Student Leader Stories

Keala Schultz, Class of 2012

Keala SchultHey everyone! Welcome to the University of San Diego! My name is Keala Schultz and I am a senior majoring in Business Marketing and minoring in Business Administration. I was born and raised on Maui, Hawai'i and San Diego has quickly become a home away from home for me. I love being in the water any chance I get, and although the Pacific is a little cooler here than in Maui, I still love spending time at the beach with friends.

My goal is to venture into advertising after graduating from USD. My involvement with the Outdoor Adventures Center has offered me practical opportunities to develop my business and advertising skills doing work that I am passionate about. As the marketing supervisor for OA, my marketing efforts are visible around campus and on our website and I will be able to showcase a portfolio of work when I am moving on to start my career. Because of the experience I gained from OA, I was chosen to be the Executive Vice President of the American Marketing Association at USD for the 2011 - 2012 school year.  Outdoor recreation and sustainability are a large part of my life in Hawai'i and I am happy to have found a community at USD that values this work as much as I do. While I enjoy the work I do in OA, I love the friendships and relationships that I have developed through it.. The connections I have made through OA are ones that I know will stay with me through my life and I am very thankful for all of the great people I have met through it.  I'd recommend everyone getting involved when they get to USD. It has helped me grow into the person I am today.  OA has a lot to offer no matter what your interests may be.  You never know who you will meet and what connections and skills you will develop along the way!

Katie JohnsonKatie Johnson, Class of 2013

Hi everyone! Welcome to USD! My name is Katie Johnson and I will be a Junior at USD. I am from a small town called Upland just about 2 hours north of campus. Living in Southern California, where both the mountains and the beach are only 45 minutes away, I have grown up playing all kinds of sports and traveling on vacations with my family where we hiked, kayaked, surfed, camped, and more. I didn’t realize until joining the Outdoor Adventures Center that I had taken all this for granted and that the experiencing the outdoors, expanding my mind, and being challenged is a real passion for me. Joining the OA office as a guide is the greatest thing I have done so far in college. I have met awesome, down to earth people who love to explore and experience the outdoors. Being a part of the office helped me so much in finding my way and making a place for myself on campus where I can be involved. I cannot even tell you how much I have learned about the fundamentals of camping, how to rock climb and the purpose of all the different equipment, how to lead a group, how to canoe, and after a few burnt cookies and cobblers, how to cook using our awesome Dutch ovens! I have done things I never knew I would like real rock climbing and bouldering, canyoneering, backpacking, and even traveled to Costa Rica! I have been able to challenge myself physically and mentally and in exchange I have gained an appreciation for nature and my horizons have been greatly expanded to the beautiful areas so close to school and home.

Not only does participation in the campus-run outdoor events and the trainings to become an adventure guide give you a sense of the beauty of San Diego and the whole state of California but it gives you a sense of self, learning how to challenge yourself and grow as a person. The Outdoor Adventures Center opens so many doors for discovering things about yourself and others you never think of. I have so much more confidence in my abilities and myself than last year at this time as a new freshman because of the people I have met and the practical skills I have learned that I will use for the rest of my life. You learn to try new things, accept that when things do not go as planned they are sometimes way better, and that people you meet are so much more than your first impressions, they can actually help you to learn about yourself. The people I have met in the office and during our training trips have given me a different outlook on the world and have given me a lot of different perspectives to consider. I know now that I want to travel all around the world and experience people, food, and nature that I have never seen. I also know that I possibly want to make a career out of outdoor leadership and make it a lifestyle. Because of my roles as a guide and staff member in the OA office, I feel like I have a community and a family at USD and whether you are an experienced adventurist or a just starting to enjoy the outdoors, the OA office is the perfect place for you!