Employee Spotlight: Jen Stansel

Laura Stussie, UA Campus Recreation
March 22, 2013

Jen Stansel is the UA's Outdoor Adventures graduate assistant and has worked with Campus Recreation since May 2011.

Stansel, who is pursuing a graduate degree in special education, answered some of our questions about her work at Campus Recreation and some of the programs available there.

Q: Why were you interested in working in Campus Rec?

Stansel: I wanted to work at Campus Rec because I knew that working at Outdoor Adventures would be a great job with a lot of opportunities to learn about business, but more importantly, how many people can say that their job is to go canoeing for a weekend? I get to go rafting, climbing, skiing, hiking, and biking, and get paid to do it. I get to work with an amazing staff that is knowledgeable and passionate about the outdoors, and I’m always learning new things about the desert that I love.

Q: What is your favorite memory from an Outdoor Adventures trip?

Stansel: Watching the sunrise over the Grand Canyon at five in the morning with blankets and hot chocolate. If students were only able to take one OA trip during their time here at U of A, which trip would you recommend? I would recommend canoeing Black Canyon on the Colorado River (April 12-15). It's a challenging trip through slot canyons with great wildlife sighting opportunities and the possibility of a visit to the nearby hot springs.

Q: Do people usually sign up with friends? What if none of your friends want to sign up with you?

Stansel: Participants will sometimes sign up with friends, but this often isn't the case. Ultimately, it doesn't really matter, since groups tend to live family-style for the weekend and everyone leaves with new friends.

Q: What is the "challenge course"?

Stansel: The Challenge Program is a division of Outdoor Adventures that works to put groups and teams of people in challenging situations. Participants must work together to accomplish a common goal. The program consists of both a low and a high ropes course. While the low ropes course is made up of low-to-the ground initiatives, the high ropes course is a structure that is over 40 feet high and includes a zip-line. What can I expect to gain if I brought my organization to the challenge course? The Challenge Program focuses on leadership, collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills. We've had a wide variety of groups, from FBI employees to UA Greek Life to sports groups and Resident Assistants, and each group has gained self-confidence and new insight into [their organization.]

Q: How will your experience with Campus Rec help you in your career?

Stansel: Campus Rec has taught me to be an effective manager, an efficient worker, and an innovative thinker. I've learned to collaborate with others and develop positive working relationships with co-workers and clientele. Campus Rec has taught many transferable skills that will help me in any future work experience, regardless of the field.


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