Humanities & Social Sciences Faculty
- BA, University of Nevada, Reno
- MA, University of California, Berkeley
- PhD, University of Washington
O’Bryan teaches courses in American literature, philosophy, world religions, American and world history, ethics, and Latin. His interests include historiography and the challenges that new perspectives such as postmodernism offer to traditional historical understanding; philosophy in terms of the many intersections between Asian and Western thought; the psychological and sociological dimensions of religion; and the role of literature as the most sensitive reflection of any historical epoch.
- BS, Allegheny College
- MA, Pacifica Graduate Institute
Axton spent 14 years touring the world as a pianist in Hoyt Axton’s Country Western, Boogie Woogie, Gospel, Rock and Roll Band. She played on 21 albums and co-produced two and appeared on dozens of television shows, including the Tonight Show. She has many writing, arranging and directing credits to her name and has directed, conducted and/or played for scores of local musical productions from community to professional levels. She is also known as a chamber music and solo piano performer.
- PhD, in Philosophy, Purdue University
- MA, in Philosophy, The New School for Social Research
- BA, in French, University of Colorado.
Samantha Bankston has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Purdue University and the University of Grenoble in France, and was recently a visiting scholar at the University of Copenhagen and Smith College. Her book translation of Anne Sauvagnargues’ Deleuze and Art was published in 2014 (Bloomsbury/Continuum), and the publication of her first authored book, Deleuze and Becoming(s), is forthcoming from Bloomsbury Publications. She has translated the work of renowned French philosophers, such as Frédéric Gros, for the University of Minnesota Press and the University of Chicago Press. Her own philosophical writings can be found in a variety of anthologies.
Bankston is a part of the international transcription team, which makes available online previously unpublished, audio-recorded lectures from Gilles Deleuze’s University of Paris-8 seminars at http://www.webdeleuze.com. Her research interests include Continental philosophy, feminist philosophy, literature, and modern art. A Colorado native, Bankston loves snowboarding, riding her Dutch bicycle, and wandering in the mountains. She teaches courses across the Humanities, including philosophy, literature, art, French, and intellectual history.
- BA, Religion and Philosophy, University of La Verne
- MA, Women’s Studies in Religion, Claremont Graduate University
Shannon Beets brings twenty years of experience in higher education as a senior administrator and faculty member. Immediately prior to assuming the role of Interim President of the College, Ms. Beets served for three years as Executive Vice President and Provost. She joined Sierra Nevada College in 2006 and has held a variety of positions across key academic areas, including as Vice President for Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness, as Associate Provost, as the Dean of Education for the Teacher Education Department, and as Dean of Enrollment Services.
During her tenure she has worked closely with faculty, the executive leadership, and the Board to create high impact academic programs, measure student learning outcomes, and assess institutional effectiveness. She successfully led the College’s most recent reaccreditation process; and she has launched three successful Master’s degree programs, including the Master of Arts in Education (M.Ed.), and two innovative, low-residency programs: the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing and the MFA in Interdisciplinary Art. Most recently she spearheaded development of the College’s Strategic Plan for 2014-2021 through a process that engaged all sectors of the College community, as well as key external stakeholders.
As an innovative educator, she has passionately advocated for active learning, leading and collaborating with SNC faculty to create significant new initiatives to increase high impact practices in the classroom – a distinguishing hallmark of Sierra Nevada College. In addition to her administrative responsibilities and her work in designing innovative curriculum, she continues to teach, both in the landmark freshman year experience course, CORE 101, and in senior level courses in a variety of areas.
Beets is a frequent presenter on academic innovation and student engagement both nationally and internationally, recently representing the College in China during a multi-university tour to collaborate on the teaching of entrepreneurial thinking to Chinese youth. In keeping with her strong commitment to the community, Beets serves as the facilitator for the North Lake Tahoe-Truckee Leadership Program, which trains, informs and engages accomplished professionals throughout the region in preparation for leadership roles in the community.
- MFA, in Creative Writing/Fiction, Antioch University
- BA in, “Poetry and Movement: Arts of Expression, Meditation and Healing”, University of Redlands
Gayle Brandeis grew up in the Chicago area and has been writing poems and stories since she was four years old. She is the author of Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (HarperOne), Dictionary Poems (Pudding House Publications), the novels The Book of Dead Birds (HarperCollins), which won Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize for Fiction in Support of a Literature of Social Change, Self Storage (Ballantine) and Delta Girls (Ballantine), and her first novel for young readers, My Life with the Lincolns (Holt). She released The Book of Live Wires, the sequel to The Book of Dead Birds, as an e-book in 2011.
Gayle’s poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies (such as Salon.com, The Nation, and The Mississippi Review) and have received awards including the QPB/Story Magazine Short Story Award, a Barbara Mandigo Kelley Peace Poetry Award, and a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. Her essay on the meaning of liberty was one of three included in the Statue of Liberty’s Centennial time capsule in 1986, when she was 18. In 2004, the Writer Magazine honored Gayle with a Writer Who Makes a Difference Award.
Gayle has taught at universities, libraries, community centers and writing conferences around the country. She is a founding member of the Women Creating Peace Collective and served as Inlandia Literary Laureate from 2012-2014. Currently living in Incline Village, NV, she is mom to two adult children and one preschooler.
- PhD, University of Nevada, Reno
- MA, University of Nevada, Reno
Thomas Wade Brown teaches primarily in the Psychology Program of the Humanities and Social Sciences Dept. at SNCTahoe. In his time at Sierra Nevada College, he has taught both online and traditional classroom courses in a variety of topics ranging from introductory psychology to philosophy and neuroscience. His scholarly interests include the application of evidence-based techniques in higher education, online university instruction, complex organizational behavior and behavior-based safety. His dissertation examined how humans discount functionally equivalent stimuli and how relational training impacts discounting rates.
Wade has presented papers at national and international conferences on topics including higher education, sports psychology, green behavior, cultural change, and organizational feedback. When he’s not teaching, Wade enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids.
- PhD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Dr. Cardenas received her doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, specializing in Environmental Sociology. She is a former Garcia-Robles Fulbright scholar, UNL Presidential Fellow, University of Kansas Dissertation Fellow and 2010 Researcher of the Year at the University of Maine, where she was nominated for Maine’s Donald Harward Faculty Award for Service-Learning Excellence.
She is an advocate of experiential learning. Some of her projects with students include developing a documentary about biomass with the assistance of a National Science Foundation Grant, researching a contentious wind farm project, and providing services to the local schools, such as organizing an Earth Day Event. Dr. Cardenas presents her work at national conferences and is finishing her book on marginalized peoples and sustainability.
Other activities that Dr. Cardenas enjoys include distance running, biking, hiking, downhill skiing, skate skiing, ice skating, and kayaking. She hopes to complete a marathon in the near future and then tackle a triathlon.
- BS, University of California, Davis
- MA, University of California, Berkeley
- PhD, University of California, Berkeley
Christina M. Frederick teaches psychology courses ranging from the introductory level to courses with more specialized emphases such as cognitive/behavioral, neuroscience, sensation and perception, social psychology, developmental, and research methods. Although her background is cognitive, her teaching and research experience has taken her far outside the cognitive domain. Christina’s research interests range from human memory, to human perception, to undergraduate plagiarism. Her non-academic interests revolve around her family, with whom she is dedicated to living life to the fullest.
- BA, Anthropology and Geology, Bowdoin College
- MA, Multicultural Adventure Education, National University
Roseanne Hackett directs the Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program within the Humanities Department. In addition to her administrative duties, she teaches Outdoor Skills, Outdoor Leadership, Wilderness Ethics and Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. She has dedicated the past 18 years to environmental stewardship and leadership development and is a fervent believer in the power of Outdoor Adventure Education to change and enrich lives. Prior to SNC, she developed and directed the successful Wilderness Education Program at Lake Tahoe Community College and worked as an assistant professor for Prescott College.
- BA, English Literature, University of Florida
- MA, Literature, Theory, and Cultural Studies, Purdue University
- PhD, Philosophy, Purdue University
Robert Drury King is an associate professor in the Department of Humanities at Sierra Nevada College. He is also a research fellow with the Centre Leo Apostel at the Free University of Brussels. He has been a visiting fellow at Duke University’s Center for the History of Political Economy and at the Saxo Institute at the University of Copenhagen, Humanities Division. As a graduate of the Philosophy and Literature program at Purdue University, his doctoral dissertation, “System Individuation in Differential and Dialectical Ontology: Deleuze, Hegel, and Systematic Thought,” received the 2011 College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Dissertation Award.
Robert publishes in the fields of systems theory, philosophy, and political economy. He has studied at the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University; the Collegium Phaenomenologicum in Citta di Castello, Italy; and within the Unseld Lecture Series at the University of Tübingen. He has been a visiting fellow of the World Congress Summer School in Glasgow, Scotland with the Association for Social Economics; in the National Endowment for the Humanities’ 2012 Summer Institute in Experimental Philosophy at the University of Arizona; and a fellow at the National Humanities Center’s Summer Institutes in Literary Studies, in Robert Pippin’s J.M. Coetzee seminar.
Robert has received a grant from The John F. Kennedy School for North American Studies, and a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society which he used to study the Norbert Wiener Papers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an inaugural member of the London Graduate School’s Summer Academy in Critical Humanities and he was a text seminar leader on Hegel’s Logic under Angelica Nuzzo at the Collegium Phaenomenologicum in the summer of 2014. His work has been the subject of a Guy L. Leonard Memorial Lecture at the University of Nevada, Reno and an Illuminations Lecture at Purdue University. He is also the book review editor for Constructivist Foundations.
- BA, Political Science, University of Vermont
- MS, Hydrology, University of Nevada, Reno
- PhD, Hydrology, University of Nevada, Reno
Andy teaches in the Science and Humanities departments at Sierra Nevada College. His primary research interests include the physical, chemical, and biological constraints on attached algae in Sierra Nevada streams. He is active in his research and supervises student research at Sierra Nevada College. Andy teaches a wide range of classes including Ecology of Aquatic Ecosystems, Environmental Systems, Introduction to Sustainability, Lake Tahoe Basin Ecosystems, Environmental Engineering, Introduction to Outdoor Skills, Fundamentals of Environmental Education, and Introduction to Geology. Outside of SNC, you are most likely to find Andy enjoying the rock, water, sun, and slopes of the Sierra Nevada with his family.
- MFA, Creative Writing, Bowling Green State University
June Sylvester Saraceno is originally from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Her work has appeared in various journals including American Journal of Nursing, California Quarterly, The Pedestal, Silk Road, Smartish Pace, Southwestern American Literature, Tar River Poetry and others; as well as several anthologies including A Bird as Black as the Sun: California Poets on Crows and Ravens; Intimate Kisses: the poetry of sexual pleasure; Passionate Hearts: the poetry of sexual love, and Tahoe Blues. Her chapbook Mean Girl Trips was published in fall 2006 by Pudding House Press. She has published two full-length collections of poetry, Altars of Ordinary Light (Plain View Press, 2007), and Of Dirt and Tar (WordTech Communications, 2014). She is currently English Program Chair at Sierra Nevada College, Lake Tahoe, founding editor of the Sierra Nevada Review and Director of Writers in the Woods literary reader series.
- BA, University of California, Berkeley
- MFA, University of Iowa Writers Workshop
Jared Stanley is the author of two full-lengths books of poetry, The Weeds and Book Made of Forest, as well as four chapbooks, including How the Desert Did Me In. He frequently collaborates with visual artists and is a member of the interdisciplinary public art group Unmanned Minerals, whose work explores how language mediates landscape. Stanley is a co-editor of Mrs. Maybe, and a 2012-2014 Research Fellow at the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art. His poems have appeared in Manor House Quarterly, Newfound, Bombsite, textsound, OnandOnScreen, Ping*Pong: The Journal of the Henry Miller Library, Slope, and the Columbia Poetry Review. Stanley lives in Reno, NV, teaches at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, and helps out with the Wednesday night drop-in clinic at the Reno Bike Project, a non-profit community bike shop that advocates for bicycling and bicycle infrastructure.
- MFA, University of Oregon
Brian Turner is the author of two collections of poetry: Here, Bullet (Alice James Books, 2005; Bloodaxe Books, 2007) and Phantom Noise (Alice James Books, 2010; Bloodaxe Books in October of 2010). Both collections were published in Swedish by Oppenheim forlag and his poetry has been translated into several languages. His poetry and essays have been published in The New York Times, National Geographic, Poetry Daily, The Georgia Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and other journals. Turner earned an MFA from the University of Oregon before serving for seven years in the US Army. He was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Prior to that, he deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the 10th Mountain Division (1999-2000). Turner was featured in the documentary film Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
He received a USA Hillcrest Fellowship in Literature, an NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry, the Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship, the Poets’ Prize, and a Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. His most recent book, Phantom Noise, was short-listed for the T.S. Eliot Prize in England, and he was awarded a Fellowship in the NEA/Japan-US Friendship Commission Creative Artist Program for 2012. His work has appeared on National Public Radio, the BBC, Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Here and Now, and on Weekend America, among others. He is the Director of the new Low Residency MFA program at Sierra Nevada College.
- MFA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Laura Wetherington’s first book, A Map Predetermined and Chance (Fence Books 2011), was selected by C.S. Giscombe for the 2010 National Poetry Series. The Brooklyn Rail called the book “humble, folksy, romantic, tough, inventive, and not over-programmed.” She has work published in the Sonora Review, BathHouse Journal, Otoliths, Fence, Verse, Eleven Eleven, Little Red Leaves, Bombay Gin, Oxford Magazine, and Just Magazine. Poems are forthcoming in the Minnesota Review, Drunken Boat, and in a Telephone Books anthology, The Sonnets: Rewriting Shakespeare. Laura co-founded and co-edits textsound.org: an online journal of experimental poetry and sound, which Poets & Writers named one of seventeen “groundbreaking presses and magazines that are redrawing the publishing map” in their Nov/Dec 2010 issue. Dick Erasures, a chapbook, is available as an ebook from Red Ceilings Press. She has a number of articles and interviews about collaboration at One Pause Poetry. Laura has taught for the French Ministry of Education, the University of Michigan, the New England Literature Program, and Eastern Michigan University. She is currently working on a book of fake translations.
- BA, English, Dartmouth College
- MA, English Education & Curriculum Development, Stanford University
- CLAD, credential in English, Mills College.
Katie teaches English composition: Writing and the Environment and Educational Issues, communications, Principles of Interdisciplinary Studies, Service Learning , Senior Portfolio and a variety of other courses in the Humanities Department. She also teaches mountaineering and telemark skiing at the college.
Under the auspices of University of California, Berkeley, she designed and founded a literacy and leadership program, Adventure, Risk and Challenge (ARC) for high school youth. In 2011, she received the LL Bean Outdoor Hero award for her innovation with this program. A former outward bound instructor, she has taught mountaineering, rock climbing, backpacking, expeditionary canoeing and backcountry snowboarding courses across the United States for over a decade. She has worked with teachers, families, adults, youth in a range of 1 week to semester long expeditionary courses. She also taught English at Berkeley High School and English Language Development (ELD) at Sierra Mountain Middle School in Truckee.
At Sierra Nevada College, she is currently the Chair of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program and the advisor of the First Generation Club. Katie combines her academic focus in communication, writing and integrative learning with her passion for outdoor adventure education with her commitment to social justice and providing access to educational opportunities for all students. Through collaboration with faculty across departments, Katie has helped to build SNC’s Interdisciplinary Studies program. She hopes to bring active learning, service learning, communication skills, and integrative thinking to the college community and to inspire students to get out into the community to make a difference.