New Face: Sean Mulvenon

With a background as a statistician, Sean Mulvenon signs up with the College of Education as both a professor and as the associate dean of research and sponsored projects with a strategy to increase research study financing and chances for faculty and trainees at UNLV.

Tell us about an item in your workplace that has significance to you.

I have a red button that resembles the “simple” button you see on TV, but this is a “bull ****” button. A number of years ago during a meeting at my research office with several doctoral trainees I was getting the “yabba dabba do” actions to a few projects and I said “that’s bull ****! You have to develop a much better procedure.” They loved my reaction that day and after that found this button in a novelty store and chose it was a perfect gift for me. Seldom does an individual visiting my office avoid striking the button to hear one of the 5 versions of “That’s bull ****” and chuckle. I think this button sets a tone of sincerity, clarity, and levity.

Why did you choose to come to UNLV?

Several reasons made UNLV a wonderful career move for me. UNLV’s Top Tier mission and the aligned support from the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, Clark County School District, Nevada Legislature, NSHE, and lots of others within the neighborhood make this a fantastic place to be, and the growth and growth of research in the College of Education requires the positive support of these groups; The chance to join the college’s leadership team of Dean (Kim) Metcalf, Dr. (Danica) Hays and Dr. (Doris) Watson, who are fantastic and educated concerning the commitment needed to be effective; and the energetic professors within the College of Education, who are active in grant writing and scholarship, provide the intellectual capital to be effective.

What about UNLV strikes you as different from other places you’ve worked or where you went to school?

UNLV is a huge little school. The university reports roughly 30,000 students, however as a big university, it has a smaller feel relative to other universities where I have actually been. In addition, this is the very first school I have actually been on since 1982 that does not have a football field on website. Which may explain why my concern “exactly what is the professors discount rate for football tickets?” led to such chaos at the UNLV box office. 2 ticket representatives, one facilities maintenance worker, two administrative assistants, and an assistant director in the athletic department later, I had my tickets, with the faculty discount rate of 20 percent!

Where did you grow up?

I matured in Yakima, Washington, a town in south central Washington. Yakima County is typically referred to as the “fruit bowl of the world” due to the fact that of the fruits and produce created in this community and shipped everywhere. I’m most proud of the hops we grow for beer.

What other tasks have you had?

I have a long history of regular tasks beginning with shipment of newspapers to 70 houses when I was 10 and a half years of ages. I then continued with different jobs to support myself throughout school, consisting of dealing with golf course upkeep crews through high school and college breaks, working as a janitor at Nordstrom’s and in the Kennedy Library at Eastern Washington University. During graduate school I worked a night shift as a bellman at a Scottsdale Resort and numerous graduate research study assistantships during my time at Arizona State University.

After making my doctorate, I worked as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois prior to joining the faculty at the University of Arkansas. There, I functioned as a professor and the director of research study and evaluation in the workplace of the vice provost of research and economic development. I likewise had the chance to function as the senior advisor to the deputy secretary of education in Washington, D.C. I likewise produced the National Workplace for Research on Measurement and Assessment Systems (NORMES) and directed over $12 million in financing as principal private investigator.

I think my early experience framed a devoted work principles, respect for all kinds of tasks, and it’sed a good idea for all my schooling that led me to put higher worth on my education. In addition, working on golf courses and as a bellman, janitor, etc. assisted grow my interpersonal abilities, gratitude for all roles in life, and made me a much better scholastic.

Inform us about a time in your life when you have actually been daring.

Any major research job needs the principal detective to be bold. You need to embrace the danger of failing, the risk of succeeding, and the risk of public record and responsibility for your research. You have to be willing to fail, and happy to use both the unfavorable and favorable information you discover to move on. And at the same time, you must learn how to overlook any swellings to your academic self-esteem.

Complete this sentence, “If I couldn’t operate in my field, I would like to …”.

Referee golf rounds. I am licensed as a United States Golf Associate rules official and I have actually worked a number of their national championships as an authorities. I would enjoy doing this full-time, focusing on junior golf programs and the NCAA competitions.

Tell us about somebody you appreciate and why.

Father Himes, a Jesuit priest, who during the last 2 years of high school when I resided in seven foster homes taught me perseverance, discipline, and to never feel sorry for myself. The day after I had moved in between 2 foster homes, in an understandably difficult situation, Dad Himes put his arm over my shoulder and stated, “I understand you had a bad day the other day, but you didn’t do your homework!” There are very few days that pass where I do not think of that easy life message.

I also admire Albert Einstein. Yes, he was the daddy of nuclear physics (my undergrad degree), but the message in his quote, “Do not inform me your problems in mathematics for I can guarantee you my own are still greater” is a lesson in keeping things in perspective. In addition to lots of other things, his writing, thoughts, and lessons contained in Opinions and Concepts, a collection of his letters, essays and other works, are exceptional … They assert his commanding presence and his ability to affect an academic point of view.

Any tips for success?

Focus on the best ways to solve problems, not why there are problems. I have constantly asked my doctoral students to share any problems they encounter, but they need to also share a possible solution they have established to move on.

Leisure activities or hobbies?

Passionate golfer. Mocking the neighbors who invest throughout the day working in their backyards. Tailgating with other professors and doctoral students at football games. Generator, TVs, camping tents, coolers, I have the full SEC (Southeastern Conference) fun pack for tailgating, which I have actually converted to UNLV equipment. Go Rebels!

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