Nevada State College will forever be in my memories. I remember when I first walked into the makeshift college in the summer of 2005. I was there for an orientation, an event that is required of new students. When I first saw what was originally a vitamin factory, questions began popping into my mind. Was this it? Was this small building the college? I remember how small the building was. It consisted of six classrooms, two labs, and an open space that was termed the Great Hall. While the building wasn’t much to look at, the staff I met during the orientation was very helpful in answering questions about the services that were offered and how we had to get through the registration and financial aid process.
On August 29, 2005 (the day infamous Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana) I started my first day at Nevada State College as an Environmental Science major. I remember meeting the professors that were teaching my very first classes. My English 101 professor was very engaging and made the new college experience easier to handle. My biology professor was also quite engaging and challenged the mind. Even though the space at the college was limited, I was very pleased with the faculty that the school acquired.
The second semester (spring of 2006) turned out to be just as good as the first semester. I had the same biology professor and the professor who taught my Precalculus and Trig class turned out to be a great asset to the college. She made math engaging and gave help to the students whenever it was needed.
By the fall of 2006, things really started to take off. The former vitamin factory in which the college was housed in was revamped a great deal. I remember the campus bookstore had been rather pathetic looking. It was plain and there were many times when certain needed materials hadn’t been available. This had begun to change, however, as the bookstore went through a tremendous overhaul. They decorated it, purchased all kinds of new merchandise, and made the book purchasing process a lot easier. At the same time, the library at the school was enlarged and more brand new computers were purchased. This was also the time that I took one of my favorite classes up to this point, a class that was taught by a very engaging, thorough, and passionate professor. This class was Geology 101, and the professor who was teaching it has been a Geologist for many years. His name is Dr. Ed Price, PhD. He is the Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at the College. For the next 2 years, he would be my faculty advisor and I would take a number of classes that he taught.
From the spring of 2007 to the spring of 2009, I took the majority of my Environmental Science major requirements, many of which were taught by Dr. Price. These classes included Intro to Environmental Science, Soils, Regional and Global Issues in the Environment, Intro to Meteorology, Hydrology, Special Topics, and Ecology. Dr. Price as well as a number of other faculty has put so much work into the Environmental Science Program at Nevada State College. He goes above and beyond the call of duty to help students when they need it. Every class I took was interesting. When one hears the word Soils, they may not think it is all that interesting. Well, somehow someway Dr. Price made it interesting which prevented the class from falling asleep.
The last two semesters of my college career were perhaps the most fulfilling, engaging, and exciting of any of the others. It was at this point, in August 2008, that a brand new Liberal Arts and Sciences building was constructed just a short distance away from the old building. It has spacious meeting areas, four spectacular labs, and six spacious classrooms. I took a Physics Class with Dr. Sandip Thanki which turned out to be a wonderful experience. I will admit that I was scared to death of that class at first, but he made it a great learning experience. Also, this would be a time when I would be getting real world experience in a research project that involved me and several other Environmental Science majors. We were given the chance to study new springs which had emerged near the Las Vegas Wash just downstream of Lake Las Vegas in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. We got to use state of the art equipment to study the springs, including a tree corer and a pH, conductivity, and temperature meter. Over the course of four months, we took measurements of the water properties and even got to use a Parshall flume (a device used to measure flow rates). During the time we studied the springs, we also had a chance to learn about the geology of the area. This was a truly wonderful experience because I had the chance to do it with people who had the same interests as I did and I got some valuable experience in the process.
My last semester turned out to be very rewarding as well. I took a number of classes, two of which were very interesting. I took an independent study class which was an extension of research on the previous semester’s research experience. I had the opportunity of running water samples through a High Powered Liquid Chromatography machine. I also took an Undergraduate Seminar class with Dr. Robin Herlands who specializes in Genetics. I had the chance to work with lab equipment that not every college has the fortune of obtaining. I learned how to use a plate reader and a PCR machine. At the end of the semester, me and two other students presented our results to Dr. Kuniyuki, Associate Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Dr. Sandip Thanki, who is Physical Sciences Chairperson. The machines performed wonderfully.
The Environmental Science program at Nevada State College provides a wonderful educational experience. In addition to all of the engaging and personable professors, real world experience is thrown into the mix of things, something that is very important in today’s society. I would recommend that anyone who is interested in the environment and environmental issues enroll in the Environmental Science program. In addition, the Biology course offerings are also worthwhile. I do believe that Nevada State College has a bright future.
In all truth, Nevada State College is still in its infancy; however, it has really taken off over the last few years. In the four years I spent there, I watched things evolve before my eyes. The school really does have a great array of programs that prepare students for future careers and the school has an extremely highly qualified faculty. Also, the college has a brand new permanent structure that cements Nevada State College as a force to be reckoned with. I look back and realize that I am proud that I got to be a part of a blooming college.