June 3, 2020
Vickie Shields
Support for the faculty
I have observed and heard from numerous faculty that moving so quickly to the online environment was uncomfortable at best and harrowing at worst. I also know and appreciate that many of you have taught only face-to-face courses in the past and moving to a hybrid and/or on-line environment for the fall of 2020 does not feel ideal either. This is the hand we have been dealt, so I want to provide faculty with professional development opportunities to bolster your skills and confidence with on-line technology and pedagogy. The College is making a substantial investment in your success. I sincerely hope you take advantage of these opportunities for help, that are designed to give you maximum support without adding significant time to your course preparations.

NSC’s Best Practices in Online Teaching Certification Course
For those of you who want to get a jump on preparations for fall class preparation, the CTLE will be offering our own training this summer. The goal of this training is to help faculty incorporate best practices into their online teaching and online course design.
I highly encourage all faculty to participate in this course, which:
  • Is self-paced and asynchronous, so you can complete it on your schedule; 
  • Requires only 12-15 hours total to complete; 
  • Focuses on key aspects of online teaching, including organization, learning design, accessibility and technology tools, instructor presence, and assessment; 
  • Includes an introduction to NSC’s Quality Assurance Rubric for online course design.
  • Help with managing large Zoom meetings
NSC’s Best Practices in Online Teaching Certification Course will be available beginning in early July. Faculty who complete the course will receive a certificate. To sign up, please contact Chris Garrett at Chris.Garrett@nsc.edu

ACUE -- Effective Online Practices Course
I’m excited to announce an opportunity for our faculty to participate in a two-semester course on effective online teaching. This course is designed and led by the Association of College & University Educators (ACUE), a non-profit organization that “prepares, credentials, and supports faculty to teach with the practices that improve student achievement and close equity gaps.” ACUE is supported by organizations such as the American Council on Education (ACE) and Quality Matters, and they have successfully partnered with UNR and TMCC and numerous universities nationally for many years (resulting in extremely favorable feedback from faculty).

There are seats for 30 faculty members who will make up this first cohort. The course is organized into 25 modules that will align with the online/hybrid courses you’ll be teaching in the coming academic year. We are planning for a “live” launch meeting during the week of August 10th. At that meeting, ACUE specialists will review the course and answer any faculty questions you have.

This memo provides vital details. To apply, please complete this short application by June 19, 2020.
Tony Scinta
As we face yet another stark reminder of the injustice in our society, my thoughts wander back to what we mean by “student success.” I talk often, and often endlessly, about retention metrics and “6-year IPEDs graduation rates,” but it’s not about those numbers. They matter, but they matter only insofar as what they represent.  

When we are at our best, those numbers represent an opportunity to improve lives, entire family trees, and even whole communities. For all of us, this is perhaps most commonly articulated in our institutional mission. In it, we strive to create an “enhanced quality of life for a diverse population of students” and produce graduates who “foster the greatest opportunity – the promise of a stronger community and a better future for all.”

In the pursuit of this goal, we employ amazing faculty and staff. We welcome our students while simultaneously challenging them, and we try to immerse them in experiences that can both increase their knowledge and alter their view of the world. There are many worthy outcomes of this effort, from admission to graduate school, to fulfilling careers, to positions of enhanced leadership and influence. One of those outcomes, I hope, is that our graduates will go forward and inexorably push us closer to a truly egalitarian society.  

It’s an ambitious goal for a small state college, and there is a sprawling expanse of injustice between where we are now and where we want to be, but I do believe we can make a difference. At the very least, it is a challenge worth embracing. The question before us now is, how can we do our best to meet it?
Gwen Sharp
IRB Update
As of March, all human subjects research that required in-person interactions has been halted at NSC due to COVID-19. I'm continuing to monitor federal guidance and how other institutions, particularly those in southern Nevada, are managing human subjects research as we begin to reopen. For now, in-person human subjects research will remain on hold. I will provide additional information as I get a firmer sense of when it would be safe and justifiable to re-start in-person research, and what safety protocols will be required. I anticipate that late summer is the earliest that these projects would be able to resume.

If you have a research project that required in-person interactions but can be moved online, contact me about getting approval for the modification. For other projects, I will provide updates as I learn more about when and how we can restart in-person research.

Anti-Racist Pedagogy Collective
Molly Appel and Laura Decker (English) are organizing an anti-racist pedagogy collective to discuss strategies for better incorporating anti-racist pedagogy into the classroom. The group will meet online each month and will discuss relevant readings and present models of anti-racist pedagogy to one another. The collective is aimed to be inclusive and relevant to faculty whether you're new to this type of pedagogy or have been using it successfully for years.

If you're interested in participating, email Molly or Laura to sign up. The first virtual meeting will be in July.

Promotion & Tenure Taskforce Update
The P&T Taskforce, which is charged with recommending revisions to our P&T policy and identifying areas that should be standardized across the Standards of Academe, has made significant progress in drafting language for a revised P&T policy. We were not able to get as far as we had hoped due to the COVID-19 interruption, but will pick it back up again this fall. I believe we will have a solid proposal for revisions ready by the middle of the fall semester.

We also collected a significant amount of data from academic faculty across campus on what specific tasks and competencies make up their day-to-day jobs as faculty. This ground-up approach to identifying what it means to be an academic faculty member at NSC gave us a clear sense of which types of activities should be accounted for in the annual review, promotion, and tenure processes. Each academic unit will then adopt revised Standards that integrate the standardized elements but are otherwise tailored based on the general expectations in the field.

Grant Submissions
  • Vanessa Mari (Education) submitted a proposal for a U.S. State Department Blended English Teacher Certification Program with State Governments grant. Her proposal would provide funding to offer professional development on Teaching English as a Foreign Language to instructors in India.
  • Zachary Woydziak (Chemistry) and Aster Sigel (LAS Undergrad Research Director) applied for a $605,000 grant from the Nevada IDEA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The funding would allow them to expand mentored undergraduate research, develop inquiry-based curricula in the sciences, and provide activities that prepare students for biomedical graduate programs/professional schools.
  • El Hachemi Bouali (Geosciences, starting this fall) is included as a subawardee on a collaborative NASA research proposal recently submitted by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The subaward would provide $20,000 for El Hachemi to provide remote sensing technique training to map land deformation caused by excessive groundwater extraction.
Gregory Robinson
I’ve had some great conversations with the Student Success team over the last few weeks about how to manage the many challenges that lie before us. The difficult truth is that students will be on campus taking classes beginning in the second summer session (just weeks away!), and we’ll need to develop ways to support them. Just as classes will look different, so will the support students receive, but we’re confident that we can find ways to provide students with many of the resources and services they had before, albeit modified to keep everyone distant and safe. The Writing Center, Nepantla, the ASC, and TRiO-SSS will all play a crucial role in helping students adjust to our new reality and manage the additional challenges that college now includes. We’ll also play an important role in a loftier goal – helping students feel connected and part of our community despite physical limitations.

Peer Support Training for All Student Workers
Each year, a dedicated team plans a multi-day training session for student workers. This year presents us with extraordinary challenges, but we are committed to this important event. Therefore, if you have a student worker in your area, please reserve August 10th-14th from 10am-noon to allow them to attend. Also, please plan on allowing them additional time to complete online modules. Considering how much we rely on student workers for the essential functions on campus, the lessons they learn are crucial for our ongoing success. This year, the training will be a mix of synchronous remote sessions in Zoom and asynchronous modules in canvas. I want to thank the planning team for all of their work so far: Pamela Ball, Rikki Gaddy, Baden Fox, Danette Barber, Alicia Lamotte, Cristina Caputo, Rachel Herzl-Betz, and Brandi Gilmore. More details will be forthcoming this summer.

Writing Center Updates
All NSC employees are invited to (virtually) attend the Writing Center Speaker Series. The next speaker will be Dr. R. Mark Hall on June 12th, from 1-2pm. To register, please contact Rachel Herzl-Betz.
Also, Congratulations to Dr. Rachel Herzl-Betz, who will assume the role of Interim Writing Center Director on August 3rd. Dr. Herzl-Betz has served as the Assistant Director of the Writing Center since December 2017 and has taught writing/literature courses for LAS.

I want to thank Dr. Kathryn Tucker, who designed a remarkably innovative Writing Center, developed our Course Assistant Program, and helped to craft a culture of writing on campus. NSC is a much better place because of her passion and commitment to our students. Please join me in wishing her the best as she pursues the next phase of her career.
Stefanie Coleman
Did you hear about the two guys who stole a calendar?
They each got 6-months. (AL)
How did the barber win the race? He knew a shortcut (SN)
How do you make a tissue dance? You put a little boogie in it (SW)
Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere (AK)
How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? ONE, as long as the light bulb is willing to change. (LH)

This is how my team starts every Tuesday morning. A little morning corny joke humor goes a long way to help us remember our shared humanity, especially as our country is crying.
Walker Wins Election!
Congratulations to Sharneé Walker, Director of DRC. Sharneé was elected president of NV AHEAD, the Association of Higher Education and Disability. NV AHEAD is devoted to the mandate that all students with disabilities shall be afforded the opportunity to access the same information, engage in the same interactions, and be empowered to enjoy the same college experience as students without disabilities.

Supporting Students through Advising
Congratulations to Alex Kunkle, Jesse Poole, and Stefany Sigler. The trio collaborated on "Shame-less: Supporting Students Experiencing Shame and Guilt Through Academic Advising," which was published in Academic Advising Today, a quarterly online advising magazine.
Collaborative Competition
To provide students with engagement opportunities over the summer, staff from Nevada State Office of Student Life, CSN Student Life (at all three campuses), and UNLV Rebel Events Board have collaborated for The Battle of Southern Nevada Summer Olympic Games. Round 1 was a trivia night and Nevada State is currently in the lead! Round 2 will be a virtual scavenger hunt, which will take place June 18th.

Scoring is based both on attendance and winning. The more Nevada State Faculty/Staff/Students that attend, the more points we are guaranteed and the better chance we have to win. As soon as details are finalized, we will post them to BeEngaged.nsc.edu and we will work to promote through social media and email. Let’s make sure the GOLD stays with the Black and Gold!
Virtual Economic Summit on Race Equity
Laura Hinojosa attended the Greenlining Institute's first Virtual Economic Summit on Race Equity. There was impressive attendance with more than 1,600 participants from all over the U.S. This was an exhilarating and energizing day with many leaders from the African American, Latinx, and AAPI communities.

Also, the CARE Team is excited to share a new online mental health screening initiative. This tool allows students to take short, evidenced based mental health screenings to help gauge their own mental health, promote awareness, and provide support. if you have any questions, please contact Laura Hinojosa.

Stay safe everyone.
Sandip Thanki
5000 Graduates!
As of Spring 2020, NSC graduated over 5200 students. In 2019-2020, we graduated over 650 students with over 680 bachelor’s degrees. This was the first year when we crossed 600 graduates in a single year.

Promising Fall 2020
Our fall admissions pipeline is looking stronger than ever. As shown in our enrollment funnel, we are projecting large, if not the largest, first-year and transfer classes. The first-year orientations and enrollment start this month with RSVPs that are in line with our projections.
Key Dates
NSC Office of the Provost | 702-992-2663 | http://nsc.edu/provost
Be Bold | Be Great | Be State