Legislative staffers from the Nebraska unicameral recently toured the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) campus as well as the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC).
During their time at UNO, the groups visited the Biomechanics Research Building, Strauss Performing Arts Center, the Aviation Institute housed within the College of Public Affairs and Community Service and the ‘WITNESS: The Art of Samuel Bak’ exhibit that is on display inside the Weber Fine Arts Building.
Several of the group were proud UNO alumni. They expressed their excitement to return and see how campus has grown since they donned a cap and gown. Samantha Chavez, an administrative aide for Senator Steve Lathrop, is an alum of UNO’s Grace Abbott School of Social Work. Though she was just steps away from the Aviation Institute, she had never experienced what the institute had to offer.
“When I was here for social work, I was in the same building as the Aviation Institute but had no idea just how expansive that program is,” Chavez said. “It’s been so much fun learning about the different programs and the opportunities they give to students and the community.”
Scott Tarry, Ph.D., director of the Aviation Institute greeted the staffers and told them about the different opportunities that the program gave students. He highlighted the program’s partnership with Southwest Airlines and Jet Linx. Destination 225 gives aviation students the chance to meet and learn from Southwest pilots. Tarry also discussed the NIFA Region 6 SAFECON aviation competition currently taking place which hosts several other universities from across six different states.
The staffers also had an opportunity to tour the newly renovated and expanded Strauss Performing Arts Center. Tomm Roland, professor and assistant director of the School of Music guided the group around the new addition. Staffers saw the new recital hall packed with students as well as the percussion area on the fourth floor. Roland also showed them the school’s brand new recording studio, packed with state-of-the-art technology that will help students in the expanding music technology program.
“Music was never something that I was into personally, so I just never knew what existed and what was here.” said Brian Murray, administrative assistant to Senator Wendy DeBoer. “Seeing the different integrations of technology and the way the building was built, the 4th floor made for percussion, I thought that was very clever. The building is very well done.”
Staffers also saw advances from the Department of Biomechanics as well as their new addition.
The WITNESS exhibit was another favorite among the staffers who were grateful of the opportunity to see the arts alive and well at the university.
Earlier in the day, the group also toured UNMC where they learned about the Munroe-Meyer Institute and were guided through the Public Health Service Lab as well as the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center.
“These tours give us an opportunity to visit the universities and see things we wouldn’t see otherwise,” Murray added. “Nebraska’s universities matter.”
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.