October 7, 2015

Faculty, Staff's No. 1 Goal: Student Success

College Welcomes New Employees

In an effort to best serve the more than 4,000 students who rely on Western Nevada College for a their college education, new employees have joined the college to fill vacant positions, and others have advanced into new roles.

New academic and administrative and staff members were hired in a variety of areas, including mathematics, English, nursing, machine tool and construction management. Among the faculty hires were four new positions.

New full-time additions to the security and facility staffs include Susan Kirsnis and Jaime Kirk. WNC also welcomes new custodial workers Johnny Hernandez, Robert Lewis, Brandon O’Keefe and Alejandro Quintero Gonzalez.

Academic and Administrative faculty appointments include:

• Joseph Bell, History Instructor: Bell’s love of History began when he broke his ankle at 12, forcing him to stay in the library rather than attend his physical education class. At the library, he discovered a book on ancient Rome and became hooked. Bell holds a master’s degree in History from Chico State University with a minor in Classical Civilizations. His thesis focused on the differences and similarities in pro slavery thought among Catholic and Protestant clergy during the Antebellum Period. He taught at WNC as an adjunct instructor in 2014.

• Kevin Burns, Veterans Resource Center Coordinator: Burns has served in a variety of roles since coming to WNC in 2007, including being part of the creation of WNC’s nationally acclaimed “Always Lost,” A Meditation on War” exhibition.” The adjunct English professor has now taken on the role of overseeing the Veterans Resource Center. Burns has also worked in e-learning instruction and advised the Student Veterans Club. He is a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer.

• Jody Coxon, Adult Literacy and Language Instructional Specialist: Coxon is a graduate of Boise State University who began her professional career as an English teacher in Boise, Idaho. After relocating to Elko, Coxon earned a Master’s Degree in Reading Education and worked for Elko County School District, where she presented workshops on developing and implementing a reading program. She also served as an adjunct instructor at Sierra Nevada College. Before coming to WNC, Coxon taught AP English and other courses at Desert Ridge High School in Mesa, Ariz. The return to Nevada allows Coxon to be closer to family.

• Skylar DePedro: CareerConnect Coordinator: DePedro worked for eight years as a vocational evaluator and rehabilitation counselor for the North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Prior to joining WNC’s staff, she spent two years as a vocational evaluator in Reno. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a master’s degree in Counseling at Webster University. In addition, she holds a postgraduate certificate in Vocational Evaluation from East Carolina University. and is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Fielding Graduate University.

• Kim Desroches, History Instructor: Desroches began secondary education at Spokane Falls Community College, introducing her to the benefits of a community college experience with smaller classes, great teachers and accessible student support. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Gonzaga University, then proceeded to graduate school at Kent State University, studying Political Science, specifically Comparative Politics and International Relations. She has taught History and Political Science classes at WNC, Truckee Meadows Community College and the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition, she has served as a junior/senior high instructor at Pyramid Lake High School, teaching Literature, History and Government. She has been at WNC since 2010 and most recently became involved in the Jump Start program, teaching History.

• Aaron Endel, Financial Assistance Administrative Assistant: Endel was a student employee in fall 2013 and became the college’s Veterans Certifying Official in 2014, leading to a permanent position in January. He previously worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant and Qualified Medication Administering Person in Colorado and at a concrete plant in Georgia. Endel served in the United States Army, including an 18-month deployment to Iraq.

• Joshua Fetbrandt, Mathematics Instructor: After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Brigham Young University in 2012, Fetbrandt taught large lecture, online and hybrid sections for BYU while pursuing a Master of Science degree in 2014 that focused on nonstandard fractal Koch curves. Before joining WNC’s faculty, he taught Mathematics and Statistics at ITT Technical Institute in Seattle. In addition to his current research interests in pure and applied mathematics, he is interested in postsecondary mathematics education.

• Mary Foraker, Nursing Instructor, MSN, RN: Foraker brings an emergency and critical care nursing background to WNC”s Division of Nursing and Allied Health. She has worked as an emergency department nurse, a medevac flight nurse and an intensive care nurse at multiple facilities in the San Francisco Bay area. She has worked as an educator and liaison between hospital systems and Emergency Medical Services. As a consultant to the Santa Cruz County Emergency Medical Services Agency, she authored the Regional Santa Cruz Trauma Plan approved by the State of California. This plan provided guidelines for air and ground transport for victims of multiple trauma directly to trauma centers, which decreased the percentage of preventable deaths in five counties in California. In addition, she provided classroom and clinical education instruction to firefighters and paramedics and acted as the community education provider for California Shock Trauma Air Rescue for five counties.

• David Fulton, Machine Tool Technology Instructor: Fulton worked as a cabinetmaker in Southern California for 10 years before moving to Carson City and enrolling in WNC’s Machine Tool Technology program in 2009. He graduated magna cum laude in 2013 and has since supplemented his education in area machine shops and through National Institution of Metalworking Skills credentials. Fulton worked as a WNC adjunct professor for three years before his recent promotion to full-time MTT instructor.

• Timothy Galluzi, Veterans Resource Center Pre-Admissions Adviser: Galluzi is the Pre-Admissions Adviser for the WNC Veterans Resource Center. Originally from Northern California, Galluzi enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2004. After initial training as a Telecommunications Marine, he was stationed in Twentynine Palms, Calif., with the 2nd Battalion 7th Marines (2/7). During his tour with 2/7, he conducted combat deployments to Fallujah, Iraq, in 2005 and 2007. He then was dispatched to the Marine Corps Mountain Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif., where Galluzi assisted in authoring and implementing the Mountain Communications Course. He was deployed in 2011 to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, serving as the Telecommunications Chief, managing the telecommunications infrastructure for Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan. Sgt. Galluzi left the Marine Corps in 2012 to enroll in Western Nevada College. He became president of the Student Veterans Club and worked as a VA student employee in WNC’s Veterans Resource Center. He also was selected and served on Gov. Brian Sandoval's Student Veterans Advisory Council. He graduated from WNC with an Associate of Science degree in spring 2014, and is working on his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management at Western Governors University. In July, Galluzi was certified by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services as a Nevada Veterans Advocate.

• Amy Ghilieri: History Instructor: The native Northern Nevadan earned her undergraduate degree in Health Sciences at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, Calif. She worked in sales and marketing while completing a Master of Business Administration degree, then earned Master of Arts in History and Doctor of Philosophy in History degrees from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has been an instructor in core humanities courses at UNR for nine years, and taught at Truckee Meadows Community College and Saint Mary’s College. Her dissertation focused on European witch trials, specifically as they relate to early modern printing, which she hopes to publish shortly. The last year of her dissertation was done through the Bilinski Dissertation Year Fellowship program, which allowed her to write. She also has a second-degree black belt in mixed martial arts.

• Chelsie Hamtak, Scheduling Coordinator: In 2006, Hamtak graduated from Montana State University-Bozeman with a Bachelor of Arts degree. While working in the Financial Aid Office at MSU-Bozeman, she discovered a passion for higher education. Shortly after graduation, she moved to Carson City and became WNC’s Division Assistant for Science, Math and Engineering, before transitioning to Communications and Fine Arts in 2007. In 2012, she became the Division Assistant for Science, Math and Engineering and Communications and Fine Arts. Now, those departments have merged with Social Sciences the to become the Liberal Arts Division.

• Nigel Harrison, Construction Management Instructor: Harrison joined the Navy in 2001, serving aboard the USS Vicksburg (CG 69) based out of Mayport, Fla. This led to two tours in the Persian Gulf, where he assisted in damage control, which consisted of fire fighting, flooding control and chemical defense. While deployed, Harrison served on the 12-man Visit Board Search and Seize team, which required boarding ships ranging from small fishing dhows to huge oil tankers, in search of Weapons of Mass Destruction and terrorists. Harrison finished his enlistment in 2005 and moved back to Carson City, where he used his GI Bill to earn a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Construction Management at WNC. He worked as a project engineer for Metcalf Builders Inc. and satisfied an urge to again serve his country, joining the Nevada Army National Guard. He graduated from Officer Candidate School in 2010, and then attended Flight School at Fort Rucker, Ala. There he learned to fly several aircraft, including the UH-60 Blackhawk. Soon after, he was deployed to Herat, Afghanistan, where he was a platoon leader and MEDEVAC pilot. Since returning home, he worked for Granite Construction and pursued his dream to become an educator at WNC. In addition, Harrison serves as the Company XO for the C Co 1-168 MEDEVAC unit based in Reno. “I look forward to a long life at WNC, flooding the community and country with qualified and confident construction managers,” he said.

• Susan Kirsnis, Security Officer: Kirsnis recently moved to Northern Nevada from California. She has been a Code Enforcement Officer for the past 16 years, first working at Paso Robles Police Department, where she helped develop the program and then working for the city of Corona as a senior officer. Kirsnis has been training and showing dogs since she was 11, and has enjoyed being around horses for as long she can remember. She has two grown daughters and four grandchildren. “I am so happy to be a part of the public safety team here at WNC,” she said.

• Lilly Leon-Vicks, Coordinator of Student Life: Last fall, Leon-Vicks began her new role promoting the intellectual, cultural, personal and social development of WNC students through high-quality student life programs, training and events. Before coming to WNC, Leon-Vicks held a similar post at Millersville University in Millersville, Penn., and has worked at Eastern Connecticut State University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and National Louis University, filling a variety of education roles.

• Mark Lobsinger, Career and Technical Education/College Credit Coordinator: Lobsinger grew up on a ranch in Newkirk, Okla., then played slot receiver for the University of Oklahoma football team. After Oklahoma dropped its landscape/architecture degree program, Lobsinger transferred to rival Oklahoma State University, where he focused on his education. Lobsinger worked for construction, engineering and architecture/landscaping firms in Miami, Fla., and Dallas. Moving to Northern Nevada nearly a decade ago, he worked in Reno and Minden until becoming an architectural design and drafting teacher at Carson High School in 2014. As WNC’s CTE College Credit Coordinator, he’ll guide students into the CTE program and toward jobs and opportunities.

• Piper McCarthy, Interim Director of Counseling Services: McCarthy counseled students at Fernley High School for nine years following her higher education at Whitworth and Eastern Washington universities. She wants students at WNC to be aware of the counseling services available to them, including academic counseling, career exploration and emotional counseling.

• Cindy Pitlock, Nursing Instructor: Pitlock is WNC’s new Maternal/Child Nursing instructor. She enjoys teaching students at all levels, from undergraduate through medical residency. Pitlock received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice and Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from the University of Nevada, Reno. She also holds a post Master’s Degree in Midwifery, and a Master’s Degree in Perinatal/Women’s Health from the State University of New York-Stony Brook. She remains active in her clinical practice as a Certified Nurse-Midwife at Renown Medical Center, providing clinical care, intrapartum care, postpartum care and first-assist for cesarean sections. Her research interests include health care issues for underserved populations, sexual abuse as it relates to the birth experience and lateral violence/communication issues in nursing. In her spare time, she enjoys carving a few strokes off of her golf game, kayaking, hiking and playing with her Bullmastiffs.

• Alejandro Quintero Gonzalez, Custodial Worker: Gonzalez is lso working as a cook at the Carson Nugget. Previously, he has been employed at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, Sharkey’s Casino, Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego and Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego.

• Jessica Rowe, English Instructor: Originally from Idaho, Rowe earned her associate degree in Fine Arts: Illustration at a small, private college before studying Art and Spanish at the University of Idaho. After receiving a Rotary Cultural Experience scholarship to study in Spain, she returned and worked for a year at Idaho as an AmeriCorps volunteer, performing career advising and professional writing workshops. She went on to join the college’s writing center and pursued her master’s degree in English, teaching English as a second language. She taught for two years at Idaho as a grad student TA, then began work at the Intensive American Language Center at Washington State University, teaching Reading and Composition, Creative Writing, American Culture, Conversation, etc. Toward the end of her master’s degree program, Rowe won a Fulbright scholarship to study and teach in Romania, living there for a year and teaching Literature, Pedagogy, Writing/Creative Writing and American Culture courses at three different universities and providing academic advising for qualified Romanian students who wished to study in the U.S. In 2007, she returned to the U.S. and graduated from the University of Idaho. She taught for another term in the IALC at WSU before moving to Nevada, where she began teaching at WNC and Truckee Meadows Community College. For the past three years, Rowe worked in the Mineral County School District as the GEAR UP Coordinator, helping students with college readiness and academic preparedness. Last year, Rowe taught in the first cohort of Jump Start students at Yerington High School and was impressed by the quality and enthusiasm of her students and colleagues. “I am loving teaching here at the Fallon campus again, and my students are a pleasure to have in class,” she said.

• Alex Segura-Garcia, Jump Start Coordinator: An early introduction to the Dean’s Future Scholars program at the University of Nevada, Reno shaped his career. The academic outreach program focused on increasing the number of low-income, first-generation high school graduates and college enrollees. It transformed Segura-Garcia’s life as he earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at UNR and became employed by the very same program that targeted him as a youngster. After working for three years as a DFS student mentor for high school and middle school students, Segura-Garcia became the coordinator for the program. As WNC’s new Jump Start Coordinator, he wants to reach out to help students in Northern Nevada become aware and plan for the Jump Start College. In 2016, Segura-Garcia plans to complete his master’s degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in higher education. Away from the office, Segura-Garcia enjoys lifting weights and cardio workouts.

• Greg Sly, TAACCCT Grant Project Manager (rounds 1 and 3): Sly and his family have resided in Carson City since 1996. He graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice. Previously, Sly was a law enforcement officer in the Air Force and California Highway Patrol before completing a career as a probation officer. He retired as chief probation officer from El Dorado County in 2013. Following his retirement, Sly became involved at Western Nevada College, assisting students as they prepare for the workforce. As a Grant Project Manager at WNC, Sly supports the career/technology programs, including Auto, Welding, Machine Tool Technology, CISCO, Industrial Technology and Certified Nursing Assistants.

• James Smith, Mathematics Instructor: After growing up in Wanship, Utah, Smith attended the University of Utah, graduating in 2007 with bachelor degrees in Anthropology and Philosophy and minors in History and Mathematics. He then attended Virginia Tech, earning a Master of Arts in Philosophy. While he was a philosophy graduate student, Smith became more interested in the history and practice of mathematics. This led him to the University of Nevada, Reno, where he wrote a thesis on the history of math en route to earning a Master of Science degree in Mathematics. Since graduating from UNR in 2012, Smith has been teaching Math and Philosophy at UNR and Math at Truckee Meadows Community College. “I am excited about the opportunity I now have to bring my teaching experience and knowledge of mathematics to the classrooms at WNC,” he said.

• Wendy Tierney, Personnel Technician: Tierney started at WNC as a student in 2012 and became a student worker for the Veteran Certifying Official. She served in the Army for 6½ years. At WNC, Tierney learned how much she enjoyed the college environment, working with students, faculty members and staff. She graduated from WNC with an Associate of Arts degree in 2014 and began working at the Douglas campus before coming to the Carson City campus to help in the Career and Technical Education Department. Last October, she transitioned to the Human Resources Department.

• Georgia White, Director of Career and Technical Education: White holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Arizona State University. She most recently served as the Dean of Professional and Technical Education at Central Arizona College. White has also worked at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, where she chaired the Marketing and Management Departments and was an associate professor. Her resume also includes working as the associate director of the MBA program at Brigham Young University and as an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Nevada, Reno.

• Eric York, Mathematics Instructor: York has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Oregon University and a Master of Science degree from New Mexico State University. He previously taught full-time lower division Mathematics and Statistics classes at Southern Oregon University (1996-99) as well as served in an adjunct capacity at Rogue Community College in Oregon (1998-99). York also taught lower division Mathematics, Statistics and Physics classes at Colorado Technical University as an adjunct professor in 1999 and 2001-02. His most recent work experience, from 2000 to 2014, was serving in various roles in the semiconductor industry in Colorado and France at Atmel and LFoundry, including process engineer, data analysis/device engineer, project coordinator, operations quality manager and production manager. He returns to his first love" teaching" with enthusiasm and is excited to be part of the WNC team.

For additional information, please contact:
WNC Information and Marketing Services
2201 W. College Parkway
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: 775-445-3234
Fax: 775-445-3198
E-mail: info_desk@wnc.edu

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