The six appointments collectively combined for 135-plus years of service to WNC and its students during their employment at the higher institution of learning.
Receiving emeritus status are Darla Dodge, budget officer and chief financial officer; Edda Gibson, nursing instructor; Dianne Hilliard, Admissions and Records director and registrar; Dr. Robert Morin, political science professor; Lupe Ramirez, Latino Leadership Academy creator and coordinator; and Troy Tingle, project manager for the Digital Campus Technology Media Group.
“We are so pleased that there is a way to truly acknowledge and appreciate what these six individuals have done for Western Nevada College over the years,” WNC Foundation Executive Director Niki Gladys said. “Their outstanding and extensive careers have made such a significant difference at this institution, and we are delighted that they can retire with this honor and recognition.”
To receive consideration for an emeritus status appointment, appointees must have served as an academic or administrative faculty member for at least 10 years and have a distinguished history of service to the college.
Dodge began working at WNC in 2001 as an administrative assistant in the Child Development Center, then became a key figure in the college’s budgeting and finances throughout the next two decades on campus. By 2002, she was the executive assistant for the Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services, a fiscal analyst in 2010 and budget director in 2011. While she maintained her role as Budget Director, she accepted the interim VP of Finance and Administrative Services role in 2017, interim chief financial officer in 2019 while providing long-term leadership and supervision of the Child Development Center and Bookstore. She is currently serving as a part-time instructor in Management courses.
Gibson helped WNC’s nursing program become one of the state’s best, as well as the Best in the West, as a professor and instructor since 2004. She recently delivered the keynote address at the Nursing and Allied Health’s Pinning Ceremony.
The longest-serving of this year’s emeritus appointments is Hilliard, who started at WNC in 1987. She capped her career bringing students into the college as Admissions and Records director and registrar. She also was instrumental in making the college’s commencement ceremonies so successful.
Earlier in her WNC career, Hilliard oversaw student government, served as a counselor and was once the interim dean of Student Services.
The late Dr. Morin began teaching at WNC in 2003 and quickly became an important and popular professor on campus. During his 18-year tenure at WNC he contributed in many ways beyond teaching. He served as coach, mentor and guide to many at this college. He was a tireless and fierce advocate for all things WNC.
Because of his commitment to students, he was twice voted Teacher/Instructor of the Year (2006 and 2018). But Dr. Morin meant much more to WNC and the college community. He was quick-witted, laughed often and cared deeply about his colleagues. The WNC family lost this outstanding educator when he died last August.
Without the efforts of Ramirez, many first-generation Latino students wouldn’t have overcome their higher education barriers to achieve associate degrees, bachelor degrees and better-paying professional jobs in the workforce.
Presented with improving WNC’s college graduation rate for the area’s Latino population in 2010, Ramirez helped create the Latino Cohort, which later became the Latino Leadership Academy. The program eases students’ transition from high school to college by helping them overcome cultural obstacles while making them more successful students.
In 2018, Ramirez was selected as the Nevada ACT College and Career Readiness Postsecondary Champion, which celebrates individuals who make a positive impact on their communities through their efforts to advance college and career readiness. Two years earlier, WNC selected Ramirez as the Administrative Faculty of the Year Award winner. She now serves as a trustee for K-12 students in the Carson City School District.
Tingle dedicated more than 12 years to the college, serving in technology and digital job capacities. He started as Media Services coordinator in 2009 and later became the Instructional Technology manger and finally the project manager for the Digital Campus and Technology group. He was profiled by Quest Technology Management for the work that he and the college did in upgrading classroom technology.
Emeritus appointees are considered to have lifetime status as WNC employees. Emeritus recipients, their spouses and financially dependent children are eligible for grant-in-aid privileges. They are also eligible to participate in certain departmental and college events, including WNC commencement, as well as receive other employee-related perks.
WNC ASL Instructor recognized as Community Hero
Bringing American Sign Language instruction and communication to rural Nevada has made Western Nevada College Instructor Margaret Craig a hero to many people in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.
That heroism is being recognized by Greater Nevada Credit Union through its Community Heroes program.
“I feel blessed and inspired to be part of this amazing language and the most resilient group of people I have ever met, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community,” Craig said.
Craig will be recognized July 22 at the Reno Aces-El Paso Chihuahua baseball game at Greater Nevada Field in Reno. She will receive four tickets to the game, a jersey and in-game recognition.
This summer, GNCU is celebrating incredible local heroes who support Northern Nevada communities working in education, first response, law enforcement, healthcare and the military.
“She’s a powerhouse in preparing classes, the conversion to online, her workload and her individual work with students,” said WNC Professional and Applied Technology Director Georgia White. “Teaching ASL through distance education provides rural communities access to language instruction and the ability to communicate with members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.”
Craig achieved her Associate degree in Deaf Studies at WNC before going on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She worked for 20 years as an educational interpreter in Deaf and Hard of Hearing programs in Carson City and Douglas County. She started her employment at WNC in 2011 and discovered her professional niche writing online ASL classes.
“Because of my love for the language and Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, I wanted to be able to reach all of the students who for various reasons could not come to the college to study in person,” Craig said. “Now, and because of the support of WNC, our ASL online classes reach students in rural areas, parents and grandparents with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, single parents, teachers, speech pathologists, high school students, nonverbal, autistic and homebound students.”
Lakisha Taylor, adult education program student, recently won a gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the USA Special Olympics Games in Orlando, Fla.
“Her gold medal win for the 100-meter dash at the 2022 Special Olympics in Orlando is a result of her dedicated and fierce spirit,” said ACCEL Director and HSE Chief Examiner Angela Andrade-Holt. “Way to go, Lakisha! We are so proud of you!”
Lakisha is enrolled in High School Equivalency preparation classes in the ACCEL College and Career Readiness program at WNC. She is preparing to become a preschool teacher.
“She loves children and she is a great role model for perseverance and self-advocacy,” Andrade-Holt said. “We applaud her for her successes both inside and outside of the classroom.”
For more information about WNC’S adult education program, phone 775-445-4452 or email [email protected]nc.edu.
Benefit by Registering Early for the Fall 2022 Semester
Don’t let the sunny warm days obstruct your vision for the future.
Plan early for your Fall 2022 semester at Western Nevada College, which begins on Monday, Aug. 29.
Register as soon as possible to avoid the stress of late registration and the unavailability of classes that you want. In-person and online classes give students the flexibility to create a schedule that meets their needs on and off campus.
For students who are unable to start classes at the end of August, WNC offers instructional modes that will meet their needs. More than 20 available courses are classified as open entry, meaning students can enroll as late as the ninth week of the semester to complete the course and receive full credit. WNC also offers short-term and late-start classes — many of which begin Oct. 24.
Find a schedule of classes online at wnc.edu/class-schedule/ to assist you in planning for fall semester.
Among the popular career programs WNC currently offers are American Sign Language, Welding, Nursing, Organization and Project Management, Fire Science, HVAC, Manufacturing, IT, Psychology, Geology, Education, and more. To learn more about WNC’s academic programs and degree requirements, see the Academic Program Guide at wnc.edu/catalog/.
If you are planning to attend WNC for the first time, apply for admission at www.wnc.edu/starthere/. Continuing students can register for classes through their myWNC account.
For more information on applying to Western, phone Admissions and Records at 775-445-3277 or email [email protected] To receive guidance on a career or scheduling, contact Counseling Services at 775-445-3267 or [email protected]