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Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 9:35 PM

CCHS Grads Tapped for UNLV Advisory Board

CCHS Grads Tapped for UNLV Advisory Board

Author: Courtesy Sharon Novak

It is always great to return “home” for any amount of time. As a graduate of UNLV, I take pride in my accomplishments and the degree I earned while there. Most of you don’t know, my degree is not in engineering or construction management or architecture. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Sports Injury Management – the treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of athletic injuries. The degree program helped to change my life during a challenging period of time.     After graduation, I took a construction estimating job where the only requirement was a 4-year degree. It was a way to pay the bills while I completed prerequisites for PT School. I was only going to do this construction thing for a year, two at the most. Instead, I found something I loved to do. I was good at it and I loved seeing the skyline filled with projects I had, in some way been part of.
    Recently I was asked to join two advisory boards. One for Women’s Studies at Cal-Poly Pomona and one at UNLV’s College of Integrated Health Sciences. I chose to be of service to my Alma mater. Recently, the advisory board met at a restaurant in Summerlin. It was my first chance to meet faculty and other board members. UNLV President Keith Whitfield provided an update of where the university stands today. UNLV is a Tier 1 University, making it in the top 3% of research universities. Far from the days of blackjack 101 skits on SNL and its stature as a basketball school.
    It was an intimate group of about 10. From the University President to the College Dean. The biggest honor was meeting Jeffrey L. Cummings, MD, ScD. Dr Cummings is a world leader in Alzheimer's research and one of the founders of Lou Ruvo's Brain Institute. Other faculty and donors made up the rest of the group. 
    It’s rare, but Churchill County High School graduates made up 20% of the attendees, Matt Grimes, Senior Vice President of Operations at Desert Radiology and I were able to celebrate our common history from Fallon. We all shared how we were connected with the university, what we are doing today, and something fun we have just completed or will be doing soon. 
I was excited to speak about construction as an integral part of health science. The biomechanics of injury parallels that of construction stability. Imposed loads beyond capacity…no different than applying Wolfe's Principles. Most importantly, sharing about building functional healthcare facilities, where the user group is valued and supported to do their best work. It was something I was immensely proud to share. 
    Sometimes it’s nice to feel like you belong to something more important than yourself. To give in ways you didn’t know would be valued. I am grateful for the student I spoke to during the holidays. She told the dean how much she enjoyed speaking with me and the director reached back out. It made me realize I have a lot more to offer as a mentor outside of construction, I’m excited to see what impact I can make as an advisory board member for UNLV's College of Integrated Health Sciences.