OMAHA – On Tuesday, March 31, the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) will be honoring alumni for their contributions to their communities in the years since they graduated.
Organized together with the UNO Alumni Association, 11 awards will be presented across each of CPACS’s programs, as well as a special college-wide award, which is named in honor of the first CPACS dean, Hubert Locke. This year’s recipient of the Hubert Locke Award is former Omaha Police Chief Thomas Warren.
The awards ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Thompson Alumni Center and conclude at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Awardees were selected by CPACS faculty for their excellent public service and contributions to the community.
For questions about the March 31 event, please contact Charley Reed, UNO Associate Director of Media Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402.554.2129.
A full list of biographies is included below, starting with the college-wide Hubert Locke Award and then followed alphabetically by program:
Hubert Locke Award – Thomas H. Warren, Sr.
Warren is currently employed as President/CEO of the Urban League of Nebraska (ULN), a position he has held since 2008. The ULN administers programs in Education/Youth Development, Employment/Career Services and Violence Prevention. It is also a traditional Civil Rights organization and advocates for social justice. Prior to his appointment at the ULN, Warren served 24 years with the Omaha Police Department (OPD), the last 4 as Chief of Police. Warren was the first African-American to serve as Chief of Police in Omaha.
Warren graduated from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa in 1983. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, with a second Major in Sociology and a Minor in Psychology. He obtained a Master of Science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1989, with a Major in Criminal Justice and an Option in Public Administration.
Warren is also a member of several professional organizations and has an extensive record of community service. In 2008, he was selected as a Fellow and inducted into the National Academy of Public Administration. In 2012, he received a National Public Service Award from the American Society of Public Administration.
Aviation Institute – Lawrence Runana
Runana is currently the Head of Safety and Security, and a pilot at DAC Aviation. He is responsible for safety and security of aircraft operations covering several countries within the African Region. He regularly works with international humanitarian relief agencies including the United Nations, World Food Programme, the Red Cross and more.
Runana holds a Master of Public Administration (Aviation) from University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from St. Cloud State University, Minnesota. He holds a Commercial Pilot License with Multi-IR rating, and is rated on the Bombardier Dash 8 and Cessna Caravan. Lawrence resides in Nairobi, Kenya with his wife and two children.
Division of Continuing Studies – Karen Ressegieu
Karen Ressegieu first came to Omaha in 1964 from her south-central Nebraska home near Bertrand. After taking a secretarial position in the College of Liberal Arts (now the College of Arts and Sciences), Ressegieu began taking classes at what was then called Omaha University, eventually earning a Bachelor of General Studies degree in 1972.
Since earning her degree, Ressegieu has served as administrative assistant to several deans in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Public Affairs and Community Service as well as in the office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Additionally, Karen was the first administrative assistant to the founding director of the Aviation Institute.
Division of Continuing Studies – Jim Ressegieu
Jim Ressegieu graduated from Omaha Central High in 1961 and began attending Omaha University in the fall of that year that was to be a ten-year path from high school graduation to college graduation. During those years school was delayed due to work and a three-year enlistment in the United States Army. He majored in broadcasting with journalism and English minors and in December of 1971 he received his Bachelor of General Studies Degree. In 1978, he also received his Master of Arts degree in communication at UNO.
For 23 years, Ressegieu served as director of training for a multi-state natural gas utility until 2001 when he went to Chicago to attend seminary. He has served as pastor of Faith Evangelical Covenant Church for the past ten years.
School of Criminology and Criminal Justice – Roxann Ryan
Ryan, a Ph.D., is currently the commissioner of the Iowa Department of Public Safety. Previously, she had served a number of jobs, including an attorney and criminal intelligence analyst in the Department of Public Safety; a full-time professor of criminal justice at Simpson College; and an Assistant Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General in the Iowa Department of Justice. She teaches as an adjunct professor at Drake Law School and Simpson College. She earned her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice at UNO in 1998.
School of Criminology and Criminal Justice – David Goering
Goering is a native Nebraskan and a 1981 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Criminal Justice program. Currently, he serves as a supervising United States probation officer in Lincoln – a position he has held since 2002.
Goering coordinated the first intensive supervision/electronic monitoring program in Nebraska while with the State Probation system and has supervised high risk caseloads throughout his state and federal career. In addition, he has trained officers in fieldwork protocols, home confinement, and general officer safety.
Department of Gerontology – Lesa Huber
Huber, who earned her Ph.D. in Community and Human Resources with an emphasis in Gerontology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is currently a clinical associate professor at the Indiana University Bloomington School of Public Health. She also serves as the school’s advisory for its gerontology programs. She has twice received the Teaching Excellence Recognition Award at Indiana University, twice received the Trustees Teaching Award and is a Fellow in the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.
Huber’s service work includes chair and elected positions at local, state, and national levels. Her primary interest is in the biological, psychological, and social determinants of aging well. Working with students, she is exploring the potential of new technologies to support independent living in later life.
Goodrich Scholarship Program – Elizabeth Skinner
Skinner received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from UNO in 1998, attributing her academic and professional success to the Goodrich professors that taught her to be a critical thinker and challenged her to excel.
In 2001, Elizabeth received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska College of Law, where she served as a member of the “Nebraska Law Review” and the Nebraska Moot Court Board. Today, Skinner works for Fidelity National Title Group, a Fortune 500 Company, serving as in-house Managing Counsel and Vice President.
Grace Abbott School of Social Work – Liz Simon
Simon received her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from UNO in 2010 and then completed dual graduate degrees in social work and public administration, finishing in 2013. Throughout her career, Simon has worked at Boys Town with the adolescent population, as well as with primary care physicians at the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians (NAFP) where she helped NAFP organize medical education conferences, worked with the NAFP legislative committee on upcoming bill education and positioning, writing grants to support education for physicians on new initiatives.
Currently, Simon works part-time at Heartland Family Services as part of the Family Works program, as well as Catholic Charities as Director of Program Evaluation and Development. Nationally, she has served on the Council on Accreditation’s Behavioral Health Standards Advisory Panel working on review and improvement on practice standards along with her participation in Catholic Charities USA Leadership Institute.
School of Public Administration – Debra Anderson
Anderson, who holds a Ph.D., is director of “Connections,” a newly-created mental health program for children and families at the Project Harmony Child Protection Center in Omaha. Prior to her current position, she served as Director of Training and Coordination, having trained more than 30,000 students and professionals since 2007. Before her work at Project Harmony, Anderson served as a professor of social work at both UNO and Creighton University.
School of Public Administration – Joseph Mangiamelli
Mangiamelli attended UNO on a part-time basis from 1967 to 1986, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, but returned in 1988 to earn a Master’s in Public Administration degree, which he completed in 1991. While earning his degree, Mangiamelli was an employee of the City of Omaha in the Public Works Department.
In 1995, Mangiamelli became director of the Public Works Department and served on then-Mayor Hal Daub’s staff as his executive assistant through 2001. Following his term as director, Mangiamelli retired, but continues to serve with a wide number of organizations, including the League of Nebraska Municipalities, League Association of Risk Management and Nebraska City/County Management Association.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.