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"The Madwoman of Chaillot" Takes to the Stage

photo by Robbie Jones

Thespians from the UNO Department of Theatre's production of "The Madwoman of Chaillot" will take to the stage this week at UNO. The "Madwomen" from left to right are: Maria VachaPittack, Rebecca Hillson Vandiver, Lauren Krupski and Molly Schlater. See story below for details.

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3-D Walkthrough of Maverick Village

Maverick Village will open next year at UNO and add 400 new student housing beds. This virtual walkthough lets the viewer take a sneak peek. The soundtrack to the video is by the band Fullblown on SPEED! Nebraska Records. The music is used with permission from the label.

No Increases for 2008 Medical Insurance Premiums at NU

For the second year in a row, premiums for medical insurance in 2008 for University of Nebraska (NU) faculty and staff will not increase and in some cases will decrease. In addition, 2008 will see a more focused effort on wellness.

"Plan members deserve a great deal of credit," said Keith Dietze, director of Universitywide Benefits. "I believe they understand if we all work to hold down claims, the net result is no necessary increases in premiums for active employees.

"At the same time, we've worked hard behind the scene with Blue Cross Blue Shield and Caremark in plan design, monitoring costs and communicating with participants to keep medical insurance premiums affordable.  We're very proud to announce we're holding costs for the second year in a row."

Further, Dietze said that 2008 will mark the kickoff of a new university-wide wellness program answering a challenge made by President James B. Milliken – and endorsed by the university-wide benefits and wellness committees – to be phased in over the next few years.  The first phase of that program will begin with opportunities to help employees quit smoking.

"Administrators at the university value the well being of our faculty and staff, and fully support the goal of making wellness a part of our culture on our campuses," Dietze said.  "An important measure of any workplace is the health of its employees.  This institution values doing everything we can to encourage our employees to have a healthy work-life balance."

NU employees should receive the 2008 NUFlex benefits packets the week of Nov. 19, and the packets provide more complete details regarding benefits, costs and enrollment procedures.  Enrollment for your 2008 university benefits will begin on Monday, Nov. 19, and end on Friday, Dec. 7.

Meanwhile, Dietze said he wants to stress the good news: Medical insurance premiums will remain exactly the same in 2008 for full-time faculty and staff enrolled in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Basic and High option. In addition, medical deductibles, annual out-of-pockets limits and prescription drug copays will remain the same as well.

Almost as important is the introduction of a new pricing/design strategy for the Low option plan, creating a valuable, low-cost option for persons who are willing to accept a higher deductible and out-of-pocket limit in exchange for a lower premium. Under this revised approach, premiums for those enrolled in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Low option will decrease by 23 to 38 percent, depending on the coverage category in which they are enrolled.

"This is no accident," Dietze said.  "One of our objectives is to offer a moderately priced plan for those employees who seldom use medical care or services."

Dietze also said he is delighted to announce the initiation of a coordinated wellness program that will be phased in over the next few years, beginning with the following changes:

- Beginning in 2008, medication for smoking cessation will be included in the Caremark prescription drug plan.

- NUCredits – which employees can use to help pay for health insurance benefits – will be renamed, WellCredits.  In the coming months employees will hear more about using these credits for tools and resources that can help them achieve and maintain overall wellness.

"We know that being healthy and taking care of yourself in the best way possible makes your work life more productive and satisfying," Dietze said.  "First and foremost, healthier employees are happier, more balanced people.  But beyond that, healthier employees are more productive, have fewer sick days and pay lower medical bills."

Dietze emphasized that health insurance benefits at the university are the result of several factors:

- Ongoing administrative efforts to stay on the cutting edge of new health trends such as disease prevention and greater use of generic drugs, including an enhanced and expanded disease management program that started this year to actively assist people with chronic medical conditions.

- Support from all NU campuses, their benefits department and the universitywide benefits and wellness committees. 

- NU employees who are taking greater responsibility for their own health care and personal medical costs.

For complete details regarding plan benefits consult the NUFlex benefits material or contact the UNO Campus Benefits Office at 554.3660.

HRA Early Results

The early results from the online Health Risk Appraisal (HRA) Challenge, sponsored by the Wellness Stampede, have Student Affairs in first place with the most appraisals in.

The deadline for registering to take the HRA is today, Nov. 14, at 5 p.m. People can call 554.2539 to get signed-up. The Health Risk Appraisal ends on Friday, Nov. 16.

The standings as of Tuesday, Nov. 13:

1st Place
Student Affairs with a total of 28 HRAs submitted

2nd Place
Criss Library - 18

3rd Place
College of Education - 16

4th Place (tie)
College of Arts & Sciences - 8
College of Business Administration - 8

6th Place
Business & Finance Office - 7                 

7th Place
College of Information Science & Technology - 6

8th Place
College of Public Affairs and Community Service - 5

9th Place
Academic Affairs - 4

10th Place (tie)
Athletics - 3
Securtiy/Safety/Support Services - 3                    

- ITS 2;
- Human Resources/Food Services 2; and
- International Studies 1.

"Get bragging rights for your department and possibly win a free night at the Doubletree," said Dave Daniels, assistant director for fitness/wellness and instructional programs at UNO.

Other benefits include:

- Two free UNO hockey tickets for everyone who completes the HRA;

- Everyone who completes the HRA, will be registered for the grand prize -- one night at the downtown Omaha Doubletree;

- Prizes to the large, medium and small departments and colleges who have the highest level of participation; and

- A 15-page Personal Wellness Report, which can serve as a wellness road-map.

For questions, call Daniels at 554.2008 or Jessica Dozark, a fitness/wellness graduate student, at 554.3917.

CCSW to Host World Diabetes Day Panel Discussion Today

In observance of World Diabetes Day today, Nov. 14, the Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women (CCSW) and Student Health Services (SHS) will present a panel discussion from noon to 1 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Chancellor's Room. It is free and open to the public. Read more.

International Human Rights Activist Will Speak at UNO Tonight

Natan Sharansky, an internationally renowned human rights activist, political leader and author, is the guest lecturer for the 2007 Shirley and Leonard Goldstein Lecture on Human Rights at UNO.

Sharansky will speak at 7 p.m. tonight, Nov. 14 in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom. His presentation is free and open to the public. Read more.

Great American Smokeout Nov. 15

The Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC) and the Wellness Stampede will hand out information at the Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to highlight the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout.

Information will be provided about the benefits of quitting and the support systems, which are available. 

"Small treats will be given to those who don't smoke or to smokers that would like to exchange their cigarettes for the day," said Dave Daniels, assistant director for fitness/wellness and instructional programs at UNO.

For more information stop by the MBSC or visit the American Cancer Society's Web site at or the American Lung Association's Web site at

UNO Theatre Presents "The Madwoman of Chaillot"

The UNO Department of Theatre will present Jean Giraudoux's internationally acclaimed work, "The Madwoman of Chaillot," directed by Douglas Paterson. There will be a preview performance on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m.  Performances run Nov. 16-17 and Nov. 28-Dec. 1.

All performances will be held at the UNO Theater in the Weber Fine Arts Building. The house opens at 7 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. curtain for all evening performances. An interactive talk-back session with the director, designers and cast will follow the Friday, Nov. 30, performance.

Giraudoux's "The Madwoman of Chaillot" is a satirical comedy featuring the mysterious Countess Aurelia and her eccentric ways. According to the press release on the play, Aurelia, life is a struggle against forces of genuine oppression. When she and her friends discover that oil drillers plan to ruin Paris as they know it, Aurelia is driven to action beyond her usual resistance and to leading her neighborhood in hopes of saving their beloved city.

Ticket prices are $15 for general admission; $12 for students and seniors. They may be purchased in person, via e-mail at, or by calling 554.2335. The box office is located on the first floor of the Weber Fine Arts Building.

School Psychology Awareness Week

The faculty and graduate students of the UNO School Psychology Program invite the campus community to learn about the profession of school psychology during School Psychology Awareness Week.

Anyone can stop by the Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) today, Nov. 14, and Friday, Nov. 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to get information about school psychology as a career.

"We hope to see you at MBSC to learn more about this exciting career," said Lisa Kelly-Vance, professor of psychology.

For more information, stop by the MBSC table, contact Dr. Kelly-Vance at or 554.3563, or visit the School Psychology Program Web site at

Spring Book Orders Due in Bookstore

The UNO Bookstore staff would like to remind all faculty that spring book orders need to be submitted as soon as possible. Book orders can be submitted through campus mail, by fax at 554.3320, in-person or online at

For questions about book orders, contact Scott Dickey, UNO Bookstore course materials manager, at 554.2541.

Faculty Commencement Regalia Orders Due Nov. 16

Commencement for December graduates will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capitol Ave. Faculty members are asked to assemble no later than 1:30 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall.

Faculty who plan to attend the ceremony are asked to order their academic regalia from the UNO Bookstore, 554.2336, by Friday, Nov. 16.

72nd Street Food Fight Under Way at UNO

UNO has joined forces with five Omaha organizations this holiday season for the fourth annual 72nd Street Food Fight, which will help stock the shelves of The Salvation Army's food pantry. UNO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, the College of St. Mary, West Asset Management, Travel and Transport, and First Data Corp. are competing against one another to collect the most food during the campaign.

At UNO, donations of non-perishable food items will be solicited through Friday, Dec. 7. Donations will also be sought at Maverick sporting events.

The campaign will officially kick off at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, during the Salvation Army's annual Tree of Lights ceremony at American National Bank, located at 90th Street and West Dodge Road.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to pick up a few extra items for the Food Fight during the next few weeks. For convenience, blue barrels with the Food Fight graphic will be available in all campus buildings for food donations.

The Salvation Army has requested the items listed below. No glass containers will be accepted.

- Canned fruits

- Canned meats (chicken and tuna)

- Boxed dinners (Hamburger Helper)

- Canned beans

- Soups (dry and canned)

- Macaroni and cheese

- Pasta

- Rice

- Boxed cereal

- Boxed mashed potatoes

- Stuffing mix

- Powdered milk

- Peanut butter

- Jams and jellies

- Hygiene materials (toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorants, disposable diapers, etc.)

Last year, more than 202,000 items were donated to the drive. In addition to its corporate partners, The Salvation Army would like to thank the "Food Fight" sponsors: Hy-Vee, Lite 101.9 and Payless Office Products.

Future Food Fight notices will be published in upcoming editions of eNotes and The Gateway.

For more information on how campus organizations can get involved, contact Rita Henry, assistant vice chancellor for student services, at 554.2779 or John Jensen, administrative tech II in financial aid, at 554.3382.

UNO Child Care Center Openings

The UNO Child Care Center has immediate openings for children ages 2 to 2 1/2 years and 3 1/2 to 5 years.

"Have your child learn at an early childhood program accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children," said Dawn Hove, director of the center.

For more information contact Hove or Joscelyne Thompson at 554.4936, or visit the Web at