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 on the website.

Jessica Russell

June 14, 2021
Jessica Carroll Russell, '03 BS Education and '08 Master of Education, is the Ready To Learn coordinator at Vegas PBS. She won two Pacific Southwest Emmy Awards for her work as producer and writer on two original Vegas PBS children's programs, The Vegas PBS KIDS Writers Contest Presented by Janice Allen and Vegas PBS STEAM Camp. Hiking and kayaking are her hobbies.  

Kurt Hildebrand

June 13, 2021
Kurt Hildebrand, '88 BA Communication Studies, editor of The Record-Courier in Gardnerville, was invited to participate in a critical thinking piece for Editor & Publisher magazine on the topic "Should Newsrooms Unpublish or Modify Old Crime Stories?"    

Elliot Dubin

June 1, 2021
Elliot Dubin, '99 BS Hotel Administration, and his wife, Arti Barnes, welcomed the birth of their daughter, Dhara Lael Dubin, on April 13. She was born at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital at 1:04 a.m. The family lives in Orange, Connecticut.

Dolores Mason

June 1, 2021
Dolores Mason, '96 BS Education, works for Warren County Schools in Bowling Green, Kentucky. She has one adult son. Her hobbies include gardening, restoring, reading, visiting family, and being outside enjoying the greenery. She live in Morgantown.

Regina Mitchell

April 13, 2021
Regina Mitchell, '18 BA Psychology, conducts a Zoom cooking class, teaching others with vision loss what she learned in her own kitchen in what she describes as “descriptive cooking." She was on the fast track in the culinary world as a classically trained chef who had worked with notable chefs, including Emeril Lagasse and Julia Child. Later she provided team-building culinary experiences for Fortune 500 companies as a corporate executive chef and eventually landed a top position in Las Vegas with MGM Properties, providing personalized-services to elite hotel guests. Her life took a detour when she was diagnosed with bilateral panuveitis, a condition which affects the lens, retina, and optic nerve. She paused to contend with the challenges of vision loss and to earn her UNLV degree, which had an emphasis on neuroscience. More recently, she returned to cooking. She serves as an advisor to Hadley, a Illinois-based nonprofit that serves those with vision loss by providing practical help at no cost. She participates in Hadley’s "What’s Cooking?" discussion group series and is helping with the creation of a new Braille series.   

Elsa Descamps

April 5, 2021
Elsa Descamps, '19 BSBA - Marketing, has been a professional beach volleyball player since January. She lives in Sausheim, France.

Sandy Van

April 5, 2021
Sandy Van, '02 BSBA - Finance, '07 JD, went into real estate and opened her own law office, Van Law Firm. She owns a number of other businesses related to Van Group Real Estate. She has won numerous awards, including awards from Top Realtor under 40 and awards ranking her law firm as among the top 10 in Las Vegas. A first-generation college student and a first-generation American whose family immigrated from Vietnam, she was part of the Honors College at UNLV.  

Larry Strate

March 31, 2021
Larry Strate, 76 MBA, UNLV emeritus associate professor of business, has written his third book, Vignettes of Montana's Bitterroot Valley, in which he explores a number of incidents, events, and portraits of several noted valley residents generally mentioned only fleetingly by valley historians. After retiring following 24 years at UNLV, he moved to Hamilton, Montana.  

Vanessa Bucklin

March 30, 2021
Vanessa Yeager Bucklin, '99 BSBA - Finance, recently published her first book, The Penultimate Step, a motivational memoir. A licensed agent and financial services professional,  she founded her own insurance company, PCI Conrad, in 2013. Since then she has been a qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table, the premier financial services membership for advisors worldwide. She has received multiple awards and numerous committee appointments for her leadership in the industry. She received her chartered life underwriter (CLU) designation in 2018. She enjoys outdoor activities with her family and is an avid runner who has completed 11 marathons and three ultra marathons. She and her husband, John "Tyler" Bucklin, '01 BS Education, raise their three children, Claire, Nick, and Colette, in Conrad, Montana. They are busy with their careers and their farm where they raise wheat, barley, and hay.        

Jeff Jacobs

March 30, 2021
Jeff Jacobs, '97 BSBA - Accounting, as president of LOGIC Commercial Real Estate will be responsible for directing and overseeing all operational activity, support services, and client interaction for all divisions of the company. Additionally, he will be leading the company's receivership services division where he will manage all aspects of the process: performing the transition into receivership, pursuing and recovering assets, preparing correspondence, setting and executing a business plan for each property, and reporting for the court and maintaining communication with attorneys and all parties related to the matter. A licensed certified public accountant, he brings more than 10 years of corporate accounting and finance experience to the receivership division. He began his career at Arthur Andersen. He was responsible for reviewing and auditing the financial statements and internal controls of several Fortune 500 companies. He recently served on the UNLV Alumni Association Board of Directors.  

Scott Hafetz

March 30, 2021
Scott Hafetz, '81 BS Hotel Administration, president of Hafetz and Associates, has been awarded ‘Executive of the Year’ in the 2020 NJ BIZ Business of the Year Awards. Armed with a tech-savvy, forward-thinking, hands-on and service-oriented philosophy, Hafetz has led the company in tremendous growth. He also has expanded the company’s footprint with offices now in New Jersey and Florida. Hafetz has received many awards and recognitions over the years for his proven excellence and industry knowledge. For more than 15 years, he has been awarded the Master Broker status for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Under his leadership, Hafetz has won 10 consecutive NAHU Leading Producers Round Table Awards; five consecutive IATW Sponsor Awards; an AFP Southern Chapter Outstanding Corporation of the Year Award; a Gilda’s Club “Thank You” Award; Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey’s Small Group Sales and Retention Top 5 Recognition, and the SunLife MVP Award. Also passionate about giving back to the community, Hafetz offers free education seminars and services — presently via Zoom — to clients and also partners with local universities, charity organizations, and senior and community centers to ensure individuals approaching the Medicare age are educated on the plans and what may be the best fit for their needs. He began his career in customer service, with 16 years in the casino industry. He then began selling life insurance policies. After establishing enough knowledge and experience, Hafetz transitioned into employee benefits, founded Hafetz and Associates in 1997, and began working the company out of the trunk of his car. His hobbies include reading and traveling.

Monica Marie Miller

March 30, 2021
Monica Marie Miller,  '96 BSBA Management and '96 BA Psychology, is a property appraiser for the Clark County assessor's office.