5 basic skills of power, and how you can learn to use them


Eric Liu is on a mission to make civics “as sexy as it was during the American Revolution or the Civil Rights Movement.” As he describes in today’s TED Talk (watch: Why ordinary people need to understand power), we are at a moment of crisis in the United States. The average person simply doesn’t know how to participate in local government, and this means that clout is disproportionately concentrated in the hands of the few who do. Liu’s solution to this imbalance? That we teach everyone the basic skills of power.

As the people of Ferguson, Missouri, stand up against police brutality, the topic of how to take back civic power is on many minds. Through Citizen University, Liu is creating a shared curriculum of power that will be available soon. In the meantime, he offers up several basic skills it will include, to help anyone interested in influencing change right now.

Skill #1: Understand the system.

“Before you…

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UNMC Spirit Week 2010 – Pillars of a vital mission

UNMC, with its four-pillared mission, is a vital force in Nebraska.  by Chuck Brown, UNMC public relations

During our inaugural Spirit Week, we celebrate the essential work our employees do in research, education, outreach and patient care.

Below, we profile four employees who embody the pillars of UNMC’s mission.

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Gurudutt Pendyala, Ph.D.
  • Name: Gurudutt Pendyala, Ph.D.
  • Title: Instructor in the department of pharmacology and experimental neuroscience
  • Vital contribution: Dr. Pendyala is a lauded post-doc researcher who works in the field of neuroscience. He looks for ways to protect the brain from damage caused by diseases such as HIV/AIDS as well as from toxic substances such as methamphetamine, a drug that has a high prevalence in rural states such as Nebraska.


  • Name: Carol Lomneth, Ph.D.
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Carol Lomneth, Ph.D. (right)
  • Title: Associate professor of genetics, cell biology and anatomy
  • Vital contribution: Dr. Lomneth teaches gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy to medical students. Her work with the students helps lay the solid educational foundation they need in their journey toward becoming physicians.



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Athena Ramos
  • Name: Athena Ramos
  • Title: Program coordinator in the College of Public Health’s Center for Reducing Health Disparities
  • Vital contribution: Among her many efforts to fight disparities, Ramos helped power an initiative to make all public places in Omaha smoke-free and she works to promote smoking cessation among youth and minority populations, which have proven to be vulnerable to targeted marketing of tobacco companies.

Patient care

  • Name: Charles Enke, M.D.
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Charles Enke, M.D.
  • Title: Chairman and professor in the UNMC Department of Radiation Oncology
  • Vital contribution: Dr. Enke specializes in the use of radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer. Using cutting edge technology and techniques, Dr. Enke and his team have provided care and hope for thousands of patients and their loved ones.