Fall 2013
Development News

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Julie Rowe present award to Lisa Lyons with President Marc Johnson

Lisa Lyons, M.D.'97, center, received the Alumni Association Service Award in 2011 from Julie Rowe, former Nevada Alumni Association president and University President Marc Johnson. Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas.

Alumna pays it forward

By Anne McMillin, APR

With a desire to ‘pay it forward', former School of Medicine Alumni Association President Lisa Lyons, M.D., '97, established an endowment to support post-baccalaureate students at her alma mater.

"I was a single mother who was helped so much with my education with grants and a friend's father who came forward with funding for my medical school interviews, that I wanted someone else to have that opportunity," Lyons said.

Working through the School of Medicine's Development Office and the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation, Lyons created the Dr. Lisa M. Lyons Medical School Application Award Endowment to support fees associated with the post-baccalaureate program, medical school application fees, test preparations, travel to interviews and interview clothing for underrepresented recipients demonstrating a significant financial need.

The 2012-2013 recipient of this generous award was Cody Harris, a 2011 biology graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno, who is the first in his family to attend college.

"I want to plant the seed with my classmates and other alumni to consider giving back to the University when they are able to do so, especially if they have been helped by someone who gave to their education," Lyons said.

As a longtime Nevadan, Lyons attended the University of Nevada, Reno and received an undergraduate degree in clinical laboratory science in 1988.

She was active with the UNR cheerleading team throughout her undergraduate experience.

Following graduation she worked at University Medical Center of Southern Nevada and had a son, Cameron.

During her time at UMC, she realized she really liked interacting with patients and wanted more than what the lab could offer, so she decided to pursue admission to medical school.

After earning her medical degree, she stayed in Nevada and completed residency in internal medicine at the School of Medicine's Las Vegas campus.

Lyons remains quite active as a volunteer and supporter of the University and medical school.

She is serving as the immediate past president of the School of Medicine Alumni Association Board and with serves on the Nevada Alumni Association Council, the medical school admissions committee and countless other volunteer opportunities.

In 2011, she was recognized by the Nevada Alumni Association with the Alumni Association Service Award.

Lyons is currently the associate medical director of Infinity Hospice Care in Las Vegas.

"Dr. Lyons was a generous and consistent annual fund donor who decided to take her giving to the next level in a way that was especially meaningful to her."

"It's a pleasure to work with our supporters like Lisa to create personalized giving opportunities that, in turn, support the school and its students," said Christina Sarman, School of Medicine development director.

For more information on giving, contact the development office at (775) 682-7341.