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UNMC

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Chancellor Gold walks along UNO campus with former student body president Patrick Davlin
Photo courtesy UNO Communications

Charlotte Reilly
News Editor

Chancellor Jeffery Gold began his first day as the interim chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Omaha on May 8, 2017.

UNO staff and students received an email on April 27, 2017 stating Chancellor Gold was selected to replace UNO Chancellor John Christenson as the interim chancellor of UNO. Chancellor Gold has been the chancellor at The University of Nebraska Medical Center since 2014.

“UNO’s student-focused, metropolitan university mission will remain the bedrock of everything we build together,” Chancellor Gold said in a speech during his first day as the UNO chancellor. “Together, we will continue UNO’s rich history of prioritizing not just excellence in education, but also access and opportunity.”

Chancellor Gold listed some of the accomplishments of UNO and UNMC, including education programs that lead to research and health professions, dual degree programs, expanded outreach and advances in biomedical technology programs.

On May 11, 2017, University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds announced that the Nebraska Legislature might be conducting a study to determine if combining the UNMC and UNO campuses is possible and advantageous. The university did not know of or request the study, Bounds explained.

“We’ll be pleased to have conversations with interested senators about the reasoning behind our decision to name Dr. Gold to lead both UNMC and UNO,” Bounds said. “We will make the same points we have shared with all of you: That this appointment opens exciting opportunities for student and faculty collaborations, that we think can find additional fiscal efficiencies, and that while it makes sense for our Omaha-based campuses to work more closely together, UNO and UNMC also each have distinct and important missions to serve our state.”

If the study proceeds, Bounds says he will use the opportunity to show the legislators the role each campus plays in Nebraska communities and explain the decision behind the leadership transition.

 

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Dr. Mike Boska was expert in magnetic resonance imaging research at UNMC.

Dr. Mike Boska whose expertise in magnetic resonance imaging research benefited countless scientists at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, died Saturday in a one-man glider accident near the Blair, Neb., airport.

Dr. Boska, 59, served as professor in the UNMC Department of Radiology, director of the bioimaging core and vice chairman of radiology research, and worked to develop improved disease detection methods.

A celebration of life service will be 11 a.m. Friday at the Malvern Community Center in Malvern, Iowa, followed by a luncheon. A memorial has been established at the Glenwood State Bank to fund a scholarship for a UNMC graduate student.

“Mike was a good friend, trusted colleague and a great scientist,” said Dr. Craig Walker, professor and chair of the UNMC Department of Radiology.

“The loss is tremendous on multiple levels,” said friend and collaborator, Dr. Howard Gendelman, professor and chair of the department of pharmacology and experimental neuroscience.“We learned from an early age that the world stands on three pillars – the pursuit of knowledge, kindness to others and hard work with devotion to cause.

“Mike captured all three, then took each of them two steps forward – through his wholeness in wisdom, his zest for life and his breaking boundaries through adventure.”

Dr. Boska, who resided in Glenwood, Iowa, joined UNMC in February 2000 and collaborated with many on campus, most notably the neuroscience community as his research focused on the development and application of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) methods. He was co-investigator on numerous grants and was an active published scholar.

In 2012, he was named one of UNMC’s Distinguished Scientists.

“Mike was enthusiastic about his role as director of UNMC’s small animal MRI imaging facility where he found creative ways to help researchers answer challenging bio-imaging questions,” said Dr. Paula Turpen, director, research resources in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. “I thoroughly enjoyed working with Mike over the years and hearing about his soaring adventures. Mike was a great guy and he will be sorely missed.”

Dr. Boska earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Michigan State University in 1980 and, in 1985, his Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from the University of California-Berkeley, where he also took up the sport of hang gliding in 1982. He received his post doctorate in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in 1987 from the University of California, VA Medical Center in San Francisco.

Hang gliding was his hobby. In a 2008 interview in the UNMC Today newsletter, Dr. Boska said, “As a child I always wanted to parachute, but when I heard about hang gliding in the early 1970s, I thought, ‘that sounds even better.’”

As a pilot, he had flown hang gliders with and without power for nearly 40 years. He particularly enjoyed soaring alongside eagles and Red Tailed Hawks, saying: “They are very curious and will come right up and fly with you during unpowered flights.”

He was an avid Telemark skier, making trips to Colorado and Utah on a regular basis, and enjoyed Latin rhythms, even learning how to play a set of three Valje congas.

Dr. Boska’s step-daughter, Melissa Mellon of Plattsmouth has worked the past 15 years as a radiology research associate in Dr. Boska’s lab. Other survivors include: his wife, Margaret; son, Dan of Glenwood; granddaughter, Savannah of Glenwood; and many extended family members.

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Derek Munyon
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Global Warming, air and water pollution are some of the biggest problems facing us today and will continue to be issues in the future.  While some parts of the population refuse to see this as an issue, those that do need to take action to prevent our world from becoming uninhabitable for future generations. This is the discussion that the Omaha Science Café is having on Sept. 1.

David Hallberg, who has served as legislative director for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, will be discussing the public health of gasoline emissions in urban areas at the Slowdown, 725 N. 14th St. at 7 p.m.

Hallberg was involved in drafting ethanol legislation from 1977 to 1981.  He also served as the president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, which he founded, from 1981 to 1985.  He was a member of the delegation to the G8 form on climate change in Japan in 2001.  He holds 3 U.S. patents for his work in renewable fuels and was appointed by Gov. Ben Nelson to serve on the Nebraska Ethanol Board from 1998 to 2010.

The Science Café will offer an interactive face-to-face experience with this award-winning scientist.  A question and answer period will follow a presentation.  Attendees must be 21 and over.  Pizza will be provided for the first 50 attendees.

PHOTO COURTESY OF UNMC
PHOTO COURTESY OF UNMC

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University of Nebraska Medical Center Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold will visit four Nebraska communities next week to learn about health care opportunities and challenges in the area, and how UNMC can better serve the communities’ needs.

The four locations are Chadron, Alliance, Mullen and North Platte.

Vice Chancellor for External Affairs Bob Bartee will accompany him as they meet health care providers, practitioners, college and community leaders in the above areas. The first public meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 30 in Alliance at the West Side Event Center.

Dr. Gold is expected to provide updates on UNMC’s economic impact in rural communities and the recently approved construction of a state-of-the-art education center – the Interprofessional Experiential Center for Enduring Learning (iEXCEL℠) – at UNMC.

He also will provide brief updates about construction projects at UNMC, including the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center; the Lozier Center for Pharmacy Sciences and Education and the UNMC Center for Drug Discovery (all one facility); and the Lauritzen Outpatient Center & Fritch Surgery Center.

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The University of Nebraska Medical Center and its clinical partner, Nebraska Medicine, rolled out a new transportation plan this week to encourage employees to avoid driving solo to work.

Instead, employees are given incentives to carpool, walk, bus or bike as an alternative way to save money and reduce pollution and traffic congestion on the main midtown campus near 42nd Street and Dewey Avenue.

The program, called TravelSmart, is available to the more than 13,000 faculty, staff and students who currently travel to campus.

Melanie Stewart, who is implementation team coordinator for the program, said in a press statement: “It’s important to know that the program can be used daily, but if that’s not possible, you can still participate and see benefits.”

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Some of the TravelSmart program perks include:

· Free bus pass, free carpool pass and free indoor/secure bike storage (and access to locker and shower facilities).
· Free access to a service that helps find carpool partners.
· Free ride home when unforeseen emergencies occur on the days active transportation is used.
· Participants will have access to $3 daily-rate flexible parking on the days they need to drive alone in their vehicles (three convenient parking areas across campus).

Watch the below video to learn more about the program here…

Two professors at the University of Nebraska at Omaha will lead a discussion about the science and sociology of transgender at tonight’s Science Café, a free educational lecture series.

Jay Irwin, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology at UNO, and Sofia Jawed-Wessel, Ph.D., assistant professor of public-health education at UNO, are the featured speakers.

The event — scheduled for 7 p.m. today at the Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. — is sponsored by UNMC and other groups to increase people’s science literacy. Science Cafés are open to everyone 21 and older.

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Irwin is an assistant professor who has studied medical sociology. His research focuses on transgender health, lesbian health and related issues. He serves as co-chair for the campus wide LGBTQ Task Force and a member of the Safe Space Training Committee and associate director of the Midlands Sexual Health Research Collaborative at UNMC.

Irwin was recently featured in this column by Omaha World-Herald columnist Matthew Hansen who wrote about his reaction to Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover photo last week.

SofiaJawed-Wessel

Jawed-Wessel is an assistant professor of public health-health education at UNO and the assistant director of the Midlands Sexual Health Research Collaborative.

Read her full bio by clicking here.

To learn more about the Science Café series or get the lecture series’ schedule, click here.

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LISTEN TO A PODCAST

Click here to listen to a podcast of “No More Sex in the Dark : Shedding light on sexuality, anatomy, and gender” presented by UNO assistant professors Jay Irwin, Ph.D., and Sofia Jawed-Wessel, Ph.D., at a Science Café held on July 8, 2014.

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