The Lincy Institute Signature Research Awards

Research Awards 2012-2013

Three specific assessments were awarded to area experts form within the university and Southern Nevada community. The following studies will be completed during the Spring 2013.

Nonprofit Social Network Analysis

Principal Investigator: Shannon Monnat, Ph.D.,
UNLV Department of Sociology

The purpose of this project is to identify the structure of nonprofit health, education, and social service networks with a special emphasis on identifying the nonprofit “leaders” in Southern Nevada. Nonprofit leaders are those who influence the opinions, motivations, and/or behaviors of other organizations and stakeholders. These are the agencies that “make things happen.” Leadership, most often discussed in the context of individual opinion leadership and the diffusion of innovations model can be applied to the nonprofit sector to identify a) Which organizations are at the center of southern Nevada’s nonprofit network (connectedness) and b) Which organizations are considered to be the most respected, trusted, and impactful. Evidence generated through this project can help guide the optimal dissemination of limited resources to improve organizational performance related to social, health, and educational outcomes.

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Economic Impact of Nonprofits in Southern Nevada

Principal Investigator: Jessica Word, Ph.D.,
UNLV Department of Public Policy and Leadership.

This project will examine the economic impact of the nonprofit sector in Nevada by focusing on a variety of measures of economic significance and the possible impact of those activities on the overall health and economic diversity of the state’s economy. These measures will mainly focus on the direct impact of nonprofit organizations in the state rather than on the indirect impact of services delivered by the nonprofit sector on the lives of individuals in the community. However, this study will collect data on a limited number of services believed to have a direct impact on economic development, such as job training, in order to begin to estimate the impact nonprofit organizations have on the ability of the state’s workforce to compete and recover from the current downturn. This project will also analyze the differences between regions of the state in terms of development of nonprofit organizations, access to private and public funding to support the activities of nonprofit organizations including private foundation resources, contracts and grants. In particular, the study will examine the differences between southern and northern Nevada and the urban and rural nonprofits in terms of funding and employment in the state. Finally, the study will examine the wages and pay of those in the sector in comparison to wages paid by other employers in Nevada. This will allow The Lincy Institute to gauge the type and quality of jobs produced by nonprofit organizations relative to for-profit enterprises.

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Fiscal Analysis Study - Maximizing Federal Funding in Nevada to Build Healthy Communities

Principal Investigator: Cyndy Ortiz Gustafson, Principal,
Strategic Progress, LLC.

Nevada currently ranks last in per capita federal funding based on fixed formulas (Brookings Institution, 2010) and 50th overall in all federal aid funding per capita (US Census Bureau, 2010). This study will address the capacity of Nevada to maximize federal funds which flow into the state to support a healthy communities framework. As such, it will analyze federal funding streams in the three primary component areas of: health (education, access and care); education (early childhood through higher education); and social services (basic needs and support systems, including housing and transportation). The written report will identify the major federal funding sources in these areas, as well as an analysis of the factors which impede Nevada from maximizing these federal resources.

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Research Awards 2011

Six inaugural Fellowship awards were made in support of projects linked to The Lincy Institute’s research interests. The 2011 program concluded with public presentations, which demonstrated research outcomes and associated impacts with local community partners. To view these discussions and related reports, follow the links provided below:


Kathleen Ja Sook Bergquist, Ph.D

School of Social Work, Greenspun College of Urban Affairs (profile)

Research project awarded: Culture, Language, and Gendered Violence in Southern Nevada

Abstract: The U.S. Census estimated approximately 25.1% of Nevadans in 2006 to 2008 to be non-white, 27.3% speak English as a second language, and 24.9% Hispanic. The three most commonly spoken languages in Las Vegas are English, Spanish, and Tagalog, reflecting the growing Spanish-speaking and Asian communities in Southern Nevada. Service providers struggle with providing relevant services for these communities, to include addressing gendered violence. This project seeks to further current knowledge about gendered violence in Spanish-speaking and Asian communities, to examine the capacity of local providers, and identify possible linguistic and cultural barriers that may compound education, outreach, and intervention.

Video: Final research presentation, November 2011

Culture, Language, and Gendered Violence in Southern Nevada


Bo Bernhard, Ph.D

Department of Hotel Management, William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration
Director of Research, International Gaming Institute
Department of Sociology, College of Liberal Arts (profile)

Research project awarded:The Lincy Institute E-health Summit: Promoting Coalitions in Technology and Health

Abstract: A prestigious stakeholder gathering is proposed which will advance technology-based “e-health” (internet, social networking, and smart phone-based) practices of community groups. This assembly - The Lincy Institute Summit - will educate community partners about the potential of e-health interventions for primary prevention of risky behavior, obtain expert stakeholder evaluations of an existing e-health prototype for gambling, and provide a powerful foundation for a community-based coalition focused on risky youth behaviors. The fellowship will provide support for summit-related costs, integration of our community partners’ prevention messages into e-health technologies, and the development of a coalition and grant applications to support the long-term sustainability of this project.

Video: Final research presentation, November 2011

Promoting Coalitions in Technology and Health

Reports & Presentations

Monica A. F. Lounsbery, Ph.D

Physical Activity Policy Research Program, College of Education

Research project awarded: Observing Park Environments in Nevada (OPEN)

Abstract: Sedentary living is a major public health challenge. Community parks are important locations for population physical activity, especially for low-income families, children, and seniors. Parks, however, are seldom viewed as health resources and/or assessed relative to opportunities for physical activity they provide. Physical activity studies have not been conducted in Nevada parks; therefore, their health impacts have not been translated into local government leisure services. The purposes of this in progress study are (a) assess park/trail users and characteristics, (b) identify park/trail characteristics associated with use and physical activity, and (c) examine resident profiles, perceptions, and use of park/trail environments.

Video: Final research presentation, November 2011

Observing Park Environments in Nevada (OPEN)

Reports & Presentations

Gwen C. Marchand, Ph.D

Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education (profile)

Research project awarded: Understanding Student Disaffection through the Lens of Alternative Education

Abstract:This partnership project between UNLV and Clark County School District’s Student Support Services Division (SSSD) focuses on identifying risk and protective factors leading to student disaffection and placement in alternative education. Alternative education students are primarily male, with an overrepresentation of minority and special education designations, and who face increased odds of school drop-out. This project will use a mixed-methods approach to chart student trajectories toward alternative education and explore student educational experiences through a motivational and emotional lens. The partnership should result in increased potential for data-driven decision making by SSSD staff and scholarship opportunities for UNLV.

Video: Final research presentation, November 2011

Understanding Student Disaffection through the Lens of Alternative Education

Reports & Presentations

Nancy Nivison Menzel, Ph.D, R.N.

School of Nursing (profile)

Research project awarded: Community Themes and Strengths Assessment: Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships

Abstract:The Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) is a strategic planning framework for improving community health. This project partners with the Southern Nevada Health District to enable completion of the Community Themes and Strengths Assessment (CTSA) phase of MAPP. CTSA will provide information on how Southern Nevada residents perceive their health and quality of life, while tracking their knowledge of community assets. The results will identify issues that will guide the planning, implementing, and evaluating of additional assessments and a strategic plan to improve public health, while at the same time providing data for external grant applications.

Video: Final research presentation, November 2011

Mobilizing for Action Through Planning & Partnerships

Reports & Presentations


Sylvia R. Lazos, J.D.; LeAnn Putney, Ph.D; Ralph E. Reynolds, Ph.D

  • Sylvia R. Lazos, J.D. - William S. Boyd College of Law (profile)
  • LeAnn Putney, Ph.D - Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education (profile)
  • Ralph E. Reynolds, Ph.D - Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education

Research project awarded: UNLV - CCSD Collaborative English Language Learners

Abstract: This proposal will provide statistical context of the overall performance of English Language Learner (ELL) students in Clark County School District (CCSD) and proposes a study that will assist the CCSD in identifying programs and strategies that increase ELL student performance on the third grade State mandated Criterion Reference Test (SMCRT) in reading and mathematics. To accomplish this goal, the proposed research project will first identify teaching methodologies, curricular strategies and support services that CCSD teachers are employing to assist ELL students in achieving satisfactory performance. These factors will be analyzed in comparison to SMCRT scores to determine the relative success or failure of these approaches.

Video: Final research presentation, November 2011

UNLV - CCSD Collaborative English Language Learners

Reports & Presentations