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UNLV Creates Event Sets the Tone

The annual academic induction event gets incoming freshman in the mindset for success. The entire campus community is encouraged to attend 9 a.m. Aug. 21.

Campus News  |  Jul 29, 2015  |  By UNLV News Center
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Editor's Note: 

The 2015 UNLV Creates will take place at 9 a.m., Aug. 21, as part of UNLV Welcome Day events. To support the event, the UNLV News Center will publish essays by the featured speakers leading up to the event.


"Succeed on Purpose" is more than a tagline for this year's academic induction ceremony, better known as UNLV Creates. Alexandra Lourdes, coordinator of the event, and her team revamped the third annual UNLV Creates to emphasize that theme based on her own doctoral research.

Lourdes, '15 PhD Higher Education, studied factors that helped underrepresented students earn their degrees. She found that hearing from both successful faculty and community members was influential to increasing student self-efficacy beliefs. "We want students to start off from Day 1 believing that they can succeed here at UNLV," Lourdes said. "The academic induction ceremony helps set the tone that this institution is a place where important research happens, students can contribute to that research, and ultimately they make an impact in the larger community."

UNLV Creates is an important tradition for all incoming students to receive their honorary Rebel cord and meet UNLV leadership. Student government President Kanani Espinoza will be taking the stage for the first time at this event to welcome the incoming class of 2015.

The featured speakers are:

  • Rehan Choudhry, creator of the Life is Beautiful Festival -- Will deliver the keynote address.
  • Emily Salisbury, criminal justice professor -- Will focus on the national mass incarceration problem, how it affects students, and why they should "dare to care."
  • Brendan O'Toole, director of the Mendenhall Innovation Program in the Hughes College of Engineering - Will be speaking about student-centered research projects being built in the college, including an ATV and a 3D-printed prosthetic hand for a local girl.
  • Steven Clarke, architecture professor -- At UNLV's Downtown Design Center, he and a group of architecture students are working on community improvement projects.
  • Paul Oh, mechanical engineering professor -- He will be speaking about the robotics program that he is launching here at UNLV.

Raising Canes is a major sponsor of the event, donating over $24,000 worth of UNLV-branded free combo cards to our incoming class. Students wearing the orientation "I am a Rebel" shirt will receive the card.

Faculty and Staff: Come represent your college in the procession and welcome the incoming class of 2015. Two locally owned businesses -- CupKates by Kate Bakery and Makers & Finders Coffee Bar -- are sponsoring the faculty/staff coffee break beginning at 8 a.m. The first 250 faculty/staff to arrive will receive UNLV Creates giftbags. The procession will begin lining up at 8:30 a.m. Enter through the Thomas & Mack Center doors facing the campus.