Member Spotlight: Bill

Member Spotlight,

Meet Bill Heinrich!

Bill H HeadshotBill (he/him/his) was born and raised in Lake Zurich, Illinois, USA and now resides in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  Bill is the Director of Mindset at Orbis/Symplicity.

Tell us a bit about what you do at your organization. 
I help educators apply experiential learning theories to practice. I aim to translate big ideas into repeatable educational designs, instruction, assessment, and learning. I conduct research, advise and consult, provide training, host a podcast, and create and engage networks to help educators add value to their students.
Tell us more about yourself! 
Experiential Learning has been the through line to help me make sense of all the interesting things that come my way. I've been married to my partner for 15 years, we have two great kiddos ages 12 and 9 who are into everything, so it's been fun to relive learning how to do things through their eyes. Watching them do new things and asking reflective questions is an amazing way to watch my family grow. We like to camp, bike, ski, and paddle as much as we like to travel and read books, so there is never a dull moment.

My career spans private sector, on-campus, and capacity development, while focused on assessment, mindsets, program evaluation, experiential learning, teaching, human centered design, and student development. I served for 5 years as the Head of Assessment and Experiential Learning at Michigan State University’s Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology. Prior to the Hub, I worked in consulting and research roles at MSU, in student affairs at UC Santa Cruz, and in outdoor education. My monitoring and evaluation work has supported various university programs, community based non-profit organizations, a (US) National Science Foundation grant, and several USAID funded training projects in Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.

I hold a BA in Psychology from Northern Illinois University (1999), a MA in Student Affairs Administration from MSU (2001), and a PhD in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from MSU (2015).
What excites you when you think about the future of Experiential Education?
My work focuses on Higher Education, where I see significant investments in experiential education. There are dozens of new offices and positions opening in various spaces in colleges and universities, all in the name of creating compelling and relevant educational experiences.
Who or what inspires you?
The pursuit of truth and beauty, I suppose. Don Rothman (RIP) said this and it has stuck with me...I see truth and beauty in creative people, struggling people, happy, and sad people. I find inspiration in the changing leaves, the crashing waves, and the falling snow. I'm motivated by others interest in learning and growing and changing. I'm always inspired by the questions: Who are you and what are you (going to be) good at?
In your free time, we can probably find you:
With my family, on a bike, boat, or skis
How long have you been involved with AEE?
I attended my first AEE meeting in 2003, the Western Regional one. I've attended (and sometimes presented at) 10 annual and regional meetings since then.
What is the most rewarding part about being a Member of AEE?
The big-tent network of people and practitioners of EE/EL, the care and love people show for each other, and the learning.
Favorite Moment at AEE?
I was in the room for the first ActiveatEE in 2013 (Denver) and have been deeply moved by storytelling ever since.
Fun Fact:
I think about and practice EE philosophy and definitions a lot!

Find Bill here:

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