Experimental Psychology is Heading to UCLA

Students from the Experimental Psychology class will be traveling to UCLA for the 24th Annual Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference being held on Friday, May 8th.

A big congratulations to those accepted to present their research.  These students include Philip Chiesa, Sarah A. Fricke, Tessa Hartman-Sorensen, Kimberly A. Keyzers, and Erica Nelson. Sean P. Burke, Anna Evans, and Mary Hall will also be in attendance.

We look forward to sharing our experience with you all following the conference!

Alumni Spotlight: Ben Bishop

Ben Bishop, a Sierra Nevada College alumnus, using his videography and photography skills throughout the world.

Ben Bishop, a Sierra Nevada College alumnus, using his videography and photography skills throughout the world.

By Justine Nelson

Ben Bishop, now an outdoor action sports filmmaker and photographer whose work appears on ROXY, ESPN, Red Bull Media House and National Geographic, reflected on how Sierra Nevada College prepared him to be successful in the professional World.

“Life has been all over the place since graduation, lots of projects with many different people and companies all over the globe. I feel very thankful for all of them”. He explained that the most valuable thing he learned at SNC was to engage and reach out for mentoring and advice to overcome obstacles. As a veteran world traveler who frequently clocks six months straight of travel and work in places like China, Japan, Canada, Colorado, Utah, he says, “I don’t think I would be anywhere if it weren’t for SNC”.

Ben says SNC guided him to identify a path he is truly passionate about through the unique academic experience of tailoring his major to his specific skills and interests. “I had to bring all these skill sets together in a multidisciplinary way…and that is what my career is now. It was valuable being able to be at a small school that had the ability to adapt and say, ‘I’m really interested in the outdoor realm; I’d like a degree in it, and then have my advisors help formulate a program.”

In 2014, Ben has just returned from a trip to the Arrigetch peaks in the Gates of the Arctic on a trip for National Geographic. He first joined the expedition as an aid to carry equipment for the camera crew, but when he was handed a camera he jumped in to help shoot the rock climbing documentary. Afterwards, he and a friend rafted the Atlanta River in pack rafts for a total of 140 miles in 7 days. “With a lot of time to reflect, I am very thankful for the knowledge I obtained from SNC so I could head off on adventures like the Arctic on my own.”

Aside from filming, Ben also loves to shoot still photography on his travels. He says, “It is a medium that I have always loved but have never considered as a career”. He is hired occasionally to help people with their photographic needs, and a few of his images have been published, but he says having a secondary film camera allows him to personally document his trips. On the Atlanta River trip when he visited the small Native Village of Allakaket he said, “I was completely taken by what I was experiencing; it’s remote, there’s no running water or roads that lead to or from the village and I wanted to show people what I saw there. Instead of filming, which is very specific and sometimes can take a lot of time to tell the smallest of stories, I chose to shoot photos instead. To me, photography in this situation spoke much more, and that is why I have chosen to consistently carry an additional camera around. In the near future, I intend to release a photo book of my personal work from many of my trips.”

Justine Nelson is studying Art & Psychology. She is interested in the power of thought and intention.

Alumni Spotlight: Nick Cahill

Nick Cahill excelled in an internship with Force 12 Media, turning the opportunity into a position with the media company as their videographer and photographer.

Sierra Nevada College alumnus Nick Cahill excelled in an internship with Force 12 Media, turning the opportunity into a position with the media company as their videographer and photographer.

By Justine Nelson

Nick Cahill graduated from Sierra Nevada College in 2013 as an Interdisciplinary Digital Arts and Management major and is now the Media Director at a the well-established niche publication company, Force 12 Media. Force 12 Media focuses on outdoor and military content which is distributed to over 40 million viewers monthly.

Cahill focuses on video and photography for the site and is also currently working on expanding their network to reach Apple TV and Netflix. Go to the “Team” tab on the website to see Nick’s bio or scroll down on the home page to see the various websites Force 12 Media provides content for: navyseals.com, specialoperations.com, etc.

In addition, Nick just recently landed a cover image with National Geographic “Guide to the Night Sky” book set to be published in print fall of 2015.

Nick first picked up video and photography during his schooling at SNC, taking photographs of the race car he built, as well as videos of his friends enjoying the sweet adventures of life. Cahill also feels very thankful for his education he received at SNC.

Nick Cahill continues to make Lake Tahoe his home base, while traveling the world for Force 12 Media.

Nick Cahill continues to make Lake Tahoe his home base, while traveling the world for Force 12 Media.

“I owe Chris Lanier and Rick Parsons a huge thank you for guiding my photography and video skills, and pushing me to research beyond my knowledge and obtain a wider grasp on these incredible art forms”. Cahill also mentioned that it was through Lanier and SNC that he was introduced to Force 12 as an internship. He is now a successful member of their team.

Cahill still lives in Tahoe, and even though his job allows him to work anywhere, he chooses to stay here because of the tax benefits and lifestyle. “Lake Tahoe remains a home to me that fosters my creativity and love for the outdoors”. On the side, Cahill also has a passion for landscape and music photography. His works appear all around the Tahoe Basin, and he says he will continue to push his connections around the globe. You can check out his personal work at cahillfilms.com.

Justine Nelson is studying Art & Psychology. She is interested in the power of thought and intention.

Honors Program Symposium

The HONORS PROGRAM SYMPOSIUM will be held at 7 p.m. tonight, March 25, in TCES 139. Wine and snacks will be served.

This is a showcase for honors students’ research. It feature 10 to 15 minute presentations from:

Juan Sandoval
Major: Psychology
Title of presentation: “Death and Dying in America”

Estefania Rivera Gonzalez  
Sophomore/ Junior
Major: International Studies with a minor in Business Management
Title of presentation: “Mexico: a society changed by Guns, Germs and Steel”

Giulianna Crivello
Major: Entrepreneurship
Title of presentation: “Managerial Insight”

Courtney Potts
Major: Biology
Title of presentation: “Troubled Youth”

Holistic Sustainability Film Night creates awareness

1495267_10154860394870232_9097612480930717245_oDuring the 2014 fall semester, senior Rachael Blum added a honors component to the International Environmental Issues course. She chose to host a short-film film festival with discussions between each film. The project came to fruition through the course, after instructor Brennan Lagasse and Blum were discussing how the rest of the SNC community  does not have access to the Sustainability curriculum. This idea was also acknowledged at a Justice Club meeting with current and former students at the time. The students agreed that a discussion-based space must be made accessible to the entire campus.

The Holistic Sustainability Film Night was created, featuring a variety of short films highlighting biodiversity, desertification, capitalism, and welfare with discussions between each. Faculty Brennan Lagasse, Samantha Bankston, and Bob King were present as experts in the topics and aided in facilitating the discussions.

Approximately 23 people attended, and the event was cut short after 3.5 hours spent viewing and discussing the films. Those in attendance were happy to have a space made available to ask questions, express views, and learn about these issues. Snacks were provided by Uncommon Kitchen and the Justice Club. This also benefitted Kelly Benson’s coat drive for Project Mana. Overall, the event was successful.

Films that were shown include: Forest Man, Freegans: Living Outside of Capitalism, Love and Capitalism, How Welfare Does Not Work the Way You Think.  All movies can be found on Films For Action.


SNC organizes warm winter clothing drive again

A winter clothing drive, which was an idea born in the Social Justice Club, contributed over 150 warm items for underprivileged families in North Lake Tahoe.

Sierra Nevada College Senior Kelly Benson has organized the coat drive for the past two years. After collecting items for six weeks at five drop-off locations, the warm clothing was distributed by Project Mana on Dec. 17.  An article about SNC’s gift to the community was published Dec. 23, 2014, in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza.

Kelly is majoring in Global Business Management, but has a strong interest in sustainability and social justice.

“I thought that it would be really interesting to learn about even if it’s not the career path that I choose, because it includes things that you can implement into your daily life,” Benson said.  “And so, coming here and having that be a major, and knowing that I could just learn what it means to be sustainable. Then, my mind was blown when I learned about Social Sustainability, because I didn’t even think about that before I got here. I started thinking holistically about the term, the environment and the people.”

Justice Club adviser Brennan Lagasse hopes to rally enough students in the fall to continue Kelly’s work for next year’s warm clothing drive.

Ecowatch publishes articles by Sustainability students


Professor Brennan Lagasse and six students from Sierra Nevada College had a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience with the Gwich’in tribe in August 2014 in Arctic Circle, Alaska.

SNC students who visited the Gwich’in Tribe in the remote town of Arctic Village, Alaska last summer, are sharing their experiences through a series of articles on Ecowatch.

Two of the six articles have been published at this point, detailing the sustainability issues the Gwich’in tribe faces as proposed oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would threatens the “Caribou people’s” way of life. The first article, “How Drilling in ANWR would threathen the Gwich’in People’s Way of Life,” was written by Rachael Blum and published Feb. 9. The second article, “Trash or Treasure?,” was written by Aaron Vanderpool and published March 5.

Students experience Gwich’in culture

Six students were able to stay in the village for a week and learn about the Gwich’in culture because Gwich’in Tribal Elder Sarah James invited SNC Adjunct Professor Brennan Lagasse to come and visit the tribe in Arctic Village, Alaska. Lagasse jumped on the rare and precious invitation to stay a week in the Alaskan village with James and her tribe, and the students traveled to Alaska in August 2014.

SNC is university partner

Brennan Lagasse, adjunct professor in Sustainability

Brennan Lagasse, adjunct professor in SustainabilityUniversity partner

Ecowatch has chosen Sierra Nevada College as one of its university partners and will showcase work by Sustainability students at the college. Ecowatch is a website reporting on environmental news, green living and sustainable business. As portion of its coverage, the website says it features content from students around the world, providing a venue for the millennial generation to voice their environmental concerns.

Lagasse said the affiliation with Ecowatch is a great way to:

  1. Show off the work the Sustainability program is doing.
  2. Encourage students that their work can make a difference in the “real world” as well as get published.

Tahoe Truckee Leadership Group Workshop

Christina M. Frederick, Constance A. Barnes, Sarah A. Fricke, and Kimberly A. Keyzers led a dynamic and interactive workshop on survey and interview design for the North Lake Tahoe-Truckee Leadership Group which is facilitated by SNC Interim President, Shannon Beets.

A big thank you to Shannon Beets for the invitation and to all those involved with this Leadership Group!  We had a wonderful time and would love to return to give another workshop in the future.


Data Collection is Coming to a Close

The Experimental Psychology classes data collection sessions are coming to a close.

A big thank you for the wonderful support from students, faculty, and staff.  Your participation in these studies is immensely appreciated.

We invite you to attend the 5th annual Psychology Research Fair on April 20, 2015 from 2-4pm in TCES 139/141 to see us present on our completed research projects.

See you there!


Experimental Psychology Takes Class Photo

The 2015 Experimental Psychology class has begun data collection for our independent research projects.  A big thanks to all those who have participated and continue to participate in our studies.  To find out the purposes of our independent research projects and the conclusions we come to, please join us at the Psychology Research Fair on April 20, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. in TCES 139/141!

We hope to see you there!