Pok-O-MacCready Staff Photo

Meet Our Outdoor Education Center Staff!

 

 

mollie_deanMOLLIE DEAN – Program Director

Hometown: Terre Haute, Indiana

Favorite…
Place: Bare Mt or Long Pond at sunset
Food: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Mountain: Rooster Comb in the fall
Books: Finding Your Way in a Wild New World
Hobbies: Dancing, yoga, painting, writing, kayaking, laughing

Previous Education, Employment, Adventures:

  •  Interpretive Naturalist at O’Bannon Woods State Park
  •  Zip Line Guide and Manager for Holler Hoppin Zip Lines in Nashville IN
  • Team Building Facilitator at Team Effect Inc.
  • Program Specialist at Bradford Woods Outdoor Education Center
  • Spent two weeks in Japan
  • White-water rafting in Asheville, NC

Quote: “Live without pretending. Love without depending. Listen without defending. Speak without offending.”
 

 

AlexALEX MIHAVICS – Assistant Director

Hometown: Elmhurst, IL
Favorite Place: Glacier National Park
Favorite Food: Homemade Applesauce
Favorite Mountain: Rattlesnake Mountain
Favorite Books:  The Name of the Wind, Jurassic Park, Timeline, The Kite Runner, Built to Last, Good to Great
H
obbies: Ultimate Frisbee, Hiking, Basketball, watching sports on TV, Reading, Board Games, Card Games

Previous Education, Employment, Adventures:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Augustana College
  • Intern at Pok-O-MacCready Fall 2010
  • Outdoor Education Coordinator at House in the Wood Camp, Delavan WI
  • Alex is an Eagle Scout
  • Has had adventures in Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, Glacier National Park, England, France, Germany, Austria and Canada

Favorite Quote:

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

 

 

ZACK PICTUREZACK FLOSS – Program Coordinator

Hometown:  Honeoye Falls, NY
Favorite Place: Dawson City, Yukon Territory
Favorite Food: Anything Thai or Indian
Favorite Mountain: Chugach Mountains, Alaska
Favorite Books: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
Hobbies: Exploring the woods and mountains, wood carving, writing, reading and canoeing.

Previous Education, Employment, Adventures:

  • backpacking and sea kayaking in Alaska
  • wilderness canoeing in the Yukon
  • many Adirondack adventures
  • I went to school for Politics and Philosophy but I discovered that I prefer spending time in the mountains.
  • building trails, care-taking on lakes and mountain tops
  • helped manage invasive species in the ADKs

Favorite Quote:
“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.”  – John Muir

Other Interesting Information: When I was younger, I thought I could fly…and found out I couldn’t — Ask me to tell you the story!

 

 

kim_corsonKIM CORSON – Instructor
Hometown:
Waverly, Iowa

Favorite…
Place: Camp Tahigwa, Decorah, IA
Food: Sushi! Or anything cooked over a fire
Mountain: Mount Majestic (Clayton’s Peak) Park City, Utah
Books: The Giver, Woodswoman, Savage Summit, The Table Where Rich People Sit

Hobbies: Rock climbing, roller derby, crocheting, exploring new places and camping

Previous Education, Employment, Adventures:

  • Earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Central College (a tiny, tiny school in Iowa)
  • Studied abroad in Leiden, the Netherlands and learned some Dutch (een klein beetje – a little bit)
  • Received a Master Certificate in Environmental Education
  • Worked at various Girl Scout summer camps for six summers
  • Taught at Eagle Bluff ELC in Minnesota for two years, perfecting my Minnesota accent – you betcha!
  • Traveled to 4 of the 5 national parks in Utah, someday I’ll make it to the last one…

Quote: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”  – Robert Frost

 

 

zach_crossZACH CROSS – Instructor

Hometown: Melrose, MA

Favorite…

Place: Arches National Park, Utah
Food: Hamburger with an egg on top
Mountain: Feldman Lake Loop, Isle Royale National Park
Books: The Phantom Tollbooth, The Color of Magic
Hobbies: Long distance running, Ultralight backpacking

Previous Education, Employment, Adventures:

  • BS in Natural Resource Conservation from UMass Amherst
  • Summer 2015-16 worked as a Trip Leader for Camp Birch Trail, guiding backpacking and Canoe trips
  • Winter 2015-16 taught Outdoor Education at YMCA of the Rockies-Snow Mountain Ranch
  • NOLS alumni

Quote: “You have to be odd to be number one.” – Dr. Seuss

Other Interesting Information:

  • Worked as Resident Assistant, in two research labs, and as a zookeeper during college
  • I speak dog at an amateur level… Bark woof bark bark

 

 

kayla_beltranKAYLA BELTRAN – Instructor

Hometown: San Clemente, CA

Favorite…
Place: The top of any mountain peak
Food: California burrito with a lot of Tapatio
Mountain: Buckskin Gulch Slot Canyon at Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness
Books: I Wrote This For You, Dharma Bums, Nothing Special
Hobbies: Hiking, running, stand up paddle boarding, tossing a Frisbee or football, baking, finding new music

Previous Education, Employment, Adventures:

  • Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a focus on Peoples and Cultures
  • Thai Studies Program and Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Crew Member at Utah Conservation Corps
  • Backpacked the Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai, HI
  • Spent two days in a leech infested jungle at Khao Yai National Park in Thailand

Favorite Quote: “There has never been a sadness that couldn’t be cured by breakfast food.” – Ron Swanson

Other Interesting Information: I put hot sauce on just about everything

 

 

Erin Schwabach Instructor

ERICA SCHWABACH – Instructor

Hometown: Ilion, NY

Favorite…
Place: Anywhere facing west at sunset
Food: Soup (broccoli cheddar favorite); pizza with ranch; curry with rice
Favorite Place: The Hudson River, flowing south from the Adirondacks to New York City; favorite location on the river is the Hudson Highlands
Books: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer; Woodswoman by Anne LaBastille; Adirondack Reflections by Burdick and Kenny; Poetry by Jack Kerouac
Hobbies: Hiking/backpacking/adventuring; playing and performing guitar, piano, and poetry; photography; art projects; kayaking/canoeing; writing; travel

Previous Education, Employment, Adventures:

  • Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) in Syracuse, NY 
  • Environmental Education Assistant at Five Rivers Environmental Education Center in Albany, NY 
  • Environmental Education Intern at New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) in Ithaca, NY/Finger Lakes Region
  • WFR class of 2017 
  • 3 weeks backpacking in the Greater Yellowstone Ecoregion – Recreation Ecology course through Wild Rockies Field Institute 

Favorite Quote: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all barriers within yourself that you have built against it” ~Rumi 

Other Interesting Information: Vegetarian for 7+ year, Cat lover, Aspire to thru-hike the entire Appalachian Trail 

 

 

Brian 2BRIAN DEGROAT:  Executive Director

Hometown:
  Stillwater, NJ
Favorite Place: An open field or the top of a mountain
Favorite Food: Quiche, preferably from Dogwood Bakery
Favorite Mountain: Mount Haystack
Favorite Books: Deep Economy, Wheel of Time
Hobbies: Singing, culinary adventures, eating, frisbee, sports, hiking, swimming!

Previous Education, Employment, Adventures:

  • BA in History/Education, The College of NJ
  • Social Studies Teacher, Vernon, NJ
  • Many, many roles at Pok-O-MacCready
  • I’ve been on Sesame Street
  • I visited 18 countries
  • I completed my Adirondack 46 in October 2011

Favorite Quote: “Afoot and lighthearted, I take to the open road. Healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose…” – Walt Whitman

 

SarahSARAH DISNEY – Summer Camp Admissions Director
from: Essex, NY

Favorite Place: Pok-O’s Intermediate Swim Dock
Favorite ADK Mountain: Rattlesnake
Favorite PMOEC Meal: Magic bars
Favorite Book: Anything by Barbara Kingsolver
Pet’s name: Griffin
Hobbies: Kayaking, knitting, cross-country skiing, tennis

Previous Education, Employment, Adventures:

  • Co-director of Pok-O-MacCready Outdoor Education Center for three years
  • Supervised the support personnel for the Nordic Sports 1980 Olympics
  • Raised 3 daughters!

 


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