Faculty of the Fortnight: Lizzie Hernandez

What brought you to Lake Tahoe?

My brother was a single dad so I moved up here to help him with his son and to continue my college education, and at that time I was at Truckee Meadows Community College.  I had my Associate of Arts from santa Barbara City College and continued to prosper at TMCC.

Tell us a little of your educational background.

While studying at Santa Barbara city college, I initially only wanted to spend two years. However, as I dove into my studies I found that SBCC has a program in dance and theater arts, so that sparked my fancy to continue for a third year. After moving to Tahoe, I obtained residency by attending TMCC so that I wouldn’t have to pay out of state tuition at The University of Nevada at Reno.  After spending a year driving up and down Mt. Rose, I was a little on the fence of whether to continue my education or to travel. During that summer (2001), I got a phone call from my landlord telling me that SNC was offering 10 scholarships to residents of Incline Village. It was a full tuition scholarship so I decided to apply. I got all my transcripts, essays and general applications turned in and then two weeks later I got a phone call telling me that I had received the scholarship and that I would begin school in two weeks. I came here for my orientation and met with my advisor, Anne Shipley, who had my whole schedule laid out, thus beginning my journey at SNC. Due to my transfer credits, I spent 3 years working on my BFA with an emphasis on painting and drawing. I had one year left on my scholarship so I went to the board and asked them if they would allow me to enter the Teacher Education Department, and I completed the program in 11 months.

That’s quite the journey. Do you do any traveling for leisure, versus business?

This last summer we went to Alaska, Paul and I. We started out in Vancouver then traveled all the way up to Fairbanks. We took a cruise up the inside passage to Seaward, Alaska, and then drove from there up through Talkeetna, up to Fairbanks. But throughout the years we’ve been traveling mostly to Maine; “into the wicked forest, bub” as they say. I do aspire to go to Europe, but haven’t gotten there yet – one day. Lord knows I need to visit my Italian SNC family too.

Speaking of Maine, which is better: East or West Coast lobster?

It’s a hard choice because being from the West Coast I’m used to pulling those bugs from the ocean and putting them on the barbecue with a “big bucket o’ buttah.”  But then on the East Coast, you’ve got those big beautiful claws.

You seem to be a veteran Tahoe enthusiast, where is your “spot?”

I’ll tell you my second favorite spot because the first favorite is my own little Tahoe secret. It’s in the lake and you can only access it by boat because it’s literally out in the lake. There’s a rock near Thunderbird Lodge that just barely peaks out of the water, so when you stand on it it looks as if you’re standing on water.

If you could change the world with one Facebook post, what would you write?

“Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.”