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The 1945 University of Omaha (OU) Student Council and OU Dean of Students John W. Lucas.

This Week in Campus History

On Saturday, Aug. 4, 1979, the UNO Department of Campus Recreation sponsored a program for children of university students, faculty and staff. Mini-golf was offered, and children had an opportunity to design, construct and play on their own course on the Sapp Fieldhouse floor. The event was held from 9 a.m. to noon, and parents were invited to attend. Children were asked to bring shoeboxes for the construction of the miniature golf course.

Date: Aug. 4, 1979
Source: The WK
Compiled by Criss Library Archives

Changing Faces

Changing Faces

by Don Kohler

When Kathleen (Aipperspach) Massara was a senior at Omaha Benson High School in the mid-1970s, her parents made the difficult decision of selecting the right college much easier for their teenage daughter.

"They didn't want me to go away to college," recalls Massara. ...continue

Tom Bragg Steps Down as Graduate Dean

UNO announced today that Tom Bragg, associate vice chancellor for research and dean of graduate studies, will return to full-time teaching and research, with a special focus on his efforts to establish an Omaha-area environmental teaching and research facility at the university's Allwine Prairie Preserve. His change in focus will begin this fall at the start of the academic year.

"The university greatly appreciates Dr. Bragg's exceptional contributions to the maintenance and expansion of UNO research efforts - especially the focus on external grants funding - as well as administering the Office of Graduate Studies," said UNO Chancellor John Christensen.

Dr. Bragg has served as associate vice chancellor for research and dean of graduate studies for four years while also maintaining his outstanding teaching and research record, said Sheri Rogers, UNO interim senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. His work at Allwine Prairie has been both important and innovative. The 160-acre prairie is located near 144th and State streets.

"Dr. Bragg has worked for more than 30 years on the Allwine project, and he recently secured a $1 million grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust to acquire more than 100 additional acres," Dr. Rogers said. 

While Dr. Bragg's appointments as associate vice chancellor for research and graduate dean had been a three-fourths time position, the university will be separating the roles to provide more institutional support for campus-wide research efforts.

For 2007-08, an interim associate vice chancellor for research will be named in early August. A campus committee currently is reviewing internal applications for the interim position. A national search will be conducted for the permanent position after the new senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs is selected.

"Having a full-time associate vice chancellor for research is an important step for UNO," said Mary Laura Farnham, director of UNO sponsored programs and research. "It shows the university's dedication to its mission of academic excellence and how important research and creativity is to the institution."

The administrative responsibilities for the Office of Graduate Studies will be combined with the existing associate vice chancellor for academic affairs position, held by Deborah Smith-Howell. At the start of the academic year, her title will also include dean of graduate studies. UNO currently has more than 2,500 graduate students.

"The pairing of the graduate studies with Dr. Smith-Howell's current responsibilities in academic affairs is a logical one," Dr. Rogers said. "There are many points of connection and crossover."

"Chancellor Christensen and I greatly appreciate the efforts of everyone in Academic and Student Affairs, Sponsored Programs and Research, and Graduate Studies - including the faculty who have stepped forward to assist Academic and Student Affairs as faculty-in-residence - as we work together through another year of transition as we search for a senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs and continue with a vacant associate vice chancellor for academic affairs position," Dr. Rogers said.

For more information, call 554.3502.

UNO to Host Online Science Course Design Conference Aug. 5-8

More than 80 university educators from across the nation will attend meetings and sessions at UNO that focus on designing online courses that target elementary, middle and secondary school science teachers. The Earth System Science Education Alliance's (ESSEA) Summer Conference will be held Sunday, Aug. 5, through Wednesday, Aug. 8, and experts and officials from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will attend.

The Lauritzen Gardens will host a welcome reception for the conference Aug. 5 at 6 p.m. Conference sessions begin Monday, Aug. 6, at UNO with a breakfast and introduction presentation at the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center. UNO Chancellor John Christensen will give brief opening remarks at 8:30 a.m.

"Having an event like this on our campus, and in Omaha, gives us an opportunity to focus on the exciting, collaborative work that we've done in this area," said Neal Grandgenett, a UNO professor of teacher education who is helping host the conference. "There is a wealth of interesting ideas and sessions on science curriculum, education initiatives and high technology."

Workshops and presentations are widely varied, Grandgenett said. Some of the topics include:
- Education modules focusing on NASA data, Earth exploration and polar information;
- Problem-based learning; and
- Earth system science initiatives.

ESSEA is a partnership among universities, colleges and science education organizations dedicated to improving Earth science education. Led by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), ESSEA is supported by the NASA Earth Science Enterprise (ESE). UNO was one of the first 17 institutions to help deliver various independent online Earth Systems Science study courses, which are now being enhanced and redesigned.

"This summer conference encourages communication and cooperation," said Robert Shuster, a UNO associate professor of geology who is assisting in organizing the conference. "There also will be an exchange on what classroom materials and techniques help explain science in interesting and compelling ways."

For more information, call 554.3502.

UNO Commencement Aug. 10 at the Civic

More than 550 students will graduate Friday, Aug. 10, during the UNO summer commencement ceremony. The event will be held at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capitol Ave., beginning at 2 p.m.

Paul Sather, director of the Service Learning Academy (SLA) and American Humanics Program at UNO, will receive the Chancellor's Medal. He is dedicated to creating and maintaining partnerships between the university and Omaha communities. Sather joined the university in 1992 and has served as a faculty member and associate director of the UNO School of Social Work. In July of 2004, he was named interim co-director of the SLA and worked in that capacity until May of 2005, when he became director.

Sally A. Gutschow - a South Sioux City, Neb., native - will present the student commencement address. She will receive a bachelor of science in journalism (public relations/advertising) degree with a minor in marketing. Gutschow, a full-time public relations employee of Envoy, Inc. since May, plans to continue working in public relations after graduation.

The commencement ceremony also will recognize the following:

- Vard Johnson, a partner at Broom, Johnson, Clarkson and Lanphier since 1982, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters. A devoted public servant, he has been a longtime advocate for the underrepresented. Throughout his years of practice, Johnson has worked to improve jail conditions, ensure due process rights for tenants and welfare recipients, and guarantee the right to legal counsel for poverty-stricken individuals in parental rights termination cases.

- Robert Whitehouse, a member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents and coordinator of the Nebraska Educational Leadership Institute, will receive the Alumnus Achievement Award. For 40 years, Whitehouse has made countless contributions to the field of education and numerous professional organizations. He has served as principal or assistant principal of several metropolitan area schools, including Omaha South High School, Omaha Bryan Junior High School and Omaha Bryan Senior High School.

For more information about the Aug. 10 commencement, call 554.2358 or 554.3502.

UNO Welcome Week Begins Aug. 27

Monday, Aug. 27, marks the official start of the fall semester at UNO. In celebration, Welcome Week 2007 will be held Monday through Thursday, Aug. 27-30, at UNO's Dodge location.

The event will feature free food, entertainment and activities centered on the theme "Maverick Mojo - Move to it!"

For more information, visit the Web at

New Criss Library Hours Announced

The Criss Library announces the following change in hours for intersession and the hours of operation for the fall semester:

Intersession Hours
- Monday through Friday, Aug. 13-17 and Aug. 20-24
7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

- Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 11-12

- Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18-19

- Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 25-26

Fall Semester Regular Hours
- Monday through Thursday
7 a.m. to midnight

- Friday
7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

- Saturday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

- Sunday
Noon to midnight

Additionally, the Criss Library will be closed Sunday and Monday, Sept. 2-3, in observance of the Labor Day Holiday.

For more information, contact the Circulation Desk at 554.3206.

In the News

In the News

- Randall Adkins, political science, was a guest Aug. 1 on KFAB (1110 AM). Dr. Adkins spoke with the morning news team about the 2008 presidential election candidates and recent CNN/YouTube debates.

- UNO student Ashley Bauer was quoted in the June 16 edition of the Scottsbluff Star-Herald (Scottsbluff, Neb.). The article profiled Bauer, who recently was named Miss Nebraska.

- Winnie Callahan, executive director of The University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute (PKI), was quoted in the July 18-19 editions of the Columbus Telegram (Columbus, Neb.), Hastings Tribune (Hastings, Neb.), Holdrege Daily Citizen (Holdrege, Neb.), Norfolk Daily News (Norfolk, Neb.), Scottsbluff Star-Herald (Scottsbluff, Neb.) and other publications throughout Nebraska. The articles highlighted a new supercomputer that will anchor a computing center at PKI.

- David Cicotello, new student enrollment services, was featured in the July 31 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The article explored Forbes Field: Essays and Memories of the Pirates' Historic Ballpark, 1909-1971, a book Cicotello co-authored.

- Thomas Sanchez, sociology, was quoted in the July 31 edition of the Omaha World-Herald. The article discussed the Chicano Awareness Center being renamed the Latino Center of the Midlands.

- Samuel Walker, professor emeritus of criminal justice, was quoted in the June 20 edition of The New York Times. The article explored misconduct and accountability in the Chicago Police Department.

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

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

International Piccolo Symposium Under Way at UNO
The sounds of the piccolo will emanate throughout the halls of the Strauss Performing Arts Center through Saturday, Aug. 4, during the first-ever International Piccolo Symposium (IPS).

"This is the first event of its kind in the world, focusing specifically on the piccolo, and it will feature guest artists," said Christine Beard, assistant professor of flute at UNO.

Flutists will travel from across the United States and Canada for the three-day event to participate in performance classes, seminars and recitals. Guest artists include Nicola Mazzanti, piccoloist of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra in Italy; Lois Herbine from Orchestra 2001 in Philadelphia; and Dr. Beard, the Roy Seaman Piccolo Artist at UNO.

Concerts featuring the guest artists will be performed in the Strauss Performing Arts Center tonight, Aug. 3, at 7:30 p.m. The final recital, featuring the symposium participants, is set for Saturday, Aug. 4, at 5:30 p.m. Tickets will cost $10 at the door for individual concerts or $25 for all three events.

The symposium is sponsored by Gemstone Musical Instruments, The Flutist Network, Project Piccolo Rebirth and UNO.

For more information, contact Dr. Beard at 554.2685 or For a complete schedule of information, artist biographies and updates, visit the IPS Web site at

Communication Professor Performing in "42nd Street" at the Chanticleer
Chris Allen, an associate professor in the UNO School of Communication, is portraying the role of Pat Denning in a production of "42nd Street" at the Chanticleer Theater in Council Bluffs.

The production runs through Sunday, Aug. 5, with show times at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets cost $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for children.

For more information, call 712.323.9955 or visit the Chanticleer Web site at

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.

On Exhibit

UNO Professors Take Part in O! Public Art Project
Two artists with UNO roots are part of the ongoing O! Public Art Project. Gary Day, professor of art and art history at UNO, and Anna Monardo, associate professor of the UNO Writer's Workshop, collaborated on Best Moments in Omaha.

Best Moments in Omaha is located in the Old Market at 11th and Jackson streets. For the piece, Monardo asked residents who relocated to Omaha from other countries to describe their favorite moments in the city. Day painted the participants' stories, recorded in 20 different languages, onto the O! sculpture.

The O! Public Art Project is sponsored by Alegent Health, in partnership with the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and Omaha's O! Campaign. All of the sculptures will remain on display through next spring.

For more information on the project and O! sculpture locations, visit the Web at or contact Molly Skold at or 978.7933.

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.