top of page

From Paris with Love

Briana Sapp Tivey ’99 left Cal Poly for Paris, France enjoying working & traveling abroad.  She is now settled in Santa Barbara sharing her passion for the natural world

Briana Sapp Tivey ’99

After graduating from Carondelet in 1999, I spent four years at Cal Poly SLO studying microbiology, minoring in French. I studied abroad in Paris for spring semester 2003 and discovered an incredible world of art, culture, architecture, history, music, and cuisine mixed with a global capital of millions of people from all over the world.

I quickly fell in love with France and transferred to the American University of Paris.  I studied and worked in Paris and then Brussels for seven years. I’ve traveled to dozens of countries, speak French fluently, and can get by in Spanish with some Arabic and Hebrew sprinkled in. I’ve learned empathy for those different from me and how to adapt to unfamiliar environments.

I returned to CA in 2012 and shortly after met my husband Dennis, a native Santa Barbara. Going from Paris to Santa Barbara took some getting used to but eight years later I love my new home, and its incredible natural beauty nestled between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

I’m currently the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Sea Center where I get to inspire a thirst for discovery and a passion for the natural world. The museum is +100 years old and holds more than 3.5 million specimens in its collection. I get to combine my science background from Cal Poly with my love of nature, animals, and the great outdoors, while finding new ways to creatively communicate our mission and programs.

I also volunteer at the museum to care for our six rescued birds of prey. I’ve developed a very close friendship with our resident Peregrine Falcon and love to share her story with visitors of all ages. The ability for nature to still inspire awe in the young and old gives me great hope for the future of our planet and humanity in general.

My life’s adventures were not the ones I would have guessed I’d have when I was a student at Carondelet, but without a strong education and being encouraged to speak up, ask questions, be curious, and learn, I wouldn’t be who I am today.


We want to hear from you! Please send us an update and share what’s new in your life with your fellow alums.


More Than High School.

Her School.

Schedule a visit today