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.

Larry Strate

March 7, 2019
Larry Strate, '76 MBA, is the author of From Battlefields to Beet Fields. His second book, which was published in the fall, provides a glimpse into the prisoner-of-war camps in Montana's Bitterroot Valley during World War II. It explores in detail the little-known story of using prisoners of war in those camps to harvest the sugar beet crops. An emeritus associate professor of business, he retired from UNLV after 24 years. In 2015 he relocated to Hamilton, Montana.

Kassandra Moore

March 7, 2019
Kassandra Moore, '18 BA Psychology, is a coach at UNLV Career Services. She also is pursuing a master's degree in higher education. She presented "Professional Development COLA 100L" at the 2019 UNLV Best Teaching Practices Expo. In 2018, she presented "Networking 101" at the UNLV Student Affairs Conference.  

Sarah Thornton

March 7, 2019
Sarah Thornton, '96 BA Communication Studies, was named 2018 Volunteer of the Year by the Clark County Bar Association for her exceptional service to the organization. She is president of the Las Vegas-based boutique public relations and marketing firm Sarah Thornton Public Relations, which was founded in 2007. When receiving the award she was praised for not only helping to plan activities and services for association members but also for recruiting attorneys to write articles for "Communiqué," to teach legal education seminars, to volunteer at Three Square, and to distribute blankets to the homeless at Project Homeless Connect. She has been a member of the association's Community Service Committee intermittently since 2008. She also currently serves on the board of directors for the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Las Vegas chapter and is an advisory board member for Cure For the Kids Foundation. She is a past chapter president and past regional board member of the International Association of Business Communicators’ (IABC) Las Vegas chapter, in addition to being a past president for IABC Colorado. She is also a past chapter president and assembly delegate for PRSA Las Vegas and a past board member for PRSA Colorado. From 2015 to 2017 she served on the board of directors for Kenzi’s Causes, formerly Dolls For Daughters, a non-profit in Colorado that serves children living in poverty.

Lori Cox

March 7, 2019
Lori Cox, '96 BSBA - Management Information Systems, has worked for the Las Vegas Review-Journal for 33 years and currently serves as IT manager. She is a season ticket holder for men's basketball and football and also attends Lady Rebels and UNLV baseball games. She is a Vegas Golden Knights fan who loves to travel, especially to Runnin' Rebel games. She has three children and one granddaughter who she describes as the light of her life. One son is Michael Cox, '14 BS BA - Management.

Kristina Swallow

March 7, 2019
Kristina Swallow, '04 MS Civil Engineering, recently was named department director of the Nevada Department of Transportation. The department's board of directors chose her upon the recommendation of Gov. Steve Sisolak. Swallow has nearly 25 years of experience working in the civil engineering industry and government. She most recently worked for the city of Las Vegas as a program manager in the department of public works.  As a practicing civil engineer, she has worked in a number of technical areas, including flood control, traffic impact analysis and mitigation, land development, public works, and transportation policy. Her roles have included being a small business owner, working as a consultant, working as a lobbyist in the Nevada Legislature, and working as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate. She also is the past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

James Stanford

March 7, 2019
James Stanford, ’71 BFA Art, is an artist whose second book, Shimmering Zen, contains 150 images he has created during the last 20 years, including many of those drawn from neon signs significant to Las Vegas’ history. The 264-page, limited edition book was printed in Verona, Italy. After spending years photographing the city's neon signs and architecture, he began using his graphic arts skills to turn those images into mandalas, which he describes as visual works of art that take you into higher consciousness. He said his Zen Buddhism heavily influences his work. Some of his work published in the book also was on display last year at an art show at West Sahara Library.  

Pj Perez

March 6, 2019
Pj Perez, '07 BA Journalism & Media Studies, recently started a new position as digital media & marketing manager at Chapman University Fowler School of Law in Orange, California. He is finishing a feature-length documentary about the Maryland Parkway cultural scene in the 1990s called Parkway of Broken Dreams and is developing several television pilots. He is married to Sara Gorgon, '16  MBA. They live in Costa Mesa.

Melissa Clary

March 6, 2019
Melissa Clary, '08 Master of Public Administration, has been promoted to senior implementation manager for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, office of information & technology, service management & planning. She also serves as chair of the evening chapter of the Mesquite Club, the state's oldest women's philanthropic organization, founded in 1911. Additionally, she is running for the Ward 3 seat on the Las Vegas City Council to step up her service and volunteerism to the community. She enjoys fixing up her historic 1951 Huntridge home near downtown Las Vegas with her boyfriend, Daniel. In their free time, they enjoy hiking in the desert with their two dogs. She also likes trail running, hiking, and dancing. She describes herself as a "serial volunteer."

Jordan Hollander

March 6, 2019
Jordan Hollander, '16 LLM Gaming Law and Regulation, recently was named as a member of the Emerging Leaders of Gaming (ELG) and Global Gaming Business magazine 2018-19 class of the "ELG 40 Under 40," which recognizes gaming industry professionals under the age of 40 already making significant impacts on the casino gaming industry. A resident of Branchburg, he currently serve as a deputy attorney general with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.  

Bernard Chan

March 6, 2019
Bernard Chan, '99 BS Hotel Administration, works for the city and county of San Francisco. Biking, hiking, and swimming are his hobbies. He lives in San Mateo.

Karen A. Whelan

March 6, 2019
Karen Whelan, '06 JD, recently joined Kirst and Associates as staff counsel for Allstate.

Lydia Villoria

March 6, 2019
Lydia Villoria, '13 BS Kinesiology, is working full time at Chaminade University of Honolulu while also pursuing a master's degree in instructional leadership. She hopes to complete her degree in 2020.