Teaching Experience

Reflective Leadership (RPTM 497), Pennsylvania State University:  Spring 2015 – Present.

This course explores the development of the individual leader through a process of reflection, feedback, training, and practice, all designed to hone group-leadership skills. This course builds on foundations that students have already laid, in order to establish confidence and competence in “train the trainer” situations, as well as develop unique methods of delivering content to aspiring leaders.


Adventure-Based Program Leadership (RPTM 330), Pennsylvania State University:  Summer 2006, Spring 2011 – Present.

This course focuses on the philosophy, leadership techniques, ethics, and current practices in the area of adventure programming. A main focus is the ability to differentiate between personality and behavior, in order to apply various behavioral style characteristics and tactics to facilitate better communication with others. Students learn how to embody the characteristics of an empathic leader, utilize the principles of expedition behavior with regard to group leadership, assess the level of risk in a given situation utilizing one’s judgment and decision-making skills, and understand how to create a welcoming environment that fosters the expression of vulnerability in participants and leaders.


Backpacking Leadership (RPTM 498), Pennsylvania State University:  Fall and Spring 2010 – Present.

This course serves as an introduction to backpacking leadership through studying the areas of technical, interpersonal, and judgment skills. Students will demonstrate backpacking skills, including pre-trip planning, trail and campsite selection, use and care of equipment, and backcountry travel techniques. This course also includes an investigation into the human impacts on the environment and how to reduce them in a backcountry setting.


Wilderness Experience (KINES 89), Pennsylvania State University:  Summer and Fall 2010 – Present.

A wilderness orientation program that is offered for incoming students to assist in their transition from high school to college. The heart of this course is a multi-day backpacking expedition in one of our program locations nationwide. During this experience, students learn various skills associated with backpacking and wilderness living. Emphasis is placed on teamwork, group living skills, nutrition, living in the elements, and wilderness ethics. Backpacking is highlighted as a skill and activity that promotes lifelong health and wellness.


Adventure Programming & Administration (RPTM 440), Pennsylvania State University:  Fall 2010 – Fall 2015.

This course examined the specifics of administrative/director level roles in the field of outdoor and adventure programming.  Topics included:  program design, staffing, training, hiring and interviewing, budgets and financially stability, risk management, and program evaluation.  The course gave a behind the scenes perspective at the role of a program director and what it takes to operate a successful outdoor program in the office, not in the field.


Outdoor Adventure-Based Program Development (RPTM 496), Pennsylvania State University:  Spring 2011.

This course built upon theories and principles learned in previous RPTM curricula in order to design, plan, and execute a weeklong wilderness orientation experience. This course better equipped students for a career in outdoor adventure-based programming by providing a unique experience that applied classroom learning into the creation of a tangible program.


Teaching in the Outdoors, Antioch University:  Summer 2007

This course experimented with the different elements of how to teach in the outdoors effectively.  It took the necessarily elements from teaching in the classroom and transformed those into meaningful experiences in the out of doors.  Students were required to teach a segment of class as a final project in an outdoor setting, being evaluated on the techniques they were taught during the semester.