Land Acknowledgement Statement

The College of Sciences acknowledges and honors Indigenous communities of this region, and recognizes that the university is situated on the traditional homelands of the Nuwuvi, Southern Paiute People.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resources

College Resources

Culturally Relevant & Responsive Teaching (CRRT)

The objective of CRRT is to, “assist STEM faculty and graduate assistants (GAs) to develop culturally responsive teaching strategies.” Professional development is provided to improve faculty inclusion of culturally relevant and responsive pedagogies and practices. The College of Sciences has faculty and GAs participating in this program for 2022:

Faculty
  • Talonov Aleksei, Mathematical Sciences
  • Jennifer Guerra, Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • MaryKay Orgill, Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • Janice Pluth, Physics and Diagnostic Sciences
  • Joshua Reagan, Mathematical Sciences
  • Christy Strong, Life Sciences
Graduate Assistants
  • Md Maksudul Alan, Mathematical Sciences
  • Jorge Reyes, Mathematical Sciences
  • Sarah York, Chemistry & Biochemistry

UNLV College of Science Advancing Women's Success Grant

The College of Sciences at UNLV recognizes that women in the STEM fields face a number of challenges at all levels of their career progression. This grant aims to provide funding to individuals or groups within the College to support the advancement of women in science, and to progress gender equity both within UNLV and STEM fields more broadly.

The Women Scientists: Force for Change (WSFC) Program

The WSFC Program was established in Spring 2022 to support and encourage women students in the College of Sciences during their undergraduate and graduate studies. The program provides leadership training, mentoring, networking, and community service opportunities. The WSFC program fosters a better sense of community and belonging, creates a support network for a diverse and interdisciplinary group of women, develops a more inclusive and welcoming culture for women in the College, increases retention and graduation rates, and prepares 18 undergraduate and graduate students each year for long-term career success in the sciences.

For more information, please contact Alison Sloat at alison.sloat@unlv.edu or 702-895-1535.

Celebrating our First-Generation Students, Faculty/Staff, and Alumni

The College of Sciences is excited to recognize the success of our first-gen community who are/were the first in their families to attend college. Each year in the fall, we collect stories from faculty, staff, students, and alumni in the college to showcase their stories and celebrate their accomplishments.

Department Information and Resources

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Multiple chemistry education research projects (Principal Investigator: MaryKay Orgill) have focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect. Some highlights:

  • Eshani N. Lee (Ph.D. Chemistry, 2018) focused her research on ways to make written chemistry assessment items more accessible and equitable for students who do not speak English as their first language. This work has been published in the journal Multicultural Education as well as in the Journal of Chemical Education special issue on diversity, equity, inclusion and respect. Eshani is currently a faculty member at the Penn State Hazleton campus.
  • Schetema Nealy (PhD Chemistry, 2018) was the first African American female to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry from UNLV. Her research focused on the science identity of students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in STEM. The first article about the results of this research, Postsecondary Underrepresented Minority STEM Students’ Perceptions of Their Science Identity, was published in the Journal of Negro Education. Schetema is currently a faculty member at Compton College.
  • Sarah York, an NSF Graduate Research Fellow pursuing a doctorate in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, designed a written science communication activity that prompts general chemistry students to explore and interpret an instance of environmental racism that connects to many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), including climate action and clean water. This activity requires students to explore literature on a current event, synthesize information, and write informatively and persuasively to state officials to problem-solve and act. This supports intellectual and moral growth, cultural competence, and problem solving around issues related to social inequities.

Geosciences

The Department of Geoscience instituted a Diversity Equity and Inclusion Standing Committee in its bylaws in fall 2021. The committee has initiated a number of projects including:

  • Hosting a screening of ‘Picture a Scientist’ paired with a panel discussion.
  • Surveying its alumni, faculty, and students to learn more about conditions within the Department.
  • Instituting an annual seminar in honor of International Girls and Women in Science day which features prominent women scientists.
  • Launching the “UNLV College of Science Advancing Women's Success Grant.”

In collaboration with the Center for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education, members of the department applied for and received funding for an NSF Geopaths project. The project, called Geopaths Legends (Leveraging the Geology of Nevada to Diversify STEM), is a comprehensive effort to build connection with students and teachers in CCSD Geoscience classrooms that includes a summer workshop for teachers, a “Geoscience Ambassadors” class that sends undergraduate Geoscience majors into schools to interact with high school students and bring them career information, offers high school students opportunities to engage in geoscience research projects at UNLV and the development of high school curriculum materials based on natural features in the Las Vegas landscape.

Life Sciences

The current student enrollment in the School of Life Sciences is 1,597, representing 62% of the total enrollment in the College of Sciences. Within the School of Life Sciences, 74% of the student population is non-white and intersects different learning styles, socio-economic conditions, and educational privilege. As such, the School of Life Sciences is uniquely positioned to support diversification of the workforce and catalyze a more creative and innovative STEM enterprise. To better serve this diverse student population, the School of Life Sciences offers federally-funded programs and curriculum designed to provide inclusive research and professional development opportunities that build a sense of belonging and self-sufficiency and promote student well-being. These programs include the following:

NSF-REU: Mechanisms of Evolution

Supports undergraduate summer research and professional development to students from historically-excluded communities and those attending higher education institutions with limited research programs.

NV-INBRE UROP

An NIH-funded program that provides support for undergraduates of historically-excluded communities to conduct summer research in the biomedical fields.

Enhancing the transition from undergraduate to graduate careers in STEM

An NSF-EPSCoR award supporting disadvantaged students through a multi-year program to build and improve undergraduate students' progress towards enrolling in graduate school.

S-STEM

An NSF-funded initiative aimed at developing the academic skills of students seeking STEM careers.  

Mathematical Sciences

Advancing Women in Mathematical Sciences at UNLV is a mini-grant scheme, funded by our College, to improve the inclusion and mentoring opportunities for female students and faculty in Math at UNLV at all levels and the engagement of female students in research opportunities and associated conferences and symposia. We have monthly meetings and the goal of these meetings is to have discussions between students, faculty and others in a respectful and welcoming environment.

For more information, please contact Monika Neda at monika.neda@unlv.edu or 702-895-5170.

Physics and Astronomy

Drs. D. Proga and T. Waters, in collaboration with Dr. Paola Rodriguez Hidalgo from the University of Washington Bothell, have a three-year project from the NSF (Collaborative Research: RUI: Understanding the Limits of AGN Feedback: a Dedicated Study of Extremely High Velocity Outflows). Integral to their research proposal is a goal to increase access, retention, and graduation success for underrepresented physics and astronomy students to help diversify the future STEM workforce. To do so, they have carefully selected best practices in recruiting and supporting students, providing paid research and outreach opportunities, and creating a supportive community.

They work with approximately six to 10 students per year, focusing on recruiting at least 50% female, BIPOC, or first-generation students, and creating a supportive environment both humanly and financially.