My name is Maggie Wise and I am an Outdoor Adventure Leadership major with an Exercise Science minor in the class of 2018. I transferred to Ithaca College my sophomore year after attending Roanoke College in Virginia for Exercise Science. My original home is Hudson, Ohio, and now it happens to be wherever my tent finds the earth. My favorite outdoor pursuits are rock climbing, for its meditative elements and lessons on presence and focus, white water rafting, for the splashes of adrenaline and the never ending forward motion, skiing (both snow and water), for its speeds, twists, and turns and the rush of wind against my face, and hiking, for its summit top views and slowed down pace to view the world as it was meant to be viewed.
My parents think I was baptised in a church, but I know my baptism took place in the Grand River in Ohio. Her brown, murky water waltzes forever forward, like her droplet dancers are caught in molasses. There's no need to go any faster. She will get there when she gets there. This landscape of ever flowing reflection interspersed with skinny dipping and muddy toes raised me. It has encouraged me to write, to think, to live freely, fluidly, and with purpose. To take note of my surroundings and dive fully into them, encouraged by the growth and connection from vulnerability and the ripples that grow and cascade outward when one dives into it. My life and my thoughts will forever be carved by these elements and will always seek to better understand them and my relationship and connection to this earth and its many teachers.
When I first came to Ithaca, I started as an exercise science major with a concentration in strength and conditioning. The outdoors were still a major focal point of my personal life, but I never knew there was a way to shape my professional life around wilderness as well. That was however, until I found the Outdoor Adventure Leadership major. This major has given me the necessary tools, framework, and opportunities to turn my passions into reality. It was allowed me to see a future of transforming lives through outdoor education. As an emerging professional in the outdoor education field, I believe it is my mission to expose people to the greatness around them and within them through immersing them in nature, physical, mental, and emotional challenges, and community. I believe these pillars create aware, connected, and compassionate stewards of our planet and our species. "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield:" I believe the sign of a true leader is one who never ceases to learn, grow, and transfer their learnings to relevant situations. It is my goal as a professional to never stop the learning process in myself that the OAL major started, so that I may empower others to become agents of their own learning and life. Just as ripples grow and grow, so too will my future participants and students. It is my prerogative to be the catalyst that starts the ripples.
I am graduating in December with the plan of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) with my partner from Canada to Mexico for the duration of the summer and fall of 2019. After hiking the PCT it is my goal to go on to graduate school for my master’s and PhD so that I may continue to expand upon the technical, educational, and interpersonal skills that will allow me to reach my future dreams. I hope to continue my research on women specific outdoor programming, pursuits, and leadership, while also diving into the guiding industry and education sector of the outdoors to create positive, safe learning spaces for women and others to grow and realize their strength and potential. As something to strive for, my big picture dream is to one day develop an all-female outdoor education based boarding school with the goal of empowering young women through leadership opportunities, connection, and the outdoors.
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