University of Nevada, Las Vegas
ASC Faculty Highlights

In the midst of managing the largest first-year seminar program on campus, serving hundreds of students in tutoring, academic success coaching, supplemental instruction, advising and supporting our student athletes, the Academic Success Center’s administrative faculty have not missed a beat in researching and disseminating their retention, progression, and completion work.

Our administrative faculty presented their research at more than twelve national and regional conferences and have published or are in the process of publishing a number of articles. In the interest of highlighting the depth and breadth of the outstanding work of our Administrative Faculty, below are a few highlights:
Dan Gianoutsos & Cheyenne Rogers , "Assessing Morale and Satisfaction of Peer-Mentoring Scholars in First-Year Seminars"
Shelly Volsche , "Using Transparent, Problem-Based Learning to Inspire First-Year Students" and "Approaching Intersections in the Classroom" session at the 36th Annual First Year Experience Conference, San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 2017.
Dr. Brandy Smith and Dr. Anne White presented at the College of Education Research Forum (October 2017). "Expect Success: Examining the Impact of Academic Support Services on College Freshmen Success."
Jadin Tredup , the ASC's Grants and Operations Manager, is performing cutting edge research with the UNLV Transportation Research Center to unify copious amounts of traffic safety data from a variety of agencies.
Alan Hott  led an NCAA rules presentation to the College Board West Regional Conference at Red Rock.
Joe Ervin (with Emmanuel Ayim) , "College Identification and First-Year Students: Approaches to the FYE Curriculum"
Dr. Emily Shreve , "Beyond the Classroom: Imagining New Spaces for Literature on Campus," for the Northeast Modern Language Association's 49th Convention (upcoming: April 12-15, 2018). 
Michael Ramirez had his proposal accepted and will be presenting May 24-26, 2018 at the 10th International Conference on Supplemental Instruction: "SI Observation Volunteers: A Program to Develop Current and Future SI Leaders."
Nicole Stella & Jenna Chang
"Creating Pathways for Success” National Academic Advising Association Region IX Conference, Reno, Nevada, March 2017
Nicole Stella & Michael Terry
"Major Pathways” University of Nevada, Las Vegas Research Week, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 2017
As our administrative faculty engage in cutting edge methods to expand and enhance student success, it is critical that we share our work and exchange methodologies with other colleagues around the country and around the world.
Elizabeth Johnson is the newest addition to the Academic Success Center advising team. From curating shows in university museums to nursing lions in a wildlife sanctuary, she brings a unique perspective to providing students with major and career exploration. Elizabeth’s philosophy includes the idea that advising is about building a space that helps students embrace the diversity of their interests while providing a framework for their education.

What is your academic background?
I started off as a Biology major and quickly moved through other options until settling on a major in Fine Arts and a minor in Theater with a Museum and Gallery Certificate at Humboldt State University. I interned as an assistant to the curator of the Humboldt State Natural History Museum and then apprenticed in Texas at the Kendalia Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. My apprenticeship included working with native and exotic species, learning to safely triage and stabilize injured and orphaned animals, as well as caretaking and meal preparation for resident animals. After this, I went on to receive my Masters degree in Fine Arts at UNLV and I’m eager to learn more!

What inspired you to get into the field of academic advising?
During my academic career, I have worked with many students. I had taught them and helped them navigate their degree and their financial aid/ scholarships. Once I received my MFA degree and began working full time as a Social Media Marketing and Research Director, I realized that I enjoyed working in an environment where I helped students on their academic journey. I felt I would be able to help more students as an academic advisor than as a teacher and this is what pushed me to want to become an advisor.

What have you learned so far from your experience as an Academic Advisor?
Advising is as much about creating a safe space as it is about assisting students through their academic journey. It is about achieving realistic goals that the advisor and student develop together. It’s exciting and you become invested in the student’s future which creates a commitment to the success of the student.

What is the most interesting item in your office?
A lamp that was gifted to me when I started in the role. It’s the one item that doesn’t fit in my office making it sequentially out of order. It embraces imperfection and creates a sense of comfort.

What is the top reason students should meet with their Academic Advisor each semester?
There are so many good reasons students should meet with an advisor, ranging from course planning and discussing progression to keeping in the loop regarding campus activities. I would recommend students meet with advisors at least once a semester, preferably twice. A good time to meet with your advisor is before your course registration date and right before the final drop date (mid-semester). 

How does helping exploring major students now set them up with success when they declare in the future?
We assist students with academic information and help them feel confident in their decision making process. If they know what to expect, it is easier for students to remain committed to their decision. If there is a fork in the road, we are there to find the right path with them.  

If you weren't an academic advisor, what would you do and why?
I’d like to think I would be working as a environmental consultant, working at a animal sanctuary, or possibly studying the relationship between humans and animals. I find being in a position where I am learning and helping others is the most genuine and fulfilling for myself.

What is one thing that you wish you knew as an undergraduate student that you know now?
I graduated from Humboldt State and had wonderful experiences and amazing mentors/teachers in the Art Department, but what I wish I had was an understanding of all of the campus resources that were available to me!

What is your one tip for student success?
See your advisor! There is always something you can learn from them.

What do you like about ASC Advising?
One of the things I enjoy about ASC Advising is that we are allotted an hour with each student. The intention of the exploring major is to provide students with the resources and the confidence to explore and build different major and career options. Having the hour long appointments gives us time to create relationships, comfort, and assist students with various needs (e.g., suspension, probation, petitions, major/career exploration). Our goal is to help all students succeed!
Tutoring is having a great semester and we have helped thousands of students. We are very excited to highlight some of our graduating tutors who have dedicated so much time to tutoring other students:
Bryan Attridge has been with the tutoring center for nearly two years. In his time at UNLV, he has received 17 decorations from AFROTC, was on the Dean’s list consecutively each semester, and won a full scholarship for a graduate program-per AFROTC.
Jacob Berkowitz has been with our center for nearly a year, he is one of our most qualified tutors in our sciences section as he has extensive knowledge in a variety of subjects. He plans to pursue a career in medicine.
Laurenc Kodra has been with our tutoring center for nearly three years, he will be traveling over the summer to celebrate his accomplishments, and plans to attend dental school in the fall.

Adam Parks has been tutoring within the NSHE system for nearly five years. Apart from his normal tutoring schedule, he has volunteered countless hours to ensure that his peers are successful in their courses. Adam hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in math.
John Dye has been tutoring within the NSHE system for nearly four years. During this time, he also won an Outstanding Student Award in Physical Sciences due to his incredible work ethic. John will be pursuing a doctoral degree in electrical engineering.

Ashley Lamb has been with our center for two years, helping students create a better foundation for their math skills. Throughout her time at our tutoring center, Ashley has had meaningful impact on all the students whom she has helped.

Shen Huang has been a tutor for nearly two years at our center, through his hard work and dedication he has helped countless students with their questions and concerns. He will be pursuing a doctoral degree in mathematics this fall.

The UNLV Tutoring Center would like to congratulate all of our graduating tutors. They have done exceptional work at the tutoring center, and we are confident that they will carry their UNLV experiences throughout their future endeavors. We wish them the best of luck in their academic and career lives. Way to go everyone!
The Academic Success Center honored TJ Aguirre as the Sophomore of the Year at the Rebels R.I.S.E. Sophomore Recognition and Pinning Ceremony on April 5th. TJ was one of nine students who were recognized from across campus for academic excellence and community
TJ is currently a student in UNLV's exploring major and is considering psychology with a minor in music technology. TJ’s pathway to education has not always been a smooth one. When he was in middle school, he was told by a teacher that he had only a “1% chance of ever attending college." Despite this discouragement, he pushed himself to participate in college readiness programs such as Upward Bound and became a first-generation college student. As his advisor, I knew that TJ was an extraordinary student from our first appointment. His grades showed me that he excelled academically, but what really stood out to me was how he pushed himself beyond his studies to give back to his community.
TJ participates in multiple organizations on campus. He volunteers with the Disability Resource
Center, participates in various intramural sports, plays on the UNLV rugby club team, and also
worked with UNLV for the Professional Golf Association internship. He currently is involved in
the Greek organization Delta Chi where he holds the position of Community Service Chairman,
spending his time with community outreach. Some of the various volunteer work he has done
includes time with 2 Act Ministries and Sin City Church. TJ also stays connected in the UNLV
campus community as a student worker at the Lied Library.
TJ is an example of how you can overcome adversity and make a positive impact in the
community. He reminds us that it is not the words of others, but your own mind and actions that
pave the path to your success. Congratulations, TJ!
The Academic Success Center is now accepting applications for the Dean’s Award Scholarship. Eligibility criteria and link to the application are included below. Apply by Friday, June 1 st

Scholarship information and application are found here:

Over the past academic year, Student-Athlete Academic Services (SAAS) has been active in the Las Vegas community in providing continuing education on NCAA eligibility rules. SAAS believes it is important for local high school students to be educated on how to navigate the NCAA eligibility process if they plan on pursuing Division I athletics. SAAS provided “NCAA Eligibility 101” presentations to parents and faculty at both the SLAM Academy and Liberty High School, and also met with high school guidance counselors at the CCSD College Readiness Education Workshop (CREW). In addition, SAAS sends Athletic Eligibility Specialists to both the fall and spring Rebel Previews put on by UNLV Admissions to give incoming UNLV freshmen the opportunity to learn what they might have to do if they want to participate in varsity athletics.

In addition, this past January SAAS was given the opportunity to partner with the NCAA Eligibility Center and Bishop Gorman High School as they co-presented at the College Board Western Regional Forum. This convention was held at Red Rock Casino and gave SAAS the opportunity to network with high school guidance counselors from all over the western region.

This coming summer SAAS will be well represented at various conferences all over the country. Our staff will participate in continuing education seminars to help us better advise our student-athletes, and will network with other athletic academic advising units at division I institutions. Alan Hott will attend the NCAA Regional Rules Seminar in Atlanta, while Becky Pugh and Danielle Kowal will represent UNLV at the NCAA Regional Rules Seminar in San Antonio. Kim Stewart, Jennifer Villalobos, and Sarah Wattenberg will be traveling to Washington D.C. to attend the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) National Conference.
Every February, faculty, staff, administrators, and students gather together at the Annual Conference for the First-Year Experience. Sponsored by the University of South Carolina and the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, the four-day long conference is a place for higher education professionals to share and discuss research-based methods to support student transitions, with a special emphasis on the first year.

This conference is very valuable for the ASC’s Academic Transitions Unit. Here, we spread the word about our research insights and achievements, and we check in with current thought and trends. Through this conference, too, we demonstrate our investment in lifelong learning—one of the UULOs that we encourage of all our students. 

This year’s 37 th Annual FYE, held in San Antonio, TX, was attended by five members of the Academic Transitions unit. Dr. Ervin, Dr. Volsche, Dr. Gianoutsos, and Cheyenne Rogers all presented their own research, ranging from notes on curricular approaches in the COLA 100E classroom to the methods used to gauge the satisfaction of our Hixson-Lied Scholars.
While there, we attended panels and engaged in conversations with our peers on subjects ranging from the training, support, and development of first-year seminar faculty to new methods of writing instruction in the first-year classroom. We explored tools that increase financial literacy and browsed book recommendations for common reading programs. We learned about the unique perspectives of Generation Z, and discussed practical ways to incorporate effective technology and service learning into the curriculum.

When we returned to UNLV, our first step was to meet together to discuss in detail the conference takeaways. We considered how to apply concepts moving forward, and identified how we will contribute to this student success-focused conversation in the future. 
In 2019, the 38 th Annual FYE will be held here, in Las Vegas. The Academic Transitions Team is again looking forward to learning more about best practices and sharing our work in our home city.
Thank you for your support!
Expect Success!
Phone: (702) 895-3177 | | | @UNLV_ASC