Our Successes

2011

  • WRIN honored Jan Jones with the WRIN Leadership Award at the Rio.
  • Pat Mulroy, general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District, received the first WRIN Leadership award for her strength, dignity, and wisdom in managing the natural resources of southern Nevadans.

2010

  • Thanks to a grant from the Eleanor Kagi Foundation, a Lynn M. Bennett Legacy, the WRIN website offered more information and resources with text, audio, and visual materials. The site’s make-over is supervised by doctoral student Angela Moor. 
  • WRIN Leadership Award is presented to Thalia Dondero, resident of southern Nevada since 1943, who “mentored generations of women in politics, business, and civic life.”
  • The Carol Corbett Awards, WRIN’s research award, was presented to both Marie Rowley, a graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in History at UNLV, and Katie Eubanks, who graduated in 2009 with a degree in women’s studies. 
  • NEWL launches its 8th successful year with 20 new students. The students met a range of successful women leaders, including one-on-one with UNLV’s Sustainability Coordinator, Tara Pike-Nordstrom  and a Women’s Leadership Luncheon hosted by Southern Nevada Home Builders Association President, Irene Porter. Educational workshops and panels featured Harriet Trudell, Dorothy Eisenberg, Renee Diamond, and Ruby Diamond. Rose McKinney-James, Managing Principal of Energy Works LLC, offered the Keynote speech at the keynote dinner. Two alumnae, Judi Brown (2007) and Karoline Khamis (2004) returned to the program as faculty-in-residence. Two alumnae, Ivette Sanchez (2006) and Monique Sulls (2007) returned to work as program assistants during this year’s conference. 
  • Alumnae in Action:
    • Gregan Wingert (2009) worked in the Internal Communications Department through a partnership between WRIN and Harrah’s Entertainment. She also had the chance to work with the Nevada Community Foundation on special research projects. She also worked for CLASS! Magazine whe she hires, organizes, mentors, and manages 20 high school students who aided in the creation of the monthly magazine.
    • Maylssa Essex (2010) interned at the Rape Crisis Center (RCC). She shadowed management and learning program development, coalition building, and direct victim services.
    • Alma Castro (2005) attended NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and received an MPA in International Development Policy in May 2011. She interned for UNIFEM (UN Women) since February 2010 for their “Say NO – UniTE Against Violence Against Women” campaign. Previously, she worked for Girl Scouts of USA Headquarters as their Global Action Coordinator writing a Peer Education Curriculum titled, “HIV-Free Generation.
    • Angela Moor received the university’s Harold L. Boyer and Judith Boyer History Student Scholarship for the second time

2009

  • WRIN received national recognition from the National Council for Research on Women and was awarded their inaugural Emerging Center Award. The NCRW includes 120 national and international centers of research and the award recognizes a member center that has “experienced a significant change in mission or growth within the last five years.” Joanne Goodwin accepted the award in New York City at the annual conference in June.
  • The Eleanor Kagi Foundation bestowed two gifts upon WRIN that allow the institute to continue with research and education agenda in spite of cuts to public funding (2009 being the worst year in academic funding thus far in which student fees are increased, salaries declined, class size enlarged, and positions went unfilled).
  • Oral histories focused on Barbara Agonia, one of the longest serving Community Advisory Board members and first president of the board for WRIN, as well as Gene Segerblom. Agonia’s oral history focused on her move to the then small town of Las Vegas and her involvement in community of the previous 30 years, her advocacy for women, and her activity in rape crisis education. Segerblom’s oral history focused on her time and efforts in the Nevada State Assembly as a legislator as she worked to protect the rights of local fishermen and the preservation of Boulder Dam Hotel and Museum.
  • January 2009, WRIN awarded the WRIN Leadership Award to Pat Mulroy, General Manage of the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the Las Vegas Valley Water District. The award recognizes those that have achieved distinction in their field of endeavor, have had a positive impact on the development of southern Nevada, and have dedicated energy to mentor the next generation of women leaders.
  • WRIN hosted the 7th successful year of the NEWL program in which 25 additional students joined, putting the total number of graduates at 175. The students meet a range of successful women leaders, including Marybel Batjer, VP for Public Policy and Communications at Harrah’s, Assemblywomen Kathy McClain and Marilyn Dondero Loop and Flo Rogers, General Manager of Nevada Public Radio. Keynote speaker was Punam Mathur, VP for Human Resources at NV Energy
  • WRIN continued to develop alumni after graduation. Judi Brown (2007) returned to the program as faculty-in-residence. Jennifer Carr (2003), Lindsay Beirne 2006), and Jer Roberson Strange (2007) returned to the program as speakers, sharing stories of their NEWL experiences and professional development. Maria Luisa Paarra Sandoval (2005) and Monique Sulls (2007) worked as program assistants during this year’s conference. 
  • Alumnae in Action:
    • Maria Luisa Parra Sandoval (2005), AmeriCorps Member and Volunteer Liaison, was awarded the AmeriCorps Member of the Year Award for her extraordinary national service. She was also accepted to Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government for her Masters Degree in public policy.
    • Lindsay Beirne (2006), Community Affairs Coordinator for MGM Mirage, also assisted with the Alpha Complex, an organization which connects Las Vegas locals with community culture and activities beyond the Strip.
    • Evelyn Marcelina Rangel-Medina (2005), Policy Director for the Green-Collar Jobs Campaign at Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, advocated for policy solutions to build a green economy strong enough to lift all communities out of poverty.

2008

  • Three oral histories completed: Selma Bartlett who was instrumental in the growth and development of Henderson and Las Vegas’ banking industry since her arrival in 1954; Thalia Dondero who was highly influential in developing and shaping the education and political spheres of Las Vegas; and Myrna Williams who taught in UNLV’s department of social work for 11 years, she counts amongst her greatest accomplishments the work she did during her time as a commissioner.
  • NEWL, since 2003, graduated 145 alumnae
  • NEWL accepted 23 new students to the 2008 program, representing every Nevada System of Higher Education institution in the state.
  • NEWL students had the opportunity to meet with Assemblywoman Kathy McClain at an opening dinner hosted in her home, Assemblywoman Barbara Buckley for a one-on one session, administrative officials at UNLV, and other women legislators such as Dina Titus and Valerie Weber. They were also visited by Ruby Duncan and Alversal Veals, the women of Operation Life.
  • Nevada State Attorney General Catherine Cortz Masto was a Keynote speaker at NEWL.
  • Two alumni, Evelyn Garcia-Morales (2003) and Alisha Nielson (2007) returned to the NEWL program as faculty-in-residence. Another alumna, Monique Sulls (2007) worked with the WRIN staff as the program assistant.
  • WRIN collected data on the NEWL program over all the years of its operations; the following figures were determined:
    • Before the program, 48% of participants indicated having a high understanding of leadership, however this increased to 98% immediately after the program.
    • Prior to, 45% of the participants indicated a high confidence in their ability to lead others, however this increased to 92% immediately after the program.
    • Prior to, 55% of the participants indicated they had a high understanding of their own bias toward others, however this increased to 85% immediately after the program.
    • A graduate of the 2008 NEW Leadership Nevada Program and psychology student, Telia Greer, was selected as the NEW Leadership Intern for Harrah’s Entertainment in their National Diversity Relations Department.
  • Alumnae in Action:
    • Emily Powers (2005) named a 2008 Tuman Scholar and received up to $30,000 for graduate study. She is the first UNLV student to win the award since 1987.
    • Kenia Morales (2006) joined COLOR (Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights and advocated for reproductive rights and quality healthcare for Latina women.
    • Edith Gonzalez (2008) was a legislative intern for Speaker of the Assembly Barbara Buckley during the Special Legislative Season.
    • Juawana Grant (2006) became a case manager for Aid for AIDS Nevada (AFAN).
    • Jennifer Hemphill (2008) became a Deputy Field Director of Congressional District 3 for the Nevada State Democratic Party in Las Vegas.
    • Melinda Guillen (2008) received an internship to work with Christine Clark, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at UNLV.
  • The Women’s Legislative Network and the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) sponsored the panel, NEW Leadership: Preparing the Women Leaders of Tomorrow, which introduced the NEW Leadership program to other state legislators and representatives and how it can be developed in their states. Assemblywoman Kathy McClain, former NEWL program manager Julianna Ormsby, and NEWL program manager Diana Rhodes were asked to speak on the panel.
  • WRIN applied for and received one of the three Ceec Abrahams Memorial Grants in the amount of $10,000.
  • Favorite NEWL speaker and friend of WRIN, Ruby Duncan received the 2008 Margaret Chase Smith Award from the National Association of Secretaries of State because she showed “political courage and selfless action in the realm of public service.”
  • WRIN hired Diana Thu-Thao Rhodes, alumna of the NEW Leadership program (2006), as program manager.

2007

  • Thanks given to Assemblywomen Kathy McClain, Ellen Koivisto, and Francis Allen who helped ensure ongoing support for WRIN to be funded for two more years.
  • Caryll Dziedziak wrote about Nevada’s ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) campaign as the subject of her doctoral dissertation with research that revealed a blurred divide between politics and religion in Nevada during this period. 
  • New publication from WRIN: Claudine Williams, a Life in Gaming, the oral history, was WRIN’s first publication available at WRIN for $20.
  • Crystal Jackson, Diana Rhodes, Evelyn Garcia, Jennifer Lopez, Evelyn Flores, Trudy Parks, and Emily Powers were interviewed for an article in City Life by Emmily Bristol.
  • At NEWL, students meet with a range of women leaders such as Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, Henderson City Councilwoman Gerri Schroder, and chief deputy district attorney for Clark County Nancy Becker, as well as women of emergeNevada and the Silver State Leadership Series who teach other women how to run for political office. 
  • At NEWL this year, keynote speakers were  Carol Harter, Executive Director for the Black Mountain Institute and UNLV President Emerita.
  • At NEWL this year, two alumnae, Diana Rhodes (2006 alumna) and Patty Jones (2004) returned to the program as faculty-in-residences to facilitate discussion and mentorship between the students and the speakers. 
  • Alumnae in Action:
    • Patty Jones (2004) was elected to the Elko County School Board of Trustees in 2007.
    • Mardell Wilkins (2005) was elected to the Board of Directors for the Elko Chamber of Commerce for the January 2007- December 2008 term.
    • Gosia “Maggie” Sylwestrazak (2005), management analyst for the state, prepared the budget division’s forecast of state revenue for the coming biennium and presented it to the Nevada Economic Forum.
    • Jennifer Benedict becomes the Public Policy Analyst for the Great Basin Primary Care Association in Carson City.
    • Jessica Totens (2003) became a social work graduate student at Sacramento State University in California.
    • Chata Holt (2006) and Sepi Sayedna (2004) both entered the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV.
    • Trudy Parks (2005) founded NeXt Step: Xposure to Life, a group home for at-risk girls who fall through the social service cracks in Southern Nevada.
    • Aurora Buffington (2005) enrolled in graduate school at UNLV and received an assistantship with the 3-Square Project, a project to feed Las Vegas’ hungry people.
  • WRIN helped bring two conferences to UNLV: Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty with keynotes by Naomi Wolf. This conference offered four workshops on financial literacy, ethical leadership, negotiation, and op-ed writing facilitated by associates of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership. Brought to the UNLV Campus by WRIN and Jean Niedetch Women’s Center (now Jean Neidetch Care Center). The American Council on Education, Office of Women in Higher Education (OWHE) will hold its statewide conference at UNLV September 21. This year’s event is “Effective Leadership Communications for Women.” This conference was also brought to UNLV by the Women’s Research Institute and Jean Niedech Women’s Center.
  • Christina Donelson, graduate of the University of TX- Arlington (B.A., 1996) and the University of Oklahoma (M.A., 1999), as well as Director of Leadership Services for Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., joins WRIN as part of the Community Advisory Board. 
  • A graduate of 2007 NEW Leadership Nevada program, Judi Brown, was selected as the NEW Leadership Intern at Harrah’s Entertainment which provides hands-on education about the business world, particularly the intersections between business and politics in which the Judi Brown was selected to work for 12 weeks in Harrah’s Government Relations/Communications Department housed at Caesars Palace. Harrah’s Entertainment has been one of the foremost supporters of our NEW Leadership Nevada Program, continuously looking for ways to increase their commitment to furthering young women’s leadership capabilities. 
  • WRIN hires Barbie Held, a Ph.D. student in sociology. She has since compiled extensive data on women and men in Nevada. 

2006

  • For the first time, Nevada is represented at the annual conference for member centers of the National Council for Research on Women in New York City.
  • WRIN becomes affiliated with the Nevada Women’s Fund and partners with the Center for Business and Economic Research at UNLV and the Center for Applied Research at the University of Nevada, Reno to complete an in-depth study on women’s health, education, social welfare, employment, and political involvement statewide.
  • WRIN hosted a book signing for author of Through the Glass Ceiling: A Life in Nevada Politics, Sue Wagner.
  • Los Angeles filmmaker, Mollie Gregory, donated interviews with anti-poverty and women’s rights leaders from Nevada during the 1970’s to WRIN
  • Claudine Williams, gaming and banking pioneer in Nevada, concluded her oral history conducted by Joanne Goodwin. Williams and her husband built the Holiday Casino, known today as Harrah’s. Williams was also the first president of Nevada bank and held leadership positions in LVCVA and the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Caryll Dziedziak interviewed Harriet Trudell, an activist extraordinaire. Inspired by Hubert Humphrey’s Civil Rights Speech that she witnessed at the age of 16, Trudell began a lifelong quest for social change. Focusing on activism in Nevada, Trudell worked on behalf of school integration, welfare rights, the Equal Rights Amendment, and Campaign for Choice while running political campaigns or working for state and federal politicians and national organizations. 
  • During the summer of, academics and activists gathered in Las Vegas for a conference coordinated by UNLV professors Kate Hausbeck and Barb Brents along with Women’s Studies undergraduate Aleta Baldwin and NEW Leadership Nevada alumna Crystal Jackson. This was coordinated with the Desiree Alliance, a rights based organization. The conference explored the criminalization and stigmatization of prostitution.
  • Highlights of the 2006 NEWL program included the signature keynote dinner which featured an inspiring speech by Jan Jones, an honorary member of the WRIN Community Advisory Board. As former mayor of Las Vegas and her role as Senior VP of Communications and Government Relations for Harrah’s, Jones shared her leadership experiences with students.
  • Alversa Beals, Ruby Duncan, Essie Henderson, and Mary Wesley joined students for a discussion of their efforts with the 1970’s activist group Operation Life.
  • NEW Leadership Participants Initiating Change:
    • Evelyn Garcia (2003 alumna, UNLV), became Program Director for the National Hispanic Leadership Institute in Arlington, VA.
    • Patty Jones ( 2004 NEWL Nevada alumna, Great Basin College), ran for School Board in Elko, Nevada.
    • Bori Kovacs (2004 alumna, Truckee Meadows Community College), organized the first Ladyfest ever held in Romania.
    • Melody Nelson (2004 alumna, UNLV), founded a sexuality educational organization focused on the Las Vegas community.
    • Julieta Marquez (2005 alumna, UNR), Alma Castro (UNLV 2005 student), Evelyn Flores (UNLV 2005 students), Ivette Sanchez (2006 alumna UNLV), Kenia Morales (2006 alumna UNLV) and NEW Leadership NV Faculty-in-Residence and UNLV’s Women’s Studies professor Anita Revilla in Las Vegas helped organize the historic A Day Without Immigrants marches on May 1, which was one of the largest marches ever held on the Las Vegas strip.
    • Emily Powers (2005 alumna UNLV) created the Art Smarts program, which engages children in a local domestic violence shelter in art projects.
    • Cindy Serrato (2005 alumna UNLV), began graduate studies in the Women’s Studies Department at Rutgers University.
  • Annette Amdal joined WRIN as the first administrative assistant.

2005

  • At the opening hearing for the education budget, Senator Dina Titus and Assemblywoman Kathy McClain raised the issue of funding for WRIN. Submitted was the AB172.
  • WRIN received funding for 2005-2007 after five previous years without funding. Through the funding WRIN could pursue the civic engagement program NEW Leadership Nevada (NEWL), documentation on the historic contributions of women in the state, and dissemination of information on the Status of Women in Nevada. 
  • Jill Winter directed the Status of Women in Nevada report to be released and made available in the fall. WRIN also collaborated with the Nevada’s Women’s Fund in 2005 to release The Status of Women and Girls in Nevada, a report that expands the areas discussed in the earlier report by including areas on education and criminal justice, violence, and safety.
  • WRIN welcomed 31 students from UNLV, Great Basin College, Truckee Meadows Community College, Western Nevada Community College, UNR, and Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Students were able to meet with some of Nevada’s most accomplished leaders, including Assemblywomen Francis Allen, Kathy McClain, and Valerie Weber, former Congresswoman Barbara Vucanovich, and community activists such as Linda Rivera, Fran Montes and Marlene Monteolivo.
  • At NEWL, the featured keynote speaker was former Nevada Attorney General Franki Sue Del Papa.
  • First two Research Roundtables held. The roundtables stimulate, communicate, and coordinate research among faculty conducting gender research. Attendees include faculty from various departments, including history, sociology and women’s studies. Presenters included Marta Meana (research on heterosexual female’s sexual desire) and Naoko Takemaru (research on Japanese women’s perception of sexism in language).

2004

  • WRIN celebrated its fifth year.
  • Recipients of Taking NEW Leadership Home grants: Evelyn Garcia’s project of reducing teen pregnancy in Clark County with game of This is My Life, Lidia Hoffman’s pilot project questionnaire for political  science students about being politically active, and Robbi Phillips and Ashley Hickey’s proposal to register student voters.
  • Julianna Ormsby joined WRIN to coordinate NEW Leadership.
  • Former U.S Representative Barbara Vucanovich, State Supreme Court Justice Miriam Shearing, and Regent Thalia Dondero spoke at NEW Leadership 2004.
  • Florence McClure, co-founder of the Rape Crisis Center in Las Vegas and advocate for prison reform, received WRIN’s nomination as a Citizen of Distinction at the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow Luncheon in April.
  • In November, Caryll Dziedziak, Jennifer Merideth, and Jennifer Parmeley spoke on KNPR for the community news program Ideas in the Air.
  • In April, Jennifer M. and Julianna Ormsby taped a sequence for Observations with Bob Fisher, a public policy program viewed in Northern Nevada.
  • Joanne Goodwin spoke with Gwen Castaldi on KNPR’s State of Nevada about the importance of conducting research on women.
  • It’s Academic featured the NEW Leadership program as an example of work done at UNLV that benefited from President Harter's support.

WRIN collaborated with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) on their Status of Women in the States to produce the Status of Women in Nevada. The report is intended to make critical information on the well-being of Nevada’s citizens available for our legislators, educators, and the general public. It also provides information for policy change. It focuses on women’s status in five areas: political participation, employment and earnings, social and economic autonomy, reproductive rights, along with health and well being.

2002

  • The Oral History Project continued to be the largest and most recognized initiative of WRIN. Betty Brunch was interviewed by Joyce Marshall, UNLV graduate of 1996, about her performances on the Las Vegas Strip and the working conditions and racial integration in Las Vegas. Also interviewed were the Tomiyasu and Gilcrease families.
  • WRIN was selected by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University to be a partner for a 2003 program that cultivates civic engagement in Nevada’s college women through on-going interaction with women involved at all levels of civic life. 
  • WRIN entered phase two of the Technology Enhance for Women and Girls project, which brings the team into monthly regional teleconference meetings.

2001

  • Forum on Technology Enhancement for Women and Girls on Aug. 17, 2001. The one-day forum hosted by WRIN, brought together employers, educators, and the public sector to assess the progress and needs of Nevada’s workforce.
  • The Nevada Women’s Fund contracted with UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research to engage in the study of women’s health, education, social welfare, and employment in the state.

In November, Boundaries Between: The Southern Paiutes, 1776-1995 written by UNLV Anthropology professor Martha Knack released by the University of Nebraska Press.