woman with laptop next to sleeping man

The Successes & Challenges of the Semester

Some inspirational words from Rebels who've made it through another fall semester.

Editor's Note

: Photos and interviews by Josh Hawkins/UNLV Creative Services

two students reviewing papers

Lauren Rose Bali
senior biology major

Jonathan George
senior chemistry major

Bali's success: "I completed research this summer and got to present it a couple weeks ago. I did ecological research with the horseshoe crabs at Mandalay Bay alongside Dr. [Sean] Neiswenter." Neiswenter is an assistant professor in residence in the School of Life Sciences.

George's challenge: Biochemistry. I have not overcome this great feat yet. But you know what? I'm still trying. I'm hoping to pull a B in the class. I have to get a 100 percent on the final to get it."

Student in library

Kevin Calderon
freshman criminal justice major

Success: "Maintaining my GPA and keeping my millennium scholarship."

Challenge: "It’s my first year at the university level and, being a first-generation student, there’s a lot of pressure on me from parents and family. Overcoming that just means focusing on grades."

man in cap at computer

Evan Barber
sophomore entertainment engineering and design major

Success: "My 3-D modeling class because it was not easy. But we're printing our designs right now, and it's actually coming out. It is so satisfying."

Challenge: "Studying because there’s so much stuff I wanted to do besides studying. You can choose to do it and you can choose not to do it. In the end, I chose to do it because I’m paying for it."

two women reviewing notebook

Marie "Jelly" Angelli Ortiz
junior psychology major

Alexandra Zmuda
junior biology major

Zmuda's Success: "I got into a new research group working in neurosciences (with professor Rochelle and Dustin Hines). We’ll be looking at how neuroligins affected kids and how that causes autism sometimes." Ortiz: "Oh, that’s so exciting. I’m studying autism too."

Ortiz's Success: "I'm really proud that I didn’t let the personal circumstances affect my studies because that’s important to me. Every single week, I made a mental checklist to see, 'Hey, am I doing well academically?” as well as making sure my own mental health and personal health were OK too."

Zmuda's challenge: "This was my comeback semester. Last semester I had some personal problems and I was in a car accident and didn’t do so well with grades. I tried to surround myself with people who also study — because the people you surround yourself with is how you’re going to be too."

man studying at outside table

Adam Gage-Brown
senior accounting major and former tennis team member

Success: "It's a nice feeling when you get to the end of the semester and you've done all the group projects and managed your time well."

Challenge: "Figuring out what to do with myself (without tennis commitments). I'm pretty active. At the start of the semester, I was pretty antsy. I started hiking once a week. I picked up shooting, too."

woman in chair with laptop

Maria Delarosa
sophomore criminal justice major

Success: "I have mostly A’s and no late assignments."

Challenge: "Maintaining six classes and time management. I have my planner and I make lists, lots of lists."

students in the computer lab

Aleida Castro
senior English major

Success: "Just turning in all my assignments. I didn't miss any of them."

Challenge: "Staying motivated and not settling for lower grades just because I know I’m graduating anyway."

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