How do you get the most out of your college experience?
Just ask Allison Crawford. From staying active in the College of Education to welcoming new students with UNLV Admissions to twirling for the Star of Nevada Marching Band, she shows that getting involved is one of the keys to college life.
Next, she will be teaching honors algebra at Sunrise Mountain High School and, naturally, getting involved in extracurriculars by coaching the majorette twirling team. And, her education isn't stopping now. She's applying for the M.S. Equity and Diversity in Education program offered from the University of Nevada, Reno, and hopes to be back at UNLV for her Ph.D.
I choose UNLV because I fell in love with the campus during a tour. I loved how new everything on campus was. Another big perk for me was being accepted into the Honors College in my first year. I was used to small class sizes, and I was guaranteed that being in Honors. I was also excited that I could continue playing my violin in the orchestra even though I was not a music major. I even pushed myself to be in the Star of Nevada Marching Band despite having never been in a marching band in high school.
Moments to Remember
My most memorable experience was being crowned Rebel Royalty at UNLV Homecoming 2019! When I found out my freshman year that UNLV had a homecoming court, it was always my dream to run for it. I was so afraid that you had to be involved in Greek Life to run, but when I found out it was open to anyone, I was super excited. It was my goal to be super involved on campus and in the Las Vegas community as Rebel Royalty. I wanted to give back to the community that has helped me become the person I am today. I hope as a future alumna of UNLV, I will continue to have opportunities to volunteer and be involved on campus, especially as Rebel Royalty. My ultimate goal is to someday establish a scholarship fund for future Royalty Members.
We know this isn't how you imagined your senior year ending... How has COVID-19 affected your last semester?
My last semester at UNLV is nothing like what I expected. I was student-teaching at Clark High School, where I had more than 150 amazing, hardworking, and dedicated students who were so involved in sports, the arts, and clubs — just like I was in high school. The day I found out that school would not be going back in person, I cried for hours. It was surreal to think I might never see my students again, get to attend the musical they were in, or go to their track meets and cheer them on as they crossed the finish line.
Like myself, many of them are seniors who don't know if and when they are going to have a graduation ceremony or get to celebrate all of their accomplishments from over the past four years. I am so thankful for my administration who has done as much as they can to celebrate the class of 2020. We had a senior night where staff parked in the school parking lot and made posters to cheer on the seniors as they drove by in their cars. I saw so many of my students, and I cried afterward because I knew they were safe and healthy and, of course, happy.
There are several faculty members who have played an important role in my academic journey at UNLV. I credit most of my success to my academic advisor, Ed Ronca, who has believed in me and pushed me to academic excellence since my freshman year. I worked under the direction of Dr. (Lisa) Menegatos, Dr. (Steve) Grubaugh, and Dr. (LeAnn) Putney to complete my Honors Research Thesis. Just in the past semester, these three individuals have guided, mentored, and pushed me to new academic limits I never thought possible. They have been with me on every step of this journey preparing me for grad school, and I owe them so much thanks for the time they have willingly given towards making this project a reality.
Advice for New Students
Get to know your professors on a personal level. They are some of the nicest people you will ever meet, and they have many unique stories that you just won't find anywhere else. You also never know if and when a professor might have a job/internship/research opportunity, help you get scholarships or funding, or open up doors for conferences and professional development.