Jim Leslie Outstanding Service Award 

Established in 1974, Outstanding Service Awards honor faculty, staff, alumni or friends who have shown long, outstanding service to the alumni association and/or university. With this year’s honorees, the list of recipients grows to 120 individuals.

The award was renamed the Jim Leslie Outstanding Service Award in 2022 in honor of Jim Leslie, President of the Alumni Association from 1973-2006.



Brian T. Allison
Brian Allison was the 98th alum to chair the board from 2020 to 2021. He is a 2005 UNO graduate with an MPA. Allison joined the board in 2014 and completed his service in 2023 as past chair. During his tenure as chair, he oversaw the association’s change from a 501(c)(3) organization to a Functionally Integrated Supporting Organization of the University of Nebraska Foundation. He also was a member of the search committee whose work led to the hiring of UNO Chancellor Joanne Li. Allison is vice president at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Allison’s career also includes positions held at Children’s Nebraska, The MENTOR Network and Psychiatric Management Resources.


Lacey Merica
Lacey Merica has been a longtime volunteer for the UNO Alumni Association, having been involved in several programs. Most noticeable is her involvement at UNO commencement ceremonies, where she has distributed thousands of alumni pins to graduates as they exit the stage after receiving their diplomas. She’s also volunteered for events such as Homecoming, and last year joined the CBA Recent Alumni Advisory Board. Merica has been a consistent supporter of UNO through Wear Black, Give Back donations, and participating in Alumni Month of Service. Merica earned an MBA from UNO in 2011 and an MS in political science in 2021. She was a member of the UNO Young Alumni Academy Class of 2013. Merica is the accreditation/assessment coordinator for the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Scott Vlasek
Scott Vlasek is one of the most well-known figures on campus. His time at UNO began as a student in 1991. He earned a BGS in aviation in 1995 and one year later became a graduate assistant at the UNO Aviation Institute. He earned an MPA from UNO in 1998 and joined its faculty. Today, he serves as director of the UNO Aviation Institute. Vlasek’s work has helped the institute become one of the nation’s best providers of aviation education. Vlasek also is among the most loyal supporters of Omaha Athletics as a longtime season ticket holder for several Maverick teams and travels frequently to away games. Vlasek was a longtime ex-officio member of the UNO Alumni Association Board of Directors, serving as the faculty senate representative from 2013 to 2021.