Student of the Week

Gabby Ariganello is a 24 year old Psychology student at Sierra Nevada College.  She is a senior this year and will be graduating in May.  She moved to Reno four years ago from Oakland, California, to attend TMCC and then Reno University of Nevada.  She then transferred to SNC last year.

“What do you like to do for fun” (Answers Paraphrased)


-I enjoy hiking, backpacking, camping, and going on spontaneous adventures.  I also love

my dog and taking him on hikes.  I dabble in art, but I wouldn’t call myself an artist.


“How did you hear about Sierra Nevada College?”


-I found out about SNC when I was part of the girls lacrosse team at UNR.  We played

against the SNC team and that was the first time I heard about this school.


“What are your plans for after you graduate this spring?”


-I want to be a teacher of an autism classroom.  Nevada has a really great program for

autism specialists.


“How has the SNC Psychology Program directly impacted your life?


-It opened me up to new ways of learning and thinking that has helped me personally as

well as prepared me to help my future students.


“How has an SNC psychology professor impacted your life directly?”


– Dan Aalbers helped invoke a lot of independent thought into my learning and inspired

me do research outside of class on topics I was interested in.  We were able to discuss

personal passions or interests rather than just teaching to a test or to a book.


“What makes SNC better than other colleges you have attended?”


– I enjoy the small class rooms because it makes it easier to understand concepts and

to talk to your professor.  You can get help more quickly and it feels like your professors

are personally invested in you.  This also increases accountability and has helped increase

my grades.  Friends and teachers help achieve your goals because it is such a close knit

community.  Also SNC offers the chance at independent research in topics we are each

individually interested in, which makes you feel like you have full control over your

education.  Another plus: labs are camping trips and P.E. credits are rock climbing

courses or paddle-boarding lessons.


“How has SNC prepared you for being a teacher for children with autism?”


-Having such flexibility in what we get to study in every class allows us to pick topics

we are interested in.  This has allowed me to “specialize” and learn many things that

are directly linked with my future plans and will benefit my future students.  Some of

these skills include breathing exercises and meditation practices that I can implement

while working with kids with autism.


“What is your favorite memory from Lake Tahoe that you will carry with you through your life?”


-My favorite memory is sitting in an 8am class and then being able to leave and go skiing

afterwards or go to the beach.


Author: Ryan Knuppenburg (Senior Intern)



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