TMU 7(2), February 2, 2010

UNO Forensics challenges national contenders. Our Forensics students have shown championship skills at tournaments early in the year. In Lincoln January 23-24, UNO won Saturday and the overall sweepstakes results in the swing co-hosted by Nebraska-Lincoln and Kansas State. Iven Mendoza and Cortney Griffith earned a first place, and Mendoza also had a solo first. Jacki Miller and Brian Robinson also won their events. Ryan Syrek, spouse of Coach Abbie Syrek, won a service award.

Meanwhile, in a January 16-17 key test before Nationals, a split squad of five competitors traveled to Austin, Texas for the 11th annual Hell Froze Over (HFO) swing hosted by Texas at Austin and Bradley University. Forty schools and nearly 100 students competed and UNO advanced 12 competitors to semi-finals and six to finals. Cameron Logsdon was the poetry champion, as he made it to semi-finals in all five of his events. Allison Henri finished second in poetry during Saturday competition, as the UNO team finished in fourth place. On Sunday, all five students advanced to the semi-final round. Henri made it in all five of her events. Logsdon again won an event. Tessie Stednitz was second in poetry. Sophomore Niveditha Rajagopalan made it to the semi-finals in two events. Robinson was a semi-finalist in the challenging impromptu competition, as the UNO team tied for fifth place out of 40 schools.

That same weekend, part of the team competed at Concordia. In Saturday competition, Blaine Miller won the dramatic interpretation and overall sweepstakes award. Mendoza and Griffith teamed for first places on both days. On Sunday, Miller won an individual sweepstakes, as the squad finished in third place.

Competitor in the spotlight, By Cameron Logsdon. Blaine Miller is a sophomore on the UNO Forensics team majoring in Secondary Education with emphases in History and English. He graduated in 2008 from Bellevue East High School, where he served as a captain for the forensics team.

During UNO's 2009-10 season, Blaine has competed in five events. This year his persuasive speech analyzes the foreign and domestic implications of the ever-growing Evangelical influence in the United States military. As of January, Blaine had four of his five events qualified for the American Forensics Association-National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) to be held in April at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. When he is not competing or memorizing dates and dialogue, Blaine spends his time relaxing at home with his roommates, two of which are also competitors on the UNO speech team. He also has a part-time job as a DJ at Skate City in Bellevue. Blaine has a particular interest in video and computer games and can rarely be found during downtime without his laptop nearby.

Seminar to explore journalism’s brave new world. An international leader in interactive media, David Mathison is the featured speaker at the University of Nebraska at Omaha February 26. Mathison, author of Be The Media, will speak at 2 p.m. at the Thompson Alumni Center. That evening Mathison will appear at a no-host dinner at the Omaha Press Club. Members are invited to attend this informal networking dinner by making reservations and requesting seating with the OPC Foundation group. Mathison also will speak the next day at a skill-enhancing Saturday morning seminar. The event will be held at Creighton University’s new Apple Authorized Training Center to give participants experience with the latest communication tools. The seminar is made possible by OPC-Foundation’s partnership with Creighton and the UNO School of Communication.

New tricks of the trade. School of Communication alumni and a current graduate student presented January 29 at PRSA Nebraska’s Professional Development Conference in La Vista. Josie Loza of the Omaha World-Herald and Tom Becka of KFAB were on a newsroom panel that focused on social networking tools Twitter and Facebook. Gateway Editor Andrea Ciurej and December graduate Mikaela Knipe were among those questioning the panelists. Alumna Gina Svendsen and graduate student Cheril Lewis, who is working with Dave Ogden, presented a Universal Information Services data analysis led by media monitoring innovator Todd Murphy. Ogden, Jeremy Lipschultz and Bob Carlson have collaborated with the company on improving measurement of public relations effectiveness. Karen Weber and more than a dozen current students attended the event along with numerous alumni working as PR professionals in the area.

ODK honors. Dean Gail F. Baker was among those inducted January 27 into UNO’s chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa. Chris Allen is the new ODK faculty adviser. He presented a summary of the goals of the leadership honor society. Karen Weber, Deborah Smith-Howell, Terry Hynes and Jeremy Lipschultz were among those in attendance at the annual event. Students were inducted prior to the dinner featuring induction of administrators, faculty and staff.

Academic excellence in action. Chin-Chung (Joy) Chao, assistant professor of speech communication, had her research, “Cultural values and anticipations of female leadership styles in non-profit organizations: a study of Rotary clubs in Taiwan and the United States,” chosen, by the editors of Leadership & Organization Development Journal, as the winner of the 2009 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award in the Leadership and Organization Development category. *** Hugh Reilly is participating in the Writing Across the Curriculum UNO program this year. He attended a two-day workshop in early January. *** Six members of the Ad Club are attending the upcoming Omaha Advertising Federation’s Meet the Pro’s event. Adviser Hugh Reilly is accompanying the group, which is also preparing to participate in the National Student Advertising Competition later this semester in St. Louis. *** Ana Cruz and former faculty member Mary Anna Kidd are among those presenting at the upcoming Central States Communication Association meeting in Cincinnati. Their paper, “Beyond the classroom walls: Pushing the limits of community engagement in the Intercultural Communication classroom,” is in the Intercultural Division of CSCA. Meanwhile, Graduate Teaching Assistant Charley Reed has learned his Central States submission was selected as a top student paper. *** Adam Tyma is collaborating with Tim Sellnow and Deanna Sellnow – a paper based upon Tyma’s dissertation has been accepted to the International Communication Association this summer in Singapore. "Social media use in response to the Virginia Tech Crisis: Moving from chaos to understanding," will be presented under "Matters of Communication: Political, Cultural and Technological Challenges." ICA again had a record number of submissions, and about 54 percent of papers received were accepted for presentation. *** Maverick Solutions travel plans. Six senior account executives and Adviser Karen Weber will travel to New York City April 8-12. The group is arranging a site visit at Burson-Marsteller, a large PR agency. The trip is being funded through work with clients such as UNO Building Bright Futures, the Scouting for Food drive and Blue Planet Natural Grill. *** Mike Whye has an article and photographs about long-time Lincoln musician Mac McCune in the January/February 2010 issue of Nebraska Life. Whye also had a hand in a book that is being sold in Poland and the U.S. Written by Boguslaw Zieba, of Vienna, Blechhammer tells the war stories of the 10 men of an American B-17 bomber who had to bail out over German-held Poland; five were captured by the Germans and the others were picked up by Czech and Polish partisans. They eventually made their way to Soviet Russia and back to American lines months later. Whye’s father worked with the crew in his bomb group. Whye edited the English translation, and the book is sold through He also recently published tourism photos in the 2010 Iowa Visitor Guide. *** The UNO School of Communication recently submitted three applications for funding through the University of Nebraska Kelly Fund. Teresa Lamsam, Cynthia Robinson-Moore, Ana Cruz and Chin-Chung Chao were part of a team proposing five research projects related to race and dialogue. A second proposal by Ana Cruz and Karen Dwyer focuses on Latino growth and the need to better understand UNO’s student population and needs. The researchers hope to improve classroom climate and grow student retention rates. A third proposal by Lynnette Leonard and Chris Allen seeks to expand media literacy though the North Omaha Media Alliance service-learning project. The research would link NOMA to a campus focus on eCitizenship. Leonard recently coordinated a NOMA presentation to the Bright Futures Board. *** Jeremy Lipschultz was interviewed for a story on police department use of social media, which was published in and later picked up by The story was authored by Lauri Stevens, a former KETV reporter, who is now a professor and chair of interactive media at The New England Institute of Art in Boston. *** The Omaha News, a weekly student news program, will again air select programs on NET2 in February, March and April. This is in addition to live airings on The Knowledge Network, TKN (Cox 17 and Qwest 74). Additionally, UNO Television is producing a live wrestling broadcast to air February 4.

The photo gallery.

Nebraska Lt. Governor at the Certified Public Managers (CPM) Graduation

Jerilyn Kamm helps with Alumni Night on the Ice

Alumna Sue Merkel-Miles, Alan Miles and Jeremy Lipschultz at alumni night

Marshall Prisbell and new baby

Upcoming events

4 - North Omaha Media Alliance (NOMA), CPACS 104, 3:30 p.m.
12 - Strategic Planning Forum, MBSC Ballroom, 8:30 a.m.
16 - PRSSA Mardi Gras Bake Sale, ASH, 11:30 a,m,
17 - PRSSA Lunch & Learn with PRSA Pro, ASH 107i, 12 p.m.
18 - Maverick PR Fundraiser Dinner, Indigo Joe's, 7 p.m.
23 - PRSSA Eating Disorders Week Event, MBSC, 11:30 a.m.
26 - David Mathison, Be The Media, Thompson Alumni Center, presentation, 2 p.m.
27 - Omaha Press Club Foundation Workshop, Creighton, 9 a.m.

3 - Kappa Tau Alpha Induction, MBSC, 7 a.m.
5 - Center for Collaboration Science Research Seminar, CPACS, 8:30 a.m.
15 - Spring Break Week
27 - OPC 2010 Show
, Mid-America Center Council Bluffs, 5:30 p.m.

16 - OPC Scholarship Dinner, Omaha Press Club, 5:30 p.m.
22 - High School Media Conference & PRSSA National Organ Donor Awareness Event, MBSC, 11:30 a.m.
26 - Communication Week Events (April 26-29)
27 - Mav Solutions
, MBSC Chancellor's Room, 4 p.m.
28 - National Advertising Competition, St. Louis
29 - Scholarship Breakfast, MBSC Chancellor's Room, 9 a.m.; Alumni Panel, MBSC Dodge Room, 1 p.m.; 55th Annual Communication Awards Banquet, Thompson Alumni Center, 6 p.m.

7 - Commencement Breakfast, Thompson Alumni Center, 9 a.m.; Commencement, Civic Center, 2 p.m.

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