November 5, 2020
Vickie Shields
Welcoming Dr. Elizabeth Gunn
I’m excited to welcome Dr. Elizabeth Gunn to the NSC Community as our new Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences beginning on January 1, 2021. In addition to her long list of academic accomplishments, she is also a long-distance runner, a creative writer, and an experienced traveler. You can learn more about her achievements and interests at her webpage. I encourage you to reach out to Dr. Gunn via email to give her a warm NSC welcome. I know she would appreciate it.

Office Hours
I always enjoy the opportunity to speak with you, so I am excited to announce that I’ll be holding office hours again this fall and in the spring with smaller groups of faculty and staff, so I can hear what is on your mind in a more intimate setting with more possibility for dialogue than in large Zoom groups. The small group sessions begin this week. I hope these small meetings allow us to focus on topics that are unique to your department or unit.

The Arts Offsite: Office of Arts & Culture Sponsored Events with The Neon Museum
The Office of Arts & Culture invites you to join The Neon Museum’s 2020 Artist in Residence, acclaimed visual artist and writer Victor Ehikhamenor, for an online Artist Talk today at noon that is open to the public (RSVP here), and an interactive workshop for students only on November 12, 2020 at noon (RSVP here).

Victor Ehikhamenor is a Nigerian-American artist, photographer, and writer. He has been prolific in producing abstract, symbolic, and politically-motivated works. A 2016 Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellow, Ehikhamenor was one of three artists to represent Nigeria at the first Nigerian Pavilion in the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017.
Tony Scinta
I’m writing this [ELECTION] newsletter and feel a little distracted by [ELECTION] something that I can’t quite put my [ELECTION] finger on, but I’m going to power through it so that you can [ELECTION] stay current with the latest happenings in our election. I mean, office.

Virtual Tour
I want to offer a huge thanks to LaNelda and her Marketing team for orchestrating the initial phases of a “virtual tour” of the campus, including extensive storyboarding in preparation, and then a slate of video recordings last week. I also very much appreciate everyone who participated in the creation of this project. It illustrates what this college is all about in a comprehensive and unprecedented way (for us), and I think it will serve us well as the institution moves forward.

NWCCU Equity Council
Recently, I was honored to be invited to serve on an Equity Council created by our accrediting body, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Council will serve as an advisory panel that promotes “equity-centered transformation” at the Northwest Commission’s 163 member institutions. In its new accreditation standards, the NWCCU has strengthened its focus on the closure of achievement gaps in multiple forms, including institutional metrics such as retention and graduation rates, as well as academic measures such as the achievement of learning outcomes. In this work, the first meeting of which occurred last week, the Council will identify challenges and opportunities, facilitate action, and make recommendations to the NWCCU in the pursuit of critical equity goals. I think our mission – and our successful pursuit of it – is one of the foremost reasons why I was selected for this opportunity, and I hope to consult with some of our in-house experts on these matters as the project unfolds.

NSHE Co-Requisite Math and Composition Project
Work continues on the System’s monumental overhaul of gateway math and English composition curricula, which aims to replace “remedial” coursework with a co-requisite model that enrolls students in college-level courses with additional instruction time (as needed). A current and hot topic of conversation is the establishment of common gateway math pathways for academic programs in business and the health sciences (i.e., all programs would have the same course requirement). I will be involved in those conversations with the two NSHE universities, and in the near future will be consulting with our faculty from those disciplines.
Gwen Sharp
CTLE’s Annual Excellence in Online Teaching and Learning Event
On Tuesday, Nov. 10th (12-1:30 pm), the CTLE will host this event for the 4th year. The featured talk, "Creating Presence in Online Learning," will be given by Dr. Kevin Gannon. Dr. Gannon is the Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Grand View University and author of Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto. Attend via Zoom (Meeting ID: 969 293 1692 & Passcode: 840173).

Teaching Tip
If you have students give conference-style presentations, here's a great resource to help students plan a good talk and learn what makes a slide presentation engaging and effective.

NSC Podcast Highlight
Shantal Marshall (Psychology) let me know that NSC is mentioned in a recent episode of the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast! Episode 331 includes guest Dr. Peter Felton, a fellow with the Gardner Institute; at about 5:25, he discusses an interview he did with one of our pre-nursing students, describing it as "one of the most impressive interviews [he] had with a first-year student" to gather data for Relation-Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College (co-authored with Dr. Leo Lambert and published this week).

The student talked about how taking Geology 101 to fulfill his core curriculum turned into an amazing learning experience that helped him develop an identity as a scholar. It's an amazing example of the power of inspiring instructors and the importance of developing relationships with our students. So proud to hear NSC highlighted this way!

Promotion & Tenure Policy Revisions
The P&T Taskforce has completed our recommended revisions of the campus P&T Policy; I'm integrating a few updates regarding logistics provided by Sita Sales (Provost Office Manager) and then will distribute the draft policy to campus. It will be an information item at the December Senate meeting.

I've scheduled office hours open to any faculty on campus. I'll be there to answer questions about the revisions. Drop in for as long as you'd like at either time:
  • Nov. 19th (Thurs), 9-9:45 a.m. (passcode 122894)
  • Nov. 24th (Tues), 4-4:45 p.m. (passcode 098921)

I want to thank the members of the P&T Taskforce, who have worked since spring 2019 on the various aspects of this revision process: Angel Ball (SOE), Joanna Shearer (LAS), Jonathan Dunning (LAS), June Eastridge (SON), Lauren Johnson (Library), Nathaniel King (Library), Serge Ballif (LAS/former Senate Chair), Shartriya Collier (SOE), Sherri Coffman (SON) and Susan Growe (SON). This has been a huge undertaking, and I greatly appreciate their persistence and patience as we worked through the process.

Amber Howerton (Chemistry) learned that her co-authored article, "Pharmacokinetics of CamSA, a Potential Prophylactic Compound against Clostridioides difficile Infections," has been accepted for publication in the journal Biochemical Pharmacology.

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Online Learning Survey
In 2020, NSSE conducted an additional survey focused specifically on online learning, and we participated. In general, our results were very similar to other participating institutions. Below I highlight areas where students rated us (statistically significantly) better or lower - these stood out for both first-year and senior students; you can also look over the full report.

Areas where we were rated higher than comparison institutions:
  • Used tools/activities to help convey materials
  • Assignments asked students to apply course readings
  • Interacted/exchanged ideas with other students

Areas where we were rated lower than the comparison group:
  • Explaining minimum technology requirements needed
  • Instructions for using technology
  • Clear timelines for getting feedback/answers from instructors

CCAMPIS Childcare Grant Update
This is the last year we will be able to provide childcare for our students' children through a CCAMPIS grant. Laura Naumann (LAS) secured our CCAMPIS grant in 2017; we use it to pay for spots in the City of Henderson's Valley View Recreation Center childcare program, and accepted students use their childcare services at no cost. This year, Kimberly Florence (CEDI) has been coordinating student applications, enrollment in VVRC services, and other day-to-day activities. Thank you, Kimberly, for helping make this childcare program work this year!

We did not reapply for CCAMPIS funding. This summer the U.S. Department of Education released a call for proposals that made it clear the program's priorities have changed significantly. It now emphasizes provider choice; parents must be able to choose a childcare provider, which does not align with our VVRC partnership. The new model would require much more administrative oversight (and expense) and would not cover the full costs of childcare. Based on our experiences with students participating in our CCAMPIS program over the past four years, I did not believe we the new program priorities were compatible with our current campus needs and resources. We will continue to look for funding opportunities from donors or other sources.
Gregory Robinson
WICHE Passport is Ready for Review
This fall, I worked with a team of faculty to develop and review a proposed passport for the WICHE Interstate Passport Program. After several good discussions and revisions, we’re ready to move the document on to the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee. After that, it may need an additional review by Faculty Senate and the Advising Team before we’re ready to submit the final draft to WICHE. I’d like to thank Dr. Christina Squires, Dr. Chris Garrett, Mr. Alex Kunkle, and Ms. Adelfa Sullivan for their work on this committee.

Keep Working the Plan
Many of you completed or contributed to updates regarding our progress toward goals identified in the Strategic Plan. In the past, we followed the same formula as many institutions: create a plan and then check back in on it five years later when it was time to make a new one. This time, we’re committed to following it, reviewing it regularly, and integrating it into our budget planning. One of our upcoming efforts will be to create a report card, which will highlight some of our major accomplishments so far. 

First Graduate School Graduates!
Dr. Angel Ball and Dr. Shartriya Collier are helping us prepare for the first graduates of the MEd in Speech-Language Pathology. A small group of students may complete the program as soon as May 2021. A committee is working on determining all the logistics, including a revised application process and a hooding ceremony. 

Last Week Today
Shortly after the pandemic sent most of us home, I started sending out a weekly memo called “Last Week Today” every Friday to the Directors in my area. I’ve sent almost 30 of them so far. The memo is limited to five short updates – mostly involving NSC, but sometimes involving trips or whatever else is happening. My initial goal was to help keep everyone informed, but the process has a secondary advantage of recording what Teresa Amabile and Steven J. Kramer call “minor milestones” – the tiny steps that lead you toward a bigger goal (and give you a bit of joy about the process of getting there).  

New Residence Halls
I hope you've had the chance to see our new student housing - it is pretty impressive. On a quick tour, I met one of the first students to move in and she said she was thrilled about her room and the location. Although the center area is still under construction, the volleyball court is nearly finished and the pool looks like it will be a resort-style amenity for the residents. 
Stefanie Coleman
Academic Advising 
It’s (virtual) walk-in registration week and our advising team is shattering last year’s numbers! You’ll learn more in the next update.

Care Corner Live Event 
On October 23rd, the CARE Team hosted a Care Corner Live virtual event, which was open to the entire NSC community. The event was a space to process thoughts and emotions regarding the current state of the world. A similar event took place on November 4th to process the election. Because of its popularity, the CARE Team will be developing future monthly events to allow students, staff, and faculty a space to share, process, and exhale.

Available Support 
Just a few reminders about available support for students, on and off campus:

  • Student emergency funds are still available. Students can apply at the emergency funds link.
  • All About You counseling provides services to students. To schedule, students should call 702.754.0807 and identify themselves as an NSC student. 
  • To find a community food pantry near you, check out these sites: 

Office of Student Life 
NSSA hosted the first on-campus student engagement event in the form of a drive-in and it was a huge success! Over 20 cars participated. Unfortunately, not all who wanted to could take part, so NSSA is working on providing another drive-in opportunity to keep students connected to the campus.

The Office of Student Life, Library Services, and Alumni Relations co-hosted an amazing spooky spectacular scavenger hunt. A costume contest and team-based scavenger hunt proved fun for all with a good representation of students, faculty/staff, and alumni all able to share in the fun together.

NSSA President Suman Randhawa hosted and facilitated a panel titled "Be Bold! Go Vote!" This panel brought together Chancellor Rose, Dr. Christopher Harris, student leaders Andrew Valdez & Alondra Escobedo, and community organizer Amanda Khan. President Patterson and Provost Shields also made remarks. The panel answered student-submitted questions and shared the importance of civic engagement at all levels.

The Office of Student Life continues to host multiple virtual events per week and is planning for spring while also wrapping up the fall calendar. If you want to collaborate on a student engagement initiative, please email us.
Yes, I won the competition in the Café. Last Wednesday, NSC ate catfish, spaghetti, and coleslaw, and I had an opportunity to eat with my entire team, which included our newest member: Nathanial LaMotte. It was nice to briefly feel “normal” again.

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” --Muhammad Ali
Sandip Thanki
Every fall, about 400 new students enroll at NSC directly after high school as first-time, full-time degree-seeking students. There are many ways we can measure their success, including their 1-year, fall-to-fall retention rate, their 4-year graduation rate, and their 6-year graduation rate. Starting at 2009, the chart shows:

  • Our 1-year retention rate has improved by around 14 percentage points
  • Our 4-year graduation rate has improved by 10 percentage points
  • Our 6-year graduation rate has improved by 9 percentage points

The increase in 1-year retention and 4-year graduation rates should have a positive impact on our future 6-year graduation rates. Good job, NSC!
Key Dates
  • 11/05: Artist Talk with Victor Ehikhamenor, noon (RSVP)
  • 11/10: CTLE 4th Annual Excellence in Online Teaching and Learning Event, 12-1:30 pm
  • 11/11: Veterans Day; campus closed, no classes
  • 11/12: Interactive art workshop with Victor Ehikhamenor (students only), noon (RSVP)
  • 11/26-28: Thanksgiving holiday; campus closed, no classes
NSC Office of the Provost | 702-992-2663 |
Be Bold | Be Great | Be State