It is that special time of year again when we celebrate commencement with our graduates and the CSN family and Southern Nevada Community. This is a time to say thank you and congratulations to our students, faculty and staff. The CSN family is second to none!
This is also the time of year for our annual multicultural celebrations and our Outstanding Student Awards ceremony. I hope you will take time to join us for those events as well. You can read more about them below.
Speaking of annual celebrations, I attended the fourth annual CSN Coyotes Athletic Awards banquet last week and it was such a pleasure to be there to celebrate our student-athletes. As we all know, CSN teams are amongst the most competitive in the nation. However, what made this event so special for me, and so different than at other places I’ve worked, is that you saw a defined culture of student first. Every coach who spoke started by providing the collective GPA of their team and their graduation rates. It was clear that these coaches defined student success not only in terms of wins and losses but in their students’ academic success. Now I understand why our athletic teams have over 80 Academic All Americans and one of the highest graduation rates in the college. That is a perfect example of the college-wide culture that can define us at CSN, and I want to congratulate and thank Athletic Director Dexter Irvin for showing us what a Students First culture looks and feels like.
Lastly, I am happy to let you know that the U.S. Department of Education has notified us that we are fully eligible for Title IV financial aid awarding. Typically, colleges are recertified to award financial aid every six years. As you know, we were placed on provisional status last year as our application was reviewed. The application has now been approved. One outcome of this formal notification is that three new bachelor’s degrees are now fully eligible for Title IV financial aid awarding: Deaf Studies, Nursing and Project Management. Kudos to Juanita Chrysanthou, vice president of student affairs and the financial aid team for their hard work taking care of this matter.
So, as we prepare for final exams, commencement and some of you head off for summer break, please know that I am truly grateful to you all for working so hard this past year.
In this issue:
Campus Vice Presidents
Forums Begin Today
This is your chance to meet the candidates for Campus Vice Presidents for our North Las Vegas and Charleston campuses. Beginning today and running through next week, we will have public forums on all three campuses with the five candidates for the two positions. I know it is a busy time for all of us, but please make an effort to attend as many as you can.
The candidates are listed below. Click the name for biographical information.
47th Annual Commencement Ceremony
We strive to put our students first to ensure that they get the best chance we can give them to receive a world-class education. Well, it is paying off. This month, CSN will graduate its largest class ever! Preliminary data indicates that a record 3,667 students are eligible to receive 3,721 degrees and certificates.
This means that in the last 10 years, CSN has seen more than 25,000 students earn their degrees and certificates and go on to fuel the growth and diversification of the Southern Nevada Economy. Our student success is a direct result of the hard work our faculty and staff do every day to put our students first. Final numbers will be available once spring grades are in.
The Commencement Ceremony is right around the corner, scheduled for 6 p.m. May 20 in the Thomas & Mack Center.
I am very much looking forward to celebrating our students’ successes at my first Commencement Ceremony at CSN.
This year’s student speaker is Thomas Calvin, a jazz vocal major here at CSN. Calvin has an inspiring story to share with attendees about finding his voice on his journey to CSN from Chicago, Illinois. Calvin plans to continue his education and earn a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance.
Please join me in congratulating Thomas and all our graduates.
Multicultural Graduation Celebrations
At CSN, we know diversity is our strength. I am pleased to see so many 2019 multicultural celebrations to honor the achievements of our graduating students. Please consider attending one of these events before commencement.
Please join me in celebrating our 2018-19 Outstanding Student Award winners on Friday, May 3 at the North Las Vegas Campus. This year, the CSN Foundation is excited to announce that Outstanding Student Award winners who return to CSN or transfer to another NSHE institution will receive $1,000 scholarships!
The annual ceremony is intended to honor CSN students who demonstrate what our college is all about – putting students first and helping to ensure they graduate or transfer to a four-year institution. One student from each department is honored, as well as the Regents’ Scholar winner and the Kim Gregory Memorial Scholarship recipient.
I am extremely proud of the student winners, and of our outstanding faculty for their dedication and hard work. Congratulations to all.
Student Government Election Results
Please join me in congratulating Daniel Gutierrez for winning the presidency of the Associated Students of the College of Southern Nevada. I look forward to working with him as he takes over for Andrew Sierra, who is graduating this month.
I also want to congratulate the Department of Student Life and Leadership and its director, Brian Akins, for their efforts. Voter turnout was up 45 percent this year over last year. Akins attributed the increase to hard work, increased communications and – for the first time – making voting available online.
CSN Student Part of National Science Foundation Grant work
I am excited to congratulate first-year CSN anthropology student Silvio Mirabel Torres, who is one of just eight students nationally selected for the 2019 National Science Foundation-funded Summer Fellowship in bioarchaeology at the University of South Alabama.
Mr. Torres will collaborate with an interdisciplinary group of scientists conducting original research on two Arabian Bronze Age skeletal collections over an eight-week period. Upon completing his AA in Anthropology and the Forensic Certificate next year, he intends to pursue bachelor’s and graduate degrees within the discipline.
This is an amazing story of student success, and it shows that research is an important component for community college students.
PACE Survey Results
The results of the latest PACE Survey are in, which you can browse at the link below. Your valuable feedback will help us improve working conditions for all our faculty and staff, as well as help us identify and improve institutional effectiveness and student success.
A note on interpreting the data: “NILIE” refers to the National Initiative for Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness, meaning these numbers are essentially a national average. “City” refers to other large, urban institutions, so you can see how we measure up against our peer institutions.
Complete College America Summit
I am pleased to report that we continue to make significant progress on the Lumina and Complete College America – Guided Pathways Project. Teams from CSN, UNLV, NSC and our community partners came together at UNLV in March for the Momentum Pathways Action Summit to draft an implementation plan and show our deep commitment to the project and each other. We also hosted the Southern Nevada Metro Momentum Pathways Planning Academy on our campus last month, where we engaged with CCA content experts and colleagues to really roll up our sleeves and map out game-changer deployment and data-driven interventions designed to restructure systems, to improve student outcomes and eliminate achievement gaps so all of our students graduate, complete, transfer and prosper.
Last month, NSHE hosted forums as the board of Board of Regents considers eliminating remedial courses across all institutions and moving to a corequisite model. The policy would pair remediation courses with college-credit bearing courses so students would earn credits toward graduating and get the support they need. Research shows that students who enroll in traditional remediation courses don’t graduate at nearly the same rates. Thank you to all who took the time to participate in these discussions and who work hard every day to help our students graduate. The discussion will be back before the Board of Regents in June.
Mental Health First Aid
Our CAPS team has recently started our “mental health first aid” sessions to help faculty and staff learn when students may be in distress and share resources with our students. The new training was made possible by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CSN was the only institution in the state to receive such a grant.
I encourage you to enroll in the training if you haven’t already. More details can be found through CAPE.
Stop the Bleed
Our Stop The Bleed initiative has been a big success. Since we started in August 2018, there have been 42 classes taught with 716 attendees. If you were unable to take the course this year you may do so during the summer and again next semester. Keep an eye on the CAPE calendar for updates.
I was pleased to thank our student government leaders in person this month for their generous $25,000 donation to the CSN Foundation for the Health & Sciences building campaign.
The Foundation also recently secured a $25,000 donation from CORE Construction for same campaign and a $2,500 donation from the Las Vegas chapter of the American Society of Professional Engineers to support student scholarships.