ODAL Alumni Spotlight: Scout Sorcic

Scout Sorcic

Scout Sorcic

Name: Scout Sorcic

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies in ODAL and Ski Business/Resort Management

Graduated: December 2015

What Scout has to say:
“ODAL taught me to be open to new experiences and to raise my hand, share my ideas, learn from others and to have fun! I am in the transition period with my degree but will spend the summer working with the Colorado Outward Bound School out of their Moab, UT base as a logistics coordinator. I am looking into graduate assistantships for next fall/spring as my next academic move (But I am LOVING not being tied to a place or a school and skiing/rafting everyday for work).
I think what makes ODAL so cool is the hands on learning and the places you get to spend your “class time” as well as the relationships you develop. I know going forward I will always have a support network that understands seasonal jobs, moving from place to place and who aren’t afraid to share beta on the cool spots they have been since leaving Tahoe.”

ODAL Alumni Spotlight: Conner Wagner

Photo by Conner Wagner

Photo by Conner Wagner

Name: Conner Wagner

Graduated: December 2014

Major: INTD in ODAL and Entrepreneurship

What he’s been up to: Graduating with my ODAL degree has given me a huge advantage in locking in jobs that allow me to travel and continue to pursue what I am passionate about. As soon as I graduated from SNC I landed a job with an awesome surf camp in Nicaragua as a surf guide. I spent half a year taking people surfing up and down the Nicaraguan coast and got paid for it. Now I am planning a return trip, but this time with the goal of opening my own place. My own little surfers paradise.

The importance of balance

I often am overambitious. Sure, it’s good to have high expectations for yourself, but if you fill your plate with too many commitments and responsibilities, crashing and burning is nearly inevitable.

This is exactly what happened to me this semester.

In January, 19 credits and two jobs seemed exciting and doable. I told myself that the more was on my plate, the more productive and successful I’d be. I doubled up on intensive interdisciplinary classes that were supposed to taken sequentially. I formulated independent-study-type classes and commitments in order to fit everything in. Now, as March concludes, I’m having second thoughts.

I’m trying to graduate a semester early (this December) to save money. School isn’t my thing, so I’m just trying to get done as soon as possible. This December, at 21 years old, I’ll have completed my bachelor’s degree.

I’m proud of myself. As a two-time transfer student, I never would have thought I’d finish college in three and a half years and have a degree and respectable GPA to show for it. But here I am. I made my own luck.

Unfortunately, this ambition hasn’t come without sacrifices.

I went out to a party for the first time all semester (and probably the third or fourth time all school year) last weekend. It was a blast, but I was so hungover the following day that I missed work and fell even farther behind on the the glaring pile of assignments due. I felt guilty for going out and was ridden with regret and stress.

Here’s the problem with what I’m trying to do this semester. I’m so invested in school and work that there’s no room for anything else. Should I feel guilty for going out and having fun with friends? Absolutely not. Should I beat myself up for spending a night with Netflix and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s? No. Should I detest my classes and dread class every day? No, but I do because they’re all that my life revolves around.

College academics aren’t life. College isn’t life! There’s so much more to this time in our lives than just getting the grade; getting the degree. If this is the only life we get, I don’t want to look back at my 19- and 20-year-old self and say, “Wow, all she did was homework and work.”

If I were to get hit by a car and die tomorrow, that would suck. That would suck in general, but it would especially suck because the years leading up to it weren’t lived well. I’d have an impressive transcript to show for it, but no amazing, memorable experiences to cherish forever.

Life should be an enjoyable journey and we should aspire to be happy. I shouldn’t be counting down the days until graduation in hopes that something better will follow.

Go out and party. Eat the slice of cake. Skip class to hit the slopes on that perfect pow day.

Then, nurse your hangover and drink lots of water. Hit the gym. Write that A-worthy research paper. Go to class. Get shit done.

We often lose sight of this awesome concept of life underneath the weight of all the responsibilities given to students. We’re young and able-bodied and we’re living in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Go out and enjoy it.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t take school seriously; college is a big investment and you get out what you put in.

If I could go back, I’d take on a lot less. Less credits each semester. Only apply for one job. I’d fill my days with more things I want to do, not just things I should do. I’d stick around in Tahoe a bit longer, even if it means a bit more debt down the road.

School is important, but so is self-care and happiness. Keep it balanced.

Psychology Research Fair 2016

Seniors in the Psychology Department are busy adding the finishing touches to their independent research projects in preparation for Sierra Nevada College’s 2016 Psychology Research Fair on April 18th, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. The Psychology Research Fair provides the Psychology seniors an opportunity to present the culmination of their year-long process of researching, developing, and conducting their independent research projects. The event is open to the SNC community and support is encouraged from across disciplines.

We hope to see you all there!

2016 North Lake Tahoe Truckee Leadership Program

SNC’s Provost Shannon Beets invited Psychology Program Chair, Christina Frederick, the senior assistant to the Psychology Program Chair, Sarah Fricke, along with psychology undergraduate students Emily Gross and Katie O’Hara to lead a workshop on survey and interview design for the North Lake Tahoe Truckee Leadership Program. The North Lake Tahoe Truckee Leadership Program aims to equip young professionals in the Tahoe/Truckee area with the skills they need to excel in their careers’. This opportunity gave SNC undergraduates real-life experience in leading workshops and facilitating professional growth.

North Lake Tahoe Truckee Leadership program group picture
Group photo of attendees and workshop leaders

NLTTLP student picture
SNC faculty, staff, and students Sarah Fricke (top left),
Christina Frederick (top right), Emily Gross (bottom left),
and Katie O’Hara (bottom right).

NLTTLP action shot
Katie O’Hara (left) and Emily Gross (right)
leading discussion with a group of attendees

NLTTLP katie drinking water

INTD Student Spotlight: Sydney Pinkerton

By Sydney Pinkerton

Sydney is majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies in Art and ODAL with a minor in Psychology. She graduates in May 2016.

Ever since I was very little, I knew that art would be my passion. I also knew that the mountains were calling and Ohio wasn’t the place for me. After high school I studied at an art institute in Colorado, but going to school to focus only on art seemed to take the enjoyment out of it for me and I knew I could get more out of my college career. While I vacillated, my mom suggested I look at SNC. All it took was a Google search of Lake Tahoe and a virtual tour of the campus for me to decide this was the place I needed to be.

Being at a SNC has reignited my love for learning and is setting me on a path to amazing opportunities and achievements.

Pinkerton-Sydney1-420Initially I majored in Psychology and Outdoor Adventure Leadership but I really missed art classes, so I decided on an Interdisciplinary ODAL and Fine Art major with a minor in Psychology. I’ve always felt a need to encourage individual empowerment and teach people self-love, and the path I am on now is taking me closer to making that passion a career. I hope to work in established adventure and art therapy programs on the way to starting my own!

I developed a deep connection and appreciation for horses riding and competing growing up, so my service learning project starts my journey into the world of therapy at Equus Insight in Reno, an equine therapy program for at risk youth. I helped with equine therapies for clients and worked on the ranch. I also designed and ran a weekend retreat for SNC students to come to the center and participate in art, adventure and equine activities with the horses. It’s so exciting to share this passion with others in a therapeutic way. I know that horses have been a large part of my life for a reason and I definitely see myself incorporating them more in my future.

I know that without the help and inspirations from the professors and peers I’ve met here, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I couldn’t be more grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the doors that have opened throughout this community.

This article was originally posted on the Sierra Nevada College website.

Why become a WO Leader?

Most students and faculty can attest to the fact that our school is unique. It’s tiny and tight-knit. It has majors such as Ski Business Resort Management and Outdoor Adventure Leadership. It’s right on Lake Tahoe and surrounded by mountains.

However, there’s one bizarre activity SNC runs that takes the cake: Wilderness Orientation.

This orientation event allows student leaders to take new fall freshman and transfer students on a four-day backpacking trip in Desolation Wilderness.

Say what?!

“There is nothing like walking through rugged and majestic terrain to prepare students with the skills they need to be successful in SNC life,” says Wilderness Orientation and ODAL program director Rosie Hackett. “Skills like endurance, resourcefulness, tenacity, compassion, etc. Students return from the wild with an extraordinary experience in common with almost 50 other SNC students, with a supportive friend network, and a true sense of place…appreciating the unique environment they choose for their home and educational journey.”

The WO experience is just as potent if not more potent for the student leaders,” Hackett continued. “Through WO, they are given an opportunity to test their skills and knowledge, developed on their educational journey at SNC, and apply their unique style to an authentic leadership role. WO leaders empower participants with lasting social communities and a greater sense of school spirit.”

Fall 2015 WO Leaders

Fall 2015 WO Leaders

Interested in becoming a WO leader? Sasha Severance, a Fall 2015 WO leader and recent SNC graduate, gave me a sneak peek into what it was like:

I found wilderness orientation to be of huge value for student leaders,” she said. “It allows us as students to further explore and practice our own, unique leadership style. Wilderness Orientation allows us as student leaders to practice what we’ve learned in the classroom and actually use it and practice it in the field. Teaching and sharing what you know is a huge part of the learning process, as well as being an opportunity to connect with others.”

Severance chose to be a WO leader to give back to the ODAL program, which she claims has shared her into the motivated and confident woman she is today. (right on, Sasha!)

“As student leaders, WO reminds us of why this place, SNC and Lake Tahoe, has been the perfect fit for us. SNC gives us the opportunity to learn in ways that are engaging, interactive, and empowering,” she said.

Severance gained a lot from her experience as a WO leader. It has taught her the importance of planning and preparing, and being successful in any job/profession/career and in life.

“Leading in the backcountry has shown me how to be open and accepting of others, no matter how different they are or their opinions may be from my own,” she added.  “Guiding in the backcountry has shown me how incredibly lucky and fortunate I am to have the opportunities that I have in life. I’ve also excelled in my communication skills, which has already helped me in and out of the classroom and in my current job today.”

Some students may be intimidated or turned off by the fact that you’re venturing into the wilderness with a bunch of strangers – but fear not.

“You are given a group of strangers and the responsibility of keeping them safe, showing them an amazing part of the place we live in, teaching them various outdoor skills and principles, and making sure that they are having fun. There will be plenty of times in the professional world where I will have to communicate and connect with random strangers, while still being myself as a unique individual while maintaining a professional appearance.”

Severance said the hardest part of the trip was leaving Desolation.

“Our entire group wasn’t ready to leave yet,” she said. “The days went by too fast. We wanted more time to spend out there together.”

Severance said being a WO leader was one of the best things she’s taken part in during her time at SNC.

“WO is an opportunity for you to give back, to share your knowledge, stories, and skills, and to meet a new group of amazing people. Being a WO leader also empowers you in so many ways,” she said. “And… you get to spend two weeks in Desolation Wilderness! Who wouldn’t want that? The first week you’re on a Leadership Expedition with your fellow WO leaders and the second week you are taking out your own group!”

Severance said those considering it, but who are hesitant, should just do it.

“For those on the fence, I was too,” she said. “I had bronchitis right before the Leadership Expedition – I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it. But I am so glad that I went. I would have regretted it if I hadn’t done it.”

On top of all of these potential benefits to reap while having a blast in Desolation Wilderness, being a WO leader now counts for three credits of ODAL curriculum for future ODAL graduates (just make sure you sign up for the summer credit).

Hope to see you all ready to lead in August!

Data Collection Starts Tomorrow

Christina Frederick’s Experimental Psychology class will begin data collection tomorrow, February 3rd, for the students’ independent research projects. Participation in these experiments is encouraged and very much appreciated as these students move forward with their research. We look forward to seeing you all at the Psychology Research Fair on April 18th to see the results of the experiments you participated in.

Service Learning Presentations

Students in Interdisciplinary Studies who have complete their Service Learning will give presentations about their projects on Monday, Dec. 7.

The presentations will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences Room 139. The day will begin with a welcome, following by each student presenting for 20 minutes.

The schedule is:

9:10 a.m. – Carly Schleh (Art and Psychology): Starting an Art Club at Incline Elementary School, with community partner, Incline Elementary School.

9:30 a.m. – Calhoun Boone (ODAL and ENVS): Intro to River Management, with community partner, California State Parks.

9:50 a.m. – Cory Rudolph (Digital Arts and Management) Building Community: A free Cable Park Day, with community partner, Endless Ride.

10:10 a.m. – Danny Kern (Digital Arts and Journalism): Markumentary Film: Intro to Outdoor Adventure Leadership, with community partner, Sierra Nevada College.

10:35 – 10:50 a.m. Break

10:50 a.m. – Nick Galantowicz (New Media Journalism): Creating SNC’s Sports Broadcast Capacity, with community partner, SNC Sports.

11:10 a.m. –  Jake Brayton (Digital Arts and Management): Paddleboard Beach Clean-ups, with community partner, Laird Paddleboards.

11:30 a.m. – Matt Stomper (ODAL and ENVS): ARC in the Park and Sustainability in Music Festivals, with community partner, Adventure Risk Challenge.

11:50 a.m. – Logan Rooney (ODAL and ENVS): Wildland Fire Protection and Interpretive Trail Lessons, with community partner, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District.

12:10 p.m. –  Meghan Herbst (New Media Journalism): The Tahoe Housing Gap, with community partner, Elevate Tahoe and Moonshine Ink.