August 5, 2019
Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University is strengthening ties and creating relationships with Las Vegas businesses, organizations and individuals through a new community liaison position.
Juli Salman, alumni affairs director at Highlands, and Linda Anderle, administrative assistant in the University Relations Office, are sharing the part-time position. Both will also continue their other Highlands responsibilities.
Highlands University president Sam Minner created the new initiative to advocate for and increase public awareness of Highlands University in the Las Vegas community, and to build upon existing community relationships. The initiative is also meant to encourage collaboration on issues affecting both the city and the campus.
“Early universities were quite literally separate from the communities where they were located,” Minner said. “The thinking at the time was that this was the right and proper thing to do. That’s no longer true. Today, great communities work closely with great universities to get things done. HU has always worked closely with the broader community and this new initiative is yet another manifestation of that commitment.”
Juli Salman said, “We aim to create better communication with our Las Vegas community of all the events and opportunities Highlands offers. At the same time, our local businesses and other groups offer a wealth of resources to our Highlands students that will enhance their college experience. We want to help inform the campus community about these local goods and services.”
Anderle said the community liaisons will play a role in increasing Highlands University students’ volunteer service in the community.
“We will coordinate requests for more HU volunteer crews for non-profit organizations in Las Vegas, giving students hands-on experience and a chance to contribute in meaningful ways,” Anderle said.
Salman and Anderle agree that it’s important to build upon opportunities for bringing the community on campus. This covers many existing Highlands events such as music performances, sporting events, art exhibits, lectures, free movies in Ilfeld Auditorium, biennial matanza, and public use of the Highlands library and swimming pool. New events and activities will be developed and offered to the community.
Salman and Anderle are both excited about the opportunities the new position holds.
“I’ve lived in Las Vegas most of my life and raised my family here,” Salman said. “I enjoy seeing Las Vegas thrive and becoming more vibrant. To be able to facilitate the exchange of opportunity between campus and the community is very rewarding. I see all our lives being enriched by being better connected, and I’m grateful I can play a role in this.”
Anderele said, “I’m looking forward to helping create a feeling of ‘being at home’ and belonging in Las Vegas for some students. I also embrace the idea that Las Vegas citizens belong on campus, enjoying the activities offered. I’m also looking forward to seeing students, faculty and staff engaging more with the community.”
Anderle said listening to the community will be an important aspect of the new shared position.
“We can better serve the community’s needs when we listen. The team approach Dr. Minner put forth creates energy and enthusiasm,” Anderle said.
Salman and Anderle are both longtime Las Vegas residents, with Salman calling the Meadow City home for 27 years. Anderle, a Highlands alumna, has lived in Las Vegas for a total of 17 years, including the last 12.