The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 30, 1992, Page 6, Image 6

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    Wearing two hats is hard, grad students say
By Juliet Yenglin
Staff Reporter
They face a combination of heavy
course loads and intensive research,
long hours of grading papers and
meetings with confused students.
But despite the difficulty of bal
ancing responsibility with stressful
schedules, graduate teaching assis
tants at UNL have made room for the
experience of teaching, and most said
they often found it worthwhile.
Nancy Welch, who is working to
ward her doctorate in English compo
sition and creative writing at the Uni
versity of Nebraska-Lincoln, said she
viewed her experience as a graduate
teac h i ng assistan t as an opportun i ty to
encourage growth in her students —
and in herself as well.
Welch’s scholarly pursuit involves
writing, she said, and she was able to
make a connection between her own
growth as a writer and a researcher
through her teaching.
“My research is largely devoted to
teaching and to the teaching of writ
ing,” Welch said. “I have to work hard
to show my students what kind of
knowledge 1 have to give them.”
Mike Ryan, a graduate teaching
assistant for Calculus 106, said he had
received a positive response to his
teaching from the students in hisclass.
Because he is only in his first year
of graduate school, Ryan said he still
recalled how students related to the
I m not so far out of the class, so
I am able to help them understand
concepts that may be troublesome,”
he said.
Students often will be less appre
hensive about asking a question of
their teaching assistant than their pro
fessor, he said.
Mark Gicslcr, who is working to
ward a doctorate in theater, said it
often was difficult to change hats
from student to teacher, but that the
two roles complemented each other.
“(Teaching) is a performance of
sorts,” Giesler said. “Our goal is to
make our students aware that theater
is valuable in society.
“We’re introducing something
fresh and new, which is a nice chal
lenge. We’re able to mold views and
attitudes about the theater.”
But an effective learning atmo
sphere can be produced only through
the efforts of both the teaching assis
tant and the student, Gicslcr said.
Joe While, who is working toward
his doctorate in modem European
history, said the “mediocrity” of sec
ondary education was one problem
infecting college-level teaching.
The absence of both good writing
and public speaking abilities, he said,
leaves students without the proper
skills necessary to “attack” an essay
By keeping his expectations of stu
dents high, White said, he creates a
“shock effect” that forces sludcnts^to
realize they will have to Icam.
Mark Giesler, a theater graduate student, sits in the Temple Theater. He teaches beginning
theater classes.
Enthusiasm often is difficult to
maintain, he said, but he said a genu
ine interest still cxistcdJn his stu
Clif Bridges, who is working on
his master’s degree in military his
lory, said that instead of viewing teach
ing assistants only as “graders,” stu
dents should take advantage of their
Bridges said teaching had given
him firsthand experience with stu
dents as well as the motivation to
make sure they understood the mate
“It’s a daunting task,” he said, “but
very rcwaftlin^ when they say, ‘A-ha,
I understand.’”
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UNL, Hungary team up
on environmental study
By Jennifer McClure
Staff Reporter_
The University of Ncbraska-Lin
coln is cooperating with the Univer
sity of Science in Budapest, Hungary,
to study the environment, said Istvan
Bogardi, a professor of civil engineer
ing at UNL.
One of two programs began last
September with a $70,000 grant from
the U.S. Information Agency and an
$18,000 matching grant from the Re
search Initiative Fund, Bogardi said.
The program combined political sci
ence and civil engineering.
Bogardi, a native Hungarian, said
he became involved in the program
through the International Affairs Of
fice. He said it notified him of the U .S.
Information Agency grant, which he
applied for with Ivan Volgyes, also a
political science professor at UNL.
Bogardi said it was important for
people in different disciplines to work
“The point is to integrate social
science and engineering for good so
lutions,” he said.
Bogardi said the universities se
lected critical environmental issues
worldwide, such as air pollution and
nuclear waste disposal, to study. He
said education and research were the
two components of the project.
Last summer, UNL faculty gave
presentations in Hungary on how to
deal with environmental degradation,
Bogardi said. In the spring, experts
from Hungary will speak at a seminar
series, “Global Perspectives of Water
in the Environment.”
Bogardi said the Ministry of the
Environment in Hungary asked some
UNL faculty to provide a one-week
course on environmental risk analy
Bogardi said UNL also was par
ticipating in environmental research.
He said the National Science Founda
tion awarded a three-year grant to the
program to study the effects of cli
mate change on Nebraska and Eastern
Europe. The program is al i i I iated with
the department of meteorology at the
University of Science in Budapest.
“Both Nebraska and Hungary have
very similar topographic and climatic
conditions,” Bogardi said.
Bogardi said that, as a byproduct,
the programs might boostagribusiness
between Nebraska and Hungary.
“Hungary is changing to a farm
market economy,” Bogardi said. “We
can offer them a lot to establish a
system. I believe Nebraska has poten
tial to enter Eastern European mar
kets by utilizing trade in farming ex
“In order to enter markets, engi
neers, social scientists and econo
mists must learn conditions and learn
how to think internationally,” he said.
Continued from Page 1
set the date for his trial.
McElroy has been charged with
attempted second-degree murder,
making terroristic threats and two
counts of using a firearm to commit a
On Oct. 12, McElroy, 43,. alleg
edly attempted to fire a loaded semi
automatic rifle at students in his actu
arial science class in Ferguson Hall on
UNL’s City Campus.
I The rifle jammed, and no one was
Lancaster County deputies arrested
McElroy at his Bcnnct home about 30
minutes after the incident.
McElroy has since filed a civil
rights complaint in U.S. District Court
claiming UNL students and profes
sors had interfered with his education.
Richard Wood, general counsel for
UNL, said the university had not yet
been served with the charges.
“When service is made, we will
respond,” he said.
In addition, McElroy filed a suit
claiming that Lancaster County depu
ties, a UNL police officer and a
Lancaster County judge illegally
sei/.cd items from his home and car.
On Oct. 21, UNL police searched
McElroy’s home and confiscated
blood-stained clothing, ammunition
and loaded handguns.
Continued from Page 1
general counsel, said no investigation
into the incident was planned.
“Nobody did anything wrong,” he
Payne said the chartered flight was
“simply a matter of convenience.”
“A round-trip drive for me (from
Kearney) takes about four hours, and
it’s about seven hours for Don
(Blank),” Payne said. “It just doesn’t
make sense lo drive for lhal long when
you can fly.”
Blank said that although a com
mercial flight would have been
cheaper, it would have taken much
Blank and Payne said they were
surprised at the attention paid lo this
particular incident.
“This is nothing that hasn’t been
done before,” Payne said. “It’s not
precedent-setting, and it was perfectly
legal and ethical."