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February 'Oh' Award

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

'Oh, what a difference you make!' — Becky Karel. Karel an office associate in UNO's Milo Bail Student Center, was honored last week as UNO's February 'Oh' Award recipient. Karel, who serves as assistant to reservations manager Sharon Larsen, has worked at UNO for the last four years. A native of Clarkson, Nebraska, she received her undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Kearney and a graduate degree from UNO. Karel primarily helps students to reserve rooms in the student center. She also works with on-line reservations and reserving campus rooms for non-academic activities.

One nominator said of her, "Becky provides 'above and beyond' service every day. Any request a customer might have she will do her best to assist them. She has great customer service skills and she enjoys working with customers." Another nominator said, "Becky always goes above and beyond what is asked of her and she never has a 'bad' day when it comes to treating others with kindness and respect. Our main constant is that 'everything will change' and Becky is able to adapt to whatever the job is today."

Karel gives credit to Border's book stores for her customer service skills. She worked for 11 years for Borders in Kearney and Omaha. Besides being the first recipient of the updated Employee of the Month program, Karel was also honored at the Feb. 16 meeting of the Board of Regents.

'Oh' Award Details

Through the Lens

Play ThisThrough the Lens Archive go to the show

Celebration at the Sapp

photos by Tim Fitzgerald

Almost 2,000 were in attendance Wednesday (Feb. 15) night for the last men's basketball game to be played in UNO's Sapp Fieldhouse. The men's program will move to the new Ralston Sports and Events Arena next fall. Wednesday's game also was Alumni Night with former players and coaches honored throughout the game. The Mavericks defeated the University of Nebraska-Kearney 85-68 with UNO's Alex Welhouse scoring 24 points.



Health Services to Host Fitness Friday Today

Wellness Stampede

February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of disability. Living a healthy lifestyle and knowing your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, BMI and weight are important because they can reduce your chances of getting heart disease. Join Health Services staff today, Feb. 24, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the first floor concession area in Arts and Science Hall.

UNO Health Services staff will be on location offering free blood pressure checks, weight and BMI measurements. Information will be available about heart disease and what resources Health Services can offer students and employees.

Questions? Contact Kayla Baumberger at

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Cuba Study Abroad Informational Meeting Today

UNO students have a rare opportunity this summer to study abroad in Cuba. During the 10-day trip through Havana and surrounding communities, students will meet with artists, scholars, government officials and community groups. The trip and a partially Internet-mediated class will give students a full view of Cuba's culture, politics and contemporary history. The experience will culminate with a service-learning project, in which students will help rehabilitate an old community theater in Havana.

Interested students should attend an informational meeting at noon today, Feb. 24, in the Office of Latino/Latin American Studies, 106 Arts and Science Hall.

While travel to Cuba is restricted for most U.S. citizens, UNO and other educational institutions are able to travel to the island country under a special license.

For more information, check out

For more information, contact Yuriko Doku at, 402.554.3835.

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Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility Guest Speaker Today

The Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility invites faculty, staff and students to attend a presentation today, Feb. 24, by Dr. Vassilios Vardaxis, professor and doctor of physical therapy at Des Moines University.

* Title of the Talk: "Bilateral lower extremity dynamics pre and post unilateral total hip arthroplasty"

* Location: 211 Health, Physical Education and Recreation

* Time: Noon to 1 p.m.

Dr. Vardaxis earned his master's in biomechanics of sports at McGill University, and a doctorate in biomechanics from the McGill University. His research interest is focused on the biomechanics of the human body and its relation to the onset of pathology as related to movement and load. Specifically, they study differences in gait and balance resulting from change or intervention (e.g., age, rehabilitation protocol, surgery) aiming to understand the relationships between the performance of activities of daily living, body structure, external forces and muscle function and pathology. Currently, Dr. Vardaxis is a member of Board of Directors of the Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society. He also serves as a peer-reviewer for many biomechanics-based journals.

For more information, contact Demi Treat at 402.554.2573.

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Black Studies Hosts Final Campus Visit for Assistant Professor Position Today

The final candidate for the position of assistant professor in the Department of Black Studies is today, Feb. 24. The "Job Talk" will be held in the Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) and is open to the campus community.

The final schedule follows:

* Today, Feb. 24
Manfred Wogugu, visiting professor of black studies, UNO
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania
Job Talk: "African Development and the HIV/AIDS Crisis" from 1:30 to 2 p.m. MBSC Chancellor's Room

For details, contact Felicia Dailey at

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World Civilizations Film Series Starts Today with 'Crossfire'

The History Department is again sponsoring its international film series during the spring semester.  Each film is hosted by a History Department faculty member, and each will begin with an explanation of the film's setting, and will be followed by an audience discussion.  Please bring your own snacks and join faculty at 3 p.m. today, Feb. 24, for "Crossfire," hosted by Jerry Simmons. 

Film censorship and film noir are longstanding research interests of Simmons, and "Crossfire" is the 1947 story of recently demobilized World War II soldiers suspected in the anti-Semitic murder of Joseph Samuels, whom the soldiers met in a bar.

For more information, visit the History Department website at or contact Jo Behrens at 402.554.2584.

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UNO College of Education Brings Award-Winning Illustrator to Omaha

An award-winning illustrator of children's books will be visiting the Omaha area thanks to the sponsorship of the several Omaha-area educational organizations including the UNO College of Education

Chris Raschka, winner of the 2012 Caldecott Medal for his work on "A Ball for Daisy," will be conducting free presentations to the Omaha community. Raschka will visit the Millard Branch of the Omaha Public Library, 13214 Westlood Lane, today, Feb. 24, at 4 p.m. and the Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St., on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 10:30 a.m. Admission is free to both events. Read more.

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UNO Philosophy Colloquia Lecture Today on Aristotle's Politics

Cathal Woods, an associate professor of philosophy from Virginia Wesleyan College, will speak at UNO today, Feb. 24. The event, which will be held in 290 Arts and Sciences Hall, is part of the UNO Department of Philosophy's ongoing Colloquia Series.

Woods' presentation is titled "'Traditional' Citizenship And The ‘Modern' Polis in Aristotle's Politics."

For more information, contact Kathy Cox Schwartz at 554.2628 or

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Mavs Promote Organ Donation Tonight


The UNO Athletic Department is teaming up with Nebraska Organ Recovery System and the Omaha Police and Fire Departments to promote awareness of organ donation at the UNO hockey game against Minnesota tonight, Feb. 24.

The event began with a campus-wide effort to register new donors.  Those interested in registering can still do so on-line at  Current registered organ donors can purchase tickets for the game at a special discounted ticket price of $5 by logging on to Read more.

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UNO Theatre Presents 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'

The UNO Department of Theatre presents Tennessee Williams' classic "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," directed by graduate student, Mark J. Schnitzler, as part of his graduate thesis project. Performances start tonight, Feb. 24, and run through Saturday, Feb. 25, in the UNO Theatre, Weber Fine Arts Building. The house opens at 7 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. curtain for all performances.

"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is the Pulitzer Prize winning drama of seething passions that beset a wealthy Southern family whose lives are stripped of pretense in a shattering moment of revelation. Gathered together for a celebration of Big Daddy's 65th birthday, the family's conflicts are suddenly, relentlessly exposed in an explosive series of climaxes that forces each of them to part with the half-lies that have shielded them from reality.

Performances will continue next week on Feb. 29-March 3. For tickets, visit or call the box office at 402.554.PLAY. The box office, located on the first floor of UNO's Weber Fine Arts Building. For previews, tickets are $5 for general admission. For performances, tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors. Tickets are always free for all UNO students who present a valid UNO ID and $5 for all other students who present a valid school ID. UNO Theatre now accepts all major credit cards.

For more information, contact Sarah Fogarty at

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UNO Hosts Great Plains Jazz Festival

UNO's annual Great Plains Jazz Festival returns today, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25, with a pair of special concerts, on campus and off.

On Feb. 24, in the Strauss Performing Arts Center's Recital Hall, on the UNO campus, two visiting musicians, John Harner and Dave Pietro, will perform their show "Jazz I and Jazz Too."

Harner is a recently retired middle school band director from Ohio and former lead trumpeter of the Stan Kenton Orchestra. He also played many hotels in Las Vegas from 1977 to 1984, performing for entertainers that include Johnny Carson, Don Rickles, Jerry Lewis, Doc Severinsen, Vic Damone and many others. Read more.

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UNO Housing Showcase This Saturday

A campus-wide UNO Housing Showcase is set for Saturday, Feb. 25. Open to future UNO Mavericks or anyone else who wants to get a glimpse into college life, just stop in the Scott Conference Center from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to tour any of UNO's five residence halls.

Choices include any or all five of UNO's residence halls:

- Maverick Village

- University Village

- Scott Court

- Scott Hall

- Scott Village

Also, while on the Pacific Location visitors can partake in open houses from 1 to 3 p.m. at both the University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute and Mammel Hall.

For housing information, visit

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Register for 2012 Mav Kids Summer Day Camp

Wellness Stampede

Registration for 2012 Mav Kids Summer Day Camp is underway for the UNO community. Open registration for the general public will begin this Sunday, Feb. 26.

Campers will join Mav Kids Summer Day Camp staffers as they explore different weekly themes and enjoy exciting activities all summer long.

Weekly themes and details are available at the Mav-Rec Youth Programs website at:

The camp is open to children currently in kindergarten up to age 14. Cost for UNO students and Campus Recreation members is $135 per week and $150 per week for non-members.

Visit the Mav-Rec Youth Programs website for registration details or call Lisa Medina at 402.554.2859.

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Latvian Conductor to be Featured in UNO Bands' Performance Feb. 28

The Concert Bands at UNO have announced a very special concert, "Colours, Textures, Transformations," featuring the Symphonic Wind Ensemble (SWE) and the University Concert Band. The concert will be presented at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the Strauss Performing Arts Center.

The performance will feature Maestro Janis Purins, conductor of the University of Latvia Wind Orchestra and professor of music at the Latvian Academy of Music, who will lead each ensemble in a selection by a Latvian composer. Of particular note is the United States premiere of an original composition, "Romance," for Clarinet and Wind Orchestra by Jekabs Medins that Tyler Goudlock, a clarinet graduate student, will perform. Read more.

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In the News

In the News

- Janet West, assistant professor of economics, was featured on the "Crash Davis Show" on KFAB to talk about rising gas prices.

- Chris Decker, professor of economics, was quoted by the Omaha World-Herald about the economic contributions of Omaha Performing Arts, which brought Blue Man Group, Lily Tomlin and “Spamalot” to Omaha in 2011.

- Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, professor of political science and assistant director of OLLAS, was quoted by the Lincoln Journal Star and featured on the “Crash Davis Show” to discuss the recent decision by a judge to overturn a portion of Fremont’s controversial mmigration ordinance.

- Randy Adkins, chair of the Political Science Department, was quoted by the Omaha World-Herald about his recent national survey, which determined that the presidential elections of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt were the two most influential elections in American politics. Adkins was also quoted in the Louisville Courier-Journal

- Logan Mendez and J.J. Zekpa, members of the men’s soccer team, were quoted by the Omaha World-Herald about Feb. 18’s “Get Your Family Movin’” event, which they participated in with former Husker football players.

- Robert Franklin, director of media operations at KVNO and UNO Television, was quoted by the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. Franklin was the keynote speaker at the 13th annual Cedar Valley Conference on Human Rights last Friday.

- Kenneth Dick, research fellow at the School of Interdisciplinary Information, was quoted by the Omaha World-Herald about the possibility of Google building and ‘antenna farm’ in Council Bluffs.

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 402.554.2129.

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In Print

- Aaryn Mustoe (M.A. candidate, Psychology Department) recently published, "Natural variation in gestational cortisol is associated with patterns of growth in marmoset monkeys (Callithrix geoffroyi)." The paper appeared in an issue of General and Comparative Endocrinology. The study demonstrates that mothers with higher levels of stress hormones (cortisol) during pregnancy gave birth to offspring with slower rates of growth, which suggested that elevated stress could be a risk factor for low-weight offspring. Co-authors included Adam Smith and Andrew Birnie (M.A., Psychology), Austin Korgan (B.A., Psychology) and Jonathan Santo and Jeffrey French, faculty members in the Psychology Department. Click on this link to read the paper.

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.

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