The 2020 Board of Regents’ Scholar Awards Announced

HENDERSON – The Regents’ Scholar Awards for 2020 have been announced by the Nevada Board of Regents, honoring eight students for their academic achievements, leadership ability, and service contributions throughout the state.

Each recipient will receive a $5,000 stipend funded by the Nevada System of Higher Education administration.

“These eight students represent some of our best and brightest students in Nevada public higher education and I’m proud of their accomplishments,” said Regents Chair Jason Geddes.

The honorees include:

  • Jennifer Stevens, a working single mother of two, is pursuing an associate degree in biology at the College of Southern Nevada. As a member of the inaugural SEA-PHAGE research class, she successfully discovered a novel bacteriophage (virus that infect only bacteria) from desert soil samples and sequenced its genome. The unique research class has allowed Jennifer to pursue her passion for microbiology, who is also currently vice president of the Biology Club. When she is not working or raising her two children, she also volunteers her time at several local charities.
  • Sarah Wynne Goodman will be graduating from the Maxine S. Jacob’s Nursing Program at Truckee Meadows Community College this Spring. She is currently mentoring two first-semester students and works at the TMCC Elizabeth Sturm library as a circulation assistant. After completing her bachelor’s degree in nursing, she plans to become a nurse practitioner and specialize in pediatric medicine. Sarah plans on continuing her volunteer work on mission trips in the summer to South America where she administers health care to those in need.
  • Payten Rose is a second-year nursing student in the Western Nevada College nursing program. Payten has a major focus on philanthropy and community service and frequently volunteers to help Reno’s homeless and foster youth populations. Payten works as a nurse apprentice at Carson Tahoe Hospital and is currently Secretary of WNC’s National Student Nurses Association, and is a member of the Nevada Nurses Association, Nevada Nurses Foundation, and Nevada Student Nurses Association, among other organizations. After graduating, Payten wants to pursue a Ph.D. in nursing with a specialization in developmental disabilities and become a nursing educator.
  • Eduardo Mabilog is a first-generation college student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English at Nevada State College. Eduardo has served Nevada State College developing workshops for various student support programs and helped coordinate interdepartmental events to help foster student engagement and assist with student course work. After graduating, Eduardo plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition and investigate the manners in which minoritized students continue to face exclusion and barriers.
  • Dylan Wallace is a senior in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering and is majoring in electrical engineering, with minors in computer science and math. Dylan is a recipient of the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship and was a National Science Foundation student fellow. He has worked at the KAIST Hubo Lab in South Korea where he co-authored a journal paper on cloud-based robotics and interned at the Naval Research Lab where he co-authored a paper published at the Ubiquitous Robotics. Dylan is actively engaged with engineering student organizations at UNLV, promoting STEM education and mentoring middle and high school students at the Clark County Library’s Teen Tech Center.
  • Miliaikeala SJ. Heen is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Criminal Justice at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her current research looks at reducing sexual assault and harassment in crowds (i.e., music concerts and festivals, night and day clubs, sporting events), by examining personality factors and situational dynamics that facilitate and contribute to sexual violence. In addition, Miliaikeala examines public attitudes toward law enforcements use of technology, the application of terror management concepts, cognitive persuasion models, and expert testimony manipulations within the context of jury decision-making.
  • Edward Cruz is a senior undergraduate in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at the University of Nevada, Reno. In the Wallace lab, his overarching research goal is to understand how plant post-translational modifications regulate metabolism and signaling. He has earned several prestigious awards including the National Science Foundation’s EPSCoR UROP, a summer research fellowship from the American Society of Plant Biologists, and most recently a Goldwater Scholarship. Beyond research, Edward is an active member in youth mentoring programs that serve underrepresented communities. Edward’s professional aspirations are to earn a Ph.D. in plant biochemistry and pursue a career as an academic researcher.
  • Bruce (Taylor) Lensch is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Public Health with an emphasis in Epidemiology at the University of Nevada, Reno. Throughout his time as a graduate student, Taylor has been actively engaged in research activities pertaining to adolescent health. In addition to his research activities, Taylor spent five semesters as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate biostatistics course and taught his own course this summer. He has a passion for educating future public health professionals.

About NSHE

The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 students and is governed by the Nevada Board of Regents.