Entrepreneur model and nutritionist Maye Musk speaking at the Sierra Nevada College 2019 Siebens-Binz Tahoe Forum
Entrepreneur, model, and nutritionist Maye Musk talked about her long and varied career at the 2019 Siebens-Binz SNC Tahoe Forum on October 5th.

Maye Musk at the Tahoe Forum

Entrepreneur, model, and nutritionist Maye Musk was the featured speaker at the 2019 Siebens-Binz SNC Tahoe Forum on October 5th. Ms. Musk was welcomed to the stage on the Sierra Nevada College campus for a moderated talk with Michael Thomas about her multi-faceted career. Musk’s experience juggling her careers, social expectations of women, and the responsibilities of raising three young children resonates with audiences worldwide.

Maye began her professional career as a teenage model in South Africa. She has been a successful model for most of her adult life, but she became a modern style icon when she moved against the ageism so common in the fashion world. On her 60th birthday, she cut her hair short and let its natural white color, which she had been hiding for many years, shine through. Her new look led to worldwide ad campaigns and even a spot on a Beyonce music video. At 69, she became the oldest Covergirl ever.

Despite her work as a model, Maye is a self-professed “science nerd.” She studied dietetics as an undergraduate, and went on to earn two master’s degrees in the field later in life. As a professional, she is not an advocate of restrictive diets. Instead, she is a believer in eating wholesome, complete meals that meet all of your body’s needs. Getting up and moving is another critical part of Maye’s advice to her clients. She described how she has modified her exercise regimen to work around her injuries instead of getting surgery. She avoids anything that physically hurts her and is in favor of her clients doing the same. In 2006 Maye was awarded the Outstanding Nutrition Entrepreneur Award in recognition of Excellence in Entrepreneurism and Dedication to the Field of Nutrition.

When she started her dietician practice as a young entrepreneur, her kids were young. She worked long hours and multiple jobs. Her youngest child, Tosca, would answer the phones at her office. Because she was too young to have a good grasp of spelling, Tosca would ask clients to sound out their names so she could write them down. The clients were initially skeptical of Maye’s secretary’s abilities but found it comical when they realized they were talking to a young child.

Maye’s work ethic rubbed off on her children, and she is proud of their success as entrepreneurs themselves. Her oldest son, Elon, is known for developing Tesla and many other successful businesses. Her younger son, Kimbal, owns The Kitchen Restaurant Group, which is a family of farm-to-table restaurants in Boulder, Chicago, Cleveland, Memphis, and Indianapolis. Kimbal was also the co-founder and chairman of Big Green, a non-profit that has built hundreds of “learning gardens” as outdoor classrooms in schools around America. Maye’s daughter Tosca works in the film world working as a producer, director, and co-founder of the streaming service Passionfix.

Maye Musk proves that there’s no age limit to innovation and entrepreneurship.


The Siebens-Binz SNC Tahoe Forum was endowed in 2004 through a generous gift by Nancy Siebens Binz, to bring greater knowledge and understanding of the broader world through exposure to some of the major thinkers and doers of our time. On behalf of our family of students, faculty, and staff, we thank Nancy Siebens Binz for her personal commitment and financial support of Sierra Nevada College.

Reporting by Zoe Tuttle

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5 new friends at Sierra Nevada College orientation river camp adventure
Becoming a college student is a rite of passage. At SNC, you'll start with adventures that show how exciting learning can be.

Choose Your Own Adventure at Sierra Nevada College Orientation

Becoming a college student is a rite of passage. You’re not just starting at a new school, you’re making the transition from adolescence to adulthood. At Sierra Nevada College, you’ll start with an adventure that shows how exciting learning can be.

SNO – Sierra Nevada Orientation is an innovative two-phase program. The first phase is a special camping adventure: A four-day trip for you to meet your fellow students, explore your new home, all while learning skills that will serve you well during college and after graduation. Best of all, you get to choose the adventure that best suits your interests and personal style.

Phase 1 – In the Wild

Fall 2019 incoming students got to choose between two adventures – high camp and river camp. Each trip included opportunities to learn valuable skills such as communication, creativity, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Peer mentoring and teamwork are other important pieces of the experience. Student guides lead new students as they get acquainted, make and break camp, cook and eat, and explore together.

High Camp

High campers started their 5-day backpacking expedition camping on Patterson Lawn the night before they departed. Since they had to carry everything that they used for the duration, the first night was a trial run to make sure everybody had the gear they needed. At 7:00 a.m. the next morning they set off for their trailheads in the Desolation Wilderness, above Lake Tahoe.

Two student leaders, all experienced in the outdoors, led each of four groups of about 10 students on a different 4-day route. Desolation Wilderness, despite its name, is actually a majestic setting high in the mountains. The students traveled 25 to 30 miles, completely self-sufficient. They learned about sustainability and stewardship of the land as they did trail maintenance. At the end of each challenging but fruitful day, they slept out under the stars.

For transfer student Sam Rusak, he felt that High Camp was an effective way to make friends, which is one of the hardest parts of coming to college. “At first it was kind of awkward not knowing anyone, but after we finished building camp that first night on campus, everyone was close,” said Rusak.

student enjoying the slack line at the campsite in Coloma CA at the Sierra Nevada College orientation river camp adventureTrying out the slack line
a group of new college students meet on the campus for the Sierra Nevada College orientationMeet-and-Greet!
student is ready for whitewater rafting at Sierra Nevada College orientation river camp adventureReady for whitewater
River Camp

River campers spent two days whitewater rafting down the South Fork of the American River, alternating adrenaline rush with peaceful floats. The guides, a mix of students and faculty, navigated through Class II – Class III+ rapids with the help of their raft teams. Along the way, they pointed out wildlife, geology, and the importance of sustainability and river protection. After that, they spent two days hiking the foothills and high passes of the Sierra Nevada range.

Each day’s activities ended around the campfire at their base camp in Coloma, California. Everybody gathered for dinner and conversation under the willows and oak trees along the river’s edge.

Phase 2 – On Campus

The second SNO phase brings everybody back together on campus. There are plenty of casual activities for you to meet more friends and explore the amazing opportunities close to campus. And, of course, there’s the usual introduction to the mechanics of college – academic policies, financial aid, dorm rules, library facilities. The main focus of the week, however, is a group of hands-on workshops. These introduce you to the college’s core themes and immersive learning style. This fall, students rotated through each of three workshops.

In the Entrepreneurship workshop, the class discussed various issues that we face in the Tahoe Basin. These included wildfire, housing, traffic, lake clarity, recreation and tourism, trash and recycling, and climate change. Students were divided into groups which each included a variety of personalities and communication styles, for a variety of perspectives. Then each team used entrepreneurial thinking and teamwork to propose a solution, build a prototype, fill out a sustainable business model canvas, and create a professional presentation.

Incoming freshman Kristin Helser learned a lot in the entrepreneurship workshop. “I really liked trying to come up with a project that would help solve a problem that affects us, and figure out what it took to design and produce the solution,” she said.

a student is overwhelmed during an entrepreneurship workshop as two other students look on at the Sierra Nevada College orientationEntrepreneurship can be challenging!
Animal Behavior students spend class catching crayfish at Hidden Beach at Lake TahoeA beautiful place for a crayfish census.
float test - students have built a boat out of scrap materials for a creativity workshop at the Sierra Nevada College orientationIs it seaworthy?

In the Sustainability workshop, students went to Chimney Beach to measure the crawfish population in Lake Tahoe. The students had their first college taste of collecting data for research. Environmental science is one of the many pieces of sustainability which will be part of their education at Sierra Nevada College. And they were introduced to the opportunities they will have to live and learn in such a beautiful, special place.

In the Creative Arts workshop, student teams built boats out of scrap lumber, fasteners, and duct tape. Empty 55 gallon plastic drums were the flotation. Each group’s boat had to be decorated with a unique paint job and flag. And each boat had to be able to support one designated paddler for a 200 yard regatta. The regatta was held on Lake Tahoe, and filmed both from the shore and a drone by digital arts students. The boats were tested for seaworthiness during construction in a kiddie pool on campus, but this did not turn out reliably mimic conditions on the lake!

Skills for Success

Each of these adventures is as much fun as it sounds, but they are also an important part of your future success. They introduce you to the valuable skills that will be at the core of your Sierra Nevada College education. These are the skills that will serve you well in college, in your future career, and throughout your life.

Communication: This includes written and oral communication but also active listening skills. Whether you are out in the wild or working on a team project, your success depends on your ability to listen and follow directions, as well as to communicate effectively with others.

Creativity: Creativity comes in many forms, including solving a problem in a unique way. New adventures and perspectives encourage you to think outside the box.

Entrepreneurship: The ability to take risks and innovate, and the willingness to develop and organize a new venture, are hallmarks of the entrepreneurial spirit. Each SNO activity is an opportunity to take on a project and see it through to completion, to the benefit of everybody involved.

Leadership: Leadership means taking responsibility for yourself, as well as cooperating with others for your mutual success. These are key skills that every potential leader must master.

Take your place among the EAGLES! That’s an acronym for Experience, Adventure, Group Leadership, Environment, and Style.

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2019 Tahoe Slam winners Griffin Peralta, Pan Pantoja, SaMoura Horsley, and mistress of ceremonies Elisa Garcia
Griffin Peralta beat out nine other competitors for the title of Grand Champion at the Annual Tahoe Slam on April 26, the last Friday of National Poetry Month.

2019 Tahoe Slam @ SNC

SNC hosted the Annual Tahoe Slam on Friday, April 26 this year. Ten competitors vied for the title and for the prizes – first place gets a $300.00 gift certificate, second $200.00, third $100.00 – plus bragging rights. SNC students Deja Maestas and Nikki Sardelli competed, alongside other poets from the region and several UNR students. The Tahoe Slam Champion for 2019, Griffin Peralta, is a Reno-based poet and member of the Spoken Views Collective.

Griffin Peralta, winner of the the 2019 Tahoe Slam, held at Sierra Nevada College during National Poetry MonthSlam 2019 Grand Champion Griffin Peralta
The audience at the 2019 Tahoe Slam, held at Sierra Nevada College during National Poetry MonthThere’s always lots of audience participation!
Sierra Nevada College art and creative writing student Nikki Sardelli performing at the 2019 Tahoe Slam, held at Sierra Nevada College during National Poetry MonthSNC student Nikki Sardelli

The Annual Tahoe Slam is held every year on the last Friday in April, poetry month. Past MCs include Patricia Smith, Denise Jolly, Raina Leon, the UC Berkeley Slam Team, and other spoken word performers. The MC this year was Elisa Garcia, a Reno-based spoken word artist. Slams are performance infused deliveries of verse, with a three-minute limit. Judges are chosen randomly from the audience. This is a lively event with a lot of audience participation. There are no tame whispered verses here!

2019 Winners:

First place: Griffin Peralta
Second place: Pan Pantoja
Third place: SaMoura Horsley
Mistress of Ceremonies: Elisa Garcia

photo: (clockwise from top left) Griffin Peralta, Pan Pantoja, SaMoura Horsley, Elisa Garcia


The Annual Tahoe Slam is the last event in the season for the Writers in the Woods literary speaker series. The series brings well-known poets and writers from all over the country to the Sierra Nevada College campus. Audience members are welcome to meet and exchange ideas with the guest writers during intimate readings and workshops. All events are open to the public.

The 2019 – 2020 Writers in the Woods season is bringing Rebecca Makkai, author of the Pulitzer finalist in fiction The Great Believers; Lacy M. Johnson, author of The Reckonings; Michael Branch, local author of How to Cuss in Western; Gayle Brandeis, reading from her new book Many Restless Concerns: The Victims of Countess Bathory Speak in a Chorus (A Testimony); June Sylvester Saraceno, reading from her new works Feral, North Carolina, 1965 (a novel), and The Girl from Yesterday (poetry); and Kaveh Akbar, author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf.

The 2019 – 2020 Writers in the Woods Schedule

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Rebecca Makkai, whose most recent novel "The Great Believers" is a 2019 Pulitzer finalist, will open the 2019 - 2020 Writers in the Woods.

Pulitzer Finalist Opens Literary Series

Cover of "The Great Believers" by Sierra Nevada College MFA in Creative Writing faculty Rebecca MakkaiRebecca Makkai will be the first author in the 2019 – 2020 Writers in the Woods literary speaker series. Makkai’s most recent work, The Great Believers, was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in fiction. The book was also a finalist for the National Book Award; winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal, the LA Times Book Prize, and the Stonewall Award; and one of the New York Times Ten Best Books of 2018.

Makkai is also the author of the novels The Hundred-Year House and The Borrower, and the short story collection Music for Wartime. She is on the MFA in Creative Writing faculty both here at Sierra Nevada College and at Northwestern University in Chicago, her home.


About The Great Believers
Publisher’s Description

A Novel of Friendship and Redemption in the Face of Tragedy

In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for a Chicago art gallery, is about to pull off a coup, bringing an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDs epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico’s funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico’s little sister.

Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago epidemic, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways the AIDS crisis affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. Yale and Fiona’s intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of 80’s and the chaos of the modern world, as both struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.

Praise for The Great Believers


Writers in the Woods brings well-known poets and writers from all over the country to the campus for intimate readings and workshops. All events are open to the public, and audience members are welcome to meet and exchange ideas with the guest writers. The readings, on Friday evening from 7 to 9 pm, are free to everybody. Workshops are Saturday mornings from 10 am to noon, with a nominal fee of $50 for community members.

2019 – 2020 Season

Learn more about this season’s authors

Register for a Workshop

September 27 – 28
Rebecca Makkai
The Great Believers

Writer and activist Lacy M Johnson, author of 'The Reckonings'October 18 – 19
Lacy M. Johnson
The Reckonings
Nevada author and desert rat Mike Branch, author of 'How to Cuss in Western'November 1 – 2
Michael Branch
How to Cuss in Western
Headshot of Author Gayle BrandeisFebruary 7 – 8
Gayle Brandeis
Many Restless Concerns: The Victims of Countess Bathory Speak in a Chorus (A Testimony)
June Sylvester Saraceno
Feral, North Carolina, 1965 (a novel), and The Girl from Yesterday (poetry)
March – TBD

Kaveh Akbar, author of 'Calling a Wolf a Wolf'April 10 – 11
Kaveh Akbar
Calling a Wolf a Wolf
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Jane Goodall speaking at Sierra Nevada College.
The famed researcher and environmental advocate presented to a packed house of students, faculty, and staff.

Dr. Jane Goodall at SNC

On the evening of March 29, the crowded room in SNC’s Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences building was buzzing with anticipation. A petite 85-year-old wearing a simple black turtleneck with a butterfly print shawl wrapped around her shoulders slipped in the door. The room fell silent as Dr. Jane Goodall took her spot behind the podium. Earlier in the day she had talked to high school students at Incline High. The following day she would do the same with elementary students at the Lake Tahoe School.

She began her lecture talking about her childhood fascination with animals. As a toddler, she brought a colony of earthworms into her bedroom. A few years later, she spent an afternoon hidden in a chicken coop waiting for a hen to come lay while her mother searched frantically for her missing daughter. Jane was curious because she couldn’t see a hole on a hen big enough for an egg to come out. Goodall credits much of her success to her supportive mother, who always encouraged her to explore despite her unorthodox activities. At 10 she found a copy of Tarzan of the Apes in a secondhand bookshop, and Africa became her goal.

As a young woman Goodall couldn’t afford university, so she took a secretarial course. When a school friend invited her to come to Africa, she saved for months for the trip. People told her she couldn’t just up and go to Africa – “Girls didn’t do that sort of adventurous thing,” she remembered. She went anyway.

One of the films from Jane Goodall speaking at Sierra Nevada College.In Africa, Goodall had her first disheartening experiences with overt race segregation, in Cape Town South Africa. In Kenya, Goodall was introduced to famed paleoanthropologist and archaeologist Dr. Louis Leakey, who was amazed by Goodall’s persistence – and in need of a secretary. In 1960 he was able to arrange for her to go study the chimpanzees, humans’ closest living cousins, at Gombe Stream National Park in what is now Tanzania.

In Gombe, Goodall immersed herself in the fieldwork. She paid careful attention to the animals’ different personalities and social behaviors, which mainstream scientists discounted as “anthropomorphizing”. She saw a chimp she called David Greybeard take a stick, strip off its leaves, and use it to fish termites out of a mound to eat. At that time, tool-making was considered to be an exclusively human ability. Critics didn’t believe Goodall’s observations as she “didn’t have a degree and I was just a girl,” but there was film footage. A year later Goodall was admitted to Cambridge University’s PhD program in ethology, the science of animal behavior. She received her degree in 1966 and returned to her research in Gombe.

Goodall’s life and career took another dramatic turn in 1986. At a scientific conference in Chicago on chimpanzee behavior, she was stunned as several speakers showed the extent of habitat destruction across Africa. As she described it, “I walked in a scientist and walked out an activist.” Not long after that she founded the Jane Goodall Institute UK, a “global organization that empowers people to make a difference for all living things.” The institute supports conservation science, habitat preservation, primate protection, and sustainable livelihoods across Africa. Goodall emphasizes the importance of local communities taking charge of conservation, so that both people and ecosystems benefit.

These days, Goodall is focusing her scientific credentials, considerable energy, and irresistible charisma on Roots & Shoots, a global education program which encourages young people to “implement practical positive change.” Members of Roots & Shoots range in age from kindergarten to college. The program puts students in charge, empowering them to decide what issues they want to tackle in their communities. Students complete service projects in three areas: one for people, one for animals, and one for the environment.

Jane Goodall shares a stuffed chimpanzee with a very young admirer after speaking at Sierra Nevada College.Dr. Goodall is a witty, empathetic, and genuinely inspiring speaker. As was evident when the room was opened up to questions after the lecture, her impact – as a scientist, a conservationist, and a human being – has been immense. And she’s not done yet. At 85 years old, she is traveling 300 days a year to spread the word. She is clear-eyed about the challenges but focused on the future.

The impact of her visit will continue to resonate, as Incline High School and the Lake Tahoe School are pairing up to create their own Roots & Shoots chapter. Bob Graves, headmaster of Lake Tahoe School, is excited to bring the organization to the North Lake Tahoe area. “One of the toughest things educators face these days is the need to have their students focus on issues and solutions beyond themselves and their own personal needs,” Graves said. “The students and parents are pretty pumped right now after meeting Jane. The key will be to keep those positive vibes going and to channel the energy and enthusiasm into Roots & Shoots as soon as possible – exactly why we will be starting the new chapter this spring. There is plenty of room for additional conservation measures and community involvement in the Tahoe community,” he said. “Better yet, to create an informed and motivated group of students willing to get involved now, bodes well for our region and the world’s future.”

Sierra Nevada College is grateful to Lake Tahoe School for making the lecture with Dr. Jane Goodall possible.


Sustainability – environmental, social, and economic – is a core piece of SNC Tahoe’s academic mission. The college offers an interdisciplinary major in sustainability, which looks at the topic from multiple perspectives. SNC Tahoe also has an active environmental science program, with majors in ecology, earth science, and natural resource management. Our partnership with UC Davis through the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences gives students direct access to current research and conservation efforts in the Lake Tahoe region.

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SNC Tahoe student Cole Lyon grabs his skis while in the air during the freeski competition at USCSA
The Eagles bring home the medals from the 41st Annual United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association National Championships.

USCSA Nationals 2019

Sierra Nevada College emerged victorious at the 2019 41st Annual United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) National Championships, March 10-16th at Snow King resort in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Together, SNC Tahoe students brought home four combined team national championships and four combined individual national championships.

Alpine Results

The Eagles won 1st in both the men’s and women’s alpine team competitions, as well as the combined team title for alpine ski racing.

For the women’s alpine ski team, freshman Misel Marovt took 1st place overall, bringing home the national title. Senior Saana Ahonen took home 2nd place, and senior Eva Jazbec took home 5th place.

On the first day of the alpine competition in the women’s giant slalom, Marovt took the win with a two-run time of 1:56.69 seconds. Ahonen finished in second place, just a mere 0.63 seconds back. In women’s slalom, Marovt took her second title of the championships, finishing in 1st place with a time of 1:40.49 seconds. Ahonen finished in second, 1.37 seconds behind. Jazbec made it a clean swipe for the Eagles, finishing in 3rd place, just 2.48 seconds back. The women’s alpine team made history by sweeping the podium.

The men’s alpine team finished first in combined results as well. Adrian Rhomberg placed 1st, with Vidar Widing in 3rd, Luka Gobec in 7th, and Anton Waller in 11th.

The men’s and women’s alpine snowboard team also impressed at nationals, with both teams taking 2nd place. For the men, Marc Speake took 7th place, while Cory Skaggs took 10th. Ty Casey took 15th, David Brown took 25th, and Alex School took 29th. For the women, Calista Carlson took 6th, with Carina Logan in 12th, Breck Beishline in 18th, and Maggie Galloway in 20th.

SNC Tahoe student Anton Waller sports a tutu as he competes in the giant slalom event at USCSA NationalsAnton Waller sports a tutu
SNC Tahoe's Womens Alpine ski team takes the national championship after sweeping the podiumThe women’s championship Alpine Team
SNC skiier Saana Ahonen takes a deep turn at the 2019 USCSA NationalsSaana Ahonen takes a deep turn
Freestyle Results

The Eagles also took home awards for 1st place in men’s and women’s free ski, and 2nd place in men’s and women’s freestyle snowboard.

The women’s freeski team claimed the national title, with Vilde Johansen taking home the 1st place trophy. Bridget O’Brien took home 3rd place, with Sarah Lingg in 5th, and Gabby Dodd in 7th. The men’s free ski team also claimed the national title, with Andrew “Shaggy” Eells taking 1st place. Cole Lyon took 3rd place, Milan Peyrin took 5th, with Quinn Davis in 16th, and Sean Conroy in 17th.

The women’s freestyle snowboard team’s combined results earned them the 2nd place title as a team, with individuals taking 4th, 8th, 11th, and 13th. Calista Carlson brought home 4th place, with Carina Logan taking 8th, Breck Beishline taking 11th, and Margaret “Maggie” Galloway taking 13th. The men’s freestyle team also brought home the combined team 2nd place. David Brown won 9th place, with Alex Schoff taking 13th, Hunter Lamoureux taking 15th, Ty Casey in 25th, and Ben Hojnoski in 29th.

SNC Tahoe student Alex Schoff his the rail during the USCSA national competitionAlex Schoff on the rail
SNCs Bridget OBrien is airborne at the 2019 USCSA NationalsBridget O’Brien is airborne
SNC Tahoe student Sarah Lingg makes herself comfortable in the terrain park during USCSA nationalsSarah Lingg in the park

header image: Freeskier Cole Lyon grabs his skis midair


A Winning History

SNC Tahoe is no stranger to national championship titles at USCSA. Over the years, our teams have managed to snag dozens of titles for both our teams and the individuals on them. With our local training mountain just 5 minutes from campus, students are able to get plenty of practice in. There are over a dozen other premier ski areas within easy driving distance. Those include Squaw Valley, Northstar, Heavenly Valley, and Kirkwood. Whatever your skill level and terrain preference, it’s not far from here.

Looking for a Career in the Snow?

In SNC Tahoe’s Ski Area Management bachelor’s degree program, you’ll learn all the ins and outs of the ski resort business from the pros. Intern at Lake Tahoe’s world-class resorts. Network with our alumni, the founders and managers of ski resorts and the publishers of ski magazines. Our guest speaker forum brings Presidents, CEOs, and CFOs in the winter resort industry into your classroom. Graduate with a college degree and a resume that will take you anywhere you want to go.

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Students working at computers
An E.L. Wiegand Foundation Educational Technology grant will fund substantial improvements to SNC's network and online infrastructure.

SNC Receives Technology Grant

An E.L. Wiegand Foundation Educational Technology grant will fund substantial improvements to SNC’s network and online infrastructure.

Excellence in 21st century education requires 21st century technology. The E. L. Wiegand Foundation recognizes this, and has awarded $222,500 for the SNC Network Technology Project. The project will maintain and expand SNC’s network infrastructure, to enable secure audio and video traffic for two-way teleconferencing. It will also enhance and secure student services in admissions, financial aid, student accounts, academic records and library services. The E. L. Wiegand Foundation’s commitment to excellence supports SNC’s commitment to improving, maintaining and expanding a flexible hybrid learning environment in an increasingly competitive educational landscape.

The project supports the need for modern classrooms to provide increased distance-ready instruction and security. Sierra Nevada College and E. L. Wiegand recognize these needs, as they collaborate on superior access pathways for education. Sierra Nevada College is continuing to expand access to higher education in the region and beyond. SNC Tahoe, Nevada’s only private non-profit four-year university, operates two extension centers, one at Lake Tahoe Community College and the second at Truckee Meadows Community College’s Dandini Campus. SNC is also building its online instructional capability with the Canvas Learning Management System. The SNC Technology Project provides crucial support for all of these initiatives.

“With the enhancements to the network infrastructure made possible through the SNC Technology Project, Sierra Nevada College will remain well equipped to provide a wide range of educational pathways, for traditional and non-traditional students alike. Using technology, we can meet students where they are at in life, and give them due credit.”

Dr. Alan Walker, President of Sierra Nevada College

The college now offers several new pathways for students, including Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) and a Bachelor of General Studies, and is exploring offering an online Master of Business Administration. The PLA course, and the General Studies and MBA degrees, all offer adult learners new opportunities to advance their careers.

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Olympic athlete and SNC Tahoe student Maddie Bowman celebrates victory at Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.
Maddie Bowman, USASA champion and Olympic freeski gold medalist, on why she chose SNC Tahoe for her bachelor's degree in biology.

Maddie Bowman Goes for Gold at SNC Tahoe

At SNC Tahoe, our students come first. That makes Sierra Nevada College a top choice for pro skiers. It’s not just that we are so close to over a dozen ski resorts. Sierra-at-Tahoe, home mountain for Maddie Bowman, is just a quick drive south from SNC Tahoe. We understand what it takes for elite athletes to take the mountain. Here, they can prepare for a future beyond competition without undermining their success on the slopes.

Maddie Bowman, USASA Nationals champion and 2014 Olympic freeski halfpipe gold medalist, is changing things up in 2019. This homegrown South Tahoe Series alum, who moved to Utah in 2015 to be closer to US Ski & Snowboard training center, has moved back to her beloved Tahoe and is settling into college life at Sierra Nevada College as a junior. In between juggling twelve college credits and preparing for another season dominating the professional freeskiing circuit, Maddie took a few moments of her time to talk to us about college life and her favorite things about being back in Tahoe.

You’re still an X Games and Olympic medal contender, why was it important for you to go to college while still competing?

I want to remind myself that skiing isn’t everything which is important to remember when injuries come along and it’s time to switch career paths.

How does competing AND going to school work?

The key to making it work is the professors. I have such a specific schedule where I have to travel to train and compete and the professors are willing to work with me so I can go to school and still travel.

Why did you chose Sierra Nevada College?

I chose SNC because I needed a school that would work with my schedule as a professional athlete and still allow me to finish my degree. I can play hard and work hard here. And the SNC community has been great! They have been so welcoming an the students are very active but open to new ideas and people.

Olympic athlete and SNC Tahoe student Maddie Bowman talks with young aspiring athletes at Copper Mountain.
Olympic athlete and SNC Tahoe student Maddie Bowman gets hands on during a science lab.
Olympic Athlete and SNC Tahoe student Maddie Bowman catches air in Pyeong Chang in 2018.

What the academic experience is like?

I am blown away by the academic experience at SNC. The professors are all about understanding concepts that you can apply instead of memorizing facts. We also are graded heavily on participation which takes the pressure off on tests. And being a science student I love the amount of labs we get to create ourselves.

How does it make you feel to be back in South Lake Tahoe – your home, opposed to being in Utah?

I love Tahoe. It was good to move away for a little while but my heart is here. I love that I can go get a bike ride or beach session in in-between classes and I am so close to such amazing skiing! Plus we have the best POW!

You’re planning on coming out to the 30th annual USASA National Championships this April, Do you remember your first USASA event or USASA nationals and what are some of your best USASA South Tahoe Series memories?

I loved competing in my south shore series! It was such a cool thing to do growing up and I made lifelong friends that way. It’s also really cool because it allowed me and my brother to ski together. Nationals were also such a big deal. I was so proud representing my home mountain Sierra at Tahoe

Maddie wraps up her finals and will head straight to Copper Mountain, CO for the US Grand Prix season opener and the Dew Tour. You’ll also be able to meet Maddie Bowman at Sierra Nevada College booth at this year’s 2019 USASA National Championships April 7-12th at Copper Mountain, CO.

Originally published by USASA.org



Your Future in Ski Business

Whether or not you’re an elite athlete, you can make a professional career on the slopes. In SNC Tahoe’s Ski Area Management bachelor’s degree program, you’ll learn all the ins and outs of the ski resort business from the pros. Intern at Lake Tahoe’s world-class resorts. Network with our alumni, the founders and managers of ski resorts and the publishers of ski magazines. Our guest speaker forum brings Presidents, CEOs, and CFOs in the winter resort industry into your classroom. Graduate with a college degree and a resume that will take you anywhere you want to go.

Your Time on the Mountain

Diamond Peak, the championship SNC Tahoe Ski and Snowboard Team’s home resort, is just 5 minutes from campus by free shuttle. There are over a dozen premier ski areas within easy driving distance. Those include Squaw Valley, Northstar, Heavenly Valley, and Kirkwood. Whatever your skill level and terrain preference, it’s not far from here

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Rebecca Makkai's novel "The Great Believers" was named to the NY Times 10 Best Books of 2018
Rebecca Makkai's new novel, The Great Believers, was just named to the NY Times 10 Best Books of 2018.

Writers in the Woods Authors Make News

Writers in the Woods brings exciting authors to campus from all over the country for intimate readings and workshops. The monthly events give both students and the general public opportunities to meet accomplished writers in a relaxed, personal environment.


Rebecca Makkai

Writers in the Woods, Fall 2016

Rebecca Makkai’s new novel, The Great Believers, was just named to the NY Times 10 Best Books of 2018.

“Set in the Chicago of the mid-80s and Paris at the time of the 2015 terrorist attacks, Makkai’s deeply affecting novel uses the AIDS epidemic and a mother’s search for her estranged daughter to explore the effects of senseless loss and our efforts to overcome it. Her portrait of a group of friends, most of them gay men, conveys the terrors and tragedies of the epidemic’s early years and follows its repercussions over decades. Empathetic without being sentimental, her novel amply earned its place among the contenders for the Booker Prize and the National Book Award.” —The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2018

Makkai is on the faculty of SNC’s MFA in Creative Writing program. She is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Hundred-Year House and The Borrower, as well as The Great Believers, and the short story collection Music for Wartime. Her short fiction won a 2017 Pushcart Prize, and was chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years (2008-2011).

rebeccamakkai.com

Praise for The Great Believers
“Rebecca Makkai’s The Great Believers is a page turner… among the first novels to chronicle the AIDS epidemic from its initial outbreak to the present—among the first to convey the terrors and tragedies of the epidemic’s early years as well as its course and repercussions…An absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what it’s like to live during times of crisis.” —Michael Cunningham in The New York Times Book Review

“Makkai knits themes of loss, betrayal, friendship and survival into a powerful story of people struggling to keep their humanity in dire circumstances.” —People Magazine

“Symphonic… The Great Believers soars… magnificent… Makkai has full command of her multi-generational perspective, and by its end, The Great Believers offers a grand fusion of the past and the present, the public and the personal. It’s remarkably alive despite all the loss it encompasses. And it’s right on target in addressing how the things that the world throws us feel gratuitously out of step with the lives we think we’re leading.” —The Chicago Tribune

“Busily Dickensian, her prose a relentless engine mowing back and forth across decades… missing no chance to remind us what’s at stake… Warmly dimensional… Compulsively readable.” —The San Francisco Chronicle

“To believe in something is to have faith, and Makkai dispenses it fiercely, in defiance of understandable nihilism and despair—faith in what’s right, in the good in others, in better outcomes, in time’s ability not to heal but to make something new.” —National Book Review

“A striking, emotional journey… Makkai creates a powerful, unforgettable meditation, not on death, but rather on the power and gift of life. This novel will undoubtedly touch the hearts and minds of readers.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)


Luis Alberto Urrea

Writers in the Woods, Fall 2015 and Fall 2016

Luis Alberto Urrea’s novel The House of Broken Angels was named one of the NY Times 100 Notable Books of 2018.

“In Urrea’s sprawling, tender, funny and bighearted family saga — a Mexican-American novel that is also an American novel — the de La Cruz clan gathers in San Diego to celebrate the 70th birthday of its patriarch, who is dying of cancer.” —The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2018

Urrea is the author of 17 books. His novels include Into the Beautiful North, an immensely popular community read choice, and The Hummingbird’s Daughter, named a best book of the year by many publications. The Devil’s Highway, Urrea’s 2004 non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

luisurrea.com/


June Sylvester Saraceno

Writers in the Woods, Founder and Fairy Godmother

June Sylvester Saraceno’s poem “The Ordinary Day Begins” is included in the anthology All We Know of Pleasure, women’s writing about sex. Her literary company in the anthology includes Sharon Olds, Anne Sexton, Dorianne Laux, Denise Levertov, Adrienne Rich, Lucille Clifton, Erica Jong, Audre Lorde, and Louise Glück.

All We Know of Pleasure: Poetic Erotica by Women is a breathtaking, eros driven, somatic poetic love letter to women’s bodies. So many of the poets who changed my life and writing live inside this book, and isn’t that the truth of it, that poets give our desires and ecstasies back to us? I read it with my whole body, dripping with delight.” ―Lidia Yuknavitch, author of “The Book of Joan” and “The Chronology of Water”

June is the founder of Writers in the Woods, chair of the English department at SNC Tahoe, and the author of the books of poetry Of Dirt and Tar and Altars Of Ordinary Light. She will be reading at an event for the anthology at the spring 2019 Associated Writing Programs conference in Portland, OR.

www.junesaraceno.com/


photo of author Claire Vaye Watkins

Claire Vaye Watkins

Writers in the Woods, Fall 2018

Claire Vaye Watkins’ longform article on Dennis Hof was recently published by the New Yorker. Hof was the (in)famous owner of several Nevada brothels, including the location of HBO’s “Cathouse,” and a posthumous Nevada State Assembly candidate. (Two days after the article was published he won the seat, despite his death on October 16th.)

Watkins is the author of the novel Gold Fame Citrus and the award-winning short story collection Battleborn. She grew up in Pahrump, Hof’s stomping grounds, and drove by two of his brothels every day on the school bus.

“A beautiful debut novel. . .Watkins’ vision is profoundly terrifying. It’s a novel that’s effective precisely because it’s so realistic — while Watkins’ image of the future is undeniably dire, there’s nothing about it that sounds implausible. . .One might think there are only a few ways to portray a landscape that has become, essentially, nothing, but Watkins writes with a brutal kind of beauty, and even in the book’s darkest moments, it’s impossible to turn away.” —The Los Angeles Times on Gold Fame Citrus

clairevayewatkins.com/

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Vote graffiti on the beach in San Francisco
SNC students are leading voter registration on campus. "Voting is the most powerful weapon we have to combat tough times." - Lizzie White

Get Ready to Vote!

SNC students Ikela Lewis and Lizzie White were inspired by the current political climate to organize voter registration right on campus. Young people vote at the lowest rate of any age group, so these students are working to help change that. Over the past four decades, voter turnout among 18 to 29-year-olds has ranged between about 40 and 50%, while turnout for those 45 and older has ranged from about 65 to 75%.

“Many people say that they don’t like politics or they can’t make an informed decision about the candidates,” said White “You don’t have to love politics or subscribe to the Washington Post to realize that our country is going through some tough times, but voting is the most powerful weapon we have to combat that.”

Lizzie White

Ikela realized the importance of voting during the 2016 election cycle. “What got me interested in voter registration is simply the current events that have been going on over the last few years. 2016 was the first year I was able to vote, so I was very invested in the last election cycle. I got many of my friends and family to go out and vote, some for the very first time. It felt like I was making a difference in my community, which I really enjoyed,” he said.

Lewis is partnering with NextGen America, a non-profit political action committee focused on getting millennials to vote. He came back to school this fall determined to get his peers to vote, but “I had literally no idea how to get people registered. It just so happened that I crossed paths with Toby from NextGen, who was on campus trying to get people registered. I mentioned to him that I had a similar desire, and it just sort of worked out. Life is just really cool like that sometimes,” said Lewis.

Lizzie White could have filed an absentee ballot in her home state of Indiana, but she registered to vote in Washoe County instead because Nevada is a swing state. “I knew that my vote will carry a lot more weight here in Nevada because it’s pretty much half and half. Since Nevada is a battleground state, as little as 100 votes could sway the election in Washoe County! If just half the students at SNC would go out and vote, then we could easily determine the fate of the midterms in Nevada,” said White, who now works for NextGen America. “In addition, it takes 5 minutes to Google the candidates running in Nevada. It’s quick and easy to look up if students want to be more informed.”


Register to Vote

Last day to register in Nevada: October 7th
Ikela Lewis will be registering students at the front desk in Patterson from 5:30 to 9pm on Tuesday Sept. 25, Friday Sept. 28, Tuesday Oct. 2, and Friday Oct. 5.
Students living on campus can use SNC Tahoe as their home address to register.
Students do not need a valid Nevada drivers license to vote in Washoe County.
The Washoe County Registrar of Voters website has links to complete information about registering and voting in Washoe County.
Contact Lizzie White if you have any questions.

To vote in your home state, file for an absentee ballot. Each state has different deadlines for sending the absentee ballot application and the ballot itself.

Who Do You Want to Vote For?

VOTE411.org is a non-partisan website run by the League of Women Voters. The website aggregates candidate statements and other published information for races across the country. Enter your address for information about the candidates in your district. This will not put you on any political mailing lists. The League was founded on the eve of women’s suffrage in 1920, and has been helping for citizens’ participate in democracy ever since!

Ballotpedia Nevada is another non-partisan site with good information about candidates, issues, ballot measures, and polls. The main Ballotpedia site has information for all states.

Vote Early

Avoid election day lines!

Nevada Early Voting Dates: October 20th – November 2nd.
In Incline Village, the early voting location is the Incline Village Library.
The early voting schedule at the library is 11am – 6pm on Saturday Oct.22; Tuesday – Thursday Oct. 25 – 27; Saturday Oct. 29; Tuesday – Friday Nov. 1 – 4
The Washoe County Registrar of Voters website has a schedule for all Washoe County locations.

California Early Voting Dates: October 8th – November 6th (El Dorado and Placer County)
For El Dorado county, the location for early voting is in Placerville. For Placer County, the location to vote early is in Auburn.
If you are voting in another California county, please check your local office for official dates and locations.

An absentee ballot is another way to vote early.

Election Day is Nov. 6!

NextGen America will be offering rides from the SNC Tahoe campus to polling places.

Washoe County voters with disabilities can request accommodations through the Washoe County Registrar of Voters Office. If you are voting in a different county, contact your local polling location or the county.

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