Evelyn Johnson began her career in higher education working at the Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach in 2008. There, she was strongly encouraged by a program director to enroll at UNLV and begin working toward her degree. By 2012, she had earned her bachelor's degree in communications and moved into a human resource position at the College of Southern Nevada.
Today, Johnson is the assistant director of talent acquisition and development at UNLV’s Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement, where she is involved in everything from organizing job candidate search committees to keeping track of more than 100 employees’ human resources needs.
Her inspiration, she said, has always been her daughter, who, at 21, is now a Rebel majoring in English and multicultural studies — and whose photos grace Johnson’s workspace bulletin board.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Do not be afraid to hear the word “no.” You may feel like it’s a roadblock, but it’s only a word.
What trait do you most like about yourself?
Well, I have been told by family and friends that I am a dependable person. If they need help on how to accomplish or get through any task or situation, I am the one who gets the call, and they know I will see things through to the end.
Best tip for someone new to UNLV?
Do not pass up an opportunity to meet new people from different departments on campus. You are sure to learn something different, and you never know where opportunity lies. Just remember to wear comfortable shoes when you are finding these new people and opportunities. This is a large campus!
What can people do to make your job easier?
I know this might be difficult for some, but trust. Even though the HR process is sometimes slow and feels a bit painful, know and trust that I am giving you my best efforts to see things through to completion. I promise, what may seem slow and painful is not on purpose!
Have you ever gotten a UNLV parking ticket?
Yes, and all I have to say is: make sure you pay the ticket as soon as you can. They never go away … ha!
What was the last TV show you binge-watched?
The last show that I binge-watched was Big Little Lies on HBO. The storyline was gripping and I just couldn’t stop watching until the end. I had to know what happened next. But my favorite show to binge-watch each summer is Grey’s Anatomy (starting from season one to current). It gets me ready for the new season each fall.
What do you like about living in Las Vegas?
I have lived in Las Vegas for almost 18 years. I am originally from Southern California. The one thing that amazes me about living in the valley is that the city continues to grow culturally, structurally, and economically. It is very exciting to witness all of the positive changes. Also, as the city continues to grow and expand, that means an increase in professional career opportunities that will hopefully inspire our UNLV graduates to consider investing their acquired knowledge and skills in the LV community.
The best perk to living here is that Las Vegas is a true 24-hour town. It makes things very convenient when you run out of snacks at 1 a.m. while you are binge-watching TV!
What would you change about yourself?
I wish I liked scary movies. I am not able to sit through a scary movie at all. I can’t even watch a trailer without covering my eyes.
Name someone on campus you’d like to thank.
I would like to thank the group over at the Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach. Each one of the center’s programs and their leaders have been instrumental in the start and shaping of my academic career path from the beginning and (that) continues through to present day. Thanks to the center I am now a UNLV college graduate and a professional in higher education and my daughter is now enrolled at UNLV to be a future alumna. The guidance, encouragement, and consistent support I received from the center has made an unforgettable impact in my life and inspires me to do my best daily.