You might think that someone who is obsessed with spreadsheets would be two-dimensional. And then you meet Kiara Sims.
Add up all of the columns, and you discover that Sims is a well-rounded, highly inquisitive, out-of-the box individual. The Honors College junior from Wyoming is double majoring in accounting and finance. As a first-generation college student and the only child of a single mother, Sims creatively defies stereotypes.
How did you get from Wyoming to UNLV?
I’m a meticulous planner. When I was deciding where to go to college, I had 300 colleges on my spreadsheet. UNLV was not on it!
But my mom visits Las Vegas often and told me about UNLV. I immediately loved three things about it. One: The campus. The trees, rose garden, and buildings with no ceilings! Two: The diversity. Wyoming is very mono-cultural. UNLV would get me out of my comfort zone. Three: The student organizations. Education for me is just 50 percent classes. The other 50 percent is everything else you do.
Tell us about your “other 50 percent.”
Well, this year I’m president of Rebel Model United Nations. We’re organizing a virtual conference for high schoolers on international policy. I’m the Ecosystem Committee chair for Rebel Venture Fund (a student-led venture capital fund, operated through Lee Business School). I’m also a VP for Beta Alpha Psi. We’re an honors organization for finance, accounting, and information systems students.
Then there’s my accounting internship at NV CASA (Nevada Court Appointed Special Advocates Association). And, I’m a student-worker in UNLV Athletics.
I’m also really excited to be part of the new Minority-Serving Institution Student Council. My first project will be beautifying the residential part of campus in a way that lets students express their identities — think dumpster art!
You’re a Bennett Family Honors Scholar, and a recipient of the Carla F. Parker Scholarship, the Nevada CPA Association Scholarship, and the Business School Alumni Scholarship. What would you like people who donate to scholarships at UNLV to know?
Scholarships mean the world to students like me. My mom worked hard for everything that we have and I understand the value of every single dollar. My scholarships give me peace of mind about paying for my education and not being a burden on my mother. They give me time to volunteer in the community. I couldn’t do any of that if I had to work 40 hours a week or more to pay for my tuition and books. I owe everything to everyone else.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’ll sew, embroider, crochet, or knit anything and everything! Give me a thread or a scrap of fabric, and I’m happy. It’s part of my identity, no matter how much the mess contradicts my otherwise orderly life.
As a worker, I'm great with spreadsheets. As a friend, I'll hem your pants.