April 2017 Magazines - Page 55

Meet the Neighbor By Callie Thomas WGU Nevada offers more than 60 undergraduate whether it’s a new recipe, how to fix a leaky faucet or the best route to take when you’re already running late for work. Learning can also take us to the next chapter of our lives which may even land us right back where it all started—in school. That would make Spencer Stewart very happy, especially since he is the founding Chancellor of Western Governors University (WGU) Nevada, an online, nonprofit competency-based university. It was established to expand Nevadan’s access to higher education throughout the state. “I strongly support the skilled workforce areas of the state and have become immensely involved with adult learners and give back efforts to help them achieve their higher edu- cation goals,” says Stewart. One of those efforts is a special scholarship program called the New You, New Nevada for busy adults wanting to earn their higher education degrees. and graduate degree programs in the high-demand career fields of business, K-12 teacher education, information technology and health professionals including nursing. The college has also collaborated with various local organizations in their continu- ing efforts to “give back” in the higher education realm, which includes launching additional schol- arship programs such as: Women in Leadership, an IT scholarship in partnership with the Southern Nevada Cybersecurity Alliance and another through the Latin Chamber of Commerce. Stewart is also personally involved with a variety of other organizations such as the Las Vegas Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and was a former scoutmaster. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance and is part of the Desert Meadows Area Health Education Council which helps to recruit and retain Nevada healthcare providers. As extensive a list as this is, Stewart’s most memorable moments of giving back is of a student who graduated last year from WGU. “Silvia Mendoza was the first per- son in her family to graduate college. She earned a Master’s degree in Learning and Technology. It was a tearful and joyous occasion during our first commencement ceremony for her and her many family members. When you see the impact an accredited, affordable college degree can make, you realize what a difference you are making in their life and in the community.” So, what does Spencer Stewart do when he’s not finding new ways to help Nevadans achieve their higher education goals? He and his wife Tessa can be found exploring the Valley with their young children Amber, Saige and Isaac. Their diverse interest can lead them to playing with the puppies at Petland to SeaQuest Aquarium at Boulevard Mall, Cowabunga Bay or feeding the birds at Lake Las Vegas. ◆ April/May 2017 Prior to his role as founding chancellor, Stewart spent 15 years with the Nevada System of Higher Education and building Nevada State College, so helping to bring WGU Nevada to fruition was not only in his wheelhouse, it has been a dream come true. The college was launched in June of 2015 with the support of Governor Brian Sandoval. It now has more than 2,300 students from across the state in programs to achieve their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. “Because of the affordable, accessible higher education opportunities we champion, students are now prepared to dive into some of Nevada’s top career fields,” Stewart said. The New You, New Nevada scholarship program is a good example. Those who apply to WGU by April 30 are eligible to apply for the New Kind of You Scholarship, which provides up to $2,000 per student for up to 250 students. “The New Kind of You Scholarship will be applied at the rate of $500 per six-month term, renewable for up to four terms, toward WGU’s already low tuition of $3,000 per term for most programs.” r S W E NEVER STOP LEARNING EVEN AS WE GET OLDER , 55