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.

Lost Sierra Hoedown: SNC alumni teach sustainable event production to students

By Justine Nelson

The third annual Lost Sierra Hoedown commences this weekend from Thursday to Sunday (Sept.24-27). The original spark of inspiration to support the Johnsville Historic Ski Bowl has transformed into a must-have experience! This four-day event features local music, simple and sustainable living, and the natural excitement of spending the weekend lost in the woods.

Drew Fisher on the left as one of the founders of the Lost Sierra Hoedown. It began as a Service Learning project in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Drew Fisher on the left as one of the founders of the Lost Sierra Hoedown. It began as a Service Learning project in Interdisciplinary Studies.

This third annual Hoedown has come a long way. Drew Fischer, one of the founders and now an alumnus to SNC, is teaching a one credit interdisciplinary and sustainability class focused on non-profit music festival production and is using the making of the Lost Sierra Hoedown as the example.

Topics covered in the class include sustainable practices, land management, social media coverage, stage management and event operation. Students not only get to learn about how to successfully plan an event, but get the chance to actually run an event as well. The students will help facilitate the hoedown and get hands on experience beyond what taught in the classroom setting.

Supported by six local companies and in association with four local organizations, the Lost Sierra Hoedown is a prime illustration of what SNC’s students are capable of, and continues to push the limits of achievement.

For tickets and more information visit the website at lostsierrahoedown.com

Having fun at the Hoedown!

Having fun at the Hoedown!

Humanities 110

The Humanities 110 class began the Psychology portion on Thursday September 3, 2015. The students began their study by visiting stations related to the question, “what does it mean to be human?” We look forward to the next four class meetings and continuing to expose the class to the subject of psychology.

HUMN 110-1

HUMN 110-2

Kickoff: 2015 Research Season Begins

August 17th, 2015, marked the beginning to the new school year. Which means brainstorming, research, and development for the new Psychology department’s senior class to create the foundation to their experiments to be conducted at the beginning of Spring 2016.

The following pictures show a class activity created to help students identify independent variables (IV) and dependent variables (DV). This activity involved the entire class in putting their ideas for DV’s and IV’s into a large bank and then mix-matching them to show how many can be interlinked. One of the most significant pieces of information gained from the activity is how IV’s can become DV’s and how DV’s can become IV’s.

The class looks forward to many more fun activities to come!

IVDV 1

IVDV 2

The PURC Experience

Written by Mary Hall

In UCLA’s Kerckoff Grand Salon, students from many respectable colleges and universities around the country gathered to display their undergraduate research posters. The conference began with an early morning poster session, in which four Sierra Nevada College seniors presented their research findings in a room with over 20 other students. The salon was full of people circulating around poster displays representing a year’s worth of passion and dedication. Following the first poster session, a series of paper talks were given in Franz Hall, the universities psychology building. SNC seniors, Tessa Hartman-Sorenson and Sarah A. Fricke eloquently guided a room filled with professors, students, and seasoned researchers alike, through their studies’ process, findings, and real world applications. After all the talks were given, a second poster session was held in the Grand Salon, providing the SNC students who presented in the prior session the opportunity to view and discuss a wide variety of undergraduate studies. The event concluded with a dessert social where the founder of the university’s PURC acknowledged the students for their hard work and wished them luck in their future endeavors. Having the opportunity to engage with a broad spectrum of individuals who share the same enthusiasm for psychology research was a truly rewarding experience that will undoubtedly enhance the professional prospects of all who attended.