Jennifer Gray is back at UNLV as the new director of Student Union & Event Services.
“It feels so great to be back. UNLV is my home and I am thrilled to be stepping into a role that combines all of my passions,” Gray said.
There were many COVID-19 pandemic rolling projects for the student union that were put on hold. With operations in the student union returning to a subtle normal and all units resuming to in-person operations, Gray hopes to spearhead initiatives that have been on the student union’s wishlist for the past two years.
“Some of the things that we will focus on are brainstorming what are some low-cost but high-impact ways to improve the building,” Gray said.
“A few of those ideas are investing in beautification projects, implementing more safety and security initiatives, and rebuilding student staffing,” Gray said.
Gray also discussed ideas behind the 2019 Student Union Expansion Project as a point of reference for future ways to re-envision the current Student Union. Phase 1 of the expansion project was to reinvigorate the current student union with strategic spacing and inclusivity.
Phase 2 of the project focused on building a new Student Union on the north-west side of campus. Construction is estimated to begin in 2023. Gray looks forward to this collaborative process involving university leadership and students in the near future.
The three foundational roles of Gray’s office are managing the facility, overseeing event spaces, and business entities in partnership with the student union. Her primary mission is to use her office to promote inclusivity, collaboration, and innovation on campus and within the student body.
“I’m excited to make the student union a memorable place for students to spend time in. I am thrilled to facilitate and hold that space because it’s the reflection and heart of our community,” said Gray.
Gray previously worked at UNLV’s campus for approximately 14 years prior to transitioning to the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) to serve as the director of Auxiliary Services.
Her 14 year track record at UNLV started with serving as the assistant director of housing administration, which oversaw UNLV Housing’s departmental procedures and obligations. In 2012, Gray transitioned from this role to work as a contract manager for the vice president’s Office for Student Affairs, and later as the director of Student Affairs Communications & Business Partner Relations in 2016.
Through her administrative roles in the Division of Student Affairs, Gray sat on a variety of committees and provided high-level support to the vice president and associate vice president on a number of projects.
Gray brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role from her previous positions at both UNLV and CSN.
During her prior roles at UNLV, Gray collaborated frequently with the student union on implementing initiatives on campus. “When I learned about this position opening, I knew it would be the perfect way for me to combine some of my experiences with the community, students, and operations, alongside my passion for inclusion,” Gray said.