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UNO

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Joe Franco
SPORTS EDITOR

After dropping its home opener to New Mexico State March 21, the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s softball team hit the road once again for their shortest road trip yet.

UNO made its way west to square off against a University of Nebraska at Lincoln squad that has had their number for last few matchups. After losing to New Mexico State, Omaha was set for retribution against a team who just swept New Mexico State in its last series. The odds were stacked against the Mavericks.

Omaha took a 45-minute bus ride to Lincoln to take on Nebraska on its home field. Playing a college from the same state can always spark up emotions of a rivalry because the winner has bragging rights over the other for an entire year. As history repeats itself, those bragging rights fell into the hands of the Huskers.

The in-state heated matchup was set and fans were at the edge of their seats. The high-scoring offensive display from both teams captivated the fans in a wild 15-11 finish.

Offensively, each team was keyed in at the plate. Every player that saw an at bat for the Mavericks reached on base at least once.

Omaha was led by senior Lia Mancuso and junior Kelly Pattison, each going three-for-five at the plate and combined for three runs batted in and three runs scored as well.

Senior Lizzie Noble started the game off with a leadoff home run to give the Mavericks an early lead. UNO tallied another run when senior Nicole Warren reached on base and allowed Mancuso to score. The early 2-0 lead was the only one of the game for UNO, and they spent the remaining game aiming for a comeback after Lincoln answered in the bottom of the first inning with five runs of their own.

The Huskers added on four more runs in the second inning before both teams were held scoreless in the third. In the fourth inning, both teams traded shots and the Mavs got two runs back, but the Huskers answered in the bottom of the inning with three more runs to take a 12-4 lead. The game looked to be a blowout win for Lincoln.

UNO added one run in the fifth inning and shut down Nebraska to begin its late-game rally. Warren woke up the bats for the Mavericks in the top of the sixth inning by reaching first after a drag bunt and advancing to second on a wild pitch. This type of small-ball effort was the beginning of a comeback attempt for the Mavericks. Freshman Hailey Bartz cranked out a grand slam and Mancuso followed with an RBI single to tally five runs and bring the score to 12-10.

Omaha could not capitalize on its momentum, unfortunately, and surrendered three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. In their last bit of effort in the top of the seventh inning, freshman Emma Dargy hit an RBI double, but that was the last offensive surge for the Mavs and the game ended in a 15-11 final, once again, in favor of Nebraska.

The loss hurts because of the slump Omaha has been in, but the late effort and heart the Mavericks showed there could be a silver lining in their recent losing streak. Taking a team that has typically dominated Omaha all the way down to the wire could be a spark that could ignite a whole new fight for this UNO softball squad.

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The Gateway held its second News and Brews event on March 14 outside the Milo Bail Student Center Plaza. Several students enjoyed free coffee and hot chocolate as they got to know The Gateway staff and learned how they could contribute to the campus newspaper. Here are a few snapshots from the event…

 

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Photo Courtesy of Madeline Miller

Jessica Wade
CONTRIBUTOR

Nineteen-year-old Madeline Miller says she’s always had trouble with pain in her feet, but when she was 16 years old, the pain spread to her wrists and knees—symptoms of an incurable, debilitating illness.

“I had just been sick for a while, I remember driving home from work and turning the heater on full blast in my car and holding my wrist to it,” Miller said.

Miller’s mother, Melanie, says she knew something was wrong when Miller had trouble putting on her shoes and buttoning her jeans.

“We took her to a hand specialist who treated her for three months, then Madeline said her knees felt hollow and weird, the hand specialist sent us to our pediatrician who sent us to the rheumatologist,” Melanie said.

Pediatric rheumatologist Dr. Emilina Lim diagnosed Miller with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), which according to the Arthritis Foundation website, is the most common form of arthritis, affecting roughly 300,000 children in the United States.

Miller says she received this diagnosis on Aug. 14, 2014, the day before the start of her senior year of high school. Unfortunately, while Miller does have a form of JIA, her complete diagnosis wouldn’t come until much later.

Miller graduated high school an honors students and was awarded three scholarships to the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

As a freshman at UNK, Miller received steroid injections and “felt really good up to November” when the pain began creeping back into her knees. Miller says the pain was manageable, but then she contracted strep throat.

A moderately painful, but not uncommon nor untreatable illness, the strep jolted Miller’s immune system, which, in an attempt to fight off the bacteria, aggressively attacked her joints.

“I failed all my classes that semester because I couldn’t walk,” Miller said. “I got really depressed, lost around 30 pounds within two months. The one time I actually went to class, I threw up three times on the way there because I hadn’t eaten anything except my medications.”

The flare caused by the strep not only hurt Miller’s second semester.

“The flare did a lot of lasting damage,” Miller says. “I need a new shoulder and a new jaw, a lot of the pain I have right now is damage from that flare.”

Miller says that it was because of this arthritic flare that she had to leave UNK and move back home, but it was also this flare that led to her true diagnosis.

Late summer of 2016, Dr. Adam Reinhardt of Children’s Hospital and Medical Center discovered that Miller has Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, a condition ailing only 10 percent of children with JIA.

Systemic JIA, according to the Arthritis Foundation website, “causes inflammation in one or more joints and is often accompanied by a high spiking fever (103°F or higher) that lasts at least 2 weeks and a skin rash.” It can also cause inflammation around the heart and lungs.

The costs of Miller’s illness are massive, both literally and figuratively.

“Some of her shots cost the insurance company $4000 monthly, some cost $10,000 monthly,” Melanie said. “Currently her infusions cost the insurance company $22,000 every other week. We have really good insurance so we don’t have to pay much out of pocket, but Madeline cost the insurance company about $450,000 last year.”

Melanie said the emotional cost is high as well, and having a sick child being treated with medications that don’t seem to work is stressful.

“Be grateful for the ‘little’ problems your kids have,” Miller says. “When your child gets diagnosed with a serious disease it makes everything else seem unimportant. Be nice to people, you have no idea of the pain they are living through.”

Miller said she didn’t realize how close she and her mom were until she got sick.

“I spend a lot more time with my mom,” Miller says. “She cries at all my doctor’s appointments, which is annoying because I’m a sympathetic crier.”

Even with the infusions, injections and oral medications, Miller will never be completely cured of Systemic JIA.

“It will never be 100 percent gone, remission is possible but rare,” Miller says.

Miller plans to enroll in summer classes at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She has some advice for people who may not be familiar with her illness:

“We aren’t lazy, we aren’t faking it, we do need that handicap tag and just because we’re
young doesn’t mean we’re not disabled.”

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Photo by Sara Atkins / The Gateway

Hanna Stock
CONTRIBUTOR

Students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha will dance for 12 hours on April 1 in celebration of money raised for the children who can’t dance.

Dance Marathon is a movement across the nation that brings students and the community together to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in their community. Students will be on their feet for 12 hours through dancing, games and entertainment. Dance Marathon is the only children’s charity committed to having 100 percent of the proceeds go straight to the local children’s hospitals.

“This has been a big job this year since Dance Marathon is a new event and not many people know about our mission ‘For The Kids’ benefitting Children’s Hospital right here in Omaha,” said Sophie Andersen, the director of public relations and social media for Dance Marathon.

“For The Kids” is a tagline used in Dance Marathon movements across the nation. It stands for Dance Marathons mission, which is doing everything they can for the kids that they are raising awareness and funds for.

There will be “Miracle Families” at the event, which include children and their families who are being treated at our local Omaha Children’s Hospital.

“They are the reason why we dance,” Andersen said.

Sadie Denker, vice president of operations with Dance Marathon, works behind the scenes to get games, activities and entertainment acts ready for the big day.

The event will take place in the Milo Bail Student Center from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on April 1. The entire Student Center will be reserved for the duration. There will be activities on every level. Students are going to be able to get involved in someway.

“What’s special is that it’s coming from college students who maybe have been completely healthy their whole life,” Denker said. “We are there dancing and doing things that the children who are being treated wish they could.”

UNO’s goal is to raise $50,000 by April 1. During the month of February, Student Body President Patrick Davlin agreed to shave his head if students could raise $3,000 for the month. The goal was achieved and on March 1, Davlin along with Regent Time Clare, shaved their heads in honor of the money raised.

“I agreed to shave my head after a lot of negotiation,” Davlin said. “Nick Rieschl, the president of Dance Marathon, is someone I’ve known for a long time and he told me it would be a meaningful and fun way to contribute before we both graduate from UNO this May. Once we had the right ‘price’ down, it was pretty easy to agree.”

An important message that Davlin wants students to take away from the head shaving is that even small donations can make a huge impact on a cause that truly matters. David said hopes that he was able to raise more awareness for Dance Marathon and that the momentum will continue as the day of the event draws near.

Those seeking to participate in Dance Marathon or to donate can visit unodm.com to register.

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Joe Franco
SPORTS EDITOR

The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s hockey coach Dean Blais announced in a press conference yesterday that he will be stepping down as head coach and will not return to coach for next year.

“I have been extremely fortunate in my career to work in so many good places with so many people who care about the game of hockey,” Blais said. “Omaha is one of those places. Our administration, led by Trev Alberts and Mike Kemp, have been very supportive during my time as UNO head coach, and our fans are some of the best in college hockey.”

Vice Chancellor of Athletics Trev Alberts stated that Blais was a great leader and candidate to coach the hockey program in Omaha, and that he will be missed.

“Dean has been a remarkable leader for our hockey program during the last eight seasons, and he leaves it in a more prominent position nationally than when he began here in 2009,” Alberts said. “Milestones were a regular occurrence on his watch.”

UNO has yet to announce Blais’ replacement for the next season, but the search is already underway. Associate Athletic Director Mike Kemp said that the former coach will aid the program in finding the best suitable candidate.

“As we move forward, Dean will be working with us in the search of his successor,” Kemp said. “We recognize that we have a strong internal candidate, but also will be speaking with external candidates in an expedited process to fill the position. Given all that UNO has to offer and its place in the college hockey landscape, we expect considerable interest in our head coaching position.”

Blais was with the hockey program in eight of his 18 years of his head coaching career. In his eight seasons in Omaha, Blais finished with a record of 146-133-30 and led UNO to its first Frozen Four appearance in 2015.

After losing the third game in a best-of-three series with Western Michigan on Sunday, UNO finished the season with an overall record of 17-17-5.

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Photo Courtesy of Self Defense at UNO

Megan DeBoer
CONTRIBUTOR

The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Campus Recreation teamed up with 4 Horsemen Security to host a self-defense work-shop in HPER 124 Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The workshop was free and open to the UNO community. In lieu of a registration fee, 4 Horsemen asked participants to donate toiletry items to the Lydia House.

CEO of 4 Horsemen Security and professional correctional officer Wade Stephens said the workshop focused on how to get away, not how to fight. After completing the workshop, Stephens said participants have a better understanding of how to detect a threat and learned how to be more aware of their surroundings.

Attendees also learned and performed reality based techniques to help them stop a threat, escape and find safety. The class covered balance displacement, breakaways and strikes. Stephens said his techniques focus on stuns to the ears and eyes, how to get out of front and back chokeholds, how to escape being grabbed by a ponytail and how to maneuver out of a bear hug.

“My approach is very hands on and interactive,” Stephens said.

Stephens used his knowledge as a correctional officer to educate participants in what perpetrators look for when choosing a victim. His information comes first hand from criminals he works with who are serving a minimum of 40 years to life in prison.

“Most [perpetrators] are lazy,” Stephens said. “They don’t want to fight so they’ll pick who they think will be an easy target.”

When selecting victims, many culprits look for people who aren’t paying attention, Stephens said. In the age of modern technology, miscreants seek out those in “electronic handcuffs,” meaning people who are engrossed in their phones, unaware of their surroundings and won’t see a threat coming. Culprits may also target people who walk with slumped shoulders with their head down.

“It’s all about how you carry yourself,” Stephens said.

UNO graduate assistant Shannon Mettling helped coordinate the event with 4 Horsemen and participated in the self defense workshop held on campus in October 2016.

“It’s important to know what to do in a situation and always be prepared,” Mettling said. “After taking this class in October, it really makes you aware of your surroundings. You know, when you walk to your car at night, you kind of look around and think about [the possibilities of an attack].”

Campus Recreation hopes to host another self-defense workshop in April with 4 Horsemen.

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Photo Courtesy of omavs.com

Charlotte Reilly
CONTRIBUTOR

University of Nebraska at Omaha freshmen Andrea Brosnahan competed at the NCAA Zone D Diving Championships, held in Columbia, Missouri on March 8.

Brosnahan clinched the first NCAA berth for any Maverick in the Division I era earlier this season with her performance at the Mutual of Omaha Invite in the 1-meter event and had a very solid performance.

The freshman won the 1-meter event at the Mutual of Omaha Invite on December 12, 2016 with a score of 271.55. This high score allowed her to compete in the NCAA Zone D Diving Championships.

Brosnahan finished 42nd in the NCAA Zone D Diving Championship with a score of 211.40. Head coach Todd Samland was extremely proud of the young diver.

“We’re very proud of Andrea making it to the NCAA Zone Championships. She represented herself and the university very positively,” Samland said. “To see Omaha competing with the top programs in our region is a significant step with our diving program. The experience she gained this year will allow her to lead the way for others going forward.”


Cassie Wade
NEWS EDITOR

Carlo Eby is set to be the next University of Nebraska at Omaha Student Body President after competing in the first election race with more than one candidate in five years.

Eby, who is a junior majoring in business with a concentration in finance, won the election by 142 votes, according to the student government Facebook page.

Eby has been involved in student government for three years as a student senator. He said running for president has been something he’s always had his eye on.

“Ultimately, though, I felt like I had the experience and background knowledge; I had the ideas and the connections to ultimately serve in this position,” Eby said. “I know a lot of people from a lot of different walks of life here on campus, and I know how things work, not only at the university level, but at the board of regents level.”

Eby plans to bring new ideas to student government, including four pillars to hold himself and the student senators accountable to. The pillars are accountability, transparency, feedback and inclusion.

“In every meeting I go into, in every project that we work on as a student government, we need to be meeting as many of those pillars as possible,” Eby said.

Eby also plans to create an inclusion panel or presidential cabinet made up of representatives from different student organizations, such as Greek life, international students and LGBT students.

“I want to get as many populations represented as we can and have a monthly meeting and say, alright, what’s going on in your organizations? How can I help?” Eby said. “As well as communicate from my end, alright, this is what student governments working on. Share it to your organization; share it to your population.”

Throughout his presidency, Eby plans to emphasize the importance of outside voices communicating with student government.

“The biggest thing to know about me is that I’m here to help, and you just have to let me know how,” Eby said.

“I want to advocate for what you want advocated for, and I want to fight what you want me to fight for. I’m here to help. Tell me what to do.”

One of the main issues effecting students that Eby will face going into office next year will be budget cuts.

“A lot of it’s still up in the air, so we don’t really know what’s going to happen, but we need to prepare in order to best serve the students who will be impacted by this,” Eby said. “I don’t want

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