present the


at the


October 11th - 13th, 2019




The UNLV College of Fine Arts and the Las Vegas and Boston Hubs of the Global Shapers—in partnership with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the UNLV Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering and the UNLV Lee Business School—present the Las Vegas Make-A-Thon 2.0 at the UNLV School of Architecture, bringing together art, architecture, business, design, engineering and entrepreneurship students to hack, make and create innovative solutions using programming and rapid prototyping techniques featuring arduino. All making will be done in an open and collaborative studio environment to incubate creative ideas.

This year, the theme will be the Future of Experience Design (XD).
This event is free and open to all UNLV students.

Las Vegas Make-A-Thon Video by Cole Skaggs
Oct 19-21, 2018
Making, ideating + rapid-prototying the Future of Food. #makevegas #makeUNLV2018




Schedule: day 1

Friday, October 11th
5pm - 9pm

LOCATION: UNLV School of Architecture (ARC 127)

5:00 - 8:00 PM_Reinvision Art + Experience Pop-Up Exhibition (ARC Courtyard).

5:00 - 5:30 PM_Doors open.

5:30 - 6:00 PM_Make-A-Thon Launch and Event Overview

6:00 - 7:30 PM_Art Walk 2019 Featured Speakers: “Interdisciplinary Young Voices on the Future of Experience Design: Paradigms, Practices, Prospects.”

  • Larissa Belcic, Daniel Levine, Manvitha Ponnapati, and David Rosenwasser

7:30 - 9:00 PM_Art Walk 2019

Schedule: day 2

Saturday, October 12th
9am - Midnight

LOCATION: UNLV School of Architecture (VARIOUS)

9:00 - 10:00 AM_Check-in + Breakfast, sponsored by Starbucks, Einstein Brothers Bagels, and the Bagel Cafe.

10:00 - 10:30 AM_Welcome + Introductions.

10:30 - 10:45 AM_Guest Talk No. 1: Michael Genova.

10:45 - 11:00 AM_Guest Talk No. 2: Julian Kilker

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM_Workshop No.1 : Design Thinking Process.

12:00 - 1:30 PM_Make Session No. 1 : Problem Mapping + Ideation.

1:30 - 2:30 PM_Lunch: Dominos, sponsored by Precision Crane and Hoist Services.

2:30 - 3:30 PM_Workshop No. 2: Introduction to Arduino (optional).

3:30 - 7:00 PM_Make Session No. 2: Prototyping.

7:00 - 8:00 PM_Working Dinner, sponsored by Viva Las Arepas and Poke Heaven.

Track 2B

8:00 - 8:30 PM_Workshop No. 3B: Documentation + Visualization.

Track 2A

8:00 - 8:30 PM_Workshop No. 3A: Slide Design (Typography + Color Theory).

8:00 - 11:30 PM_Make Session No. 3: Making + Design.

11:30 PM - MIDNIGHT_Workshop No. 4: Pitch + Demo

MIDNIGHT_Midnight Snack + Break, sponsored by AIAS and ASLA.

Schedule: day 3

Sunday, October 13th
Midnight - 3pm

LOCATION: UNLV School of Architecture (VARIOUS)

MIDNIGHT - 2:00 AM_Make Session No.4: Synthesis (optional).

2:00 - 9:00 AM_Go home/SLEEP.

9:00 - 10:00 AM_Project Submission.

10:00 - 11:00 AM_Breakfast, sponsored by Starbucks, Einstein Brothers Bagels, and the Bagel Cafe.

LOCATION: Architecture studies library

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM_Reception + Open Exhibition.

12:00 - 2:00 PM_Final Pitch Competition.

2:00 - 3:00 PM_Awards Ceremony + Closing Remarks.




Frequently Asked Questions



How does it work?

Over the course of 3 days, you will work in teams of 4-5 to create a solution for an issue your group is passionate about. A prompt will be released at the start of the event to guide all projects. We will provide everything you need in order to hack/make—from prototyping resources to food. On the last day, all projects will be mounted for exhibition at the UNLV Architecture Studies Library. Additionally, the top teams will pitch their projects at the Make-A-Thon Pitch Competition + Finale for the opportunity to win various prizes.

What is the pitch competition?

After the hacking and making period, we will host a public pitch competition where the top teams can present their projects. We encourage you to invite your friends and family to see what you designed, and encourage non-participants to stop by to see all the projects and meet their creators.

What materials and hardware will be available?

There will be a variety of pre-configured base arduino boards to help with accelerated development. A myriad of sensors and rapid prototyping materials—foam, chipboard, cardboard, etc...—will also be available. Every team will have the opportunity to select what they need.

Who can participate?

We welcome all undergraduate and graduate students that are interested in participating, to apply.

I am a beginner. Can I still apply?

Yes! In fact, we encourage students at all stages of expertise to apply. We will have various mentors available to guide and support all the teams. Workshops and Guest Talks will also provide tutorials and introduce online resources to aid in the development and execution of your projects.

Furthermore, every participant will receive a welcome packet with specific instructions and procedures related to the event (such as the hardware you will be using). So, don't worry!

What should I bring?

We recommend that you bring a laptop + charger to hack. We will provide everything else that is necessary for the Make-A-Thon, so no significant additional materials are necessary. However, if you have a certain set of tools that you like to use, please feel free to bring those as well.

What do I hack/make?

You can hack/make anything you and your team would like! We will provide a prompt and base boards to help accelerate development, but everything else is completly up to you and your team.

How does judging work?

Judges will evaluate the projects and pitches based on their relationship to design (how awesome it is), engineering (does it work), and entrepreneurship (how was it pitched and what is its real-world potential). But don't worry! This event is meant to be fun, and all of the judges understand that everything will have been made over the span of 24 hours. And if you are worried that the judges might not like your project even though students will, fear not as well! Every team will be eligible for a People's Choice Award in which one popular vote winner is selected. There will be more information available during the event.

How much does this cost?

This event is completely free, and participation includes all meals, snacks, and necessary materials you will need to hack/make with! This is all thanks to our amazing partners listed below!

This is awesome! Who are the organizers?

This event is an interdisciplinary and wide-ranging collaboration between various University of Nevada, Las Vegas units (such as College of Fine Arts, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering, and the School of Architecture) and the Las Vegas and Boston Hubs of the Global Shapers Community—an initiative of the World Economic Forum.


What are the Global Shapers and can I get involved?

Born out of the World Economic Forum, the Global Shapers Community is a network of inspiring young people under the age of 30 working together to address local, regional and global challenges. We strive to drive dialogue, action and change. All event participants will be eligible to apply for membership to the Las Vegas Hub of the Global Shapers.

I have more questions. Who do I ask?

If you have any additional questions regarding the Las Vegas Make-A-Thon that were not answered in the FAQ above, please get in touch with us via the contact form below. We will reply as soon as possible.






Last year, 70 students from 7 different campus units, along with 30 mentors, facilitators and judges, participated in the first-ever Las Vegas Make-A-Thon. Focusing on the future of food along three tracks (food + health, food + hospitality, and food + data/A.I.), students used Arduino to rapid prototype and ideate. Assembling mentors from Harvard, MIT, and Cornell, along with young entrepreneurs from the East and West Coasts (and here in Las Vegas), the event was a weekend of excellent programming built on interdisciplinary learning where student participants were connected to a rich array of resources while positioning UNLV as a fertile laboratory capable of producing viable solutions for the benefit of humanity, both local and global, in an age marked with scarcity, uncertainty, and growth.








Alberto de Salvatierra, Founder + Co-CHair + MC

Alberto de Salvatierra is an Assistant Professor at the UNLV School of Architecture where he founded and coordinates the interdisciplinary Global Studio Program (SoA’s first study abroad program), and at-LAS (a new interdisciplinary laboratory). He is also Founder and Principal of PROXIIMA and is Curator Emeritus of the Las Vegas Hub of the Global Shapers Community—an initiative by the World Economic Forum based in Geneva, Switzerland. A polymath, architectural designer, and landscape urbanist, de Salvatierra holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and both a Master of Landscape Architecture and a Master of Design Studies in Urbanism, Landscape and Ecology from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. He is the past recipient of Cornell's Robert James Eidlitz Fellowship, Harvard Library's Inaugural May Crane Fellowship, and GSD's Penny White Prize. Prior to arriving at UNLV, he taught ecological design at Cornell University, architecture at the Boston Architectural College, and landscape architecture at GSD’s Design Discovery. This past summer, he was a Visiting Professor at Universidad Iberoamericana (IBERO) and part of the inaugural cohort of Harvard Kennedy School’s STS (Science, Technology and Society) Summer Program.


Dr. Yvonne Houy, Co-CHair + Mentor

Dr. Yvonne Houy is Administrative Faculty for Learning Technology at the College of Fine Arts and an active member of the international Computer Science For All movement through her work as Professional Development (PD) Facilitator for the Computer Science Principles curriculum. Passionate about providing opportunities for anyone interested in learning computer science, her workshops have gotten rave reviews. Proud to come from generations of European farmers who were creative “Makers” by both necessity and for aesthetic expression, Dr. Houy was Co-Lead Producer of the 2016 Las Vegas Mini Maker Faire. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (B.A) and Cornell University (M.A. & Ph.D.), her dissertation examined propagandist uses of fashion, and resistance to Fascism through fashion. She grows tomatoes in the challenging Las Vegas Valley environment, and practices the gentle martial art of Aikido.

Michael Raspuzzi, Co-Founder + Vice-Chair + Mentor

Michael Raspuzzi is the Boston City Director for The Knowledge Society—providing Olympic-level training in exponential technologies for future CEOs and innovators. As CEO + Co-Founder of Culinary AI Labs, he helps build algorithms to personalize nutrition support; and as Design Instructor for both the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the Harvard University John. A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, he focuses on applied learning and curriculum development at the intersection of design, engineering, and entrepreneurship. Raspuzzi received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and an inaugural Master in Design Engineering from Harvard University—where his project EMMA: Maternal Healthcare Coach, earned him the MDE 2018 Thesis Prize. With playful interdisciplinarity, Raspuzzi ultimately enjoys building collaborative organizations, initiatives, and communities to solve complex problems across the global education, healthcare, and food system. Raspuzzi is the Vice-Curator of the Boston Hub of the Global Shapers Community.


Nicholas Goodman, Technical Lead + Mentor

Nicholas Goodman is a Designer at Thomas J. Schoeman, FAIA, a Project Manager at Renewable Envoy and current Curator of the Las Vegas Hub of the Global Shapers Community—an initiative by the World Economic Forum based in Geneva, Switzerland. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Goodman’s research lies at the intersection of computer technology and architecture as a means of expanding creative potential—and efficiencies—within the building industry. He’s previously worked as a Designer at Bunnyfish, as a Research Assistant at the RTIS Lab, and as a Digital Fabrication Assistant at the UNLV School of Architecture. He enjoys photography and exploring the arid Southwest in his free time.


Carley Pasqualotto, Logistics Lead + Facilitator

Carley Pasqualotto is the President of the American Institute of Architecture Students, (UNLV Chapter) an inducted member of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), the nation’s largest leadership honor society, and a Global Shaper of the Las Vegas Hub of the Global Shapers Community. Pasqualotto is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Architecture and a minor in Business Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has also studied Urban Planning and Design at both la Universidad Iberoamericana (IBERO)—Mexico’s most prestigious university, and at Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Design Discovery. Her work has been featured in various exhibitions and publications. In her free time, Pasqualotto is a Designer and Research Assistant at PROXIIMA and contributor to the Exhibitions, Lectures, Alumni/Global Engagement and Library Committee at the UNLV School of Architecture.


Oscar Delgado, Fundraising Lead + Facilitator

Oscar Delgado is the Secretary of the American Society of Landscape Architects (UNLV Chapter). He is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Landscape Architecture. He has also studied Urban Planning and Design at both la Universidad Iberoamericana (IBERO)—Mexico’s most prestigious university, and at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s Design Discovery. His work has been featured in various exhibitions and publications. In his spare time, Delgado is an avid hiker, a nature photographer, and horticulture enthusiast


David Douglas, Media Lead + Videographer

David Douglas is the President of National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (UNLV Chapter) and Designer and Research Assistant at PROXIIMA. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Architecture. Douglas has also studied Urban Planning and Design at both la Universidad Iberoamericana (IBERO)—Mexico’s most prestigious university, and at Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Design Discovery. His research analyses design projects from the human scale with considerations of the impact on urban design and urbanism policy. His work has been featured in various exhibitions and publications. In his spare time, Douglas is an avid martial arts practitioner, a videographer for a multimedia broadcasting company, and furniture designer.





Larissa Belcic is a landscape architectural designer working with climate and ecological change in multiple capacities. First as founding principal of Nocturnal Medicine, a multi-disciplinary design firm that crafts experiences, spaces and media for working with the social and emotional challenges of environmental change. Recent projects facilitate reflection on insect extinction; they include Momentary Chapel and An Elegy for Insects, respectively a temporary public space and a dance party. Second, she works on resiliency to extreme heat in the outdoors through her work with OFICINAA, a multi-disciplinary firm working in climatic design. Belcic has worked and consulted on heat resiliency design projects in Cambridge (Massachusetts), New York City, Munich, and Tel Aviv. Other recent work includes The Meadowlands Party, an initiative to create honest and intimate connections between the New Jersey Meadowlands and its surrounding communities. She works, collaborates, and publishes as a designer and an artist. Belcic holds a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a BA in Linguistics from Boston College, with a professional background in community engagement. Belcic is ultimately devoted to justice-oriented world-building in response to environmental challenges.


Daniel LEvine, SPEAKER + mentor

Daniel Levine is currently a PhD Candidate in the Biomechatronics Research Group at the MIT Media Lab where he works on enhancing human physical capabilities through mechanical augmentation. A curious fellow who always dives wholeheartedly into his many interests, Levine has worked on assistive tongue controllers for quadriplegics, exoskeletons, shape-changing pasta, auditory feedback systems (that help people learn how to do back-flips), balloon-drone hybrids, and biosensors. He holds a Master of Media, Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab (Tangible Media), a Master of Information Systems in Connective Media from Cornell’s NYC Tech Program, and dual Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science from Cornell University. In addition to his love of making animations and jumping into artistic space, Levine is an avid gymnast and an amateur pilot.



Manu Ponnapati is a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology pursuing her Master of Media, Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab (Molecular Machines). She is an anti-disciplinarian who has worked in the fields of food systems, drug discovery and finance. Mostly recently, she served as the CTO of Culinary AI Labs—exploring the future of customization and personalization in food through algorithms—and was a Global Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Massachusetts. Prior to that, she worked at the Open Agriculture Initiative at the MIT Media Lab building computer vision and software tools to help design more inventive future food systems. She was also an MIT Advanced Study Program Fellow through which she studied Scientific Computing and Random Matrix Theory. She received her Master in Engineering from Cornell University where her thesis focused on video games and affective computing-based feedback mechanisms.

David Rosenwasser, Speaker + Mentor

David Rosenwasser is an architectural researcher and designer based at Harvard's Graduate School of Design and a candidate in the Master in Design Studies program. He is also Founder and President of D ROSE MOD, a vintage modern design business, which specializes in the icons of 20th century modernism. Rosenwasser was previously Senior Research Personnel in the Sabin Design Lab at Cornell University. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell and is a Hunter R. Rawlings III Presidential Research Scholar. Throughout Rosenwasser's involvement with Sabin's Lab, he has been heavily invested in core research and innovating material practices. His contributions include work on Sabin Design Lab's Robosense, PolyBrick series, NSF funded ColorFolds, PolyMorph, and various others. The PolyBrick series has recently been exhibited at Centre Pompidou, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and San Jose Museum of Art. Rosenwasser has published extensively, including peer-reviewed papers for ACADIA (2017, 2018) and the International Journal of Rapid Manufacturing (2018).



Travis P. Allen, Mentor

Travis P. Allen is an Adjunct Professor at the UNLV School of Architecture, while also a Project Manager + Designer at Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects. He also currently serves on the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Las Vegas Board of Directors as the Director of Emerging Professionals. Formally trained in the field of architecture, Allen believes design is a creative process that permeates disciplines and encourages an exploration of experiences. Taking this approach, he has blended his curiosities by working as an architectural/graphic designer, design/art director, video producer/editor and model maker on various projects that cross typologies from hospitality and commercial architectural projects to science and cultural museum exhibitions. Allen is a licensed Architect in the State of Nevada. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from UNLV, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Colorado, Denver where he received the Richard Reindel Memorial Scholarship to study abroad in Rome.



Iman Ansari is an architect, urbanist, and a Founding Principal of AN.ONYMOUS. His work focuses on speculative approaches to architecture and urbanism, and his office has been a design consultant for NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and is currently a design partner of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. Prior to his appointment at UNLV, Ansari has taught at USC School of Architecture, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design, and the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York. He holds a professional degree in architecture from the City College of New York, a post-professional degree in architecture and urban design from Harvard Graduate School of Design, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in architectural history and theory at UCLA.


Deepak Awari, Mentor

Deepak Awari is a Data Scientist at Microsoft where he works on improving customer experience with natural language processing, forecasting and business analytics. He is an inter-disciplinarian and has previously worked in cybersecurity, automation and semiconductor industries. He received his Masters in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from Cornell University where—for his thesis—he built a gaming console on the principles of affective computing to improve user experience of video games. In addition to his love of computation and electronics, he is an outdoor enthusiast and is working towards his pilot’s license



Ashley Hairston Doughty is a visual storyteller, explaining personal experiences through verbal and visual language. Much of her practice deals with socio-economic, racial, and gender-based issues, particularly those relating to cultural misconceptions and the development of personal identity. Her distinctive perspective has grown through residing in nine different cities throughout her lifetime, mostly in the southeastern, Midwestern, and Southwestern United States. Although trained as a graphic designer, Doughty’s artwork often crosses multiple media, including typography, illustration, writing, fiber and materials, and book arts. She shares and encourages such art making as an Assistant Professor of Art at UNLV and through her design business and blog, Design Kettle. Her work is included in the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection in Chicago and has received awards from the Caxton Club, the College Book Arts Association and Arion Press. Doughty holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications from Washington University in St. Louis and an Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.



Michael Fong is an Assistant Professor at the UNLV College of Fine Arts. A visual artist and designer from Las Vegas, Fong holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Design from UNLV and a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Syracuse University. Coming from a traditional materials background in sculpture, Fong combines material sensibilities with new and emerging technologies. With experience in woodworking, plastics, and ceramics, as well as new additive and subtractive manufacturing processes, Fong has the full gamut of fabrication experience. With experience in working with newer technologies, it was inevitable that the proximity of technology would be absorbed. Most recent pieces involved micro-controller regulated temperatures, Arduino-powered CNC machines, and Python-scripted 3D animations.



Michael Genova’s career in live entertainment has spanned more than twenty years. He earned his MFA in Theatre from UNLV with an emphasis in technical direction and scenic technology. An artist and technician, Michael has performed as a technical director, scenic designer, sound designer/ composer, and weapons designer. His credits include working as a mechanical designer and fabrication specialist for the theatrical special effects company Flying by Foy, and most recently as an Automation technician for one of Las Vegas’s most heavily automated shows: Cirque du Soleil’s Le Rêve – The Dream. He is currently investigating the use of CNC and additive manufacturing technology for scenic applications.



Noel Hurst is the Las Vegas City Director for The Knowledge Society—providing Olympic-level training in exponential technologies for future CEOs and innovators. Hurst is passionate about teaching students emerging technologies, emotional intelligence, and business tools in order for them to positively affect billions of people around the world and make a dent in the universe. You can often hear her advising her students to “break things responsibly.” Previously she was an intrapreneur at the Zappos Family of Companies, a multibillion Amazon e-commerce subsidiary, she advised internal teams on business strategy, process improvements, and key performance indicator measurement. She co-founded the Women @ Zappos circle, a diversity group that focuses on empowering women in business. She is considered a growth accelerator and throughout her career has switched focuses and filled gaps wherever she thought the business need was in order to create efficiencies and profitability. Hurst spent the majority of her business career as a part of a small team that grew from almost no sales to yearly revenue over $800m in less than 5 years. was the fastest growing site for the Zappos Family at the time. She has been recognized for exceeding financial plans and for continuous improvement.

Dr. Julian Kilker, MENTOR

Dr. Julian Kilker’s experience bridges the arts, humanities, and science. A graduate of Cornell University and Reed College, and with 15 years’ experience living and working internationally, he teaches emerging technology, research methods, and visual journalism courses for undergraduate and graduate students at UNLV, as well as technology and society courses in the UNLV Honors College. He uses microcontrollers to illuminate, capture, and present his work. He has both published in academic journals (including Visual Communication Quarterly, Social Identities, Convergence, IEEE journals, Leonardo, Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, and The Public Historian) and held solo photography exhibits in Switzerland, California, and Nevada, and collaborative exhibits in Washington, DC and on tour in Nevada.



Kyle Kithas is a licensed Architect in the State of Nevada and manages the Digital Fabrication Lab at the UNLV School of Architecture. Kyle graduated Summa Cum Laude from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and holds a B.Arch degree. While attending Cal Poly, he studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, and worked for a Danish architecture firm specializing in urban revitalization projects. One of Kithas’ greatest accomplishments is winning the annual Vellum furniture competition for a chair he designed and fabricated. During his professional career, Kithas has worked at multiple architecture firms and has experience on a wide breadth of project types including: K-12 education, higher education, commercial, worship, and hospitality. Kithas’ dedication to the profession and work ethic enabled him to obtain his architecture license at the young age of 24. Currently, Kithas’ architectural focus includes digital fabrication, prefabricated design, modular fabrication techniques, and furniture making.



Dr. Sang Seo is an Associate Professor in Graphic Design and Media at the UNLV Art Department. He is an educator, designer, and researcher who holds a BFA in Industrial Design at Daegu University in Korea, and MFA in Graphic Design and Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction at Iowa State University. He has previously worked for SAMSUNG, GM, and Korea Mint where he participated in various national projects. His design works have been introduced in over 15 countries and many of his design research outcomes have been presented and published in major design conferences and journals. He has also received several award recognitions such as the Alex G. and Faye Spanos Distinguished Teaching Award, the UNLV Foundational Distinguished Teaching Award, the Lincy Professorship Award, and the Adobe Achievement Award. His current research focuses on visual cognition and perception in UX and UI design—giving his students the knowledge and experience to succeed in the world-class of the design field.


Kelle Snow, Mentor

Kelle Snow is the Las Vegas City Associate Director for The Knowledge Society—providing Olympic-level training in exponential technologies for future CEOs and innovators. Snow has focused her career on disrupting traditional education and training models to provide more effective learning support to students and professionals in higher education and private industry in Las Vegas. Snow has completed a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on technical writing as well as a Master of Science in Educational Psychology. At the College of Southern Nevada, she developed and launched a learning support program providing supplemental instruction to undergraduate students enrolled in courses with some of the lowest success rates in the college. Snow has supported students with course content in almost every STEM discipline, in addition to writing, public speaking, and metacognitive strategies. Most recently, she has served as the Director of Assessment and College Effectiveness at the University of Nevada Las Vegas when she used quantitative and qualitative research practices to ensure effective, student-centered learning is taking place at the highest levels in the College of Education.


samantha solano, MENTOR

Samantha Solano is an Assistant Professor at the UNLV School of Architecture and Principal of JUXTOPOS. Her research interests include urbanization in arid territories, immersive representation technologies, and landscape design equity. Samantha aims to empower landscape architects practicing in arid regions—providing valuable, actionable strategies equipped to adapt to the sensitive desert ecologies that are in jeopardy due to rapid urbanization and climate change. At UNLV, she teaches courses in advanced digital media, landscape architecture theory, spatial mapping, and landscape architecture. Solano received her Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and—proudly—her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from UNLV.


Joshua vermillion, MENTOR

Joshua Vermillion is an Associate Professor at the UNLV School of Architecture where is he Coordinator of the Master of Architecture Program and Co-Coordinator of at-LAS. His teaching and research focuses on architectural applications of computational design methods, digital fabrication tools, and robotics and responsive systems. Prior to his appointment at UNLV, Vermillion taught design studios, seminars, and lecture courses at the Department of Architecture at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. While at Ball State, he co-founded i-MADE, an applied research + learning institute focused on projects utilizing design, computation, and fabrication. During the spring of 2014, Vermillion was the invited Taylor Seminar Lecturer in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. Joshua has published and presented peer-reviewed research at ACADIA, SIGRADI, eCAADe, ACSA, NCBDS, and ARCC conferences, as well as the International Journal of Architecture Computing. He co-authored/edited the recently published book "Digital Design Exercises for Architecture Students" with Jason S. Johnson (Routledge, 2016).




Dr. Nadine Bentis comes to the UNLV Lee Business School from Los Angeles where she served as the Director of the Master of Science in in Social Entrepreneurship program at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. As director of the program she oversaw recruiting, admissions, academic advising, and student services for the program. As Program Manager of the Troesh Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Bentis will provide support to the center’s executive director and will be a primary front-line for community engagement. She brings to UNLV 13 years of higher education experience. Bentis earned her Doctorate of Education and Masters of Education from the University of Southern California and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Irvine.



Dr. Grzegorz Chmaj holds PhD degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and is currently working at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. During years 2005-2011, he was with Volvo IT and Wroclaw University of Technology. His work focuses on distributed processing systems (efficiency of electrical energy consumption, network traffic optimization and hardware), P2P networks and Internet of Things systems. In his Computer Science thesis, he optimized the network distributed computations, whereas in his Electrical Engineering doctoral thesis, he proposed the algorithms and platform for execution of distributed applications over reconfigurable FPGA-based distributed systems and provided their example application for swarms of drones. At UNLV, Chmaj directs the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering laboratories and teaches several courses—including the Computer Science II, IoT Systems, Blockchain, and Senior Design capstone course. He also organizes bi-yearly Junior Design Competition for engineering students in which student teams present their electrical and computer engineering projects built during laboratory classes.


Mamie Peers, Judge

Mamie Peers is Principal of Red Pencil, a consultancy transforming how brands engage with people – culturally and digitally. Recent projects range from concepting creative for an upcoming Strip hotel, leading customer research for a progressive London-based coworking brand, to designing a social media strategy for a Cannabis distributor. As former VP of Digital Marketing at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Peers reconfigured the resort’s website and digital architecture, revamped its social media channels, and inspired a fresh approach to online advertising. Peers’s team created Rose, a mischief-making SMS, Ai-based chatbot who dishes out insider tips in a playful tone distinct to brand. As an alumni of the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies (M.A.) and former English teacher at Mojave High School, Peers remains an education advocate. She calls Downtown Las Vegas home, finds joy in boom-box bicycle rides and her hip hop dance crew, Offbeat Heat.   



Pam Stuckey is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Renewable Envoy, an organization seeking to facilitate and promote the use renewable energy in Southern Nevada through education campaigns and sustainably-powered public art and infrastructure projects. An experienced online marketer, art advocate and renewable energy proponent, she is also a Solar Ambassador for SolarCity and a Research Associate for at-LAS, an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the UNLV School of Architecture. After a career in Human Resources with the State of Arkansas (working in Bill Clinton’s administration), Emerson Electric and the Sara Lee Corporation, Stuckey has also previously been Treasurer for the Contemporary Arts Center Las Vegas and Co-Owner and CEO of Body Sense for 18 years, a successful online complementary therapy business specializing in self-care products. Stuckey holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Arkansas State University.



Tyler Williams heads up Zappos’ Brand Aura team; a team that specializes in creating Zappos’ unique and quirky persona via events, campaigns and experiences nationwide. Williams is also the long-time company Fungineer, responsible for such popular internal events as “Boots and Shorts Thursdays” and “Tutu Tuesdays.” Prior to joining the Zappos’ Customer Loyalty Team in 2011, Williams did everything from production and construction to drumming for a rock band!
Williams’ presentation around doing good is to show companies that there is a direct ROI associated with investing in your employees, communities, and customers. It focuses on how changing your marketing (or in Zappos case, Brand Aura) purpose to prioritize doing good can increase your employee happiness, community favor, and customer affinity/revenue. You can simply make more money! Williams shows how “for good” campaigns have directly translated in to the higher lifetime value of a customer, and reduced expenses in employee attrition.




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