By Mandi Enger
As the spring 2014 semester launched, Nevada State College welcomed nearly 3,400 students to campus with a series of Welcome Back and Get Involved Week events. The week's theme, inspired by a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, posed the question: What are you doing for others? Joining the campus on Wednesday, Jan. 22, State Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson hosted a discussion-based presentation for students, faculty, and staff to address the week's question and to encourage each individual to become active in serving their community.
Highlighting the definition of social intelligence, Thompson and the event participants discussed the importance of being mindful of the thoughts and feelings of others and considered how an individual's actions, volunteerism, and support can make an impact.
Always strive to find one organization that you can be really involved with and passionate about, Thompson challenged the group. Representing District 17 in North Las Vegas, Thompson has been an active Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) since 2007. He is additionally active in caring for the homeless as the Coordinator for the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition.
Student participants were invited to share how they engage with their community and make a difference for others. Psychology senior Lynette Medina spoke about her involvement as an active board member of Families for Effective Autism Treatment, an organization that provides resources, support, and activities for families affected by autism. It was important for me to become involved as this organization helped me when my son was diagnosed with autism, she shared. Medina has served on the board for four years.
Another student, integrated studies major Alexes Morgan, shared details about her volunteer experience working with students to develop their reading skills at a local Title 1 elementary school.
Recognizing the students passion for their communities, Thompson added, Keep up your energy and be persistent. You'll see lives changing.
Assemblyman Thompson made an instant connection with our NSC students; he has a true gift for relating with all individuals, said Edith Fernández, associate vice president of community engagement and diversity initiatives. NSC was honored to have Mr. Thompson on our campus as we strive to connect our students with positive community leaders that can inspire our students to stay focused on their pathways to success.
Joining the college in November of 2013, Fernández is leading the development of diversity programs and events on campus that will engage students of all backgrounds in both their schoolwork and the community.
Fernández added, The southern Nevada community is full of dynamic, energetic, and successful individuals that our entire campus can learn from. Be on the lookout for more on-campus speaking events, student activities, and programs in the coming months.
NSC will continue the theme of helping others through February as the campus celebrates Black History Month. Upcoming speakers are scheduled to include Urban Chamber of Commerce member Hannah Brown, Commissioner Lawrence Weekly, and Regent Allison Stephens.
Additional Welcome Back and Get Involved Week events included Lunch with Leaders, an informal lunch for students to meet faculty and administrators; the Get Involved Fair, an opportunity for students to join NSC clubs or organizations; and a free student breakfast.