WNC News: Solis, Bagwell team to fight COVID-19

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Two important Carson City leaders have teamed up to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and provide information on how families can protect themselves and others during the holidays.

Western Nevada College President Dr. Vincent Solis and Carson City Mayor-Elect Lori Bagwell recorded a public service announcement last week on 107.7 FM and 105.3 FM Radio Lazer to share imperative information about COVID with the Latino community. Check out the PSA at https://youtu.be/hm_KwQedPVU.

"It is a privilege to work in close partnership with our city leader Mayor-Elect Bagwell on such an important project,” Solis said. “At WNC, as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (25 percent of our students are Latino), we need to make robust efforts to reach them and their families with important information on COVID to help combat this terrible virus.”

The local leaders emphasized that with new coronavirus cases and deaths rising in Carson City and other Northern Nevada communities, and medical facilities overwhelmed with COVID patient care, precaution and prevention are necessary to fight the virus.

“It is important for all community leaders to work together to fight this pandemic,” said Bagwell, a member of the Carson City Board of Supervisors and a WNC graduate. “We need to beat this as quickly as possible so our children can attend classes in person, our businesses can remain open and our lives can get back to normal.”

Solis and Bagwell also advised against holiday gatherings with family and friends because it increases the odds of being exposed to or spreading the virus. Their advice is to celebrate only with members of your household and connect with others via phone conversations or video technology.

They said that for individuals who are showing symptoms of COVID or who believe they might have contracted the virus, to contact Carson City Health and Human Services about becoming tested at one of its drive-through sites in Carson City, Douglas, Storey and Lyon counties. These tests are free to residents of these four counties and no appointment is necessary. For information, phone 775-434-1988.

Above all, Solis and Bagwell reiterated that taking the necessary preventive measures of wearing a facial covering, social distancing from others, washing your hands regularly and using hand sanitizer are the best ways to avoid getting the virus.

Art students create notecards for college fundraising

Three talented students from Fine Arts Professor Rachel Stiff’s painting and printmaking classes have created locally inspired artwork that has been used to create notecards that the WNC Foundation will make available to the public for a donation.

“This year, fundraising has taken on many new forms and this is one of the ways that the WNC Foundation is working to create new funding for scholarships, emergency student funds and many other things that the college needs to best serve our community,” said WNC Foundation Executive Director Niki Gladys. “We are so grateful to these very talented students for their amazing contributions to this project.”

Marietta Sophie Paul, Steven Rodgers and Sharon Carter collectively created five spectacular prints and paintings that spotlight local destinations, including Lake Tahoe and Pyramid Lake, as well as artwork of a Tahiti daffodil, pine cones and desert water. Rodgers’ painting of Lake Tahoe will also be used as the Foundation’s holiday card. All five cards will be available in packs of 10 for purchase and can be used as holiday gift cards or for use year-round as personal notecards.

Rodgers’ inspiration to paint Sand Harbor stemmed from his many trips to Lake Tahoe.

“This painting of the lake means a lot to me because I consider Tahoe my second home,” he said. “My family used to take advantage of every warm day and head up to Sand Harbor to enjoy our home away from home. After my father passed away, we dedicated that place to honor him and appreciate the good times. I found myself spending so much time up there that I decided I must paint it!”

But finding the right vantage point to paint Lake Tahoe required some huffing and puffing.

“Finding myself almost obsessed with the water’s edge, I couldn’t decide which perspective was superior until I hiked up to the most prominent rock on the slope and saw all of the lake,” he said. “I noticed that the bridges that were constructed for the new Sand Harbor Trail provided a similar perspective, so the next time I went up to the beach I brought my supplies and the rest is history.”

Paul’s intaglio print of pine cones provides another symbol of winter in the region since late fall and winter storms commonly bring down many pine cones from the Sugar, Ponderosa and Jeffrey pine trees. She has spent most of her life working with metal, including a silversmithing apprenticeship in the United Kingdom and an extended career in the jewelry trade before returning to silversmithing. A shoulder injury led her to explore new ways to produce art.

“Drawing led to printmaking; linoleum cut led to intaglio,” she said. “I find myself captivated by the product and challenge of intaglio printmaking. While learning the many nuances of this art form, a large pile of unsatisfactory prints accrued.”

Carter contributed her Pyramid Lake and Tahiti daffodil paintings to the holiday gift/notecard collection, creating them in her Art 231 Painting I class.

“Sharon is a lifelong learner who very much enjoys attending art classes at WNC,” Stiff said. “She paints in the watercolor medium as well as oil paint. Sharon’s grandchildren appear in many of her paintings and are a great source of pride and joy. Sharon is knowledgeable about the Carson City area.”

The holiday gift cards/not cards are available for a minimum $10 donation by contacting the Foundation at foundation@wnc.edu or 775-445-3240.

Students learn from high altitude balloon research

While most students across the country have been learning online this fall because of COVID, a group of students at Western Nevada College took advantage of an exciting hands-on scientific learning opportunity on Dec. 4.

Students and science professors gathered at Jack C. Davis Observatory’s parking lot early in the morning and sent a helium-filled balloon nearly 17 miles into the stratosphere to record high-altitude data, then retrieved the balloon’s payload, which included instruments and sensors, in a cow pasture a few towns away in Minden.

Participating students were Mandy McLaughlin, Alonda Rodriguez-Patino, Sy'Johnniqa Moore, Tyler Logan, Eduardo Lopez and Ciana Rollings.

The Community of Practice high altitude balloon project was made possible through a grant that WNC Biology and Chemistry Professor Dr. Elizabeth Tattersall received through the NASA Nevada Space Consortium.

“The reason this is called a Community of Practice is having students work together, not alone, building companionship in science and bouncing ideas off of each other,” Tattersall previously said.

Physics Professor Dr. Thomas Herring and Geosciences Professor Dr. Winnie Kortemeier also participated in the research project, which began in August 2018. The instrumentation and sensors in the payload allowed the students to record temperature, pressure, radioactivity and altitude.

The balloon reached 88,872 feet before bursting and sending the payload to a rapid descent to farmland in Minden.

“We were able to visually track the balloon all the way up due to our clear Nevada skies and the sharp eyes of Dr. Tattersall,” Dr. Herring said.

Students who participate in the research project receive up to a $1,000 scholarship per semester.

Still time to register for winter session classes

Students will again have the opportunity to not only earn college credits quicker but to catch up or get ahead in their areas of study during the upcoming winter session.

Winter classes are being offered online starting on two different dates: Dec. 21 or Jan. 4. These short-term classes will conclude on Jan. 22.

Students can choose from a variety of classes, including Art, Biology, Core Humanities, Education, English, Environmental Science, History, Information Systems, Management Science, Mathematics, Nutrition, Philosophy, Social Work and Sociology.

View classes offered for winter session at wnc.edu/class-schedule/.

New students should get started immediately at www.wnc.edu/starthere/ to prepare for registration.

College to close for Christmas, New Year’s Day

Western Nevada College's three campuses will be closed on Friday, Dec. 25 and Friday, Jan. 1 for Christmas and New Year's holidays.

The college will reopen for regular business hours on Monday, Dec. 28 and Monday, Jan. 2.

Many college services can be conducted online. For more information, go to wnc.edu.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


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