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DRI to host "No Greater Odds" documentary film premiere

New Documentary Highlights Unique Needs of Community College Students

Media invited to watch film Oct. 1, prior to the Nevada System of Higher Education Southern Nevada Diversity Summit.

LAS VEGAS, October 1, 2015 – As national and state policymakers debate higher education policies affecting community colleges, the College of Southern Nevada is pleased to present the documentary, “No Greater Odds,” as an informational tool to highlight the unique needs of community college students across the nation.

The film is being shown at multiple higher education conferences nationwide this academic year and will be viewed for the first time outside CSN on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 6:00 p.m. at the Desert Research Institute. The documentary and subsequent panel discussion are part of a pre-session to the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Southern Nevada Diversity Summit, which is taking place Friday, Oct. 2, at Nevada State College.

The “No Greater Odds” documentary follows the inspirational stories of five community college students at CSN who against overwhelming personal and financial obstacles obtained their college diplomas. Filmmaker and CSN alumnus Patrick Wirtz directed the film, which was produced by John Aliano, the director of CSN's videography and film program.

As federal legislators look to reauthorize the Higher Education Act and higher education policymakers debate the merits of universal community college proposals, this film seeks to differentiate community college students from traditional four-year institution students and showcase their diverse, non-traditional needs. The hour-long film documents the struggles of CSN alumni: Barbara Ayarza, a single mom with six children; Carlos Holguin, a first-generation college student; Jaklin Guyumjyan, who immigrated to the United States as a child on Sept. 10th, 2001; Monique Makhlouf, who began working at the age of 15 after her mother broke her back and had her home foreclosed upon while in college; and Tyrone Foster, a sexual assault victim also diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type II.

The film has been selected for viewing at higher education conferences, including Thursday’s pre-conference screening for the NSHE Diversity Summit on Oct. 1 at Desert Research Institute, the National Academic Advising Association’s annual conference Oct. 5 at Caesar’s Palace, the Achieving the Dream 2016 conference in Atlanta in February, the League for Innovation in the Community College’s 2016 conference in Chicago in March and at the NISOD 2016 conference in Austin, Texas.

What: View “No Greater Odds,” the documentary on non-traditional community college students

When: Thursday, Oct. 1, at 6:00 p.m. (meet and greet with cast & crew beginning at 5:15 pm) CSN Announcement Page 2 © College of Southern Nevada

Where: Desert Research Institute, 755 E. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas, Frank H. Rogers Auditorium

"No Greater Odds" Extended Trailer from No Greater Odds on Vimeo.

To attend Thursday’s Oct. 1 viewing, please contact CSN Associate Vice President of Student Success James McCoy at 702-651-7357 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About CSN: Founded in 1971 and educating thousands of students a semester, the College of Southern Nevada ( is the state’s largest and most ethnically diverse higher education institution. CSN students can choose from over 150 degree and certificate options in more than 90 areas of study, including 25 degree and certificate programs available entirely online. Students create flexible, personalized schedules, including day, evening, and weekend classes taught on three main campuses and multiple locations throughout Southern Nevada. CSN — your future starts here. CSN is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution.

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