I first stepped foot on this campus about five years ago as a consultant to the Lee Business School's entrepreneurship programs. I came back three years later to evaluate the school as a member of an external accreditation team. That gave me a glimpse into the many ways this university is educating the state's students, building its research programs, and engaging its resources to effect change in this community.
Returning to campus now as UNLV's 10th president only affirmed my initial assessment: Much like the community it serves, UNLV is a unique place, filled with people doing amazing work.
On these pages, you'll find ample evidence for that. I recently toured our anthropology lab and talked with researchers like Brian Villmoare. His groundbreaking discovery, if you'll pardon the pun, was published online by the highly regarded journal Science. Subsequent broadcast and print media coverage of his work brought further international attention to UNLV.
In April, engineering professor Paul Oh unveiled his new UNLV Drones and Autonomous Systems Lab. Already a leading researcher in his field, he moved his lab here because, like me, he believes in the opportunities here. He is working to turn Las Vegas into a major center for robotics research. Does such an ambitious vision seem like fantasy? He'll convince you otherwise.
In addition, you'll find several stories on alumni who are making a profound difference in their communities. James Dold and Lawrence Mower, have shed a light on injustices in our country's criminal justice system; their work directly led to sweeping changes in police departments and better laws to protect children. Principal Kathleen Decker focused on engaging the community immediately surrounding her elementary school and as a result turned one of the city's worst performing schools into a model for the country.
Their accomplishments, and the work of everyone featured in this issue, make me proud to be a Rebel now. I have no doubt that this is the right place, at the right time to make a profound difference in our world.