News & Notes

Kortemeier marks 35 years at Western Nevada College

Geology professor Winnie Kortemeier has been teaching at Western Nevada College for 35 years.

Geology professor Winnie Kortemeier has been teaching at Western Nevada College for 35 years.

Western Nevada College celebrated eight employees with Nevada System of Higher Education employment anniversaries exceeding 20 years in August.
Geology professor Winnie Kortemeier reached her 35th anniversary Aug. 31.
“I can’t believe it has been 35 years!” Kortemeier said. “When I started at WNC-Fallon, I was 28 years old and looked pretty young. Some of the older students would ask me if I was old enough to teach college. I would answer that I had a note from my mother that said it was OK.
“I have loved every year that I have taught at the college, even the COVID years. Julie King and I were hired the same year at the Fallon campus, and we would go to lunch and comment how lucky we were to be community college professors and what a dream come true our positions were, and 35 years later, I feel exactly the same way.”
The turnover of students plays an important part in why Kortemeier continues to teach.
“What keeps me interested and excited about this career is the fact that every semester I have the opportunity to teach new students about the Earth,” she said. “While the material doesn’t change very much, the students do; so, each class, each semester is a new and unique experience.”
Colleagues and friends believed that when Kortemeier earned her Ph.D. in 2012 that she’d leave WNC. They weren’t aware how much the college means to her and her teaching style.
“I love teaching at WNC and plan on retiring from here in the future. I figure that as long as I can keep ahead of students on field trips I will continue to teach!” Kortemeier joked. “WNC has allowed me to be in control of my classes and my teaching and has valued my input as a professor and a colleague. I am very grateful for my 35 years here and would do it all again.”
Not far behind Kortemeier are Gary Evett, 29 years, and Brigitte Dillet and Jim Strange at 27 years. Others celebrating long-serving anniversaries are Georgina Davis, 24 years; Jayna Conkey, 22; Kathryn Whitaker, 22; and Jeffrey Downs, 21.

Trist, O’Toole, Smith named employees of year
This year’s recipient of the Classified Employee of the Year is Daniel Smith.
Smith has worked at WNC since 2008, serving as a maintenance repair specialist in Buildings and Grounds. He is a valuable team member who serves a variety of the college's needs, including electrician service, and is known to show up for work at 3 a.m. when a project demands. He also was applauded for removing a rattlesnake from campus earlier this summer.
“When you love what you do, you don’t feel like it’s too much,” Smith said. “I enjoy what I do and enjoy the people I work with.”

Daniel Smith with President Kyle Dalpe and award presenter Natasha Anderson, right. 

Biology professor Holly O'Toole was selected as Faculty Employee of the Year.
Since 2007, O'Toole has primarily taught human anatomy and biology to WNC students. Students say she makes science “fun and easy.”
She’s also served as Fallon campus director and has been active on campus as a student and faculty adviser, and in leading student research projects.
“I believe that we need to feel like what we are doing is extraordinary, significant and meaningful,” O'Toole said. “This adds a value and dimension to our work lives. I have put 100 percent into my role as an educator. It’s lovely to feel valued by my peers. I really appreciate it!”

Holly O'Toole with Interim President Kyle Dalpe, right, and award presenter Faculty Senate Chair Jim Strange. 

The third award of distinction went to Disability Support Services Director Susan Trist for Administrative Faculty Employee of the Year.
Trist has worked at WNC since 2005 and has been instrumental helping and empowering many students with disabilities to obtain their education and professional goals. She also is a very active committee member on campus, providing educational wisdom and guidance for the college.
“I’m honored and surprised to receive the Administrative Faculty of the Year Award,” Trist said. “WNC is a great place to work. I truly enjoy helping students achieve their goals; being recognized for my work and commitment to our students is ‘icing on the cake’.”

Susan Trist with WNC President Kyle Dalpe, left, and award presenter Justin McMenomy. 

WNC President Kyle Dalpe also announced the Enrollment Management Committee as the recipient of the President’s Team Award. The team meets weekly most of the year to provide current and long-range planning and tactics to increase enrollment.
The committee is headed by Director of Financial Assistance J.W. Lazzari and Psychology Professor Rebecca Bevans. Team members include Cathy Fulkerson, Chelsie Hamtak, Coral Lopez, Deborah Ingraffia-Strong, Jessica Rowe, Joshua Fleming, Niki Gladys, Piper McCarthy, Ronald Belbin, Scott Morrison, Winnie Kortemeier, Angela Holt, Rachael Schneider, Aaron Glass, Dana Ryan, Troy Wadsworth and Steve Yingling. Dianne Hilliard and Georgia White were also part of the committee before they retired this summer.

Submissions open for Native American Showcase
WNC is inviting artists to participate in “The Native American Showcase of Great Basin Artistry” this fall. All Indigenous students, staff and alumni of WNC are welcome to contribute to the show, which focuses on representation of the area's lineage or cultural ties to the land.
Accepted artwork includes (but isn’t limited to) basketry, beadwork, drum, sculpture, painting, carving, family photos and hunting, gathering, fishing — all symbolic of the Great Basin Region.
“Since WNC Carson and Douglas campus' reside within Washoe ancestral territory, we are honored to have the support of Washoe Tribe's Cultural Resource Department,” said Sylvia Rondeaux, who is helping facilitate the showing of the exhibit along with Lorraine Plympton. “Special thanks go to Herman Fillmore, who generously lent us some beautiful items for our display.”
“The Native American Showcase of Great Basin Artistry” is the third annual Indigenous art show for WNC, marking the college’s continuation of awareness of the original peoples. The first art display was launched in recognition of National Native American Heritage Month in 2020. It was in honor and respect to the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California. The second exhibit was “The Many Faces of Native America.” It showcased student, faculty and staff art who represented a variety of Indigenous Nations.
“We were blessed to receive a large display from UNR Professor Merton Running Wolf; his unique pieces were the highlight of the exhibit,” Rondeaux said.
For the upcoming exhibit, as many as three pieces may be submitted per participant. Deliver submissions to Room 113A of the WNC’s Reynolds Building on the Carson City campus. Submissions will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Oct. 5.
The show runs from Oct. 10 through Dec. 31 in the Bristlecone Atrium Gallery. A reception for artists is planned for Monday, Oct. 10 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the gallery.
For this exhibit, artists can submit a variety of mediums, including drawing, painting, printmaking, digital media, photography, graphic art, ceramics, sculpture, book art, mixed media, song and bead work.
Artists are welcome to price and sell their artwork during the show. For artists who don’t wish to sell their work, they are asked to designate NFS (not for sale) on their submission form. Artwork will be returned to contributors on Jan. 3 and 4 in the Bristlecone Atrium Gallery.
For more information, contact Sylvia Rondeaux at or Lorraine Plympton at

Golf For Education tournament set
The Western Nevada College Foundation Golf for Education tournament will be held Friday, Sept. 30 at Toiyabe Golf Club.
The tournament begins at 9 a.m. The cost is $150 per player, $550 per four-player team or $850 for a business team sponsorship. Lunch for a non-golfing guest is $30.
Participants will be treated to a light breakfast, tee prizes, hole-in-one and long drive prizes, on-course refreshments, raffle prizes, an opportunity to shoot the golf ball cannon, a barbecue, an awards ceremony, team photos and more.
Participants’ entry fees help workforce development in the region.
There are different ways and levels that businesses can sponsor the event. For businesses that sponsor a team, their company name will appear on the event banner and program, they’ll be recognized at the barbecue, they’ll receive two tee signs and a spot for a quartet of players in the tournament.
For information, call 775-445-3240 or go to

The Associated Students of Western Nevada led by adviser Heather Rikalo, top left, and Willy Wildcat enjoy representing Western at the Golf for Education Tournament. 


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