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Newsmakers 2017: Community Impact

A collection of news stories from 2017 highlighting UNLV's impact in Southern Nevada and beyond.

Business and Community  |  Jan 2, 2018  |  By Tony Allen
Hailey Dawson and Maria Gerardi

UNLV engineering students and faculty created a 3d-printed prosthetic hand for local resident Hailey Dawson. (UNLV Creative Services)

UNLV wouldn’t be where it is today – a rising university on its way to joining the ranks of the nation’s best – without the community around it.

In the fall of 2017, UNLV celebrated its 60th anniversary. The rapid growth and development of the university in a relatively short time is a testament to myriad individuals, both on campus and off, who have and continue to generously offer their time, talents and treasures.

And it’s the community that drives UNLV to do more every day: to create programs that fill vital health and social gaps; to answer a call for help, whether from one family or entire groups in need; and to strengthen our most prolific academic offerings and create new opportunities to serve our diverse and growing student population.

UNLV’s impact extends across the valley with hundreds of active partnerships. Below are just a few of the many stories of community impact featuring UNLV that made news in 2017:

Launching a Medical School

UNLV launched its much-anticipated School of Medicine in July with an inaugural 60-student class. The class – which receives full, four-year scholarships – is made up of students from Nevada institutions and top schools nationwide. The university held stethoscope and white coat ceremonies to formally welcome the future doctors, and the students wasted no time getting immersed in the community as they started their medical careers receiving EMT training.

Children’s Rights Program

The Boyd School of Law formally launched the Edward M. Bernstein & Associates Children’s Rights Program in November, bringing attorneys and law students together to represent unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings. Program staff work closely with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada to represent unaccompanied children in both family court and in their immigration cases. The program is part of the school’s Immigration Clinic, which also provides ongoing outreach and service to the local community.

Hailey’s Hand

A UNLV Engineering team designed and produced a 3D-printed, robotic hand that enabled young Hailey Dawson to grab, grasp, grow, and throw. Hailey showed off the creation – and her incredible spirit – by throwing the first pitch at game four of Major League Baseball’s World Series Oct. 28, and she’s been invited by every Major League team to do the same at their ballparks next season.

Rankings and New Programs

UNLV is on a mission to join the ranks of the nation’s top public research universities. It is well on its way too, thanks in part to rising academic programs that rank among the nation’s – and world’s – best. UNLV is also earning acclaim for a new academic program in healthcare interior design that holds promise to improve the lives of those living with medical conditions; and for new student-focused programs that celebrate diversity and enrich the cultural vitality of the entire campus.

  • The Harrah College of Hospitality was named the world’s best by QS World University Rankings and the Boyd School of Law continued its ascension up the U.S. News & World Report list of top law schools
  • In September, UNLV was named the nation’s most diverse campus for undergraduates by U.S. News & World Report. The national ranking was covered by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Sun, KVVU, and KTNV
  • BestColleges.com named UNLV the “Best College in Nevada for LGTBQ Students.” The new ranking is in partnership with Campus Pride, which hand-curated the list based on its criteria of inclusivity factors. This fall, university housing also launched Stonewall Suites, a gender-inclusive LGTBQ residence hall floor. The innovative concept, driven by UNLV students, was covered by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, KTNV, and Las Vegas Weekly
  • This spring, UNLV officially launched The Intersection, a comprehensive academic multicultural center for students, faculty, and staff that provides access and linkages to people, information and services. KNPR caught up with program staff and students.
  • UNLV’s unique master's program in healthcare interior design – launched last year – pairs architectural innovation with healthcare know-how to design life-enhancing spaces for those living with health conditions. STAT News and Vegas Seven covered the promising partnerships and potential impact of the new program.

60th Anniversary

UNLV turned 60 this academic year – Sept. 10 to be exact – and a host of activities were held throughout the fall semester to celebrate our history and highlight our incredible transformation. Lee Business School, Harrah College of Hospitality, the Barrick Museum of Art, and UNLV Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives all turned 50 in 2017.

UNLV Turns 60 Coverage

50th Milestones Coverage

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