March 19, 2018
Vickie Shields
The Provost Lecture Series for Social Analysis and Critical Thought
Please join me in welcoming our next Provost Lecture Series speaker: Dr. Russell Kolts, Professor of Psychology at Eastern Washington University and Founder and Director of the Inland Northwest Compassionate Mind Center. Dr. Kolts will discuss how a compassion-based approach can allow diverse populations to grapple with privilege, inequality, and the best way to discuss and address those issues collectively.
I encourage faculty to bring entire classes to the talk or offer individual students incentives to attend outside of class.
Afterward, stay for a panel discussion:

Why We Need Compassion-based Health Care in Southern Nevada
Join Professor Kolts, faculty from the School of Nursing and the Psychology program, and mental health care professionals in the Las Vegas area for a discussion of how health care in Southern Nevada can and should be more of a caring science.
About Dr. Kolts
Russell Kolts is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Eastern Washington University as well as an internationally known scholar and lecturer. He has received numerous awards, including twice being named the Associated Student Body’s Faculty of the Year. Dr. Kolts is founder and director of the Inland Northwest Compassionate Mind Center and is a board member of the Compassionate Mind Foundation-USA. He has the distinction of having H.H. the Dalai Lama write the preface to his book, An Open Hearted Life: Transformative Lessons for Compassionate Living from a Clinical Psychologist and a Buddhist Nun (with Thubten Chodron). He has pioneered the application of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) to the treatment of problematic anger and regularly conducts trainings and workshops on CFT, including in prisons, and was featured in a TEDx talk entitled Anger, Compassion, and What it Means to be Strong. Dr. Kolts has authored or coauthored numerous books and scholarly articles, including The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Managing Your Anger and CFT Made Simple. In his personal life, Dr. Kolts enjoys family time, outdoor activities, listening to and playing music, and reading epic fantasy fiction.
Tony Scinta
We are the Champions
The big news for the week is this: at the NSSA Field Day on Saturday, a rag-tag group of grizzled (read: old) faculty and staff fended off a spirited challenge from an upstart team of students to win games in both football and basketball. Sure, I can’t bend at the waist this morning and I’ve lost all feeling in my extremities, but it was worth it.  

Performance Pool Funding
In other developments that matter, leadership from each NSHE institution met recently with Vice Chancellor Crystal Abba to discuss our recommendations for Performance Pool funding. Each institution receives a set amount of dollars based on the funding formula; however, 20% of those funds are held by the state and only awarded if we hit specific targets (e.g., a certain number of graduates). Since the system was implemented several years ago, we have always eclipsed our targets, and we are now examining our performance metrics for the next biennium (our recommendation, so far, is to not make significant changes). Discussions will continue into the spring, but so far I am encouraged to see how well each institution collaborated to reach a recommendation that is fair and meaningful to all of us.

Spreading the Good Word
Early next week Sandip and I will present at the Annual Gateway Course Experience conference in Houston. Our talk is a very data-driven look at how good data can facilitate effective institutional decisions and student success. We examine evidence-based “wins” in areas including retention, enrollment growth, course redesign, grant awards, and participation in academic support services. All of it, of course, is driven by IR’s nationally-recognized data dashboards.  
Gwen Sharp
Thanks to the hard work of Chris Garrett, the CTLE staff, and volunteers from around campus, NSC successfully hosted the Intermountain Teaching for Learning Conference last week. This was a great opportunity to show off our campus and highlight the many innovative ways we're supporting the success of our student body. Dr. Saundra Yancy McGuire also gave an excellent keynote address on the importance of metacognition in learning.

Over half of the 160 registrants were from outside Nevada--including attendees from as far away as Alabama, Canada, and even Italy. Within the state, attendees came from UNLV, TMCC, GBC, CSN, and Touro. NSC had a great showing, with 52 attendees; of those, 26 presented papers or workshops or participated in roundtables. Planning a conference is a huge task, with many unexpected issues to address; thank you to Chris for bringing this event to campus and overseeing planning and to everyone who helped with various aspects of preparation. It was really exciting to see faculty from so many institutions attending sessions on our campus!

External Grants
  • Through a major collective effort, we submitted a large National Science Foundation HSI grant proposal! Congrats to Dr. Shantal Marshall (Psychology), who is PI and took primary responsibility for the proposal narrative; Dr. Kayla Bieser (Biology) and Dr. Amber Howerton (Chemistry), co-PIs who developed STEM curriculum ideas for the proposal; and Cordellia Vanover, who helped with the budget and budget justification. Thanks to Kevin Butler, Pam Levins, Al Hardimon, and Laura Naumann for advice at various stages. If awarded, the grant will provide $1.5 million over five years; fingers crossed!
  • Angela Brommel applied for a Nevada Humanities grant to fund arts-related programming on campus. One of the events, planned for Spring 2019, would tie into the Common Read program.

Congratulations to Our Spring 2018 Seed Grant Recipients!
We were able to fund four proposals this spring:
  • Dr. Amber Howerton (Chemistry) will collaborate with a student to research the effects of anti-inflammatory compounds on psoriasis. Grant funds will pay for a student research assistant.
  • Dr. Adam Davis (Visual Media) received funding for an experiential learning project; he will supervise a group of students on a film production. Funds will be used to pay actors and pay for supplies for the film set.
  • Dr. Sam Oliphant (Biology) will work with students on a research project looking at the effects of Toxoplasma gondii on the production of a cytokine and implications for understanding the connection to schizophrenia. The grant will pay for lab materials.
  • Dr. Pete La Chapelle (History) received funding for his latest book, Not Ready to Make Nice: A Political History of Country Music. He will use the funding for historical photograph permissions and a student worker to help with fact-checking.

Thank you to the proposal reviewers: Raul Tapia (LAS), June Eastridge (SON), and Amanda Carter (SOE).
Gregory Robinson
Join me this summer for the Teaching Fellows Institute!

Today is the deadline to apply for the Teaching Fellows Institute, a six-week summer program that brings a small group of faculty together to work on the kind of projects they always wished they had time to complete. We will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to noon during the first summer session. Some of the previous projects from TFI include:

  • Collaborating to develop a linked SOC 101 and COM 101
  • Developing our Writing Intensive Courses program
  • Revising gateway classes
  • Developing a class on online learning (Top Gun)
  • Converting in-person classes to online classes

Faculty appreciate the opportunity to make progress on these projects, but they benefit even more from the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other and take projects in new directions. We work closely with other units on campus to create resources like the video Roberta Miranda completed in 2017's TFI.

This summer, we’ll focus on online class development. This can include developing a new online class or improving an existing online class. We’ll have consultants from the University of Central Oklahoma visit, who will teach faculty about their Learning Environment Modeling method

If you are interested, send me an email with an overview of your proposed project. 
Rich Yao
I’d like to welcome our new Academic Success Center Coordinator, Ms. Rikki Gaddy, to Nevada State College. Rikki will provide our Director, Cristina Caputo, with much needed support for our rapidly growing Academic Success Center. Rikki will supervise our Supplemental Instruction coordination (allowing Danette Barber to devote all of her time to the Course Assistant program), as well as coordinate tutor scheduling, training, and monthly data collection and analysis. In addition, she will assist Cristina in collaborating with academic faculty to improve the quality of our tutoring services. Rikki graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis with a bachelor’s degree in Health Science, with a concentration on rehabilitation and disability and a minor in Spanish. She worked her way through college as a peer mentor and campus tour guide. After she graduated, she took on a coordinator role at IUPUI and supervised peer mentors in their success coaching program. Please take the time to welcome Rikki to NSC. 
I’d also like to acknowledge the work of our Academic Advising Coordinator, Elizabeth Brandise, who is relocating to Lake Tahoe with her family. Elizabeth initially started at NSC in 2011, where she served as a PTI in our psychology department. She joined our advising team in an emergency role and began advising full-time in December 2015. As many of you know, our advising team was severely understaffed during that time, and Elizabeth embraced a number of roles and responsibilities during a challenging time for the advising center. She has provided stability to the advising center and played an invaluable role in working with our new advising team. Elizabeth played a significant role in helping the advising center surpass our NSHE benchmarks related to continuous enrollment in math and English courses for our first-year students and 15-to-Finish initiatives. Elizabeth was also the point person for our New Student Orientation programming, which helped usher in our record number of incoming first-year students in Fall 2017. Elizabeth’s last day is this Friday, so please take a moment to wish her well.  
Sandip Thanki
How many NSC students graduate every spring? In the past three spring semesters, NSC graduated 190 (spring 2015), 184 (spring 2016) and 211 (spring 2017) students. This is somewhat lower than the number of graduation applications each spring; based on grades from the spring semester, a small percent of students delay their graduation to summer or fall. For spring 2018, we currently have 308 graduation applications. Based on past data, we can expect around 90% of the students who have applied to receive their degrees this spring, yielding a record high of over 275 students graduating in spring alone. This number would add to the 276 who have already graduated for the year 2017-2018 as shown on our graduation dashboard.
Summer Professional Development Opportunities
You can still apply for several summer workshops:

ESCALA Retreat
May 10-11, 9am-4pm
$125 stipend per day, plus free lunch/snacks
This is an HSI professional development opportunity, funded by our HSI grant. You will learn evidence-based strategies and techniques for working with a diverse student population. So far 23 people have signed up.

Teaching Fellows Institute (TFI) - DUE TODAY
Send an email expressing interest to
Tues/Thurs, 9am-noon
May 15-June 21
$3,000 stipend for full attendance

Summer Scholarship Institute (SSI) - DUE TODAY
Tues/Thurs, 9am-noon (Thursdays only for writing track)
June 26-Aug 2
$3,000 stipend for full attendance at research track; $500 stipend for writing track
Staffing Changes
Recent Hires
The following staff members joined NSC in the last several months: Christian Avila (Admissions & Records assistant), Brnadi Bruno (recruiter), Laura Carroll (temporary case manager, replacing Kristi Collins), Rikki Gaddy (ASC outreach specialist), Tracey Hatter (Admissions & Records assistant), Rachel Herzl-Betz (Writing Center assistant director), Amber Lopez Lasater (Chief of Staff), Kelly Lutz (temporary librarian), Justine Kae Magtoto (library technician), and Candace Morris (TRIO Upward Bound assistant director).

A few staff members left NSC as well: Kristi Collins, Ian Probasco, Nicole Tettegah, Doris Blackwell, and Pamela Pereira-Tapia.
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