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Meg Wolitzer's book cover

Nic’s Picks: Winter Reading List

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There’s a chill in the air now, and while finals are a few weeks away, curl up with one of these books instead of prestressing about that project or test you’ll probably ace.

The Female Persuasion
Novel by Meg Wolitzer

After shy college freshman, Greer Kadetsky, is assaulted at a frat party, a friend introduces her to feminist icon, Faith Frank. Faith influences Greer to be less passive, more aggressive and to find her voice. After the two meet, they stay in close contact and Greer is offered a job at Faith’s newly formed feminist, girl-power driven publication. However, the company was formed with some shady funding and a mess of a PR team. Greer does what is right, and we follow not only her story, but Faith’s rise to fame. The perspective of Greer’s boyfriend Cory is also included, and how he drops his plans for a startup due to a family crisis shows that men can also have positive roles in feminism.

The Woman in the Window
Novel by AJ Finn

Anna Fox is a psychologist dealing with her own problems: her husband has left her and taken their daughter, and because of a traumatic incident, she is now a recluse and an alcoholic. Her only pleasures in life now include watching old films, counseling fellow agoraphobes online, and spying on her neighbors through her window. When a new, mysterious family moves in, Anna is intrigued by the fact that the son is incredibly sensitive, the husband is controlling, and the wife seems to be a figment of Anna’s imagination.
The novel, which is Finn’s debut, has at least three unexpected but still impressive twists. A movie based on this book is expected to be released next October.

Novel by Daniel Torday


This novel encompasses the millennial frustrations that are so common: lack of job prospects, housing, high cost of rent and the misconceptions that the baby boomers have about us. Former journalist, Mark, is upset with a lack of teaching positions due to baby boomers not retiring, so he heads from New York to his mother’s basement and begins a revolution online under an alias. He calls on his fellow millennials to create anarchy against the older generation, and chaos ensues. The novel shifts between Mark’s perspective, his ex-girlfriend Cassie, and his baby boomer mother as a way to show a counterpoint: Not all millennials like Cassie are struggling, and not all baby boomers are bad. The novel is exciting, well paced and amazingly written. Today really takes the idea of “showing, not telling” in writing to the extreme, which works great for the plot line.

UNR Student Nutrition Association's Fashion show models

Fashion for Food

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The UNR Student Nutrition Association recently hosted an annual fashion show fundraiser on November 10th in partnership with On Common Ground, a local organization that aims to connect the community with educational tools to help adults and children meet their potential with nutritious food. This show featured Reno’s twelve best local designers along with models of all races, ages, genders, and sizes. The show was hosted in the Joe Crowley Student Union on the UNR campus.

The show began with a pre-act of four local artists performing songs. With hit songs by Whitney Houston and other amazing covers, this section was a hit with the diverse crowd who enjoyed the variety of music being sung.

After the performances ended, OCG (On Common Ground) gave a presentation on their mission. The fashion show was created in order to raise funds for mobile markets to serve areas with limited access to food and a food processing plant to convert food into a shelf-stable products.

Audience members could buy faux cocktails and participate in a silent auction that included art and fashion pieces offered by the designers in the show.

The show then started with a brand called Northern NV Thai Fashion. They showcased designs that represented Thai culture, featuring Thai music and dance. Their garments were vibrant colors with intricate headpieces that represented different parts of their culture.

The show also included Onomé Wowo Ladies Fashion, Drag on A Budget by DemenCha, Taylor Uchytil Designs, Playa Wear a la Haute Trash by Paula Povilitis, Zozobee Bikini & Flexwear, Polyesther’s Costume Boutique, Banana Republic GAP Stores, Lily’s Décor la Barata and Upcycled Youth Trends by Kids-Repurposed apparel.

The show’s closing designer was fashion designer Edward Coleman, who’s brand is Edward S. Coleman Designs. It ended on a dramatic and melancholy note, with dark dresses of black and burgundy, and details with lace and leather. The models walked slowly down the runway with a serious expression. The closing act blew the audience away, however there were some standout designers that I personally loved.

Taylor Uchytil featured outfits that defined the model’s personality. The personable items made this segment fun to watch. Some models walked down in leather with red accents rocking a ‘motorcyclist’ look while some walked down in flowery head garments and long skirts showcasing an ethereal look.

I also enjoyed Lily’s Décor which revealed puffy, sparkly, and sleek dresses that any little girl wishing to be a princess or any teen girl waiting for prom would love to have. Their models ranged in all ages, as well as the designs being made for people of all shapes and sizes.

All of the designers came together to truly make the audience appreciate fashion and all of the hard work the designers and artists involved are put through in the process of showcasing their unique designs.


Women at Google

Women in Computer Science and Engineering Strive for More Representation

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In the era of ‘girl power’, encouraging women to shatter glass ceilings and be their own bosses has become incredibly common. In some fields, such as engineering and computer science, there is a huge struggle to see women in visible roles. Women make up half of the total United States college educated workforce but only 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce, according to statistics from the National Girls Collaborative Project. They also received half of the degrees awarded in the biological science in the past year, and only 19.3% in engineering, and even less than that in computer science at 17.9%.

That’s where the Women in Computer Science and Engineering Club, or WICSE, comes in. Their goal, according to their website, is to bring women together who share common interests and support women dedicated to careers in the engineering field. Hosting guest speakers, conferences, and workshops, the club hopes to get women more involved in STEM positions.

Assistant professor Emily Hand is new to the College of Engineering this semester and is the faculty advisor for the club. Hand teaches computer science and engineering, and her research interests include computer vision and machine learning, which is the automation of vision for machines and how they can learn like a human, respectively.

The need for this research is incredibly important as automation becomes prevalent in the workforce. The university is also working to accommodate more engineers, with the creation of Great Basin Hall, a dorm for STEM majors, and the recent groundbreaking of the new William N. Pennington Engineering Building, projected to be finished in the summer of 2020.

Frances Vinlove is the treasurer for WICSE and works as a chair for the Programming Committee, Engineering Leadership Council, and works with students in the MESA program.

“I joined the club because I was looking to meet other computer science engineering people and to be in a leadership role, which I enjoy and thrive in,” Vinlove said.

The club attended the Grace Hopper Celebration for the past two years. It is a massive conference celebrating women in computing. Hosted by AnitaB.Org, a digital community for women founded by computer scientist Anita Borg, the goal of the conference is to envision a “future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for which they build it.”

“We also hosted the Most Significant Bit in April,” Vinlove said, “For the past four years, we invite middle school and high school girls to the campus, supply free food and swag, and they get to learn about computer science engineering in a fun environment with different activities.” Wanisha Holmes is the Events Coordinator for the club, and says that anyone who is interested in supporting WICSE can simply just attend one of their meetings; there is no previous engineering experience or major requirement to be a part of it.

“Women in this field are very rare, and being able to connect and share experiences with other women and help encourage them is an amazing thing,” said Holmes. She says that one thing she enjoys most about engineering is that the topic is constantly changing, and evolving and there is always “something fun and exciting that needs to be solved.”

However, being a female in a male-dominated profession comes with some drawbacks. Holmes says that women can face the challenge of not being good enough or smart enough to be in the field.

“Work hard and believe in yourself, no one can tell you you’re not good enough. Strive to be the best in the world at what you do and you will be unstoppable, is what advice I would give,” Holmes said.

If that isn’t inspiring in today’s challenging world for women, then what is?


pumpkin patch

Reno’s Best Fall and Winter Activities

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With fall almost near a close and winter sneaking up on us soon, here’s some fall and winter activities to do this season! Take a break from studying to enjoy the best Reno and the surrounding areas have to offer. 

Fall Activities

Pumpkin Patch

A classic fall activity includes driving out to the pumpkin patch, picking the perfect pumpkin, and taking it home to decorate. In Reno, we’re lucky to have Ferrari Farms and Andelin Farms. Both farms also have corn mazes and zombie paintball. At Walmart, they sell pumpkin carving kits for $6 and includes everything you’ll need like carving utensils, scoops, and stencils.

Photo by Jillyan Jacobson


Apple Hill

The beauty of Reno’s location is how close we are to other cities. Apple Hill, located in Placerville, is only a brief two hour drive. The farm also has an apple orchard, a pumpkin patch, a winery, and several vineyard locations.

Wine Walk (21+)

November 17th take part in the Tipsy Turkey Wine Walk from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. For $20 you’ll have access to popular bars like Brewer’s Cabinet, Imperial, The Jungle, and Sierra Tap House. With your wristband you can sample wine at some of the following locations: Noble Pie, Faces NV, The Rack, the Stick, and so many more.

Black Friday

After a day of thanks and when you’re inner shopaholic emerges, enjoy the day getting deals on your favorite items. According to Yelp, some of the Best Black Friday deals in Reno are: The Summit Mall in South Reno, Kohl’s (any location), The Outlets at Legends in Sparks, Macy’s and Buckle located in Meadowood Mall.


Galena Creeks has amazing views of the valley and the forest. There’s hikes ranging from one mile to nine miles. Hunter creek is a 5.7 mile hike that leads you through desert and forest terrain with a beautiful waterfall at the end.

Winter Activities

Photo by Jana Sayson


UNR Basketball Games

The winter season wouldn’t be complete without attending a few basketball games. The schedule can be found on the University of Nevada Athletics website. The Reno Gazette Journal predicts it will be another good year with Eric Musselman renewing his position as coach for men’s basketball. The women’s basketball team is also expected to have a good season after recruiting six talented freshmen girls

Ice Skating

The Reno Aces ballpark transforms their front yard into an ice skating rink starting Tuesday November 20th 2018 until January 22nd 2019.

Nightmare Before Christmas

One of classic Christmas movies,The Nightmare Before Christmas, will be playing in Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City from December 6th to December 16th. Tickets start at $20 and I would hop on them quick because it’s selling out fast!

Ugly Sweater Crawl (21+)

December 15th Walmart will run out of their ugly sweaters because the Ugly Sweater Crawl is taking place that night in Downtown Sparks in Victorian Square. From 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. there will be drink specials, an Ugly Sweater Contest, Shotski, and giveaways.

Santa Crawl (21+)

If you love the Christmas spirit, get your Santa getup on and participate in the Santa Crawl December 15th at 7:30 p.m. Buy a cup for $5.50 for exclusive Santa drink specials, no cover charges, photo ops and contests. There’s 36 locations and all the funds go to local schools, so give back this holiday season!


rolls of money

Money Tips for College Students

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With a cost of $207 per credit hour at UNR (that’s before you even tack on all the other student fees), and the cost of living rising in the Reno area it’s no secret that it’s intimidating, stressful, and discouraging when you’re trying to figure out how you’re going to pay for the next semester of college. It’s hard enough to just focus on school alone, but when you have to work three jobs just to pay your rent it can be easy to lose motivation and to want to drop out.

Looking back at my financial situation in college I know that my mom helped me out with the cost of some of my tuition each year, but other than that I’ve also had to work my a** off, and I know there’s a lot of you out there who do, too. At one point I was working close to 40 hours a week in between the three jobs I had, was taking out the max amount of loans available, and was eating spaghetti noodles with just salt and olive oil because I didn’t want to spend my money on more food. Gross.

However, as a senior I’ve learned some tricks of the trade when it comes to budgeting and saving on a tiny paycheck. I hope some of these tips help you with your financial situation and ease the stress that paying for school can have on you.

  1. Do the money in an envelope method. At the beginning of the month go to an ATM and take out a certain amount of money you’ll allow yourself to spend in a certain category. When the money is out it’s out, and you have to wait until the next month to spend money in that category again. For example I’ll have $20 in an “alcohol” envelope. If I spend all $20 the first weekend, I don’t allow myself to spend any more on drinks for the rest of the month forcing me to budget. This is great for small expenses that you don’t think add up to a large sum of money but do. I’d recommend having an envelope for alcohol/going out, groceries, gas, and eating out at restaurants. It can be depressing at first when you can’t afford to buy that fancy cheese at the grocery store, but it causes you to really only buy essentials and pocket your savings. Hey, if you have extra money at the end of the month, reward yourself and splurge on a fancy coffee or something.
  2. Shop at the 99 Cent Store. A lot of my friends make fun of me for shopping here, but honestly it’s a god sent. The 99 Cent Store is not ghetto or full of nasty old food, it’s full of fresh produce that’s overstock from regular grocery stores which allows for the huge price markdown. I like to do most of my grocery shopping here because they carry most items with the exception of groceries that obviously cost more than 99 cents like ground beef, chicken, or bulk items. They have a wide selection of fresh produce, frozen meals, and canned goods. Best of all, a lot of the brands are similar to those that can be found at more expensive grocery stores. Some trips to the 99 Cent Store leave me walking away with enough healthy and filling groceries that’ll last me the whole week for $20. The closest 99 Cent Store is just across from Meadowood Mall on Virginia Street — I recommend checking it out.
  3. Use the Mint App. Mint is awesome. It tracks your spending on all accounts and divides purchases up by category like fast food, groceries, gas, coffee shops, shopping, business services, and more, so you can see exactly where your money goes. Mint also keeps track of when your bills are due, how much money you’re taking in each month versus spending, and sends you alerts when you’ve gone over budget. The great thing about this app is it’s also customizable. You can set specific budgets that work with you and fit your lifestyle as Mint tracks when you’re getting close to say going over your monthly restaurant budget. Mint also calculates your net worth which is nice when you’re trying to figure out how much money you have total between savings, checking, and credit accounts. It also provides you with your credit score and alerts you when your score goes up or down and the reason why, so you can either continue to improve your score or make adjustments. The best part about Mint, it’s free to download and free to use. A lot of budgeting apps require a subscription or payment up front. Mint is 100% free to use at any time.
  4. Apply for scholarships. This one you’ve got to be persistent with. During my freshman and sophomore years I was extremely discouraged about applying for scholarships because I’d fill out so many applications with little to no return. However, if you can hang on until your junior or senior year and apply for major specific scholarships, there’s a whole pool of money waiting for you that not everyone has access to. I filled out the university scholarship application every year. You know, the one on MyNevada that’s always due before February 1st. For years I got nothing, but the second I actually became a journalism major instead of “pre-journalism” I received five scholarships. This year I received so many scholarships from UNR I actually got paid to go to school this semester which was a huge weight off my shoulders. Don’t think just because you didn’t get anything remarkable in the scholarship department your freshman year that it’s going to be like that forever.