April 27, 2015

Dedication to Fallon Community Earns Recognition

Robyn Openshaw Earns $5,000 Regents Scholar Award

Robyn Openshaw - NSHE Scholar 2015
Robyn Openshaw - NSHE Scholar 2015

Spending a year attending at a Southern California college revealed to Fallon resident Robyn Openshaw just how much her hometown on means to her and her future. Openshaw began to realize that she could work on bettering herself by returning home to the Lahontan Valley and the familiar faces of the 9,000 people Fallon residents.

Since then, Openshaw has immersed herself into earning a Western Nevada College education and becoming active in Fallon community service organizations that not usually frequented by 20-year-olds.

Openshaw’s dedication toward earning a degree while serving her community contributed to her recently being selected as WNC’s Regents’Scholar Award winner for 2015.

“I was surprised to get nominated, knowing how many students there are on campus,” Openshaw said. “I’m the first person in my family that will graduate from college. There are lots people out there like that, but still it’s pretty special.”

The Regents' Scholar Award is granted to a student from each Nevada System of Higher Education institution for their academic achievements, leadership ability and community service efforts. Along with the honor, Openshaw will receive a $5,000 stipend.

“Coming to WNC, you get a lot more personal connections; you get to know your peers and professors by name,” said Openshaw, who also commutes from Fallon to Carson City a couple times a week to attend business and economics classes.

At the same time she was named to the Dean’s List in the fall, Openshaw served on the board of directors for the Fallon Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Fallon Downtown Merchants Association.

“Because Fallon is a smaller community, I have developed relationships with all of the people involved with those organizations throughout the years,” Openshaw said. “I’m the youngest person on the board of directors by about 12 years. It makes me feel different than what people my age do.

The chamber’s confidence in Openshaw has led to her being selected as the coordinator for the Hearts O’ Gold Cantaloupe Festival, the longest-running food-driven event in the state. She’ll organize committees and communicate with the chamber in preparation for the September 4-7 event.

Openshaw believes that in order to achieve personal growth, people must be connected to their communities for the well-being of themselves and others.

After graduating from WNC with an Associate Degree in May, Openshaw plans to attend the University of Nevada, Reno to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Marketing, as well as a minor in political science.

“I am passionate about my goals and do not plan on stopping until they have been achieved, no matter how long it takes me or how hard I have to work,” she said. “I love going to school. Sometimes it’s hard because I don’t get to sleep. It’s so much fun learning new things, meeting new people and going to class and discussing things.”

Eventually, Openshaw wants to work at the local or state level in politics, perhaps as a county commissioner or state representative. Wherever her education takes her, Openshaw plans to maintain her passion for agriculture.

Openshaw will be honored at the Associated Students of Western Nevada’s Awards and Appreciation ceremony on Saturday, April 18, 2 p.m. in the Larry Ruvo Stateroom of the Governor’s Mansion.

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Fallon Resident Robyn Openshaw - NSHE Scholar 2015    
Fallon Resident Robyn Openshaw - NSHE Scholar 2015    
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