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Newsmakers 2014: March

A collection of recent news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.
Campus News  |  Apr 3, 2014  |  By Megan Downs
The Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering will begin a minor in unmanned aerial systems in the fall. (Aaron Mayes / UNLV Photo Services)

In March, UNLV continued its trajectory toward becoming a top research university. President Donald Snyder shared UNLV's Tier 1 vision with Las Vegas business leaders; new deans were hired to lead the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering and the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs; 11 graduate programs received high marks in annual U.S. News & World Report rankings; and two students were recognized nationally for their accomplishments.

Below are just a few top media stories from March highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.

Tier One Trajectory

UNLV continued its effort to become a Tier 1, "Very High Research" University. In March, UNLV collaborated with the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce to educate business leaders on the impact a Tier 1 university will have on the Southern Nevada economy. The drive will attract new and emerging industries to Southern Nevada, produce a highly qualified research workforce, create patents and business startups and draw in highly competitive students from around the world.

Welcoming New Leadership

The Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering and the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs hired permanent deans in March. Engineering promoted Rama Venkat, former interim dean and professor, who has worked for the college since 1989. Urban Affairs brought on Robert Ulmer, a renowned professor of crisis communication.

High Marks for UNLV

Eleven UNLV graduate programs made top 100 lists, according to annual rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. Boyd Law School's legal writing program ranked third nationally, and its dispute resolution program at the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution ranked ninth.

Drone Minor A Major Feat

The Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering will begin a minor in unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in the Fall, coinciding with Nevada's designation as a UAS test site by the Federal Aviation Administration. Two UNLV students have already created a drone and began their own company called Skyworks Aerial Systems.

Globally Accomplished Students

Senior Robin Gonzales represented UNLV and Nevada at the Clinton Global Initiative University conference. Gonzales, a native of the Philippines, attended the conference last year and presented a health education and community outreach project to help people living near his hometown of Zamboanga City. Senior Russell Cameron, a Marine sergeant and Army ROTC Cadet, received a national leadership award and will attend the George C. Marshall National Security leadership conference in mid-April.

We've Got Guts

UNLV Chemist Ernesto Abel-Santos and his graduate student have developed a way to combat Clostridium Difficile (C.diff) infections, which is a post-operation stomach infection that contributes to the deaths of 14,000 Americans each year.