SNC Psychology Alumni Pay a Visit

Four of our SNC Psychology alumni, Maggie Burns 14′, Sarah Fricke 15′, Carly Schleh 16′, and Kyle Kelly 16′, along with Henry Conover, visited the Research Methods class for a fun activity. This activity helped the Research Methods students tighten up their independent research project ideas.

It is always nice to have our alumni back on campus and interacting with our future graduates!


Getting Active for Research Methods

On Wednesday, 8/31, the Research Methods class took a trip outside to Patterson Lawn. The students participated in a research idea generating activity that included rolling die with various independent and dependent variables, throwing a football, and sharing their research ideas with the group.

These students are amping up to begin their own independent research projects and are looking forward to the process!

Die Activity Picstitch NEW

SNC Psychology Returns from Stanford

The SNC Psychology Students returned from the Stanford Undergraduate Psychology Conference that was held May 20th-21st. The students presented their independent research projects in both poster and oral sessions.

Our very own President, Dr. Alan Walker, also attended the event to support our students! Three generations of Alumni were present as well.

Our group had a wonderful time and we look forward to future opportunities to present research at Stanford University.

Stanford Edit

SNC Psychology Students Head to Stanford

The SNC Psychology students are heading to the Stanford Undergraduate Research Conference on Wednesday, 5/18, to present their research. The Psychology department had a 100% acceptance rate for the conference!

Also joining us at Stanford, is our very own President Alan Walker! We look forward to representing SNC and are eager to share updates of the event.

Go Eagles!


INTD 300: Service Learning Reflection

Interdisciplinary Studies majors must take three INTD curriculum classes throughout their time at SNC: Intro to Interdisciplinary Studies, Service Learning, and Senior Portfolio. This semester, I was enrolled in the intro class as well as the service learning class.

Throughout the semester, I had mixed feelings about my service learning class.

On one hand, it was great to have the opportunity to obtain volunteer hours while gaining class credit at the same time. On the other hand, it was really time intensive to do so.

Our class was required to partner with a non-profit organization and dedicate 60 hours to volunteering with them, along with another 10-20 hours to create a final culminating project.

Since I was taking many other time-intensive classes along with this one, I often felt overwhelmed and had a negative opinion about the class. I felt like my volunteering hours weren’t making a difference and it was causing me to fall behind in other classes.

Despite the stress, the outcome of this class has surpassed my expectations. Along with my six other service learning classmates, we presented our service learning experiences to faculty and friends on Wednesday, May 4th. While explaining the work I did for my non-profit, the presentation allowed me to reflect on the journey and see how far I’ve come since starting the project in January.

As an Interdisciplinary major in ODAL and JOurnalism, it was impressive how much I used the skills in an interdisciplinary way to benefit the organization and grow as a person. My professionalism and communication skills have improved, and I’ve grown my multimedia journalism knowledge and have created an awesome final article to show for it. I took the thing I learned in a school environment and transferred them into a professional environment; a perfect stepping stone for a senior in college about to graduate and venture into the real world.

While I don’t want to go back and experience that stress again, it was well worth it in the end. Thank you Interdisciplinary Studies for forcing me to grow as a student and an individual!

Student Spotlight: Alyx Levine

SNC student Alyx Levine is killing it! An avid rock climber, Alyx recently got the opportunity to write an article (check it out here!) for about climbing in Yosemite High Country. I sat down with her to chat about school, work, climbing and her plans for the future.

Alyx Levine at Joshua Tree National Park

Alyx Levine at Joshua Tree National Park

Name: Alyx Levine

Hometown: Mill Valley, CA

Year in school: Junior

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies in Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Environmental Science


What prompted you to attend SNC?

I wanted to find a school that was in the mountains. I attended University of Colorado at Boulder first, but decided that it was too big for me. I found Tahoe and SNC when I was looking for schools near California. It was meant to be!

11082587_909501682433256_6020534073395592439_nHow did you come about choosing ODAL as your major?

I was majoring in Environmental Studies at Boulder and I was going to major in Environmental Science here, but then I found out SNC had an Outdoor Adventure Leadership program. I had just gotten back from an Outward Bound trip that year and knew it was something I wanted to pursue, so I did Interdisciplinary Studies in ODAL and Environmental Science.

How’d you get into rock climbing?

I work at REI in my hometown in Mill Valley. [About three years ago] I was invited by some guys that worked there to go to Yosemite and climb. I had only climbed when I was really young where there was a portable climbing wall, so this was my first real experience climbing; first time on a rope. It was terrifying…I was scared shitless. But, what I really loved about it was when you got to the top and saw the view. That’s where I caught the bug; the rest of history. Now I’ve been climbing for almost three years.

Favorite places to climb?
Yosemite, Joshua Tree and Tahoe.

How has rock climbing and ODAL helped you develop as a person?

Climbing parallels life in a lot of ways. It’s taught me patience, given me more confidence and made me a stronger person. The ODAL program has given me those same tools.

How did you get the opportunity to write an article for

I have a journalism background and I have always wanted to pursue some type of writing. i have a connection with and the editor reached out to me. I sent him my resume and some of my work and photos, and he said, “This is great, you’ll be a great voice for our website.” That’s how it happened!

What journalism experience have you had prior to getting this gig?

I wrote for my high school newspaper and I did this journalism program at Stanford when I was 16. I’m still into it! Majoring in journalism, though, I feel like it would’ve taken the fun out of it.

Are you going to continue writing for
They have one article of mine and said it did fairly well. So, I’m currently writing another one about climbing in Berkeley.

Alyx hanging out at the Washoe Boulders in Nevada

Alyx hanging out at the Washoe Boulders in Nevada

How did these experiences benefit you in the future?
It’ll open doors and opportunities. I know I want to travel when I graduate, so this website will be a great outlet for me to write about all the areas I travel to while exploring California.

What are your post-grad plans?
I think my boyfriend and I are going to buy a van and drive around for a bit. We’ll figure out where we want to live, and we’ll climb! He wants to be a climbing guide and I plan on doing something with my outdoor leadership and environmental science skills, so both of our jobs can be in a variety of locations. I’d also love to freelance write.

Any advice to future ODAL students? Or to aspiring climbers?

Having a positive attitude is the biggest thing. If you go into anything with a negative attitude, you’re not going to get as much out of it as you would’ve if you went into it with an open mind.

Benefits of Interdisciplinary Learning

SNC is unique in their offering of an Interdisciplinary Studies major; students can choose two or three areas of study and develop it into a personalized major. Many students mix Outdoor Adventure Leadership with a complementary area of study, such as Journalism, Entrepreneurship, Ski Business & Resort Management or Environmental Science. Other students choose interdisciplinary majors such as Sustainability, Digital Arts & Journalism, or New Media Journalism.

I declared a major in Interdisciplinary Studies in Journalism and Outdoor Adventure Leadership last fall and am loving the mix of learning writing skills and leadership development in an outdoor setting.

This semester, I undertook two of my three required Interdisciplinary Studies classes: INTD 250: Principles of Interdisciplinary Learning and INTD 300: Service Learning. The INTD 250 class revolves around research-intensive assignments and projects that encompass all of the elements of each student’s major, and in the INTD 300 class, each student partners with a non-profit and dedicates 60 volunteer hours and a cumulative project to their organization. While there’s been points during the semester where I’ve wanted to drop everything and give up, they’ve both been extremely beneficial now that I reflect on my experience.

In INTD 250, I’ve been challenged to examine the links between all aspects of my education – links I’d completely overlooked before. In INTD 300, taking the skills i’ve learned in Journalism and ODAL and transferring them to a non-profit setting has given me the essential, invaluable real-world experience. Both classes embody SNC’s theme of professional preparedness.

In a college education system that doesn’t allow for much experimentation and creativity in degree tracks, the Interdisciplinary Studies program here at SNC is gold. I truly feel like I have designed my own degree and gained the utmost value out of my time here. I’ll be walking away with more than just a piece of paper come graduation.

Learning Multimedia Journalism at SNC

Since become a Journalism major and immersing myself in the program here at SNC, I’ve learned a thing or two about the ins and outs of writing successful, engaging stories.

Last semester, I took a class called Beginning Multimedia Journalism. I didn’t know what to expect, but in an increasingly technology-driven society, I knew it would be essential material to learn.

In the beginning class, we learned how to incorporate multiple types of media into journalism, such as digital, video, and audio media. We learned how to use Audacity, Google Maps, iMovie, Photoshop, and other programs to implement multimedia into our articles.

I enjoyed the class and decided to take Intermediate Multimedia Journalism this semester. Tanya, my teacher, created curriculum for me and the one other intermediate student, and geared the class as an independent study. We decided what we would focus our multimedia skills on, created a spreadsheet of our hours spent working for Tanya to review. We would also come into the beginner multimedia class every other week to share some insight with the beginner students and help post articles to the Eagle’s Eye website.

This semester, through Intermediate Multimedia Journalism, I have furthered my skills and created some impressive work to show for it. I decided to gear my learning towards social media by taking over the ODAL facebook page and making posts throughout the week. I also created blog posts (like this one!), worked with Rosie Hackett on other ODAL social media initiatives, took Google Analytics courses, and created an online portfolio to showcase my journalism work.

As my final project, I created a multimedia story using Readymag, an online web publication software. Here’s how it turned out:

I’m extremely proud with how far I’ve come, both in this class and at SNC. The journalism program, thanks to its amazing faculty, has transformed me from a timid writer to a confident journalist. I couldn’t be happier with my education here at SNC.

Sustainability Film Festival

Last Friday, April 22nd, SNC Senior Marina McCoy hosted a film festival event to highlight Earth Day and raise awareness about the topic of food waste.

The first film showing was “Dive! The Film,” which follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of Los Angeles’ supermarkets. In the process, they salvage thousands of dollars worth of good, edible food – resulting in an inspiring documentary that is equal parts entertainment, guerilla journalism and call to action.

The second film was “Just Eat It! A Food Waste Story,” where Canadian filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant explore the issue of waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they embark on a six month journey to quit grocery shopping and survive only on foods that would otherwise be thrown away.

The event was a large success – after the film, the room buzzed with passionate conversation as students, faculty and community members cycled through all their new knowledge.

McCoy is working to develop a composting system at SNC in order to combat waste on campus.

A big thanks to Marina for putting on an awesome event!

ODAL Alumni Spotlight: Erica Nelson

13045387_928046317611_438165957_nName: Erica Nelson

Major: BA in Psychology with ODAL Minor

Graduated: May 2015

What Erica has to say:

“A major component I took away from ODAL is finding my most effective leadership style. Also that Expedition Behavior (EB) goes a long way even out of the wilderness and transferrable in any work environment. ODAL has also given me risk management tools and information to do rad things on weekends like rafting, climbing, solo backpacking, and feeling confident and comfortable leading others. Since graduation I’ve traveled to India, summited Mt. Whitney (with fellow ODAL grads), one of my favorite jobs was creating and developing curriculum for a summer camp in Lake Tahoe, then implementing it and seeing it roll into action. I spent my weekends river guiding on the South Fork American River with various companies including OARS, H2O Adventures, and Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC). I recently ended my winter seasonal position at Northstar in Human Resources, and now currently work on the Admissions and Marketing team at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Headquarters in Lander, WY. I truly believe the skills and ethics I learned from ODAL has continued to provide opportunities for me in my leadership development and career.”

“Stay together, send it, and be styley.”