Introducing Our 2018-19 Rodman Scholars

The Department of Early Childhood, Multilingual and Special Education (EMS) in the College of Education is proud to introduce its fourth cohort of Rodman Scholars—Lyannet Alvarez, Carrie Fierro, George Carmona, Dyanna Dougherty, Jamie Felipe, Elizabeth Gloeckner, Jeffrey Long, Kristen Morris, Tiosha Moore, Nora Pantaleon, Michele Rideout and Jessica Wood.

Thanks to a generous endowment ($12.9 million) from the late Kitty Rodman, these exceptional future educators will each be enabled to pursuing a career in special education. Read more about what inspired each of these students to answer the call to their chosen profession below.

“I want to be a special educator because I have patience, acceptance and enthusiasm. I am excited to join a group of teachers who go above and beyond for their students.”

—Lyannet Alvarez

“I have always been drawn to people with special needs—even when I was six years old. My first grade teacher told my mother how kind I was to the children with disabilities in my class. I want to be a special educator because I see this as my calling in life—I believe all children have the right to succeed.”

—Carrie Fierro

“My family has played a crucial role in my choice to become a special educator. Both my father and my uncle went through the UNLV Cohort program and are now phenomenal special educators. Growing up, I spend time in my father’s classroom interacting with students with learning disabilities. I got a sense of what these children experience in school and in their lives. My commitment to educate the next generation of individuals with disabilities continues to grow day by day.”

—George Carmona

“I have known I wanted to be a teacher since I taught my younger sister how to read before she started kindergarten. The look on her face when she finally realized that letters were connected with sounds was priceless. It is a truly amazing feeling when you encourage a struggling student to not give up and they experience that ‘I get it moment.’ I want to help every student exceed their goals.”

—Dyanna Dougherty

“I know that special education is the right path for me. I want to focus on the appropriate accommodations, assistive technology, curricula and instruction for students with disabilities. I believe that my experience as a student athlete at UNLV has taught me persistence and team work that will be invaluable as I work with students with disabilities to achieve their goals.”

—Jamie Felipe

“Since my first semester at the College of Southern Nevada, I have volunteered in special education classrooms and an equine therapy center. These experiences turned my interest in special education into a passion. I know that assisting students to achieve their individualized goals their progress in education will be worth it.”

—Elizabeth Gloeckner

“Being a Rodman Scholar provides me with the opportunity to work in special education, accomplish my goals, and have a career in a field about which I am very passionate. I want to be the positive and memorable teacher that my students will never forget—being a Rodman Scholar has set me on my way to being that educator.”

—Jeffery Long

“I believe that being a special educator is one of the most rewarding careers. It has been an aspiration of mine for many years now. Children with disabilities deserve to have as many people as possible cheering for them, and although I cannot help all children, as a special educator I will impact the ones with whom I work. Every student has the capacity to create and accomplish dreams.”

—Kristen Morris

“Teaching has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember.  At an early age, I knew that I wanted to work with children. As an adult, I came to further realize that children with special needs are not being pushed to their full potential because people see the disability first and not the person. I want to give voice and encouragement to children with disabilities.”

—Tiosha Moore

“I have had the passion to work with students with special needs since I was young. For the last 10 years, I have work in CCSD with students with multiple types of disabilities (e.g., ID, autism). I have worked hard to gain knowledge and experience that I believe I can bring to the lives and education of these children. I am excited to further my education and aspirations through the Rodman Scholar Cohort.”

—Nora Pantaleon

“I have always had a passion to teach special education. From my own life, I have a personal understanding of IEPs, successes, and frustrations of students with disabilities. I have the ability and desire to help children and youth with their specific needs. I always approach learning from the students’ perspective. I look forward to my future career in special education.”

—Michele Ridout

“The reality of working as a special educator came to me in my SPED observation class—it dawned on me, that this is what I was meant to be doing with my life. I felt comfortable, was told that I was a ‘natural teacher,’ and discovered where I belonged while working with two children in a classroom. I am excited to embark on my career as a special educator—this is where I belong.”

—Jessica Wood

Educational Policy & Leadership Program Information

Ready to meet your leadership potential?

The Educational Policy & Leadership programs at the UNLV College of Education prepare future school leaders and develop current leaders to meet the challenges they will face in Southern Nevada PK-12 schools in the 21st century. Using a systems approach to understanding leadership, the curriculum combines rigorous and relevant coursework with real-world experiential learning.

Designed to develop and strengthen educational leaders who understand the urban environment and the community in which schools exist, program participants receive a firm foundation of knowledge and skills in order to meet the demands and expectations of school administrators – all within a systems approach for transforming schools within an urban community.

Programs are grounded in the belief that PK-12 educational leaders must work alongside other community institutions, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, and business and industry, for the well-being of our community’s students and families. Twenty-first century urban education leaders must understand the full array of challenges and the interactive and systemic nature of the institutions and organizations they serve.

These programs also meet the requirements for Nevada School Administrator Endorsement and the Nevada Program Administrator Endorsement.

Ready to learn more? Find more information about each of our programs by using the buttons below:

BYOL with Dr. Michael Hansen, Brookings Senior Fellow in Governance Studies & Director of the Brown Center on Education Policy

Please join Brookings Mountain West and Abriendo Caminos/Opening Pathways for Students of Color into the Teaching Profession for a very special, though also very informal, lunch-time (BYOL (bring your own lunch) gathering with Dr. Michael Hansen, Brookings Senior Fellow in Governance Studies & Director of the Brown Center on Education Policy.

Thursday, October 11, 2018
12:30 at CEB 238 (see building and parking map)
Please RSVP here!

Dr. Michael Hansen is a senior fellow at Brookings Institution and the director of the Brown Center on Education Policy. A labor economist by training, he has conducted original research on the teacher quality, value-added measurement, teacher evaluation, and teacher responses to incentives and accountability using state longitudinal data systems. Other areas of research include school turnaround and STEM learning.
During the BYOL gathering Dr. Hansen will speak about Teacher Diversity and Achievement Gaps in Nevada: Nevada has one of the largest achievement gaps between racial/ethnic groups and socioeconomic groups, in addition to having one of the largest gaps in representation between the student population and teacher workforce. This lecture will discuss the emerging evidence between student and teacher matching on racial dimensions and the impact on a myriad of student outcomes, and discuss policy strategies that the state and districts can pursue to promote a more diverse teacher workforce to help mitigate these gaps.

This event is co-sponsored by:
Brookings Mountain West and Abriendo Caminos/Opening Pathways for Students of Color into the Teaching Profession
Abriendo Caminos/Opening Pathways is funded by the Nevada Department of Education (NDE), Great Teaching and Leading Fund (GTLF), Dr. Norma A. Marrun, PI

Social Justice Events with Dr. David Stovall

EquityMatterz Social Justice Dine & Dialogue

“We’ve Been Here Before: Educational Justice and the ‘not so new’ Political Moment”

Friday, September 28, 2018
6-8 p.m. at Dr. William U. Pearson Community Center

This is a public event, co-facilitated by local youth, and organized around topic focused on educational equity for Southern Nevada’s P-12 students. Community members (individual or group affiliated) working to develop youth leaders and/or interested in social change are encouraged to join  the  conversation. Light snacks served.

Please RSVP here. For more information please contact: Tonya Walls or 702-777-4753.

Youth Voices Rising

“You are Right Now:  Youth and the Necessity of Change”

Saturday, September 29 2018
10 a.m.-12 p.m. at CSN, Charleston Campus, Building B, Classroom 104

This is a youth-focused event, open to the public, especially members of educational/community-based entities that are meaningfully engaged with young people in our community.

For more information please contact: Christine Clark or 702-985-6979.

Professional Development

“Revolution is Another Name for ‘Life Fighting:’ Education and the Will to Teach Fearlessly”

Saturday, September 29, 2018
1-4 p.m. at UNLV, Hendrix Auditorium (HEA)

This event is primarily a CU-earning professional development offering for CCSD licensed personnel. For more information click here or e-mail:

If you are interested in attending this event and are unable to secure a spot through the CCSD Pathlore system, and/or if you are not a CCSD employee, please contact: Christine Clark or 702-985-6979.

Download the flyer with all events here.

Dr. David Omotoso Stovall is Professor of African-American Studies and Criminology, Law & Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His scholarship investigates three areas 1) Critical Race Theory, 2) the relationship between housing and education, and 3) the intersection of race, place and school. In the attempt to bring theory to action, he works with community organizations and schools to develop curriculum that address issues of equity and justice. His work led him to become a member of the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School of Social Justice High School design team, which opened in the Fall of 2005. Furthering his work with communities, students, and teachers, his work manifests itself in his involvement with the Peoples Education Movement, a collection of classroom teachers, community members, students and university professors in Chicago, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area who engage in collaborative community projects centered in creating relevant curriculum. In addition to his duties and responsibilities as a professor at UIC, he also serves as a volunteer social studies teacher at the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School for Social Justice.

These events are collaboratively supported and/or sponsored by:

UNLV’s Abriendo Caminos/Opening Pathways for Students of Color into the Teaching Profession: Giving Back to the Community through Teaching project, funded by the Nevada Department of Education (NDE), Great Teaching and Leading Fund (GTLF), Dr. Norma A. Marrun, PI.

The “signature” program of the project, #Love2TeachLV works to recruit Students of Color from six Clark County School District (CCSD) high schools to college and then into teaching.

CCSD’s Equity and Diversity Education Office

Touro University of Nevada’s (TUN) Code Switch grant project funded by the NoVo Foundation U.S. Girls of Color Strategic Strategy, Dr. Tonya Walls, PI, an equity-focused university-community-school collaborative with Teaching and Uniting Ladies to Inspire Positive Success (TULIPS) and local K-12 schools through the Peterson Academic Center.

TUN’s internally-funded equity-focused Project LEAD EquityMatterz participatory action research project meant to determine how best to sustain and retain educators of color committed to racial equity and social justice in P-12 schools in Southern Nevada.

Las Vegas NAACP Branch 1111

My Brother’s Keeper’s (MBK)

King of Jewels Mentorship Program

CSN’s Office of Inclusive Learning and Engagement

NSC’s GEAR UP Program and School of Education