November was a month of celebration at UNLV. Renewing campus traditions at Homecoming and sending off the venerable Sam Boyd Stadium in style; marking a milestone accomplishment – and celebrating a major gift – at the UNLV School of Medicine; launching a partnership with tech heavyweight Intel that will move the needle in research and economic development; and strengthening community connections with the unveiling of University Center Drive.
The month also featured stories on politics and public health, the climate conversation, the benefits of uncluttering social media feeds, and much more. Below are just a few stories of UNLV’s people and programs that made headlines in Nevada and beyond last month.
UNLV Rebel Homecoming Week kicked off with the renaming of Swenson Street as University Center Drive, from just north of the airport to Desert Inn Road. The new name reflects a four-year effort by Lee Business School alumni and students to more directly connect the university with the community, and to create a stronger tie to UNLV for the more than 40 million visitors who travel to Southern Nevada each year. Later in the week, UNLV's eldest living alumna — 105-year-old Audrey James — was crowned the 2019 honorary homecoming queen. The two-time College of Education graduate served as the homecoming parade's cape- and sash-wearing grand marshal, riding the parade route in a red Corvette.
- Street Renaming: Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Sun, and KXNT Radio
- Honorary Queen: KLAS TV-8, Las Vegas Review-Journal, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution
School of Medicine
There were two big announcements regarding the UNLV School of Medicine this month. It reached a major milestone in its accreditation process, successfully completing the second of three steps that all new medical degree-granting schools must obtain before receiving full accreditation. The school has been granted provisional accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the accrediting body for schools of medicine in the U.S. and Canada. It remains on track for full accreditation by the LCME in 2021-22. Later in the month, Governor Steve Sisolak announced that donors have contributed $155 million and plan to construct a new state-of-the-art facility for students, faculty, and staff.
- Accreditation: Becker's Hospital Review, Las Vegas Review-Journal, KSNV TV-3
- Donations: Nevada Current, Las Vegas Sun, Nevada Independent, KSNV TV-3, Las Vegas Review-Journal, KNPR
Sam Boyd Sendoff
UNLV closed out its final season playing at Sam Boyd Stadium, the 49-year home of the Rebels, with a 38-35 victory over San Jose State. The football team will move next year to Allegiant Stadium, a facility it will share with the Raiders.
National Unfriend Day
It’s the Girl Scout mantra: Make new friends but keep the old. But UNLV communication studies professor Natalie Pennington says that may not be the best advice for your mental health. The social media researcher weighed in on the pros and cons of National Unfriend Day — a holiday created in 2010 by late-night host and former UNLV student Jimmy Kimmel — that encourages users of Facebook and other social networking platforms to examine how close or superficial their online relationships are.
Conversing About Climate
UNLV communication studies professor Emma Frances Bloomfield continued to make headlines with strategies for communicating with climate change skeptics. In addition to talking about her research on the topic, she weighed in as news broke that the pope was contemplating naming the matter an ecologic sin. Research professor Kristen Averyt also discussed UNLV's important role in moving the needle on climate change in Nevada, and scientist Dale Devitt weighed in how the changing climate impacts local trees.
- Bloomfield with Fast Company, with Grist (on the intersection of climate change and religion) and Grist again (on navigating Thanksgiving dinner conversations with climate-denying relatives)
- Averyt with The Nevada Independent on local climate change coordination
- Devitt spoke to the Las Vegas Sun on climate change and stressed out trees
Intel & Black Fire Innovation
Black Fire Innovation, UNLV's new research and technology hub created to drive innovation in the hospitality, gaming and entertainment industry, announced its collaboration with Intel as a key computing partner. The tech industry leader will provide technology and computing resources to develop next-generation data-rich consumer experiences while also offering research and internship opportunities for students and partners at the Black Fire Innovation facility. The 43,000 square-foot-space will change the landscape of hospitality with its replica integrated resort labs, where new concepts can be created and tested.
- Brain health department chair Jefferson Kinney and research professor Jeffrey Cummings were among panelists featured on a Vegas PBS segment about Alzheimer's disease
- The New York Times quoted criminal justice professor Emily Salisbury about life after prison for women
- Kinesiology professor John Mercer weighed in on lifestyle tweaks to improve wellbeing in Authority Magazine
- The Associated Press vastly distributed an article about Nevada's growing population of Californians that featured quotes by Lincy Institute and Brookings Mountain West director Rob Lang
- Anthropologist Stephanie Schnorr weighed in on an Irish Times piece about the benefits of eating raw food
- History professor Michael Green spoke to The Guardian about Native Americans running Las Vegas's only cannabis lounge, KLAS TV-8 about the end of Elvis Presley's reign as The King, Fox 5 Vegas about the history of Nevada's gaming board, and KNPR about early explorer John Wesley Powell
- Newsweek and The Scientist quoted anthropology professor Peter B. Gray regarding research into children of extramarital affairs
- Political science professor Dan Lee spoke to the Washington Post and Las Vegas Review-Journal about voter partisanship, and to Casino.org and the Las Vegas Sun about presidential candidates
- UNLV Immigration Clinic director Michael Kagan spoke to Fox 5 Vegas, KLAS TV-8, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal about the Supreme Court DACA case
- Business Insider quoted public health professor Brian Labus in a story about flu prevention
- Psychology professor Kathy Lee was interviewed by KSNV TV-3 and KNPR for pieces about the need for more psychologists for Clark County schoolchildren
- Business professor Richard Gardner spoke to Psychology Today, The State Press, and Curiosity about his research into imposter syndrome
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