Western Nevada College notes: Clark, Stevens earn NSHE Regents’ awards

Lauren Stevens

Lauren Stevens

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Since transferring to Western Nevada College several years ago, Gabrielle Clark has concentrated on helping others.
Now, the Associated Students of Western Nevada president is receiving a helping and appreciative hand herself. Clark is a 2020-21 recipient of the prestigious Sam Lieberman Regents’ Award for Student Scholarship.
WNC Counselor Lauren Stevens was also recognized in March as she received the Nevada Regents’ Academic Advisor Award for 2021.
The $5,000 scholarship will assist Clark as she pursues her bachelor’s degree at the University of Nevada, Reno. She earned an Associate of Arts degree from WNC last spring.
“I am so honored to receive this award,” Clark said. “Thank you to everyone who supported me and shared my vision of highlighting the already amazing qualities WNC has to offer students like me. I will be continuing my education at UNR in pursuit of my bachelor's in Human Development and Family Studies, where I will continue to help other communities, and this award will only help in that next part of my journey.”

Gabrielle Clark


The Regents’ Scholar Award, presented by the Nevada System of Higher Education, has been renamed in honor of former Regent Sam Lieberman, who died unexpectedly last year.Clark started her college education at Western Washington but learned that smaller colleges such as Western offer more amenities than larger institutions.
“When you are at a bigger school, it’s harder to find your niche and you are paying a lot of money,” Clark said. “Universities have hidden fees that are so hidden, that you need the I Spy book. I really feel that WNC has looked out for me entirely as a student. This school really treats me with respect.”
Clark quickly found her niche at WNC by becoming involved in student government. She worked as a senator and vice president before becoming the college’s ASWN president starting with the spring 2020 semester. She joined student government with the goal of solving “world hunger.” In a way, she did. She played a role in creating Wildcat Reserve, a food and hygiene pantry that has helped address a food insecurity issue at the college.
Stevens has been helping students solve problems and process beneficial information for nearly a decade as a WNC counselor.
“I've genuinely thought over the years that I am an observer just watching students figure it out for themselves,” Stevens said. “I mean, I know there is a greater intricacy than that, but it's more like the student is rewarded when they synthesize whatever information they need to move forward.”
Stevens has been inspired by students and colleagues since setting foot on the Carson City campus in 2012.
“For me, I think the words inspire and motivate are most relevant,” Stevens said. “Students and colleagues are inspiring and motivating to me when they excel at difficult things.”
Her Counseling Services colleague, Piper McCarthy, knows why Stevens is extremely successful helping students.
“Lauren is able to see things from the student's perspective,” McCarthy said. “She is able to create a space where students feel they can be themselves by establishing trusting relationships. She treats each student as a unique individual and allows for the opportunity for the student to discover their individual pathway to meeting their goals.”
Stevens is quick to deflect praise for what comes naturally to her and that humility gives her the opportunity to thank others for her accomplishment.
“The Regents' Academic Advisor Award is a meaningful way to be acknowledged for one's efforts,” she said. “It also provides a platform to say thank you to those that have supported me along the way.”

Purchase Hawaiian meal to help WNC’s Nerd Herd
Simultaneously help a Western Nevada College student club raise money and enjoy a Hawaiian barbecue dinner April 29.
The Nerd Herd, a Student Life club made up of homeschool students, planned the fundraising meal so it can provide activities for its club members and other students on campus, according to club president Natalie Newman.
To participate, college and area community members will preorder and prepay for their dinner(s) online through the WNC Foundation website, then pick up their meal(s) at a specific time April 29. The cost per dinner, which will be prepared by Wildcat Den, is $12 and includes pulled pork, mango rice, coleslaw and a dinner roll. Those wishing to buy an additional meal will receive a $2 discount.
Dinner pickup will be at your appointed time from 4 to 6 p.m. outside the north side of the Bristlecone Building. Meals will be delivered by Nerd Herd club members for curbside pickup.
To place an order, go to wnc.edu/foundation/events/nerd-herd-hawaiian-bbq/.

Plan summer, fall schedules now
It’s not too early to start thinking about planning for summer and fall classes at Western Nevada College.
A schedule of classes is available online at wnc.edu/class-schedule/ that will help you plan for your next semester at WNC.
Registration for summer and fall classes begins Monday, April 5 for continuing and returning students, while new students can register for summer and fall classes starting Monday, April 12.
Continuing students can register through their myWNC accounts. Individuals planning to attend WNC for the first time can apply for admission at www.wnc.edu/starthere/.
Summer session begins Monday, June 14 and ends Saturday, Aug. 7. Fall semester starts Monday, Aug. 30.
For information, phone 775-423-7565.

‘Creative Expressions Beyond the Bars’ now showing, auction running
Stop by the Bristlecone Art Galleries to see two new exhibits this spring: “Mimic” and “Creative Expressions Beyond the Bars” on Western Nevada College’s Carson City campus.
“Creative Expressions Beyond the Bars” brings a different perspective to the atrium and hallway galleries in Bristlecone this spring. Incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people are featured in this exhibit and the work ranges from self-described scribble sketches to paintings, drawings, yarn arts and more.
The artists’ work has been donated for the exhibit, which will culminate in an online auction to support WNC’s Higher Education in Prison Program. Five percent of the net proceeds will be utilized to purchase art supplies for the Warms Springs and Northern Nevada correctional centers in honor of those who donated work.
One of the highlights of the exhibit is the artwork of Ismael Santillanes, who was formerly incarcerated and has become a well-known poet and artist. These works were donated by Karen Gedney, MD, who commissioned the art to be used in her book, “30 Years Behind Bars: Trials of a Prison Doctor.”
The exhibit will run through April 30. The fundraiser auction is now open and bidding closes on April 29 at 5 p.m. Visit https://events.readysetauction.com/westernnevadacollege/creativeexpressions to check out the auction page and place your bid! If you walk through the gallery, you will see each item has a QR code on the title card posted next to it. Each QR code will take you directly to the page for that item on the auction website, so hopefully that will make it easier to bid on the items that catch your eye.
Artist Ahren Hertel’s portrait and landscape paintings are being presented by the Capital City Arts Initiative in the main gallery through April 23. His paintings reveal his interest in great expanses and his relationship with nature. Hertel was able to see some of the world outside of the United States growing up as his father, a geologist, moved his family to Chile and Bolivia.
“Landscape is a participant in forming our identity and setting the stage for our relationship with nature,” he said. “A bond strong enough to compel us to shroud ourselves in a representation of that place. Our cities in the West are islands surrounded by an ocean of terrain, a great expanse, a distant horizon on a sea of sagebrush. I’m interested in that space. How we see the land, how we remember a place and how we show reverence to something that is so much a part of us.”
The Bristlecone Art Galleries are located at 2201 W. College Parkway and are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Because of public health concerns created by the COVID pandemic, there won’t be a reception for the artists.
For more information on art shows at WNC, go to facebook.com/wnc.art.galleries or email artgallery@wnc.edu.

50th Anniversary Spotlight: Remembering the Jackrabbit Mascot
Just so there isn’t any confusion, the current mascot for Western Nevada College is a wildcat.
But it wasn’t long ago that the college mascot had big ears and long hind legs that many children probably mistook for the Easter Bunny. Yes, Western Nevada Community College was once known as the Jackrabbits. Makes complete sense if you have ever walked or biked the numerous recreational trails surrounding the college: There are many jackrabbits bounding through the sagebrush.
But the year after Western Nevada Community College opened in 1971, the college’s mascot was the Wildcat. In fact, when WNCC played and won its first basketball game on Nov. 30, 1972, the team was known as the Wildcats.
However, the Wildcats mascot disappeared after sports hibernated for nearly three decades.
“I oversaw student government from 1987 until around 2000-01. We had a jackrabbit costume … many over the years,” said Admissions and Records Director Dianne Hilliard who oversaw student government from 1987-2001.
Hilliard also pointed out that the jackrabbit theme was prevalent on campus and the mascot made appearances in the community. There used to be a student newspaper/newsletter called “The Jackrabbit Express” and the semester picnic for faculty, staff and students was known as “Jackrabbit Day.”
But, like the wildcat, the jackrabbit eventually went into hibernation.
“It was changed to a wildcat around the time we incorporated organized athletics, starting with men's baseball and women's soccer,” Hilliard said.
That was 2005. The reason: “It was determined that a jackrabbit perhaps was not necessarily an appropriate mascot for organized sports teams,” Hilliard said.
The Wildcat mascot has undergone a few costume changes over the years — namely to his face and shoes — and he has a name: Willy. The new Willy made its public debut in 2019 in the Nevada Day Parade and various students and staff members have worn the outfit.
To make wearing the mascot costume more attractive to students, a $3,000 annual scholarship is being offered through WNC Foundation. Applicants should have a positive and energetic personality, a desire to have fun, a flexible schedule and can interact with people of all ages. If students or prospective are interested in becoming the mascot, they can contact Heather Rikalo at 775-445-3241 or heather.rikalo@wnc.edu. The scholarship is for the 2021-22 school year.


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