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2009.03.23 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

UNO College of Education to Honor Four Outstanding Alumni

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) College of Education will honor four outstanding alumni at its 21st annual Hollie Bethel Distinguished Alumni Luncheon. The luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 8, in the Bootstrapper Hall at the Thompson Alumni Center.

The college annually selects graduates who have distinguished themselves as outstanding professionally or in service to the community. One hundred twenty-nine alumni have been recognized since the program began in 1988. Past honorees have been invited back this year to help celebrate as part of the university’s 100th anniversary.

Four awards will be presented this year. Those selected for these honors are:

Dr. Timothy Rasinski. Distinguished Service Award. Rasinski is a professor of literacy education at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. He has written more than 200 articles and has authored, co-authored or edited more than 50 books or curriculum programs on reading education. He is author of the best selling book on reading fluency entitled, The Fluent Reader. He is also a past-president of the International Reading Association. Rasinski has received the A. B. Herr and Laureate Awards from the College Reading Association for his scholarly contributions to literacy education. Rasinski received two degrees from the college: a bachelor of science degree in 1977 and a master of science degree in 1979. He was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus in 1997.

Ms. Karen Clark. Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award. Clark is the advanced education counselor at Omaha South High School. Clark has a 48-year career in education, and has been on the staff at South High School for 46 years. She has been a counselor for 44 years. Clark received two degrees from the college: a bachelor of science degree in 1961 and a master of science degree in 1969. Clark’s specialty is advanced education counseling. She has earned a reputation in the metropolitan area as the person you can go to if you have a question in the area of college selection and enrollment. She has been honored as a Buffett Great Teacher and the American G. I. Forum Excellence Through Education Award.

Dr. Max Kurz. Distinguished Promising Professional Award. Kurz is an assistant professor at the Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Kurz earned the master of science degree from the college in 1997, and received his doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2006 with College of Education faculty member Dr. Nick Stergiou serving as his committee chair. He came to MMI from the University of Houston where he was involved in research related to the development of the next generation of NASA’s space suits. His research includes the study of penguin waddling and how it can be used to improve the stability and efficiency of walking robots. Currently he works to shape the surgical and therapeutic trends used for the restoration of walking in children with movement disabilities.

Dr. Dick C. E. Davis. Distinguished Friend of Education Award. Davis is the CEO of the Davis Companies. Davis received a master of science degree from the college in 1972. However, he has been selected for this honor as a member of the community who has made significant contributions to education. He is a former educator who has continued to devote time and resources to support education through scholarships for minority and low-income high school students, and through service on numerous educationally related committees and commissions. The Davis Family Foundation has provided considerable resources since 1990 in both mentoring and financial assistance to high school students so they may attend and succeed in college. Davis’ service on committees and commissions has included the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Post-Secondary Education, and a national committee with accrediting authority for medical education programs.

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UNO is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The celebration recognizes the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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