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 A Lynn M. Bennett Legacy

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  • 2015 Alumnae Biographies

    NEWL 2015

    Back Row (Left to Right): Stephanie Olson (2015 Program Coordinator), Carmella Gadsen, Electra McGrath-Skrzydlewksi, Anita Savell, Charli Aguilar, Bella Victoria Smith, Isabelle Bellinghausen, Brandi Murphy, Paige Hall, Jessica Skarupski, Starshine Christian Esparza, Elsha Harris-Yolanda, Taygan Byrns, Maryse Lundering-Timpano, Claudia Chiang-Lopez, Jean Marie Pilario Munson (2015 Faculty in Residence).

    Front Row (Left to Right): Carmel Viado (2015 Faculty in Residence), Moee Turbin, Kanaha Shoji, Iliana Arroyo, Michelle Carrier, Priscilla Sweatt, Aeriel Halstead, Toyya Mahoney, Joey Aisa, Imani Gayden, Samantha Salas, Jillian Ebrahimi, Jenny Hemphill (2015 Faculty in Residence), Arlene Rivera (2015 Faculty in Residence).

    Charli Aguilar is a dedicated and accomplished student, continuing from her Associate of Sciences degree at CSN to UNLV’s Kinesiology and Nutrition Studies. As an outdoor community volunteer and past CSN Biology Club president, her experience and passion for helping others as a peer tutor is clear. Charli aims to pursue her doctoral degree, and hopes to inspire future students as a professor of Kinesiology at UNLV.

    Joey Aisa is an undergraduate at UNR, excelling in her pre-professional studies of Neuroscience and Sociology, minoring in Ethics, Law, and Political Philosophy with the intent to pursue medicine through Doctors Without Borders. She is an avid and published poet, and aspires to continue as an author seeing the beauty and resiliency in life. Joey seeks to dismantle cultural misconceptions through research and education.

    Iliana Arroyo is a current CSN student in Business Management, and an active member of Phi Theta Kappa. Her pursuit of higher education exemplifies her commitment to helping parents advocate for their children’s quality education, academic development, and success. She strives to be of service to others, and is committed to paying-it-forward.

    Isabelle (Izzy) Bellinghausen is a native Nevadan and recent graduate of the UNLV Honors College, having studied French and English. Izzy has been a dedicated tutor and teacher for students learning English fluency, with a desire to give back to the schools that have empowered her own education. She hopes to engage her passion for writing, asking questions, and providing meaningful work in the years ahead.

    Taygan Byrns will be entering her final year as an undergraduate at UNR in 2015, pursuing her life-long passion of History while gaining a minor in Museum Studies. Taygan enjoys the enrichment of meeting and speaking with new people. She works at the Nevada State Museum and her ambition to gain her Ph.D. in History will enable her future career as an educator and History professor.

    Michelle Carrier is an enthusiastic undergraduate at UNLV, embracing her studies in Sociology. Through her development of community-minded activities and the founding of UNLV’s Sociology club, she has enlivened her desire to empower women and girls. She plans to pursue graduate studies in Public Health and continue her civic engagement.

    Claudia Chiang-Lopez is a recent graduate of Sociology and Multidisciplinary Studies at UNLV, addressing the social discourse on health and how this affects marginalized groups. She has aided research projects from homelessness to micro aggressions, and advocates for violence prevention. She hopes her future work will be focused as a researcher, transmedia documentary filmmaker, and program management consultant.

    Starshine Christian-Esparza is a Vegas-born Nevadan, entering her second year of study at UNLV. Her academic interests include gender studies, public health, and law. She has organized and continues to build a movement of community engagement focused on ending street harassment, and actively plans youth events aimed to empower women and gender minorities.

    Jillian Ebrahimi is a senior UNR Honors College student attaining her degrees in Political Science and English. She has lived and breathed her service to the Debate Team, and is a founding member of Kappa Phi Lambda. With her focus on service and cultural diversity, Jillian is an advocate for women and minority voices to be heard within communities and the political sphere.

    Carmella Gadsen is a highly involved UNLV student, and soon-to-be graduate of Psychology. Her interests include child and adolescent development, educational psychology, social justice, and intersectional feminism. She has extensively served the UNLV community as a peer advocate and coordinator for interpersonal violence prevention and education.

    Imani Gayden is third-year McNair Scholar at UNLV, pursuing her undergraduate degree in Social Work. Attributing a supportive network as her driving force, she actively helps her community thrive – doing so by tutoring, mentoring, and volunteering with young people (preschool to high school). Imani embraces her studies, research, leadership, and diverse campus engagement to further her personal and professional development.

    Paige Hall is an NSC undergraduate in English, minoring in Communication Studies. She previously earned her Associate of the Arts from CSN. Her fierce interest in literature and the functional use of language has influenced her role as writing and course assistant, as well advocate for women’s rights. Her outspoken contributions and desire to influence equity may find her pursuing a J.D. at Boyd Law in the coming years.

    Aeriel Halstead is a 2015 UNLV Honors College graduate, with majors in Psychology and Communication Studies. Her desire to enthusiastically connect and aid others is rooted in her current work with non-profit organizations and professionals. Aeriel aims to pursue her Ph.D. in Industrial Organizational Psychology and serve as a consultant in the philanthropy sector.

    Elsha Harris-Yolanda is an ambitious junior at UNLV, with a double major in Journalism & Media Studies and English. As a budding writer and change-maker, Elsha wants to use her degrees and experiences to alter how African Americans are perceived in mainstream media and in literature. She plans to pursue her Masters in Journalism and obtain her Ph.D. in English.

    Maryse Lundering-Timpano was born in the Southwest and loves the outdoors. Along with her dedication to UNLV’s Phi Alpha Theta Psi Sigma (Honor Society of History) and accomplishments as a student worker, she earned her undergraduate degree in the Spring of 2015 from UNLV’s History department. There, she will continue her passion for historical documentation by pursuing her Masters Degree at UNLV in the Fall. She is on her way to becoming an academic librarian.

    Toyya Mahoney is an active undergraduate student at UNLV, graduating in December 2015 with her degree in Public Administration and minors in Criminal Justice and Leadership & Civic Engagement. She is passionate about environmental and social justice issues, and plans to attend UNLV’s graduate school in Water Resource Management. Toyya is committed to helping her community, and currently serves as a Nevada Park Ranger with the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

    Electra McGrath Skrzydlewski is an ambitious Political Science graduate of Penn State’s World Campus, minoring in Energy Business and Finance. A native Nevadan and citizen determined to benefit the community she loves, Electra is an impactful grassroots organizer dedicating much of her time to non-profit volunteering and issue advocacy campaigns. She intends to pursue her Masters degree in Public Administration and Policy.

    Brandi Murphy received her Associate of Science degree from TMCC in 2013 and is now entering her final year in the First Scholars Program at UNR. She is studying Agricultural Science with a minor in Business Administration, and her solutions-based research and entrepreneurial aspirations address food sourcing from aqua-ponics. Brandi aspires to pursue her Ph.D. and continue this application and development of food sustainability.

    Samantha (Sam) Salas is an undergraduate at UNLV, studying Kinesiological Science. As a Las Vegas native, she has embraced her community by working in the medical field, volunteering for and developing projects to end hunger, and exemplifying a strong student leader. Sam is planning to attend graduate school and become a nurse practitioner in acute care.

    Anita Savell is an Honors student at UNR, studying Electrical Engineering with a biomedical emphasis, pursuing minors in Statistics, Biology, and Nanotechnology. She is an honors ambassador, peer advocate, and biology discussion leader, along with her many volunteer engagements, black belt martial arts practice, and appreciation of fine art. Anita plans to pursue her Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering.

    Kanaha Shoji is a motivated international student from Tokyo, Japan. She is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Environmental Engineering from UNR. An accomplished violinist, Kanaha dedicates time each day to practice and serenade those around her. She is largely interested in the outdoors, and as a future engineer, dreams of developing sustainable, practical solutions to environmental problems.

    Jessica (Jess) Skarupski is a current UNLV undergraduate pursing her dual degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Gender & Sexuality Studies. As a native of Las Vegas, she enjoys teaching and mentoring CCSD students in stand-up bass and working toward their goals. Jess intends to pursue Environmental Law, focusing on environmental impact on populations living in poverty.

    Bella Victoria (Vic) Smith is a recent graduate of UNLV’s English and Interdisciplinary Studies programs. As a McNair scholar, they are an avid researcher and have received multiple awards for their analysis of literature’s gender and privilege representations. Vic intends to further their skills and research as a queer activist. They will begin a Masters to Ph.D. program in English at Ohio State University in the fall of 2015.

    Priscilla Sweatt is a dedicated undergraduate student at WNC majoring in General Business. As a native of India, and the first literate female in her family, she fully embraces her opportunities for education in Nevada. As a mother, caregiver, working student, and aspiring nurse, Priscilla actively encourages those around her to further their impact through studies and service.

    Monique (Moee) Turbin is a current undergraduate at NSC, dedicated to the development and success of her peers. She is an ambassador for current and future college students, a vocal advocate for equity, and esteemed Dean’s List student. Pursuing her degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Special Education, Moee aspires to teach and mentor her fellow Nevadans.

  • Improving the Lives of Women through Research and Education

  • NEW Leadership Nevada 2017 Keynote Dinner

    Featuring Restaurateur and Philanthropist Jenna Morton
    Blasco Event Wing, UNLV Foundation
    4505 S. Maryland Parkway
    Thursday, June 8, 2017
    Reception at 5:00pm
    Dinner and Program at 6:00pm
    wrin@unlv.edu
    702-895-4931

  • Meet women who have played an integral role in shaping Nevada's history.

    Flolliott LeCoque

    Flolliott LeCoque is the First Lady of Las Vegas Entertainment who ...
    Learn More
    Women's Research Institute of Nevada
    University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 455083
    Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-5083
    702-895-2902

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