news releases

2006.05.07 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO Professors to Again Take on Student Role in South Omaha Seminar May 8-10

Omaha - University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) professors from a variety of disciplines will again step away from their roles as teachers to become students in the second "South O Seminar: A Service-Learning Project for Professors."  Three days of meetings and tours of the South Omaha community start Monday, May 8. 

Nine faculty members are set to take part, said Paul Sather, director of the UNO Service-Learning Academy.  The three-day workshop will allow the group to study the history and culture of South Omaha while complementing that study with visits to community-based organizations.

"The seminar we held last year was a major success," Sather said.  "Our goal this time is similar.  We want to give this group an understanding of the community, its composition and culture so they can return to UNO and create more service-learning courses that are responsive to South Omaha's issues."

At UNO, academic service-learning brings the talents and energy of university students into the service of the metropolitan community.  After the first seminar, classes were created that brought UNO students into South Omaha to work with new immigrant groups and with small business owners. 

A major focus of the first South O seminar was on new immigrants from Mexico and Central America.  A new addition to this seminar's schedule is a visit to Grace Lutheran Church in South Omaha to learn about Sudanese immigrant resettlement.

"South Omaha has always been and continues to be the city's melting pot," Sather said.  "Creating classes that involve issues of immigration can make a tremendous impact on both the community and our students."

Faculty participants for the seminar are Melanie Bloom, foreign languages; Patty Carlson, School of Social Work; Judy Harrington, Goodrich Program; Lyn Holley, gerontology; Nydia Jeffers, foreign languages; Wilma Kuhlman, teacher education; Tatyana Novikov, foreign languages; Cynthia Robinson-Moore, School of Communication; and Jessica Tschirren, UNO/University of Nebraska Medical Center Master of Public Health Program.

For more information about the workshop, contact Sather at (402) 554-2850 or psather@mail.unomaha.edu.

The Service-Learning Academy at UNO was established in the spring of 1999 with a grant from the Nebraska Consortium for Service-Learning in Higher Education.  Its goals are to coordinate UNO's service-learning effort by providing a central point of contact between the campus and community-based organizations; to encourage, assist and recruit faculty members interested in developing service-learning courses; to provide professional development opportunities in service-learning; to maintain and provide a library of the most current service-learning resources for faculty and community personnel; to make information about service-learning available to students; and to cultivate continuing professional working relationships among the stakeholders in service-learning – faculty, students and community.

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