PALS, Group of people standing next to each other smilling.
Photo of Hailey Kelsheimer, Women sitting down on a staircase smiling.
Apr. 29, 2024

Hailey's path to the College of Education was one filled with twists and turns. Despite this, her unwavering dedication to serving others and love for science stayed at the heart of every decision she’s made. 

Dissecting a Big Decision

Initially drawn to the field of medicine, Hailey started her undergraduate journey in a joint biology bachelor’s and M.D. program at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. “One of the main reasons that I fell out of love with medicine was having to constantly think about how I’d fund my education. I was seeing that the road through and beyond undergraduate, especially when considering low paying medical intern years, wasn’t financially feasible for me and my family.” 

Ultimately, it was the financial strains of the career path, coupled with the longing for her support system that would lead her back to her home city of Las Vegas and into the welcoming arms of UNLV.

Turning to Teaching 

Reflecting on her transition, Hailey shares, “When I was trying to figure out what backup major I would switch into, I recognized that I had always loved teaching. I grew up teaching within both my church as well as being a student leader in the classroom.” Having been a student in the Clark County School District, she also remembered the many recruitment visits from the college. “I knew that UNLV had many rigorous course offerings, as well as plenty of opportunities for student engagement."

When deciding whether to be an elementary or secondary school teacher the choice was a toss up. “I was very split. At the end of the day I loved the content for secondary and thought that I could have fun, be focused on the subject and be more expressive in the classroom, teaching for secondary students”.

Making New P.A.L.S. 

Hailey's time within the college has been marked by a balance of engagement and achievement. As a dedicated member of the P.A.L.S. mentoring program, she found a sense of community and support that enriches her academic experience.

"Being a P.A.L.S. Mentor has honestly been so rewarding, both for my personal and academic growth," Hailey reflects. "It has made my academic journey unique by allowing me to reflect on my past classes, as well as being able to serve as a resource for my mentees." 

Academic Excellence Meets Financial Support

Hailey has proudly been on the college’s Dean’s List for each Fall and Spring semester since 2022 and is also a fellow in the Nevada Institute on Educator Preparation, Retention, and Research (NIEPRR) program. Through her involvement in the college and her commitment to academic excellence, she has garnered significant recognition and support, receiving nearly $25,000 in funding. This financial aid has not only eased the burden of educational expenses but has also empowered her to pursue her dream of helping others.

"These scholarships and grants have impacted me greatly in terms of meeting my goals," Hailey shares. "I feel that having received scholarships and grants, I can now emphasize and spread the word about different COE opportunities and funding options to the students I mentor, my peers, and anyone in the greater COE community."

What the Future Holds

Looking ahead, Hailey envisions a future filled with purpose and impact. “I want to think holistically about my education. I’m trying to see what pieces of my current coursework can fill in the gaps of what I'm going to be teaching, especially in the classroom as a new student teacher. I want to make the most out of my classes, expand my network, take lots of notes, and set them aside as I form my teacher toolkit.”

Her goals extend beyond graduation as she aspires to secure a secondary science teaching position in a CCSD classroom. “At some point in the future, I would like to obtain my Master’s Degree. But, with any plans, we never know what the future holds!”