From outstanding students to amazing alums, young UNLV Rebels consistently made news in 2015 for their achievements in academics and advocacy. Below are just a few highlights outlining students' success.
Nearly 5,000 UNLV students joined the Class of 2015 during spring and winter commencement ceremonies at the Thomas & Mack Center. Several who walked across the stage received special recognition for their outstanding academic and community achievements. They included Honors College alum and spring commencement speaker Jessica Recarey, a first-generation Cuban American and aspiring teacher who was the first in her family to graduate from college. Kiran Mathew, who walked in winter, is an aspiring pediatric cardiologist who amassed co-authorship credit on three research articles in a top peer-reviewed science journal, volunteered at three hospitals, and worked with UNLV's Nevada Institute for Personalized Medicine (NIPM) team on patent-pending research related to a new HIV genetic screening technology and a potential cure.
- Slate Magazine and Las Vegas Review-Journal (Jessica Recarey)
- KLAS and Las Vegas Review-Journal (Kiran Mathew)
Greenspun College of Urban Affairs Class of 2012 alum Hannah Birch earned the prestigious Pulitzer Prize less than two years into her career for being a key player during the Seattle Times’ breaking news coverage of the tragic Snohomish County mudslide in March 2014. She was honored in 2015 by the UNLV Alumni Association for her achievements.
Mapping Out Her Future
Greenspun College master's of public administration student Robin Mendoza made headlines in 2015 for her work on an updated mapping system for the Clark County parks department. She and fellow Environmental and Public Affairs classmates applied their geographic information system skills (GIS) to updating a map of county wetlands as part of a project for a class taught by professor Jaewon Lim in fall 2013 and spring 2014. After the class project was completed, Mendoza stayed on as Lim’s student worker and developed a web-based mapping service that can function as a mobile app — helping Wetlands Park visitors figure out the trail measurements, find the nearest restroom, or calibrate their exact location in just a few clicks. She presented it to Clark County officials and hopes to bring the mobile app to fruition soon.
Bisexual Awareness Week
In September, UNLV student Sara Beth Brooks visited the White House to participate in a Bisexual Awareness Week conversation after being invited by national bisexual advocacy group BiNet USA. She told Las Vegas Weekly that her focus was to advocate for more inclusive data collection.
Engineering doctoral student Erica Marti attended the annual international Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting this summer to learn from the world's greatest minds in medicine, physics and chemistry. Marti, who is studying environmental engineering, is among only 55 students from the United States selected to learn from 70 Nobel Laureates, who have received accolades for work in cancer and AIDS research, global health, medicine and more. Fewer than 700 graduate and post-graduate students worldwide were chosen to participate.