Newsletter | Vol. 21

About our College

A founding college of the University, we have a long tradition of excellence in teaching, research and engagement programs that benefit the health and economic vitality of Nevada. We offer programs in:

  • agriculture, horticulture, rangeland & veterinary sciences
  • biochemistry & molecular biology
  • children, youth & families
  • community & economic development
  • health & nutrition
  • natural resources & environmental science
 

Celebrating the Class of 2020

Graduates can experience virtual celebration and select from two in-person commencement ceremonies

University of Nevada, Reno

Three smiling graduates in decorated caps and gowns celebrating at commencementSpring 2020 graduates will have the choice to celebrate their achievements coinciding with, but separate from, either the December 2020 graduation ceremonies or spring 2021 ceremonies. The level of interest by graduates in which ceremony they choose will help us determine the details of planning a memorable in-person experience for you and your family.

Dear Spring 2020 Graduates and Families,

You have been looking forward to a great celebration of your achievements for several years. Commencement is the highlight of our year, too. Cancelling it was a difficult decision to make, but it was your health and the health of your loved ones that were the driving force in making our decision. Nevertheless, you deserve to have a unique time to share the joy of your achievement and the bonds of this trying experience. 

You will have the choice to celebrate your achievements coinciding with, but separate from, either the December 2020 graduation ceremonies or spring 2021 ceremonies. Your feedback will help us determine the details of planning a memorable in-person experience for you. Please complete the Preliminary Spring 2020 Commencement Survey

Until we can come together for commencement, we would like to celebrate your achievements with an online graduation celebration that you can share with your friends and family. To join in the celebration, submit up to four photos and a personal message by May 6, 2020, for your celebration page on the Class of 2020 website.

We hope you are well and staying safe, and we look forward to honoring you online and in person.

You deserve a unique time to share the joy of your achievement

We'd like to celebrate your achievements with an online graduation celebration that you can share with your friends and family. We recognize this kind of celebration isn't what you'd prefer, but it will provide recognition for you and your hard work until we can come together for commencement.

 

Extension offers weekly online town halls and webinars to help small businesses

Discussions aim to help small businesses connect, pivot and adapt amid COVID-19

Claudene Wharton

Businesswoman presenting at an Extension business development eventIn lieu of in-person events for small businesses, such as this, Extension is now offering virtual town halls and webinars for small businesses to help them through the COVID-19 crisis. Photo by Donna Morell.

Besides needing funds available for small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, small-business owners need additional support and guidance, as well as opportunities to talk with other small-business owners. University of Nevada, Reno Extension is offering virtual question-and-answer “Coping With COVID-19 Town Halls” for small businesses every Wednesday, and webinars on specific topics for small businesses every Friday. The town halls and the webinars will be offered in Spanish and English and are aimed at helping small businesses “pivot and adapt” during this challenging time.

Both the town halls and the webinars usually run about an hour.

During the town halls, there is usually a short presentation on a given topic or a preview of the Friday webinar during the first 10 minutes. Then, the participants network with one another and drive the discussion, with a panel of professionals and educators helping them troubleshoot challenges they are encountering. The Friday webinars provide information on specific topics to help businesses plan strategically, adapt and succeed.

“Ultimately, our goal is that when things begin to return to normal, our state’s small businesses will be even stronger.”

-Buddy Borden, economic development specialist

 

Extension honors 4-H leaders during National Volunteer Week

Appreciation campaign features volunteers who make a difference in the lives of Nevada's youth

Nevada 4-H

Matt McKinney with an FFA'er and her goat

Bill & Mayra Zielinski | Extension, Clark County 4-H

Bill and Mayra have been a part of 4-H for over 10 years. They oversee the Boulder City 4-H Club. Their love for the youth and the program overflows. They take the youth under their wing and help them develop lifelong skills in cooking, sewing, robotics and much more. They are wonderful role models, and we wish we could duplicate them.

Debbie Meldrum

Debbie Meldrum | Extension, Lincoln County 4-H

Debbie has been a volunteer livestock leader in Alamo for over 15 years. She helps 4-H youth with all large animals, including steer, goats and swine. She has learned a lot from her experiences with her own children as well as with her 4-H youth, and she shares that knowledge with others.

Dusty Domina in sunglasses, cap and hi-viz vest, sitting in the cab of a piece of heavy equipment

Dusty Domina | Extension, Nye County 4-H

Dusty has been a shooting sports instructor in Pahrump for three years. He imparts good sportsmanship, ensures safety, pursues funding for our program and more. Club Member Abby said, “Dusty is an amazing leader... The time he invests in all of us is priceless and something I’ll never forget.”

Elizabeth Combs in a greenhouse, smiling and wearing a black ballcap

Elizabeth Combs | Extension, Clark County 4-H

Elizabeth has been a volunteer for over seven years. She leads the Silver State Wranglers and has helped the rural and urban communities to collaborate on projects from livestock to robotics, all designed to help youth. She always has a positive plan, and always keeps the youth as the center.

Jason Riendeau in an Awkward Silence 4-H Club shirt looks on as his club competes in a robotics competition

Jason Riendeau | Extension, Nye County 4-H

Jason has been a lead coach for our 4-H FIRST Tech Challenge competitive robotics team for two years. Jason is approachable, knowledgeable and creative. He drives the team to competitions, ensures they fund the season and outfits them. Team Member Elise said, "Jason has been an amazing coach... building us up into better people, and helping us with problem solving.

Laurie Tully in a Nye County 4-H shirt and working with a dog

Laurie Tully | Extension, Nye County 4-H

Laurie Tully is the Dog Den 4-H Club leader in Pahrump. She's creative, enthusiastic and hardworking. Club Member Alaina said, "Miss Laurie has changed my life... Without her I wouldn't have something to look forward to every week or been able to give my dog proper training."

Lisa Remington in a Nye County 4-H shirt, holding a dog and a sign that says 'Together'

Lisa Remington | Extension, Nye County 4-H

Lisa has led youth in gardening, entomology, fitness and Canine Club. An active leader for several years, she always pitches in, from securing donations to leading classes, even working as interim 4-H coordinator! Lisa has brought a wealth of knowledge to our programming, and we appreciate all she has done to see us through leaner times. She's made our community a better place.

Nita Vick sitting on a hale bale under her 30-year 4-H leader banner

Nita Vick | Extension, Douglas County 4-H

Nita, Carson Valley Shepherds Sheep 4-H Club leader, is celebrating over 30 years as a volunteer leader! She's taught over 300 youth, enough to fill an elementary school. Her youth learn responsibility, accountability, teamwork, civic engagement, how to raise livestock and navigate the industry, and more.

Matt McKinney with an FFA'er and her goat

Matt McKinney | Extension, Douglas County 4-H

Matt is the Carson Valley Goat Project leader. He's volunteered with 4-H for over 14 years. He's served as a livestock judge and as president of the Leaders' Council, and he helped to pioneer the county's Shooting Sports and Cloverbud Projects. He's been instrumental in many county and state events.

Mindi Mulcahey in the 4-H office holding two baby chicks

Mindi Mulcahey | Extension, Nye County 4-H

Mindi has been a volunteer leader for four years. She's served as small-animal livestock leader and has taught youth about reptiles, career readiness, woodworking and more. 4-H'er Garrette said, “Since the first day I met her she has been kind and cheerful to everyone... She is always ready to work and help whenever she can.”

Mr. Holliday

Mr. Holliday | Extension, Clark County 4-H

Mr. Holliday is a new 4-H volunteer in our A.D. Guy Knowledge Center. Although new, he has made a huge impact in our ability to serve the families of our community. He's a true example of a community advocate and volunteer, and he and his donations of funds and time are instrumental to our programs.

Rich Knight cutting fabric

Rich Knight | Extension, Carson City & Storey County 4-H

Rich has volunteered with 4-H for over 20 years in a variety of roles. He serves on the 4-H Shooting Sports Advisory Board, the 4-H Camp Advisory Board and the Carson City/Storey County 4-H Council. He is an inspiration to both 4-H youth and to his fellow volunteer leaders.

Robin Flinchum wearing sunglasses and a brightly colored sweater, sitting on the ground, arms around her knees

Robin Flinchum | Extension, Nye County 4-H

Robin, Community and Creative Writing Clubs leader and Leaders' Council president, has been with 4-H for over four years. She ignites in youth a love of history and writing. 4-H'er Mikayla said, "Robin is a great leader in 4-H who inspires the best in the kids she works with."

Susan Dreyfus, wearing a brightly colored Fast N Furriest 4-H shirt and holding a rabbit

Susan Dreyfus | Extension, Clark County 4-H

Susan was Nevada 4-H's  Volunteer of the Year for 2019. She's been a rabbit and horse leader for over five years, and she's starting a Junior Master Gardener 4-H Club.  Susan is kind, encouraging, and an example of selfless leadership and positive youth development.

Tom Crowley with a 4-H'er who is holding her medals and ribbons

Tom Crowley | Extension, Douglas County 4-H

Tom, Douglas County 4-H Shooting Sports Project leader, has over five years as a volunteer. He has served as a 4-H Camp counselor and helped to organize state and county events. Under Tom's guidance, over 500 youth have learned safety, marksmanship, excellence and teamwork.

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills

Members learn life skills, make new friends, enhance self-esteem, achieve personal goals, develop positive relationships with peers and volunteers, and have fun learning and sharing as a family and a club

 

Meeting COVID-19 challenges: Understand dates on food labels before discarding

With some items becoming harder to come by, University of Nevada, Reno nutritionist offers clarification

Stan Omaye

Amid COVID-19, many people are stocking up on various items, including food. Yet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that as much as 30 percent of the food supply is lost or wasted after it reaches stores or homes. Frequently, this is due to consumers disposing of food because of “the date” that appears on it.

However, the dates placed on food items differ significantly in meaning. Labels such as “best if used by,” “sell by,” “use by” and “freeze by” are all dates determined by food manufacturers. These labels are the manufacturers’ best guess as to when there is a loss in food quality, and do not indicate a loss in food safety. Rather, such labels indicate how long a food maker will warranty their product to still be at peak quality for enjoyment.

So, how do you know how long you can keep and consume various foods, depending upon how they are labeled? It can be confusing, but here is some general guidance.

eggsEggs should be stored in the carton on a refrigerator shelf, not in the refrigerator door. Photo by Claudene Wharton.

Nutrition knowledge brings clarity during coronavirus

With health and nutrition claims flourishing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we provide science-based information to help you find the truth

 

STEAM coordinator advocates for student success and workforce readiness

Sarah Monique Somma joins Extension to develop STEAM curriculum for underrepresented students

Hannah Alfaro

Sarah Monique Somma has joined the University of Nevada, Reno Extension as Clark County’s 4-H STEAM coordinator.

As the STEAM coordinator, Somma is working with the Clark County 4-H Program to create curriculum to educate students in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) topics and help them develop workforce skills, including communication, creativity and collaboration. Her primary goal is to offer these services to under-represented populations who may otherwise be lacking in such educational opportunities.

One of the lessons created by Somma, called “Got Bars?,” incorporates skill development in music and technology. Using open source computer applications such as the GarageBand music creation studio, students must work together to research the properties of matter, then compose original songs that can teach the subject to other students. The concept stemmed from the ABC song, which uses a catchy tune to teach kids a basic lesson. By doing this exercise, students use art as a medium for learning, researching and teaching complicated concepts in chemistry.

Sarah Monique SommaClark County 4-H STEAM Coordinator Sarah Monique Somma will be working to integrate new STEAM curriculum in classes across Clark County. Photo by Nora Luna, Extension.

“She brings a diverse background working with youth, and they will benefit from her experience and enthusiasm. She is delivering 4-H online STEM to youth during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

- Eric Killian, Extension southern area director

Growing a stronger Nevada

Our programs work together to make an impact

Our teaching, research and engagement programs are intertwined and complement one another. Faculty who teach on campus also conduct research as part of the Experiment Station, allowing students to learn about and participate in research. Extension faculty engaging with communities identify research needs, as well as join Experiment Station faculty to conduct research. Faculty on campus help to develop Extension programs in communities.

Researching critical issues Experiment Station faculty conduct research at experiment stations, labs and research facilities across the state, as well as teach classes and share and conduct research with students. The state-federal partnership tackles issues affecting Nevada's citizens, communities and economy.
student researcher with plants in greenhouse
Teaching University students We offer 17 undergraduate and graduate degrees to prepare students for high-paying, in-demand careers in agriculture, rangeland & veterinary sciences; biochemistry & molecular biology; natural resources & environmental science; and nutrition.
students taking notes in the field
Engaging Nevada communities Extension is engaged in Nevada communities, presenting research-based knowledge to address critical community needs. The county-state-federal partnership provides practical education to people, businesses and communities, fulfilling the University's land-grant mission.
parents with children

Want to help grow Nevada?

Consider making a contribution in support of classroom, lab or office space; graduate assistantships; student scholarships; or upgrades to the Nevada 4-H Camp. To learn more, please contact Mitch Klaich '02, director of development, at 775-682-6490.