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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

Cathy Wyatt Named New "Consider This" Host

Next month, Cathy Wyatt will join UNO Television's production of "Consider This" as the new host.

Wyatt is currently the director of public relations for Midwest Geriatrics Inc. She has six years of experience as a news producer at KETV, with a bachelor's degree in journalism from University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). She also has extensive experience in marketing, public relations, advertising and fund raising.

"We're excited to have Cathy on board and look forward to her contributions to the program and to opportunities for her to provide our students with mentoring and insights from her personal experiences in journalism and PR", said Jim Adams, assistant general manger of UNO Television. Wyatt's first "Consider This" program will be produced on Thursday, Feb. 7.

Her current community involvement includes appearing on KETV's mid-day newscast's "7 Can Help Seniors," which is featured twice monthly. Wyatt is also active in the North Omaha Development Project, the Partnerships in Aging Network, Midlands Eldercare Network and Volunteers Assisting Seniors.

Andrea McMaster, the former "Consider This" host, resigned due to increased demands at her primary job at the Nebraska Medical Center.

For more information, contact Adams at 554.2516.

Anti-Racism Dialogue Set for Jan. 19 at UNO

An anti-racism dialogue circle that includes members of the UNO community and the public will hold an all-day "Anti-Racism Public Dialogue" on campus Saturday, Jan. 19.  The event has been funded through a Difficult Dialogues mini-grant.

Students, faculty, staff and the public can all take part in the day's activities, said Peggy Jones, interim chair of UNO Black Studies and the coordinator of the event.  Students can also register for one credit hour of independent study in Black Studies (course number BLST 4900-002.)

To prepare for a meaningful dialogue, participants are asked to have read both The Heart of Whiteness by Robert Jensen, and the Omaha World-Herald series "Omaha in Black and White."  The newspaper series remains online at  The book is available at both the UNO Bookstore and at the Aframerican Bookstore, 3226 Lake St.

"We're very much looking forward to the day and the discussion," Jones said.  "These dialogues are important and, we hope, eye opening."

The event will start at 7:30 a.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Nebraska Room and Ballroom and runs until 4 p.m.  A continental breakfast, lunch and snacks will be available.

The dialogue is free, but those planning to attend should R.S.V.P. by Monday, Jan. 14, by contacting Felecia Dailey, Black Studies, at 554.2412 or

The Difficult Dialogues Initiative is supported by the Ford Foundation, which awarded $100,000 to UNO for a two-year project co-directed by Nora Bacon of the English Department and Shereen Bingham and Cynthia Robinson-Moore of the School of Communication. In 2006-07, the project began with a workshop for 30 staff and faculty who developed into the project's "core group" and culminated in a public dialogue on race, "What Omaha Do You Live In?" This year, funds are being directed to mini-grants to staff, faculty, and student organizations.

Intramurals Registration Set for Jan. 14

Will your New Year's resolution be to join an extracurricular activity in 2008? If so, mark the calendar for the next Campus Recreation Intramurals Session. Session Three team registration will begin Monday, Jan. 14.

Campus Recreation provides recreational opportunities for all UNO students, faculty and staff, alumni and their families. The Intramural Sports Program at UNO offers competition on a team or an individual basis. Men's, Women's and Co-Rec divisions are available to match skill and experience level.

Team sign-up for the Session Three season will include:

- 5x5 basketball with a $25 deposit;

- 6x6 volleyball with a $25 deposit;

- 6x6 dodge ball with a $25 deposit;

- Racquetball doubles with a $15 deposit; and

- Wii Golf - Tiger Woods with a $15 deposit.

The deadline for registration is Friday, Jan. 25. To sign up a team, stop by 205 Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building. Deposit and a team name are required at the time of registration. Cash, check or credit card will be accepted. Registration will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. The deposits will be reimbursed if the following qualifications are met: attendance at the captain's meeting and no team forfeits for the season.

Anyone who doesn't have a team can sign up as a free agent and will be placed on a team.

For more information, call the Intramural Department at 554.2634.

Blackboard Upgrade and Demonstrations on Discussion Board Announced

Information Technology Services (ITS) has announced a January 6 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 can 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).

Nominations Sought for 2008 Vice Chancellor's Award

The annual Vice Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Leadership recognizes an undergraduate student who has demonstrated exemplary leadership through influential participation in campus organizations and community volunteer work, in addition to scholarly achievement. Nominations and applications are now being sought and accepted.

All nominees must be undergraduates enrolled at UNO with a 2.5 G.P.A. and who will graduate May/August 2008 or who graduated in December 2007.

The following items are necessary for the application/nomination to be processed. The application must be presented to the nominee by the nominator, and all documents must be returned to the Student Organizations and Leadership Programs (SOLP) office, located on the first floor of the Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC).

Nomination Packets
Nomination packets are available on the SOLP Web site at

Nominator's Recommendation
The nominator's recommendation letter must be completed and returned with the nomination form by Friday, Feb. 8.

Nominee's Application
Must be returned by Friday, Feb. 15.

Nominee's Essay
Must be returned by Friday, Feb. 15.

For additional information regarding the award or nomination packet, contact SOLP at 554.2711 or stop by the SOLP office. The award will be presented at the 2008 SOLP Student Leader Reception on Thursday, April 10, and again at the Spring Honors Convocation on Friday, April 11.

In the News

In the News

- Political science Professor Randy Adkins was quoted in the Dec. 30 issue of the Omaha World-Herald about the 2008 Iowa caucuses.

- Football Coach Pat Behrns was one of several Nebraskans featured in the Dec. 24 issue of the Omaha World-Herald about the best Christmas gift they ever received.

- Today's Omaha Woman magazine profiled art instructor Jody Boyer in its November 2007 issue.

- David Drozd of the Center for Public Affairs Research was quoted in the Dec. 27 issues of the Lincoln Journal Star and the Omaha World-Herald about the increase in Nebraska's population.

- Tom Gouttierre, dean of international studies, was interviewed by KETV (ABC 7), KPTM (Fox 42) and the Omaha World-Herald about the Dec. 27 assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

- Physics Professor Frank Hartranft appeared in the Dec. 29 issue of the Omaha World-Herald about ideal snow conditions for sledding.

- Criminal justice Professor Emeritus Sam Walker was quoted in the Dec. 15 issue of the Dallas Morning News about two Dallas police officers who forced individuals to sign blank citations.

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

- Angela Eikenberry, assistant professor with the School of Social Work, co-authored, "Administrative Failure and the International NGO Response to Hurricane Katrina," with two Virginia Tech doctoral students, Veronica Arroyave and Tracy Cooper. The article appeared in the December 2007 issue of the Public Administrative Review.

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

River City Mixed Chorus Presents "Great Men of Song"
The River City Mixed Chorus will present its winter 2008 concert, "Great Men of Song," at the Strauss Performing Arts Center Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 13, at 4:05 p.m. 

Both concerts will be ASL-interpreted. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for students or seniors, $10 for children or $18 on the day of the show.

To purchase tickets, visit or call 341.7464. For more information, call Darryl C. Burgdorf, staff secretary II with the UNO Department of Accounting in the College of Business Administration, at 554.3650. The River City Mixed Chorus is a member of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA Choruses).

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 Art Gallery to Open "Bret Reif: In Digestion"
"Brett Reif: In Digestion" will remain on display through Friday, Jan. 18, at the UNO Art Gallery.

The solo exhibition features work by A. Brett Reif, an assistant professor in the School of the Foundation Year at the Kansas City Art Institute.  Non-traditional media, sculpture and installation are major areas of interest for Reif.  He typically works in automobile grease, Post-It notes, test tubes and plastic wrap.  Read more.

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.