Alumni couple attributes success to SNC

Sierra Nevada College opened its doors to students in North Lake Tahoe in 1969, inviting the first cohort of 23 students to enroll at Lake Tahoe’s only private college. Over the years, programs advanced, buildings were redone, and the college outgrew its old campus, moving to its current location. As the student body grew, graduating classes expanded, creating an opportunity for more students to be apart of the unique experiences that SNC offers.

“SNC for me was undoubtedly a unique environment for a college education, I think of it as a gem nestled into the mountains,” SNC alumni John Quintieri said. “There are so many distinctive, special memories that really molded my experience while I was in school, but my favorite memory would have to be meeting my wife.”

Alumni class of 2002, Chrissy and John Quintieri met while attending SNC their junior year, falling in love unexpectedly—and are still together into modern day.

“My laptop would crash constantly, so I would bring it to the student help desk to get it working,”SNC Alumni Chrissy Quintieri said. At the time John was the student employee who ran the service. “Almost every day my laptop was crashing—I think that he was intentionally not fixing it completely so I would have to go back in to the help desk and see him.”

Even though John and Chrissy met and began their shared life together, they remained focused and driven to complete the degrees that they had personally sought out for themselves.

“I received my BA in computer science as well as a certificate from Carnegie Mellon University in Computer Programming through the SNC computer science program,” John Quintieri said. “I was the first person west of the Mississippi to receive an academic certificate from Carnegie Mellon—which was something that I was really excited about, I couldn’t have done it without the professors at SNC.”

Although both students did finish the degrees that they initially desired, sacrifices were made during the Quintieri’s post-college experience.

“I had originally gotten my BA in environmental science and ecology,” Chrissy Quintieri said. “Now, I’m currently working as a teacher at a Montessori.”

During the Quintieri’s last semester of their senior year, they were expecting a new member to join their family.

“Having children really changed what was originally valued to me, and early childhood education became very important to me,” Chrissy Quintieri said. “After having our first born, I decided to go back to school and got my Master’s Degree in Education.”

Moving forward, the Quintieri’s transitioned their lives from living in Kings Beach and moved to Reno to advance to pursue their careers.

“I reached out to my previous professor Paul Colbert in hopes of advancing in my career,” John Quintieri said. “That introduction that Paul had helped me with led to another job for me, which helped me get my first position in computer programming—which has ultimately led me to where I’m currently at in my career today.”

Though some unexpected changes occurred along the way, the Quintieri’s both deeply value their current careers.

“My favorite thing about my job is helping to mold a future for the children I teach and bringing environmental sustainability to the kids that I work with,” Chrissy Quintieri said. “That’s a big focus to what I bring into my classroom—I’m very thankful that I’m able to incorporate that into my curriculum.”

Chrissy and John both feel as though they achieved the goals that they had set for themselves back while attending SNC, and following them into modern-day life.

“When I first started my academic career, my basic goal was just simply getting the degree,” John Quintieri said. “I accomplished that at a high level, I was considered for Valedictorian of my graduating class. From there, I realized that I could push myself further into my career at full speed.”

Beyond college, the Quintieri’s still have goals that they have set for themselves moving forward in their shared life together.

“I don’t like to be static—you’re either growing or decaying,” John Quintieri said. “I would like to continue growing. I still have goals set out for myself, for my career path and my family both, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

Both John and Chrissy still have hopeful plans for their personal future, as well as plans for their children.

“Our oldest daughter is 16 years old, and we hope to have her as another SNC alumni in our family in the near future,” Chrissy Quintieri said. “She is very excited and hopeful to become involved in the snowboarding program. It’s something that she has wanted from a very early age.”

Though Chrissy and John have paved the way for themselves and advanced with their lives, they still thank SNC for their successes.

“College really shaped us both as people, and even as a couple,” John Quintieri said. “The best part of our experience wasn’t the moment, it was the phenomenal people. Tahoe itself is such a transient place and SNC encapsulates those people involved in the community. Meeting so many people from so many different walks of life allowed us to experience great people and great friends during our time, we couldn’t be more thankful for our time at SNC.”