When Western Nevada College graduated more than 500 students this spring, it was making history in several ways. Not only was the class of 2013 the largest in the WNC history, the college also graduated its first Latino student cohort.
Seventeen local Latino students were part of a program that began in 2010 to help first-generation college students stay in college and complete their degree.
Students completed a course focusing on strategies to success; they learned time-management skills, how to study effectively and how to be responsible students. They were required to use the college’s free Academic Skills Center to enhance the possibility of improving their grades. Personal assistance in navigating the educational system gives the students strategies to overcome potential cultural barriers to getting their degrees. Parents also were asked to support their students and the requirements of the program.
“Not everyone is willing to accept assistance in such a structured program,” said Lupe Ramirez, WNC’s Latino cohort facilitator. “These students were willing to follow the guidelines of the program, and the results of their commitment, hard work and dedication paid off.”
The students are bilingual and very proud of their roots, Ramirez said.
“They want to be successful in life. But they also believe in extending a hand to our future generations. They visit with students from middle and high schools to inspire them to go to college.”
Ramirez said she was particularly touched by a quote from one of the graduates, who said, “We are changing our future.”
WNC students honor retiring administrators
The Associated Students of Western Nevada have ensured that retiring administrators Dan Neverett, WNC’s vice president of finance and administrative services, and Connie Capurro, WNC’s vice president of academic and student affairs, won’t be forgotten. The student group has dedicated a bench and Spring Snow Crab tree for them just south of the Bristlecone Building on the WNC Carson City campus.
Capurro began serving WNC students in 1989 and has played a vital role in the growth of the college. Her commitment and dedication have been recognized throughout her nearly 25 years of employment at WNC. She earned the 2001-02 President’s Award for Administrative Excellence, the 1999-2000 Regents Academic Advisor of the Year Award and the 1995-96 Outstanding Academic Faculty Member Award.
Neverett has been with WNC since 2004, serving as the dean of student services and director of intercollegiate athletics before shifting to his current position as vice president of finance and administrative services. In his role, Neverett has overseen WNC’s budget and business offices, environmental health and public safety, facilities, computing services, library and media services, information and marketing, the Child Development Center, the bookstore and Sedway Café.
Youths win national, state patriotic awards
The creative use of their handprints and fingerprints caught the attention of Nevada and the nation. A group of children from Western Nevada College’s Child Development Center recently earned first place in Nevada and third nationally in the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Junior American Citizens art contest.
For their contest entry, 5-year-olds at the Child Development Center created an American flag, using their fingerprints as stars and their handprints as stripes.
“They took about a week, each taking a turn doing it,” Carla Sargent, the Child Development Center’s lead teacher, said of the 22 children who contributed to the project for the pre-K category.
According to Sargent, parent Stacy Woodbury, a public servant in Carson City, came up with the project idea. Woodbury and her mother, Anita Sheard, assisted the children in creating their patriotic flag.
“We took a pledge, sang patriotic songs and performed a little ceremony before we turned it in,” Sargent said. “The children were so excited because we really built it up when the time was coming. We tried to explain to them that it was huge. Nevada is a very big state. The national contest was a little harder to grasp, being a bigger contest. The first-place part had them jumping up and down.”
The American Revolution Junior American Citizens sent the children state and national certificates for their achievements.
Participating children included Kaden Bell, Beau Bybee, Zoe Brugger, Camille Cuneo, Presley Eich, Abigail Franco, Kiele Franco, Alexandria Fulton, Ryan Gill, Max Gold, Cooper Goodwin, Madison Hager, Kylie Hammond, Victor Krupicz, Shayleigh Masters, Zoey McMenamy, Heriberto Pena Jr., Robert Prince, Christopher Rosky, Tristan Travesio, Chloe Woodbury and Peter Woodbury.