March 2020 Newsletter

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Building Omaha’s Future Leaders

March 2020

A STEM Professional You Should Know

This month it’s the STEM Professionals You Should Know! Here are some brief descriptions of professionals that presented on February 18th for the Math Circles: Math with Medicine event held at Clarkson College!

JoAnn Acierno, M.S.N, R.N. and Joan Blum MSN, NP-BC are Associate Professors of Undergraduate Nursing. JoAnn Acierno, M.S.N, R.N. teaches pathophysiology and pharmacology. Nurses use math to calculate drug dosages, fluid replacement, intake and output. Science is important to help students understand how diseases affect the functioning of the body so they can understand the disease or disorder the patient has in order to plan their care.

Lori Bachle, MS is Director of General Education, General Education courses strive to impart a broad knowledge of nature, society, and culture to complement our health care specialties and prepare students for a dynamic and ever-changing world.

Marsha Cravens MSN, MEd, RN says “as Director of Undergraduate Nursing, I oversee the undergraduate nursing program curriculum which interrelates science and math principles in all nursing classes.”

Carla Dirkschneider, Director of Health Care Business. Healthcare business professionals serve in many different roles throughout the hospital.  Some areas include: data analysis for the healthcare facilities using data from the electronic health record including all the hospital statistics, billing and insurance practices for healthcare, Information technology/database management for the electronic health record, etc.

Sharon Eden, M.A. as Associate Professor uses STEM in Microbiology, Environmental Risk Factors of Disease, and Epidemiology to describe the characteristics of pathogens and how to control them, mathematically determine risk factor and disease associations, and apply mathematical concepts to report and evaluate data

Sarah Flanagan, MSW, MPA, LCSW as Director of Community Health & Interprofessional Education helps students in Community Health gather and analyze health data to identify and prioritize issues for program planning that promote community health while considering the role of behavioral, social, cultural, economic, environmental and institutional factors that contribute to health among diverse populations.

Caitlin Hebrew, PT, DPT is an Instructor in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program. The field of Physical Therapy requires constant use of scientific and mathematic techniques for specialized understanding of Human Anatomy and Physiology and their relationship to movement (Kinesiology).

Luke Sieburg, MS is an Assistant Professor, Chemistry Instructor, “We definitely hit the Science, Technology, and Math aspects of STEM in chemistry class. Students use technology to both perform and report the results of science experiments.”

Math with Biomechanics Recap

On March 3, a group of educators from across the Omaha metro area, met for a captivating evening at the UNO Biomechanics Research Building for the 4th in the Math Series sponsored by the OSE and UNO Mathematics Department.

Educators and preservice teachers enjoyed a tour of the Biomechanics Research Building, learning the math and science applications from the graduate student’s research projects. 



                                                        Biomechanics is the study of the forces that act on the body and the effects they produce.

Some of the research projects encompass sports performance, prosthetic design, gait analysis and neuromuscular control.

Metro Science and Engineering Fair Recap 

On  March 5, over 283 students representing seven high schools and 15 middle schools assembled at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium for the 41st annual Metropolitan Science and Engineering  Fair. The student competitors represent public, private and home schools from Douglas, Sarpy and Washington Counties, with almost 300 of science and engineering’s best and brightest sixth through 12th graders. This year’s fair awarded 240 projects to top projects from more than 20 categories, as well as for special awards based on criteria established by donors.  MSEF is designed to promote interest in science and engineering, encourage students to do a research project in one of those areas and reward students for their efforts. The top projects will advance to the Nebraska Junior Academy of Sciences (NJAS) in Lincoln on April 18 and could potentially take part on a national level at the American Junior Academy of Sciences conference.

The Omaha STEM Ecosystem would also like to thank our community partners that volunteered to serve as judges.  Without your support, this would not be possible.


Spotlight: 2019 STEM Annual Report

Internship Opportunities 

Hungry for the chance to learn through an intern/externship opportunity? Check out our Internship Page!

Do you want your intern/externship opportunity posted? Contact Julie Sigmon at

Mark Your Calendars!

We want to wish all our community partners and friends the best during this time of social distancing as a result of the COVID 19 virus. The health and safety of our community continues to be a priority.  Our current events have been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date.  All OSE committee meetings will be held via virtual meetings.

Math Series

Math at Union Pacific

Cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date.

We want you to be a part of the conversation about how to find solutions for addressing the shortfall of STEM professionals in the Omaha community. To collaborate with innovators, educators, researchers and leaders of tomorrow, join the Omaha STEM Ecosystem today at

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