BY Rebecca ashley
Michael Ballew uncovers a clay sculpture that sits on a shelf in the Holman Building. He places it on the table and begins explaining the thought that went into the creation of the piece sitting in front of him, a piece he’s sculpted for his Bachelors of Fine Arts Show that will be held prior to his graduation in spring 2015.
The sculpture is of two people. One individual’s clothes are torn and his shoes are worn down. The look in his eyes tell you he’s hurting, and a stubbed finger says he’s faced hardship. The other man holds an iPhone in one hand and wears a smile on his face. He appears ignorant to the first man’s pain.
“This piece is my representation of overseas manufacturing, something that’s still an issue in society,” said Ballew, Fine Arts major with a concentration in ceramics.
Ballew admits he watched a movie on sweatshops that partially inspired him to create this piece.
“There are still big name companies using sweatshops. Large companies that lie about how much they are paying people because it’s not enough to live off. These companies manufacture a hig h percentage of goods that come into this country,” Ballew said. “I’m not advocating for ‘only American made products’, but I do think these big name companies are underpaying people who deserve a livable wage. It’s a social injustice.”
BY Natalie Clark Postles
Katie Zanto, mother, wife and the chair of Interdisciplinary Studies at Sierra Nevada College joined the faculty in the winter of 2004, and is currently at the end of her 10th year here at SNC. Zanto, while currently the chair of Interdisciplinary Studies, was originally hired to teach a few freshman English composition classes.
According to Zanto, as each semester progresses more opportunities open up for her at the school. Before she taught at SNC she taught English at multiple schools, including both middle and high schools. Zanto also worked as a guide and outdoor facilitator through Outward Bound for more than 10 years.
“You literally watch the students change from no confidence, not knowing how to make a decision and awkward, to so ready and confident to apply their new selves to the world.” Zanto says referring to time working with Outward Bound. Zanto says teaching in an academic setting was not her initial intention. While working for Outward Bound she initially saw herself as a guide or an outdoor facilitator and not a teacher, but it was her time working there that made her into one.
Zanto reflects that her real passion was to “integrate the power of outdoor education with literacy instruction”. She wanted to integrate the teaching of reading, writing and speaking with second language learners that were struggling with the power of outdoor education.
To do so, she went back to graduate school at Stanford, researched her interest of starting a nonprofit directed towards teaching underserved youth by integrating in-class education and the outdoors, and found out if anyone was facilitating the same sort of program.
By Rebekah Ashley
Scout Sorcic, an Outdoor Adventure Leadership(ODAL) and Ski Business / Resort Management major, grew up in Leadville, Colorado. It was there that she discovered her passion for outdoor education that brought her to Sierra Nevada College.
“Growing up in Colorado there were a lot of scholarships for outdoor education courses offered to local students. I did an Outward Bound course, a NOLS course, a course with the Women’s Wilderness Institute and eventually ended up at the High Mountain Institute my junior year of high school,” Sorcic said.
The High Mountain Institute offered Sorcic a semester of classes and backpacking with a focus on leadership skills.
“It was there that I decided I really liked the idea of outdoor education,” Sorcic said.
During her time at Sierra Nevada College, Sorcic has been an active leader on campus and in the Tahoe community. She collaborated with the nonprofit organization, She Jumps, to create a scholarship that allows female SNC students to take the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education Level 1 course for free.
“Scout created a partnership with She Jumps, a non-profit organization. She’s on fire! She is making things happen on campus,” said her advisor, Interdisciplinary Studies Chair Katie Zanto.
In addition to her work with She Jumps, Sorcic rallied to get a group of ODAL students to attend the Western Regional Outdoor Leadership Conference that will happen in January 2015. This was just one case that demonstrated her passion towards outdoor education and helped her stand out to faculty such as Rosie Hackett, director of Outdoor Adventure Leadership.
“Scout is a stellar student,” Hackett said. “She understands that learning does not start nor end in the classroom. She understands that learning is most successful when it is authentic, and that learning takes initiative and a whole lot of courage to get uncomfortable.”
PHOTOS COURTESY OF RACHAEL BLUM & BARRY AVNER
“We are the caribou people. Caribou are not just what we eat; they are who we are. They are in our stories and our songs and the whole way we see the world. Caribou are our way of life and without them we would not exist.”
These are the words of Sarah James, an elder of the Gwich’in tribe of Arctic Village, Alaska. A threat to the caribou is a threat to the Gwich’in way of life, and according to a Sep. 20, 2005, Washington Post article, James has been fighting to preserve the Gwich’in way of life since it was first threatened by drilling prospects in 1988. In an effort to spread awareness of her tribe’s predicament, James reached out to Brennan Lagasse, Sierra Nevada College adjunct professor. Their collaboration led to the creation of a SNC special topics class that travelled to Arctic Village in August, 2014.
On Oct. 10, six SNC students held a presentation to share their recent experiences with the Gwich’in people during the special topics class entitled, “Holistic Sustainability in the Arctic.” During this class, students lived with the Gwich’in tribe and spent one week exploring their culture. In that time they hiked through the land surrounding Arctic Village, hunted caribou, ate ground squirrel, collected berries, fished and participated in a mountaintop memorial gathering for a well respected tribe elder.
“The real goal was to go up there and make friends with the natives, and they wanted to make friends with us so we can do what we’re doing now and spread the word, write letters, and get people asking questions and fired up with what’s happening,” said Senior Rachael Blum, who turned the experience into her capstone course. “The 1002 area (debate) has been going on for a long time and it’s probably going to continue so the more attention we bring to it, maybe that can end soon.”
According to a USGS geographical assessment “the ‘1002 area’ is a 1.5-million-acre part of the coastal plain that holds potentially large oil and gas resources, and is an important wildlife habitat.”
The class was able to witness some rare sights while staying with the Gwich’in people. During a hunt, their guide shot and killed a caribou, which he then field dressed and packed out on an ATV with the help of the students.
“It walked up this valley right up to us, and Charlie (the guide) was saying a few times after this happened that the caribou offered itself to us. It was a special thing because it was rare for us to be there when he was able to kill a caribou,” Senior Aaron Vanderpool said.
According to Rachael Blum, Charlie mentioned that only about one out of every hundred people that visit actually get to see a caribou killed.
Students who took the class supplemented the trip and aided the Gwich’ins by writing a letter to President Obama requesting the preservation of area 1002, creating artistic booklets called ‘ZINE’s’ describing their experience, writing articles for the environmentally themed website “Ecowatch”, making donations for the protection of Gwich’in culture and hosting a presentation on Oct. 1.
“I’ve been to Alaska more than pretty much anywhere else and I’ve never had a trip like that,” Lagasse said.
The whole crew poses for a picture on the mountain overlooking Arctic Village. From left to right: Tom Letson, Brennan Lagasse, Philip Chiesa, Rachael Blum, Kimberly Brault, Barry Avner, Aaron Vanderpool.
Brennan Lagasse, SNC adjunct professor, recieved a phone call at his home in Tahoe from Gwich’in elder Sarah James inviting him and a few SNC students to their village in Alaska.
Junior Kimberly Brault listens to Senior Tom Letson’s banjo music in front of a few roasting caribou heads.
Stacy Taylor is a popular professor with Sierra Nevada College students because of her unique way of teaching economics. She thinks that the best way to teach is to give students the chance to problem solve and have a hands-on approach.
“The way Professor Taylor introduced economics into my college experience really showed me how interesting and exciting economics can be, ” Senior Austin Leal said.
For many students, Economics 101 and 102, or macro- and micro-economics, are the first stepping-stones towards a degree in economics, so it’s important for the professor to introduce the new undergraduates in a positive manner.
“I like being the first contact that students have with economics. I like to make it positive for them,” Taylor said. ”If you are having a great time students will probably come along with you.”
Taylor started teaching at SNC in the fall of 2012. Before then, she had a successful career in banking.“I loved banking and I was very successful at it. I used to start and run big businesses.” Taylor said.
During the financial crisis, she decided to make a change in her career. Taylor was working in the mortgage business, which began to show signs of collapse.
“I decided I didn’t want to be a part of that. I left and moved into my ski house here in Tahoe.” Taylor said.
BY danny kern
Ann Marie Brown, Sierra Nevada College professor and accomplished writer, will be the focus of the next Wednesday Reading, hosted on Oct. 15, in the Prim Library.
Each semester of the 2014/2015 school year, there are two Wednesday evenings set aside for an SNC faculty member to read his or her published work in the Prim Library. These readings began two years ago when SNC librarian Betts Markle began selecting faculty members to share their work with the students and faculty on campus.
“It started off with a couple of the newer full time faculty that we have,” Markle said.
The Wednesday readings are a great opportunity for students and other faculty to learn about the featured reader’s lives outside of the school.
“Particularly students who are new here and even faculty and staff, don’t always know what people’s backgrounds are or what their area of expertise is. They may be teaching in one area, but there may be a lot more going on in their lives,” Markle said.
Brown is without a doubt one professor that has much more going on in her life outside of SNC. She has more than a dozen travel guidebooks in print, mainly focused on outdoor travel and recreation in the West.
“I’ve written books on Yosemite, Tahoe, Sequoia, Kings Canyon and the Southwest deserts. I’ve also written some oddball titles that are no longer in print, like guidebooks to Fiji and the Hawaiian islands,” Brown said.
This is one of the main reasons why Markle selected Brown to do one of the readings.
“She’s written a lot of hiking and travel books, so people in this area might have already seen some of her books, might even own them, might have used them, and not even realized that she is the author,” Markle said.
Brown enjoys many different kinds of writing. Her journalism background combined with her passion for creative nonfiction and the outdoors allows her to produce informative stories that can take readers on the journeys she’s experienced.
“I write a lot of travel and adventure stories that fall under the category of creative nonfiction. I love writing travel pieces that let me stretch my creative muscles. But I’m obsessed with getting my facts right, too,” Brown said.
Brown has a strong love for nature and literature, and is able to use the outdoors to find herself while expressing these discoveries through her work.
“I’m happiest when I’m outside, sauntering along a trail, totally absorbed in my surroundings. That’s when I know exactly who I am,” Brown said.
Throughout June and July of 2014, 24 Sierra Nevada College students participated in an annual service-learning trip to South Africa for four weeks. The excursion, organized by Mary Lewellen and Ted Morse, explored different areas of learning such as developmental politics and economics, community gardens, feeding programs, and assisting in tutoring of South African Students- all while helping install electricity to families.
Senior Sierra Granados gained much more from her South African trip than just education and community-based learning.
“I met a talented friend, Smanga, he is a hardworking artist who deserves the chance to further his art and English studies,” said Granados. “He speaks great English, is dedicated and a great artist.”
Smanga Stigmata Mdadane lives in the city of Durban, SA, a city that helped influence and cultivate his artistic talents throughout the years. The city of Durban even granted Mdadane a permit to graffiti in public locations.
“Being from a poor background, Smanga can’t afford to travel and is limited to further his education,” said Granados.
Although he is talented, Mdadane doesn’t have the opportunity to expand his talent.
“Another thing here in SA, there’s a stereotype that dark skinned people are nothing,” said Mdadane. “From an early age I was told that I’ll be nothing, no matter how much I’ll try all will fail to put my neighborhood on the radar as I tell and wish.”
Name: Maddie Hall
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
What was the most exciting thing you did this summer?
I took a trip to Newport and Orange County that was really fun. I had never been to the Laguna area before. I went down there to go cliff jumping into the ocean which was exciting because I don’t normally do that sort of thing.
What do your summers normally consist of?
I usually go skiing somewhere out of the country. My family either goes to Chile, New Zealand, or Australia. Chile had the best sunsets I have ever seen in my life.
What was different from being in Southern California compared to the northern coast?
There’s no snow in So Cal. There’s a totally different vibe in Tahoe. You know you can walk around in sweatpants and a t-shirt and no one’s really going to care. In Santa Barbara you sort of have to dress up. Maybe you don’t have to but you do because everyone around you does and you have to keep up with appearances.
Did you work during the summer?
Yes. I worked at El Encanto which is a 5-star restaurant and hotel in Santa Barbara. (It had) super pretty views and OK management, but it was worth it because I made a good amount of money to support myself while living down there.
The King fire has become close to being one of the largest fires in California this season and has affected thousands of people around the Tahoe Basin. The road closures along with the dense smoke has made life in Tahoe a little less than enjoyable.
The massive blaze started on Saturday, Sept. 13, just outside of Pollock Pines on Forebay Road in El Dorado County. It has continued on, crossing into Placer County on Sept. 19, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF).
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department states that arson suspect: Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, was arrested and pleaded not guilty to the charges placed on him. He has a $10 million bail and his trials are being held in the El Dorado County Superior Court.
According to CDF, as of Wednesday, Sept. 24, the King fire has burnt over 92,960 acres spreading up the South Fork of the American River Canyon just West of the lake’s western shores. Nearly 3,000 people have been evacuated from their jobs and homes and more than 21,000 structures are threatened by the spreading flames.
According to Yubanet.com, the fire’s main edge was heading north between French Meadows Reservoir and Hell Hole Reservoir and into the 2001 Star Fire scar. Crews began working on contingency lines north of the fire, clearing brush along Soda Spring Road.
The new and vibrant Holman Arts & Media Center building is a representation of an expanding art department filled with ambition. With only two semesters of academia the Holman Arts & Media Center encourages a new era of creative, intellectual thinking with grand long term intentions of inspiring interdisciplinary programs and large communal goals. While the former David Hall building could not support the expanding art department and demand, the Holman building was set in place to achieve this growing need.
“We were basically at capacity with what we could do with the other building, the oldest building on campus. It had a lot of limitations with it. Getting this building and really maximizing the way we flow from one discipline to the other has enabled us to take the next step, which is to develop an MFA (Master of Fine Arts),” Professor Russell Dudley said.
The building was made possible by a generous gift from Robin and Robert Holman, and opened its doors to students in the spring semester of 2014.
“We envision that this center will be the new artistic and intellectual hub not just for Sierra Nevada College but for Incline Village and the Lake Tahoe basin. We looked around and saw the exciting things that are happening at Sierra Nevada College and we knew we wanted to partner with SNC to make change happen,” SNC Board of Trustees member and donor Robin Holman said.
The central ideas inspiring the design of the building were to create an academic flow within the space that also invites the public and the community into the academic practices, according to Dudley.
When entering the the Holman Arts & Media Center building, one can observe students working cohesively in all ranges of art. Students have the space to work on computers, photography, create sculptures and drawings. Art history lectures echo around the building. The new art building allows artists of all genres to share an inviting, inventive space.
“It’s nice to have an art building that is surrounded by all art students and the same creative process,” Senior Claire Bagg said.
The faculty and administration worked tirelessly for two years toward their unified vision of the Holman Arts building, according to Rick Parsons, associate professor of art.