New UNMC Today editor named

There's nothing more awkward than introducing yourself.

I'm funny? I'm a nice guy?

The beard will grow back soon?

Let's start with this: I'm the new editor of UNMC Today, joining the public relations team after a stint as a grant writer at Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska. Before that, I worked for many years at the Omaha World-Herald, where my beats included restaurants, local business and community news.

picture disc.
John Keenan
I am not a Nebraska native, but my kids are, something that is a constant source of confusion to me. At least - as a native New Yorker - I've drilled them to the point that they'll say they're Yankee fans, even if none of them cares about baseball in the least.

I run road races and compete in triathlons, although I use the word "compete" loosely. I have been married for nearly 15 years; my wife, Melinda, teaches English and journalism at St. Albert's in Council Bluffs. We have three children - Rosemary, 14, Joseph, 13 and Thomas, 7.

I love to read and write, and I was raised on classic science-fiction, horror and fantasy. These days, I enjoy suspense novels (e.g. Lee Child or Omaha's Alex Kava) and going back to read the classics I missed when I was younger.

I'm looking forward to the challenges and opportunities this position offers me. At the core, I love to find and tell good stories - so hopefully you'll find these stories worth reading.

Three things you don't know about me:

  • I was born and raised on Long Island, and my accent comes back HARD if I hear another Noo Yawka talking - but only then. I can't bring it out myself.
  • A UNMC-trained doctor saved my daughter's life, delivering her by emergency C-section following a placental abruption.
  • I know an embarrassingly large number of Irish folk songs, and can be caught singing them to myself (off-key) if I don't know you're listening.


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Denise Pecha
March 25, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Hi John! Welcome aboard! It will be great working with you again.

Nancy Woelfl
March 22, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Add me to the list of people who is glad you've joined the team. Based on this week's UNMC Today issues, it's clear you hit the ground running.

Stacie Hamel
March 22, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Glad to be working with you again, John! We can start a recovering journalists support group.

Paula Turpen
March 22, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Welcome, John. Looking forward to working with you!

Elizabeth Kumru
March 22, 2013 at 7:47 AM

It's a pleasure having you on the team, John. Already, you, Karen and Kalani are my three favorite team members! We'll have to sing some Irish songs together.

Catherine Mello
March 22, 2013 at 7:27 AM

Welcome, John! Looking forward to working with you!

Tom O'Connor
March 22, 2013 at 7:17 AM

Being a Yankee fan certainly didn't hurt John in getting the job. Just kidding. :-) Know UNMC Today readers are going to enjoy reading John's prose.

Aleta Gaertner
March 22, 2013 at 6:50 AM

Welcome, John! I enjoyed the humor in your introduction. We at the COPH look forward to working with you.

Robin Taylor
March 22, 2013 at 6:36 AM

John, Welcome to UNMC! Hope you enjoy your stint here as much as so many other people do. Go Yankees!

Jessica Brummer
March 22, 2013 at 6:30 AM

We are excited to have you as part of the team John!! I will look past the Yankees thing....go Dodgers!