New Western Nevada College Commercial Driver’s License Instructor Sam Yesuratnam has a passion for big rigs that emanates from watching one of the most-watched trucker movies ever: “Smokey And The Bandit,” starring Burt Reynolds, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed and Sally Field. “It spawned a love for big rigs and trucking that I'd never been able to shake,” he said. “I walked away from a long career in internetworking engineering and decided it was time to make what had been a passion my whole life into a reality. I do love the feeling of being out on the open road and the sense of freedom and adventure it brings.” Now, Yesuratnam welcomes the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of people who are planning to commit to a career behind the wheel.
“My hope is that my students will not only gain the knowledge and skills to be proficient, professional drivers — but also learn how to be safe and successful in the long term, with a career that is both personally and financially rewarding,” Yesuratnam said. “This is an opportunity to have a real impact on so many lives in a positive, lasting way.” Yesuratnam has worked for some of the top transportation companies in the country as a local driver and an over-the-road driver. Among the companies he’s worked for are FedEx Ground, JC's XPress, Packer Transportation and Sherwin-Williams. Yesuratnam’s first CDL Skills Test Preparation Class at WNC began on Monday, Oct. 25 on the Fallon campus. The five-week class sponsored by Hert Trucking meets 2 hours per week in the classroom with an additional 5 hours per week driving a big rig with Yesuratnam. “I love to teach, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of people that are looking to make a career behind the wheel,” Yesuratnam said. “I believe this is fulfilling the purpose (albeit in a small way) that I was created for.” Additional offerings of the course will be available, including one in December. “We are lucky to have a talented instructor who cares deeply about the success of our students, and at one of the lowest prices in our region. This class is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who is interested in obtaining their Commercial Driver's License,” said WNC Continuing Education Coordinator Lauren Slemenda. Before registering for the class, it’s recommended that you contact the WNC Continuing Education office at 775-445-4210 to ensure that you fully understand the requirements of the program. CCHS Culinary Arts Students Receiving Credit at WNC, Catering Events Culinary arts students at Churchill County High School are learning a lot more than how to bake cupcakes or make an omelet. Chase Johnson’s students are catering for events in Fallon, earning credit at Western Nevada College and possibly preparing for a career in the culinary arts. “We run a catering business from my class to give the students real work experience in the restaurant industry,” said Johnson, who was a chef for 10 years before transitioning to teaching through the business and industry alternative license when CCHS contacted him about taking over the Culinary Arts elective class at the high school. Johnson teaches three college credit classes at Churchill County High School: Culinary 100, Culinary 105 and Culinary 106. If students complete the three-year program and pass the Nevada Career and Technical Education tests, they are awarded 11 credits through WNC. Johnson said that if students dedicate themselves to three years of culinary classes, they will learn everything from knife skills to international cooking and restaurant management. “The students also participate in SKILLSUSA and compete against all the other schools in the state in baking and culinary arts competitions where they can win scholarships for college,” Johnson said. Johnson’s students will have an opportunity to cater for WNC early next month when the college hosts an event for new Fallon Campus Director Jessica Rowe. That event is set for noon to 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 17. Virtual Leadership Summit Available to All NSHE Students Make plans to attend the virtual Fall Student Leadership Summit on Saturday, Nov. 20 presented by the Nevada System of Higher Education. The 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. web conference will feature topics geared toward empowering women-identifying and non-binary students. The conference is open and free to all current NSHE students. To register, go to wnc.edu/fall-leadership-summit/. Plan Ahead for Winter 2021, Spring 2022 Plan ahead to continue at Western Nevada College this coming spring or take the necessary steps to make Western your new home for higher education. Registration for spring classes begins Monday, Nov. 8 for returning and continuing students and Monday, Nov. 15 for new students. To help students prepare for spring semester, the schedule of classes is now available at wnc.edu/class-schedule/. Students continuing at WNC have the opportunity to secure the classes they want before others register. As students prepare for spring semester, please note that in-person classes require that students be vaccinated. Students must complete a vaccination form at wnc.edu/admissions/forms. This link also provides information on how students can access medical and religious waiver forms. However, it is not necessary for students to be vaccinated if they take classes online. Students new to WNC can apply for admission and take care of other pre-registration requirements at www.wnc.edu/starthere/ so they are prepared to register by Nov. 15. Scholarships are available through WNC Foundation. Apply for 2022-23 Foundation Scholarships and 2021-22 William N. Pennington CTE Scholarships at wnc.edu/scholarship. Winter session classes start on either Dec. 20 or Jan. 3. Spring semester classes begin Monday, Jan. 24. Individuals can receive personal assistance from Student Services in preparation for spring semester by setting up an appointment with counseling at 775-445-3267 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Nevada Promise Scholarship Deadline Oct. 31 If high school seniors in the Fallon area haven’t already applied for the Nevada Promise Scholarship, then they shouldn’t waste any more time to apply for the state-funded opportunity. The deadline for applying is Sunday, Oct. 31. The scholarship covers tuition and mandatory fees not covered by federal or state aid for up to three years. There are no income or high school GPA requirements and it is open to all Nevada high school students graduating between Aug. 1 and June 15 who begin classes at WNC in the fall immediately following graduation. Applicants are required to file for FAFSA, meet with a mentor and complete community service, and more. To apply or to learn more about the Nevada Promise Scholarship, go to www.wnc.edu/promise/ and "Click to Apply!". The scholarship stands to save Nevada families more than $3,000 per year. For additional information, contact email@example.com.