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Higher ed system announces 5 Distinguished Nevadan honorees

Nevada’s higher education system announced Monday the five recipients of its 2023 Distinguished Nevadan awards.

The Nevada Board of Regents voted Friday to approve the nominees for the award: Peter Breen, Astrid Silva, Anthony “Nino” Galloway, Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann and James Hardesty.

“Their achievements and contributions have not only positively impacted the state of Nevada but have also inspired others to follow in their footsteps,” Board Chair Byron Brooks said in a news release.

The Nevada System of Higher Education has granted the awards — the highest recognition it bestows — since 1958 to people who have made significant contributions to the state or provided “exceptional educational services” to the state or nation, according to the release.

Breen, a retired judge, spent 45 years in public service.

Silva founded Dream Big Nevada “to help fellow undocumented youth gain access to higher education” and is the first director of the Clark County School District’s UNIFY — Undocumented & Immigrant Family & Youth Success Services.

Galloway is a founding member of the Firefighters of Southern Nevada Burn Foundation and Give Tribe. He retired in July 2022 from the North Las Vegas Fire Department after 29 years.

Desmond-Hellmann — who graduated with a bachelor’s degree and doctor of medicine degree from University of Nevada, Reno — previously served as the chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco.

Hardesty served as a justice on the Nevada Supreme Court from 2004 until the end of 2022. He was also previously a member of the Nevada State Board of Education.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

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