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UNLV Newsmakers: June 2018
Technology holds promise to transform society, but sometimes it can be a hindrance – both mentally and physically. As UNLV researchers shared in June, the pervasiveness of technology in our lives is impacting our sense of self. It can can also be a literal pain in the neck.
Elsewhere on campus, the College of Education’s Rebel Academy is helping the local school district wrestle with a continuing teacher shortage by training professionals to teach in schools this fall. Faculty experts shared insight on Supreme Court decisions, labor relations, and Nevada’s primary elections with media nationwide. And a new acting president was named. Marta Meana, a renowned scholar, professor of psychology, and dean of the Honors College, began July 1st and will serve until a national search for the university’s next president is complete.
These stories and more make up the latest edition of UNLV Newsmakers.
iPads Can Be Literal Pain in the Neck
“iPad neck" — persistent pain in the neck and shoulders from slouching or bending into extreme positions while using tablet computers — is a growing problem among Americans. A new study led by UNLV physical therapy researchers looked at the toll persistent tablet use can have on our bodies, who’s most susceptible to health impacts (women and young adults), and what can be done about it.
Technology carries the promise to make our lives easier, but at what price? UNLV sociologist Simon Gottschalk argues in new research that humans need to resist “terminal” logic – our insatiable reliance on technology – as the current pace of engagement is drastically impacting our sense of self. Essentially, our “new normal” isn’t quite so normal. In fact, it could be destructive to our physical, mental, and social health. Slowing down may seem unrealistic in today's on-demand society, but Gottschalk says it's essential for creativity and innovation.
Marta Meana Named Acting UNLV President
The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents voted in early June to appoint Marta Meana as acting UNLV president. Meana, a renowned scholar and professor of psychology at UNLV since 1997, has been dean of UNLV’s Honors College since 2012 and previously served as senior advisor to the university president. She began in the role July 1 and will serve until a national search for the university’s next president is completed.
Clark County School District is expected to open the school year this fall with as many as 800 teacher vacancies. One way UNLV is responding to the need is through Rebel Academy, a fast-track teacher certification program for professionals from fields outside education. Last month, 14 soon-to-be teachers completed the four-week program, which offers hands-on experience in course curriculum development, lesson planning, and real-life classroom instruction under the guidance of mentors. Participant-teachers are eligible for fall hire by the school district and will return to campus this fall to complete required coursework for full licensing.
UNLV Experts Lend Insight to National Issues
In June, UNLV faculty experts were called on by media nationwide to lend their insight to issues making news. Faculty shared their perspective on a wide-range of topics, from U.S. Supreme Court decisions and Nevada's primary elections, to pressing social and legal issues, politics, and the future of personalized medicine.
- Wall Street Journal (David Damore on impact of Nevada's primary elections)
- Sirius XM (Sheila Bock on what graduation caps tell us about society)
- ABC News (Barbara Brents on Stormy Daniels)
- NBC News (Sue Fawn Chung on the journey to identify 19th century Chinese remains in Northern Nevada)
- U.S. News & World Report (John Tuman on Nevada's race for governor)
- Marketplace (Ruben Garcia on Supreme Court's Janus decision)
- Fox News (David Schwartz on Supreme Court's ruling on sports wagering)
- Las Vegas Review-Journal (Martin Schiller on $11 million grant to UNLV to advance personalized medicine research)
Engaging in the Conversation
UNLV recently formed a partnership with The Conversation U.S., an independent source for informed commentary and analysis, written by academics and delivered directly to the public. UNLV faculty contribute insight on pressing national issues, which is shared through The Conversation U.S. and made available to media outlets nationwide. Over the past several weeks, UNLV faculty have shared their perspective on everything from space to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Ruben Garcia on the future of organized labor following the U.S. Supreme Court's Janus decision
- David Orentlicher on polarization and the U.S. Supreme Court
- Georgiann Davis on sex and gender diversity in the U.S.
- Bing Zhang on techniques astronomers use to observe the universe
- Michael Green on Nevada, Yucca Mountain and the federal government
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