“I can’t put into words how life changing my time at SNC was. Like most 19-year-olds, I was lost and floundering upon arrival. Almost immediately, staff and faculty across the institution saw my potential and cheered me on for the next four years.
As a first generation college student, I struggled, but I was never alone. My professors pushed and supported me, all while opening up a world I didn’t know existed. I graduated valedictorian of my class, started careers in both my areas of study, and will soon be pursuing a graduate degree thanks to the faculty and education at SNC.”
What are you doing now? (Fall, 2019)
After graduating with my masters in Social Justice and Community Organizing, I took on the position of the Gallery Director here at Sierra Nevada College, overseeing galleries spaces on campus. What an important and exciting step to be able come back to a place that provided me with so much at a formative time! I am able to contribute to this community in a meaningful way utilizing skills I learned while a student, but also experiences I have had since graduating.
How did your experience at SNC prepare you for your future?
Upon graduating, I was able to begin my career immediately, working as a crisis mental health counselor. Next, I moved into gallery and art positions that drew heavily on my experiences in the Fine Arts department and Student Gallery Club.
Prior to SNC, I couldn’t comprehend how expansive my future was. Until faculty encouraged me to pursue graduate school, I didn’t know it was even an option for me. I could not have gone onto the careers I have, or graduate programs I have been accepted into, without the knowledge and experiences I gained from my time at SNC.
What “hands-on” learning experiences were part of your education at SNC?
As a psychology student, I was required to design and run my own psychology experiment. I dedicated three years to my research, “Influence of Gender on Long-Term Incidental Memory,” with the patience and mentoring of Dr. Christina Frederick. This research was awarded first place at the First Annual SNC Student Symposium; presented at undergraduate research conferences at Stanford University, the University of California Berkeley, and the University of Nevada Reno; and published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The Fine Arts department gave me an empty gallery for a solo exhibition before graduating. The faculty understood how empowering, yet difficult, this could be and were with me every step of the way. They believed that the art I made mattered. The four years I spent working with the Student Gallery Club and the year managing the 2D Art Studio were other crucial opportunities.
“At SNC I was the author of my education. Rather than peering in from the outside I was an active participant and contributor. Through the classes I took and projects I worked on I was able to tailor an education personal to me and my interests, rather than having set knowledge forced upon me.”