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April Employee of the Month: Geri Backora

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

Geri Backora, clerical assistant III with Athletics, recently was named Employee of the Month for her work ethic and organization.

Backora works with a variety of coaches, in addition to three administrators, and said her days are never the same.  She enjoys the variety and excitement her position provides. 

In her nomination, a colleague wrote, "She is very creative and has great ideas to offer.  With her years of experience here, she is a great resource for many of her co-workers.  Geri is always pleasant and fun to work with, and her work ethic is amazing."

(Pictured above:  Backora with UNO Chancellor John Christensen.)

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Mavericks End Home Season With Two Wins

The 11th-ranked UNO softball team finished its home slate with two wins against North Central Conference rival Augustana Wednesday, April 16 at Claussen-Westgate Field. The Mavericks slugged their way to a 9-1 win in the first game and took the nightcap 6-2. Between games, the five Maverick seniors, Brianna Cataudella, Leslie Svoboda, Jenifer McDowell, Chanel Reaves and Alison Jergenson, were honored. UNO (34-6, NCC 6-0) finishes conference play with two road doubleheaders this weekend against St. Cloud State and Minnesota-Duluth.

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Lucas Stritt and Michaella Lowens

Carter Foundation Awards Two Student Grants

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

Two Service Learning Academy graduate students have received $1,000 grants from the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Foundation. The Carter Academic Service Entrepreneur grants fund partnerships between UNO students and community nonprofit partners to accomplish projects to improve the community.

Michaella Lowens organized 'Bridging Corrections and Communities,' an April 12 networking forum at Omaha's First Christian Church for representatives of organizations offering services to inmates and members of their families and friends. Her advisor is Patty Carlson in the School of Social Work.

Lucas Stritt worked with the Hope Center for Kids to create a sustaining program that offers employment skills and opportunities for children living in north Omaha. The Hope Center for Kids provides afterschool programs that foster social skills, physical training, emotional awareness and spiritual understanding. His advisor is Kevin Naylor of Academic and Student Affairs.

Service Learning Academy

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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.

"Consider This" to Feature New Butterfly and Insect Pavilion

This week's edition of "Consider This" will discuss the past, present and future of The Henry Doorly Zoo, along with its newest attraction - the Butterfly and Insect Pavilion. Program host Cathy Wyatt will speak with Lee Simmons, zoo director; Calvin Sisson, zoo foundation director; and Maria Knutson, zoo docent.

Founded in 1894 by the city of Omaha, Riverview Park featured more than 120 animals. Since then, the park has transformed into today's Henry Doorly Zoo - a world-class tourist attraction.

NET will broadcast "Consider This" on NET1 Sunday, April 20, at 11:30 a.m. (CT).

NET2 will telecast "Consider This" today, April 18, and Tuesday, April 22, at 12:30 p.m. (CT).

"Consider This" is a production of UNO Television. It also airs on the Knowledge Network of Greater Omaha. For a list of days and times, visit the Web at Archived editions of the program are available on the Web at

Ancient Japanese Lecture April 24 at UNO

Yongduk Kim, professor emeritus from Sogang University (South Korea), will speak about three Japanese colonies Thursday, April 24, at UNO. His talk - "The Hidden History of Ancient Japan: The Story of the Three Colonies of Paekche Royal Families in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyushu in the Fourth Century" - will begin at 7 p.m. in 148 Arts and Sciences Hall.

The lecture will highlight the interaction between ancient Korea and Japan from 200 to 500 A.D. It is free and open to the public.

The event is presented under the direction of Halla Kim, associate professor of philosophy at UNO.

For more information, call 554.3934 or send an e-mail to

UNO to Host Puzzle Maker April 25

The UNO Dual Enrollment Program will host puzzle writer and author Terry Stickels Friday, April 25.

The presentation, "PuzzlePower! Keeping Your Brain Young," focuses on Stickels' lifelong dedication to the improvement of memory by stimulating mental flexibility and creative problem solving skills. The presentation will be held in the Centennial Room of the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center from 11 a.m. to noon. The event is free and open to the public. Read more.

Union Pacific to Hold April 22 Earth Day Fair

Union Pacific Railroad will host an Earth Day Fair Tuesday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Union Pacific Center, 1400 Douglas St. All UNO employees and students, along with their friends and families, are invited to participate.

More than 30 environmental exhibitors will be on hand to provide eco-friendly tips and solutions. Attendees also have the chance to win a $500 Trek bicycle from Bike Rack Cycling and Fitness.

For more information, contact Karen Fitzgerald, environmental engineer, at 544.2453 or

23rd Annual Diet Pepsi/UNO Women's Walk April 19

More than 1,000 walkers have registered for the 23rd annual Diet Pepsi/UNO Women's Walk this Saturday, April 19, on the UNO campus. The event is the primary fundraiser for women's athletic scholarships and, during its 22-year history, has raised more than $3 million.

Kate Dodge is the chairman of this year's walk, which is expected to raise more than $300,000.

This year's schedule:

8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
- Check-in at Sapp Fieldhouse
- Free massages

9:30 to 10 a.m.
- Welcome and announcements

10 a.m.
- Walk begins

For more information, call Roxie Freeman, Women's Walk secretary, at 554.2533.

UNO to Host Regional Muslim Conference April 19

The UNO Religious Studies Program and Center for Islamic Studies will host "Diversity, Identity and Difference" Saturday, April 19, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This is the first time the Association of Muslim Social Scientists of North American Regional Conference will be held at UNO. Read more.

myMail Unavailable April 20

Information Technology Services (ITS) has scheduled regular 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 more information about the upgrade, contact ITS Customer Services.

French Film Festival Continues with "Viva Laldgèrie" April 20

Thanks to a grant from the French-American Cultural Exchange (FACE), the UNO community has received a taste of what only few could see on the big screen. The next film screening in the campus French Film Series, "Viva Laldgèrie," is Sunday, April 20. As with previous movies in the series, the event is free and open to the public.

"Viva Laldgèrie" is an Algerian movie that examines the lives of four young women in Algiers today. The movie is rated R. Read more.

Workshop on Transitioning Freshmen to College April 22

The UNO Center for Faculty Development and Department of History will present "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 lead the session.

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.

IS&T to Host Information Assurance Roundtable April 23

The UNO College of Information Science and Technology will host a roundtable discussion titled "Hard Problems and New Opportunities in Information Assurance" Wednesday, April 23.

Roger Schell, co-founder and president of Aesec Corporation, will lead the discussion at The University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute (PKI) from noon to 1:15 p.m. The 279 PKI location is subject to change based on anticipated attendance. Watch eNotes for details.

Pizza and beverages will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis at noon. R.S.V.P. to Cheryl Christeansen, staff assistant, at 554.230 or, by Monday, April 21.

Submissions Sought for UNO Calendar of Events

Want to increase attendance at a campus activity? Try promoting it with the online UNO Calendar of Events.

Among other events, the calendar ( lists the final film screening in the Philosophy Film Series. "The Man with Two Brains" is planned for Wednesday, April 23, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. in 10A Roskens Hall.

"Please make submitting items to the calendar a regular part of your work routine," said Beverly Newsam, public relations technician in University Relations and Calendar of Events administrator. "The calendar can be a useful tool for the campus and community, if it's utilized."

Calendar items must be submitted electronically through the Calendar of Events Web site ( and include a contact name, phone number and e-mail address.Categories for submissions include athletics, exhibitions, films, lectures, performances and miscellaneous.

To submit an item to the UNO Calendar of Events, follow the instructions below. All submissions are edited by University Relations for grammar and spelling before they are posted. Usually, events show up on the calendar within 24 hours of their submission.

(Note: The process may vary slightly, depending on the Internet browser used.)
1. Go to
2. Click on the "Logon" button.
3. Enter "post" in the "Username" box and "event" in the "Password" box.
4. Click on the "Update Event" button to access a submission form.
5. Fill out the form for the event you are submitting.
6. Click the "Submit event for approval" button when done.
7. Fill out another form as before if submitting more events.
8. Click "Done" when finished submitting events.
9. To log off, click "Post." Then, click "Logoff" and "OK."

"It only takes a few minutes to submit events to the calendar, but it is well worth it for everyone," Newsam said. "Those with questions should call University Relations or stop by 108 Eppley Administration Building."

For more information, call 554.2129.

In the News

In the News

- Student Michael Crabb was featured in stories on KETV (ABC 7) and WOWT (NBC 6) April 14 about the "Just Can It" kick-off event held April 14 at UNO. The event, organized by members of Pi Kappa Alpha and Alpha Xi Delta, raises food for the Salvation Army.

- The April 15 issue of the Omaha World-Herald featured a guest column by Elizabeth Dahl, assistant professor of political science. Dr. Dahl wrote about the People's Republic of China.

- Tom Gouttierre, dean of International Studies and Programs, was interviewed by CBC-TV News (Canada) and KCBS Radio (San Francisco) about possible increases in the level of troops in Afghanistan.

- School of Communication Director Jeremy Lipschultz was quoted in the April 14 issue of the Los Angeles Times about indecency cases filed with the Federal Communications Commission.

- Sue Maher, chair of the English department, was interviewed by the Omaha World-Herald for an article in its April 14 issue about the "Death, Murder and Mayhem" conference this week in Omaha.

- Campus events to prevent underage drinking, organized by student Allyson Schneiderwind, received coverage from the Omaha World-Herald, KPTM (Fox 42) and KETV (ABC 7) earlier this week.

- The Omaha World-Herald profiled construction systems professor Tom Sires and his 14 engineering students at The University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute about a concrete canoe they developed for a competition at the University of Arkansas.

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

- Matthew Harden, assistant professor of music, recently co-authored an article titled "Context Specific Somatic Vocabulary: Conducting Gestures with Musical Outcomes." The article appears in the April 2008 issue of the Choral Journal (the official publication of the American Choral Directors Association), volume 48, (10), p. 21-28.

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

Chamber Orchestra to Perform Final Concert of the Season April 20
UNO's Chamber Orchestra will perform their final concert of the season Sunday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. Tickets are $4 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.

Program works are inspired by Spain, including Rossini's Overture to The Barber of Seville and De Falla's El amor brujo. Christine Beard, professor of flute, will join the orchestra in a performance of Gates' Suite Comique, and Wendy Eaton, mezzo-soprano, will join the orchestra for De Falla's work. Christopher Stanichar, director of orchestral activities, will conduct the program.

For tickets and more information, call 554.3427.

Beatles Music Inspires Music Department Fundraiser
The music of the Beatles has inspired this year's "Rocksemble," a concert by the UNO Percussion Ensemble set for Wednesday, April 23, at 8 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center.

Paired with guest performers, the cast of Yesterday & Today, the UNO Percussion Ensemble, hopes to entertain with songs of yesterday, raise money for instrument purchase and fund a trip to Japan set for next year. Read more.

Mike Vax Big Band Concert at UNO Set for April 30
The UNO Symphonic will host one of the nation's premier jazz groups, the Mike Vax Big Band, on Wednesday, April 30. While on campus, members of the band will present a free workshop open to all UNO students.

"This is a rare opportunity to hear and see just a top-flight big band that is still actively touring and recording," said Pete Madsen, coordinator of UNO Jazz Studies. "Anyone who is a fan of jazz, really of music, should consider coming out to the concert." Read more.

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

Criss Library Observes National Poetry Month
April is national poetry month. To celebrate, Criss Library is encouraging all students, faculty and staff to share their own poetry or favorite poems.

A set of blank panels is located in the center of the library for everyone to post their selected poems for the month. All are invited to post, read and enjoy.

For more information, contact Dani Herzog, promotions and marketing specialist, at 554.3213.

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.