Category Archives: Honors Program

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”

Honors Symposium Tonight!

This is a reminder of SNC’s 2014 Honors Program Symposium, which takes place tonight at 7pm (in TCES 139).  Five honors students will be presenting their research projects for the SNC community.  Each presentation will be about 10-15 minutes long with time for questions.  For two students, Bryce Bullins and Cole Mizak, this will afford the opportunity to share their research prior to presenting at the country’s largest undergraduate research conference, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, hosted this year at the University of Kentucky, Lexington.  Please come out and support these outstanding students’ work and the culture of academic excellence at SNC.  Here is a list of student presentations:

Bryce Bullins, “The Urgency for Temporal Revolution”

Benjamin Currier, Minor Literature: Revolutionary Tendencies in the Works of Chuck Palahniuk”
Bridget McGuigan, “Becoming a Great Leader”
Cole Mizak, “’Economic Development’ or ‘Public Use’”
Juan Sandoval, “Death and Dying in America”

 We look forward to seeing you!

–The Honors Program

Chris Millis Visits Sierra Nevada College

By Bryce Bullins

Acclaimed author of the book Small Apartments (and soon to be film director) Chris Millis launched the Spring 2014 Writers in the Woods season at SNC by giving a craft talk on screenplays and more specifically, the act of storytelling. Millis’ talk centered on Aristotelian poetics, specifically the three act structure and the dramatic devices therein. He showcased how several films still hold to these ancient conventions.

Chris Millis

The films he used as examples were as wide ranging as Pixar’s animated series Toy Story to more serious affairs such as Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights. Millis presented the idea that stories are the only way with which we, as part of the human experience, are able to explain the often un-explainable and connect with something approaching our own lives, and through this parity, we are able to better understand the world in which we live. The talk was attended by upwards of 50 people and was a fantastic start of the 2014 Writers in the Woods season.

For more on Chris Millis’ projects, visit:

Startup Weekend Reno

Startup Weekend
A Weekend in an Entrepreneurs Shoes

By Beth Portesi

Over the weekend of November 22nd-24th, The Freight House hosted Reno’s 2nd Startup Weekend. Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers, and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups! If you don’t fall under one of those categories, chances are you still have something to offer or just a great opportunity to live a weekend in the life of an entrepreneur. This was the 3rd Startup Weekend I have attended in the last 5 weeks and by far the best.

So, What’s the Drill?

The event began Friday evening with a casual dinner and introductions. You enter a space full of strangers and begin to network. (Without knowing you will leave Sunday with a few great friends and potential business partners.) If you weren’t networking, chances are you were being mesmerized by the 3D printer that was provided courtesy of UNR’s DeLaMare Library.

We were then divided into groups for an ice breaker called Half-Baked. Each team was assigned two random words and had 10 minutes to develop a business model around their newly acquired words. Business models were built around words from “Communicate Tech” to “Turkey Twerk”. After seemingly interesting and hilarious 60-second pitches, we heard from the guest speakers. Tony DeVincenzi of “Sold”, spoke to attendees and provided relevant advice for the weekend and startup world in general. (Like pointing out the importance of being on the right side of crazy.) Reno was fortunate enough to have CEO of Startup Weekend, Marc Nager, facilitate our event. After FAQ’s, Marc kicked off pitchfire, the fast paced 60-second pitch routine. An overwhelming amount of good ideas and 30-something minutes later, attendees voted and joined their favorite team. With newly formed teams and a weekend of work in front of us, we brainstormed until 11pm and returned first thing Saturday morning.

Saturday morning our team “Whatizzat” (a 3D in-flight simulator app) as well as two other teams, were chosen to present our ideas to the Bosma on Business show on News Talk KOH 780. It was a fantastic opportunity to get the word out to the community and work through our business models on the spot.

The 14-hour days continued as teams worked through technicalities, financial plans, marketing strategies, and pitches. Judges arrived Sunday evening and teams presented their start ups. Our team “Whatizzat” received honorable mention with Most Passionate. “Live Retention”, a real time customer survey app won 1st place. They will continue in the Global Startup Battle against other Startup Weekend winners and participants with potential to win BIG prizes.
In conclusion, the weekend was a fantastic learning experience. The planning for Lake Tahoe’s 1st Startup Weekend is underway so be on the lookout for the event early 2014 and follow @SWTahoe!

A quick recap of why it’s a great experience:
Watch ideas turn into real businesses.
The people are nothing short of awesome.
They feed you.

For more information visit:

SNC Honors Program Gets Grant For NCUR 2014

by Bryce Bullins

Dr. Samantha Bankston and Dr. Robert King of the Sierra Nevada College Honors Program recently drafted an internal grant proposal for funding for NCUR 2014. We are pleased to announce today that the grant proposal has been accepted and funding for 2 students has been given!

NCUR is the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and is held annually in various parts of the United States. This year, the conference will be held at the University of Kentucky. The conference is a vast, interdisciplinary affair involving papers, performances, and other forms of presentations. It is the single largest undergraduate research conference in the United States and the honors program is pleased to be able to provide funding to select honors students to attend and showcase their work at the national level, representing the academic excellence of Sierra Nevada College.

For information on NCUR please visit:

2nd Annual Sustainability Film Festival




Engage, Educate and Activate Sustainability Awareness

By Beth Portesi

SNC kicked off the 2nd annual Sustainability Film Festival earlier this week. The aroma of popcorn permeated the TCES lobby Thursday evening as students and members of the community filled TCES 139 for a screening of the film “Chasing Ice.”

chasing iceThe turn out was a huge success, with viewers sitting along the back walls of the room. The documentary film followed James Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey team as they set up time-lapse cameras in the most severe conditions, to document the effects of our changing climate on glaciers. Balog is aware that people are bombarded with contradicting arguments, predictions, and statistics regarding the crisis of our planet. He sets out to send a message to people through his photography of what is happening right now, in our lifetime, due to carbon dioxide emissions. The Denver Post review of the film puts the film’s impression in perspective, “The scale of the glaciers, and the almost hallucinogenic clarity of the images, make the resulting footage, based on three years’ shooting, most impressive. One piece of ice we see breaking off is said to be the size of lower Manhattan.”

The Festival continued on Friday and Saturday with food, drinks, raffles, and prizes donated from businesses in the Tahoe area. The other featured films of the weekend included The Garden. Bidder 70, and Pipe Dreams.

[ted id=628]

James Balog’s TED talk on the Extreme Ice Survey project with the results of his study.


Writers in the Woods: Spoken Word

By Beth Portesi

Rhythm, rhyme, sound, words and meaning encompassed the second of the Writers in the Woods series. The evening included a one hour spoken word presentation followed by an open mic on Friday, Sept. 20, at Sierra Nevada College. This served as a platform for individuals to express their personal philosophies and life experiences through poetry and narratives.

In a generation where communicating is done through anything that has a touch screen or news feed, the Spoken Word was a breath of fresh air. A reminder of how connected we are as humans, how we all experience love and tragedy, peace and chaos. I was mesmerized by each word of the roughly 10 speakers who reflected on personal growth, expressed dissatisfaction with modern society, and playfully expanded on random thoughts.

If someone had suggested I attend a poetry reading on a Friday night, chances are I would have declined because I have never taken much interest in it. After attending the event, you can find “slam poetry” in my Youtube history and an email subscription to the local Spoken Views Collective newsletter. And extra credit had nothing to do with it. Each of these beings humbled my heart as they bravely and openly explored the truest of human experiences.