Three WNC professors receive permanent positions


CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) — Western Nevada College faculty members Timothy Mayo, Martin Schmidt and Rachel Stiff received tenure from the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents this week.

Mayo and Schmidt teach math courses for college. Stiff is an art professor. All three professors started teaching at the WNC in August 2018.

Tenure is a tradition that gives professors academic independence and they retain their positions until they retire, resign, or are terminated for a specific reason.

“We are pleased for our faculty members who have received employment at Western Nevada College today,” Interim President. J. Kyle Dalpe said in a statement. “Their work with our students over the last few years, tough years, is exemplary and they should be proud of this career achievement.”

Originally from Lewistown, Montana, Stiff has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona in Tucson and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Montana in Missoula. Before joining the WNC, Stiff taught art classes at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Nevada, Reno.

“My classroom teaches careful observation, attention to detail, and process,” Stiff said. “With attention to detail, I work to create a creative environment and the conditions in which growth is possible for my students, who are my greatest teachers”

Stiff coordinates the Bristlecone Art Galleries on the Carson City campus and is a painter focused on the surrounding landscapes and atmospheres.

Mayo served 23 years in the US Navy Reserve and deployed to Iraq in 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since teaching at WNC, Mayo has been a huge influence on his math students on the Fallon campus.

“The tenure is the capstone of my career and an unparalleled lifetime achievement,” Mayo said. “I am deeply honored and look forward to many years of service to WNC as a tenured faculty member.”

In his freshman year at WNC, he received the Associated Students of Western Nevada Academic Faculty of the Year Award. In addition, Mayo has served as a student advisor to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

In all, Mayo has taught community college students for 19 years and high school students for seven years. Mayo received his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University, his master of arts degree from the University of Missouri, and his master of science degree from California State University-Hayward.

Schmidt teaches math classes and has been a big proponent of open educational resources in his classes.

“Since I started here, I have only used freely available resources for students. I think that’s what I’m most proud of,” he said.

Schmidt has also been involved in helping first-generation and underrepresented students further their aspirations in STEM subjects. Through this math, engineering, and science achievement program, Schmidt Latinx helps women, other ethnic minorities, and first-generation students connect with resources to ease their transition to a four-year institution in a STEM field.

A Montana native, he received his bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Montana, his bachelor’s degree in Pure Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Montana, and his master’s degree in Pure Mathematics from Chiba University, Japan.

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