Tag Archives: Service Learning

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.

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.

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.

Turnip the Heat Tuesdays organized by SNC senior

Senior Samantha Van Ruiten continues to be a huge asset for the Tahoe-Truckee community as she works with several area nonprofits organizations on community events. She has created an event for the Tahoe Food Hub called Turnip the Heat Tuesdays.

She began working on a community soup night last semester for her Service Learning project and is now continuing this semester for her Senior Portfolio. The goal of Turnip the Heat Tuesdays is to create a more food-focused community, using fresh, sustainably grown ingredients.

The first Community Soup night was held Feb. 11 at Spice. The next one will be from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, at Full Belly Deli in Truckee’s Pioneer Center. Cost is $5 for soup and bread, and the event includes a raffle, music and drinks.

The next event will be March 11 at Coffeebar in Truckee.

Go have some soup and support Samantha!

Learn about this semester’s Service Learning projects on Monday, Dec. 9

The editors of the Eagle’s Eye queried a group of students Monday night about what they like to read about in the campus newspaper. One of the top choices that the students mentioned were the interesting and exciting projects students created through Service Learning.

Every semester, Interdisciplinary Studies students develop a personal project which clears a path to their future career, according to an Eagle’s Eye article. SNC offers an innovative interdisciplinary class called Service Learning where students dig deeper and become involved in unique volunteer opportunities. The SNC website, says “Through the required Service Learning course, which challenges students to explore how their actions, their academic interests, and their own initiative can contribute to the community, students learn to make a difference AND maximize their learning. This hands-on, experiential program dares students to get out and do it—and they do.”

If you want to see the inspiring projects completed by this semester’s students, there will be presentations from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, in TCES 139. Stop by to hear the following students talk about their projects:

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Freeskier mag features Service Learning hoedown

The foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’ music from the Lost Sierra Hoedown is lingering long past the Sept. 20-22 event, as refrains of the student-led fundraiser for a shuttered ski area spread through the ski community.

This time, Freeskier magazine took note, and interviewed Interdisciplinary Studies students Drew Fisher, Rachael Blum and Cody Wilkins for an article about the event, “Sierra Nevada College students aim to preserve Johnsville Ski Bowl with Lost Sierra Hoedown.”

LSH2Besides detailing how the event was conceived and created, the Freeskier story explains the goals of the Interdisciplinary Studies. Read the story on the link above, but also consider how Sierra Nevada College’s “experiential learning” is lauded in the final paragraphs of the article:

The project certainly met the underlying goal of the Interdisciplinary Studies service learning project; the event taught them more about leadership in the outdoor adventure arena than anything in a lecture hall ever could have. The school encouraged Drew Fisher, Cody Wilkins, and Rachael Blum to try something different, and then provided the support to meet that objective.

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SNC’s Service Learning highlighted at international conference for experiential education

Not only are Outdoor Adventure Leadership students confident in the wilderness, they are compassionate in the community – due to the Service Learning component of Sierra Nevada College’s Interdisciplinary Studies department.

“Our students are doing innovative and great things through their service learning and senior portfolio projects,” said Assistant Professor Rosie Hackett.

Interdisciplinary Studies

Katie Zanto, left, and Rosie Hackett, right, are presenting at the International Conference for Experiential Education.

And others are taking notice of SNC’s exceptional program. Katie Zanto, chair of the Interdisciplinary Studies department, and Hackett, program director of Outdoor Adventure Leadership, have been invited to speak at the International Conference for Experiential Education, Oct. 31-Nov. 3, in Denver, Colo.

“It has been exciting for us to collaborate on this presentation and in the process, to explore how our unique interdisciplinary studies program is offering outdoor adventure leadership students the chance to bring their ODAL skills back into their communities,” said Zanto.

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Service in Action: Lost Sierra Hoedown creator talks success

 By Drew Fisher
LSH-9-26.2

Drew Fisher, with co-workers Rachael Blum and Cody Wilkins, organized a hoedown that would raise funds to reopen the Sierra’s first ski resort in Johnsville, Calif.

On March 28, I returned to Rosie’s office to discuss my debacle. Having been a ski coach since 2007, Rosie again encouraged me to try something new. I’ll never forget when I said, “I dunno Rosie, all I really want to do is throw a hoedown.”

Only at Sierra Nevada College would an adviser reply with an enthusiastic green light to pursue organizing a hoedown for a school project. A few days later, the Lost Sierra Hoedown had a venue, a cause and an epic staff.

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