students, departments, colleges or organizations that 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.

This year's honorees are:

- Maria Garza, multicultural affairs;

- Service-Learning Academy, Paul Sather and the Service-Learning faculty, staff and students; and

- Cathi Warren, multicultural affairs Native American recruitment.

"The Diversity Awards offer a great opportunity for faculty, staff and students involved in initiatives, both inside and outside the university, to gain recognition for their efforts," said Karen Hayes, CCMA co-chair and assistant professor of educational administration and supervision at UNO. "Join us in recognizing this year's recipients."

The recipients will be honored at a reception scheduled for Thursday, April 12.  It will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) Chancellor's Room.  The program will begin at 2:30 p.m. with remarks from Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, associate professor of political science at UNO.

The CCMA serves as an advisory to the chancellor and other university administrators on issues that relate to diversity on campus. The commission's goal is to recognize individuals that exemplify a commitment to diversity and to meeting the Diversity Action Plan goals.

Those interested in attending should R.S.V.P. by calling 554.2872 before April 6. For more information about the reception, contact Dr. Hayes at 554.3240 or karenhayes@mail.unomaha.edu.

Nebraska Marmoset Research Leads to Genetic Discovery

Research at the University of Nebraska sheds light on how a pre-birth genetic exchange between marmoset twins plays a part in parenting behavior among these tiny New World monkeys.

Writing in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Corinna Ross - now at the University of Texas Health Center - showed how in-utero genetic exchange between marmoset twins may help explain the unique patterns of parental care in this primate species. Marmosets (Callithrix kuhlii), typically, give birth to twins. Fraternal twins, which develop from two separate fertilized eggs, often exchange embryonic stem cells through shared blood vessels early in development. This exchange produces genetic chimeras, or animals that carry the genes of their siblings in some tissues. Chimerism in marmosets is well recognized in their blood cells and bone marrow, but had not been previously described in other bodily tissues.

In this new study, Ross, Jeffrey French and Guillermo Orti show that chimerism is common in many of the tissues of twin marmosets, including reproductive cells such as sperm. These chimeric animals can then pass on their sibling's genes to their offspring, producing offspring that are not genetically their own.

"What we've discovered in this animal is that when an individual parents their offspring, they may actually be parenting their brother's offspring," said Corinna Ross, a postdoctoral fellow UT's Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies. "And that's very odd - the fact that male marmosets sometimes fertilize their offspring with their brother's sperm."

This ambiguous paternity could underlie the highly cooperative parenting behaviors seen in marmosets - explaining why fathers and unrelated adults often care for infants. This genetic exchange could have driven the evolution of cooperative infant care in this group of primates, the authors suggest.

Dr. French said that this discovery, like so many in science, came unexpectedly. Ross, initially, was looking at different tissues in marmosets to find the best type for DNA paternity testing. 

"Initially, when I started my dissertation, I was interested in paternity and whether fraternal twins can have a different father," Ross said.

"Every single tissue she looked at had evidence of chimerism," said Dr. French, a recognized expert on marmosets who runs the Callitrichid Research Center at UNO. The marmoset research center studies social behavior, reproduction and hormones of the species. Ross, originally from New York, later worked on her post-graduate studies with Orti at UNL after working in the Callitrichid lab.

"Cory was looking at molecular tools and markers to trace the genes, to see if they're exchanging genes or not. Because she needed individuals of known pedigree to do the genotyping on the tissues, she had access to all that at the marmoset center at UNO through the archiving and record-keeping of the specimens," said Orti, a biologist at UNL who advised Ross on the genetics aspects of the research.

UNO's marmoset colony, established in 1991, provided Ross with a wealth of geneologic information.  The history of individuals and family groups is completely detailed and now goes back three and four generations.

The discovery not only opens up new clues into what is underlying the marmoset behavior, but also highlights important areas of research into chimerism, which could affect what scientists believe about DNA testing.

"We used to think chimerism was very rare and always led to negative effects, like sterility. Now, in the marmosets, we know it doesn't necessarily mean sterility, and more is being discovered and written about it all the time. Medical journals have been releasing papers about human chimerism, and there have been popular programs like the Discovery Channel's "I am my Own Twin." These studies are going to shed new light on paternity testing, what it means to be an individual and other things that we take for granted," Ross said.

Ross said her current research, which also is using marmoset populations, is on aging and genetics. She said she is privileged to have had great mentors in Nebraska and that "it was a great environment that encouraged graduate students to excel. It led to this publication and being co-PI on an NSF grant. I've been really lucky in my career."

"This is a real tour de force for Cory," Dr. French said.

For more information, contact Dr. French at 554.2558 or jfrench@mail.unomaha.edu.

Sierra Club President to Speak at MBA Event Tonight

Sierra Club President Lisa Renstrom will be on campus tonight, March 28, to speak at the "Third Spring MBA Leadership Series Seminar." Sponsored by UNO's Gamma Sigma (BGS), a national honors organization for business colleges, the event will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in 010A Roskens Hall (lower level auditorium).

All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend, and refreshments will be provided.

Renstrom was first elected president to serve on the Sierra Club's national Board of Directors in 2001, she was re-elected in 2004, garnering the most votes in the Club's history.  Sierra Club includes 750,000 members nationwide. Prior to becoming a national director, she was a Trustee with the Sierra Club Foundation and a leader in the Sierra Club grassroots.

A graduate of UNO, she received her bachelor's degree with a focus in finance from the UNO College of Business Administration.  She also attended Harvard Business School's Owner President Management Program while operating family hotels in Acapulco, Mexico. She served on the board of directors of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and initiated the Mexican Collection of Small Luxury Hotels.

For more information, call 554.2303.

Tonight's Peace Corps Presentation Canceled

The Peace Corps presentation, "An American in Romania" - originally scheduled for tonight, March 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Council Room - has been canceled.

For more information, contact Anne West-Leclou, international programs, at 554.2293.

March Spotlight on Student Employment

Is your work area a better place because of student employees? Student Employment Services (SES) thinks the following student employees from the UNO College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media (CCFAM) Dean's Office are stellar and selected them as the March Spotlight on Student Employment recipients.

The March Spotlight on Student Employment recipients include:

- Shannon D. Jackson, a theatre major from Hastings, Neb.; and

- Brooke Lukassen, a pre-med major from Kimball, Neb.

"The close sense of community and my ever-increasing job description - the longer I work here, the more interesting, creative and challenging things I am able to do," Jackson said.

Staff from the CCFAM Dean's Office, who nominated the duo, said, "Shannon and Brooke are multi-talented, dependable and willing to assist us in any way they can. Not only do Shannon and Brooke assist the CCFAM Dean's Office, but they also help out the other Departments of Art and Art History, Theatre and  Writer's Workshop. They always show up to work with positive attitudes and smiles on their faces. It's great how our students are able to handle school, work and their extra curricular activities, while being positive and full of motivation."

SES is featuring student employees from a new department each month through April. Featured departments will be entered in a drawing for an end-of-the-year party.

Departments also are featured on the Human Resources Student Employment Job Board on the first floor of the Eppley Administration Building (EAB). For more information about the program, contact Emily Muckerheide at emuckerheide@mail.unomaha.edu.

Students seeking work experience during school can gain assistance through SES, located in Human Resources, 205 EAB. On-campus student worker, work-study and graduate assistant positions are posted on the SES Job Board on the first floor of the EAB and online at http://careers.unomaha.edu.

FEAP to Host March 29 "Internet Predators" Program

The Faculty Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) will host an informational program on "Internet Predators: How to Keep Your Children Safe" Thursday, March 29.  The event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room.

"This program is crucial for any parent or professional who works with children and families," said Marlene Schneider, FEAP counselor.

Bridget Fitzpatrick, a crime prevention specialist with the Omaha Police Department, will lead the program. She will address the following topics:

- Signs that your child might be at risk online;

- What to do if you suspect your child is communicating with a sexual predator online; 

- What can be done to minimize the chances of an online exploiter victimizing your child; and

- How to determine when your child is Internet-ready.

Participants are invited to bring their lunches.  Refreshments will be provided.  For more information, contact FEAP at 554.3120 (UNO) or 559.5175 (UNMC).

Foundational Writing Courses to Be Highlighted

"Foundational Writing Courses: What Happens in English 1150 and 1160?" will be the topic of a lecture by a trio from the UNO Department of English Tuesday, April 3. The discussion will be held from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. in Milo Bail Student Center Council Room.

The faculty presenters will be Nora Bacon, Marsha Kruger and Dorianne Richards. For more than a century, first-year writing courses have been the most widely required courses at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. At UNO, students enroll in "Composition I" (English 1150 or 1154) and "Composition II" (English 1160 or 1164).

In this presentation, three teachers in UNO's first-year writing program explain the concepts covered and the tasks assigned in "Composition I" and "Composition II." The presentation will help faculty in all departments understand the foundation upon which student writers build as they advance through the undergraduate curriculum.

Academic advisors and faculty who teach courses meeting the advanced writing requirement are especially encouraged to attend.

The event is being sponsored by Writing Across the Curriculum and the Center for Faculty Development (CFD).

To register, contact the CFD (220 Arts and Sciences Hall) at 554.2427 or facdev@unomaha.edu. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact the CFD at 554.2427 or facdev@unomaha.edu.

Economic Development Policy Expert to Speak at UNO April 5

The UNO School of Public Administration will host a presentation by nationally noted author R. Scott Fosler Thursday, April 5.

A reception for Fosler will be held at 5 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom.  His talk, titled "Institutional Capacity for Economic Development," will begin at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Fosler - a visiting professor and the first Roger C. Lipitz Senior Fellow in the Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise at the University of Maryland - is an expert on economic development policy.  He also has served as vice president and director of government studies for the Committee for Economic Development and as president of the National Academy of Public Administration.  

Currently, Fosler is vice chair of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Working Group on the Agricultural Reserve and a board member of the Alliance for Regional Stewardship.  He has numerous publications, including the co-edited works The Challenge to New Governance in the Twenty-First Century: Achieving Effective Central-Local Relations and Public Private Partnership in American Cities.  Fosler also has chaired the National Civic League and has been active as a consultant to many governments, businesses, non-profit organizations, foundations and internal institutions worldwide.

Fosler received a bachelor of arts degree from Dickinson College and his master of public administration degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

The April 5 event is being co-sponsored by University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken and the UNO School of Public Administration.

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

Paul L. Beck Memorial Faculty/Staff Scholarships

The UNO Faculty Senate is now accepting applications for the Paul L. Beck Memorial Faculty/Staff Scholarships.  Both residents and non-residents may apply. 

Four scholarships (below) will be awarded: 

- One $800 full-time undergraduate scholarship

- One $400 part-time undergraduate scholarship

- One $800 full-time graduate scholarship 

- One $400 part-time graduate scholarship

Information on the scholarship history, criteria and application process - as well as the application form - can be found on the Faculty Senate Web site (http://www.unomaha.edu/~facsen/Paul_Beck_Schlrshp/beck_schlrshp_index.htm). Applications are also available in the Financial Aid Office (103 Eppley Administration Building) or the Faculty Senate Office (105 Arts and Sciences Hall).  The application deadline is Friday, April 6.

UNO Ambassadors Program Seeks Applicants

The UNO Ambassadors Program is recruiting for the 2007-08 academic year. Twelve student Ambassadors will be selected based on their academic achievement, leadership and communication skills. Faculty and staff are asked to identify and encourage qualified students to apply for the program.

Ambassadors represent the university at a variety of social and business functions, which are hosted by the chancellor, vice chancellors, deans and other individuals and organizations on campus. They wear UNO blazers or business casual UNO polo shirts to activities, and receive a $200 scholarship for the academic year in which they serve. Two non-scholarship alternate members of the program will also be chosen.

Criteria for selection include 27 credit hours earned at UNO by May 2007, a 2.5 G.P.A., full-time student status in the 2007-08 academic year, superior communication skills and a strong interest in service to the university.

Applications are available in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs (202 Eppley Administration Building) or online at http://www.unomaha.edu/ambassadors. The application deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, April 6. Overall, 25 applicants will be interviewed.

For more information, call 554.2779.