Richelle Joseph '18
This semester has been the most difficult and most positively transformative thing I have ever done. It is tough—both physically and mentally—but I feel more prepared to educate (whether that be in the outdoors or in a classroom), to travel, to take care of myself in the outdoors, to take care of myself in regular indoor life, and to interact with people well. This semester goes beyond what is advertised.You will learn how to be a mature adult and a fully-functioning human who is aware and capable of loving others and living life to the fullest.
Nathan Landis '15
The semester following W.I.L.D. I studied abroad at the Creation Care Study Program in Kaikoura, New Zealand. With a similar living/learning community focus CCSP allowed me to implement and further develop many of the lessons I’d begun learning during W.I.L.D. During my senior year, interning for Gordon’s La Vida outdoor education program exposed me to an office work environment for the first time and also gave me a glimpse into program administration and logistics. Since August 2015 I have been back in New Zealand, now working as CCSP’s program administrator here. It is a challenging role but also a varied one, with work and life frequently mixed. A typical day for me is a mixture of time spent in the office, working on projects around the campus here, developing relationships with students, running and reading–most recently The Brother’s Karamazov. It is good to be on the 'other side’ and helping others care more deeply for the people and places around them–synthesizing and passing on the lessons W.I.L.D., CCSP and La Vida have each taught me.
Rachel Collins, PhD '06
While at Gordon College, Rachel majored in Recreation and Leisure studies with an emphasis in Outdoor Education and was an active member of the LaVida community working in many of the outdoor education programs offered at Gordon. This education and experience gave her the foundation to pursue a variety of careers in the outdoors, including camp management, sea kayak and mountaineering guiding, outdoor education, and public lands management. After Gordon, Rachel earned a MS in Experiential Education from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a PhD in Parks, Recreation and Tourism from the University of Utah. While at the University of Utah Rachel was the NOLS Research Fellow and her research centered around showing how wilderness education can be a transformative and educative experience for emerging adult students, specifically in the development of problem solving skills. Currently, Rachel is a Visitor Use Specialist for the National Park Service. She fuses social science research, social behavioral theory, with management objectives to inform policy and planning efforts for NPS units around the country.Her work helps to design recreation opportunities, transportation system performance, and visitor user management strategies to protect park resources and enhance visitor experiences. When she isn't working in the parks, she spends as much time as she can skiing, hiking, and boating her way around the Intermountain West with her husband, son, and dog.