Discovery of oldest-known Woody Guthrie recordings credited to NSC professor

By Mandi Enger
In 1999 Peter La Chapelle, a current associate professor in the Humanities Department at Nevada State College, made a historical finding while working on his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California (USC). While conducting research for his dissertation, La Chapelle was given a tip during an interview with political activist Harry Hay, which led him to the discovery of four unknown and previously unreleased songs produced by folk artist Woody Guthrie who is known for penning such songs as This Land is Your Land.
The four songs, recorded off the two discs I found, are essentially the oldest known Woody Guthrie recordings in existence, said La Chapelle. The discs, called Prestos, were 10-inches in diameter, ran at 78 rpm and were composed of lacquer-covered aluminum. They had been donated to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research in south central Los Angeles by Hay who had been with Guthrie at the time of the recordings.
The song recordings likely date to 1939. They are older than the famous Alan Lomax-Library of Congress recordings and older than the RCA Victor Dust Bowl Ballads album, he continued.
Woodrow Wilson Woody Guthrie (1912-1967), who reached national fame in the 1940s with songs such as This Land is Your Land, and So Long it’s been Good to Know You, would have celebrated his 100th birthday on July 14, 2012.
In commemoration of Guthrie’s life as a singer, songwriter, and artist, the Smithsonian Folkway released a three-CD box set this July titled Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection. The set contains a large-format book in addition to 57 tracks including the four songs recovered by La Chapelle: Skid Row Serenade, Them Big City Ways, Do Re Mi and I Ain’t Got No Home (In This World Anymore). La Chapelle additionally contributed an essay detailing his research and findings to the written portion of the set.
After completing his dissertation at USC, La Chapelle turned his research into a book, Proud to Be an Okie, referencing his investigations in Los Angeles and Woody Guthrie findings in chapter two.
Read more about La Chapelle’s discovery and the Woody Guthrie centennial album in the Los Angeles Times.

President Bart Patterson joins Facebook and Twitter

By Mandi Enger
Nevada State College President Bart Patterson has always had an interest in making personal connections with students, faculty, staff and community supporters of the College. This summer, Patterson has now taken this social charge online by joining both Facebook and Twitter.
NSC has a community feel where faculty, staff and the administration are easily accessible, commented Patterson. By creating a community Facebook page and a personal Twitter profile I hope to expand my avenues of communication even further and increase interaction across the campus especially with students and with the community.
Currently there are an estimated 800 million active users on Facebook and 100 million on Twitter. If our students are using social media, that’s where I want to be in order to learn and discuss what’s important to them, he added. I’m also looking forward to hearing from members of our community and providing all users with details on NSC activities.
Patterson has been sharing both campus updates and more personal happenings on social media since June.
Having President Patterson join us on Facebook really shows his personal interest in making a connection with the students and helps remove the perception that our executives are always behind closed doors. It’s refreshing to have a leader that welcomes our thoughts and opinions, said Christina, a psychology major at NSC.
Nevada State College originally joined Facebook and Twitter in 2009 with the launch of the official campus pages that are still highly active today with nearly 1,100 Facebook and 570 Twitter followers.
Learn more about NSC’s social media outlets and join the conversation on all sites here.
To receive status updates from Bart Patterson in your Facebook newsfeed, be sure to like his community Facebook page, President Bart Patterson, Nevada State College, by visiting For daily tweets, he can also be followed on Twitter,
Not on social media just yet? Bart Patterson can be contacted by email; or by phone at 702-992-2350.

Nevada State College conducts mental health training for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Crisis Intervention Team

By Mandi Enger
With a common goal to educate police officers on how to best interact with the mentally ill population in Southern Nevada, the Nevada State College (NSC) School of Nursing presented  Hearing Voices, a schizophrenia simulation, for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Crisis Intervention Team members on July 18-19, 2012.
The 90-minute simulation is designed for healthcare providers and public safety officers to increase awareness of the symptoms of schizophrenia and identify ways to enlist cooperation from people with schizophrenia. A total of 40 officers participated in the simulation during sessions held at the LVMPD headquarters.
Conducted by Amy J. Chaffin, an associate professor of nursing at NSC, and Candice Desrosiers, a NSC alumna and geropsychiatric nurse at Southern Hills Hospital, the hands-on presentation included an overview of the illness followed by the rotation of participants through six stations. Each station required participants to attempt a simple task such as counting change or completing a registration form while listening through headphones to recordings simulating auditory hallucinations.
The purpose of the simulation is to place the participant in the shoes of a mentally ill patient in order for them to truly develop an understanding of the difficulty these individuals have when trying to focus, listen to directions, or complete the most simple tasks, said Chaffin.
The simulations at the LVMPD closed with a debriefing and reflection session. It was difficult just to read the instructions at each station while the voices were so loud and active, commented one participant during the July 18 session.
View additional feedback from LVMPD participants on 8 News Now.
Following comments from the officers, Chaffin and Desrosiers encouraged the group to take their experience into the field. When encountering individuals who may suffer from a mental illness, maintain eye contact, give short and clear directions, said Chaffin. Ask assessment questions. Find out if they are hearing voices and what the voices are telling them to do.
You’d be amazed how a little extra patience and understanding goes a long way when working with the mentally ill, added Desrosiers.
The School of Nursing has additionally partnered with the City of Henderson Police Department, Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital, Boulder City Hospital Partial Hospitalization Program, social workers, College of Southern Nevada campus security, and several local schools of Nursing to share the “Hearing Voices” simulation. Follow-up interviews are being scheduled by the School of Nursing team with volunteer participants to measure the lasting impact of the training.
We’re proud to share this experience with Metro and other community groups as they develop trainings and procedures for officers and staff responding to and assisting the mentally ill, said Chaffin. NSC nursing students participate in the simulation as part of their academic program, and the experience truly affects the amount of time, patience and empathy they have when caring for patients at the psychiatric hospital. The training has been a part of the School of Nursing curriculum since 2009.
Chaffin is currently working on a National League for Nursing grant that would continue to support the simulation and provide funding for updated training materials.