Nevada State College Awarded $1M Advance Grant from the National Science Foundation

Nevada State College (NSC), a teaching-intensive, minority-serving institution, is one of six higher education institutions nationally that has been selected to receive a $1 million ADVANCE grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the 2022 funding cycle – a program designed to promote equity among STEM faculty and broaden the participation of women and other historically underrepresented groups in academia.

The PEER Project

With this funding, Nevada State College launches the Pursuing Equity to Enhance Retention (PEER) Project to address workload disparities among science faculty. By using an intersectional approach to address systemic inequities within the institution’s policies, practices, and organizational culture and climate, the PEER Project will:

  • Create a new full-time position in the Office of the Provost – Director of Faculty Development
  • Develop faculty workload dashboards that identify and monitor workload disparities
  • Implement department equity plans to ensure fair distribution of teaching and service loads
  • Implement policies that mitigate workload imbalance, recognize invisible service work, and create time to engage in scholarship
  • Create faculty peer mentoring circles to combat social and professional isolation
  • Enhance opportunities for professional development
  • Expand support for scholarship among pre-tenured science faculty, women and underrepresented groups.

Benefitting the Campus Community 

Dr. Laura Naumann, Associate Professor of Psychology, and her co-principal investigator, Dr. Samantha Jewell, Associate Professor of Biology, will oversee the ADVANCE Adaptation grant that began on August 15, 2022. The PEER Project activities will benefit the entire NSC campus community by expanding the lens at which faculty members are evaluated and redefining an inclusive culture. Any findings generated will contribute to campus-wide initiatives that support justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

“Nevada State is honored to join the ADVANCE community as one of the few teaching-oriented, minority-serving institutions to receive funding,” said Laura Naumann. “This award will allow to us to address barriers to workload equity in order to improve faculty work satisfaction and retention, while also contributing to a growing body of research on faculty equity in STEM.”

Nevada State is the third Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) institution to receive an NSF ADVANCE award in the program’s 20-year history; putting this campus in the company of the Desert Research Institute ($279K) and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas ($340K).

For more information about the NSF ADVANCE grants, visit here or contact Dr. Naumann at For more information about Nevada State College, visit

NSHE Board of Regents will Consider Nevada State Renaming

The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents have an important agenda item to vote on during the Board of Regents Quarterly Meeting on September 8-9: renaming Nevada State from “College” to “University.”

Nevada State is asking the Board to accept a renaming of the school to Nevada State University as an effort to depict the four-year institution’s existing mission more accurately. If passed, the renaming would take effect July 1, 2023. Members of the community may show their support for the renaming online at

The City of Henderson announced their support at the City Council meeting on August 23, with a Resolution urging Nevada’s Board of Regents to approve Nevada State’s renaming. The proposed renaming is also joined in public support by college and university presidents from University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), College of Southern Nevada (CSN), and the Desert Research Institute (DRI).

Nevada State President Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard says:

I am eager and hopeful for the “College” to “University” renaming for Nevada State – an institution that has become one of the fastest-growing and dynamic four-year institutions in the country. The proposed renaming is designed to accurately reflect what our institution does; it is not a change in mission. We are also not seeking a change in our funding. Nevada State will remain committed to its mission to provide broad access to diverse, first-generation, and transfer students.

Some may be wondering, why now? 20 years ago, when Nevada State was added to Nevada’s portfolio of distinguished higher education institutions, the term “community college” was common at both state and national levels. That’s not necessarily the case today. Now, “college” is predominately used for community colleges and small liberal arts institutions; whereas “university” refers mainly to four-year institutions and higher. Nevada State is one of few four-year colleges in the western region to still use “college” in its name – in fact, 95% use or have adopted “university” to keep up with the perception of college vs. university. This renaming is not only necessary for the perception of Nevada State, but also critical for economic mobility and competitiveness in Nevada. We believe in equity for our students who have hard-earned degrees from Nevada State and that their diplomas should reflect the same level of distinction as other university degrees.

We’ve seen an overwhelming level of support – nearly 82% – from students, staff, faculty and alumni on this renaming and now, we are hoping to continue momentum with support from the Board of Regents.

Nevada State is a new university – for all. A renaming to “University” during its 20th anniversary is the best way to demonstrate Nevada State’s growth and bright future.


 Show your support and see who has already shown their support.