The School of Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS) is committed to providing academic and career-oriented experiences that actively engage students in our local and global communities. Our faculty, staff, and students strive to be environmentally conscious and socially aware, an effort that we hope will lead to a brighter and more sustainable future. Here are some examples of how LAS faculty and students are making a difference:
Dr. Kebret Kebede
Dr. Kebret Kebede, an Associate Professor of Biology, routinely brings his medical expertise to areas of the world where it is needed most. His recent humanitarian efforts have taken him to a remote region of Kenya where the need for medical aid far outweighs the available resources. Dr. Kebede performed important surgical procedures in adverse conditions and even received medical assistance from one of his NSC students. On a separate trip sponsored by CURE International, Dr. Kebede traveled to the Dominican Republic and provided much-needed medical care to children with congenital deformities who had no other access to orthopedic treatment. These and like-minded missions benefit the world, but they also benefit the LAS community, as Dr. Kebede brings his experiences back into the classroom and helps students develop a global perspective on biology and medicine.
Dr. Richard Yao
As a professional therapist with years of experience in southern Nevada, Richard Yao fully appreciates the region's need for improved mental health services. As a lecturer in the Social Sciences Department, he works tirelessly to train Nevada's next generation of mental health professionals. Dr. Yao brings his experience to the classroom, but he also brings students to the experience. Each semester he places NSC psychology and counseling students in a field experience course where they assist various community agencies that provide direct services to diverse populations. These field experiences typically take place in community-based programs that serve adults, children, and families with the fewest resources (i.e., uninsured and Medicaid recipients) and highest levels of needs. As a result, our students help fulfill the personnel needs of the mental health community while giving students quality, on-the-job training at key community agencies. In fact, the training is so effective that many of NSC's students have been hired by these agencies after graduation.
Dr. Hon-Vu Duong
Dr. Hon-Vu Duong, a Biology Lecturer, literally provides the gift of eyesight to people who otherwise face debilitating visual impairments. As part of the Friends of the Children of Lascahobas, Haiti, Dr. Duong travels to Haiti each year with a team of ocular specialists that includes Drs. Carr and Westfield, both well-known ophthalmologists in Las Vegas. The ophthalmic team provides medical and surgical eye care to a profoundly underserved population. They operate on patients to correct life-altering eye conditions and dispense eyeglasses and topical medications to treat a variety of visual disorders. In the span of four days, the inter-disciplinary medical team typically examines 650 patients and performs roughly 70 eye operations. In addition to this work in Haiti, Dr. Duong has traveled to Vietnam multiple times to conduct ophthalmic humanitarian missions that include free surgical procedures for medically underserved populations. To ensure that these populations have continued access to quality ophthalmic care, the doctors often offer free lectures to local ophthalmologists so that they have access to the latest surgical techniques and medical treatments for common eye pathologies.