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2013.03.04 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Communications
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

UNO, Pakistan Partner for Federal Service-Learning Education Initiative

Omaha - In recognition for its service-learning efforts, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) has been selected as one of five universities in the United States to partner with Pakistan as part of the U.S.-Pakistan Higher Education Initiative on Civic Engagement.

As part of this partnership, which was officially announced in October 2012, three scholars from Pakistan will visit Omaha from Monday, March 4, through Thursday, March 7, to learn about community engagement initiatives at UNO.

Through a grant from the U.S. Embassy-Islamabad Office of Public Affairs, UNO is able to bring representatives from Pankistani universities to Omaha and also travel to Pakistan to learn more about the country and its education system.

This visit will include members of Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, who are working to launch new community partnerships in their home country with businesses, nonprofit organizations, local governments and K-12 schools. The goal of the partnerships is to better connect their university with Pakistani citizens and support the development of civil society.

Throughout the project, UNO will serve as a role model for Quaid-i-Azam. The two universities will share best practices in community engagement and collaborate on outreach efforts both in Nebraska and Pakistan. Later this year, this process will continue when several UNO faculty members visit Quaid-i-Azam.

“This project gives UNO an opportunity to share what we have learned about the importance of community engagement,” said Tom Gouttierre, dean of International Studies & Programs at UNO. “Equally important, these new people-to-people ties between the United States and Pakistan will support cultural understanding during a challenging time in the relationship between our two countries.”

While in Omaha, the Pakistani scholars will meet with UNO leadership and faculty who have been involved in community engagement efforts. They will learn about the Center for Public Affairs Research, the Service Learning Academy and the new Community Engagement Center, which is currently under construction on UNO’s Dodge Campus.

Additionally, they will experience first-hand several examples of global community engagement at UNO, including a visit to Habitat for Humanity of Omaha, one of many organizations assisted by UNO student volunteers, and a presentation before the Omaha World Affairs Council on the U.S.-Pakistani relationship.

The scholars will also travel to West Point, Neb. for a “Nebraska Neighbors” rural outreach trip. There, they will speak to local community members about Pakistani perspectives and learn about life in a more rural U.S. setting.

The U.S. partners in the U.S.-Pakistan Higher Education Initiative include:
• George Washington University
• Tulane University
• University of Nebraska at Omaha
• University of Minnesota
• University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

The Pakistani partners include:
• National University of Science and Technology (NUST) - Islamabad
• Fatima Jinnah Women University- Rawalpindi
• Quaid-i-Azam University - Islamabad
• DOW University of Health Sciences - Karachi
• University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) – Lahore

For questions about the upcoming visit or UNO’s role in the U.S.-Pakistan Higher Education Initiative, contact Shane Pekny at spekny@unomaha.edu or by phone at 402.554.2376.

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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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© 2014 University Communications. voice: 402.554.2129, fax: 402.554.3541, unonews@unomaha.edu