April 21, 2021
Vickie Shields
Transitional Semester: Anticipating Increased In-person Class Sizes
Governor Sisolak announced last week that businesses in Nevada could open up at 100% capacity by June 1, 2021. He predicted that mask mandates would stay in effect for all Nevada businesses at the state level, most likely through December. Importantly, there is more nuance to this announcement. On May 1st, decisions on re-opening plans for businesses revert to the county level. Each county has already submitted its plans, which must be approved by the Governor’s office.

What does all this mean for Nevada State and our in-person class plans? We have the following directives from NSHE and the Southern Nevada Health District at this time:

  • For our 2021 summer sessions, we will continue with six feet of social distancing, mandatory mask wearing, and 50% room capacity for all classrooms, events, and student services. For our average classroom, that means 20 students and one instructor. 
  • In Fall 2021, we can plan for three feet of social distancing and 75% room capacity. For our average classroom that means 26-30 students and one instructor. The ballrooms can accommodate 40 students and one instructor. 

We are currently compiling return-to-work plans that list service hours and staffing after July 1, 2021. NSHE does not have plans to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for our return to campus; however, we are strongly encouraging all students, faculty, staff, and the NSHE community to get vaccinated. Meanwhile, NSHE will continue to follow all federal, state, and local COVID-19 guidelines.

Poets Take Henderson
I was so excited to attend Poets at the Plaza, hosted by the City of Henderson; it was an evening of poetry, music, and a discussion about the Henderson Arts & Culture Master Plan at the recently renovated Water Street Plaza Amphitheatre. Co-sponsors were Nevada State's Office of Arts & Culture and the Henderson Symphony Orchestra (HSO). The evening was curated by Henderson Arts & Culture Councilmember and Nevada State Executive Director of the Office of Arts & Culture, Angela M. Brommel.
Eight Southern Nevada poets read in celebration of National Poetry Month, and the opening included special performances by HSO youth artists. Blue Sage Writer's Guild President Charlie Johnson introduced the poets, and she read along with member Aimee McAffee. Other Scorpion poets included Clark County Poet Laureate and FYE Lecturer Heather Lang-Cassera and Angela Brommel. All the poets received special commendation certificates from Congresswoman Susie Lee.

The Arts Offsite initiative is part of our organizational culture plan to engage students, faculty, staff, donors, and alumni in arts opportunities on and off campus. It was a workforce project because the NS Student Gallery & Events Assistants for the Office of Arts and Culture worked with Henderson staff to promote and execute the event. These students are Aimee McAffee, Ceonie Washington, Denise Cisneros, Glenda Perez, and Julio Gerardo.
Please Share This Vaccination News with Students
As of late last week, the UNLV COVID-19 vaccine POD in the Student Union has started taking walk-ins for individuals 18 and over, for first doses only (note: you also will receive your second dose from UNLV, but they cannot provide a second shot if you received the first one elsewhere). There's typically not a long line, and they provide free parking right in front of the Student Union off of Maryland Parkway. You can find more details here.

Other organizations are making the vaccine available by appointment, including the Southern Nevada Health District.
Tony Scinta
Trying to Rise in the Fall
This fall 2021 is part of what we refer to as a “count year,” meaning that our enrollment and subsequent (weighted) student credit hours largely determine our state funding for the next biennium. Generally, in recent years our growth has been significant, and the resulting funding has been favorable.

However, the pandemic has forced us to revise our approach, from the nature of our course offerings to the strategies that underlie our recruitment efforts. This has been ongoing, of course, but now we are in the home stretch of supporting a healthy enrollment in the fall. In simple terms, the strategy is twofold:

  1. Bring students into or back to Nevada State
  2. Ensure we have classes and seats for those students

To bring students in, key campus stakeholders (Admissions & Recruitment, Marketing, Orientation) are implementing strategies and conducting outreach to recruit first-year and transfer students. To bring students back, Academic Advising is playing a key role in facilitating the re-enrollment of continuing students (those who were here in the fall) and “stop out” students (those who were here recently but seemingly dropped out of college) and will partner with other offices (Financial Aid, the Bursar’s Office) to see what else can be done for students who departed for financial reasons.

Finally, to ensure that we have classes and seats for those wonderful students who are coming to NSC (or coming back), we’re working primarily with the academic deans to refine the tools and process we’ve been using in recent years to monitor course enrollment and add new sections as needed.

It’s too early to draw any firm conclusions, but not so early to know that this is a top priority for the college right now.
Gwen Sharp
Employee Assistance Program
Nevada State offers free counseling services for employees through our partner, ComPsych. This is a great resource to help deal with stress, anxiety, and other issues. I highly recommend taking advantage of the EAP; it's available to full- and part-time employees.

They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information, call (833) 475-1008 or TTY 800-697-0353 or visit www.guidanceresources.com, and follow the directions on this flyer.

Grants and Publications
  • Molly Appel (English) learned that her National Endowment for the Humanities planning grant has been funded. The grant will provide $34,400 to create an Intercultural Competency Concentration, which will be available to students in any major.
  • Laura Naumann (Psychology) co-authored an article, "Caught on Camera: Cross-Race Interactions Captured in Daily Life," with psychology alum Paula Y. Ramirez; their article has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Research in Personality.
  • For the first day of National Poetry Month, Nevada Humanities featured a poem and blog post by Angela Brommel (Executive Director of Arts, Culture, and Advancement).
  • Giselle Gradila (English and Secondary Education major) has been accepted to Penn State's Mentoring for the Future of Literary Studies summer program. As part of the (virtual) program, Giselle will attend workshops on graduate studies in language, literature, and related fields.
  • Griselda Wille (History) was invited to be a panelist in a webinar organized by the American Historical Association. The webinar, "Teaching across the Curriculum," focused on how to promote historical thinking.

Anti-Racism Library Guide
The Marydean Martin Library staff put together a library guide of books relevant to the topic of anti-racism and the history of race in the U.S.

Making Meetings Better
Want some evidence-based tips on how to make meetings more effective and efficient? Check out this PPT I created about improving meetings, or this summary sheet about best practices. These documents are based on the book The Surprising Science of Meetings (Rogelberg, 2018).

I've found Rogelberg's suggested techniques to be really helpful. For instance, if you're planning a meeting, try scheduling it for 25 or 50 minutes, instead of the default 30 or 60 we so often use; it creates just a bit of time pressure (which helps keep everyone focused on the task) and gives attendees time to transition to their next meeting afterward.

NSHE Existing Program Review Deadlines
When we introduce new majors/programs (undergraduate or graduate), NSHE requires a short progress report in the 1st, 3rd, and 5th years after the program begins to see if the program's enrollment and costs match what we projected when seeking approval for the program. After that, we must complete an existing program review of each program every 10 years (NSHE Handbook, Chapter 14 Section 5).

This spreadsheet shows when we introduced new programs at Nevada State and when our 10-year existing program reviews are due. Our next report is due in 2024-25, for the BA in Criminal Justice. The spreadsheet is available on the Institutional Assessment section of the Provost's Office website.
Gregory Robinson
Congratulations Dr. Herzl-Betz!
It is a great pleasure to announce that Rachel Herzl-Betz, our Interim Writing Center Director, has accepted the offer to become our permanent Writing Center Director. Dr. Herzl-Betz completed her PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a minor in Composition and Rhetoric and concentrations in Victorian Literature and Disability Studies. She joined NSC in 2017 as the Writing Center’s Assistant Director and then moved into the Interim Director role in 2020. During her time at NSC, she’s taught classes in several areas, including Queer Literature, Writing Studies, and Young Adult Literature. She has also been an active researcher, often focusing on how writing centers can support equity and inclusion. I am excited beyond words to have Rachel join us in this role – please join me in congratulating her.

Help Us Make Our New Essential Learning Outcomes Even Better
All full-time faculty are invited to apply for this year’s TFI, where we’ll be taking a slightly different approach. For this summer workshop, we’ll host two sessions (each lasting two weeks), with groups of faculty focusing on a single learning outcome and developing rubrics we can use for assessment.

Session One: May 17, 19, 24, 26 (Mon/Wed 9:00 AM to Noon)
Session Two: June 7, 9, 14, 16 (Mon/Wed 9:00 AM to Noon)

The deadline to apply is Thursday, April 22nd. The online application will take about 5 minutes to complete.
Stefanie Coleman
Congratulations Nevada State Sting Out Stigma Team!
Nevada State's Sting Out Stigma came together for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's (AFSP) Out of the Darkness Walk on Saturday, April 17th. Thank you to everyone who donated. The team raised $2,800 that will go directly to AFSP to continue the fight to end suicide. NSC is leading the way and setting the most amazing example for institutions across our state. Students' mental health matters. Thank you Lauren Porter for leading this very important initiative. Together we can #StingOutStigma and #SaveOurStudents

NSSA Elections
Congratulations to NSSA’s graduating seniors Ricardo Oseguera-Cardona and Nayelli Rico-Lopez. A huge thank you to NSSA President Suman Randhawa for leading the organization through the 2020-2021 term. These three students are serving as this year’s Elections Committee. The official election began on Monday, April 19, 2021.

COMING SOON! Office of Civil Rights (OCR): How to Keep Them Away
Sharneé Walker will be facilitating “OCR-How to Keep Them Away. The Office of Civil Rights-Who Are They and Why We Don’t Want to Know Them” workshops beginning this fall. Sharneé will lead conversations and exercises using actual OCR cases from colleges and universities that were sued by students and either won or lost their cases.

Real College 2021 Survey Results
Last September, over 500 NSC students participated in the Real College Survey (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) to gauge how NSC disbursed emergency aid to students through the pandemic. Before the campus results were announced, Laura Hinojosa and Danette Barber participated in webinars to learn about the national results (over 200 colleges and universities participated--4 and 2-year institutions, HBCUs, and others). While no college/university is perfect, many institutions, NSC included, took what they learned from the national results and started making some adjustments. Our campus results indicated we need to increase our marketing and awareness of the CARE Team. Over 50% of our student participants were not aware of the assistance available to them on campus. The CARE Team is committed to increasing our efforts to bring awareness of our available services to the campus and welcome ideas from other campus stakeholders. After reading the reports, if you have ideas regarding increasing the awareness of the CARE Team, please reach out to me directly.

Here are the national report and the NSC report.
Sandip Thanki
Graduation Dashboard 
We have updated our graduation dashboard with some modifications to the layout. The top left set of drop-downs lets us slice the data by a chosen variable and then lock it to a specific value (e.g., "Gender" selected on top, and "Women" selected at the bottom). The top right set of drop-downs can help us do the same for a second variable (e.g., "Department" selected at the top, and "Business" selected at the bottom). The default view is for five years but can be expanded or narrowed using the “For the years” option and terms of interest.  Mousing over the values in the table or the chart shows averages for time-to-graduate, credits, and GPAs. The bottom-right dropdown, “Additional Degree Received,” can help us examine dual degrees and minors. For example, locking it down to "Biology (MN)" can tell us how many graduates had the added minor of Biology both in the table and the chart. 

Please send your feedback or suggestions to sandip.thanki@nsc.edu.
Key Dates
NSC Office of the Provost | 702-992-2663 | http://nsc.edu/provost
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