CSN Recognized for ‘Work Ready Community’ Partnership

Representatives from the College of Southern Nevada recently attended the national ACT Workforce Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina, to recognize the recent designation of Clark County as a “Work Ready Community.”

Malik Williams, the assessment services coordinator in CSN’s Division of Workforce and Economic Development, was the college’s key partner with county officials in this work. The area was recognized by the testing company ACT in the spring.

The designation is bestowed on counties with robust workforce development initiatives. These initiatives must link education and workforce, align to economic development and match people to job.

More than 2,000 students and jobseekers have earned the ACT WorkKeys Nationals Career Readiness Certificate through DWED. The certificate is an industry recognized credential that helps identify skill levels in workplace document, applied math and graphic literacy. Jobseekers can use their credential to prove their skills to potential employers.

For information about the Division of Workforce and Economic development, visit www.csn.edu/workforce. For more information about ACT and the Clark County Work Ready Community initiative, visit www.workreadycommunities.org/NV/003

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CSN Cybersecurity Bootcamp Shares Expertise, Knowledge with Mexican Universities

The College of Southern Nevada recently hosted six colleagues from universities in Mexico for a weeklong cybersecurity bootcamp.

Hosted by CSN’s Division of Workforce and Economic Development, the weeklong event was hosted at The Learning Center. Representatives from the Mexican universities were able to hear from Las Vegas experts in the cybersecurity field and take classes in cybersecurity through Learning Center instructors.

A panel of speakers, including Adam Garcia, associate vice president and director of University Police Services Southern Command; Randy Robison, director of legislative affairs at CenturyLink and a member of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and Earle Keizer, president and co-owner of Business Continuity Technologies and a member of the Latin Chamber of Commerce, moderated by DWED Executive Director Ricardo Villalobos helped answer student questions and provide tips for when attendees returned to their universities.

The panelists stressed that partnerships and open communication, like that between CSN and the partner institutions in Mexico, would help mitigate risks of cybersecurity attacks and would promote student success in the field.

The bootcamp also included a tour of the state-of-the-art cybersecurity labs on CSN’s North Las Vegas Campus. 

To learn more about NSHE and CSN’s partnership with the higher education system in Tamaulipas, Mexico, visit: https://nshe.nevada.edu/2019/03/regents-approve-international-partnership-with-higher-education-system-in-tamaulipas-mexico/

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CSN Promise Summer Academy featured at technology conference

Data-driven decision making around CSN’s first Nevada Promise Academy was recently highlighted at a higher education technology conference.

Brian Bourgon, the director of enterprise applications in the Office of Technology Services, discussed the innovative approach as part of a panel at the EduCause Annual Conference 2019 in Chicago in late October.

Annually, the conference attracts between 5,000 and 6,000 IT professionals working in higher education. 

About 200 students participated in the Promise Summer Academy

Bourgon was invited to discuss how data helped inform the first summer bridge program at CSN for students receiving the Nevada Promise Scholarship.

“A lot of our data work with Nevada Promise is geared toward retention, and in particular, there was a lot of work around the summer bridge program,” Bourgon said. “We had a super short time to get the summer bridge program together so we used data to find the students who would benefit the most.”

Held for the first time in summer 2019, the Nevada Promise Academy allowed 200 incoming CSN students to receive intensive interventions while earning math and English credits and learning leadership skills. The program was free for the students, who are now in their first semester at CSN.

Since only 200 students could attend the summer program, Bourgon worked with the Nevada Promise team at CSN to analyze student data, including ACCUPLACER, ACT and SAT results, as well as demographic data, to focus on students who would benefit the most from the program.

“We had to figure out which 200 would benefit the most, and we did that using the data,” he said.

By the end of the program, a significant number of students were performing dramatically better than when they started, with a significant number of students testing into higher math classes at the end of the program.

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CSN Day of the Dead Altar on display at the North Las Vegas Campus

Step into the multicultural center on the College of Southern Nevada’s North Las Vegas Campus and step back in time by visiting our Day of the Dead altar.

Centered around the idea that education is the golden step toward prosperity, the altar was sponsored by ASCSN and the Latino Alliance and was recently featured at the Springs Preserve.

The CSN sponsored Day of the Dead altar is on display at the North Las Vegas Campus
The CSN sponsored Day of the Dead altar is on display at the North Las Vegas Campus

Titled Los Pasos Dorados (The Golden Steps) the altar commemorates Latinx academics, who have helped paved the way for current and future generations to use education as a stepping stone to a successful future.

The altar will be featured in the multicultural center in the Tyrone Thompson Student Union until November 15 for those who missed it at the Springs Preserve Day of the Dead event over the holiday weekend.

Those features on the altar include:

  • Julia de Borgos, a poet born in Puerto Rico in 1914. De Burgos’ poems engage themes of feminism and social justice and are a combination of the intimate, the land and the social struggle of the oppressed. She died in 1953 in Harlem.
  • Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, a poet and activist, was born in Denver in 1928. Gonzales was a boxer, a poet and an activist in his home state, where he helped register more Mexican Americans during John. F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign than any other time in the state’s history. He died of heart failure in 2005.
  • Sor Juana Ines De Laz Cruz, an author and a nun born in Mexico in 1651, as the illegitimate child of a Spanish captain. She studied and read in secret, because girls were prohibited from those activities at that time. She died in 1695 after a plague fell over her city. She has been recognized as the first published feminist of the New World. 
Linda Loya, the artist who created the altar.
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CSN students take on blind baseball

Students in the College of Southern Nevada’s ophthalmic technologies program suited up and covered their eyes to get a taste of what baseball might be like without their sight.

Led by Scott Helkaa, the program director, CSN students recently faced off against the LV 20/20 team, Las Vegas’ only blind baseball team in a game of Beep Baseball.

CSN students recently played a game of Beep Baseball

CSN students took the field at Gary Dexter park to join in a game with the Las Vegas team. The students served as sighted players and also took turns wearing blindfolds to mimic how a visually impaired player navigates the game.

“This experience helps show students there’s more than just learning your profession,” Helkaa said. “I heard them say things like ‘Wow, now I understand what it’s like to not have vision, now I understand how important my job is.’ Those are the kind of comments I got.”

Beep baseball differs slightly from sighted baseball, to accommodate the different abilities of the athletes.

Notably, there is no second base. First and third base are marked with four-foot high padded cylinders with speakers that emit a buzzing sound when activated. When a player hits a ball, tone of the bases is turned on. The runner then must run to the correct base before the ball is fielded by a defensive player.

Pitchers and catchers in beep baseball have the ability to see and play a crucial role in using verbal cues to assist other players.

For more information on the rules of Beep Baseball, visit nbba.org.

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CSN Leadership Academy Applications Available

Prospective class members are now being solicited for the newly introduced CSN Leadership Academy. The personal and professional enrichment program is open to all classified employees, administrative faculty, adjunct and full-time teaching faculty. It utilizes the well-regarded 7 Habits of Highly Effective People model of principle-based leadership, and concentrates on proactivity, strengthening time management, ethical decision-making, and communication competency.

Interested individuals are asked to complete the application online. At this point, the program has been budgeted for 90 participants (and a three-semester delivery cycle) and spots will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. So apply as soon as possible.

Unless otherwise indicated on the application, the applicant will be considered for the Spring (January-May 2020) program cycle.  If a large volume of interest exists, all accepted prospects beyond the 30-person class limit will be placed on a wait list. Those wait-listed will be informed of their acceptance into the Academy, and given the opportunity to participate in the next academic year, space permitting.

If at the time of application, the individual expresses a preference to be included in the fall 2020 or spring 2021 sessions, they will have priority placement. Next, openings will be filled through the Academy Wait List.

Dr. Zaragoza wishes this opportunity to be available to all who apply, and can be accommodated. While supervisory approval is required, supervisors are encouraged to offer their support to applicants.

The Review Panel will convene in November. Notification of acceptance, and cohort placement, will be confirmed by Thanksgiving.

As shared in prior correspondence, the Academy dates are as follows:

  • January 31                  
  • February 21    
  • February 28
  • March 13        
  • March 27
  • April 3
  • April 24.                     

Additionally, there will be a Milestone Celebration/Academy Graduation event at Russell’s Restaurant (North Las Vegas campus) on April 16.

Please contact program director Dr. Gillian.Silver-Rodis@csn.edu, for more information.

If you are unable to fill out the online application form, you may download this pdf, fill out all fields, and email the completed application to Gillian.Silver-Rodis@csn.edu.

Dr. Gillian Silver-Rodis
CSN Leadership Academy Director
Professor, Hospitality Management
College of Southern Nevada
Gillian.Silver-Rodis@csn.edu

Sample Leadership Academy Application:

A sample of what your completed Leadership Academy application should look like.

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CSN student research reveals there’s more in your FroYo than you think

Is there fecal matter lurking in your frozen yogurt?

In many cases, yes. But don’t pull your spoon back just yet.

“Most of them are low levels of contamination, which is good for us,” said Yue Yang, a College of Southern Nevada student who researched the issue this summer as part of a National Institute of Health Program.

Yue Yang discusses her research into fecal matter in frozen treats
Yue Yang discusses her research into fecal matter in frozen treats

Under the tutelage of CSN instructors Chris Collumb and Earl Yoon, Yang and another student visited popular ice cream and frozen yogurt businesses around Southern Nevada during the summer. The students had previously taken microbiology at CSN. They collected samples of the product then studied the samples in a petri dish using a gel they made themselves.

“We thought it would be a fun, engaging topic that would get our students interested. It was a relatively simply designed study, so it’s good for teaching students,” Collumb said. “By engaging in actual research, the students can see how the scientific method is put into action.”

The study did not find E.coli in the samples, but did find coliforms, which do not often cause disease. Many of the samples did not contain enough contamination to cause alarm. The study did not look at how the bacteria may have gotten into the ice cream and yogurt samples.

This type of hands-on research is unusual at a two-year institution like CSN, but Collumb and his fellow instructors are working hard to make sure all students have this type of opportunity.

Yang, a student in CSN’s veterinary nursing program, says this research helps give her an edge up in her future career. She hopes to continue her education and become a veterinary doctor.

“I thought it’d be helpful to gain hands-on research opportunities,” she said.

The work was presented during the poster session at the 2019 NIH IDeA Western Regional Conference, held October 8 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.

To learn more about CSN’s biological sciences, visit www.csn.edu/biological-sciences

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CSN anthropology students to excavate newly discovered site

A summer research trip to Poland is in the works for two College of Southern Nevada anthropology students.

Ariana Thompson, 26, and Silvio Ernesto Mirabal Torres, 21, will represent CSN this summer as part of the International Slavia Field School in Mortuary Archaeology in Giecz, Poland.

“I am going to have an amazing experience. I’m going to make amazing connections. It’s a once in a lifetime thing for someone like me,” Thompson said. “It’s going to throw me so far ahead, it’s going to be insane.”

Ariana Thompson & Silvio Ernesto Mirabal Torres will study at a field school in Poland this summer.

The students, who are set to graduate from CSN in the spring with associate degrees in anthropology, will join an international team to work on a newly discovered site dating back to 11th century A.D. About 50 or so students worldwide will participate in two sessions over the summer.

The site was discovered three years ago and pilot excavation revealed at least 35 burials following the Christian rite, with bodies oriented east- west. The human remains are very well preserved and include skeletons of both sexes and all age categories including newborns. The CSN students will do hands-on excavation work through this experience.

Mirabal Torres heard about the opportunity last summer, when he traveled to the University of South Alabama to help investigate and examine human bones as part of a National Science Foundation grant.  

Both Thompson and Mirabal Torres credit professors in the anthropology department for helping them earn these opportunities.

“The professors are really involved with us, with everything we need,” Mirabal Torres said.
“They fight for us. They believe in us. After I had that experience in Alabama, I realized that we get a really good education here. It’s amazingly good.”

Between now and July, when the students go on the trip, they will be saving money and applying for grants and scholarships. The students are responsible for covering the cost of the field school and their round-trip transportation, which they anticipate will cost around $5,000 total.

Thompson will also work with her husband and family in the area, to make sure her son is cared for while she is away. Her family is super supportive and excited for her to have this experience, she said.

They will also make sure they are prepared for when they return from their trip in late August. Both students plan to continue their studies at UNLV in the fall. Ultimately, both students said they want to complete doctoral programs in anthropology.

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HSI/MSI Symposium Agenda

October 3, 2019
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A Call to Action: Leveraging Funding for Student Success

This 7-hour HSI/MSI symposium is organized to advance opportunities for Nevada residents to benefit from programs associated with HSI and MSI designations (Title V designation). Invited national speakers and congressional delegates will address leveraging funding and partnerships for HSIs and MSIs to advance opportunities for students in Nevada. This event is hosted by the NSHE HSI Task Force and will take place on the College of Southern Nevada’s North Las Vegas Campus in the Horn Theater.

9-9:20 Check in and continental breakfast

9:20-9:25 Welcome from Nicola Opfer, Chair, Nevada Student Alliance
Invocation: Reverend Dr. D. Edward Chaney, Founder and Senior Pastor of the Renaissance Fellowship of Las Vegas and Chair of the Nevada Commission on Minority Affairs

9:25-9:30 Welcome from Board of Regents Chair Geddes

9:30-9:30 Welcome from NSHE Chancellor Thom Reilly

9:35-9:40 Welcome from Cultural Diversity Committee Chair Regent Sam Lieberman

9:40-9:50 Land Acknowledgement: Geo Saucedo, Vice President, UNLV Native American Student Association

9:50-10:20 “Mapping Minority Serving Institutions: Advancing Equitable Outcomes for Our Nation’s Learners” (Introduction by CSN President Federico Zaragoza)
• Dr. Andres Castro Samayoa, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Higher Education, Boston College and Director for Assessment and Strategy at the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions

10:20-10:35 NSHE Closing Achievement Gap Overview (Introduction by TMCC President Karin Hilgersom)
• Theo Meek, Research Scholar, NSHE Academic and Student Affairs

10:35-10:45 NSHE Institutional Data Overview
• Clarissa Cota, Vice President & Provost, CSN North Las Vegas Campus

10:45-10:55 BREAK

10:55-11:40 AAPI Panel Discussion (Introduction by NSC President Bart Patterson)
“System-Level Change to Support Underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander Students”
• Dr. Noel Harmon (moderator), President, Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF)
• Dr. Robert Teranishi, Professor, Social Science & Comparative Education, UCLA
• Dr. Federick Ngo, Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology & Higher Education, UNLV
• Angela Sanchez, Program Officer, College Success, ECMC Foundation
• Dr. Edith Fernández, Vice President of College and Community Engagement, Nevada State College

11:40-12:15 LUNCH

12:15-12:30 Address by U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro (TX-20) (Introduction by CSN President Federico Zaragoza)

12:30-1245 Presentation (Introduction by Eloisa Gordon-Mora, UNR Diversity & Inclusion Officer & EDIC Co-Chair )
• Christopher McCaghren, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education, U.S. Department of Education)

12:45-1:30n Workforce and Education Panel (Introduction by LCC)
• CSN President Federico Zaragoza (moderator)
• Christopher McCaghren, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education, U.S. Department of Education
• Beatriz Ceja, HSI Division Director, U.S. Department of Education
• Dr. Andres Castro Samayoa, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Higher Education, Boston College and Director for Assessment and Strategy at the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions

1:30-140 Remarks by United States Senator Jacky Rosen

1:40-1:50 Presentation of award to honor Senator Harry Reid – Chancellor Reilly, with NSHE Regents and Presidents

1:50-2:40 Heritage Panel (Introduction by UNLV President Marta Meana)
• Dr. Nancy Brune, Executive Director, Kenny Guinn Center for Policy Priorities, Nevada (moderator)
• Cynthia Alcantar, Assistant Professor of Higher Education Leadership, University of Nevada, Reno
• Laura Huerta Migus, Executive Director, Association of Children’s Museums
• Tony Gladney, MGM, Vice President of Community Engagement

2:40-2:55 BREAK

2:55-3 Video from United States Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (Introduction by her Chief of Staff Rey Benitez)
3-4 Nevada Congressional Delegation Panel (Introduction by Nicola Opfer, Chair, Nevada Student Alliance )
• NSHE Chancellor Thom Reilly (moderator)
• U.S. Representative Steven Horsford (NV-4)
• U.S. Representative Susie Lee (NV-3)
• U.S. Representative Dina Titus (NV-1)

4- 4:05 Closing Remarks: Clarissa Cota, Vice President & Provost, CSN North Las Vegas Campus & HSI Task Force Chair

4:30-6 Closing Reception/Exhibitor Hall

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Introducing the CSN Leadership Academy

I am pleased to share that President Federico Zaragoza has authorized the launch of the CSN Leadership Academy.  This personal reflection and developmental opportunity is part of a multi-faceted program. Components include:

  • The CSN Academy Leadership Academy (an interactive curriculum based on Dr. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People model of genuine, principle-centered leadership)
  • The CSN Mentoring and Coaching Initiative (which builds related programming and leverages volunteer passion for diversified talent enrichment)
  • The CSN Mentoring Symposium (offered each year on the Friday of Spring Convocation)
  • Suggested pre-requisite training opportunities through CAPE, and
  • Optional mentoring partnerships.

The Academy formally launches in Spring 2020 with seven half-day sessions, and a graduation milestone. If you are interested in participating, please seek your immediate supervisor’s approval for time release, if needed.

Applications will be available in October.

Your questions are most welcome, so please do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail if I may be of support.

Thank you, and best wishes.

Gillian

Dr. Gillian Silver-Rodis

CSN Leadership Academy Director

Professor, Hospitality Management

College of Southern Nevada

Gillian.Silver-Rodis@csn.edu

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