You are here

New Face: Liz Kahane

This development professional is dedicated to helping UNLV’s graduate students get a life-changing education.

People  |  Aug 14, 2017  |  By Vaneh Darakjian
Liz Kahane

Elizabeth Kahane, associate director of development for the Graduate College. (R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo Services)

When Liz Kahane joined UNLV as associate director of development for the Graduate College, she knew she’d have the opportunity to support students’ academic pursuits. What she didn’t know was how much willingness there’d be to try new things, thanks to UNLV’s entrepreneurial spirit.


The community and the connection with Southern Nevada. I have had the opportunity to meet alumni all over the valley, and they really drew me to UNLV. It's great to hear their stories and how they make our community vibrant.

Why the Graduate College specifically?

The college works with more than 5,000 students in more than 145 graduate programs. I love the diversity of programs and scholars, as well as the chance to connect with alumni, donors, and friends of UNLV who have a passion for supporting students and the institution. The Graduate College core values and guiding principles of excellence, equity, diversity, opportunity, and impact resonate with me. I was thrilled to learn about the work the college does supporting our students throughout their academic journey, including providing funds for graduate students and professional development.

What about UNLV strikes you as different from other places you have worked?

I love the entrepreneurial spirit at UNLV. You don't hear that things need to be done a certain way because they have always been done that way. There is a great deal of openness to new ideas and trying new things. That makes for a very exciting environment of which to be a part.

Where did you grow up and what was that like?

I grew up in Watertown, Massachusetts, which is right outside of Boston. It’s an amazing place to grow up. You’re close to the ocean and the mountains as well as museums and great music — not to mention the sports teams. I have always been a Red Sox fan, though lately I have really enjoyed going to root on UNLV and the 51s.

What inspired you to get into your field?

It has always been important for me to support the place in which I live, so getting a chance to be part of the UNLV community and supporting a local public institution was a great fit for me. Education can be truly transformational for students, and I love having the opportunity to contribute as a development professional.

Finish this sentence, "If I couldn't work in my current field, I would like to..."

Teach outdoor wilderness skills to teenagers. You can learn so much about yourself and build a lot of confidence spending time outside, so I think it would be fun to share that with young people.

Tell us about a time in your life when you have been daring.

I grew up rowing and was on the crew team in college (at Dartmouth). After I graduated, I wasn't sure how to stay in shape. I enjoy being outside and active, so I decided to pick up running. I have never been much of a runner, so I jumped right into training for my first marathon. Six marathons later, my times haven't improved much, but I still enjoy racing.

Pastimes or hobbies?

I love to play golf! I’ll admit I was not very enthusiastic when I started playing but then I caught the bug. I try and get out as much as I can. Year-round golf is one of the things I love about living in Southern Nevada. I also enjoy spending time at Red Rock Canyon and Mount Charleston.

What can’t you work without?

I’m embarrassed to say that my father-in-law recently sent me a fidget spinner, and I find myself playing with it all the time when I’m in my office.