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9/11 Tribute

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

A flag dedicated to Lt. Charles Garbarini of the New York Fire Department flutters in the wind Sept. 11, 2007 at Omaha's Memorial Park. Flags decorated the hillside in memory of those killed Sept. 11, 2001.

history photo

During the fall of 1946, University of Omaha students hang out between classes, east of the current Arts and Sciences Hall.

This Week in Campus History

"Nebraskans say NO to nuclear arms race" were the words on a banner strung up across the pedestrian overpass on Dodge St. in a picture accompanying a Sept. 12, 1984, Gateway article.  "National Freeze Friday" was to protest the nuclear arms race taking place during the 1980s. The purpose of the event was to encourage Omahans to take an anti-nuke stance on Election Day by voting for candidates in favor of a nuclear arms freeze. Responses by drivers were mostly positive as many honked their horns, cheered or gave a "thumbs up" sign to the protestors.

Date: Sept. 25, 1984
Source: The Gateway
Compiled by Criss Library Archives

Brandi Yosten

Orientation Leader Represents UNO with Exuberance

by Becky Bohan Brown

Orientation leaders are the "Wal-Mart Greeters" of the university. They interact with students, parents and other campus visitors on a different level than most. Brandi Yosten may look like any other orientation leader seen giving a tour across campus, but she has gone above and beyond ...continue

UNO Centennial Web Site Launched

UNO, set to celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, has launched a cyberspace presence for its centennial at The Web page acts as an information hub for a variety of events, projects and grant opportunities.

"Even though the anniversary doesn't officially start until a year from this October, it's important to get this information out to our campus and the public," said Deborah Smith-Howell, dean of graduate studies and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, who co-chairs the UNO Centennial Steering Committee. "Some great work connected to the centennial has already been done, and we know more creative projects will be developed."

The theme of the university's centennial is "UNO: Central to Our City Since 1908." The official centennial kickoff date has been set for Oct. 8, 2008.

The centennial Web site provides links to the newly digitized Gateway student newspaper; to an information form for centennial mini-grant proposals; and to a campus photo album and UNO timeline. As the 2007-08 academic year progresses, the site will become even richer with information, said Kevin Naylor, UNO senior community services associate and co-chair of the UNO Centennial Steering Committee.

"We have a great starting point with the Web site," he said. "It's going to be fascinating to see what develops as the centennial approaches."

Earlier this year, the photo book University of Nebraska at Omaha documented the visual history of campus, and it is highlighted on the Web page, as well. Oliver Pollak, holder of the Martin Chair in the UNO Department of History, and Les Valentine, university archivist, co-authored the text.

"Their book highlights UNO's rich history and the resources available to faculty, staff, students and others who want to learn more about the university," Dr. Smith-Howell said. "Our new Web page is a terrific new tool that can help that process."

For more information, call 554.3502.

Bell Receives NASA Undergraduate Internship

Ross Bell

NASA has selected UNO student Ross Bell for a prestigious undergraduate research internship focused on air traffic control. He is the first UNO student to earn a NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP) internship.

"The first thought was ‘what did I do right?'" Bell said. Bell, a senior computer science major, will work the next three months in Hampton, Va., (near Washington D.C.) at NASA's Langley Research Center. The agency provides a housing allowance and a stipend.

Prithviraj Dasgupta, a UNO associate professor of computer science, has supervised Bell, who worked with him on a NASA-supported project. The research focused on a software prototype that modeled the movement and coordination among multiple spacecrafts for exploring extra-terrestrial bodies, using techniques from a field within computer science called artificial intelligence.

"I think it's a very great opportunity for Ross and for the university, especially at the undergraduate level," Dr. Dasgupta said.

Bell said he plans to enjoy his time at NASA and will add it to his other intern experiences. "It's an IT (information technology) rich environment in Omaha. I've had a lot of 'real world' experience already," he said.

For more information, call 554.3502. Information on the USRP is available online at http:/

National Anthem Project to Take Place Sept. 14 at UNO

UNO faculty, staff, students and the Collegiate Chapter of the National Association of Music Educators will sing the national anthem Friday, Sept. 14, at 9 a.m. at the Henningson Memorial Campanile as part of the National Anthem Project. All are invited to attend the celebration.

"September 14th is an important day in our nation's history. On this day, Francis Scott Key penned ‘The Star-Spangled Banner' after witnessing American forces defend Fort McHenry from British troops," said Melissa Berke, associate professor of music at UNO. "The members of the National Association for Music Education (MENC) - our nation's music teachers - want all Americans to know our national anthem and take pride in singing it together."

The National Anthem Project has been designed to raise awareness about the importance of supporting and funding school music programs. Schools across the country will be joining together Sept. 14 at 9 a.m. to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner."

For more information on the National Anthem Project, visit the Web at, or contact Dr. Berke at 554.3609 or

UNO to Host Latino-American Poet Francisco X. Alarcón Sept. 19

Latino-American Poet and Scholar Francisco X. Alarcón will give a talk and attend a book signing Wednesday, Sept. 19, at UNO. The event - part of the Del and Lou Ann Weber Lecture Series and co-sponsored by the Nebraska Arts Council - will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center and is free and open to the public.

Alarcón, an award-winning author of children's and adult literature, is director of the Spanish for Native Speakers Program at the University of California, Davis and was a recipient of Danforth and Fulbright fellowships. He earned his undergraduate degree from California State University, Long Beach and a graduate degree from Stanford University. Alarcón has also published several textbooks for teaching Spanish at the college and high school levels and served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Children Book Press - a nonprofit press that has published multicultural books for children for more than 25 years in San Francisco - from 1997 to 2003.

"I have been privileged to attend many of Francisco's presentations; he is inspirational, very down to earth and always captivates the audience. I always leave his presentations knowing I, too, am a poet," said Gigi Brignoni, assistant professor of teacher education at UNO. "His presentations throughout the Omaha area are a wonderful way to begin Hispanic Heritage Month."

The Sep. 19 event will feature a poetry reading led by Alarcón, who also will talk about the writing process and share stories. The Bookworm will be selling five of his children's books at the book signing, as well as several of his adult poetry books and a CD.

"In addition to Francisco Alarcón's Wednesday (4:30 p.m.) performance at the W.H. Thompson Alumni Center, his visit to Omaha includes appearances at six Omaha schools and several community events," said Susan McWilliams, assistant professor of teacher education at UNO. "Alarcón's visit represents faculty and student community service work on behalf of a new not-for-profit group in the College of Education called the Omaha Family Literacy Partnership."

On Sunday, Sept. 16, Alarcón will present "Poetry Reading & Storytelling" at 2 p.m. at the W. Dale Clark Library, 215 S. 15th St. He will then attend "An Evening with Francisco Alarcón" Monday, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m. at El Museo Latino, 4701 S. 25th St. Both events are free and open to the public, but attendees will have the opportunity to purchase some of Alarcón's works.

"By collaborating with Omaha Public Schools, El Museo Latino and the Omaha Public Library, we can serve the community much more effectively than we can alone. We are excited about the possibilities for rich dialogue associated with Francisco Alarcón's visit to Omaha," Dr. McWilliams said.

For more information, contact Dr. Brignoni at 554.2604 or Dr. McWilliams at 554.3457.

2007-08 Blue Line Club Luncheon Tickets Available

The 2007-08 UNO Hockey Blue Line Club (BLC) Luncheons will feature UNO Coach Mike Kemp, his players and opposing coaches on Fridays to kick off home hockey series. Tickets are now on sale for the luncheons, which will be held at the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center.

At each event, the buffet opens at 11:30 a.m., and a program will be held from 11:50 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

The 2007-08 BLC Luncheon schedule is listed below:
- Friday, Oct. 19 (Maverick Stampede)
- Friday, Nov. 2 (Michigan)
- Friday, Nov. 16 (Ferris State)
- Friday, Nov. 23 (Alaska-Fairbanks)
- Friday, Dec. 7 (Lake Superior State)
- Friday, Jan. 11 (Miami-Ohio)
- Friday, Feb. 8 (Ohio State)
- Friday, Feb. 15 (Bowling Green)

Tickets for all eight luncheons cost $130 per person. Single luncheon tickets will also be available at the door for $20 for BLC members or $25 for non-members.

To access a ticket form, click on the following link:

2007-08 BLC Luncheon Tickets

For more information, contact Rich Buckingham at 468.5457 or Shirley Fey at 554.3422.

Call for 2007-08 UCAT Conference Travel Grant Proposals

The University Committee for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT) announces the availability of travel grants designed to increase capacity building in teaching and learning. Applications are encouraged for interdisciplinary conferences focusing on teaching and learning, as well as for disciplinary conferences with tracks or sessions focusing on several themes. Visit for a list of links to designated conferences.

Travel grant applications should reflect UCAT's mission for enhancement of teaching and student learning processes at UNO and focus on one or more of the following designated themes:
- Active learning;
- Assessment and e-Portfolios;
- Graduate instruction/mentoring;
- Interdisciplinary integration; and
- Promoting critical thinking.

The committee is accepting proposals on a monthly basis from September through April or until funds are expended. The committee will fund grants up to $800 for each award. Proposals are due by the 21st of each month. Application forms are available on the Center for Faculty Development (CFD) Web site (

Applicants should submit one hard copy and an electronic submission of the application, in "rtf" or "MS Word" document formats, as an e-mail attachment to Alice Woll ( Hard copy submissions should be sent to the CFD in 220 Arts and Sciences Hall. Two examples of successful applications are available on the CFD/UCAT Web site (

For more information, contact Wayne Harrison, professor of psychology and the 2007-08 UCAT chair, at 554.2452 or

HR to Present I-9 Informational Session

Human Resources will present an informational session on "Completing I-9s: Complying with the Law" Thursday, Sept. 13. It will be held in the Milo Bail Student Center Council Room from 9 to 10 a.m.

The one-hour class will give participants clear, concise instructions for completing the I-9 form. For more information, contact the Human Resources Office at 554.2321.

Participants Sought for Faculty/Staff Drop-in Volleyball League

Volleyball, anyone?

The faculty/staff drop-in volleyball league meets Fridays in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building from noon to 1 p.m. Additional players of all skill levels are welcome. The league is free for all Campus Recreation activity cardholders.

For more information, call Mike Kult at 554.2539.

Swing, Ballroom and Latin Dance Lessons Begin Sept. 16

Want to learn how to "Dance Like the Stars?" Campus Recreation and the Mav-Rec Wellness Stampede are teaming up to host Swing, Ballroom and Latin dance sessions, beginning Sunday, Sept. 16.

All classes will be held in 230 Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Building.

The schedule and cost information:
- Session One (Sundays): Sept. 16 and 23, and Oct. 14 and 28
- Times: Swing - 1 to 2 p.m.; Ballroom/Latin - 2 to 3 p.m.
- Cost: Activity cardholders - $15 and $13 for a friend; non-activity cardholders - $18 and $15 for a friend. Those wishing to take both classes should add $5 per person per additional class.

To register, stop by 110 HPER. For more information, call Campus Recreation at 554.2539.

Online "Preventing Sexual Harassment" Program

In an effort to support UNO's commitment to maintain a positive, productive work environment that is free from any form of harassment or bias, the Office of Diversity continues to offer an online professional development program - "Preventing Sexual Harassment."

Located on the Web at, the program will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.

"‘Preventing Sexual Harassment' is an active learning process that enables you to review materials at your own leisure in a practical and convenient way," said Sharon Ulmar, director of the Office of Diversity and coordinator of the program. "The program is located on the Web with accessibility 24 hours a day."

To assist users in completing the online program, instructions are highlighted below:
- Select the appropriate module (faculty, non-supervisory, student or visitor), and proceed.
- The test will be automatically scored. A score of 80 percent or higher satisfies the program requirement and completion.
- Once completed, there will be an option to print a certificate.

For more information, contact Ulmar at 554.2872 or