News Items - Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education
Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education Announces Big 3 Award Winners at the 2014 Annual Conference
Ann Arbor, Michigan: On November 14th , the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) recognized two outstanding individuals and one organization at the 2014 AORE Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon. These members were chosen for their leadership and work in the field of outdoor recreation and education, including their significant and lasting impact. Respectively, they were awarded the Jim Rennie Leadership Award, the Bill March Student Achievement Award and the David J. Webb Program Excellence Award. These awards memorialize three leaders in the outdoor recreation and education field.

The theme of the conference was “Core of Discovery,” which encouraged outdoor professionals to reflect upon both their personal core values, and the values and attributes within their organizations and programs, in relation to outdoor recreation and education. Located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, the 2014 conference site allowed attendees to be in close proximity to a wide variety of outdoor and urban adventures.

AORE is proud to announce the 2014 Big 3 Award Winners:

Jim Rennie Leadership Award – Jenn Velie, Wiley
Jenn Velie is a Program Manager at Wiley. Born and raised in Ormond Beach, Florida, Jenn feels most at home in the water. She has been working in the outdoor recreation field for over 8 years, and kicked off her career working for University of Central Florida’s Outdoor Adventure program during the school year and working at a summer camp during the summer. She earned her B.S. from the UCF and completed her M. Ed. in Higher Education at Georgia Southern University. Jenn is an avid surfer and can be found on the east coast paddling or surfing during her free time.

Jenn has been an outstanding leader, not only in her position at Georgia Southern where she mentored students, lead trips and worked overtime, but she has also been an outstanding leader within AORE working tirelessly for the past four years by serving on the Board of Directors. Jenn has become an invaluable part of AORE, and has grown from a young professional, new to the industry, to an accomplished and highly regarded colleague and ambassador for outdoor recreation.

Bill March Student Achievement Award – Jason Gosch, University of South Florida
Jason Gosch began his outdoor recreation experience at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL in 2006. He worked there for 3 years in challenge course, trips, boathouse, and rental center operations. In 2009, Jason transferred to the University of Central Florida and continued working in outdoor adventure until he graduated in 2013. With a B.A. in Business Administration, Jason returned to USF to pursue a M.Ed. in College Student Affairs while acting as the Graduate Assistant for Outdoor Recreation. His expectation is to graduate in May 2015. Jason enjoys working with trips and challenge course staff, to help them grow programs and develop students in well-rounded, holistic ways.

As the 2014 AORE Student Representative on the Board of Directors, Jason has taken on numerous challenges and become an incredible advocate for student members of the association. Not only has he increased the resource base for students, but he has begun working on building sustainable conference scholarships for students.

David J Webb Program Excellence Award – Travis Johnson, Florida State University
Florida State University's outdoor program, Outdoor Pursuits (OP), has diligently worked over recent years to raise the program to a top tier collegiate recreation program. Despite limited resources and a small staff for 25+ trips a semester, Outdoor Pursuits enthusiastically and creatively works through these obstacles and successfully serves a student body of over 42,000 students. Bringing outdoor adventure and inspiring environmental stewardship in individuals who may not otherwise be exposed to such a culture. Florida State's Outdoor Pursuits is a continuously growing program that constantly looks for innovative ways to engage more students and provide opportunities for various skill levels and abilities.

Seeing the lack of diversity in outdoor programming, OP is making it a priority to market to a wider audience and has even teamed up with "Best Buddies," a national organization, to lead custom trips for people in the Tallahassee area with cognitive and physical disabilities. OP also leads service clean-up trips throughout the year both on property and at different beaches across the state. With the passion, commitment to excellence, and adaptability, Florida State's Outdoor Pursuits stands out as a leader among collegiate recreation programs.

Special Thanks
Special thanks are extended to our sponsors whose support for these awards are invaluable.

Marmot– Marmot is an award-winning, globally distributed brand of high-performance, technical clothing, apparel and equipment. Since 1974, Marmot products have been worn by climbers, skiers, mountaineers and adventurers world-wide. Marmot works with professional mountain guides, world-class athletes and expeditions—pushing the limits of product innovation and technology—pioneering what is possible in the most extreme environments on earth.

Osprey– Osprey’s mission is to create innovative high performance gear that reflects their love of adventure and their devotion to the outdoors. They succeed when they meet the demanding expectation of their most discerning customers and they are proud to use their packs.

About AORE
The mission of AORE is to provide opportunities for professionals and students in the field of outdoor recreation and education to exchange information, promote the preservation and conservation of the natural environment, and address issues common to college, university, community, military, and other not-for-profit outdoor recreation and education programs.

Published: 12/01/14