NSC Welcomes New Campus-Wide Recycling Initiative

By Jess Kusak
Nearly two years ago, a group of students in the Nevada State Student Alliance (NSSA), the student government of NSC, sought to establish a recycling program on campus. With the help of a new state mandate requiring recycling at all institutions of higher education (SB 137), the NSSA has now successfully brought the dream of implementing such a program on campus to fruition.
As a joint effort between the NSSA and NSC’s Department of Facilities Management, the much-anticipated recycling program was recently unveiled throughout the campus community.
Dymonde King, NSSA Chair of Capitol Improvement, spoke to the necessity of having this program on campus. This is important to us as a campus, because we are concerned about the environment and wanted to make our campus greener.
Currently, the campus community is able to use the large multi-opening bins located in each campus building the LAS and Dawson Building have two bins at each facility, and BW I and BWII have one bin at each facility. Additionally, outside of the Dawson building, there is a large crusher for more heavy-duty recyclable items such as cardboard boxes. Every Tuesday, the recyclable materials are picked up by Auburn Fibers, a recycling center based out of Las Vegas. The company has generously provided their services free of charge as the program is getting established.
The NSSA provided the seed money for the project, which has gone toward the acquisition of the large recycling bins, as well as student worker wages to keep the program running. The bins will be maintained by the Department of Facilities.
The recycling program is only available to the NSC campus as of now. However, the NSSA wants to eventually open the program up to surrounding neighborhoods and create a community outreach initiative. Our program may be starting out small, but we know we can build it into something bigger over time, said King.
For the kick-off of the recycling program, the NSSA held a seminar led by King, to offer basic instructions on the how-to’s of using the new bins and some basic tenets of recycling. This is another way the NSSA is trying to get students on campus involved, said NSSA President Amsala Alemu-Johnson. This is a good first step for our campus, she continued.
Delceta Morgan, an Environmental Science major attending the event, was optimistic about the future of the program. There are so many people on this campus who want to make a difference. If we can change our habits to become more resourceful, it will not only make a positive impact on our campus, but on our entire community, said Morgan.
Thus far, the NSSA has seen a positive response from the campus community regarding the recycling bins. Both King and Alemu-Johnson hope that as word spreads about the program, students will take an interest and become more involved. Our new website is up and running with all of our contact information, so students can contact us with their ideas and suggestions, said Alemu-Johnson.
What may seem on the surface as a small step in developing a recycling program is much more than that to the NSSA and NSC campus community. As King noted, since we are a small campus, we really need to pull together and support each other on projects such as this. Student involvement is what will help build our campus and further establish NSC as a college.

Project Crossroads Starts the Year Off with Mentoring and Scholarship Opportunities for At-Risk Middle School Students

By Jess Kusak
The make it or break it point for academic success comes early in a student’s educational experience. NSC’s Project Crossroads targets middle school students for this very reason. Project Crossroads specifically reaches out to this age group because the incidence of drop-out rates increases during the middle school and high school years.
Project Crossroads is a collaborative effort between Nevada State College and Area 2 of the Clark County School District (CCSD), helping at-risk middle school students. Through this program, students from 14 middle schools in the eastern and southeastern region of the Las Vegas Valley are provided guidance and mentorship, which encourages them to stay in school and ultimately continue on to high school and a higher education.
Through the generous support of Bill Wortman, Principal of Cannery Casino Resorts and NSC Foundation Board of Trustees Member, the Nevada Public Education Foundation Nevada ACCESS Grant Program, and additional support from USA Funds, Project Crossroads is brought to fruition.
During the kick-off Project Crossroads event of the year, college faculty, staff and over 30 NSC student mentors led a series of break-out sessions discussing everything from setting goals, gaining self-awareness, exploring different educational and career options and becoming involved in community volunteerism and school activities.
This year, the program welcomed special guest speaker Maria Silva, KVBC Channel 3 news anchor. Ms. Silva imparted her own journey of educational triumphs and hardships as being a first-generation, low-income college student in Nevada. NSC President Dr. Fred Maryanski also addressed the students, sharing with them his story of reaching success as being the first person from his family to graduate from high school and pursue a higher education. Each of their heartfelt testimonials resonated with the students, inspiring them to strive for possibilities they perhaps had not considered before.
At the finale of the event, President Maryanski and Ms. Silva announced to the students they would each receive an NSC Promise certificate, which is good for a $500 scholarship toward an education at NSC. When the students complete high school and successfully meet the admissions standards for the college, they can utilize the Promise incentive for their first NSC semester.
Gregory Ross, and NSC sophomore Business major and Project Crossroads mentor sees a lot of untapped potential in the children he works with through the program. They have many talents and interests, but don’t know how to cultivate them. I encourage them to challenge themselves and broaden their horizons by trying out new learning activities and experiences.
In addition to unrealized potential, many of the children in Project Crossroads are disengaged and bored in their learning environments. Mentors and facilitators from Project Crossroads help bridge that gap and get the children engaged in school again so they can perform to their full potential, catch up on academic credits and successfully move on to high school and college.
Project Crossroads meets four times throughout the academic year, each time bringing the students into a new non-traditional learning environment characterized by teamwork, cooperation and high expectations. For one of the upcoming Project Crossroads events for example, students will come to the NSC campus to experience a college visit, as well as lectures and presentations by college professors. Experiences such as these help the students develop a sense of motivation, self-esteem and resiliency, which will help them thrive in a pressure filled collegiate setting. Additionally, experiencing a day in the life of a typical NSC student allows them to see themselves as college students, realizing that a higher education is an attainable goal.
To bolster the quarterly Project Crossroads gatherings, the NSC student mentors will go to each of the participating schools once per week for two hours. Project Crossroads facilitators have found it is important to follow-up with the children, so they have continual mentoring throughout the school year. Follow-up mentoring was actually a component for a pilot program for last year’s Project Crossroads endeavors. Each week, one NSC student mentor met with Crossroads students from Burkholder middle school, both individually and in groups, to monitor their progress and guide them. The outcome of the pilot yielded remarkable results. Of the 15 students who began the program in the fall, 14 completed the program and successfully transitioned from middle school into high school.
Project Crossroads participants have much to gain from this innovative program, but NSC student mentors have also grown from their experiences with the mentees. Student mentors are able to realize the reward that is not monetary and see the positive impact their efforts can have on another person’s life.
In addition to becoming even more intensely engaged in their own success, the student mentors have cultivated a sense of active volunteerism and community engagement beyond their academic pursuits. As Dr. Maryanski shared, NSC is an institution of higher learning that is actively interacting with the community. There is much we can learn from each other and through programs such as Project Crossroads, we improve everyone’s quality of life.

NSC Nursing Students Plan Health and Safety Fair, Reaching Out to the Local Community

Community nursing has become an integral part of the delivery of medicine in the 21st century. NSC School of Nursing students were afforded the opportunity to become familiar with this important aspect of nursing by developing a health and safety fair at two local elementary schools.
As the Senior Capstone Project in the Community Health Clinical class (NURS 438), nursing students have the task of identifying a need within the community. NURS 438 allows nursing students the chance to gain essential hands-on knowledge in their training, as well as provide individualized care to community organizations to which they may not otherwise have access.
This year, a group of eight students hosted a health and safety fair for local school children at Treem Elementary and Bartlett Elementary. The fair, which reached out to 320 fourth graders, provided an engaging set of learning activities to learn essential elements of health and safety.
This community clinical is a great way for us to give back to the community, said Lindsay Gambit, senior nursing student and team leader for the Health and Safety Fair project. Gambit, who is set to graduate in December, encouraged her team to reach out to a second elementary school in the area. With another school added there was much more work to do, but we saw the needs and our small group of just eight nursing students really pulled together to tackle the project, said Gambit.
The fair featured five different stations, covering such topics as fitness, nutrition, personal hygiene, safety, and germ prevention and proper hand washing. Each station, which lasted about 10 minutes, offered the children fun tutorials on these preventative topics that they could easily apply to their everyday lives. We don’t want what the children are learning today to end here, so we ve put together informational folders with activity worksheets and goodie bags for the children to take home and share with their parents, said Gambit.
Brian James Palmer, another nursing student involved in the planning of the Health and Safety Fair, felt this experience highlighted the multi-faceted role of a nurse. This class has really opened our eyes to the community aspect of nursing. Doing projects such as this help nursing students become more community oriented and aware of the health needs that exist in the communities we serve.
Possessing this awareness will undoubtedly help these soon-to-be nursing graduates be best prepared to serve the needs of the community in and out of the hospital setting.