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the Big Picture


An Archway of Blossoms

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

Spring time blossoms were in full bloom Thursday (4-23) between UNO's Strauss Performing Arts Center and the Milo Bail Student Center.

the Big Picture


Up, Up and Away

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

Chancellor John Christensen and children from UNO's Child Care Center added some color to the sky Tuesday (4-21) morning as they released balloons as part of the Week of the Young Child 2009. The national event was established to focus public attention on the rights and needs of young children.

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Studying, Striving to Serve

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

As a School of Public Administration graduate student, Kenny McMorris enjoys working with UNO professors who offer what he calls "real world experience." As executive director of 100 Black Men of Omaha, McMorris holds close the success of Omaha's African American youth.

100 Black Men of Omaha



McGinnis Named Executive Director of PKI

University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken has named Michael L. McGinnis as executive director of The University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute. McGinnis is currently the executive director of the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) at Old Dominion University.

Prior to leading the VMASC, McGinnis served as head of the Department of Systems Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He is a graduate of West Point and served in the military for 29 years, retiring with the rank of brigadier general. Read more.

gmav Student E-mail Changeover Set for Aug. 17

The UNO student e-mail system will change to gmav on Monday, Aug. 17. Powered by Google, gmav replaces Lotus Notes 8.

While students reported the Web version of Lotus Notes 8 did not meet their needs, the Google Apps system was recommended by Information Technology Services (ITS) and endorsed by Student Government.

Because changes to faculty and staff e-mail would require a change in the university-wide Lotus Notes contract, Lotus Notes 8 will remain the campus e-mail solution for faculty and staff for the foreseeable future. The University of Nebraska system has, however, indicated a willingness to evaluate and potentially implement another e-mail system after the completion of the new Student Information System implementation.

During the summer, gmav accounts will be created for all new and current UNO students. On August 17, at 7 a.m., gmav e-mail will officially replace myMail (Lotus Notes) e-mail for students. To reduce confusion, all current student user names, passwords and e-mail addresses will remain the same.

For more information about the gmav e-mail implementation, visit

Student Mentoring Program Competition April 28

More than 340 middle school and high school students will participate in a competition sponsored by The University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute Student Mentoring Program (SMP). The event is open to the public and will take place Tuesday, April 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Scott Conference Center, 6450 Pine St.

Following the competition, student projects will be on display from 6 to 7 p.m. The awards ceremony starts at 7 p.m., and Jeff Beals from Coldwell Banker Commercial will give the keynote address. Prizes include one $1,000 award and five $250 awards in each division. In addition, three $1,000 scholarship awards will be given.

In its 15 years of existence, more than 4,000 students have participated in the SMP, which aims to stimulate secondary school students' interest and excitement in engineering, architecture and related sciences.

For more information, visit or call Roy Singleton at 554.2098.

Facilities Management and Planning Launches New Online Project Request Form

Facilities Management and Planning (FMP) has implemented a new online Construction Cost Estimating request form. The tool can be used by UNO departments to request consultation from an FMP representative on construction, renovations, office furniture replacement or other project planning needs.

To view the form, which is still in its Beta version, visit For more information, contact Cameron Tysor at 554.2334.

Fritz Retirement Reception May 15

After 14 years of service as a secretary in the Testing Center, Sheryl Fritz will retire on Friday, May 15. The university community is invited to attend a retirement reception in her honor that afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Chancellor's Room.

For more information, contact Marion Fortin-Wavra at 554.4800.

Project Interfaith to Host Professional Care Giving Training May 6

Project Interfaith, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the College of Public Affairs and Community Service, will host a daylong training workshop on care giving Wednesday, May 6. The training costs $40 and will take place from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Visiting Nurse Association, 12565 West Center Rd.

This training is open to all professional care givers, including nurses, social workers, doctors, chaplains, activity directors, health aides, administrators and others in the medical and care giving professions. Continuing education credits are available for participants.

Individuals who attend the training will learn:
- To explore their own views about religion and identity and understand how these views may impact their interactions with clients;
- To distinguish when and how religion and religious materials can be used in a care giving facility and what religious accommodations are allowed;
- About the basic beliefs, demographics and organization of religious communities in the Omaha metropolitan area;
- About best practices for making an organization or facility inclusive of religious diversity; and
- About print and Web-based resources and contacts.

Respite Resource Center, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and the Creighton University Health Sciences Library are co-sponsoring the workshop.

To register or for more information, contact Project Interfaith at 402.933.4647 or

Intercampus Envelopes Available from Mail Services

Mail Services has a supply of intercampus envelopes available for departmental use. To receive some envelopes, stop by Mail Services in 106 Eppley Administration Building or call 554.2337.

Retirement Reception Today for Deffenbacher

A retirement reception will take place today, April 27, for Kenneth Deffenbacher, professor and chairperson of the Department of Psychology. The campus community can help celebrate Dr. Deffenbacher's more than 40-year career at UNO from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Chancellor's Room.

For more information, call 554.2581.

The Crop to Host Poetry Reading April 28 in the MBSC

In conjunction with National Poetry Month, the Writer's Workshop student organization, The Crop, will sponsor a poetry reading Tuesday, April 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Students and faculty are invited to read works by their favorite published poets in the Milo Bail Student Center Fireside Lounge.

To reserve a reading time slot, contact Cat Dixon at

"Innovations in Online Student Retention" Session Set for April 29

The Division of Continuing Studies will host a webcast on "Innovations in Online Student Retention" Wednesday, April 29, from 12:45 to 2:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Chancellor's Room. Refreshments will be provided.

The webcast speakers include David Cillay, associate dean of Instruction and Technology at Washington State University; Jurgen Hilke, director of Distance Learning at Frederick Community College; and Vernon Smith, dean of Instruction at Rio Salado College.

The session will investigate;
- How online courses and programs lose students;
- What can be done to prevent that attrition; and
- Roles of instructors and student support staff in improving retention.

The webcast is open to all faculty and staff, and no R.S.V.P. is required. For more information, contact Dave Cassiday at 554.4833 or

Graduation Celebration for Young Alumni Set for April 30

Congrats upcoming graduates! UNO Young Alumni members will recognize the commencement of the university's first class of 2009 with a celebration. The group, a UNO Alumni Association affiliate, will meet Thursday, April 30, from 6 to 9 p.m. at McKenna's, 7425 Pacific St.

All UNO graduates under the age of 40 are welcome to join the free celebration, which will feature networking opportunities, heavy appetizers, beverages and door prizes.

For more information, contact Sheila King at 554.4802 or visit

Submissions Sought for Scientific Poster Session

University researchers have an opportunity to submit their non-proprietary scientific findings at the poster session during the 11th Annual National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Conference. Hosted by the Nebraska Business Development Center, the event will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, June 30-July 1, at Qwest Center Omaha.

The goals of the poster session are to:
- Create opportunities for SBIR/STTR awardees and university researchers to present their research and technologies to their peers;
- Foster discussions that may lead to partnerships and collaborations;
- Identify potential research or business partners; and
- Showcase university technologies that have the potential for commercialization.

The submission deadline is Friday, May 1. The notification of poster selection will take place Friday, May 15. For more information, including abstract requirements, visit the conference Web site at or contact Lisa Tedesco at 554.2521.

Pathways to Harmony Program Offered May 22

The next Pathways to Harmony program will take place Friday, May 22, from 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Dodge Room. The professional development program brings students, faculty and staff together to explore diversity.

"We are excited about presenting updated material that keeps the campus focused on issues of diversity," said Sharon Ulmar, associate director and director of Equal Employment Opportunity with Human Resources. "It will help to enhance respectful relationships and create an open and constructive dialogue about diversity on the UNO campus."

To register, call Kate Clark at 554.2896 or send an e-mail to Seating is limited.

Maverick Watch

Support the Mavericks by attending their home events. To view upcoming athletic events, click on this link. For more information about UNO Athletics, visit the Web at