October 6, 2021
Vickie Shields
ACUE Reception
On September 14th, we held a small reception on campus to celebrate the faculty who completed the ACUE online teaching program. This was our first cohort of faculty to go through the program, which provides structured support to learn about effective online teaching practices. The cohort included a mix of full- and part-time faculty, and we had excellent participation by our incoming first-year faculty. Chris Garrett (CTLE Director) was our campus facilitator for the program.

Each faculty member who completed the program earns a certificate. At the reception, Chris Garrett distributed ACUE pins to those who finished the full program. We were delighted to recognize these faculty for their participation and for earning this prestigious credential. While we aren't a large enough institution to take part every year, we hope to enroll a cohort every other year so additional faculty have the opportunity to benefit.
A Note from Angela M. Brommel, Executive Director of the Office of Arts & Culture
The Office of Arts & Culture is excited to unveil the first of a series of outdoor murals. “Earth Day Every Day” by Mila May and “The Flow of Change” by Valentin Yordanov were commissioned in a collaboration with Nevada State’s Sustainability Council. This project is part of The Artist at Work series and an official arts offering related to Nevada State’s Common Read, Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World, edited by John Freeman.

We invite you to celebrate these murals by sharing our photos and your own of the work, but please tag us (@NevadaStateArts) and the artists as well: Mila May (@greenmorning.art) and Valentin Yordanov (@valentinyordanov_/)
Tony Scinta
If you’re sitting there thinking, “Gosh, Tony, your work sounds fascinating; it’s like being a special agent in one of those action movies, except instead of disarming a bomb, your missions involve things like ‘upholding accreditation standards’ and ‘improving IPEDs retention rates,’” well, first, you’re right. But second, and before you become envious, I should point out that I spent a decent portion of the past two weeks talking to people about the logistics of the vaccine mandate. Fun. This includes the unparalleled excitement of discussing the enforcement of online enrollment for unvaccinated students, the recently released exemption forms, and, my personal favorite, the routine testing for students who receive an exemption. Necessary. Important. But not always scintillating.

To be fair, I’ve had my share of excitement as well. One of our major endeavors in recent months has involved the pursuit of an excellent first-year student recruitment “season” after an admittedly tough run during the height of the pandemic. This work has involved everything from the development of an entirely new recruitment presentation (in conjunction with marketing), to the meticulous assessment of how we handle student inquiries along the enrollment journey, to a refocusing of our recruitment efforts involving dual credit students. It also involves a heavy emphasis on things we simply could not do last fall, such as give face-to-face presentations in high schools and bring prospective students to campus for a tour of our dynamic campus (a nice complement to the Virtual Tour we created last year). In a similar arena, we also have been coordinating an enrollment push for the winter/spring semesters (which I’ll discuss in a future update, if only to let the suspense sizzle a little longer).

Finally, this is one of those times when NSHE comes knocking for a round of annual reports. In answering their call, we recently submitted our new program follow-up report (simple, consisting mostly of our enrollment data), our existing program review report (the calm before the storm), and our annual low yield reports (where our faculty did all of the heavy lifting to piece these together).
Gwen Sharp
Publications and Highlights
  • Shantal Marshall and Laura Naumann (Psychology) were featured in a recent episode of KNPR's State of Nevada program, discussing how the pandemic continues to impact women.
  • Heather Lang-Cassera (FYE) has published a poetry collection, Gathering Broken Light, with Unsolicited Press.
  • Emily Hoover (English) had her novella, Snitch, appear in the summer 2021 issue of Wordrunner.
  • Angela Brommel (Arts & Culture) contributed poetry to Timshel: An Anthology of Grief and Joy, Volume 2.

  • Zach Woydziak (Chemistry) submitted a proposal for a $40,000 subaward on a NASA EPSCoR grant. It would involve a partnership with UNR and DRI to provide internships and mentoring to students.
  • Jennifer Edmonds (Environmental & Resource Science) also submitted a NASA EPSCoR subaward proposal, to provide $107,000 for research on water quality in the Colorado River system.
  • The School of Education applied for the Nevada Department of Education's Incentivizing Pathways to Teaching grant. They asked for $277,200 to provide scholarships to SOE students.

As always, a huge thank you to Christine Gonzalez (Grants Specialist) for her help preparing budgets and proposals, and to Al Hardiman (Post-Award Director) for his expertise on budgets and allowable expenses.

Faculty Peer Review of Online Courses & New Awards for Online Teaching
Would you like to have your online course peer reviewed and receive some feedback? Or, would you like to be considered as a candidate for a college-wide award for Excellence in Online Teaching? Contact Jack Agamba (jack.agamba@nsc.edu) to submit your online course for peer review. Jack coordinates the CTLE’s Online Quality Assurance Peer Review Program, which provides faculty with confidential feedback based on best practices in online course design.
Both full-time faculty and part-time instructors are encouraged to submit their courses for peer review. Exemplary courses that receive high ratings from faculty evaluators during the peer review process will be considered for new college-wide awards for Excellence in Online Teaching. There are two awards: one for full-time faculty and one for part-time instructors. The deadline to submit a course for the fall peer review cycle is Thursday, October 21st.

Accessing Human Subjects Training
The CITI training we use is now available through single sign-on using your NSC credentials. It's also available through the portal in the Apps section.
Gregory Robinson
Vaccination Updates
We've got one more vaccination clinic scheduled on Thursday, October 7th (10:30am-1:30pm). Students can still get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and be able to register for classes on November 1st. Students who wait to complete the vaccine series can sign up for classes right up to the deadline, but they may not have as many options. We made a terrific video encouraging students to get vaccinated - take a look!
Welcome Camille Cruz!
Camille Cruz is our new Dual Credit Specialist. She'll be working with Jennifer Lamoreaux, Coordinator of High School Partnerships. Camille previously worked for NSC as an accounting assistant.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness News
If you went to school and piled up some student loans, you may have already enrolled in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Today, the Department of Education announced a new "Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness" plan, which may allow you to use loan payments that were previously ineligible. At least one person you know is about to shave several years off their scheduled payments. The program is only open for a short time, so if you are eligible, make sure you don't wait too long to get started.

Common Read is Going Strong!
Here is an update from Alena Principato, Chair of the Common Read Committee:

A list of all upcoming events is available at https://nsc.libguides.com/commonread/events. This resource guide also includes information on how to access the book and related resources.

Last weekend, NSC students, faculty, and staff worked together to support the Lake Mead Park Clean Up, a “Scorpions Serve” event coordinated by the Office of Student Life. Participants helped park rangers at Lake Mead National Recreation Area by removing litter from the park. They also learned about the impact of litter on wildlife and the environment from the park staff and were able to observe the decline in the lake’s water level as a result of climate factors. Engaging with environmental issues through service learning in our local community is a meaningful way to connect to the Common Read themes.

We’ve also had a great partnership with the Environmental Science Colloquium series overseen by Laura Rosales Lagarde. I am especially excited for the event on Thursday, Oct. 28 from 3:30-4:30pm: Water Justice & Availability in Nevada.
Stefanie Coleman
National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)- The Intersection of ADA and COVID-A Discussion on Evolving Strategies
Berna Rhodes-Ford, Sharneé Walker, and I attended the NACUA webinar to learn how long-haul COVID may be considered an approved disability by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The presenters stressed the importance of formally documenting all our attempts to work with students who have requests for accommodations. The webinar also discussed how colleges and universities should navigate accommodations requests and distinguish between ADA requests and non-ADA requests. These requests sometimes mean we are doing more or doing two things at the same time, and sometimes, we want to quickly respond to the request with a "no."

My running introduction of Sharneé always states that she’s responsible for keeping the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) away from NSC by making sure we’re following all the rules. So far, she’s done an amazing job. Later this fall, Sharneé will begin her OCR presentations discussing court cases and why cases against colleges and universities were dismissed - or not.

What’s New in DRC
Hello everyone! Welcome to the DRC Tech Corner for all your techy needs. Tech Corner will contain something new and useful for everyone and will be divided into three sections: Basic Computer Tips and Tricks, How to use DRC Equipment, and Instructor Tips and Tricks!

For this first issue, we include the following:
  • Basic computer key commands
  • Glean! An amazing interactive notetaking tool
  • Universal Design Learning

Dinner with the Dean of Students (DOS)
Last week I hosted my first Dinner with the DOS event. This was a pilot run of the program and I was expecting a small turnout. It was, but it was also a wonderful evening speaking to a diverse group of students, in terms of race, age, gender, socioeconomic background, citizen status, and probably more that I’m forgetting. Our topic was engaging students and what should I be doing. Nonstop conversation and suggestions involved helping students feel seen on campus, technology, too many emails, and utilizing the peer mentors in different areas (already in the works). THE BEST idea from the group was an idea Gregory Robinson, Phil LaMotte, Cristina Caputo, and probably others discussed pre-COVID: utilizing a passport concept for engagement and events on campus. A completed passport gets you entered into a drawing. More to come on their ideas and the next Dinner with the DOS.

Vaccine and Exemptions
Over the weekend I received a text message from a housing student informing me she, and a few other housing students, received their second vaccine shot and they felt horrible. After a few “mothering” questions and responses, I texted thank you for doing this and the response back was: "I love NSC." For any students who wish to request an exemption to the vaccine mandate, the forms are available here.

Stay Safe.
Sandip Thanki
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) asks students to comment on their campus experience. The results are available in this spreadsheet; any references to specific people have been redacted. Results are separated into first-year students and seniors. Students displayed an eagerness to get back to more of the in-person college experience, both in classes and services and events.

First-year students' major themes:
  • Not surprisingly, the most disappointing element they identified was the lack of a "real" college experience because of COVID, though they largely recognize this is out of our control.
  • Students were very positive about instructors and their classes.
  • They feel cared for by the campus community.

Themes in seniors' comments:
  • Very positive about instructors in general.
  • Similar frustration about the impacts of COVID, though they also mostly understand it was outside our control.
  • They appreciate the tight-knit feel of NSC and the friends they've made here.
  • There are a few comments alleging liberal bias.
  • Aside from COVID impacts, the issue listed most often as a problem is difficulty getting classes when they need them.
Key Dates
  • 10/19: Dean's Social Justice Series: Parallel Pandemics: Women of Color Leading through Adversity in Higher Education. 3:30-5pm
  • 10/28: Environmental Science Colloquium series. 3:30-4:30pm. Water Justice & Availability in Nevada
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