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Class Notes

Did you get a promotion, add a family member, or find a new calling? Share your latest news with your fellow alumni. We print Class Notes in UNLV Magazine and list them in the online alumni directory.

Aug. 1, 2018
Judy Cornelius
Judy A. Cornelius, '79 BA Criminal Justice, retired in 2011 from UNR where she was associate director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming. She says she enjoyed having professional colleagues all over the world and traveling extensively. She co-edited a number of books and collaborated in the design and execution of the executive development program for casino executives that began in 1991 and continues to this day. Cornelius, who earned a BS in economics from UNR in 1987, is the proud aunt of seven nieces and nephews and great aunt of 12 more. She lists collecting antiques, houses, and cats as her hobbies. The Reno resident currently has a retirement gig handing out samples at a store and discovering how amazingly some people can behave for 1/6 of a free peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Jul. 31, 2018
Megan Neri
Megan Lane Neri, '03 BA Communications Studies, recently returned to UNLV as the director of communications for the Lee Business School. Previously she worked at Imagine Communications, a full-service marketing and communication firm, where she began as an intern during her last year at UNLV.

Jul. 31, 2018
Mikayla Whitmore
Mikayla Whitmore, '10 BFA Art, is an artist based in Las Vegas who was selected as the best photographer in the city of Las Vegas by Desert Companion. She completed artist residencies at both the Cosmopolitan (2015) and the Neon Museum (2016). Her work has appeared at the Torrence Art Museum in California, the Humble Arts Foundation in New York, and in galleries across Las Vegas, including two of UNLV's museums, the Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery and the Marjorie Barrick Museum. Commercial clients include Vice, Thrillist, Wall Street Journal, and ESPN. Road trips, rock hunting in the desert, and thrift store treasure hunting are among her hobbies.

Jul. 31, 2018
Mike Branum
Mike Branum, '17 JD, accepted a senior associate position with Gallian, Welker, and Beckstrom in Saint George, Utah. On April 25, he married Lisa Marie Dunn. They spent three weeks driving around southern Germany for their honeymoon.

Jul. 31, 2018
Luke Cavener
Luke Cavener, '05 BA Political Science and '05 BA Journalism and Media Studies, is director or government relations for the American Cancer Society cancer action network and a member of the Meridian (Idaho) City Council. He and his wife, Adrean, have two children, Gunner and Lincoln.

Jul. 31, 2018
Jordan Hollander
Jordan Hollander, '16 LLM Gaming Law and Regulation, recently was elected to serve as the chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association, Casino Law Section for the 2018-19 term. He lives in Branchburg.

Jul. 31, 2018
Wendy Roksvold
Wendy Callahan Roksvold, '99 BA Communication Studies, now works at AppleOne as an accounting and engineering specialist. She is a hockey/goalie mom and a hockey fanatic. Go, Knights, Go!  

Jul. 22, 2018
Sal Semola
Sal Semola, '81 BS Hotel Administration, is responsible for the oversight of the operation and master plan for Gun Lake Casino in Michigan. Previously, he was president of Cornerstone Gaming, a full-service casino gaming consulting and management company and in the 1990s served as an adjunct professor at UNLV. He established the Salvatore P. Semola Scholarship for hotel administration students at UNLV and encourages all alumni to support UNLV however they can. He lives in Wayland.

Jul. 12, 2018
Russell Leavitt
Russell B. Leavitt, '78 BS History, recently received the Special Achievement Award from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Leavitt is executive chairman of Telgian Holdings, a worldwide provider of comprehensive fire, security, and life safety consulting and engineering/design services. The award, which was presented during the technical committee session, celebrates the significant contribution of a committee member to a single project that has enhanced the NFPA standards development process. Leavitt’s active role as chair of the NFPA 13 Restructuring Task Group for the 2019 edition led to the recognition. NFPA 13 is recognized globally as the benchmark standard for the design and installation of fire sprinkler systems. The reformatted NFPA 13 is designed to make this widely used document easier to use and interpret for non-expert users. Over the course of 18 months, Leavitt exhibited incredible dedication to the project, attention to essential details, and strong leadership skills, according to Kerry Bell, Standards Council chair. Leavitt lives in Phoenix.    

Jul. 11, 2018
Tongyu Zhang
Tongyu Zhang, '16 BS Hotel Administration, recently joined TAL Education Corp. in Beijing, China, as a specialized consultant. Previously, he worked as a duty manager at both the Marriott and Starwood hotels in Beijing. He says he enjoys working with many students who are interested in studying abroad. He also is studying English interpretation via an Internet-based degree program at Beijing Foreign Study University.

Jul. 10, 2018
Justin Veilleux
Justin Veilleux, '04 BS Engineering - Computer Engineering, will be returning to UNLV this fall to pursue an MBA. He has been with FEA Consulting Engineers for more than 10 years. He received his professional engineer (PE) certification in mechanical engineering and is now a dual PE in both mechanical and electrical engineering. Some of his significant projects in Nevada include Resorts World Las Vegas, the Cromwell Hotel Las Vegas and its Giada’s restaurant and Drai’s nightclub, TopGolf Las Vegas, Downtown Grand Casino, Tivoli Village, Mandalay Bay Convention Center expansion, and MGM Grand Convention Center expansion. He also has been involved in projects across the country.       

Jul. 8, 2018
Marisa Rodriguez
Marisa Rodriguez, '04 BSBA International Business, '13 JD, an associate in the Las Vegas office of the law firm of Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial, has been recognized in the 11th edition of Nevada Business Magazine’s Legal Elite. The annual list showcases the state’s top lawyers as designated by their peers. She was recognized among Southern Nevada’s top attorneys in the areas of civil litigation, commercial litigation, and health law. Her practice concentrates in all phases of complex litigation, including construction, premises liability, product liability, labor and employment, transportation, and catastrophic injury.    

Jul. 7, 2018
Leon Symanski
Leon R. Symanski, '87 BSBA Management, '94 MPA, '01 JD, is an attorney at Craig P. Kenny & Associates, practicing primarily in the areas of personal injury and workers' compensation. He played basketball for the Runnin' Rebels 1984-87 under coach Jerry Tarkanian. His hobbies include golf, music festivals, reading, sports, and thoroughbred horse racing. He is married to Lisa Gentile Symanski, '87 BA Communication Studies. The couple lives in Henderson.

Jun. 18, 2018
Tobias Moon
Tobias P. Moon, '96 BA Philosophy, now is a partner in the Dallas office of the Husch Blackwell law firm. Moon, who earned his law degree at Brooklyn Law School, joins the firm’s financial services and capital markets group and banking and finance practice. He advises banks, credit unions, fintech, marketplace/online lenders, and automobile lenders on federal/state compliance issues in addition to product development and transactional matters. He also regularly counsels financial institutions and consumer finance companies on mortgage lending and servicing issues. Moon assists a variety of companies with obtaining licenses and regulatory approvals in connection with complex acquisitions, mergers, and asset transfers. He also responds to regulatory audits and investigations conducted by federal and state regulators.  A thought leader and noted speaker, Moon also served in leadership positions with major U.S. banks for more than eight years where he gained practical legal experience and led compliance and risk management teams.

Jun. 15, 2018
Ryan Brunty
Ryan Brunty, '09 BA Journalism and Media Studies, is a Las Vegas-based visual artist whose work has been featured in print, television, and in various forms such as murals, toys, and public speaking engagements. He founded Depressed Monsters in 2012 after the passing of his grandfather ignited a self-portrait that came to be known as Yerman. Murals of Yerman, the main character of Depressed Monsters, can be found throughout Las Vegas and has been featured in popular television shows such as America's Next Top Model. Depressed Monsters is a lifestyle brand that was the first of its kind to donate a portion of proceeds to top mental health agencies to fight the stigma around the conversation of mental illness. He has shared his story with such organizations as Clinton Foundation, Jed Foundation, The Moth, and Peacelove. Depressed Monsters has raised thousands of dollars for mental health agencies. The company's clothing can be found online. His hobbies include drawing, graphic designing, painting, drumming, video games, and public speaking.

Jun. 15, 2018
Amanda Litt
Amanda Litt, '08 BA Communication Studies, is an attorney. A 2011 graduate of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, she and her father became partners and opened Litt Law Firm in 2013. She handles a variety of cases including family law, personal injury, elder abuse and neglect, business formation, contract matters, and landlord/tenant disputes. Also in 2013 she and a partner started the Children’s Literacy Project in Las Vegas. The non-profit organization chooses different lower-income schools each year and focuses on making sure each child gets a book at their particular reading level. The successful charity has grown each year. In 2015 she was nominated as a top attorney in the United States by the Global Directory of Who’s Who. She sits on the business board of the Las Vegas-based startup, Urban Seed, a company that will feed the world with its amazing new science and technology behind food production. Her hobbies include running, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Jun. 13, 2018
Danielle Crouch
Danielle Crouch, '07 BS Kinesiology, along with her partner, Allan Katz, recently opened Jammyland Cocktail Bar and Reggae Kitchen in the downtown Las Vegas Arts District. They offer nontraditional late-night dining and have a strong focus on cocktails that use all fresh ingredients. Housed in an old auto garage, Jammyland has big patios boasting curated murals and fire pits, and soon will have a stage for live performances as well as a smoking patio that will feature a thoughtful cigar selection. Reggae cuts from all over the world are played. The Napa, California, native says that hospitality is in her bones. After working on the Strip for years, she moved to New York to help a friend open a cocktail bar. There she met Katz. They ran a cocktail bar in California before opening Jammyland. She lists wining, dining, hiking, driving, and exploring as her hobbies.

Jun. 12, 2018
Jim Luce
Jim Luce,  '80 BS Hotel Administration, has retired after a diverse career, including 21 years with Marriott as regional vice president of sales and marketing, four years with AmerisourceBergen as executive vice president of retail sales and strategic accounts, and 11 years as executive vice president of sales and marketing with Amneal Pharmaceuticals. Now he plans to expand his pursuit of skiing, mountain biking, ultimate disc, racquetball, travel, and photography. He also intends to pass the level three sommelier certification. Additionally, he plans to serve on some boards of directors and do a limited amount of consulting. He and his wife, who celebrated their 30th anniversary this year, have three grown children. The couple lives in Newport Beach, California.

Jun. 8, 2018
Stephanie Sibley
Stephanie Sibley, '06 BA Psychology, is with Realty Executives Southern Nevada Properties. She says she balances her time between her family, her business, and her charitable activities. She is an active philanthropist in the Las Vegas community. In 2008, she and her ex-husband founded the Sibley Family Foundation, a 501(c)(3) foundation that supports many charities both locally and nationally. In 2011, she was inducted into the Cleveland Clinic 1921 Society for generous donations to support research for Alzheimer’s and many other neurological diseases. She also received an award from the Clark County Pro Bono Project for her support in seeing that all people, especially the needy, have access to attorneys who graciously volunteer their time to help those in need. She has served on the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth Board and has chaired the Keep Memory Alive dinner committee for the past three years in support of the annual Power of Love Gala for the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. She also joined the board of Keep Memory Alive in 2015.  Most recently, she was appointed to the advisory board for Nevadans for Background Checks. Her career includes 10 years as COO of Nevada Legal News. In 2009, she founded Nevada Legal Support Services, a legal support and licensed process serving company which has grown to one of the largest process serving companies in the state, having completed more than 500,000 serves since its formation. She is a work out fanatic and hiker who also likes to meditate, do hot yoga, and travel. The parent of three children, she lives in Henderson.  

Jun. 6, 2018
Shane Boehmer
Shane T. Boehmer, '01 BS Engineering - Civil Engineering, just finished a second year working for the Army Corp of Engineers. He spent December and January in Puerto Rico assisting in the hurricane restoration for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). During his time with the corp, he has provided input and direction that have led to improvements and changes in the inspection and structural design program. He recently returned from Afghanistan where he was part of a reach back program trip that provided structural inspections of existing buildings as well as design reviews for new construction on U.S. military bases there. He lives in Millington, Tennessee.