The VISTA Award, the longest-standing award in the College of Liberal Arts, shines a spotlight on the top undergraduate student in the college and carries a $1,000 prize. Candidates for the VISTA Award must meet the following requirements:

  • at least a 3.5 GPA
  • 50 percent of academic credits must be earned at UNLV
  • nomination by a liberal arts faculty member

Award Namesake

The award is named for The VISTA Group, a real estate development company of which Michael Saltman is managing general partner and president.

Sonja and Michael Saltman

Sonja and Michael Saltman

Past Recipients

Many VISTA winners have gone on to stellar careers in business, the arts, education and the law, among many other fields. Following is a snapshot of where past winners are now.

Year Honoree Major Where Are They Now?
2016-17 Marie Reff History Graduate student, MFA program, UNLV
2015-16 Andrea Parashos Psychology Graduate student, San Diego State University
2014-15 Alan Mattay History Writer, UNLV Public History program
2013-14 Emylia Terry History  
2012-13 Brian Trinh Philosophy Teacher, Clark County School District
2011-12 Rikka Weintraub Psychology Program Specialist for Employment & Provider Services, Texas Workforce Commission
2010-11 Jennifer Bivens Psychology Training and Development Specialist, Novus International, St. Charles, MO
2009-10 Hailey Fuller History Instructor, Women’s Studies, UNLV
2008-09 Felicia Lindquist History Development Manager, The Mob Museum
2007-08 Beijie Tang Political Science  
2006-07 Paul R. Smith Political Science  
2005-06 Nerses Kopalyan Political Science Assistant Professor in Residence, UNLV
2004-05 Zsolt Nagy History Assistant Professor, University of St. Thomas
2003-04 Kari Short Anthropology Board Member, Rockstar Ministries, freelance makeup artist
2002-03 Emily Raba German and History  
2002-03 Alexia Vernon Women’s Studies Professional Speaking Coach
2001-02 Daniel Gryder Philosophy Unemployment Insurance Representative, Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation
2000-01 Delia Jo Hedesan History Partner, Co-founder, Arrowheads Consulting, Bucharest
1999-00 James J. Smedley Philosophy Attorney/Owner, Law Offices of James J. Smedley
1998-99 Erin Warnick Psychology Clinical Psychologist, Napa State Hospital, Napa, CA
1997-98 Matthew Voss Political Science  
1996-97 Ioana Mondescu Philosophy Attorney, Leone & Alberts, Walnut Creek, CA
1995-96 Rick Brown Anthropology  
1994-95 Paula Lynch Anthropology Industrial Hygiene Technician, Nevada National Security Site
1993-94 Maryanne Salm Political Science Associate Director, Research & Strategic Initiatives, AFT
1992-93 Meri Lull English Public Education Program Developer, State of Oregon
1991-92 Persephanie Silverthorn Psychology Licensed Clinical Psychologist
1990-91 Julie Beasley Psychology Clinical Director, UNLV Ackerman Autism Center
1989-90 Elizabeth Daniels-Henderson History Author/Novelist
1988-89 Lee Barnes English Lead Faculty Member, College of Southern Nevada; Author
1987-88 Cynthia McCoy English Retired English teacher, CCSD & UNLV
1986-87 Melanie Jeffcoat Theatre Arts Documentary Film Producer