Member Spotlight: Jillian

Member Spotlight,

Jillian headshotMeet Jillian Votava!

Jillian grew up in Milwaukee, WI and now resides in Suttons Bay, MI where she works as the STEM & Internship Coordinator at the Inland Seas Education Association. 

Tell us a bit about what you do at your organization. 
I do a little bit of everything working here at ISEA, a non-profit whose mission is to inspire a lifetime of curiosity, passion, and stewardship for the Great Lakes. In the warmer months of the year, May through October, I am primarily an educator and facilitator on our programs, most of which are delivered aboard a traditionally-rigged schooner. I am expected to know quite a bit of Great Lakes-related content, while also being a facilitator of unique experiences. Every single program is a unique experience out on the water, and I am always learning how to best facilitate the current situation to create a positive experience for the participants. I also help train volunteers as well as supervise and mentor student interns. In the colder months I spend a lot of time reflecting & evaluating on the season, and then crafting new ideas to try out in the upcoming season.
Tell us more about yourself! 
I have many interests and hobbies, some at the same time, or one right after the other. I learned about the term "Multipotentialite" several years ago and I use it because it's the best explanation I have found yet to describe why I can be interested in some many dis-separate things. I am also a mover, I like to learn things both cognitively and kinesthetically - and my favorite hobbies usually involve using both my brain and body at the same time! More formally, I love learning about the physical concepts at work on this place we live called Earthship.
What excites you when you think about the future of Experiential Education?
The more I frame my facilitation and delivery in alignment with EE, I see that it's the best way to reach most learners. Then I wonder why did we ever do it any other way? I want EE to be the future normal way for all topics and all education, including formal education.
Who or what inspires you?
Water - it can only flow downhill, yet it can do so much.
In your free time, we can probably find you:
Playing outside, climbing on things, dancing, listening to the trees.
How long have you been involved with AEE?
Two years. I learned about AEE a few years ago as I was looking around online for training resources related to outdoor ed facilitation. The adventure ed track led me to references on the AEE website, and after browsing around on there I went to my boss and immediately asked to join.
What is the most rewarding part about being a Member of AEE?
I know I haven't fully utilized my membership yet, but the access to training and useable resources is outstanding. The level of adaptability has also been amazing to watch. With the COVID pandemic it was inspiring and heartwarming to see the support (and virtual community) grow.

Find Jillian Here:

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