NSC faculty lectures at eye surgical training program in Vietnam

By Mandi Enger
This spring, Hue, Vietnam welcomed nearly 30 faculty members from around the world to attend the 4th biennial Imperial City Eye Meeting (ICEM). Volunteers, including Hon-Vu Q. Duong, M.D., senior lecturer of biology at Nevada State College, presented lectures and lab sessions aimed to teach the latest techniques in ophthalmology to over 350 eye specialists at the Hue Central Hospital.
Eye specialists in areas of the world such as Vietnam often do not have direct access to major research institutes, said Duong. Therefore, current research can take a couple of years or more to reach these medical professionals. ICEM is a venue to share the most up-to-date research and technology.
ICEM is the largest ophthalmology training program in Southeast Asia covering a range of topics including cataracts, corneal and retinal disease, oculoplastic reconstructive surgery, and glaucoma diagnosis and treatment.
This year’s five-day event consisted of lectures, surgical demonstrations and hands-on equipment trainings, said Duong who focused his teaching sessions on ophthalmic pathology as well as oculoplastics surgery.
Sponsored by the Hawaiian Eye Foundation, the event is offered every two years to eye specialists in the country at little- to no- personal cost. Volunteering faculty members in turn fund their travel and transportation of personal and medical supplies.
Duong has participated in the ICEM conference since 2010 and looks forward to attending again in 2014.
At Nevada State College there is a high level of biology students interested in pursuing careers in the medical field, said Andy Kuniyuki, dean of the school of liberal arts and sciences. It’s exciting to see these future doctors and ophthalmologists learn from an experienced professional and humanitarian like Dr. Duong and in turn develop similar passions for aiding individuals in need from around the world.
Duong has been participating in academic, medical and surgical missions for nearly a decade through organizations such as Friends of the Children of Lascahobas, Gift of Sight and Project Health. At the very core, medicine is to take care of the under privileged; the sick and the dying and in our case, the blind and those going blind. That’s why I volunteer on a regular basis, added Duong.
Currently, Duong travels to Haiti and the Philippines each year and Vietnam twice a year and has become part of a local ophthalmologist team that often volunteers together. The Vegas Crew, as the group is known to others in the humanitarian community, includes Kenneth Westfield, M.D., and Nancy Evangelisti, COA.
It’s a very close-knit group; we work well together and can adapt to the unique and often stressful situations that take place on our missions. We really travel now as a family, added Duong.
Duong is planning his next volunteer excursion for October 2012 a Project Health medical and surgical mission to Ben Tre, Vietnam followed by a surgical eye mission to the Philippines.

International nursing honor society charters NSC and UNLV as joint chapter: Zeta Kappa At-Large

By Mandi Enger
Nevada State College (NSC) was honored to join the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) to establish an at-large or joint institution chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) honor society on May 10, 2012.

The chapter name, Zeta Kappa, was given to the society by STTI during its original formation with the UNLV School of Nursing in 1981 and will now continue to be used for the UNLV/NSC chapter.
The nursing faculties at NSC and UNLV have always been very collaborative. NSC faculty and students have been actively participating in Zeta Kappa STTI events for the last five years, said Shirlee Snyder, dean of nursing at NSC. The at-large STTI chapter is just another example of the mutual support between the institutions.
The official chartering for the at-large chapter was held at the Dragon Ridge Country Club during the Zeta Kappa Chapter Annual Induction Ceremony where Dr. Carolyn Yucha, dean of nursing at UNLV presented Snyder with a Zeta Kappa At-Large Chapter plaque from the national STTI representative, Dana Bjarnason, PhD.
NSC’s STTI membership plaque is currently on display in the School of Nursing lobby, Basic and Water I, suite 200.
Founded in 1922 by six nursing students from the Indiana University Training School for Nurses, STTI is the only professional nursing honor society in the world. The organization is dedicated to supporting the scholarship and excellence of nurses in the field. 
Each year, qualifying undergraduate nursing students in their junior or senior years are invited to join STTI. Students must demonstrate excellence in scholarship by achieving a 3.0 GPA or higher and rank in the upper 35% of their class. Additionally, students must demonstrate leadership potential. Practicing nurses may also become eligible to join the society based upon their achievements in the field.
Members of STTI are eligible for scholarship and grant opportunities and can attend professional development trainings as well as local, national and international society networking events. Undergraduate nursing students accepted into the society wear purple chords during their commencement to signify their membership.
The 2012 Zeta Kappa Chapter At-Large induction ceremony celebrated the acceptance of new nursing students from NSC, UNLV and Touro University as well as nurse leaders from the community. NSC was proudly represented by 21 new inductees.
It’s quite an honor for students and practicing nurses to be asked to join the society and quite an honor for our college to join with UNLV as the Zeta Kappa Chapter At-Large, added Snyder, an active STTI member since 1973.
The chapter is currently in the planning stages for its next membership event scheduled tentatively for the fall.