April 10, 2020
Vickie Shields
Last fall, I read an intriguing little novel called Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. It was a Reese’s Book Club pick that I bought at random at the Spokane airport when I was between books. It turned out to be a great romp with a heck of a twist at the end. I passed it on to Gwen, who enjoyed it too. For the first half of the book we feel very sorry for Eleanor, who lives alone, shuns other people, sticks to the same lonely routine day in and day out, and every Friday night treats herself to a microwave pizza and an entire bottle of wine. She doesn’t see another soul until work on Monday morning. Poor, poor Eleanor. Wait … this feels familiar—only, we don’t get to see people on Monday morning! I texted Gwen, “You know what this feels like? Eleanor Oliphant. I keep telling myself I’m completely fine.”
 
I am fine. Thank you to all those who have inquired in such a genuine and caring way. We’re all fine because unlike poor Eleanor, we have people who care about us and whom we care about back, who we are staying connected to, probably with more humility and frequency than we did before when there were so many other distractions. This is hard. It can get monotonous, confining, and lonely, but the Nevada State community is compassionate and caring, and we are lifting each other up every day. Even if every day feels like Groundhog’s Day!
 
Academic Continuity
In the last couple of weeks, I have been working with many groups on campus to ensure academic continuity for our faculty and students in response to the directives that have come down from the Governor and the Chancellor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They include:
 
  • S/U grading. Following the lead of institutions around the country, NSHE wanted to help students protect their GPAs while dealing with the upheaval of the COVID-19 crisis. Students will have the opportunity to petition to have letter grades replaced by an S or U at the end of spring semester if doing so benefits them. After consultation with Faculty Senate, Dean’s Council, Executive Team, Advising, Financial Aid, and the Registrar, these guidelines reflect Nevada State’s approach to providing the S/U grading option for our students.

  • Refunding special course fees. This semester, many students in LAS will not get the benefit of face-to-face classroom experiences requiring special course fees. Therefore, students will receive a refund of those fees. With the help of Dean Campbell, the relevant courses have been identified and students will receive a refund soon.

  • Summer sessions. The directive we received from the Chancellor is that remote instruction needs to continue at least through June 30, 2020. The only exceptions are healthcare-related clinical assignments that a) aid directly in combatting COVID-19 or b) expedite Nursing students’ ability to graduate in order to aid directly in combatting COVID-19. I am directing faculty that all classes that do not involve a lab or clinical component will be taught remotely for all 2020 summer sessions, including classes in the second summer session. Although we are prohibited from teaching labs face-to-face until June 30th, there is a possibility that we could run lab courses face-to-face after June 30th. The Provost’s Office will continue to work with PALS and Speech Language Pathology to try to find solutions for lab courses and clinical hours.
Tony Scinta
Quick Updates
There are two types of people in this world: people who don’t write their newsletter updates at the last minute, and me. In that light, let’s get right to it:

  • “Be Supported” page – The Canvas resource page for students that I discussed in the last update formally launched a little under two weeks ago (thanks to the efforts of many people, but especially Phil LaMotte, his Student Life team, and Janice Le-Nguyen). 
  • You can’t stop accreditation, you can only hope to contain it – Amidst the explosion of activity to transition to remote operation, we needed to submit a memo to the NWCCU indicating that we would continue to pursue student learning outcomes in whatever mode of delivery we chose; I think we are doing so, and that is what we said in our memo.
  • Gates Foundation partnership – We were approached separately by the NWCCU and the Gardner Institute to partner with them on a Gates Foundation grant they received that is aimed at addressing equity gaps; the “lift” for us is pretty modest (mainly, providing data, completing a survey, and some staff participating in a 3-hour workshop after the semester ends), and the upside is noteworthy (helping the NWCCU, sharing more about our good work to close equity gaps), so we are planning to participate in Phase One of this project
  • My day job – In and around our efforts to manage this new way of running the campus, I’m also trying to attend to my day job; work in this area includes discussions about our Fall 2020 recruitment plan, conversations about scheduling and degree pathways, developing plans for students in critical academic areas (such as incoming undecided students or students who may have interest in the Human Health Sciences program), and check-ins regarding ongoing initiatives, such as the new NSHE policy regarding remedial courses.
Gwen Sharp
Seed Awards Applications Due Monday
Monday is the deadline to apply for Seed Awards. Full-time academic and administrative faculty can request up to $2,000 to support scholarly, creative, or other professional activities. If approved, your funds will be available after July 1, 2020, giving you until May 15th, 2021 to use your funding.

The Seed Awards application provides details. Applications are due Monday, April 13th.

Online Teaching Resources
This month, the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) is providing several free webinars on different aspects of effective online teaching. You can also download resources about each topic.

COVID-19 Related Grant Opportunities
Thanks to Christine González, our Grants Specialist, for updating the Grants and Sponsored Projects website with a page dedicated to COVID-19 grant resources, including funding opportunities related to the novel coronavirus. She will continue to update the page as new information becomes available. Email Christine if you have any questions.

FERPA, Student Privacy, and Emailing
With the move to remote learning and student services, many of us are using email to communicate with students for a variety of reasons. The U.S. Department of Education created a 3-minute video about student privacy and how to avoid violating FERPA when emailing students.
Project directors at a workshop
Regional Grant Directors Summit Held at NSC
In early March, when people could still meet in person on campus, NSC hosted 85 HSI Grant project directors from Texas, California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado for a Project Directors Summit planned and presented by the U.S. Department of Education; several of their employees flew here to provide the training.

From attendees' feedback, the highlight of the program was the student panel that included four of our students: Ruben Serna, Nancy Moya, Dulce Monroy, and Bryan Torres. The panel discussed what students really need to persist in higher education.

Thank you to Irene Cepeda (our HSI Grant Project Director) for working with U.S. Dept of Education staff to schedule the event and to Marketing & Events for helping out with logistics and providing office supplies!

Publications
  • Raul Tapia (Accounting) and one of his students, Emmanuel Ekigwe (Business Administration major), had their article, "First Generation Business Students' Attitudes Towards Learning in Small Liberal Arts Colleges," accepted by the College Student Journal.
  • Amber Morczek (Criminal Justice) co-authored an article, "Exploring the Impact of Informal Rape Myth Education in a Non-Student Sample," that was accepted by the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
  • Pam Call (Nursing) published "Nursing and the Conscious Dying Movement" in the Nevada State Board of Nursing News, a magazine that goes out to every RN in the state.
  • Chris Garrett's (CTLE/Education) article "Three Key Principles for Improving Discussion-Based Learning in College Classrooms" was published in the Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence.

Grant Awards and Submissions
  • Zach Woydziak (Chemistry) was notified that NV INBRE has approved his Developmental Research Project. The grant will provide $75,000 to fund his research with students. Congratulations, Zach!
  • Dennis Potthoff (Education) submitted a request for $90,000 in Nevada Teach scholarships from the NV Department of Education; if awarded, the scholarships would support Education majors.
Gregory Robinson
I hope everyone is finding some positives during these tough times. I’m enjoying a little more time working next to my dog, although she goes crazy every time a delivery arrives. A few quick updates from my area:

Connecting with Students
Tony mentioned the Be Supported page, but it is worth a second look. It's a great resource for students and includes videos with inspiration from EVP Scinta and a tip on online learning from me.

Academic Support
The ASC, Course Assistant Program, Writing Center, Nepantla, and TRiO-SSS are all offering remote services. These programs provide helpful assistance and a way for students to feel connected to campus. If you haven’t done so already, please share the materials linked here with your students.

Common Read in our Brave New World
The Common Read committee worked hard to review books and offer suggestions to the Provost. However, since our lives have changed so drastically in the last few weeks, we’re open to considering other options – perhaps something that helps our campus reflect on the current situation. We hope things have returned to normal by the fall, but we know the consequences of COVID-19 will still be felt. If you have any suggestions, please send them to Alena Principato.

Communication Plan
Making sure we’re communicating with our students about next fall has become even more important, since many students will undoubtedly be feeling uneasy. I’m particularly happy to report that a group of NSC’s all-stars met several times this spring to evaluate how we communicate with students and to revise our communication plan. These meetings included a discussion with several student leaders, who shared their preferences regarding the kinds of communication they receive. I want to thank Jessica Strunk, Alicia LaMotte, Alex Kunkle, Andrea Martin, Phil LaMotte, and Stefanie Coleman for their hard work on this, as well as the students who gave us their input.

Keeping Everyone in the Conversation
For those of you who might not be aware, a campus COVID-19 Incident Response Team meets remotely every Monday to provide updates and share information. Amey Evaluna has been doing a great job running the meetings effectively. Also, Tony Scinta and Stefanie Coleman have been holding weekly remote meetings for many of our academic and student support areas to ensure Directors have the most current information.
Stefanie Coleman
Student Life
What did the pirate say on his 80th birthday? (answer below)

Student Life has been working diligently to provide digital engagement opportunities for students during these times. The End of Year Banquet committee is currently reviewing nominations to select this year's student leader award winners. Looking at the nominations confirms what we all know - our students are absolutely amazing human beings.

As many of you may know, March Madness was set to end on April 6th. We'll never know if Dayton or San Diego State were going to be the mid-majors that stirred things up and won it all. However, by the time you're reading this, the NSSA Car-Movie March Madness will have wrapped up. As I'm writing, The Fast and the Furious is ahead of Disney's Cars with 53% of the vote in a tight race that will surely come down to the buzzer. If you want to see if the movie starring a young Vin Diesel and Paul Walker (which Phil made his grandpa watch numerous times) can pull it off over the Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy voiced animation (which Gabriel has made Phil watch nearly a hyperbolic 1,000 times), check out the results on Instagram.

The pirate said "Aye Matey"... get it? "Ayem" "Atey"?

For more interactive digital initiatives, daily dad jokes, and motivational tips and tricks, follow @nscnssa and @nscstudentlife on Instagram.

NSCCARECorner
The CARE Team has a Facebook page! The page is entirely inspirational and an opportunity for students to connect and encourage one another. Check it out at @NSCCARE Corner or www.facbook.com/NSCCareCorner.

We have heard from a number of students who are having a hard time studying at home. Laura Hinojosa created a Healthy Student Workspace at Home sheet to help students adjust to the transition of remote instruction.

The entire CARE Team would like to thank Holley Risdon (Senior Director of Advancement) for her work with the Charles Schwab Foundation. Because of Holley, we have been able to provide financial assistance to a number of NSC students during this pandemic. Thank you, Holley!

It's Registration Time!
April 6th was the first day of registration for Summer 2020 and Fall 2020. Our Academic Advising team had 180 appointments on the first day. Keep up the good work!
NSSA WANTS YOU!
This week NSSA began hosting online candidate interest sessions for all students wanting to be involved in student leadership. If you know some fabulous students who love NSC, please encourage them to participate.

Housing Happenings
Students continue to be interested in housing at NSC. Shenise Noel (Director of Housing) has 340 interest cards from continuing, new, and transfer students. This month, the housing website will include some drone images of the construction process.

Stay safe and healthy.
Sandip Thanki
How much do we know about our graduates' employment? We know what percent are employed in Nevada, what industry they work in, and how much they make -- all separated out by major. These robust data that come from connecting two trusted sources by individual students: NSC and the Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation (DETR). (Student identity is protected in two ways: During the linking process, all identifiers are destroyed, so students are unknown to the dashboard creator, and areas with fewer than 5 graduates are not reported.)
This dashboard  has two tabs with data. The first tab shows employment and earnings by degree type; you can select NSC in the "Institutions" dropdown menu, and can look at specific graduating years as well. The second tab shows more detailed information about majors and the industries graduates are employed in. 
 
For our most recent cohort shown (2016-2017 graduates), Nursing, Business, and English graduates are among the highest-earning employees in Nevada.
Key Dates
  • 4/13: Seed Award applications due
NSC Office of the Provost | 702-992-2663 | http://nsc.edu/provost
Be Bold | Be Great | Be State