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Newsmakers 2014: May

A collection of recent news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.
Campus News  |  Jun 5, 2014  |  By Megan Downs
Thomas Jingoli, senior vice president and chief compliance officer of Konami Gaming, Inc., (left) UNLV Hotel College student Hien Nguyen and UNLV Hotel College professor Dr. Mark Yoseloff sign documents at Konami Gaming on May 20, 2014. Nguyen created a video wagering game called Domino Dragon. (R. Marsh Starks / UNLV Photo Services)

May was a productive month for UNLV as the university wrapped up the 2013-14 academic year, graduating nearly 3,000 students who are entering the workforce in a rekindled Southern Nevada economy.

This month, a student from the gaming innovation program was the first in UNLV history to sell her creation to an industry leader, sparking national headlines. Carol Harter, former UNLV president and executive director of the Black Mountain Institute, retired after nearly 20 years of service; gaming industry giant Sheldon Adelson shared his wisdom with UNLV students; a top UNLV researcher participated in a national report on climate change released by the White House; and the university hired a planning dean for the proposed UNLV School of Medicine.

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

Gambling on Innovation

The first casino game patented by a student-inventor as part of an innovative new UNLV gaming course was sold in May to industry leader Konami Gaming, Inc. The game is one of 12 in the patent process that were developed during the first semester of the Dr. Mark Yoseloff Gaming Innovation program.

Dynamic Graduates

UNLV welcomed nearly 3,000 new graduates during Spring Commencement, including students from 37 states and 61 countries. The job market in Southern Nevada is quickly accelerating, allowing for opportunities in hospitality, technology, healthcare and more.

Carol Harter's Legacy

UNLV celebrated the retirement of former president Carol Harter. Harter became executive director of the Black Mountain Institute in 2006 after 11 years as UNLV's president.

Lessons on Leadership

Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson addressed an audience of more than 1,000 students as part of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration "Conversations on Leadership" series. The lecture series will be part of a proposed center for executive leadership, funded through a multimillion-dollar gift from Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Climate Challenges in the Southwest

Tom Piechota, Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development, was the lead author of the Southwest Section of the 2014 National Climate Assessment. The assessment, released by the White House and U.S. Global Change Research Program, explores what each of the eight U.S. regions faces in the coming decades as a result of climate change. Piechota said the overwhelming heat and lack of rainfall are among the top reasons the Southwest is one of the most "climate-challenged" regions in the United States.

In the Drone Zone

UNLV remains at the forefront of unmanned aerial systems education and research. The Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering will begin a minor program in the fall to train future professionals to lead the drone industry in Nevada. Two UNLV students already created a drone business, Skyworks Aerial Systems.

Planning for a UNLV School of Medicine

Dr. Barbara Atkinson was named planning dean for the UNLV School of Medicine. She will work with the campus to develop a vision for the school, oversee preliminary academic planning and fundraising, and establish a community advisory committee to align regional needs with the school's mission.