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2010.06.15> For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@unomaha.edu

UNO to Host Civic Leadership Conference

Omaha - Eight high school government teachers and 25 high school students from across Nebraska will take part in the Nebraska Civic Leadership Conference starting Sunday, June 20, at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). Participants during the six-day conference will focus on local and state government issues in classes taught by UNO faculty. They also will meet Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle, tour a variety of government institutions (including the state capitol) and have opportunities to enjoy and explore Omaha.

“We’re very excited about having the Department of Political Science host this event,” said Loree Bykerk, UNO professor of political science, who serves as the conference’s director. “The teachers and their students will have a great, thought-provoking experience that they can take back to their high schools.”

High schools sending teachers and students include Bellevue East, Bellevue West, Omaha Bryan, Omaha South, Omaha Westside, Falls City and North Platte. Participants will be housed at UNO’s Scott Residence Hall.

Funding for the conference is provided by the United States Department of Education.

The conference is a starting point for the students and teachers, Bykerk said. During the 2010-2011 school year the group will study leadership, visit the Nebraska Unicameral and study how American founding documents (like the U.S. Constitution) apply to current-day problems. Next summer, the students and their teachers will focus on national government and global politics and come back to UNO for another intensive week that will be followed by a multi-day trip to Washington, D.C.

“The commitment these teachers and students have made is impressive,” Bykerk added. “Civic engagement and leadership are issues that are important for every community.”

For more information, call (402) 554-3502.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. 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.

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