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December Commencement

photos by Tim Fitzgerald

Almost 950 students graduated Friday (Dec. 18) during UNO's winter commencement ceremony at Omaha's Civic Auditorium. Megan Schuster, an Omaha native, presented the student commencement address. She graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. UNO's associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and dean for Graduate Studies, Deborah Smith-Howell, received the Chancellor's Medal. Lori Hogan, co-founder of Home Instead Senior Care, was honored with the Alumnus Achievement Award.

the Big Picture


Happy Holidays from UNO Young Alumni

photo by Becky Bohan Brown

Mr. and Mrs. Claus took time out of their busy holiday schedules for storytime at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo on Dec. 11. Children and grandchildren of alumni, faculty, staff and students listened to a holiday tale narrated by Santa Claus. Festivities also included holiday crafts and a tour of the Lied Jungle. The UNO Young Alumni hosted the second annual fundraising event.

full press release


John Price

Man Killed by Pheasant

by John Price

The selection that follows is the introduction to the title story from Dr. John Price's memoir Man Killed by Pheasant and Other Kinships, which was published last year. The book won Orion Magazine's '2009 Readers' Choice Award.' Dr. Price is a UNO professor of English and teaches nonfiction writing.

"So I'm driving east of Highway 30, from our new home in Belle Plains to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It's a four-lane, and because I'm an eldest child, I'm driving the speed limit, around fifty-five, sixty miles per hour. I'm listening to Jimi Hendrix cry 'Mary' – imagining, as usual, that I am Jimi Hendrix – when in the far distance I see some brown blobs hovering across the highway: one, then two. By the way they move, low and slow, I suspect they're young pheasants. As I near the place of their crossing . . ." read the entire essay


2009.12.23 - 2010.01.02

UNO Holiday Closedown Reminder

The 2009 holiday closedown begins Thursday, Dec. 24, and concludes Friday, Jan. 1, 2010. Staff returns to work on Monday, Jan. 4. For more information, contact Human Resources at 554.2321 or visit

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ITS Announces Holiday Technology Availability

Information Technology Services (ITS) announces its holiday technology availability:

Hi-Tech Classroom Maintenance
To provide improved security and update software, all computers in ITS Hi-Tech classrooms will be unavailable for use through Monday, Jan. 4. This process will remove any software which was installed over the fall semester. All workstations in these rooms will be shutdown over holiday break for energy savings. Workstations will be brought back on-line Monday, Jan. 4.  At this time faculty may install software in Hi-Tech rooms which will be utilized for the spring semester. For a complete list of Hi-Tech classrooms go to

Lab Hours
All Information Technology Services (ITS) computer labs closed for maintenance on Dec. 18. The labs in the Milo Bail Student Center Elmwood Room and Roskens Hall Room 007 will reopen for business on Monday, Jan. 4. The lab in 104 Durham Science Center, will reopen Monday, Jan. 11. For an update listing of all campus lab hours visit

Blackboard Down Time Date Changed to Jan. 5
To accommodate faculty who may be submitting grades on Monday, Jan. 4, the myBlackboard down time has been changed to Tuesday, Jan. 5. Blackboard will be unavailable on Tuesday from 6 a.m. to noon to apply system patches and minor updates. After Blackboard is brought back on-line, ITS will continue to test and adjust the system, so users may notice intermittent Blackboard availability until noon.

Go Green!  Turn Off Your Computer Over Holiday Break
Information Technology Services (ITS) wants to remind all faculty and staff to turn off their computers over the holiday break.  Microsoft's lead editor, Monte Enbysk, notes that shutting off your computer each night when a person leaves work could save as much as $90 per year. So clicking the "Shut Down" button on a computer at the end of the workday, not only saves energy and therefore money, but also reduces wear on the machine and is added protection against viruses.

Clicker Software Upgrade
During the holiday break the CPS software used for Clickers will be upgraded in all Hi-Tech classrooms and ITS labs. The 5.62 version of the software will improve overall performance and enhance stability. These software enhancements will have little effect on how faculty and students currently use clickers. 

Documentation on how to use the new software is available on the ITS, Academic Partnership for Instruction Web site located at:  The new version of the CPS for Powerpoint plugin can be found and downloaded from Contact ITS Customer Services to arrange for a one-on-one training session or in-class assistance.  ITS also recommends that faculty check the performance of the CPS software in the classroom where they will teach prior to the first class. 

For questions or concerns about any of these items, contact ITS Customer Services at 554.HELP (554.4357) or

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HPER Winter Break Hours Reminder

Click on, to access Campus Recreation's Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Building winter break hours.

Another reminder, the indoor jogging track in HPER is now closed for renovation. It will be closed until construction is complete. Watch eNotes for future updates.

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Criss Library Schedule Changes through Jan. 10

Criss Library hours through Sunday, Jan. 10, are as follows:

Wednesday, Dec. 23
7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 3

Monday through Friday, Jan. 4-8
7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 9
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (regular hours)

Sunday, Jan. 10
Noon to 9 p.m.

Regular library hours will resume at 7 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 11.

For a complete schedule of library hours, visit

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Payroll Pay Advices to Cease Jan. 1

UNO Payroll announces that pay advices (stubs) for all benefit-eligible employees will stop, effective Jan. 1, 2010. Employees will need to use Firefly Employee Self Service (ESS) to view/print their advices. A PDF version of employee pay stubs will be available for downloading or printing:

- Visit;

- Log in using TrueYou ID (eight-digit number on MAVCard) and password;

- Choose the "Employee Self Service" tab at the top;

- Click the "Payment" link; and

- Click "Paycheck Inquiry."

For more information, call 554.2739. For assistance logging in, contact Information Technology Services Customer Services at 554.HELP (4357).

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December Biweekly Payday Notice

There are three biweekly paydays this month (Dec. 3, 17 and 31). Therefore, no standard deductions will be taken from the Dec. 31 biweekly payroll.  Regular biweekly paid employees will not have NUCREDITS included or standard deductions (insurance, parking, etc.) withheld.  Federal and state taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes, retirement and credit union deductions will be taken.

For more information, contact Payroll at 554.2325.

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School of Communication Students Produce NET's "Inside Art"

UNO School of Communication students from the school's TV II class compiled NET Television's upcoming broadcast of "Inside Art."

"Inside Art" is an exploration of art, art venues and artistic inspiration. The program will feature Josh Krohn's Bluegrass album, the rare book holdings of the Criss Library, a balloon artist, an interior decorator and a tattoo artist.

The program will air on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 3, at 2:30 p.m. on NET2.

For more information, visit

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SPUNO to Conduct Formalwear Drive for Needy High School Students

It's time to clean out the closet over the holiday break. The School Psychology at UNO (SPUNO) student organization is asking faculty, staff and students to help in collecting formalwear and accessories for high school students who are in need. 

Donations will go to students in local high schools for prom. Wanted items:

For the ladies: Dresses, shoes and jewelry.

For the gentlemen: Ties, dress shirts, tuxedos and shoes.

Drop off donations in the Psychology Department, 347 Arts and Sciences Hall, by Friday, Feb. 1, and ask for Marie Lee.

Please dry-clean the garments prior to drop off; however, drive organizers will turn nothing away.

For more information, contact Julie Soukup at

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Classical 90.7 KVNO Broadcasts Holiday Favorites

Classical 90.7 KVNO is celebrating the holiday season with concerts and specials throughout December.

Highlights include complete performances of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" ballet, a variety of songs sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Handel's "Messiah" with the Omaha Symphony and UNO Concert Choir and an eight-part special on "The Art of the Cantor."

Click on for a complete listing of KVNO's holiday programming.

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UFO Study Group Winter Break Reminder

The UNO UFO Study Group will not meet Wednesdays or Saturdays during the winter break.

2010 spring schedule:

- Wednesdays, starting Jan. 13
Noon to 1 p.m.
Milo Bail Student Center Jenkins Room

- Saturdays, starting Jan. 16
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
285 Durham Science Center

Anyone interested in unidentified flying objects and related phenomena is welcome to attend. For more information, call John Powers at 319.2721.

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Holiday Student Anthropological Society Reminder

The Student Anthropological Society (SAS) will not meet over the holidays. Starting Jan. 13 the SAS will meet every Wednesday from noon to 12:50 p.m. in 344 Arts and Sciences Hall. Anyone interested in anthropology can attend.

For more information, call John Powers at 319.2721.

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Deadline Jan. 1 for Fourth Cumbre of the Great Plains Papers

The deadline for submissions has been extended until Friday, Jan. 1, for individual papers and presenters for The Fourth Cumbre of the Great Plains. The Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS) at UNO will host the conference Thursday through Saturday, May 13-15, 2010, at Embassy Suites in Omaha. The event's theme is "Human Mobility, the Promise of Development and Political Engagement." The conference will bring together scholars, policy-makers, and non-governmental and community representatives interested in exchanging views about the failures and successes of economic development and its impact on immigration. Read more.

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Women of Wisdom Nomination Deadline Jan. 15

The UNO Lifelong Learning Initiative is planning its annual community-wide luncheon to honor three local Women of Wisdom and elevate awareness about aging well. Nominations for honorees are being accepted through Friday, Jan. 15. Read more.

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Green Tip of the Week

Sustainability Graphic

Holiday Baking
When baking, use glass or ceramic pans, this can lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Courtesy of the Tennessee Valley Authority Energy Right Program (

The GreenUNO Task Force provides these tips. For more information, visit

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