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Newsmakers, June 4-10, 2015

Dr. Britnney Spurling graduated from Washington State University School of Veterinary Medicine with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. A 2011 graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno and a 2007 graduate of Centennial High School, Spurling is the daughter of Michael Spurling and Tracy Richardson-Ramzy of Las Vegas. She has been accepted into an internship program at Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center in Tucson, Ariz., with a focus on small animal oncology.

Ramona Denby-Brinson, a social work professor within the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs, became the first female researcher to win UNLV’s top annual research award: the Harry Reid Silver State Research Award. She was recognized for her work on social services, the foster system and children’s mental health.

During the May 8 Sneaker Ball, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada’s annual fundraising gala, youth advocate Brigette Kirvin was honored for her efforts. Kirvin is a supporter and sponsor of the clubs and the executive director of the national nonprofit Girls on the Run. Kirvin has worked with clubhouse directors since 2014 to bring the Girls on the Run program to the downtown Las Vegas Boys & Girls Clubs. Also honored during the event were LPGA professional golfer Natalie Gulbis and David Kirvin of Kirvin Doak Communications.

Nevada Assemblyman Derek Armstrong is among 23 state legislators named to the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption’s 2015 class of Emerging Leaders, a group of state legislators from across the nation pegged as having potential for a positive impact on their state and the Republican Party.

Charles Cushinery, a 2015 Music Educator Award finalist from Clark High School, was honored by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation April 29 with the Music Educator Award. The award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through college, public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in schools.

Poets & Writers announced April 29 that fiction writer Joseph Langdon and poet Rosemary Powers, both of Las Vegas, are the winners of the 2015 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award.

Three dozen young artists from throughout the state were presented with awards for their participation in the 2015 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program art contest. Santiago LaRochelle, an eighth-grader at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School, picked up Best of Show honors for his acrylic painting of a Redhead duck. Santiago’s older brother Diego, who won Best of Show in the 2014 Nevada Junior Duck Stamp art competition, placed first in the 10th- through 12th-grade group. Their younger sister, Rosa, won first place in the kindergarten through third-grade group this year. They are the children of Jim and Lourdes LaRochelle of Las Vegas. Olivia Duckworth, a first-grade student at Las Vegas Day School, submitted the winning conservation message: “We cannot duck our responsibility to conserve our wetlands!”

Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, honored several liberal arts students for high achievement, including Alexa Murrietta and Jordan Crow, both of North Las Vegas, and Brianna Yee of Las Vegas.

Matt Smith Physical Therapy completed its fourth annual food drive in April, benefiting Three Square food bank. The company collected 706 pounds of food.

The Citadel’s Commandant of Cadets designated commanders, regimental staff, sergeants major and first sergeants for the class of 2016 and 2017. Cadet Angelica McNerny of Las Vegas was honored with the role of Fifth Battalion V Company first sergeant at the school in Charleston, S.C.

In April, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation released the names of the first group of winners in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, including: Sean Berman of Green Valley High School, Eric M. Lujan of Coronado High School and West E. Wagner of Silverado High School.

Elizabeth Harper of Las Vegas earned a Distinguished Scholar Award at Muskingum University’s Scholarship Recognition Day April 10 in New Concord, Ohio.

Army Pvt. Eric A. Gonzalez graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. Gonzalez is the son of Martha Ortega and Osiel Gonzalez of Las Vegas and is a 2015 graduate of Cimarron-Memorial High School.

Army Pvt. Nidia E. Mendoza graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. Mendoza is the sister of Teresa Jimenez and daughter-in-law of Abby Garcia of Las Vegas and is a 2014 graduate of Desert Pines High School.

Air Force Airman Joseph A. Baraga graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio. Baraga is the son of Mark Baraga and Loretta D’Ambrosia and grandson of Atsuyo D’ambrosia of Las Vegas. He graduated in 2008 from Durango High School.

Army Pvt. Jaime Landaverde graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. Landaverde is the son of Senayda Vargas of Las Vegas and is a 2012 graduate of Del Sol High School.

Army Pvt. Andre D. Lagance graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. Lagance is the son of Andrew and Ruby Lagance of Las Vegas and is a 2013 graduate of Liberty High School.

Air Force Airman Jonathan D. Citsay graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio. Citsay is the son of Mark and Patricia Citsay of Las Vegas and is a 2012 graduate of Palo Verde High School.

Army Pvt. Aaron S. Williamson graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. Williamson is the son of Joseph D. Williams of Las Vegas and is a 2014 graduate of Del Sol High School.

Air Force Airman Aceley E. Agustin graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio. He is a 2013 graduate of Southeast Career Technical Academy.

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