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Q: How did you get involved in the outdoors?

A: I have been involved ever since I was a little kid; my mom is a huge outdoor person. . . She tells this story all the time about taking me to the top of Mt. Katahdin, when I was a couple weeks old, and all these people reprimanding her and being like, “That baby’s way too young.” And so I kind of got thrown into the outdoors at a really young age. I grew up in Massachusetts, back in New England, and really just loved being an outdoorsy kid. . .  I knew that would be a big part of my college experience , so I came to CC. And at first I was kind of too cool for the ORC and for Outdoor Education at CC, and I just wanted to do a lot of personal trips. . . I quickly realized the importance and value of leading others in the outdoors. It allows you to learn a lot more about yourself as a leader but also about how to take something that you’re really passionate about and make it transferrable to others, and to give your peers cool and transformative experiences. . . I see the outdoors as a place that is a venue for people to discover new things about themselves and transform who they are or at least try new things and get out of their comfort zone.

Q: You recently graduated from CC.

A: Yeah, I graduated just in May of 2013.

Q: So how do like working at CC as opposed to going to it?

A: It’s very different. . . You get to see the inner workings of the school, as not just an educational institute, but, especially in my department, more of like a business. . . And so it’s been interesting, and I think it’s shown me how much as a student I took for granted. . . Now, as a staff member, I can see the inner workings. I see all the hard work that the administrators and the staff and faculty here at CC really put in to make this a truly amazing experience for the students, and it’s really rewarding to be a part of that now.

Q: What’s your favorite place to climb in the world?

A: I think it’s a toss-up, but probably my favorite place to climb in the world is in Indian Creek in Utah. I’m a traditional climber and crack climbing is kind of my forte. It’s the one style of climbing where I realized, “I can kind of do this pretty well.” And I really enjoy it as well. I love going there because you’re in the middle of nowhere but you’re surrounded by an international climbing crowd. In addition to the international people there, there are some die-hard dirt-bags who make the pilgrimage every year because there’s nowhere else like it in the world, which is so cool. If you want to climb sustained sandstone cracks, this is the place to go and that’s why it has that international draw. What I love about it more than anything is, despite it’s infamy and that it’s renowned internationally, it still has a very raw and wild feeling to it. . .  So it’s totally just dispersed camping in this beautiful canyon. . . just these perfect cracks that go on forever seamlessly.

Q:What’s in store for the future for Outdoor Ed?

A: The future for Outdoor Education for one: a continually developing program that really has strong student leaders in climbing, backpacking, whitewater program, skiing, and then future mountaineering. . . But more specifically, [I’m] kind of taking on my own pet project… On Feb. 1, 2014, we are hosting the first ever, annual Colorado Outdoor Educators Symposium, which is going to be a one-day conference here on campus…  We’re inviting all the outdoor programs at any college in Colorado in addition to many employers like HMI, Outward Bound, NOLS. . . It’s going to be an opportunity for students to work with students and administrators at other colleges, then also folded into that is a sort of “career conference,” where we’re going to have all these different organizations talking about potential summer employment opportunities for students.

Q: What is your favorite guilty pleasure television show?

A: I don’t know. . . I don’t watch TV (I don’t have cable at my house), but I’m addicted to watching episodes online. My girlfriend has got me hooked on ‘Downton Abbey.’ It’s pretty amazing, I will say. . . At first I was like, okay I’m only going to watch this when they’re watching it. But then I started to watch it alone and I was like, ‘Oh no, I’m hooked.’

 

 

Nina Murray

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