January 20, 2021
Vickie Shields
Welcome to the Spring 2021 Semester!
I’m excited to welcome all faculty, staff, and students to the first week of the spring semester. Although we’re all a little battle-worn from working and teaching remotely, I’m inspired by all the indications that this chapter of our story is coming to a close and another is beginning. As I write this, the country is inaugurating a new President, NSC is beginning its search for our next President, and NSHE is coordinating the distribution of vaccines for our employees in Tier 2. Spring 2021 will be a semester of continued perseverance, but also one of transition and possibility.

Professional Development Day
On Friday, February 26th, we will hold a virtual professional development day for faculty and staff from 9 a.m. to noon. The keynote speaker, Dr. Kristen Averyt, is Nevada’s State Climate Policy Coordinator. Her talk, “Climate Change: What it Means for Nevada and What We Can Do About It,” will lead into a discussion of the Common Read selection for the 2021-22 academic year: Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World. We will then break into small groups to brainstorm ways faculty and staff may integrate the Common Read into classes, Student Life, and other campus activities and services.
Tony Scinta
NSHE Dual Enrollment Task Force 
The Nevada System recently commissioned a new Task Force to examine dual enrollment programs in Nevada. (These are the programs where college-level courses are taught to students in a high school setting.) Both Dean Potthoff and I were asked to participate in this effort, which aims to provide system-wide recommendations for three facets of these programs: 1) Price (to students), 2) Instructor Qualifications, and 3) Support for CCSD schools and teachers. The determination of the task force has significant implications for our dual enrollment program, and this week Dean Potthoff and I are preparing a presentation on our suggested approach, which is rooted in the principles of “increased equitable access” and “enhanced student success.”

Search for Director of Workforce Development
The finalist interviews for our first Director of Workforce Development will be occurring over the next several weeks. The individual in this position will oversee the planning, development, and implementation of workforce development and continuing education programming that complement our existing academic programs and meet critical needs in this region.

All campus constituents are invited to view and provide feedback on the virtual campus presentations, the first of which is slated for Monday, Jan. 25 from 11:45-12:30 (a formal invitation and presentation link are being sent via email).

Odds N Ends
A few other projects of interest that have been chugging along:
  • Working with academic stakeholders, marketing, and advising to develop “premium” degree sheets and brochures for our programs
  • Continuing to ramp up our transfer efforts in a number of areas, including developing plans to create a new transfer education website that could become a template for future efforts
  • Following a slower than usual fall, we are implementing fresh recruitment efforts in early spring, with a particular focus on our substantial dual enrollment population

An RSVP will be sent out to all employees soon.
Gwen Sharp
Encourage Students to Submit to the Undergrad Research & Creative Works Conference
This year's conference will be virtual, but we will have some live sessions so students can still give research presentations, read poetry, and present their research posters. Students can submit alone or in groups, and their projects can be from this semester or a previous term, as long as they haven't presented it at the URCW Conference previously.

Our keynote speaker, Dr. Julia Lee, is an Associate Professor of English at Loyola Marymount University. Her talk is titled "Our Gang: A History of the Little Rascals."

The submission portal opens January 25th; to submit and for more information, students should visit our website.

Faculty Publications
Heather Lang-Cassera (FYE Lecturer) has had several creative writing items accepted for publication recently. Her poetry manuscript, Gathering Broken Light, will be published in the fall by Unsolicited Press. Two of her poems, "The Abandoned" and "The Trampled Cup Is a Deserted Snow Globe," were accepted for publication in the South Dakota Review. And her poem "Comet NEOWISE" will appear in Raleigh Review.

Nevada STEAM Conference
The Desert Research Institute and the Nevada Museum of Art are offering the 2021 NV STEAM Conference virtually. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; this year's conference theme is "design thinking," focusing on how to integrate design, broadly speaking, into the curriculum. Speakers will include scientists, composers, artists, and more.

Conference events are scheduled for February 3rd, 5th, and 6th. You can look at the entire schedule to see the session topics. There is no fee to attend the virtual conference events.

UNR's GradFIT Program Accepting Student Applications
GradFIT is a 5-day program on UNR's campus that helps students understand what graduate school is and the expectations for applying and succeeding. The program is free and is an excellent opportunity for first-generation and minoritized students to learn more about grad school generally, and UNR's programs specifically.

The program is open to students from any discipline. It is scheduled for May 24-28, 2021. Students can get more information and apply at UNR's GradFIT webpage.
Gregory Robinson
Let's Talk Climate Change
As Provost Shields noted, the Common Read for Fall 2021-Spring 2022 is Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World. This book is a versatile collection of essays, short stories, and poems by international writers exploring climate change through the lens of inequality. As you are planning for next fall, we hope you consider integrating this book and its broader themes into your classes and events.

A limited number of books are available for faculty and staff. To request a copy, please fill out this short form. If we cannot fulfill all requests, preference will be given to those who plan to use the book as a course text and/or coordinate an event that incorporates Common Read themes. Books will also be available for checkout from the library. Contact Alena at alena.principato@nsc.edu with any questions.

Tips for Returning Students
Please share the Succeeding this Spring page with students. It contains links to many resources that can help students manage what promises to be another unique semester.

Write Away!
This semester, the Writing Center is pleased to continue several programs geared toward faculty and staff writing support. Please check below for details and the best ways to get involved:

  • Faculty and Staff Writing Groups: These groups are open to any kind of writing and are geared toward participants who are looking for structure and motivation (rather than critique). In the past, participants have completed poetry, short stories, grant proposals, academic articles, and much more. Like last semester, participants will be divided into small groups to facilitate regular meetings and ensure everyone can discuss their work. To take part, please sign up on this doc. Priority will be given to those who sign up by Jan. 26th.
  • Writing Pedagogy Reading Group: This group meets monthly to talk about strategies, research, and how we approach writing in our classes. It is open to instructors in any discipline and commonly includes PT, FT, and TT participants. If you would like to join the mailing list, please contact Dr. Rachel Herzl-Betz at rachel.herzl-betz@nsc.edu.
  • In-Class Workshops: The Writing Center is happy to continue offering workshops for hybrid, synchronous, and asynchronous classes (or other student groups). Our offerings range from 10-minute introductions to Writing Center services to full-class workshops on specific skills (such as peer feedback, brainstorming, revision, and research question design). Rather than offering a set menu, we like to create tailored workshops for your discipline, students, assignments, and available time. With that in mind, we ask that you contact us at least two weeks before your ideal workshop date(s). If you are interested in planning a visit, please contact Jollina Simpson at writingcenter@nsc.edu. 

Students from Our New Visual Media Program Getting Ready to Graduate
Let me introduce you to Katelyn Brooke and Megan Horner, two students who are finishing their final semester in our 3+1 BA in Visual Media degree, a new partnership with Truckee Meadows Community College. Both Katelyn and Megan are skilled graphic designers, so we're excited to see what they produce in their final semester and post-graduate careers. This program is one of many initiatives designed to fulfill our statewide mission.
Stefanie Coleman
Happy New Semester!
I decided to change the customary New Year greeting because 2021 has started a little bumpy, but I’m optimistic things will get better. I hope everyone took some time to remember and reflect on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. - a humbling reminder that everyone can serve and make a difference.

NSHE Student Affairs Summit
Phil LaMotte, Carlos Navarro, and I attended a virtual planning meeting with other NSHE Student Affairs teams to discuss an upcoming summit, “NSHE Institutional Partnerships and Collaborations for Success: Together We Are Strong.” The summit is an opportunity to share, highlight, and uplift one another as each area continues to manage student engagement during the pandemic. More information will be coming soon.

Campus Housing
The Village welcomed 14 new residents last week, bringing our total number of residential students to 55. Channel 3 News was on-site for move-in day, interviewing Housing Director Shanice Noel and other residents.
The Office of Student Life
The Office of Student Life and NSSA will host and/or collaborate on over 30 events this spring semester. Visit the Be Engaged page for up-to-date information on upcoming events. You do have to login using your campus credentials to access certain elements of the platform.

Please attend and encourage students to attend all events that you see fit. We particularly ask faculty and staff to help promote an upcoming Virtual Escape Room starting at 4pm on Friday, January 29th; it is open to all members of the NS community. (RSVP on BeEngaged.)

Know a student who needs supplies (e.g., headphones, webcam) to enhance their remote learning experience? Encourage them to apply for support through NSSA.

Looking for free opportunities for professional development and a chance to connect with peers in the field? Register for Connecting: Student Engagement Despite COVID-19 Conference. The conference will take place February 3rd and 4th. Registration is free and there are programs that align with numerous campus departments.

Reflecting on a Successful Fall 2020
NSSA, your student government, had a successful fall with over 25 events and 50 official meetings. These students are navigating remote learning while also going above and beyond to support the student body they were elected to serve. They also had several meetings and retreats over the winter break to take the Spring semester to the next level.

NSSA recently awarded $23,000 in scholarships to 16 students for Spring 2021. Over 200 applications were received for the four scholarships offered; NSSA approved additional funds in response to the high number of applications. Thank you to Dr. Stefanie Coleman, Dr. Kimberly Florence, Danette Barber, Leilani Carreño, Erika Arballo, Nicola Opfer, and Alicia LaMotte for joining Office of Student Life professional staff on the selection committees.

Did you know? An NSSA subcommittee worked to “Sting Out the Stigma.” One key accomplishment is that all new Scorpion Cards will have contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on the back. Please consider getting a new ID card with this information included.

New Student and Transfer Student Orientation
Welcome New Scorpions! Over the last two weeks, Orientation programs and the RISE Peer Mentors had the pleasure of virtually welcoming our new Scorpions. On January 7, we hosted over 30 incoming first-year students at New Student Orientation. Five incoming students attended the virtual STING Academy on January 8. We concluded our spring orientation programs with Transfer Student Orientation on January 12, with almost 60 incoming transfer students in attendance!
Thank you to everyone who assisted in making Orientation a success. Please join us in extending a warm Scorpion welcome to all of our incoming spring students.

Some Friendly Reminders
There are several resources available to help students, including:
  • Student Emergency Funds: Students are encouraged to apply or connect directly with Case Manager Laura Hinojosa (laura.hinojosa@nsc.edu or 702.992.2514).
  • Mental Health Screenings: Anyone who takes a screening is given an extensive list of on-campus, local, and national mental health resources.
  • All About You Counseling: AAU is now working with students 3 days a week to meet the high demand for mental health services. Students should call 702.754.0807 and identify as an NSC student to sign up for free services. For community mental health services, students should contact Laura Hinojosa (laura.hinojosa@nsc.edu or call 702.992.2514).

When I returned to campus, I was gifted with a stack of Corny Jokes left in front of my office door.

Why are pianos hard to open? The keys are on the inside! HAHAHAHA

Stay Safe, Stay Scorpion Strong.
Sandip Thanki
What is our enrollment at the beginning of our first, and hopefully last, distanced spring semester? While our state reported an overall headcount decline this fall in its preliminary report, we continued to grow during fall and spring. The chart below shows our spring headcount for the past five semesters. This spring, our overall headcount grew by over 30%. We also had modest growth of under 1% in our non-dual-credit enrollment.

Each year a larger percentage of dual-credit high school students are declaring NS as their choice destination for higher education. Having over 150% growth in dual-credit coupled with high GPA requirements for program participation is expected to have a positive impact on our future enrollment, retention, and graduation.
Key Dates
NSC Office of the Provost | 702-992-2663 | http://nsc.edu/provost
Be Bold | Be Great | Be State