Ben Oliver: Incoming Director of Outdoor Education
We are thrilled to announce that after a very competitive national search, Ben Oliver (current Assistant Director of OE), has been hired as the new Director of Outdoor Education. Ben will begin on May 20, 2016. You can read more about Ben below.
More on Ben
Ben is a native of Massachusetts, but spent his college years in Central New York before moving around the northeast and New England pursuing a variety of jobs in both outdoor and indoor education, including stints with the Princeton-Blairstown Center, the Fay School, and Project Adventure. He also spent two summers in Wyoming and Idaho leading with the National Outdoor Leadership School. Ben eventually found his way to the University of New Hampshire, where he earned an MA in Outdoor Education, ran the Outdoor Adventure program, and co-founded the pre-orientation adventure for Wildcats. In 2011, Ben came to Colgate as the Assistant Director of Outdoor Education with a primary focus on the team building program. In his first four years, Ben oversaw the addition of a high ropes course and grew participation in the team building program by 830%. In addition to team building, Ben has been active with most other aspects of OE, including training and PE, and has led a variety of break trips, including sea kayaking, lightweight backpacking, and ice climbing trips. Ben has a great love for wilderness pre-orientation, having been introduced to outdoor education through his first-year trip, and has been actively involved with wilderness adventure since his arrival at Colgate five years ago.
Outside of Colgate, Ben has been a member of the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) since 2001, where he presents frequently at both the regional and national level on the topics of social norms, pre-orientation, and technology in outdoor education. He has twice served on regional conference committees and was a member of the Northeast Regional Advisory Council (NERAC) for eight years. In his free time, Ben enjoys board games, squash (the sport, not the vegetable), road cycling, all forms of coffee, and is obsessed with Hamilton the musical. Ben currently resides in Clinton, NY with his wife Janine, who works at Hamilton College, and his border-collie/lab mix, Ollie.