November 2020 Division News

Oct. 29, 2020

Division of Research and Economic News

The Office of Economic Development (OED) has been extremely active during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Bo Bernhard was named Interim Associate Vice President on October 1, replacing Zach Miles who was instrumental in growing OED during his nearly seven years as AVP.

Black Fire Innovation at the UNLV Harry Reid Research & Technology Park has attracted three new sponsors to help advance research in the hospitality industry. In addition, OED has applied for an EDA grant as part of the CARES Act which if received, would provide funding to UNLV to support collaborations between industry and university to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Southern Nevada businesses and the community. 

The Black Fire living laboratory is currently being used as a research facility for a startup business called Volan, which is testing their novel geofencing and COVID-19 contact tracing technology. This technology has been viewed by multiple Southern Nevada hospitality and entertainment partners.

The UNLV Sports Research and Innovation Initiative (SRII) will have a significant role in preparing minorities for careers in the National Football League. SRII is collaborating with the Las Vegas Raiders on the future Al Davis-Eddie Robinson Leadership Academy. The Academy is expected to be up and running in 2021 and will offer programs in the offseason for individuals who want to become NFL coaches, general managers, or team presidents.

The SRII also recently launched the Catalyst Grant program. In FY2020 the program approved nearly $400,000 in Proof of Concept and Product and Services Development grants to seed promising research and development in areas of sports research and innovation. In 2021 the program looks to increase the amount of grant funds and is currently in the process of reviewing applications that could net an additional $450,000 in awards. 

The SRII website is now live. Learn more about this growing Initiative at

Jay Vickers, Director of Sports Research and Innovation, appeared on the Black in Sports podcast to discuss his current position at UNLV, look back on his football playing days, and stressed how education can change your life!

To assist our students, OED’s RebelForge student commercialization office is open to help students start a business, provide market research reports, and micro-grant funding to help get your ideas off the ground. Please visit additional information about the Office of Economic Development at UNLV.  

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) undergraduate research journal Spectra is currently accepting manuscripts to be published in its inaugural Fall 2020 issue! Learn more about Spectra: UNLV's Undergraduate Research Journal and submit an article by going to

To stay up-to-date with all OUR opportunities please subscribe to the bi-weekly newsletter and the weekly “Our Week in a Nutshell" to identify and highlight research news and opportunities for undergraduate researchers.

UNLV International Gaming Institute, UNR Gaming, and the UNR College of Business will present the first ever “EDP Presents: All the Crises, All the Time” on November 15-21, 2020. 

This week-long online Executive Development Program will transform your crises management, communication, customer engagement, and team management in every scenario you can imagine. All are welcome.

Topics to be addressed include: Pandemics and Global Shutdowns, Natural Disasters and Bio Disasters, Sex Trafficking and Cyber Attacks, Terrorism, Hostage Situations, Large Scale Violence, Strategic Crises – regulatory and operational issues, Workplace Crises – diversity, sexual harassment, gambling addiction, and The Unimaginable – future pandemics, crises, terrorism, and disasters.

To register and for more information go to:

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is excited to formally announce the new organizational structure.

Based on the needs of our faculty and staff OSP has developed a Proposal to Award Life Cycle where each of the cores has direct leadership to oversee the daily needs and expert focus within each area along with a team to address the core needs.  

Stephanie Page, CRA, Associate Director of Pre Award leads the proposal submissions with three dedicated Research Administrators, Felicia Sumler, CRA, Jill Tuley, and Michele Frankovich.

Hallie Lyons, CRA, Associate Director of Grants and Contracts leads the management of the awards with one committed research administrator, Amy Gros-Louis, CRA and one vacancy (soon to be filled), along with a Grants Analyst, Courtney Carr, who assists with award set up in Workday.  Hallie also works directly with the Contract Manager, Lyndsay Ifo, CRA, who negotiates sponsored contracts and agreements.   

Jane Kober, CRA, Financial Research Administration Manager, leads the Post Award Financial core that focuses on Workday and invoicing and reporting to sponsors with a team of financial research administrators, Joe Short, Jaime Woods, Quentin Murrel, CRA, and Ruth Lopez, CRA.

In addition to the three cores, Mary Vicuna-Howe, CRA, Associate Director for Financial Compliance, oversees the newly created, much needed area of compliance. She and her team of two grants analysts, James Wright and Laura Anders, focus on reducing risk, compliance review of all accounts, effort reporting, cost share, subaward monitoring, account collections and the annual audits and reporting.  If you need help is knowing how to contact the new roles and assigned units are available on line. The College/Department Assignment lists the Pre Award, Grants and Contracts and Post Award Financial Research Administrators for your college/department.  Or you can also check out the Proposal to Award Life Cycle for a chart that provides a snapshot of the internal OSP tasks that fall under each specific core.

UNLV Small Business Development Center

The Small Businesses Development Center (SBDC) at UNLV recently hired four Business Development Advisors who have been busy assisting Southern Nevada small businesses in obtaining Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). These loans assist small businesses with keeping their workforce employed and help businesses due to a temporary loss of revenue. As part of their efforts, our SBDC advisors are supporting economic development and diversification in the Southern Nevada region.

The Nevada SBDC is working on creative ways to help Nevada small businesses increase their exposure and attract new business. We are currently developing a "Shop Nevada" site where Nevada small businesses can sell their products and services. 

The state of Iowa developed a program to promote its small businesses that has proven to be an effective marketing tool, providing new exposure for Iowa entrepreneurs. The Nevada SBDC is looking to replicate that concept, but with our own Silver State touch. Until now, Nevada has not had a central online marketplace for local retail businesses. We hope this upcoming website will encourage shoppers to buy online and feel good knowing that every purchase made on Shop Nevada goes to a local business in our state.