By Jess Kusak
Accomplished stage actress, published writer, full-time worker and Nevada State College English major are just a couple of ways to describe Courtney Sheets. Now in her senior year, Courtney is glad she made the decision to enroll at NSC. My Nevada State experience has allowed me to complete my degree, maintain a fulltime job and still pursue my passion for writing and theatre, said Courtney. Her talents and diverse background is just another example of NSC’s diverse and motivated student population.
Since childhood, Courtney knew she wanted to write. I always had little stories in my head I would later scribble down, but I didn’t seriously start pursuing it as a career option until a couple of years ago, said Courtney. Courtney’s talents as a writer haven’t gone unnoticed. Assistant Professor of English, Dr. Natalie Berman characterized Courtney’s writing as creative. She is an excellent speaker, and often shared wonderful stories in regards to various aspects of her writing and stage work, said Dr. Berman.
Courtney recently celebrated a major accomplishment in her professional career as a writer, as her novel, Kona Warrior, will be published. The novel, which is to be released this summer, takes place in Hawaii and covers aspects of Hawaiian Mythology. Kona Warrior is being published through an e-books publisher, which means it will be available in digital form for ipods, palm pilots, Kindle and laptops. It’s pretty exciting to have my work be showcased like this! said Courtney.
Theatre, Courtney’s other passion, has also brought her many successes. Recently, she delighted local theater goers with her portrayal of Mary Featherstone, appearing in Las Vegas Little Theatre’s production of How the Other Half Loves. Similar to writing, Courtney got hooked on theater at an early age. It’s always been in my life and I don’t think I ll ever give it up, Courtney said. In addition to entertaining on stage, Courtney delves into many behind the scenes aspects of the craft, including writing plays, directing, making costumes, and even lending a hand to the stage set-up and the special effects makeup crew
Working full-time at Southwest Gas Company and performing in stage productions with several Las Vegas theater companies would normally have made fitting in a full-time class load challenging, if not impossible. NSC’s evening and online class options gave her the opportunity to not only receive a quality education, but be a well-rounded individual and contributor to the community. Many times when I am on break at a [theatre] rehearsal, I can easily bring out my laptop and work on my class assignments. Online classes have made it possible to work my school schedule in conveniently with other aspects of my life, said Courtney. NSC’s class scheduling has also kept Courtney on track to receive her diploma and advance in her career at Southwest Gas. As an Analyst for the CAP/Billing Department, a Bachelor’s degree will open up numerous career possibilities within the company.
When Courtney decided to go back to college after completing three years at UNR, she researched local colleges as well as many online universities. I felt the price versus the quality of education at these schools didn’t match up. I wanted a degree I felt I had truly earned, not just bought, said Courtney. She felt as though the atmosphere was very isolating and not as welcoming to new students. It was like I was just another number, instead of a person, said Courtney. Her initial experiences at NSC were a stark contrast and for the first time in a long time she had a positive outlook on her future. From the get-go, I felt I had made the right choice to come to NSC. Whether it was just filling out a form correctly or getting my credits transferred, it was evident everyone at NSC cared, said Courtney. In fact, once her credits were transferred, LAS Advisor Adeste Sipin took the time on a Saturday to go over Courtney’s DARS report. The fact that he helped me out on his day off, really made me feel like this was a college that cared I succeeded, Courtney said.
An education at NSC has helped Courtney do it all, from continuing her education, to holding down a full-time job, to pursuing her love of writing and theatre. Who says you can’t do it all?
By Jess Kusak