Three members of the faculty and staff at the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe have been honored with University-wide awards this spring. Senior Vice Provost Jill Heaton received the Distinguished Service Award, Montana Hodges in the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering received the Foundation Outstanding Letter of Appointment Teaching Award and Cheyenne Magpantay received the Foundation Classified Employee of the Year award. All three have contributed to the ongoing transition at the Lake Tahoe Wayne L. Prim Campus, expanding the University’s impact.
Jill Heaton, Distinguished Service Award
"In her role at the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe, Dr. Heaton has provided invaluable leadership and was a tremendous resource to the newest members of the Wolf Pack family."
Heaton has a distinguished career of leading within the Department of Geography as a faculty member and department chair, as the vice provost for faculty affairs, and currently as senior vice provost of the University.
Heaton served as Sierra Nevada University’s executive vice president and provost during the acquisition year (2021-2022), helping guide the transition and development of the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe.
“Dr. Heaton leads through her actions, and her consistent and remarkable achievements have elevated this University since she joined us in 2004,” University President Brian Sandoval said. “In her role at the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe, Dr. Heaton has provided invaluable leadership and was a tremendous resource to the newest members of the Wolf Pack family.”
Serving as a bridge between Reno and Lake Tahoe, Heaton led discussions with faculty, staff and students, and hosted several sessions for faculty and staff to learn about the new University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe Wayne L. Prim campus. During the transition, Heaton lived at the Wayne L. Prim campus to better connect with the faculty, staff and Incline Village communities.
“Our focus has been on the success of the students, the success of the employee transition and the success of the institution,” Heaton said in an interview earlier this year about the transition. “We are so humbled that we were entrusted to lead through this transitional time and we are proud to continue in roles that will see all through into new opportunities. No matter the challenge or the ask, our view has always been something more than a job.”
Heaton joined the University in 2004 and continues to serve as senior vice provost of the University supporting the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe.
Montana Hodges, Outstanding Letter of Appointment Teaching Award
"In bringing her teaching expertise to the Lake, Dr. Hodges is sure to make learning in this spectacular environment an exceptional experience for her students."
Montana Hodges instructs one to two non-major courses each semester in the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering. Hodges utilizes hands-on and interactive methodologies along with real-world examples that engage students in the curricula and bring the course concepts and applications into students’ lives. Lesson plans are adjusted to increase engagement, reach more students and foster a positive learning environment. Hodges will continue to instruct at the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe for the Fall 2023 Semester at Lake Tahoe, exemplifying a commitment to her students.
“Lake Tahoe is a unique and beautiful place from any perspective, but absolutely from that of a geoscientist,” Paula Noble, chair of the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering said. “In bringing her teaching expertise to the Lake, Dr. Hodges is sure to make learning in this spectacular environment an exceptional experience for her students. Dr. Hodges has been a welcome addition to the teaching faculty in the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering. I’m thrilled she was honored with this award.”
In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Hodges is working with two faculty on a National Science Foundation GEOPATHS proposal, providing funding to teach dual high school/college department courses for the Dean's Future Scholars Program.
Cheyenne Magpantay, Foundation Classified Employee of the Year award
Cheyenne Magpantay serves as the executive assistant to Senior Vice Provost Jill Heaton. Magpantay served in this role during the acquisition of Sierra Nevada University and the transition to the University of Nevada, Reno. She received an enthusiastic nomination from Anza Jarschke, the MFA Low-Residency program coordinator at the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe. As a faculty member originally with Sierra Nevada University, Jarschke praised Magpantay for her support, quick action on challenging issues, and dedication to the success of the transition.
"Cheyenne takes on responsibilities like the rest of us snack, starting with a tiny piece and returning for more."
“If you take a glance at Cheyenne’s responsibilities, you know she goes above and beyond the scope of executive assistant,” Jarschke said. “She approaches all obstacles with a dedication to figuring out how to overcome them. Cheyenne takes on responsibilities like the rest of us snack, starting with a tiny piece and returning for more.”
Magpantay was also nominated by the Office of Diversity and Inclusions for her time serving in a previous role as executive assistant to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion officer.
“When I think about her tenure at the University and all the people she’s worked with, both closely and in passing, I can’t help but imagine how great the scope of her impact has been and how it will only continue to grow,” Angela Moore, program development specialist in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Magpantay’s second nominator, said.
A growing campus
The Wayne L. Prim Campus at Lake Tahoe is hosting a wide range of events over the summer and the University is also preparing for the Semester at Tahoe in Fall 2023. With plenty of growth ahead, the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe is grateful for the work of all faculty and staff. Congratulations to those who have been honored this year.