ABOUT US

WHAT IS NEVADA STATE GEAR UP?

Nevada State GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federally funded grant that is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. School selection is based on a federally free or reduced lunch rate of 50% or higher. Generally, students are identified as GEAR UP during their 7th grade year and exposed to GEAR UP activities that continue through high school and their first year of college at a Nevada System of Higher Education institution. At its height, the Nevada State GEAR UP grant supported 21 high schools, a robotics program, a longitudinal study, and the UNR Dean’s Future Scholars (DFS) program. This translated into approximately 5,500 students included in Nevada State GEAR UP programming.

NOTE: In 2019-2020, under a no cost grant extension provided by the US Department of Education, the Nevada GEAR UP State grant will serve only first-year GEAR UP students matriculating at Nevada’s seven public institutions of higher learning, as well as continue to support DFS. 

View the 2018-19 school and higher education GEAR UP abstracts here: High Schools and Higher Education Abstracts

An external assessment of the GEAR UP Ambassador Program subgrant for FY 18 can be found here: Ambassador Program Assessment 2017-18

STATE OR PARTNERSHIP GRANT

There are two types of GEAR UP grants, a state grant and a partnership grant. The state grant typically has a scholarship component and partnership grant does not. For the current Nevada State GEAR UP grant, Nevada received a waiver to the scholarship component. Although, this state grant will not have a federally funded scholarship component, a project objective is to identify scholarship sponsors throughout the duration of the grant.

Our project, Nevada State GEAR UP, which is highlighted throughout this website, is classified as a state grant. For more information about partnership GEAR UP grants in Nevada, please visit UNLV Center for Academic Enrichment & Outreach (CAEO).

NEVADA STATE GEAR UP GOALS

  1. Academic Preparation: Increase academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education
  2. Graduation and College: Increase high school graduation rate and participation in postsecondary education
  3. Knowledge: Increase student and parent/family knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation, and financing.
  4. College-Going Culture: Create a college-going culture in GEAR UP middle schools to ensure all students have the opportunity, support, guidance, and information to obtain the skills and knowledge necessary to apply for and succeed in postsecondary education

GOVERNOR’S GEAR UP VISION

  1. Change to culture of targeted schools to ensure students are academically prepared and have the resources to attend and succeed in college.
  2. Increase NSHE involvement in GEAR UP schools to create a smooth transition from secondary to postsecondary for attendance and success.

GET TO KNOW THE TEAM

Julie Byrnes, Interim Ambassador

Great Basin College (GBC) GEAR UP Ambassador
Email: julie.byrnes@gbcnv.edu
Hometown: Elko, NV
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Mari Jimenez-Ortiz

Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) GEAR UP Ambassador
Email: mjimenezortiz@tmcc.edu
Hometown: Bishop, CA
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Andrea Saavedra

University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) GEAR UP Ambassador
Email: andreasaavedra@unr.edu
Hometown: 
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Tawnie Wentz

Western Nevada College (WNC) GEAR UP Ambassador
Email: tawnie.wentz@wnc.edu
Hometown: Minden, NV
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Cristian Aguina, Interim Ambassador

College of Southern Nevada (CSN) GEAR UP Ambassador
Email: Cristian.Aguina@CSN.EDU
Hometown: 
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Abraham Gomez

Nevada State College (NSC) GEAR UP Ambassador
Email: Abraham.Gomez@nsc.edu
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
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VACANT

University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) GEAR UP Ambassador
Email:
Hometown: 
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Clark County

SPIF at Chaparral High School 
Email:
Hometown: 
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SPIF at Las Vegas High School
Email:
Hometown: 
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SPIF at Southeast Career & Technical Academy (SECTA) and East Career & Technical Academy (ECTA)
Email:
Hometown: 
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SPIF at Del Sol High School and Desert Pines High School 
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Hometown:
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SPIF at Las Vegas High School
Email:
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SPIF at Chaparral High School 
Email:
Hometown: 
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Elko County

SPIF at Jackpot Combined School
Email:
Hometown:
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SPIF at Wells Combined School
Email:
Hometown: 
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Humboldt County

SPIF at McDermitt Combined School
Email:
Hometown:
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Lyon County

SPIF for Yerington High School
Email:
Hometown: 
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SPIF for Silver Stage High School 
Email:
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Mineral County

SPIF at Mineral County High School
Email:
Hometown: 
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Nye County

SPIF at Beatty High School
Email:
Hometown: 
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SPIF at Pahrump Valley High School
Email:
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SPIF at Tonopah High School
Email:
Hometown: 
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Pershing County

SPIF at Pershing County High School
Email:
Hometown: 
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Washoe County

Jill Fontana

SPIF, Dean’s Future Scholars
Email: jillm@unr.edu
Hometown: Reno, NV
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Samuel Rosales

SPIF Assistant, Dean’s Future Scholars
Email: samuelrosales@unr.edu
Hometown: Reno, NV
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SPIF at Hug High School
Email:
Hometown: 
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SPIF at Wooster High School
Email:
Hometown: 
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Sione Lavaka

SPIF, Dean’s Future Scholars
Email: slavaka@tmcc.edu
Hometown: Pittsburg, CA
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SPIF at Hug High School
Email:
Hometown: 
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SPIF at Wooster High School
Email:
Hometown: 
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Tammy Bolen

Director
Email: tbolen@dov.nv.gov
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
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Profile Photo - Nate Mackinnon

Nate Mackinnon

NSHE Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges
Email: nmackinnon@nshe.nevada.edu
Hometown: Chelmsford, MA
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VACANT

GEAR UP Communications Specialist
Email: …@nshe.nevada.edu
Hometown: 
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Photo, Karen Pugh

Karen Pugh

GEAR UP Research Specialist
Email: kpugh@nshe.nevada.edu
Hometown: Redding, CA 
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Lori Botelho

Assistant Director
Email: lbotelho@doe.nv.gov
Hometown: Minden, NV
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Photo, Daniel Villanueva

Daniel Villanueva

GEAR UP Ambassador Coordinator
Email: dvillanueva@nshe.nevada.edu
Hometown: Glendora, CA
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Szilvia Rideg

GEAR UP Research Administrator
Email: srideg@nshe.nevada.edu
Hometown: Seattle, WA
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