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Ted Pruitt Jr.

March Employee of the Month: Ted Pruitt Jr.

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

Ted Pruitt Jr., assistant director of maintenance with Maverick Village, takes his job seriously and has a quick turnaround time for maintenance calls, including emergencies. Colleagues say his ability to work well with units across campus enhances his effectiveness.

"In his daily tasks, Ted does a great job responding to issues and work orders for our students," a co-worker wrote. "Ted has worked hard to build strong relationships with other departments at UNO and understands the value of having those relationships as part of a team environment."

In March of 2001, Pruitt joined UNO as a facility operator I. He then served as a facility operator II before being promoted to his current post last July.

Pruitt is responsible for numerous tasks, including organizing the maintenance shop and storage areas, meeting with contractors to resolve warranty issues, assigning duties and checking work for community service workers, and working with staff members to improve procedures, methods and standards.

He enjoys the opportunities and flexibility his position provides. Additionally, Pruitt appreciates the job affirmation of the Employee of the Month recognition.

"I am learning more about how to manage a maintenance shop while still retaining the ability to take classes towards completing a degree," he said. "Everyone needs to know that what they are doing is appreciated by their peers; acceptance makes people feel important. I find it encouraging knowing that the people around me are pleased with who I am and what I have been doing."

(Pictured above: UNO Chancellor John Christensen and Pruitt.)

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UNO Needs Ambassadors for 2009-2010

In this short audio segment, Recruitment Services' Chris Liewer explains the UNO Ambassador Program. Applications to become one of the dozen Ambassadors are due at the end of this week. For more information, go to .



Immigration Discussion to be Simulcast Tonight

The 2008-09 E.N. Thompson Lectures on World Issues continues tonight, March 25, with a discussion on illegal immigration with Michael Olivas and Vernon Briggs at the Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln.

The lecture simulcast starts at 7 p.m. in UNO's Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom, in addition to remote sites in Scottsbluff, North Platte, Kearney, Columbus and Wayne. Read more.

"Night Before Nationals" Is Tonight

The UNO Forensics team will host their annual showcase event – Night Before Nationals – this evening, March 25.

It will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Eppley Administration Building. There is no admission and refreshments will be provided.

"This is an excellent opportunity to see UNO students perform their nationally-qualified pieces," said Abbie Syrek, director of forensics with the School of Communication.

Students will present from the following categories:


- Informative;

- Persuasive; and

- After-Dinner Speaker.

Interpretations of literature

- Poetry;

- Prose;

- Drama; and

- Duo.

For more information, contact Syrek at or 554.3952.

Strauss Performing Arts Center Events This Week

The sounds of music will emanate from the Strauss Performing Arts Center (PAC) Recital Hall this week in conjunction with the following events.

On Saturday, March 28, David Low, professor of music, is heading up the "String Olympics" -- a day-long skills and general fun event for younger string players.  This is not an audience participation event, and is only open to the registered elementary through middle school participants.

UNO's guitar studio, headed by music instructor Hadley Heavin, will present a recital of guitar ensembles at the Strauss Recital Hall on Sunday, March 29, at 6 p.m.  Admission is free.

For more information, contact Cindy Bassett at 554.3427 or

Career-Development Workshop Set for March 31

Professionals from various communication fields will offer advice at a career-development workshop on Tuesday, March 31, in the Dodge Room of the Milo Bail Student Center.

"How to Launch Careers in Tough Times" will provide students an opportunity to talk one-on-one or in small groups with professionals from advertising, event planning, print and online media, public relations, television, radio, and training and development. The session will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Students will hear advice on writing resumes, interviewing and creating portfolios. They may bring resumes and portfolios to be critiqued. The workshop is designed like an open house where students can come and go as they please.

Participating professionals:

- Tom Becka, radio personality, KFAB-AM

- Valerie Cutshall, special sections editor, Suburban Newspapers

- Laurie Dutcher, reporter/photographer, NTV in Kearney

- Jim Fagin, deputy director of communications for Sen. Ben Nelson

- Greg Fisher, newscast director, KPTM-TV

- Kristine Gerber, owner, Eventive Marketing

- Patricia Harrold, president and owner, Career Life and Mentoring

- Adam Jacobs, producer, WOWT-TV

- Sarah Julius, corporate employee development trainer, WEST Corp.

- Gary Koenig, copywriter and advertising executive, Koenig Marketing

- Rusty Lord, meteorologist, WOWT-TV

- Jen Peterson, survey design editor, Gallup

- Caitlin Roth, meteorologist, WOWT-TV

- Stacy Seier, marketing and volunteer coordinator, Youth Emergency Services

- Susan Suggs, marketing/communications director, Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture

- Molly Susemihl, senior media buyer, Vente Inc.

- Dave Webster, graphic designer and agency owner, Webster Design Associates

- Randa Zalman, senior account supervisor, Redstone Communications

Michelle Perone, director of the UNO Career Center, will attend to critique resumes and cover letters. The workshop is sponsored by the UNO School of Communication and its student organizations -- AD Club, National Broadcasting Society and Public Relations Student Society of America.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Sherrie Wilson at 554.3677 or

Budget Forum Is March 26

UNO Chancellor John Christensen will host and lead a campus forum focused on the university budget Thursday, March 26, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom. All members of the campus community - faculty, staff and students - are welcome to attend.

This will be the second forum in an ongoing series of informational sessions on the 2009-2010 budget.  The first took place in January.  This forum will provide an update of fiscal issues, a refined timeline regarding the state economic forecast and activities of the campus Budget Advisory Task Force.  Senior Vice Chancellor Terry Hynes and Vice Chancellor Bill Conley lead the task force, and both will take part in the forum.

"It's vitally important to have this kind of discussion, and the next forum will continue our conversation about our budget," Dr. Christensen said. " While we know we face challenges, the opportunity to come together and communicate our questions and concerns has great value.  I would encourage everyone who can attend to come to this session."

UNO Writers Series Begins March 26 at Writing Center

The UNO Writing Center's new Writing Series will highlight the works of UNO students and alumni this semester.

The first Writers Series event will take place on Thursday, March 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the Writing Center, 150 Arts and Sciences Hall. It will feature three UNO student authors, including Travis Heermann, a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of English, who will read from his 2009 novel Heart of the Ronin. Publisher's Weekly calls this first volume of Heermann's trilogy "A fusion of historical fiction and adventure fantasy. . . a page-turning folkloric narrative of epic proportions."   All UNO students, faculty and staff are invited to attend.

For information, contact the UNO Writing Center 554.2946 or

UNO Women's Walk Popcorn Fundraiser

Vic's Popcorn has partnered with the UNO Women's Walk to kick off fundraising efforts before the Saturday, April 18, walk for women's athletics.

As part of the fundraising promotion, a three-gallon UNO Maverick popcorn canister is for sale.  Prices are $31 for three flavors (caramel, cheese and white); and $27 for gourmet white. If bought through UNO before Friday, March 27, $10 from each canister will go to the UNO Women's Walk fund. Monies raised go toward scholarships for women athletes. To view the canister, click on this link.

Canisters will be delivered to campus addresses at no additional charge. To reserve a canister, contact Geri Backopra at 554.2506 or  Checks should be made payable to the "UNO Women's Walk."

Asian Heritage Month Celebration Continues This Week

UNO will celebrate Asian heritage with a wide variety of events through Thursday, April 9.  Music, lectures and a film screening are some of the activities, most of which are free and open to the public.

The event schedule:

- Sunday, March 29
Asian Cultural Night (performances from Asia)
6 p.m.
Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) Ballroom

- Wednesday, April 1
Lecture by Maorong Jiang, Creighton University
MBSC Gallery Room

- Tuesday, April 7
Lecture by Peter Szto, School of Social Work
12:30 p.m.
MBSC Dodge Room

- Wednesday, April 8
"Harakiri" film screening with Julien Fielding, Religious Studies Program
5 p.m.
Eppley Administration Building Auditorium

- Thursday, April 9
Lecture by Yong Shi, Department of Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis
11:30 a.m.
MBSC Chancellor's Room

Event sponsors include Student Organizations and Leadership Programs, International Student Services, the American Multicultural Students Agency and the Asian Students Association. 

For more information, call 554.2711.

Brennan Institute Labor Conference Set for April 4 at UNO

The William Brennan Institute for Labor Studies at UNO will host the 10th annual Labor Community Conference Saturday, April 4. "Promoting the General Welfare" is the event's title and overarching theme.

The daylong conference runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at UNO's Milo Bail Student Center, third floor. Read more.

William Gerbracht Memorial Scholarship

The application deadline for the William Gerbracht Memorial Scholarship is Wednesday, April 1.  The scholarship is for dependents of UNO faculty/staff who are graduating high school seniors and will be incoming freshmen at UNO for the 2009-2010 academic year. 

The scholarship covers full tuition (after use of the employee dependent scholarship) and may be renewed for up to three years.  If the student applicant has not filed the on-line general scholarship application, click on this link for the form.

A memo from the faculty/staff member stating the student is his/her dependent must also be sent to the Office of Financial Aid for the student to be considered for this scholarship.  For more information, contact Jean Phillips at or 554.2487.


Applications Sought Paul L. Beck Memorial Faculty/Staff Scholarships

The Faculty Senate is now accepting applications for the Paul L. Beck Memorial Faculty/Staff Scholarships. Both residents and non-residents may apply. Four scholarships will be awarded:

- One $900 full-time undergraduate scholarship;

- One $450 part-time undergraduate scholarship;

- One $900 full-time graduate scholarship; and  

- One $450 part-time graduate scholarship.

Information on the scholarship history, criteria, application process and the application form can found on the Faculty Senate's Web site at

Applications are also available at the Financial Aid Office, 103 Eppley Administration Building, or the Faculty Senate Office, 105 Arts and Sciences Hall. The application deadline is Friday, April 10.

Classes for Certificate in Fundraising Management Offered

UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) has set its spring 2009 schedule of courses for the Certificate in Fundraising Management. This certificate program provides in-depth training in vital areas of fundraising.

CPACS offers the program, which is co-sponsored by the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands, Omaha Community Foundation and the United Way of the Midlands.

Registration deadline for each class is one week prior to the start of that class. They are:

- Strategic Planning, April 8-9;

- Capital Campaigns, April 16-17;

- Grant Writing, April 23-24;

- Public Relations and Marketing, May 6-7; and

- Board Development, May 13-14.

Classes are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and held at the Omaha Home for Boys, 4343 N. 52nd St. (52nd and Ames St.). The cost is $249 per course and includes all class materials, refreshments, lunch and parking.

For more information or to register for a course, contact Melanie Kiper at 554.2133 or or visit the Web site at

Surplus Property Available

Surplus property has furniture available for department use.

Items include:

- Two and four drawer file cabinets;

- Bookcases;

- Desks;

- Five foot whiteboards; and

- Small bulletin boards.

All items are available for viewing at Mail Services, 106 Eppley Administration Building. To set up a viewing appointment, call Tom Feldman at 554.2222.

"Is the Print Newspaper Dead?" Discussion Set for April 16

Faculty can come and have an informal discussion with colleagues from across the campus about the current crisis in print newspaper publishing. "Is the Print Newspaper Dead?" discussion will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, at the Dundee Dell, 50th and Underwood St.

Faculty can bring copies of any articles regarding the problems with newspapers and enjoy the casual atmosphere. The session starts at 4:30 p.m. but attendees can come by anytime.

Items or discussion will include:

- As newspapers across the country shrink, close, or move to the Internet, should publishers, journalists and readers be concerned?

- Does it make any difference to faculty or UNO students if all the news that is fit to print is not printed but only posted?

- Does a university faculty member have a responsibility to respond to this crisis?

For more information e-mail