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Nebraskan Wins GOB

Nebraskan, Akshay Rajagopal, is the 2008 winner of the 20th annual National Geographic Bee. The bee, conducted by the National Geographic Society (NGS), is a nationwide event with participants from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories and Department of Defense Dependents Schools. It was developed in 1989 in response to a concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States. See today's eNotes for details on Rajagopal's win.

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Student Stories

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


Increase In Federal Minimum Wage Reminder

On May 25, 2007, President George Bush signed a spending bill that amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) to increase the minimum wage in three steps. The steps enacted were: 

- July 24, 2007 = $5.85 per hour

- July 24, 2008 = $6.55 per hour

- July 24, 2009 = $7.25 per hour

As UNO employees prepare for the 2008-2009 fiscal year, Human Resources staff reminds supervisors of the second step change. Effective Thursday, July 24, the new minimum wage will be $6.55 per hour. No regular UNO employees are below the upcoming minimum wage but some student workers are currently below the new minimum. The Human Resource Office will contact departments with students in that situation.

For additional information, call Human Resources at 554.2321.

Nebraska Student Wins National Geographic Bee

Eleven-year-old Akshay Rajagopal, a sixth grader at Lux Middle School in Lincoln, Neb., won the 2008 National Geographic Bee held May 21 in Washington, D.C.

Rajagopal won first place at the state National Geographic Bee April 4 at UNO and earned a trip to compete at the nationals. Those taking part in the UNO-hosted state bee competition included Nebraska students in grades four through eight who won their respective school bees and earned top scores on a written exam prepared by the National Geographic Society.

This was Rajagopal's first attempt competing in the National Geographic Bee. The contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography.

The winning question was: The urban area of Cochabamba has been in the news in recent years due to protests over the privatization of the municipal water supply and regional autonomy issues. Cochabamba is the third largest conurbation in what country? Answer: Bolivia.

Rajagopal, who won a $25,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, did not miss a single question in the contest's preliminary rounds or the final and championship rounds.

Students representing all 50 states first competed in school and state level competitions with ten finalists, grades four through eight, moving onto the final championship. The ten finalists competed for $50,000 in college scholarship prizes, answering questions on topics spanning meteorology, international affairs, culture and social history.

For more information, contact Ann Barrett at (202) 857.7662 or

Scheduled Electrical Outage Set for June 1-2

A campus electrical outage is scheduled to take place beginning on Sunday, June 1, at 11 p.m. Electrical power will be restored by Monday, June 2, at 6 a.m. The installation of new electrical equipment at the College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) construction site makes this outage necessary.

The areas that will be without power during this period of time include Strauss Performing Arts Center, Criss Library, Durham Science Center, Weber Fine Arts Building, CPACS, Sculpture Lab and the Central Utilities Plant. All other areas will continue to have normal power.

Due to the Central Utility Plant being out of service during the outage, no cooling will be provided to campus. Measures will be taken to provide cooling as soon as the electricity is restored on Monday morning.

For more information, call Larry Morgan at 554.3735.

Participants Sought for UNMC Teen Depression Study

Teens experiencing depression are being recruited by the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) Department of Psychiatry to participate in a research study that uses marketed antidepressant medications.

Adolescent depression symptoms may include:

- often being sad, unhappy or in a bad mood;

- trouble sleeping or staying asleep;

- change in appetite;

- loss of interest or motivation, decreased energy; and

- feelings of emptiness or worthlessness.

Study evaluation and medication are provided at no cost to those that meet eligibility requirements. To participate, adolescents must be 12 to 17 years of age. To learn more about this UNMC clinical research study, call 552.6240 or 552.6241.

University Surplus Auction Set for June 7

University surplus property will go on sale Saturday, June 7, at a public auction.  Standley Auction & Realty Co. will handle the sale, which will take place at the warehouse at 3805 N. 16th St.

The doors will open at 8 a.m., and the auction starts at 10 a.m.  A full listing is available by clicking on this link.

Tornado Evacuation Procedures Reminder

The university's tornado evacuation procedures are available on the Web at They also can be found on pages 122-123 of the 2008 Employee Telephone Directory.

An on-campus system to help facilitate emergency communications has been installed on the Dodge, Pacific and Center locations. Announcements are distributed from Campus Security to building public address systems or speakers located in building corridors. When announcements are made, strobe lights will flash to notify the hearing impaired to seek assistance.

The system is particularly helpful during tornado warnings. The announcement will alert building occupants to seek shelter and, again later, when the warning has ended. The alert system also can be used to announce university closings, confirm evacuations for fire or chemical release, or other emergency conditions.

An off-site text-messaging system provided by e2Campus is also available. The system sends instant alerts directly to registered subscribers' e-mail accounts and mobile phones via SMS text messages. Wireless personal digital assistants and BlackBerry devices can also be used.

The notification system is used to communicate any potential emergency, such as weather warnings, homeland security advisories, snow delay or closing, gas leak notifications and fire or crime watches.

This is a voluntary, 'opt-in' capability that requires individual action to subscribe. For more information or to subscribe visit

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 College of Business Administration groundbreaking ceremony on the Pacific location campus.  The event will be held outdoors Monday, June 2, at 10:30 a.m. near The University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute and Aksarben Village.

"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

- Aviation Professor Brent Bowen was interviewed by the Omaha World-Herald and KETV (ABC 7) on May 22 about the summer travel season.

- KPTM (Fox 42) featured a story on May 27 about a study of Omaha's walking trails recently released by School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation professors Donald Greer, John Noble and Richard Stacy.

- The cover story of the May 1 issue of The Reader featured a profile on Hadley Heavin, music instructor. Heavin plays guitar and competes in professional rodeos.

- The May 22 issue of the Omaha World-Herald featured a guest column by Andrew Jameton, a professor in the College of Public Health at UNO. Dr. Jameton discussed climate change.

- The May 19 issue of The New Yorker published a letter from School of Communication Professor Bruce Johansen. Dr. Johansen reacted to a recent New Yorker article about the New Guinea Highlands tribesmen.

- KPTM (Fox 42) featured an interview on May 23 with Guy Matalon of the Religious Studies Program. Dr. Matalon discussed a fundraiser for the Heartland Holocaust Education Fund.

- Orville Menard, professor emeritus of political science, was quoted in the May 27 issue of the Omaha World-Herald about his Memorial Day presentation at Prospect Hill Cemetery.

- The Omaha Star published an article in its May 15 issue about Larry Menyweather-Woods receiving his doctorate in human services this spring. Dr. Menyweather-Woods is a faculty member in the Department of Black Studies.

- Anna Monardo, chair of the Writer's Workshop, was quoted in the May 19 issue of the Omaha World-Herald. Monardo discussed melancholy's relationship with art.

- The May 18 issue of the Omaha World-Herald featured a guest column by Oliver Pollak, a professor in the Department of History. Dr. Pollak wrote about Hollywood's treatment of mortgage foreclosures. 

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

- Sam Walker, professor emeritus of criminal justice, published "The Neglect of Police Unions: Exploring One of the Most Important Areas of American Policing," in Police Practice and Research (May 2008).

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

AVI8ORS To Perform Dual Benefit Concerts for WWII Veterans Group
The AVI8ORS Ensemble will perform benefit concerts in Omaha and Lincoln to raise funds for Heartland Honor Flight under the direction of the UNO Aviation Institute's Bob Moser. Moser is executive director of The AVI8ORS Ensemble. Proceeds from the performances will provide air and ground transportation to Washington, D.C., for WWII veterans and terminally ill veterans wishing to visit the WWII Memorial and other memorials. 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

The works of Frank Hartranft, adjunct physics instructor and quilter, will be on display this summer. Three of his creations will go on display at a quilt show exhibit at the Sarpy County Historical Museum, 2402 Clay St., in Bellevue, starting Sunday, June 1, through the middle of August.

The Sarpy County Historical Museum is the headquarters for the Sarpy County Historical Society. Exhibits include Native American and pioneer life and a log cabin thought to be the oldest in Nebraska. For hours or exhibit information, call 292.1880.

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.