Member Spotlight: Steve

Member Spotlight,

Meet Steve Sassaman!

steve sSteve (he/they/ki) grew up in Selinsgrove, PA and is currently based in Philadelphia, PA. Steve is the Assistant Director for Recreation, Outdoor Education, & Wellness/ Adjunct Assistant Professor, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Temple University.

Tell us about yourself! 
My work is focused on building positive connections through adventure- and nature-based activities that provide students and other community members with tools to engage in lifetime health and well-being. This includes recreational and wellness programming at the Temple Ambler Campus (a public botanical garden and arboretum), facilitation of teambuilding programs on our 15-element challenge course, and teaching coursework focused on outdoor leadership and therapeutic adventure. My research explores gender dynamics in outdoor experiential education and access to nature engagement in urban landscapes.
What excites you when you think about the future of Experiential Education?
I am most excited about the continued recognition of the value of experiential learning modalities. AEE has intentionally increased access to involvement and recognizes that experiential education does not need to occur on faraway peaks. I am grateful for AEE's leadership in providing greater credibility for the field through the work of research and new certification pathways establish best practices for the field.
Who or what inspires you?
My Grandma (Gma Sam) is my greatest inspiration as she encouraged creative play as I grew up on her farm in rural PA. 
How long have you been involved with AEE?
I joined AEE three years ago after participating in the virtual conference. I immediately became hooked on the community and have eagerly embraced opportunities to get involved with the Therapeutic Adventure Professionals Group and the Mid-Atlantic Leadership Council.
What is the most rewarding part about being a Member of AEE?
I value the opportunity to connect with other individuals who share the innate understanding of the value of creative play and community connections. I know that I can reach out to any member to bounce programming ideas off or process professional challenges. 

Find Steve on social media here: @steve_sass @tua_row @sassaman_experiential_coaching

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