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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.

Jul. 17, 2017
Andrew R. Nixon
Andrew Nixon,  '78 Ed.D., is the author of 50 Shades of Grades, My Journey Through Wacademia and Three Lives of Peter Novak. The first includes chapters about his experiences as a UNLV student and as an employee in the academic support area of Rebel athletics. The latter is a historical novel. A retired university professor and administrator, he now is director of compliance and curriculum development for Hospitality International Training. His hobbies include writing and travel. He and his wife, Patricia Sepich Nixon, '69 BS Education, have a cat named Simone.      

Jul. 14, 2017
David Hiltz
David Hiltz, '94 MBA, was honored at an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) International conference held in Baltimore in June. He received the organization's prestigious Meritorious Service Award in recognition of his “incomparable service and consummate record of achievement supporting the Lexington-Concord Chapter.” AFCEA International is a non-profit association serving the military, government, industry, and academia as an ethical forum for advancing professional knowledge and relationships in the fields of communications, information technology, intelligence, and global security. The award cited Hiltz’ impressive leadership in steering the chapter through turbulent times, directing assiduous fundraising events, and sustaining its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Scholarship Program for deserving students at historic levels. He also was commended for his indispensable mentorship to the chapter’s Young AFCEAN (YAC) officers, where he guided an expanded YAC STEM-focused agenda, encouraged innovative initiatives, and expertly tutored future chapter leaders. While a colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Hiltz, served in numerous weighty command and leadership positions, including chief of the family of systems architecture team, Air Force rapid capabilities office, and flight test engineer for the F-22, B-2, and F-117 aircraft. Retired from the Air Force, he currently leads the planning and control technologies directorate within the technology solutions business area at BAE Electronics Systems in Burlington, Massachusetts.         

Jun. 28, 2017
Rebecca Russell
Rebecca Russell, '01 BS Hotel Administration, recently accepted a position with JT3 as a corporate recruiter to support the company's Operations & Maintenance Division. She also is the company's jump start coordinator.

Jun. 22, 2017
Kirk Cresto
Kirk Cresto, '88 BS Accounting, became director of corporate insurance at NiSource and vice president and board member for NiSource Insurance Company (NICI), a pure captive insurance company of the parent NiSource, in 2015. NiSource is one of the largest fully regulated utility companies in the United States, serving nearly 4 million customers across seven states. Before that, Cresto held various positions of responsibility at NextEra Energy in Juno Beach, Florida, and at NVEnergy. This May he graduated from the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University with his executive MBA. He holds the RIMS-CRMP designation from the Risk Management Society (RIMS) as a certified risk management professional. While at UNLV he became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army through the university's Army ROTC program. All of his sons, including Bryce Cresto, '09 BA Criminal Justice, '10 BS Public Administration, and '15 MBA, also have served or still are serving in the Army. His hobbies include exercise, triathlons/duathlons, cycling, running, attending sporting events, and traveling. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.        

Jun. 21, 2017
Wendy Roksvold
Wendy Callahan Roksvold, '99 BA Communication Studies, is a senior recruiter for Futurestep/KornFerry. She also works closely with exchange students, serving as regional administrator for International Cultural Exchange Services and is always looking for host families to welcome students ages 15-18 into their homes during the school year. Photography, traveling, and selling Rodan+Fields skin care are among her hobbies. She lives in Henderson.

Jun. 20, 2017
Angela Khristin Brown
Angela Khristin Brown, '97 BS Education - Recreation & Leisure Studies, '10 BS Education - Workforce Education, is a gaming lab assistant at CSN. Her hobbies are creative writing, including poetry. Some of her writings can be found on Sound Cloud and You Tube. She also is a poet-activist involved in Color of Change.  

Jun. 14, 2017
Shannon Wilkinson
Shannon Rice Wilkinson, '01 BSBA - Management Information Systems, was recognized as the Las Vegas Women in Technology "High Tech Entrepreneur" for 2017. The awards are sponsored by HiTech Las Vegas, Women Advancing, Las Vegas Community Tech Fund. She is the president and co-founder of Axiom Cyber Solutions.  

Jun. 13, 2017
Marisa Rodriguez
Marisa Rodriguez, '04 BS Business Administration - International Business, '13 JD, is an associate with Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial, a national litigation boutique firm. She was selected as a 2017 Super Lawyers Mountain States Rising Star for her work in personal injury defense.  

Jun. 6, 2017
Melissa Burns
Melissa Burns,  '02 BA Communications Studies, works for CERT, a division of the Software Engineering Institute. In May she earned a Master of Information Systems Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University's H. John Heinz III College. Her hobbies include reading, running, traveling, volunteering, and learning. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

May. 22, 2017
Sun-Jung Choi
Sun-Jung Choi, '04 BS Hotel Administration, '08 MBA, is a compliance/audit investigator for the Nevada Securities Division. She also earned a degree in Asian History at Korea University.  A chartered financial analyst and a chartered alternative investment analyst, she is the author of a book, An Insider's Guide to Smart Investing. She describes herself as a crazy art lover who paints with oils every Sunday. She also enjoys attending performances at UNLV's Judy Bayley Theatre.  

May. 19, 2017
Greg Dorchak
Greg Dorchak, '88 Film Studies, has a film production company called Class Clown Pictures, which has just released its first feature film, Kopy Kings, a workplace comedy. His acting credits can be found on imdb.com. He earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in digital media from the International Academy of Design and Technology in 2012. He is married to Carmen Zayas, '88 BA Communication Studies. After graduation Carmen worked as a journalist for several publications in Arizona and New York. She earned a master's degree in organizational leadership & ethics from St. Edwards University. After moving to Texas she embarked on a career in human resources, earning her senior professional in human resources certification. Carmen has been a vice president of human resources in two large organizations, as well as running her own human resources consulting business. She now is a senior human resources professional at a tech firm in Austin, Texas. Besides working as a producer on her husband's indie film productions, she is also a local activist passionate about politics, feminist issues, and reproductive rights. The couple, who met at UNLV and have been married 31 years, live in Austin.      

May. 13, 2017
Jonathan Marshall
Jonathan Marshall, '98 BS Business Administration - Management,  recently launched his own medical billing service, RPM Billing, for doctors and hospitals nationwide. He says his purpose in creating the company was to provide the best billing service anywhere, using the foundations of excellent service, quality results and reporting, innovative use of data to optimize results, and efficient work to keep costs low. He lives in Reno.

May. 11, 2017
Nancy Flagg
Nancy Forni Flagg, '79 BA Elementary Education, '92 MA English, has remained active in the local community since retiring in fall 2013 from a long career at UNLV. She currently teaches Facebook and Twitter classes to AARP members and also volunteers with food deliveries and teaches basic computer classes to clients of HopeLink of Southern Nevada. She continues to operate her copy-editing and proofreading business, Finishing Touches Project Management, and finds her work with master's and doctoral students especially gratifying. Her stepdaughter, Emily Flagg Hoff, '00 BSE Civil Engineering, resides in Aurora, Colorado, with her husband, Matthew, and son, Sawyer. She is a project manager at Jacobs Engineering.            

May. 9, 2017
Debbie Howarth
Debbie Howarth, '03, Master of Hospitality Administration, graduated from Boston University's School of Education in May with a doctoral degree in curriculum and teaching: educational media & technology.  She completed additional work in Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and computer-assisted language learning. Her dissertation is  "An Analysis of Pathway Programs and Social Integration in the Retention of International Chinese College Students: A Case Study Approach." She lives in Plainville, Massachusetts.

May. 3, 2017
Kristi Dickinson
Kristi Dickinson, '05 MS Hotel Administration,  recently has become a WELL Accredited Professional. WELL APs are an exclusive group of individuals with demonstrated expertise and knowledge of human health and wellness in the built environment, and the WELL Building Standard. She lives in Solana Beach, California

May. 2, 2017
Ralph Piccirilli
Ralph Piccirilli, '04 BS Hotel Administration, has been promoted to table games manager and transferred to Sam's Town Hotel & Casino. He lives in North Las Vegas.        

Apr. 27, 2017
Larry Strate
Larry Strate, '76 MBA, UNLV emeritus associate professor of business, has written a book, High Lights, Low Lights, and Red Lights (Stoneydale Press), a glimpse into the Red Light District of Hamilton, Montana, during the heyday of Marcus Daly in the 1890s.  He presented a paper at the 43rd annual Montana History Conference and participated at the 2016 Montana Book Festival. 

Apr. 5, 2017
Gregory Hall
Gregory Hall, '82 BS Education in Secondary Education, retired in 2011 after 24 years as an FBI special agent. Returning to Southern Nevada, he became active in volunteer work with military veterans. In early 2017, he appeared in an episode of the Travel Channel television show, Expedition Unknown, about the infamous airline skyjacker known as "DB Cooper." The episode was inspired by an article he researched and published in 2016 in which he advances a compelling new theory of how the unsolved hijacking was done. This marked his second time appearing as a researcher on a television show. In 2004, he appeared as a Word War II military historian on the History Channel documentary Rescue at Dawn; The Los Banos Raid. He traveled with the film crew for location shooting in the Philippines. His research for the documentary also led to the publication of a novel, Not Forgotten, depicting the same event. He is a U.S. Army veteran, having served near the end of the Vietnam War. He was a paratrooper in the infantry, trained and qualified as a door gunner on Huey helicopters, and attained the noncommissioned offer rank of sergeant. After that he attended UNLV on the GI Bill. After graduating, he entered the U.S. Air Force and obtained an officer's commission as a second lieutenant. He served in the security police (now known as security forces) career field before joining the FBI. His hobbies include traveling, motorcycle riding, restoring old cars, camping/hiking, volunteer work, reading, writing, historical research, seeing new places, and meeting new people. He lives in Boulder City.

Mar. 29, 2017
Corrin Sullivan
Corrin Sullivan, '05 BA Political Science, is director of curriculum for the UNLV School of Medicine. In her job she serves as liaison with many different departments, bringing together information and lesson plans to make sure the school is meeting all its program objectives. She said it is an incredible, almost magical process to be opening a medical school from scratch. She previously worked for the University of Washington School of Medicine.  

Mar. 7, 2017
Randall Cunningham
Randall Cunningham, '04 BS Recreation & Leisure Studies, in 2016 became the first player in UNLV history to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The former UNLV All-American punter and quarterback was inducted during a ceremony in December. To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been named First Team All-America by a major/national selector as recognized and utilized by the NCAA for their consensus All-America teams, played their last year of intercollegiate football at least 10 years prior, played within the last 50 years, and cannot be currently playing professional football. Of the 5.12 million individuals who have played college football since the first recognized game in 1869, only 963 players and 209 coaches have been immortalized in the Hall (two ten-thousandths of one percent — .0002). While an offensive force on the field, Cunningham earned All-America honors primarily as a punter. He is the only Rebel to post three punts of 70 yards or longer. He set 18 individual school records and finished his collegiate career by leading the Rebels to their first-ever bowl-game appearance — a 30-13 victory over Toledo in the 1984 California Bowl. Inducted into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997, he remains the only UNLV football player to have his jersey, No. 12, retired. The first quarterback selected in the 1985 NFL Draft when he went No. 37 overall to the Philadelphia Eagles, Cunningham went on to turn in a hall-of-fame-level professional career. A four-time Pro Bowl invitee, he was a three-time winner of the Bert Bell Award, which annually goes to the league's top player, and was named the 1998 NFL Offensive Player of the Year while with the Minnesota Vikings.