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Winter Commencement

A total of 960 students received degrees at the Friday, December 21 Winter Commencement ceremonies held at the Omaha Civic Auditorium. Receiving an honorary degree at the event was Sam Fried, Omaha entrepreneur and Holocaust survivor; Richard Holland who was presented with UNO's Alumus Achievement Award; and UNO's Merry Ellen Turner who received the Chancellor's Medal. Elizabeth Freshman was the student commencement speaker.

Oliver B. Pollak

Pacific Street Memories

by Oliver B. Pollak

Paris has the Champs Elysees; New York, Broadway and Madison Avenue; Chicago boasts Michigan Avenue; and Los Angeles has the Sunset Strip. Streets in Lincoln and Council Bluffs are featured in two recent books, A Street Named 'O' by Mary Jane Nielsen and Council Bluffs: Broadway by Richard Warner and Ryan Roenfeld. Omaha has Dodge Street with its expressway, but my flight path is Pacific Street. ...continue

Sparks Award Nominations Being Accepted

Nominations will be accepted through the end of January for the Chancellor Robert D. Sparks, M.D., Award in Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Sparks is a former University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) chancellor who has established an award through the University of Nebraska Foundation to recognize University of Nebraska faculty members, public health professionals and/or volunteers involved in faculty or service projects for outstanding innovation, excellence, collaboration and impact on health promotion, disease prevention and advancement of effective public health approaches.

The award recipient will receive a $1,000 award and will be recognized at a College of Public Health awards event. The award recipient will have an opportunity to make a brief presentation about their work on preventing disease and promoting health through public health education, research and practice. All nominations must be received or postmarked no later than Thursday, Jan. 31. E-mail, fax and postal nominations will be accepted.

Nominations should include:

- A completed nomination form and attached description of the nominee's qualifications (no more than two pages in length);

- Up to two letters supporting the nomination; and

- An up-to-date curriculum vita or résumé for the nominee.

The nomination form, letters of support, and the nominee's CV or résumé will be the primary sources of information for selecting award recipients.

Nomination materials and questions about the award should be directed to:

Jessica B. Tschirren, coordinator of Public Health Education
210 S. 49th St.
Omaha, NE 68132.

Tschirren can also be reached at 402.561.7586 or by e-mail at

Blackboard Upgrade and Demonstrations on Discussion Board Announced

Information Technology Services (ITS) has announced a January 6th mid-year upgrade for the Blackboard system.

"This upgrade involves only the ‘Discussion Board' feature," said Shelley Schafer, manager of distance education in ITS. "When surveyed on the timing of an upgrade, Blackboard faculty users voted 62 percent to 30 percent in favor of a mid-semester upgrade."

ITS will offer two Brown Bag lunch demonstrations on the "Discussion Board" changes which will be held on:

- Tuesday, Jan. 8
11 a.m. to noon
Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) Gallery Room

- Friday, Jan. 18
Noon to 1 p.m.
MBSC Gallery Room

All faculty and staff are welcome to attend and no registration is required.

"The upgrade to Blackboard (Version 7.3) will not only fix known problems, it will also bring back ‘Discussion Board' features that had previously been removed," Schafer said.

For more information, contact ITS Customer Services at 554.HELP (4357).

Classical 90.7 KVNO Helps Listeners Celebrate Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is February 14th and Classical 90.7 KVNO wants to help make it a memorable day for KVNO listeners and their sweethearts.

For a minimum donation of $100, the first 30 donors can send an on-air message to that special someone and get two red roses, beautifully arranged by BLOOMS.

Bouquets will be available for pick-up at KVNO from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, or on Thursday, Feb. 14, until noon.

This Valentine's Day gift opportunity will end Friday, Feb. 1, so call 559.5866 or visit

Use of Purchasing Card to Procure Services Reminder

University purchasing cardholders may begin using their cards to procure services from U.S. vendors. Some examples of services include rental of equipment, maintenance and repair services.

The following services remain restricted from use:

- Services from vendors outside the U.S.;

- Travel related expenses (hotels, meals, etc.) except for conference registration fees; and

- Honorarium and consulting/contractual service fee payments to non-Nebraska residents for services performed in Nebraska.

For a complete listing of restrictions refer to the UNO Purchasing Card Financial Policy at this link.

General ledger (GL) accounts that were previously blocked for these postings will be available. Reconcilers should use the appropriate GL account for the transaction.

Special coding and processing will be required for transactions containing both goods and services on one transaction. For example, an invoice for file cabinet repair lists parts and labor separately. For assistance with reconciliation of these transactions, contact Teresa Carlson, account payable supervisor, at 554.4937

For other questions, contact UNO Accounting Services at 554.2320.

Nominations Deadline Jan. 4 for 2008 UNO Women of Color 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. Read more.

Next UCRCA Faculty Proposal Deadline Jan. 28

The next faculty deadline for University Committee on Research and Creative Activity (UCRCA) proposals is Monday, Jan. 28. This is the final full proposal cycle of the 2007-08 academic year, and the committee encourages all proposals of high quality. Proposals must be received in the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (SPR) by 5 p.m.

The purpose of the UCRCA is to encourage research and creative activity by UNO faculty. The committee places special emphasis on seed money grants for projects potentially leading to external funding and on grants for new faculty to help them establish programs of research/creative activity. This year, the committee has provided support for both pre-tenure and post-tenure UNO faculty.

For more information, call 554.2286.

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 will accept proposals on a monthly basis through April or until funds are expended, and 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 at 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 at

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