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Joel Thomas

A Creative Mind

by Beverly Newsam

When he arrived on campus several years ago, Joel Thomas was focused on completing his bachelor of general studies degree and graduating. After discovering how much he enjoys writing, he is now bent on combining that drive with teaching. ...continue

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Volleyball vs. Augustana

The UNO volleyball team upset 13th-ranked Augustana last Friday night in front of 734 fans at the Sapp Fieldhouse.

Flag Lowering

Gov. Dave Heineman has ordered all U.S. and Nebraska flags to be flown at half-staff on Saturday, Nov. 3, in honor of the life and service of U.S. Rep. Peter Hoagland, who passed away Oct. 30 in Washington.

UNO Celebrates Day of the Dead

The Office of Latino/Latin American Studies of the Great Plains (OLLAS) at UNO will host a Day of the Dead celebration today, Nov. 2. The event, a pre-Columbian tradition, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UNO Art Gallery in the Weber Fine Arts Building. It is free and open to the campus community and the public.

The Day of the Dead tradition, later mixed with Catholic rituals, is celebrated throughout the Americas, said Lourdes Gouveia, OLLAS director and professor of sociology at UNO. In Mexico and Central America, people build elaborate altars in honor of a particular person or group. They then fill the altars with items that the honored person or group enjoyed in life. This year's altar pays special homage to the indigenous populations of the Americas.

Today's celebration will feature an altar in the gallery, and attendees will be treated to traditional Day of the Dead bread and Mexican hot chocolate. A brief presentation on the history and the contemporary manifestations of the tradition will be given by Maria Arbelaez, associate professor of history at UNO, at noon.

For more information, call 554.3835.

Nominations Sought for 2008 UNO Women of Colors Awards

Organizations and individuals in the Omaha area are being asked to nominate women of color for the 2008 UNO Women of Color (WOC) Awards.  The awards will recognize women of color for outstanding contributions in six categories - arts/humanities, business/entrepreneurship, education, community service, science and technology and youth leadership.  Nomination forms, which are available online at, are due Friday, Jan. 4.

"These awards recognize women of color who have done extraordinary work on their own in these categories, as well as mentoring others in these fields," said Sharon Ulmar, WOC committee chair and assistant to the chancellor in the UNO Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity. "We encourage people from the metropolitan community to nominate women of color who they believe should receive accolades for their selfless efforts."

Award recipients will be honored Wednesday, March 5, at the 2008 UNO Women of Color Awards Luncheon.  The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the DC Centre, 11830 Stonegate Circle.  The theme for 2008 is "Women in Politics."

Esther Aguilera, CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), will speak at the luncheon. CHCI is a nonprofit and nonpartisan leadership development organization established in 1978.  It offers summer internships, fellowships and scholarships to Hispanic students.  She has held the position at CHCI since 2004.  She holds a bachelor's degree in public policy from Occidental College in Los Angeles.

A panel of judges from the WOC Awards Recognition Planning Committee will select the 2008 winners based on nominations submitted by Jan. 4.  The committee is comprised of women from area schools – UNO, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Metropolitan Community College; local nonprofit businesses – Alegent Health, Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Salvation Army, Simply Well LLC and the YWCA; and local for profit-businesses – ConAgra Foods, State Farm Insurance, Radio Lobo 97.7 FM, CBS Home Real Estate, Wells Fargo Bank and Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society Inc.

Award recipients will be invited to participate in community speaking events, and to serve as role models and mentors for various university-related programs and activities.

To request nomination forms, call 554.2779 or send an e-mail to For more information or to access online nomination forms, visit the WOC Web site at

Concrete Deliveries to Prompt Short Traffic Delays Next Week

Beginning the week of November 5, the Kiewit Building Group will begin to accept delivery of pre-cast concrete for the new parking garage under construction on the west side of the Dodge location campus.  The daily deliveries will prompt short traffic delays as the trucks arrive on campus.

Approximately 12 flatbed truckloads of the pre-cast will be delivered every day to UNO.  Each delivery will create a traffic stoppage for several minutes near the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center (67th and Dodge Streets) and near the construction site.

Trucks will be arriving on Dodge Street from the west and, in order to make the turn into the campus, each truck will use the northbound lanes of 67th Street, directly to the east of the Alumni Center.  Construction workers with flags will be on hand to stop and direct traffic for each delivery.  The trucks will proceed south on 67th Street and turn east onto College Plaza, where they will turn into the construction site near the Kiewit trailers. 

"We're asking that motorists be patient with these traffic delays," said Audrey Buckley, project manager for the student housing and parking garage.  More than 500 pre-cast pieces will be delivered for the garage over a three- month period.  When completed in August 2008, the five- level parking garage will hold 892 vehicles.

Missouri Valley Reading Series Continues Nov. 7

Poets James Jay and Zachary Schomburg will each read some of their work as part of the Missouri Valley Reading Series on Wednesday, Nov. 7.  The UNO Art Gallery, located on the first floor of the Weber Fine Arts Building, will host the 7:30 p.m. event.

Jay, the founding editor of Two Dogs Press, will read from his book, The Undercards, which was recently published by Gorsky Press.  He teaches poetry and American literature at Northern Arizona University and directs The Northern Arizona Book Festival in Flagstaff, Ariz., where he is also the weekly poetry correspondent for Koshari Television.       

Schomburg will read from his collection of poems, The Man Suit, which is now available from Black Ocean Press.  His work has appeared widely in such journals as the Denver Quarterly, Absent, Pilot, and Typo.  Schomburg edits the online literary journal, Octopus, as well as Octopus Books, and he co-curates The Clean Part Reading Series in Lincoln, Neb.

The Missouri Valley Reading Series is free and open to the campus community and public. For more information, call 554.2151. 

Retirement Reception Nov. 8 for Frances Thurber

The UNO College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media and the UNO Department of Art and Art History invite the campus community to attend a reception honoring Professor Frances Thurber on her retirement. The reception will be held on Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Milo Bail Student Center Chancellor Room from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Joanne Sowell, associate professor of art and art history, at 554.3762

UNO Text Messaging Notification System Available

The UNO emergency communication system has a new addition - text messaging to cell phones. 

Students, faculty and staff can now sign up for the new notification system that will allow UNO to send urgent news to cell phones.  Depending on a person's cell phone plan, there may be a nominal fee from a cell phone carrier, but there is no charge from UNO for the service.

"This is something we've done our homework on," said Richard May, UNO telecommunications manager.  "We looked at how other institutions have handled text messaging systems, and we've learned from their experiences."

Students, faculty and staff can learn more about the system and sign up at Registration takes just a few minutes.

The new system, provided by e2Campus, sends instant alerts directly to registered subscribers' e-mail accounts and mobile phones via SMS text messages.  Wireless personal digital assistants and BlackBerry devices can also be used.

"Once students sign up, the alerts go right to their cell phones with quick, efficient, short text messages," said Wade Robinson, associate vice chancellor for student affairs.  "It's a convenient system for everyone because it reaches people, whether on or off campus.  We know students love their cell phones, so now we can reach them with important information that can help keep them safe."

UNO Campus Security officials said they hope the entire campus community registers.

"Although e2Campus is an excellent system that can notify a whole campus within minutes, it only works if people take the time and register," said Paul Kosel, campus security manager. 

The notification system will be used to communicate any potential emergency, such as a snow delay or closing, other weather warnings, homeland security advisories, gas leak notifications and fire or crime watches.

Information about the system is available at or by calling the UNO Information Center at 554.3036 or the ITS Help Desk at 554.4357.

University Surplus Auction Nov. 3

Standley Auction & Realty Co. will hold a public auction for the sale of university surplus property Saturday, Nov. 3, at 3805 N. 16th St.

The doors open at 8 a.m., and the auction starts at 10 a.m. A full listing of the items are available online at

For more information, call 554.2337.

Energy Savings Potential Program Symposium Set for Nov. 7

Four members of the UNO community who received funding within the last year will speak about their experiences with the Energy Savings Potential (ESP) Program and present initial research findings at a symposium planned for Wednesday, Nov. 7. The event will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Omaha Public Power District's (OPPD) downtown headquarters, 444 South 16th St. Mall, in the 9W Seminar Room on the building's ninth floor.

The panelists and their topics:

- Kenneth Kriz, Financial and Tax Incentives for Energy Conservation;

- Jerome Deichert, Energy Forum Program Assessment; and

- Robert Blair and Daniel Lawse, Energy Efficiency and Sustainability: A Neighborhood-Based Approach to Improving Housing Stock in Omaha.

The ESP Program's mission is to support and deliver collaborative research efforts to develop mutually beneficial results and projects dealing with energy efficiency and effective use of energy in residential and small commercial sectors.

Projects that will be discussed:

- A project that assists Nebraska households in reducing energy burden through behavioral change;

- A project that examines the role of neighborhood associations in housing sustainability and energy efficiency; and

- A project that assesses the potential that financial and tax-based incentives may have on energy conservation efforts.

Reservations for the event can be made by contacting Gary L. Anderson at For more information or submission guidelines, visit the Web at

Newspapers in the Classroom Workshop Nov. 7

Carolyn Thompson, professor of political science and public administration at the University of Tennessee, will lead a workshop on using newspapers in the classroom Wednesday, Nov. 7. "The New York Times and Newspaper Use in Your Classroom" is set for noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center U Mo Hon Room.

The workshop, sponsored by the UNO Newspapers in Curricula Project and The New York Times, is open to all university faculty. A light lunch will be served for all participants.

To register, contact the UNO Center for Faculty Development, 220 Arts and Sciences Hall, at 554.2427 or For more information, contact Maria Anderson Knudtson, English lecturer, at

Americans with Disabilities Act Program Nov. 8 in the MBSC

Sharon Ulmar, assistant to the chancellor for diversity and equal opportunity, will lead a program on supervising individuals with disabilities Thursday, Nov. 8, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires that employers be held responsible for conducting Americans with Disabilities (ADA) programs for anyone employed in a supervisory capacity. This includes all who have supervisory or hiring responsibilities for faculty, staff, student workers or graduate students.

Ulmar's session will highlight the following topics:

- Disability qualifications;

- Reasonable accommodations;

- Responsibilities of supervisors of faculty, staff, student workers or graduate students;

- How to appropriately handle medical records;

- How to handle anyone with a disability who is not performing adequately; and

- What to do after discovering someone has a disability.

To register for the program, call 554.2872.

Next Student "Lunch and Learn" Nov. 8

Students who attend the next UNO Speech Center "Lunch and Learn" will learn about adjusting to a broader audience, reorganizing main themes for more structure, and integrating storytelling and visuals to enhance presentations.

"Moving from Paper to Presentation: A Transformation" is planned for Thursday, Nov. 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center U Mo Hon Room.

Pre-registration is encouraged and can be done by contacting a consultant at the Speech Consulting Center at 554.3201 or Space is limited, and free pizza and pop will be provided.

In the News

In the News

- The Columbus Telegram and the Norfolk Daily News wrote articles about UNO's leadership visiting West Point, Norfolk and Columbus on Oct. 26.

- Chancellor John Christensen and College of Business Administration Dean Louis Pol were guests WJAG (780 AM0, Norfolk) Oct. 26 to discuss UNO's recent visit to Norfolk.

- KPTM (Fox 42) and KETV (ABC 7) profiled members of the Bullpen, the student section that attends Maverick athletic events, and their efforts before the Nov. 1 football game against the University of South Dakota.

- Chancellor John Christensen was quoted in several media reports this week following the announcement of UNO offering reduced tuition to students in select Iowa counties. The media outlets that covered the Oct. 30 press conference include: Omaha World-Herald, The Daily Nonpareil, The Associated Press, KMTV (CBS 3), WOWT (NBC 6), KETV (ABC 7), KPTM (Fox 42), KFAB (1110 AM), KKAR (1290 AM) and KCCI (CBS 8, Des Moines).

- B.J. Reed, dean of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service, Gail F. Baker, dean of the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media, and Tom Gouttierre, dean of international studies and programs and director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies, were guests on KTIC (840 AM, West Point) to discuss their Oct. 26 visit to the community.

- Francisco Gonzalez, a research assistant for the Office of Latino/Latin American Studies, was quoted in an Oct. 31 Omaha World-Herald article about Day of the Dead festivities.

- WOWT (NBC 6) interviewed student Abrea Hensley about a recent John Hopkins University report on high school drop-out rates.

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

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

Art Gallery Hosts Ceramics Exhibition
The regional ceramics exhibition "Clay as the Human Condition" continues at the UNO Art Gallery through Saturday, Nov. 17.

Alisa Holen, a visiting assistant professor in ceramics at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History, curated the show.  The exhibition explores three clay artists - Daniel Cox, Conifer Smith and Reagan Yoder - and how they react to life and its challenges, through the resilient and tactile medium of clay.

"As a clay artist, I believe that clay records our life experiences and also can create them," Holen said.

Cox received a master of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa and a bachelor of fine arts in ceramics from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La.  Currently, he is an adjunct professor of sculpture and ceramics at Kirkwood College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  He uses clay as a vehicle of expression, according to the gallery's press release, and creates an interplay of the human form, landscape and his perception of life.

Smith is a professor of three-dimensional art at Kirkwood College.  She has worked as a professional ceramic artist for more than 20 years and holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa.  As a material, clay reminds Smith of the connection people have with the earth, both physically and metaphysically. 

Yoder is an adjunct professor of ceramics at the University of Iowa, where he earned his master of fine arts degree.  He has worked as a studio artist for 35 years, and is well known for his knowledge and skills in kiln building, materials and tool making.  In his work, Yoder examines the uniqueness of structures and their ability to control patterns of movement.

The UNO Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Weber Fine Arts Building.  The exhibitions are free, handicapped accessible and open to the public.  Gallery Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from noon to 4 p.m.; Thursday from noon to 8 p.m.; and Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.

For more information, call 554.2796.

WWII Posters on Display through Nov. 18
Criss Library will display vintage posters from the World War II era through Sunday, Nov. 18.

The exhibit, "Homeland Morale to Homeland Security: Original WWII Posters," features posters issued by the Office of War Information during the war. The posters were displayed in post offices, railroad stations and other public places to bolster morale and encourage public support.

"Several of the posters remain instantly recognizable, such as Norman Rockwell's ‘Four Freedoms,'" said James T. Shaw, government documents librarian at Criss Library. "Others feature images which have largely been forgotten, but they reflect concerns that viewers will recognize as resonating today as our military engages in conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq."

The exhibit is free to the public and available for viewing during regular library hours. The posters are drawn from the Criss Library U.S. Documents collection.

For more information, call 554.2762.

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.