My Story

At 13 years old I did my first high ropes course. Dangling in my harness 30 feet above the ground, I said to myself: “THIS is a job! I want this job.” Soon thereafter I started working as a camp counselor and loved everything about it–working with children, spending time outside, teaching new skills, being silly and spontaneous, and most importantly, feeling like I was really making a difference in people’s lives. The opportunity to share my passions, connect people to natural environments, foster opportunities for personal and group development, and create effective educational spaces has fueled me and led me to where I am now. I’ve done this work with the Peace Corps, Outward Bound, summer camps, and now, as a college professor. This is what Outdoor Leadership is all about—using the outdoors and associated activities as tools for education, growth and development.


  • B.S. in Outdoor Recreation and Resource Management, Indiana University
  • M.S. in Outdoor Recreation and Resource Management, Indiana University
  • Ph.D. in Leisure Behavior, Indiana University

Research Interests

  • Natural environments and human health
  • Experiential Education in higher education contexts
  • Parent-child relationship development through outdoor adventure

Courses Taught

  • ODL 2100: Backcountry Skills
  • ODL 2410: Natural Environments and Human Health
  • ODL 3100: Leadership for Adventure Education

Crews and Other Activities

  • Colorado Outward Bound School, Instructor and Course Director
  • Association for Experiential Education, member

Contact Dr. Overholt

(828) 771-3820
Mitchell B
WWC CPO 6268

PO Box 9000

Asheville, NC 28815-9000
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