It is the first day of class and over thirty students file into Humanities Professor Robert King’s classroom. Quickly, students realize that this course on Revolutionary Eco-History isn’t taught in the same spirit as their core requirement Civilization course. King felt that more could be done to introduce students at Sierra Nevada College to alternative economic theories and modes of thinking.
“After finishing my philosophy degree I turned my interest toward economic and ecological problems because these had become the big problems in our world. Not only were they framed this way, they really were the big problems,” said King.
King’s elective course is one of several offered this semester across all disciplines and academic departments at SNC. Dan O’Bryan, associate provost and department chair of Humanities and Social Sciences, believes that students should have exposure to at least one elective course every school year.
“Although we do not have a history major, we do try to offer some history courses because we feel it’s very important,” O’Bryan said.
It is not always easy to introduce an elective course into the curriculum.
“It’s put in the schedule, and we see what the response is. If it goes below eight than that’s a bit of a problem. However, instructors always have the option to turn it into an independent study,” O’Bryan explained.
Samantha Bankston, associate professor of Humanities, is teaching two new elective courses this semester: Film Adaptation of the Novel and French 201. She has had difficulty attaining the eight student requirement in the past.
BY Danny Kern
Travel experiences that allow you to study abroad are some of the best ways to explore the world while continuing an educational career. They allow students to experience different cultures, hear new languages and taste divine foods. Business Department Chair Kendra Wong says “travel experiences provide an immersed learning experience.”
“Having just returned from a one-week travel aboard experience in Cuba with my doctorate program, I can say that travel experiences are a wonderful opportunity for all students,” Wong said.
Sierra Nevada College is now partnering with University of Nevada Reno’s study abroad program, University Studies Abroad Consortium, which became a non-profit organization on July 1.
On Tuesday, Oct. 21, there was a meeting for students to learn more about the up and coming study abroad trips and courses taking place in 2015. Some of these trips have been held in the past such as Service Learning South Africa and Holistic Sustainability in the Arctic, but there are now new trips for students.
Credited courses are offered during these trips so students are able to gain school credits while traveling and experiencing other cultures.
One of these new trips, Sights and slopes of Japan, is taking place Jan. 4-17. The trip costs $3,900, which includes flights, rail passes, hotels and activities. The courses available on this trip are the three-credit course, FNAR 480, and possible two-credit course, PHED 380.
If students are too late signing up for this Japan trip there is another chance students can travel to Japan after the spring 2015 semester is over. From May 19 to June 4, the school is offering FNAR 480, The Art of Japan, where students will visit Western Japan, and go to various museums, castles, temples, shrines and art studios. This travel experience cost $4,500 and will allow students to participate in hands-on art workshops while experiencing Japanese culture and food.
The walls within the new Garage Door Gallery at the Holman Arts & Media Center have welcomed new featured artist, Lawrence LaBianca. LaBianca shares his Sea to Float exhibition with Sierra Nevada College for the next 6 weeks. LaBianca’s work accommodates his connection with nature while integrating research, sculpture and experimentation to create his artwork.
“I am trying to explore and look for what I believe is the divine source for all information- nature,” said artist Lawrence LaBianca.
Sea to Float is an interactive sculpture that uses the environment to record and harness energy from natural phenomenons such as wind, swells and tides. In order to capture these rhythms, LaBianca has created a buoy lined with a soft copper plate, accompanied by a steel ball. The copper plate is a polished, blank plate that registers minute scratches and dents. The intention of these two instruments is to successfully record the movements of the water while the buoy is anchored in the water. LaBianca then takes the copper plate and transfers the etches from the copper plate into a print, demonstrating the record he captured.
“The Sea to Float project is very process laden, I am creating a buoy that is a drawing machine. I believe layering and capturing of time sets a recording of time. This is something a wrist watch cannot do. These marks become a reference in time,” said LaBianca.
On Oct. 2, the gallery reception opening welcomed LaBianca’s work. The opening was filled with students and staff sharing their interest in the new exhibition.
“I truly enjoyed this gallery. I find it interesting how LaBianca is able to capture nature and transform it into art. I find his connection with nature fascinating,” said Sophomore Jada Garcia.
From the blue row boat that he uses, to the buoys and actual sketches of his work, the gallery is filled with all the different processes included within his work. Lawrence’s exhibition presents the different creative elements he uses and hopes to share through his work. His work presents a clear message in sync with SNC’s key elements.
“I think the show is really beautiful. It’s a great mixture of sculpture and print-making and art that activates the environment,” said Professor Russell Dudley.
I’ve always been passionate about nature: how it works and how to be a part of it. Brought up by outdoor enthusiasts, I innately knew nature’s rhythms from the beginning. My parents, who owned a popular rafting company in Mount Shasta, Calif. bestowed me with an everlasting appreciation for the one thing that always brings me joy and has taught me how to live simply – the wilderness.
Last March, I met with both Katie Zanto and Rosie Hackett to discuss some ideas I had for my service learning project. I figured I would do something with ski coaching, or volunteering for an outdoor leadership program. Both Katie the Interdisciplinary Studies chair, and Rosie, Outdoor Adventure Leadership program director, kindly and respectfully shut me down.
Through internships and service learning, Sierra Nevada College students are involved in a local nonprofit organization called Sustainable Tahoe, whose goal is to shift Tahoe’s outdated tourism model to one that connects visitors with Lake Tahoe and inspires a passion to interact with the lake in a sustainable way.
An interdisciplinary artist using three-dimensional pieces, two-dimensional pieces, performance pieces and digital integration will land in the Sierra Nevada College Tahoe Gallery