Despite the continued growing pains of adapting to a virtual world amid the pandemic, UNLV faculty, staff, and students embraced the challenge, launching programs and offering expertise to help the campus and larger community navigate the changes.
As students and faculty forged on with social distancing and online education measures, UNLV partnered with major businesses and state funding agencies to establish future growth, security, and support for students. UNLV again ranked near the top of U.S. News & World Report’s list of the most diverse campuses in the country. And university students and faculty joined forces to host an educational series on addressing and navigating systemic racism, expanded a partnership aimed at COVID-19 contact tracing efforts with an infusion of grant funding, and launched a first-of-its-kind hospitality program that will allow students to explore the burgeoning field of fast-casual dining.
UNLV Among the Most Diverse In The Nation
Once again, UNLV maintained its ranking as one of the nation’s most diverse universities for undergraduates, according to U.S. News & World Report. UNLV tied for second overall in the publication’s 2021 Best Colleges report on campus ethnic diversity, defined as schools where students are most likely to encounter others from racial or ethnic groups different from their own.
“UNLV’s diversity serves as a driver for opportunity as it brings multiple perspectives to classroom discussions and activities in research labs, and it impacts how we think about policies that govern our scholarly community,” said new UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield.
Taking UNLV from ‘Great to Better’
As UNLV’s new president, Keith E. Whitfield is working to take the university from “great to better.” After just one month on the job, President Whitfield spoke to local media about the goals he has for the university, addressing everything from leading UNLV through the COVID-19 pandemic to what he’ll do to help strengthen community ties and the campus’s continued commitment to diversity.
UNLV and Cox Partner On Discounted Wifi for Students
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant the continued presence of public health safety measures, including a switch to 80% virtual learning this fall at UNLV. To help combat accessibility and affordability obstacles, UNLV has partnered with a local internet provider on the Cox Cares program, a subsidy that provides students with online coursework essential Wifi packages for their classes. UNLV interim executive vice president and provost Chris Heavey spoke to the media to explain the benefits of the program.
Historic Donation Unlocks a New Hospitality Degree
The William F. Harrah College of Hospitality received a $5 million dollar gift from the co-founders of Panda Express to create the nation’s first academic fast-casual dining program. Hospitality college dean Stowe Shoemaker spoke with journalists about how the program will work and the impact that the university hopes to have in creating a pipeline of professionals ready to lead this emerging dining segment.
We Need To Talk: Positive Change on Systemic Racism
UNLV experts took on the topic of systemic racism in a series of online forums launched by UNLV Libraries and the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs. The first installment of the series featured notable university experts, such as Oral History Research Center director Claytee D. White, history professor A.B. Wilkinson, and assistant director for Student Diversity Kevin Wright discussing issues of race and how to approach the matter with positive change.
Experts Weigh in on Smoke-Free Casinos
Following a monthslong renovation during a mandated pandemic lockdown, Park MGM reopened as the first-ever, non-smoking resort in Las Vegas. UNLV gaming historian David Schwartz and history professor Michael Green offered insights on how the new policy will affect consumer behavior and impact business operations across the industry.
General Expert Roundup
- College of Education professor Bradley Marianno explained to USA TODAY, KNPR, and The Takeaway how teachers may feel trapped between online, hybrid, and in-person education.
- Criminal justice professor Tamara D. Herold spoke to the AP and Record-Courier about positive law enforcement and crowd perception during protests.
- Oral History Research Center director Claytee D. White told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, KVVU-TV: FOX 5 and KSNV-TV: News 3 the history of the Moulin Rouge, the first major racially integrated casino, as its marquee signage was relit at the Neon Museum.
- UNLV debate team director and head coach Jacob Thompson analyzed the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Biden on Yahoo!, Las Vegas Sun, and KCBS Radio.
- UNLV political scientist Dan Lee spoke to Governing about third parties.
- Katherine M. Hertlein, professor of couple and family therapy at UNLV, spoke to NBC Today about how couples can navigate political discord.
- UNLV law professor David Orentlicher spoke to the Washington Post about how the U.S. Supreme affects the world, and to the Conversation US on how Europe picks top judges with bipartisan approval.
- Tyler D. Parry, assistant professor of African American and African Diaspora studies at UNLV, spoke to Yahoo News about the normalization of Confederate imagery.
- Public Health professor Brian Labus explained the dangers of congregating at rallies, holidays, and protests during the pandemic to Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Review-Journal (twice) (three times), MSN, and KTNV-TV: ABC 13. He also spoke with Healthline about safety in schools.
- UNLV professor of law Francine Lipman, weighed in on Trump’s tax returns: USA Today and Law360. She also spoke with Marketplace about the status of stimulus checks.
- Emma Frances Bloomfield, assistant professor of communication studies, spoke to Well + Good about climate change myths.