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Reflections in Time: Interview with Dan Sullivan

UNO Libraries - Oral History Projects
Jack Newton, Interviewer |
Reflections in Time |

Oral history is one of many sources available to consult as part of your research. It reflects the experience of an individual and shares personal opinions offered by the interviewee in response to questioning. Additional sources can verify and provide additional information to the narrative of events presented in oral histories. Contact UNO Libraries’ Archives & Special Collections to continue your research, find additional sources, or learn more.

0:00No transcript.

0:00 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: Reflections in Time is made possible, in part, by support by the UNO Alumni Association. Fostering a legacy of Alumni giving since 1913. [music].

Segment Synopsis: An introduction to the Reflections in Time project, started by Paul Borge, and proliferated by Jack Newton.

Keywords: Jack Newton; Paul Borge; Reflections in Time

Subjects: Oral history

1:45 - Educational background

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Partial Transcript: JN: Dan, welcome. It's good to have you here.
DS: Thank you, Jack. Nice to see you.
JN: We're going to talk a little bit about old times. You've been here almost as long as I have, so we'll have a lot to talk about I'm sure.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan discusses his educational background.

Keywords: Chemistry professor; Corning, Iowa High School; Daniel Sullivan; Professors

Subjects: College teachers Corning (Iowa) Education Northwest Missouri State Teachers College

3:20 - Working in Prescott and Anita, Iowa

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Partial Transcript: JN: Then what did you do? You were trained to be a high school teacher, did you go and teach high school?
DS: That's right. I was graduated in 1958.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan reflects on teaching high school science courses in Prescott and Anita, Iowa.

Keywords: Anita, IA; Daniel Sullivan; Prescott, IA

Subjects: Biology Chemistry Industrial arts Mechanical drawing Physics Teachers Teaching

4:50 - Postgraduate degrees

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Partial Transcript: JN: How did you happen to end up here at the University, what was the University of Omaha? Municipal University of Omaha back then, I guess.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan discusses earning his degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Keywords: Bob Keppel; Daniel Sullivan; Don Marquardt; John Mcmillan; Municipal University of Nebraska; Paul Stageman

Subjects: Biochemistry Doctoral students National Science Foundation (U.S.) Neihardt, John G., 1881-1973 University of Nebraska (Lincoln campus) University of Nebraska at Omaha University of Nebraska Medical Center

9:38 - Dissertation topic

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Partial Transcript: JN: So um, your Doctoral degree, your PhD then was in biochemistry.
DS: Biochemistry.
JN: And what sort of things did you spend...what was your dissertation on?

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan talks about his dissertation research on Phenylketonuria.

Keywords: Daniel Sullivan

Subjects: Dissertations, Academic Phenylketonuria

10:20 - Chemistry labs at the University of Nebraska at Omaha

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Partial Transcript: JN: So, where do we go from here, now? You're at UNO. Let's take just a minute, while I think of it, to reminisce just a little bit about what the physical facilities for the chemistry department were like in '60's.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan discusses the layout of chemistry labs on campus.

Keywords: Chemistry labs; Daniel Sullivan; Wilfred Payne

Subjects: University of Nebraska at Omaha University of Nebraska at Omaha. College of Arts and Sciences

12:06 - Childhood interest in chemistry

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Partial Transcript: JN: Did I ask you earlier, how your interest in chemistry developed?
DS: Well...
JN: I can't recall whether I did or not.
DS: I suppose I might preface this by saying that I don't have to ever worry about dying of a heart attack or in a car accident, because my dad told me I was going to blow myself up one day.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan reflects on his childhood, and how he became interested in chemistry.

Keywords: childhood science experiments; Daniel Sullivan; Interest in Chemistry

Subjects: Childhood and youth Farm life

13:15 - Teaching high school

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Partial Transcript: JN: You've reminisced just a little bit about your experience as a high school teacher before you came here, before we leave that is there anything else you want to...

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan discusses his favorite part of being a high school science teacher.

Keywords: Daniel Sullivan; Doug Holland

Subjects: High school teachers Photography Teachers Teaching

14:03 - Evolution of the chemistry department

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Partial Transcript: JN: What did you do? What were your, what sort of assignments did you have a beginning chemistry teacher here, while you were working on your master's degree?

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan discusses the evolution of the chemistry department, and the move to Allwine Hall, and eventually the Durham Science Center.

Keywords: Allwine Hall; Bob Keppel; Demonstration and problem solving lab; Durham Science Center; George Greer; Municipal University of Nebraska

Subjects: Building--Planning Chemicals Laboratories University of Nebraska at Omaha

21:13 - Contracting Architects

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Partial Transcript: JN: Allwine Hall, aside from being the last building built with University of Omaha funds, was also the last building designed by the Lepenzer firm, which had done the other, they were the architects for the other buildings.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan discusses the contractors used for the new chemistry building, and opening up bidding for architects.

Keywords: Lepenzer Firm

Subjects: Architects Contractors HDR, Inc. University of Nebraska at Omaha

22:25 - From "wet" chemistry to computers

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Partial Transcript: JN: And as you mentioned, by that time the department had an assortment of electronic equipment, equipment of various sorts, that took some effort to move.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan describes the move from "wet" chemistry,to instrumentation and molecular designs on computers.

Keywords: computers; Descriptive chemistry.; Electronic equipment; Memorization; Test tubes; Wet chemistry

Subjects: Beakers (Tableware) Chemistry Computers Laboratories University of Nebraska at Omaha

24:14 - Courses taught

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Partial Transcript: JN: Are you still teaching pretty much the same courses that you've been teaching?
DS: I've been teaching the same pattern, pretty much, for five or ten years now. I teach biochemistry, a junior/senior level biochem class for students heading to med school, or biology majors.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan discusses the classes he taught at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Keywords: Courses; Daniel Sullivan

Subjects: Education--Curricula Teachers Teaching University of Nebraska at Omaha

24:47 - Research interests and outreach

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Partial Transcript: JN: Have you, have you continued at all with the research that you did on your dissertation? You were talking about the research on the enzymes involved with Phenylketonuria.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan discusses his current research efforts, and scientific outreach programs.

Keywords: Daniel Sullivan; Educational outreach; Pedagogical activities

Subjects: Daniel Sullivan Phenylketonuria Research Teachers Teaching

26:24 - Chemistry and Physics on Wheels

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Partial Transcript: JN: Well, as a matter of fact, there's something called...what is it called?
DS: CAPOW. Chemistry and Physics on Wheels.
JN: Chemistry and Pysics on Wheels. Can you briefly tell us something about that?

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan reminisces on starting the Chemistry and Physics on Wheels program to help children become interested in science.

Keywords: CAPOW; Children's programming; Dana Richter-Egger; Kids programming; uno; vans

Subjects: Chemistry Physics Teachers Teaching University of Nebraska at Omaha Vans

32:57 - Awards for teaching

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Partial Transcript: JN: And of course your teaching activities here on campus have, have not gone unrewarded either. You did get the excellence in teaching award, if I remember not too many years ago.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan discusses the awards he has received during his time as a professor.

Keywords: Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award; Daniel Sullivan; Professor of the Year Award

Subjects: Awards Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Teachers Teaching University of Nebraska at Omaha

34:02 - Advisor for premedical students

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Partial Transcript: JN: Notice that you are, looking at your resume, that you have membership in a number of professional organizations that you've been active in. Um, that you have, that you've been active in premedical education; you mentioned that just a moment ago. You've been an advisor for premed students on the campus.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan discusses being an advisor for the premedical students.

Keywords: Daniel Sullivan; Medical school majors; Premed

Subjects: Faculty advisors Medical colleges Premedical education Teachers Teaching University of Nebraska at Omaha University of Nebraska Medical Center

35:12 - Chancellor's Medal recipient

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Partial Transcript: JN: Gee, I also noticed looking at your list of accomplishments here, that you're a member of the same club that I am. You received the chancellor's medal a while back.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan mentions receiving the Chancellor's Medal.

Keywords: Chancellor's medal; Daniel Sullivan

Subjects: Awards University of Nebraska at Omaha

35:34 - Interest in photography and poetry

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Partial Transcript: JN: Um, and in addition to all of this, you mentioned a few moments ago when we were talking about your high school teaching activities, that you were interested in photography. Have you kept up that interest?

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan reflects on his interests in photography and poetry.

Keywords: Daniel Sullivan; Metropolitan Community College; Photography exhibits; Published poet; Signs of Our Times

Subjects: Community colleges Hobbies Photographers Photography Poetry Poets

37:34 - Municipal University of Nebraska merger

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Partial Transcript: JN: You know we've talked a little bit about, about some interesting changes in the University, particularly as it was reflected in the new buildings that you've moved into. When you first came here it was the Municipal University of Omaha.
DS: That's true
JN: Other than the buildings, what sorts of changes did you notice when we became part of the state university system.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan discusses the change from Municipal University of Nebraska to University of Nebraska at Omaha, and past leadership of the University.

Keywords: Leland Traywick; Milo Bail; Municipal University of Nebraska; Sputnik rapist; Student work life balance

Subjects: Jonas, Carl Universities and colleges--Mergers University of Nebraska at Omaha

42:49 - Importance of mathematics and a diverse education

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Partial Transcript: JN: I always recommend to students, or did when Ii was in contact with that students, that science majors are good for them, and they are good for lots of things [inaudible]
DS: Absolutely! They'll help them become better informed citizens. Absolutely.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan discusses electives taken by science majors, and the importance of mathematics.

Keywords: College electives

Subjects: Education--Curricula Mathematics Quiches (Cooking) Statistics Universities and colleges--Elective system

44:46 - Introduction of computers to campus

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Partial Transcript: JN: Did you um, well we started in here now talking about Dr. Bail, Milo Bail. It might be interesting to spend some of the time we have left reminiscing about other people.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan discusses when computers came to campus, the availability of information on the internet, the use of computers in chemistry.

Keywords: Bill Walden; Computers and experiments; data; IBM 1620; Information age; Leland Traywick; Milo Bail

Subjects: Computers Internet research Tabulating machines Web browsing

47:47 - Memorable faculty and staff

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Partial Transcript: JN: Well, I got off the track for a minute there. I started talking about Dr. Bail and Dr. Traywick. Um, and let's see who succeeded Dr. Traywick it was...
BOTH: Kirk Naylor.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan discusses the memorable faculty and staff members he has worked with over the years.

Keywords: Anna Greer; Carl Bush; Del Weber; George Greer; John Mcmillan; Kirk Naylor; Ray Gunther; Wilfred Payne

Subjects: Brooks, Merle E., 1916-1996 National Science Foundation (U.S.) University of Nebraska at Omaha. Weber, Delbert D.

52:59 - Memorable students

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Partial Transcript: JN: Uh, you must have had, uh, a great many students over the years who have, who have gone on to do things that... obviously we've had lots of premed students. I imagine there's a good number in the medical community in Omaha.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan mentions memorable students he has had throughout the years.

Keywords: Bob Synch; Dick Hall; Dr. Dennis Eddy; Sandy Knott; Tm Eaton; William Warner Utz; Zoldi Karakech

Subjects: Students Teachers Teaching

54:34 - FInal thoughts on Milo Bail

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Partial Transcript: JN: We've talked about a number of people in your department, and in other departments, just now a few more, we talked about students a little bit.

Segment Synopsis: Dan Sullivan discusses Russell Derbyshire and Chancellor Milo Bail.

Keywords: Milo Bail; Officemate; Russell Derbyshire; Sharing Offices

Subjects:

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