TMU 6(18) -- September 1, 2009

ESPN writer
Omahan reports from Iowa

Elizabeth Merrill, a UNO Gateway editor and journalism major in the 1990s, is a senior writer for

The story

Merrill, who also previously has been a sports writer for the Omaha World-Herald and Kansas City Star, has published an in-depth story on the veteran Aplington-Parkersburg, Iowa football coach who was shot to death earlier this year.

U.S. News
UNO earns top tier ranking

The University of Nebraska at Omaha received a first-tier regional best ranking in the U.S. News & World Report's 2010 edition of America's Best Colleges. UNO ranked 18th among public master's institutions in the Midwest region.

Graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, financial resources, student selectivity, alumni giving and peer assessment are some of the factors considered in the data. Improvements in UNO's graduation rate helped in moving the university into the highest tier.

"Ranking systems all have their unique value and challenges," said Terry Hynes, UNO's senior vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs. "This ranking shows that our colleagues recognize UNO as a high-quality institution."

U.S. News ranked 572 universities in the category within four geographic areas – North, South, Midwest and West. The top-tier represents the top 50 percent of schools in this category, ranked numerically. UNO’s numerical ranking is 71st.

UNO's average freshman retention rate is nearly 74 percent, the most recent six-year graduation rate is more than 42 percent, and the student-faculty ratio is 18 to 1.

Of note
Excellence in print & action

Holly Miller, Marlina Davidson and Kate Rempfer assisted with the university-wide Fall Faculty Development Workshops for Adjunct Faculty on August 19-20. Miller presented two hour long sessions focused on effective teaching.

Holly Miller

Davidson and Rempfer served on a panel that introduced faculty to the services available in the Speech Center. About 60 faculty members attended the workshops. Davidson also presented at the university-wide Fall Faculty Development Workshops for New Full-time Faculty and Teaching Assistants on Monday, August 17.

* * *

Teresa Lamsam received her completion certificate for the Journalism and Mass Communication Leadership Institute for Diversity (JLID).

Teresa Lamsam

Lamsam attended the final meeting for the program at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference in Boston last month.

Did you know?
People in the news

Alumna Leslie Rill is now an assistant professor at Portland State University following completion of her doctoral studies at Missouri. She just published: Mitchell McKinney & Leslie Rill, (2009). "Not Your Parents' Presidential Debates: Examining the Effects of the CNN/YouTube Debates on Young Citizens' Civic Engagement," Communication Studies 60 (4).

Evidence of excellence

1. Undergraduate broadcasting major Chase Moffitt flew with the Army's Golden Knights elite parachuting team at the Offutt Air Force Base Air Show in Bellevue.

Chase Moffitt

UNO-TV Executive Producer Gary Repair made the arrangements.
Moffitt filed live updates on and is preparing a story for The Omaha News.

* * *
Karen Dwyer and Marlina Davidson will be presenting a National Communication Association paper titled, "The Lab-supported Basic Course and Oral Communication Assessment: Use of an On-line Instrument" November 13 in Chicago. Davidson, Kate Rempfer, and Dwyer will be presenting a Scholar to Scholar titled, "Speaking Across the Curriculum and the Speech Center: Getting the Faculty Involved" on November 12.

Looking in
Images from school

Kate Rempfer and Marlina Davidson participated in the Welcome Week festivities at the Milo bail Student Center and Peter Keiwit Institute on August 24-25.

Kate Rempfer (center)
Image courtesy Dusty Davidson

They handed out brochures and talked to students about the Speech Center services. Rempfer and Davidson also represented the Speech Center at the Aviation Information Fair on August 27 and spoke to new aviation students.

* * *

Staff Assistant Mary Gum again helped first-year students find UNO classrooms in Arts and Sciences Hall.

Mary Gum
Gum, who is beginning her 21st year at UNO, begins each academic year by helping new students.

Maverick PR at UNO football tailgate

Around town
Omaha happenings

UNO students are enjoying a new exercise room in the Health Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) building.

The new facility

Renovation and a new addition are expected to be completed in 2010.

Dates & times
Upcoming events

21 - UNO PRSSA Ethics Advocacy, Alumni Center, 2:30 p.m.


4 - Italian Night, The Red Eye West, at 17520 Wright St, 6 p.m.



9 - Holiday party, Arts & Sciences 140, 11:30 a.m.

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