COLLEGE AND COMPETITION WITH SNU SENIOR GABBY DODD

Created: 22 January 2020

Sierra Nevada University senior, Gabby Dodd grew up skiing in Durango, Colorado but didn’t discover her love for competition until her first year on the SNU Freeski Team. Known for its programs in entrepreneurial leadership and outdoor recreation leadership, Sierra Nevada University is one of the few programs that offer students, like Gabby, the opportunity to balance freeskiing and snowboarding competition with a full-time college education. As part of the SNU Team, Gabby and her teammates ski nearly every day of the week at any one of the nine local resorts Tahoe has to offer and SNU’s class offerings make scheduling easy. Despite a stacked semester of school and Nationals ahead of her,  we managed to snag a few precious moments with Gabby to chat college-life, ski-life and what’s ahead. 

Is it true, you never competed until enrolling in SNU? Now that you’ve been to 3 Nationals, what’s your favorite part about competing in freeskiing? 
Yes, it’s true, I got interested in freestyle around 8th grade through my friend group never competed. I guess that makes me different compared to a lot of the people on the SNU. My favorite part about competing is probably just the relaxed atmosphere. It has never felt stressful and the community is very supportive. I think the teams as a whole just want everyone to succeed and have fun while they're at it.

How did you find out about Sierra Nevada University? 
I found out about SNU through ads in Freeskier Magazine. Also, my friend Jamie, from my hometown, was going to the SNU at the time and told me about it. I decided to check the school out and I ended up coming here.

What are your goals in freeskiing and how does SNU help support them?
My goals for freeskiing in the future are really just progressing for myself. I have such a great love for skiing, and specifically, freestyle has always challenged me, and by learning new skills I think my love for the sport will continue to grow. SNU supports these goals just by having the programs and being in the location that it is with so many resorts around the lake. 

Gabby Dodd boosting over the Sierras between classes at SNU. 

 

As a senior with graduation looming do you have a post-SNU dream job? 
I am a journalism and communications major and I have taken quite a few marketing classes. So, a job in news or magazines like Freeskier or Powder would be amazing. 

What’s the best part about attending Sierra Nevada University?
I think the best part of SNU is the small class sizes. I really feel like I am getting a meaningful education. The community is small, but once I found a good group of friends I think that was all I needed. Of course, being able to ski consistently is a huge draw of SNU!

How important was it to be able to ski and go to college?
Being able to ski and continue my education are both so important. I wasn't committed to giving up either after high school. I knew I had to figure something out where I could do both. 

Being located in the ski resort hub of North Lake Tahoe, where do ride most and how often do you get on the hill?
Our team mostly rides Northstar because they usually have good parks. Diamond Peak is right behind the school so we also ride there a lot. In the spring Squaw is super fun and trips to Mammoth are always a blast. Everyone on our team has such different schedules, but I usually ski between 3-5 days a week. 

 

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