NSC begins new school year with record numbers, measurable growth

August 29, 2014
The beginning of the 2014-15 school year marks Nevada State College’s 12th year in existence. While the college began as a small group of 177 students, it has evolved into a campus of more than 3400 students, set on 500 acres of land.
The college originally offered 15 majors and under 20 concentrations. It has grown to more than 35 majors and minors and close to 130 concentrations. NSC also boasts more than 2,200 graduates, many of whom were first generation college students.
As the college population continues to grow, so does the campus itself. NSC is adding two new buildings near the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Construction of the new buildings began in January 2014 with a Groundbreaking ceremony, and the projected date of completion is mid-June 2015.
As of August 2014, construction of the plaza area is complete, and the Nursing, Science and Education (NSE) building is finishing up on structural steel. As the block work continues, workers are also starting to lay out the interior framing on the first floor and pour the second-floor deck. For the second building, the Student Center, work is being done on the under-slab utilities, and the slab will be poured the first week in September with structural steel work starting the second week of September.
Vice President for Finance & Business Operations Kevin Butler oversees the development of the new campus. He believes the addition of these two buildings is vital for NSC’s future. These buildings will provide NSC the opportunity to unify our operations in one location, he said. It will give the students and staff a sense of place.
Glenn Christenson, NSC Foundation Campaign Chairman, has been instrumental in the investment campaign for the new buildings. We’re so excited about what the opportunity for the school could be, Christenson said. Building these two buildings I think is very important. It sends the message to the community that not only are we here to stay, but we’re growing.
Butler, along with NSC faculty and staff, asserts that the new buildings will support that growth. We will be gaining 20 teaching spaces, several offices, which are quickly filling up with new faculty, and about 385 parking spaces, Butler said.
The college has hired more than a dozen new faculty members for the coming year, including: June Eastridge, Tracey Long, and Dominic Etli from the School of Nursing; Ted Mitchell, Sarah Bryans-Bongey, and Amanda VendeHei from the School of Education; and Jennifer Edmonds, Amber Howerton, Jo Meuris, Nathan Silva, Kathryn Tucker, John C. Laurie, and Abby Peters from the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
Members of the NSC community believe that with the enhancement of the campus comes an enhanced overall experience. These will be two new facilities that, together with the LAS building and the Dawson building close by, will start to build campus pride, Butler said. President Bart Patterson agreed, saying, we really want to give our students a great experience here at NSC, both in and out of the classroom.
The new buildings, growing faculty, added course options and boosted morale all contribute to a bright future for Nevada State College. It’s really very exciting, Christenson said. We’ve created a niche for ourselves in the education system that I think is absolutely critical for where we want to go in the future.

NSC demonstrates continued commitment to diversity

The Office of Community Engagement & Diversity Initiatives at NSC seeks to promote a campus culture that values diversity in all its forms, through inclusive dialogues, experiences and appreciation and value of others to leverage people as a source of collective learning, campus unity, and institutional strength.
It is for this reason that NSC has hosted and participated in numerous events aimed at inclusion, acceptance and increased dialogue regarding underrepresented and vulnerable populations. One such event took place on Thursday, August 14, 2014 at the Nevada System of Higher Education office in Las Vegas. This event, a workshop entitled Working with Undocumented Students, addressed the status of undocumented and DACA-mented (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) immigrant students by engaging and apprising staff of best student success practices and other resources.
This was a great event, and really beneficial for the community we serve, said Recruiter Ruby Ortega. I learned a lot of useful information that I can take back with me to NSC.
The workshop took place from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and featured several guest speakers, including Renee Davis, Director of Student Affairs for the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). Renee flew in from Reno to give a presentation on financial aid and NSHE policy on residency for tuition purposes.
This event was coordinated by the NSHE All-Access Committee and was open to all staff members at NSHE institutions. In attendance were faculty and staff members from UNLV and CSN, along with more than ten NSC faculty and staff members, representing several different departments on campus.
The All-Access Committee is comprised of faculty and staff members from UNLV, CSN and NSC. The committee works to share up-to-date information on statutes and policies that affect access to higher education for undocumented and DACA-mented students.
NSC’s commitment to diversity extends beyond race, ethnicity, culture and legal status to include people of all backgrounds at the college. This includes the LGBTQ community, which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer.
On June 20, 2014, the Office of Community Engagement & Diversity hosted an LGBTQ 101 seminar at NSC, in the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Students, faculty and staff gathered to participate in an interactive discussion about LGBTQ issues, led by Cameron Catton and Hektór Esparza from The Center, an LGBTQ support services organization in Las Vegas.
Even progressive institutions like NSC benefit from having up-to-date thinking and social justice theory discussed out loud, Esparza said. Though bigotry and intolerance are far less prevalent now, the work for equity and social justice is far from finished!
Dr. Edith Fernández, Associate Vice President for Community Engagement and Diversity Initiatives, wants the college to have more workshops, seminars and events geared toward promoting inclusion and opening the minds of the NSC community. We hope that everyone enjoyed the opportunity to engage in a conversation on ways to increase knowledge about and the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people on campus and in our community, Dr. Fernández said. I would really love for people to take something away from this, she continued, to think differently than they did before they walked in.
The Office of Community Engagement & Diversity Initiatives seeks to promote a campus culture that values diversity in all its forms through inclusive dialogues, experiences and appreciation and value of others to leverage people as a source of collective learning, campus unity, and institutional strength.
Hosting this workshop demonstrated humility and goodwill of leaders, which are needed in institutions of higher education, Esparza expressed. Opportunities to learn, discuss and evaluate lead to policies, procedures and programs that make everyone feel welcome.
To learn more about LGBTQ issues, connect with NSC’s Prism-Straight Alliance at www.facebook.com/Nscprism.straight.alliance or visit www.thecenterlv.org.

President Bart Patterson does ALS Ice Bucket Challenge during Welcome Week

As the sun was at its highest, mid-day on August 28, President Bart Patterson cooled down with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge took place in front of an excited crowd of faculty, staff and students at the Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS) building. Doing the honors of dumping the ice was Scotty the Scorpion and NSSA President David Cortez-Lopez, who each poured a full bucket of ice on President Patterson’s head.
President Patterson accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from the Chair of the NSHE Board of Regents, Kevin Page, and Regent Cedric Crear. President Patterson in turn challenged NSC Provost Dr. Erika Beck and NSC Foundation Chair David Grant to complete the challenge next. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took place after the popular Lunch with Leaders event, held in the Marydean Martin Library, which gave students an opportunity to sit down and chat with NSC’s leadership.
Lunch with Leaders was part of a multi-day Welcome Week celebration, which began on Monday, August 25. Monday and Tuesday featured Ask Me Booths in both the Dawson and LAS lobbies and the Basic and Water II building. From 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, new students were welcomed to NSC and invited to ask questions of their peers, faculty and staff.
A Breakfast with the Director of Financial Aid event also took place on Tuesday, August 26 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in the Dawson building. Wednesday’s Get Involved Fair in the Dawson building allowed students a chance to learn more about the clubs and activities on campus. Welcome Week concluded with the Lunch with Leaders event, immediately followed by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
Welcome Week was a huge success this year, said Business Manager & Student Activities Advisor Jerica Turek. Every year, it gets bigger and better.
Nevada State Student Alliance (NSSA) members say this was a great way to kick off the new school year, and they look forward to future student life events.
View President Patterson’s Ice Bucket Challenge video.