Sierra College professor returned home to inspire students |

Sierra College professor returned home to inspire students

Chemistry students Jasmin McLean (left) and Cassie Bruzinski (right) test acids and bases under the watchful eye of Sierra College Professor Jason Giulliani.
Submitted photo

“I had some of the best instructors at Sierra when I went here,” said Sierra College/Nevada County campus Professor Jason Giuliani, who returned home eight years ago to teach chemistry.

Following Sierra, Giuliani continued on his educational path to finish degrees in chemistry and biology at Chico State. He then completed his doctorate at UC Davis along with post doctoral work at Livermore Lab before accepting a professorship back in his hometown of Grass Valley.

“I don’t feel that people in this community know how wonderful the quality of education is at Sierra,” said Giuliani. He is teaching a full load of introductory chemistry classes to pre-nursing graduate students along with recent high school graduates which, as he notes, makes for great camaraderie and a superb learning environment.

“Those students that are returning to college really help raise the level of academics,” said Giuliani.

About half of his students have had college training and are returning for more specialized training programs while the other half are recent high school graduates.

He truly enjoys teaching at Sierra College because, as he points out, lower level chemistry courses at CSU Chico or UC Davis might have up to 500 students in a lecture hall compared to his classes which average 25 students.

“When our students leave Sierra they are well prepared for the university level due to the rigorous science and math program we’ve got here,” he said.

A 1995 graduate of Nevada Union High School, Giuliani is thrilled to be back home.

“This community has such a rich science tradition and is full of vibrant and creative people,” he said.

In fact, Giulliani, is also giving back to the community by creating a monthly science lecture series open to the public. Through his partnership with Sierra Streams Institute, Giuliani arranges a lecture by a noted scientist on specific topics relevant to our local area. The event takes place in the N12 auditorium, every second Tuesday of the month, at the local campus. It is attended by about 150 public members along with Sierra College science students.

On April 9 the topic will be “The Impact on a Warmer and Drier Future on Rangeland Ecosystems.” This 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. talk will be presented by Dr. Jeremy James, director of the UC Foothills Research and Extension Center.

Giuliani encourages interested local residents to attend these free community forums.

Not only did Giuliani find a great education when he attended Sierra back in the 1990’s but he also met his wife-to-be on campus. The Giulianis love the outdoors and sharing the mountain life with their two children who attend local public schools.

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