By Mandi Enger
Recognizing Nevada State College (NSC) faculty members committed to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service, five professors from the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) were awarded tenure by the Nevada Board of Regents during the spring 2013 semester. The newly tenured faculty include: Shirli Brautbar, Associate Professor of History; Edwin Price, Associate Professor of Environmental Science; Gregory Robinson, Associate Professor of English; Gwen Sharp, Associate Professor of Sociology and Department Chair of Social Sciences & Business Administration; and Aaron Wong, Associate Professor of Mathematics.
The tenure process encourages our faculty to achieve a level of excellence in their teaching and scholarly endeavors that will best serve our students and the broader Southern Nevada community, said NSC Provost Erika Beck. NSC is proud of our newly tenured faculty as they have demonstrated that the quality of their work meets or exceeds the long-standing traditions of the Academy and helps to foster the success of our entire student body.
Faculty members are eligible for tenure based upon standards set by the Board of Regents as well as internal criteria outlined by each school in their standards of academe. The full tenure process lasts approximately six years encompassing annual reviews, a comprehensive third year review, and an official application for promotion to tenure.
The application for tenure contains a wealth of comprehensive, evidence-based data on the professor’s growth overtime, said NSC Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences Andy Kuniyuki. What ultimately matters in our tenure process is that our professors truly impact our students in a way that they are in turn able to demonstrate what they think, and what they know, and what they are able to do.
The in-depth application packet is subject to a rigorous evaluation process by the dean, external professors and/or department chairs in the discipline from around the country, an on-campus committee comprised of tenured faculty, the college provost and president, and finally the Board of Regents.
The designation of tenure signifies that a faculty member upholds the value of higher education, added Kuniyuki. Tenured faculty are qualified to not only continue teaching but to do so with a level of academic freedom to explore new teaching techniques that will improve the educational outcomes of our students.
Approximately 21 NSC professors have been tenured, including those within LAS, the School of Education and the School of Nursing. In 2014, two additional faculty members will become eligible to complete the application for promotion to tenure.
Associate Professor of History
Ph.D. in History, University of Southern California
My favorite part of being a professor at NSC is watching my students succeed. Receiving tenure is the result of many years of hard work and a great honor.
In 2012, Dr. Brautbar published a critically-acclaimed book titled From Fashion to Politics: Hadassah and Jewish American Women in the Post World war II Era. Brautbar is currently working on an American History textbook and advises the NSC History Society, an active history student organization. She considers herself to be an interdisciplinary scholar and this is reflected in her research and teaching.
Associate Professor of Environmental Science
Ph.D. in Geology, Washington State University
My favorite part of teaching is getting students involved in field projects. Many of our students have not spent much time outdoors but want to. Several of my classes have a field component and some courses have been taught predominantly in the field.
With abundant work experience in the environmental science industry, Dr. Price began teaching in higher in education in 2003. Price teaches all classes in the NSC Environmental and Resource Science program such as: Geology, Meteorology, Planetary Astronomy, Hydrology, Soils, Climate Change, Pollution, Regional and Global Issues, and Environmental Measurement and Analysis. Price continues to participate in field work and plans to work with two NSC students on a soil research project in Georgia over the summer.
Associate Professor of English
Ph.D. in English, University of Nevada Las Vegas
I love our community at NSC. The faculty work together remarkably well, and the students are truly invested in learning more. We have created an environment that is always exciting and inspiring.
Dr. Robinson joined NSC in 2003 as the Director of Library Services. Moving to the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2008, Robinson now teaches courses in Literary Theory, American Literature, Film, and Interdisciplinary Studies. In additional to teaching, Robinson is active in the community working with the Contemporary Arts Center.
Associate Professor of Sociology and Department Chair of Social Sciences & Business Administration
Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Being a really good instructor is a skill you build, and it requires experimenting, mastering new techniques, gathering data on what works, and constantly adapting and revising your classes to meet students needs. I think NSC is really unique in the degree to which the faculty recognize this and think about their classes not in terms of what the instructor would like to do, but what actually helps our students learn and get excited about the subject.
Teaching a range of sociology classes, such as Principles of Sociology, Gender and Society, Sex and Social Arrangements, and Popular Culture, Dr. Sharp has been teaching at NSC since 2007. She began teaching in higher education in 2005.
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Ph.D. University of California-San Diego
I think NSC has an entrepreneurial spirit that is unique in education. We don’t have the same institutional inertia other places do, which keep them doing the same things, the way they have always done them. Instead, we have the freedom to try new ideas and explore new technologies to help us become better at the things we do.
Receiving his Ph.D. and joining NSC in 2007, Dr. Wong began teaching a variety of lower- and upper-division mathematics courses. Over the last few years, Wong has reorganized NSC’s remedial math courses. Since the Foundational Mathematics program was implemented, the college has seen a 20% relative increase in the pass rates for these classes.