Students struggling through finals this week at Omaha's Grace University might find happiness with a warm puppy.
On Tuesday, the first day of final exams, faculty and staff will bring their pets to campus for some informal pet therapy.
“Students really miss their pets from home, and this gives them a chance to take a break from studying to cuddle and play with all kinds of animals,” said Deb Osmanson, dean of student services.
Grace officials first tried the pet event during December's final exams. Dogs and cats visited campus and about 40 percent of the student body participated.
Faculty and staff post notices about the animals they're bringing so students can choose which pets to meet.
Nursing faculty, author honored at Creighton
A Creighton University nursing faculty member who developed an internationally used scale for predicting when patients are at risk for pressure sores will be honored Saturday at Creighton's commencement.
Barbara Braden earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Creighton in 1973 and joined the Creighton faculty in 1975. She holds a doctorate from the University of Texas.
The Braden Scale includes six factors relating to a patient's likelihood of developing pressure sores — commonly called bedsores. The scale helps health care providers take action to prevent the injuries. Braden will be presented with the Alumni Achievement Citation.
Also to be recognized Saturday is Mary Lou Quinlan, author of “The God Box,” a New York Times best-seller last year about the death of Quinlan's mother and the consolation her family found in her “God Box,” a container holding handwritten prayers.
Quinlan will present a one-woman show based on the book at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Harper Center on the Creighton campus. Though the show is free, Quinlan asks for a $10 donation to benefit Hospice House-The Josie Harper Residence in Omaha.
Area online programs among best for vets
Bellevue University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha both made the top five in a new listing of the top online programs for veterans.
The bachelor's degree program offered at Bellevue University was listed third in the new ratings by U.S. News & World Report. UNO was ranked fifth for its bachelor's degree program.
Both colleges previously have been recognized for their military-friendly policies.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln ranked No. 3 for its online MBA program, while Clarkson College in Omaha was No. 1 for its online master's degree in nursing.
The rankings require colleges to participate in key programs offering educational benefits to those who have served in the military.
Grant will help prof study physics of cancer
Iowa State University researcher Sanjeevi Sivasankar has received a $715,000 grant from the American Cancer Society to spend four years studying how cell adhesion affects the spread of cancer.
The research project is a good demonstration of how physics can be used in the fight against cancer, said Sivasankar, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy who is an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory.
In healthy tissue, cells stick tightly to their neighbors using adhesion proteins known as cadherins. But that adhesive function is compromised by cancer mutations. That's one way cancer might spread.
“Cancer cells do not robustly adhere to their primary tumors,” Sivasankar said. “They detach and invade neighboring tissue, particularly when subjected to mechanical stress” such as blood flow and muscle movements.
'Blackfoot Redemption' gets Great Plains honor
“Blackfoot Redemption: A Blood Indian's Story of Murder, Confinement and Imperfect Justice” is the 2013 winner of the Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize from the Center for Great Plains Study at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The book, written by William E. Farr and published by the University of Oklahoma Press, reconstructs the story of a Canadian Blackfoot, Spopee, who shot and killed a white man in 1879. The narrative reveals a larger story about race and prejudice during the transition of American Indians to reservations.
Farr is a senior fellow and founding director of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West and professor emeritus of history at the University of Montana in Missoula.
He will deliver a lecture at the Great Plains Center this fall, when he will be presented with a $5,000 cash prize and a medallion.
Co-parenting class now available online
Southeast Community College has taken its popular co-parenting class online.
The course, approved by the State Court Administrator's Office, is intended to help parents and their children adjust after a divorce or separation. The class remains available in a face-to-face format.
The online version offers more flexibility to couples going through a difficult time, said Nancy Holman, a director in the college's continuing education division.
The course costs $40 per person and takes a minimum of three hours to complete.
It requires a computer with a high-speed Internet connection and sound capability. Users need a working knowledge of computers and Internet experience. It is not accessible with an iPad or Droid tablet.
To register, visit www.southeast.edu/Continuing/CoParenting. Payment can be made only with a credit card.
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