Step into Alyssa Hill's office and you'll see in full display a woman possessed — by the Rebel spirit.
The admissions coordinator for the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV learns the time from her UNLV clock and may offer you dip from her replica of a UNLV football helmet or muffins from her UNLV muffin pan. She decorates with the store-bought gnomes she paints into lovable UNLV characters.
And when she’s not in her office, she leaves a cardboard cutout of herself wearing a UNLV T-shirt and holding a giant UNLV foam finger in her place.
“If you can’t tell from my office space decor, I love UNLV,” says the UNLV alumna who graduated in 2015 with a bachelor's in art. “I think from growing up and going to the different sports events of basketball, football, soccer, and baseball, to performing as a little girl at halftime for some of the games, to going there for undergrad, to now working for UNLV, how could I not have Rebel spirit?”
The truth is, after you go to her office that highlights everything UNLV, you have to force yourself to remember there are 22 other letters in the alphabet.
Prior to switching to the school of medicine at UNLV in 2017, Hill worked for the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine’s clinical operations in Las Vegas.
“It was hard to show my UNLV spirit then,” she says. “Now working for UNLV, my Rebel pride has just kind of exploded all over my office with different memorabilia and spirit items. At home, I have even more UNLV gear.”
Hill’s parents, though not born in Las Vegas, grew up here. They followed UNLV sports and took Hill and her brother, even as toddlers, to games. During elementary and middle school, Hill was part of a dance/cheerleading group called the Starlets and they performed during halftime at UNLV basketball and football games.
You could make the case that Hill may have picked up her rabid support for all things UNLV from her father. Bless his heart, he once got a little too excited when UNLV played Duke in the 1991 NCAA men's basketball semifinals. He taped the game over his wedding ceremony.
“I don’t think my mom was too happy about it at the time,” Hill said. “It’s a funny story now. Fortunately, my grandparents had another copy of the wedding tape.”
As an admissions coordinator, Hill likes to read the personal stories applicants make as part of the application process.
“Each one is so different. Each has their own story of why they want to be here, why they want to help and serve people, and why they want to help the Las Vegas community and grow the number of physicians in Nevada.”
Her graphic design background frequently comes into play at the medical school. She’s part of a team that makes fliers and presentations for applicants and students. Her work has been used by the marketing and communications department through Facebook, Instagram, and other social media. Last year, she created the Shadow Lane Campus virtual tour video and logo sequence.
When she’s not supporting UNLV, Hill loves motorsports. In 2006, she was driving an all-terrain vehicle when she says she collided with another rider and hit the ground so hard with her head it, knocked the sense of smell out of her.
"Not having that sense has actually come in handy multiple times,” she said. “No matter how hard or negative something may be, I think I do a really good job in trying to find the positive in every situation. It’s something my coworkers have even commented on and I’m proud of that. If I can provide a smile or a little positivity to someone’s day, then I’m happy.”
Try not to smile when you stand at Hill’s desk and see that you’re surrounded from floor to ceiling by UNLV memorabilia that includes bobbleheads, UNLV gnomes, flags, popcorn tins, football helmets used for eating and whatever else UNLV Hill can dream up.
It’s not going to happen. You’re going to smile. And Alyssa Hill will be happy.