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Winter Commencement Makes History

Winter Commencement Makes History

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

On Dec. 17, more than 1000 students graduated during UNO's Winter Commencement ceremonies held at UNO's Lee and Helen Sapp Fieldhouse. It was the first time since 1996 that commencement was held on campus. Family, friends and members of the UNO community were in attendance as degrees were conferred in two - 10 a.m. and a 2 p.m. - ceremonies.

News Release



Flag Lowering

The UNO flag will be lowered to half-staff today, Jan. 18, in honor of UNO faculty member Evangelina "Gigi" Brignoni. She passed away Jan. 14 at age 57.

Dr. Brignoni, an associate professor of Teacher Education in UNO's College of Education, had been with the university for more than six years. She joined the Teacher Education faculty in August 2006 where she taught ESL and literacy classes. She was also instrumental in drafting a bilingual education endorsement for Nebraska teachers.

Dr. Brignoni's family will receive friends this evening from 3 to 6 p.m. with services at 6 p.m. at Heafey-Heafey-Hoffman-Dworak-Cutler Chapel, 7805 West Center Road. Read more.

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Academic Partnership for Instruction Blackboard 9.1 Workshop Today

The Academic Partnership for Instruction (API), a Division of Information Services (IS), will be offering a series of workshops designed to teach faculty about ways to use Blackboard 9.1 to enhance student learning. Workshops officially begin today, Jan. 18, and run until Wednesday, Jan. 25. All workshops will be held in the 112 Criss Library.

For full course descriptions and to get registered, visit

Questions? Contact the IS Help Desk at 402.554.4357 (4.HELP) or email

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This Week In Maverick Athletics


This Week In Maverick Athletics is a listing of the latest sports information. For a complete weekly update of UNO's in-season teams, click on

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Faculty Workshop on 'Effective Assignment Design'

Of all the steps faculty members can take to elicit excellent work from students, perhaps the most important is to design assignments that clearly communicate their goals and expectations.  As any Writing Center consultant can attest, students sometimes find writing assignments puzzling; the instruction to "discuss," "analyze," or "reflect" may not be immediately clear.  Faculty who would like to improve the clarity of their assignments – and the quality of students' papers – are invited to a workshop on "Effective Assignment Design" offered by Dr. Aurora Matzke, a candidate for the position of assistant professor of English and UNO Writing Center Director.

Dr. Matzke recently completed her dissertation at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  While at Miami, she taught a wide range of undergraduate writing courses and graduate courses in composition theory and pedagogy.  As assistant director of the Howe Center for Writing Excellence, she consulted with student writers, led workshops to facilitate consultant training, and collaborated with faculty across the disciplines to incorporate inquiry-based writing into their classes. 

The English Department is pleased to welcome Dr. Matzke to UNO and invites all faculty to attend the workshop.  "Effective Assignment Design: Clarifying Outcomes for Students" is scheduled for this Friday, Jan. 20, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the UNO Writing Center, 210 ASH.  Seating is limited: to register, call the Writing Center at 402.554.2946. 

For more information, contact Nora Bacon at or the UNO Writing Center at, 402.554.2946.

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Midnight Mojo Returns This Friday with HPER After Dark

Midnight Mojo, returns this Friday, Jan. 20, with an after-hours opening of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Building.

HPER After Dark begins at 9 p.m. and runs until midnight. The event is free to all students with a MavCard and includes everything from swimming and rock climbing to an open-play video game area featuring a Call of Duty tournament with prizes donated by the Nebraska National Guard.

But if you can't make it--come by Campus Rec during the day and play some video games. They'll have tons of game stations set up for open play starting at 4 p.m. in HPER. Tournaments will start at 9 p.m. when HPER After Dark starts. Read more.

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Mail Services Reminds UNO Community of Stamp Increase

As announced in December, the United States Postal Service will raise the price of a one ounce first class letter to $0.45 beginning Sunday, Jan. 22. Most prices are going up but there are a few reductions too as in local Express Mail.

"No need to rush out to buy stamps prior to the increase because all domestic first class stamps are now Forever Stamps," said Mike Burton, manager of Mail Services. "Stamps purchased today will be good ten years from now."

Stop by (106 Eppley Administration Building) or call Mail Services (402.554.2337) if you have any questions regarding postage or future mailing you may be planning.

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New at the Criss Library: The Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch

UNO's Criss Library announces the arrival of the Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch to its collection. Both items are available to check-out for a period of two weeks.

The Kindle Fire is an Amazon-based, Android tablet with a full-color display. It has access to Amazon's large collection of movies, TV shows, songs, magazines and books. The Kindle Touch is Amazon's newest e-reader with a full touch-screen interface.

To highlight the library's new e-Readers, "I am a Man": Chief Standing Bear's Journey for Justice", by Joe Starita – the 2012 One Book, One Nebraska – selection is now available on the library's Kindles. Criss Library has hundreds of e-books for you to browse and they're looking to add more. If interested, stop by the library and request a title.

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Peace Corps on Campus Next Week

What do Morocco, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Senegal, Lesotho and Cape Verde have in common?
These are six countries where eight UNO alumni are currently serving as Peace Corps Volunteers, making a difference around the globe in various sectors such as agriculture, health, youth development, environmental protection, education, community development and business.

UNO has had a total of 77 alumni serve as a Peace Corps Volunteers in 75 countries around the globe. You have an opportunity to continue UNO's legacy abroad upon graduation.  
For more information, choose one of two opportunities to meet Omaha recruiter Linda Tucker on Tuesday, Jan. 24:

*Information table
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Arts & Sciences Hall, International Programs Office

*General Information Meeting
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Milo Bail Student Center Council Room.

Questions? Contact Anne West-Leclou at 402.554.3822.

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Feb. 6 Session on Dealing with Difficult Students

If you are dealing with difficult students, this Monday, Feb. 6, session was planned with you in mind. Join Center for Faculty Development guest speakers for an interactive 60-minute workshop from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Chancellor's Room.

* Do you have students that argue about course requirements?

* Are you concerned that one of your students may need help due to difficulties outside of the classroom?

* Do you have students that regularly arrive late for class, leave early or come and go multiple times during a class session?

At the workshop, faculty members can learn classroom management techniques, share classroom experiences, talk about student mental health issues and find out about services available to UNO students.  

The discussion will be led by Connie Schaffer - College of Education; Cathy Pettid - director of Counseling Center/University Division; and Mike Hansen - College of Education.

To register, contact the Center for Faculty Development at 402.554.2427 or

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Campus Recreation Hosts 'UNO Team Kick Off for the Challenge' Jan. 25

Wellness Stampede

UNO Campus Recreation will host "UNO Team Kick Off for the Challenge," a live healthy 100-day challenge, on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at noon in 112 Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Building. The event will include a "How To" presentation and a walk, if the weather is reasonable.

Please remember to bring your own brown bag lunch for the event. There will also be free BMI and Weight measurements taken in 200 HPER today, Jan. 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Thursday, Jan. 19, from 4 to 5:30 p.m.; and Friday, Jan. 20 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. 

The Live Health Nebraska Challenge participants receive weekly tips, which motivate and educate them to increase physical activity and improve nutrition. Participants are encouraged and rewarded for logging their physical activity and weight-loss weekly through their personal dashboard on the Live Health website ( Each participant also receives a Live Healthy shirt, an annual subscription to your choice of a healthy lifestyle magazine and access to a host of free online resources, including workout and nutrition planners, video workouts and workout music downloads. You can register your team at:

For more information, call Whitney Prenzlow at 402.554.3185.

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Retirement Reception Jan. 30 for Marion Fortin-Wavra

The university community is invited to a retirement reception for Marion Fortin-Wavra, director of Testing Center, from 2 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30, in the Milo Bail Student Center Chancellor's Room.  Fortin-Wavra is retiring after 35 years of service with the Testing Center.

For more information, contact Lisa Paskewitz at or 402.554.2779.

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Request for 2012 Student Tech Fee Proposals

The Office of Academic and Student Affairs requests proposals for potential funding by UNO Student Technology Fees.  By Friday, Feb. 3, submit a one-page proposal and Excel budget sheet to Joyce Crockett at  It is important that you work with the dean of your college as they have been asked to submit a college prioritized project list. Final decision will be made in May 2012.  

Criteria when reviewing proposals:

- Leveraging (or potential to leverage) other funding sources

- Matching funds

- Congruency with the university and college strategic plans

- Innovation

- Breadth of impact, depth of impact

- Collaboration within and between units

- Leveraging existing technologies or facilities

- Suitability of budget for the purpose

- Update to IT Infrastructure

- Funding cannot be used for salaries

If you have questions, contact Joyce Crockett at 402.554.3364 or

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Green Tip of the Week

Sustainability Graphic

Cut Your Water Consumption
Water-consuming appliances can make a big difference in water usage at home. If in the market, consider replacing your old dishwashers and washing machines with new more energy efficient machines.

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

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