This year the Las Vegas YMF conducted its first ever Diversity Survey. The goal of this survey is to administer it every fiscal year, and give the YMF board insight of the inclusivity of the activities. This will be the first data point, and as years go on we can see where we are improving, where the group needs to be more inclusive and what is staying consistent. This year we had 22 responses, which was much higher than expected! Results showed that we had a pretty good representation of different ethnicities, gender, sexual orientation, religion, fields of engineering, and even native Vegas members versus people who moved here. One the area that needs improvement is to reach out to members who did not graduate from UNLV. We are looking forward to see how we will continue to and diversify!
Author: Christina Sanon
The new Diversity seat was implemented this year to embrace and promote cultural, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, religious creeds, political beliefs, and other ideological differences in a safe and positive environment. In its inaugural year, the Diversity chair created the Diversity Grant. The grant is a $500 reward awarded to a student matriculated in the School of Engineering at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) who successfully defends their position on a selected question related to diversity and inclusion.
This year's topic explored the global impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The students were tasked to assess the effectiveness of the Trump administration’s response and provide solutions to aid the government in alleviating the spread of the virus in communities that are disproportionately underserved. There was a total of 13 submissions, each one proposing an innovative approach that would help to mitigate the spread of the virus in primarily minority communities.
Due to the caliber of the essays, the grant committee picked an overall winner and two deserving students received honorable mentions. Saul Perez, the overall winner, proposed that the government makes testing for Covid-19 readily available to residents of low-income communities. His essay advocated for incentives for online shopping, construction of new clinics and other medical assistance locales, and meal distribution centers. Gabby Squillante and Emily Cummins were lauded for advocating for funds and testing. Gabby proposed that funds be allocated to underrepresented communities and be used as per the needs of the individual communities. Emily suggested that the government invests in door-to-door mobile testing.
On behalf of the Diversity and Inclusion grant committee of the Las Vegas chapter of YMF, we would like to thank all participants and the University who graciously worked in tandem with us to promote the grant. We extend many thanks to Quincy Alexander of the ASCE National Mosaic committee for his participation in scoring the essays.
To all, be safe!
Author: Amanda Tanaka
Due to the unprecedented events that occurred this year, YMF had to find different alternatives to our typical events and keep active. One of our solutions was to transform our in-person monthly luncheons to a webinar format. By using a video conference platform, YMF was able continue bringing knowledge of the civil engineering field as well as enabling everyone to still receive their PDHs from home. We have been holding these webinars since April and they have been a great success, all thanks to the great effort of our board and enormous support of our sponsors and speakers.
This year we have had amazing people from the industry as our guest speakers: Fady Botros from Hofsommer Excavating, John Penuelas from RCT, David Goldestein from GeoTek, Dr. Trabia from UNLV, Wes Murray from Hayward, Kristina Swallow from NDOT and Brian Rowley from CCRFCD. Our last luncheon speaker for the FY 2019-2020 will be Ed McGuire from COH. This has definitely been a strange and difficult year, and we are very thankful for everyone’s support and continued attendance to our luncheon.