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Jodie Rasmussen

Rasmussen Named Student Employee of the Year

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

Jodie Rasmussen was chosen as the 2008 Student Employee of the Year at the annual honors reception April 7. She was selected based on her contributions to Campus Recreation.

Rasmussen was selected from a pool of 15 nominees for her work with UNO's Intramurals Program. In his nomination, Mike Kult, Rasmussen's supervisor, said: "In the past, there have been many winners who have developed software programs or materials that have benefited departments. But what Jodie has accomplished has directly benefited thousands of UNO students. Because of Jodie's hard work and dedication, students at UNO were able to participate in intramural sport programs this year."

She was presented with a certificate and a monetary award underwritten by the UNO Alumni Association.

National Student Employment Week wraps up April 19. Take this opportunity to thank the many contributions of UNO's student employees.

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Just Can It Drive Underway

Members of UNO's Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and Alpha Xi Delta sorority are leading the challenge to collect 10,000 cans of food for the Salvation Army Food Pantry in North Omaha as part of the Just Can It Drive. The drive was kicked off on Monday, April 14 with a 'can kicking' event on the Henningson Plaza. In order to publicize the drive, students are living this week in cardboard houses in UNO's Pep Bowl. Cans can be donated at any of the Salvation Army barrels located throughout campus.

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Student Stories

UNO student news stories are airing on Classical 90.7 KVNO. Listen to samples of their stories.


UNO Benefits Fair Today in MBSC

Working at UNO is a good deal. To learn more, faculty and staff can attend the 2008 UNO Benefits Fair.

The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom today, April 17. All faculty and staff are invited to attend, and refreshments will be served.

"The fair is a great opportunity to learn more about the fringe benefits associated with being a UNO employee," said Esther Scarpello, manager of benefits in Human Resources. "New this year, the Douglas County Extension Service will conduct healthy cooking demonstrations, as well as provide samples."

Participating vendors include Blue Cross Blue Shield, Caremark, Eye Med, Fidelity, TIAA-CREF, the Social Security Administration, the UNO Employee Assistance Program and Human Resources.

Student Health Services (SHS) will offer preventive health screenings at the fair, including free blood pressure screenings. SHS also will offer screens for cholesterol and diabetes from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on a walk-in basis. No appointments are necessary. Both screens require a fast (abstaining from food and drink) for 12 hours. The total cost for both screens is $20.

The Douglas County Extension Service will provide healthy cooking demonstrations and free samples.

For more information, contact Scarpello at 554.3660.

Writer Verlyn Klinkenborg to Speak at Alumni Center Tonight

Writer Verlyn Klinkenborg will speak at the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center tonight, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. The event, "An Evening with Verlyn Klinkenborg," is free and open to the public. A reception will follow at 8:30 p.m.

Klinkenborg's full length works include Making Hay (1986), The Last Fine Time (1991), and The Rural Life (2003). His work has also appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Audubon, GQ, Martha Stewart Living, The New York Times Magazine, and others. He has taught literature and creative writing at Fordham University, St. Olaf College, Bennington College and Harvard University. Klinkenborg is a recipient of the 1991 Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writer's Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

Klinkenborg's event is sponsored by The New York Times, UNO's Dr. C. C. and Mabel L. Criss Library, Newspapers in Curricula at UNO, and is being presented in conjunction with University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Center for Great Plains Studies' 34th Annual Symposium, "Death, Murder, and Mayhem: Stories of Violence and Healing on the Plains" hosted this year in Omaha by UNO's Department of English and the Center for Great Plains Studies.

For more information, contact Joe Price, coordinator, Department of English, at 554.3476.

Religious Studies Hosts Awards Banquet

The Religious Studies program honored several individuals at its annual honors and awards banquet April 9 at the Milo Bail Student Center.

Dawn Staszko received the distinguished alumna award. Staszko graduated cum laude in 2005 with a bachelor of general studies degree. She works with cancer patients teaching meditation and movement therapy at various medical institutions in Omaha. She has used her degree in religious studies to meet the various spiritual needs of the diverse Omaha population, and plans to pursue a master's degree.

Mandy Randall received the Dale Stover Scholarship. David Swensen was named the Ron Burke Scholar. Blythe Fox and Humaira Qasimyar received the Ron Burke Memorial Scholarships. The students will receive their scholarships for the 2008-09 academic year.

Lindsay Newton was recognized as the Religious Studies Honor Student of the Year. The Anne Batchelder Family was also recognized for their support of the Bethsaida Excavation Project during the evening's program.

Kindles Available at Criss Library

Kindles are now available at Criss Library. The wireless, portable device from Amazon has instant downloading access to more than 100,000 books.

"We will offer Kindles as a much faster alternative to inter-library loans," said Library Dean Steve Shorb. "If you need a book that is not in our collection, we can download it wirelessly in less than three minutes, and then have immediate access to the material you need."

The Kindle is simple to use - no cables, computer or wires are needed. The lightweight, portable devices can hold more than 200 titles.

"Don't be surprised if the Kindle you borrow has not only your requested book, but many others as well," Shorb said.

Patrons interested in exploring what Kindles have to offer, can learn more at the library circulation desk.

myMail Unavailable on April 20

Information Technology Services (ITS) has scheduled normal equipment and software maintenance for Sunday, April 20. The myMail (Lotus Notes) server will be unavailable from 6 a.m. to noon that day to upgrade to Version 7.0.3. This upgrade will fix known software issues, including errors related to the myMail calendar and Central Daylight Time.

The central daylight calendar issues have caused individual calendars to be ahead by one hour. If Lotus Notes users continue to experience this after Sunday's maintenance, they can contact ITS Customer Services at 554.4357 or

Access to UNO e-mail and the antispam program will be limited and intermittent during this time. This upgrade will not affect the Lotus Notes client software installed on computers.

For questions or concerns with this scheduled upgrade, contact ITS Customer Services.

UNO Study Abroad Presentation April 21

Faculty and advisors are invited to attend a presentation on Study Abroad from the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) and UNO Study Abroad on Monday, April 21. It will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Jenkins Room.

CIEE is a leading U.S. nongovernmental international education organization in its 61st year of operation. CIEE creates and administers programs that allow students and educators to study and teach abroad. With more than 95 programs in 30 host countries, UNO students continue to take advantage of CIEE programs.

For more information, contact Krista Cupich, International Studies and Programs, at 554.2293.

Maverick Village Open House Set for April 22

Maverick Village, UNO's first owned and operated residential facility, will host an open house for faculty and staff on Tuesday, April 22, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

"We encourage faculty and staff to stop by and tour a residential unit and obtain more information about the village," said Bill Pickett, managing director of residence life.

Maverick Village is located next to University Village. Balloons will be placed at the entrance, located along the side fence.

For more information, contact Maverick Village staff at 554.4000.

UNO Art Gallery Presents Spring Thesis Exhibition

The UNO Art Gallery will present the work of five UNO BFA thesis candidates in the "Spring 2008 Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition." The exhibition runs through Friday, May 2. Read more.

Summer and Fall Book Orders Due to Bookstore

The UNO Bookstore staff would like to remind faculty to turn in summer and fall book orders as soon as possible.

"By turning in book orders early, the Bookstore is able to save students money by buying back books and searching for used textbooks," said Scott Dickey, manager of course materials.

For questions about book orders, contact Dickey at 554.2541 or

Weight Watchers On Campus Openings Still Available

Openings remain available for the Weight Watchers on Campus program. All meetings are held weekly in 213 Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Building. The next meeting is set for this Friday, April 18, starting at 12:15 p.m.

Advantages of the "On Campus" meetings are:
- No registration fee;
- Fits busy schedules;
- Great support from co-workers;
- Receive healthful recipes;
- Lifestyle enhancing tips; and
- Learn time-saving skills.

The cost of the 15-week session is $180. A three-part payment plan is available, and payments will be collected at the open house meeting. Payments can be made by cash, check or credit card in three installments of $60.

For details or to join, contact Jessica Dozark, a fitness/wellness graduate student, at 554.3917 or

Workshop on Effectively Transitioning Freshmen to College April 22

The UNO Center for Faculty Development and Department of History will present a workshop on "Say What? Effectively Transitioning Freshmen to College Success" Tuesday, April 22, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Chancellor's Room.

Oscar E. Lansen, undergraduate program coordinator and honors director at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, will present.

This interactive workshop will:
- Introduce participants to new ideas on how to improve student note-taking;
- Show faculty ways to get students more involved in thinking about information related to history;
- Discuss the use of case studies to help students understand how to take better notes; and
- Include additional ideas for faculty to enrich and facilitate lectures.

Geared primarily to those teaching survey lecture courses, this interactive workshop equips participants with tools and course designs that remediate student skill deficiencies, as well as enhance course coherence and student participation. This session is also suitable to those teaching upper level or small lectures.

To register, contact the UNO Center for Faculty Development, 220 Arts and Sciences Hall, at 554.2427 or Refreshments will be provided.

Political Science and Film Streams to Screen Free Movies This Month

Americans live in a democracy, but how often do they think about what democracy is? The UNO Department of Political Science and NET Television & Radio invite members from the campus community to two remaining free screenings of films that help everyone think more deeply about their place in America.

VOTE DEMOCRACY! encourages everyone – particularly young Americans and new voters – to get involved in the democratic process. The Tuesday screenings begin at 6 p.m., and are free and open to the public. Both movies will be shown at Film Streams, 1340 Webster St.

The films are:

April 22
"Iron Ladies of Liberia"
Followed by a panel discussion led by UNO's Gender & Global Politics expert, Jody Neathery-Castro

April 29
"An Unreasonable Man"
Followed by a panel discussion led by UNO's American Politics expert, Loree Bykerk

For more information, contact Mary Dunn, Political Science Department, at 554.2624.

Center for Faculty Development to Host Creating "Synergy" Classes

The Center for Faculty Development will present "Creating 'Synergy' Classes: Interdisciplinary Teaching by Linking Classes Across Departments" on Wednesday, April 23, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center State Room.

The session will explore the benefits of interdisciplinary teaching by creating class combinations. Connect history and literature, mathematics and music, physics and philosophy, political science and economics combinations.

UNO's Synergy Project is a university-wide initiative to encourage connections between disciplines by forming "linked classes." This workshop is open to all university faculty.

Presenters will include Matthew Marx, English Department, coordinator of The Synergy Project, and Fred Amis, History Department, founder of the project.

Benefits to teaching ‘Synergy' classes include:
- These classes attract the best and brightest students.
- Faculty re-energize their classes by teaching their subjects in new and interesting ways.
- Faculty teach with other dedicated professors.
- Interdisciplinary study is highly encouraged in the modern university setting and is a marketable attribute.
- Grants of $2,500 per participating instructor are available to encourage the development of these courses.

All participants are invited to bring a lunch. Refreshments will be served. To register, contact the Center for Faculty Development (220 Arts and Sciences Hall) at 554.2427 or For more information go to For additional questions, contact Marx at

Student Lunch & Learn on PowerPoint Slides

The UNO Speech Center is sponsoring a free student workshop on "Creating Visual Aids that Work: Designing Effective PowerPoint Slides" Wednesday, April 23, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Council Room.

Students are invited to learn more about how visual aids enhance presentation skills; PowerPoint and how to use it; and how to avoid common visual aid pitfalls and mistakes. Free pizza and pop will be provided.

To register, contact a consultant at the Speech Consulting Center at 554.3201 or Space is limited so students must register in advance.

Second Life Topic of April 25 Discussion at PKI

The College of Information Science and Technology (IS&T) at UNO will host a roundtable discussion later this month on the potential of Second Life in teaching, research and practice. Second Life is a 3D virtual world with capabilities that can be used by "residents" to socialize, connect, communicate and create objects and artifacts.

The free event begins 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 25 at the Peter Kiewit Institute (PKI), Room 164. Read more.

COS Demonstration Planned for Grant-Writers

The next Community of Science (COS) open lab demonstration will take place on Friday, April 25, at 2 p.m. in 204 Criss Library.

The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (SPR) hosts these monthly hour-long sessions to demonstrate the COS online "finding funding" resources available to faculty, professional staff and graduate students who are planning to write grant proposals during this academic year. Reservations are not required.

For more information, contact Nancy Schlesiger, assistant director of SPR, at 554.2286.

Academic Regalia Notice for May 9 Commencement

Commencement for May graduates will take place at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 9, at Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capitol Ave. Faculty members are asked to assemble no later than 1:30 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall.

Faculty planning to attend commencement should order their academic regalia from the Bookstore, 554.2336, by Friday, April 25.