Join us as we celebrate the accomplishments of the class of 2020! Liberal Arts majors are invited along with their supporters to join Dean Keene and college faculty and staff as we salute our newest Master’s and Bachelor’s degree holders. View the recordings of our class of 2020 ceremonies below.
To learn more about life and remaining engaged, view the resources below!
Welcome College of Liberal Arts alumni and friends. We have created this site especially for you so you can catch up with the latest news from the college, join the Alumni Association, make a gift to the college, and more.
Cristina Hernandez, ’10 BS Political Science, was named a 2017-18 White House Fellow. One of just 14 people chosen, she will be working in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Cristina is an Army veteran and has served in the national security sector for over 15 years. She has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, led teams, delivered policy recommendations, and utilized innovative technologies to ensure the safety of those protecting our nation. She has received the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and continues to serve underprivileged communities today. Cristina was a Next Generation National Security Leaders Fellow at the Center for a New American Security and holds a Master’s of Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
September 6, 2017
Michael Newman, '86 MA English, teaches English at Desert Rose Adult High School. Previously, he taught freshman composition at UNLV for 17 years, worked as a dealer and boss in the gaming business for 40 years, was a member of the Culinary Union and the Laborer's Union, worked as a substitute teacher in the Clark County School District, and taught English at CSN. He also is a freelance writer and the author of Vegas: An Imploded Life, a memoir about growing up in Las Vegas from the time of the atomic explosions until the hotel casino implosions. He and his wife, Paula, have been married 45 years and have two adult children. Hobbies include swimming; watching classic movies, including film noir and Westerns; and reading. He particularly likes the post-Word War II British "angry young men" writers.
September 6, 2017
Vickie Wilson, '01 BA Sociology, '10 Master of Education, is CEO of Vegas Valley Food Tours, a top-rated culinary tour of downtown Las Vegas. She says she considers herself a culinary pioneer of sorts. Just when many people had given up on downtown, she launched her business in 2013. She also is the first woman to lead groups of strangers though the streets of downtown, introducing them to the delicious food available in many "Mom & Pop" establishments. A TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence recipient for the past three years, the company also has been voted one of the best tours in Las Vegas by AAA, Hopper Blog, Thrillist, and Expertise. Her hobbies include eating and traveling.
September 1, 2017
Iris Hattersley, '12 BA English, attended graduate-level summer school literature courses at the University of Oxford, Exeter College, in July. She celebrated her 75th birthday while there. She hopes to complete her master's degree in English at UNLV in December. She previously has worked as a deputy U.S. marshal, a special agent for the Department of Defense, and a special investigator. Her hobbies include reading, walking, traveling with her husband, and spending time with friends. She lives in Henderson.
August 29, 2017
Richard Jones, '89 BA English, is the bestselling author of the Vatican Knights series. The books soon will become a TV series from Amber Entertainment on which he will serve as co-producer.
August 29, 2017
Alba Arango, '91 BS Education, '94 BA History, '97 MA History, retired from teaching in June to become a full-time author of children’s books. She is best known for the Decoders series and the JJ Bennet: Junior Spy series, both intended for a middle-grade audience.
August 29, 2017
Aaron D. Lovaas
Aaron Lovaas, '92 BA Political Science, '02 MBA, accepted a partnership position with Newmeyer & Dillion in October 2016. This follows 12 years of owning and operating his own law firm. He continues to practice business law and to represent and counsel a local, national, and international clientele.
August 29, 2017
Robyn Donaldson, '11 PhD Psychology, co-created SolaceClub, a care package company designed specifically for grief, in October 2016. She says it has allowed her to blend her education in psychology and with her desire to help those who are grieving. Not only does the company offer care packages, but also provides information on its website on how to better support those who are grieving. The death of her husband in a motorcycle accident in November 2013 was one of her inspirations for launching the company. She says that yoga also has helped her cope with her grief. As a result, the company co-sponsors Yoga for Grief classes at a local yoga studio. She lives in Henderson.
August 18, 2017
Valerie Pelton, '92 MA Political Science, is an attorney and mediator who has represented U.S. and international technology, telecommunications, and aerospace companies in Europe, Asia, and the Persian Gulf. She now represents the U.S. Postal Service in matters before the Postal Regulatory Commission and provides business, technology, and corporate law advice. Previously, she represented the U.S. Department of Labor in mediations and arbitrations and served as a contracting officer’s representative. Prior to entering federal service, she founded the Pelton Law Firm and advised aviation non-profits and international technology companies on business, software licensing, and employment law matters. Before that, she worked for a number of law firms. Prior to practicing law, she served as a U.S. Air Force officer in the areas of signals intelligence and adversary electronic combat operations. She earned an LLM with highest honors in national security & U.S. foreign relations law from George Washington University (GWU) Law School in 2014 and a master's certificate in government contracting from the GWU Business School in 2012. She is studying Chinese at the GWU Confucius Institute and was awarded a summer travel scholarship in 2015 and 2016. She earned a law degree from Whittier College and a dual baccalaureate in modern European studies and French from Vanderbilt University. She is active in Washington, D.C., area sailing, business, and legal groups and enjoys Argentine tango, salsa, waltz, cruising on the Chesapeake Bay, and sailing Flying Scots on the Potomac River. She lives in Arlington, Virginia.
August 17, 2017
Victoria Vaillancourt Young, '06 BA Psychology, is partner and managing member of Custom Cabinet Designs, a Las Vegas-based commercial millwork company that has completed projects across the United States and in Mexico. A military wife, she is one of the very few woman in Southern Nevada who own a commercial millwork company. Her hobbies include watching the Yankees, working out, and going on family adventures. She and her husband have been married since 2008 and have two children. The family lives in North Las Vegas.