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Missy White

Position at NOLS: NOLS Instructor
NOLS Course: Wind River Mountaineering ’85, Advanced Mountaineering Course ‘86

Besides the obvious enjoyments with NOLS – the environment, adventures, wild lands and places – Missy White has always been fascinated by how groups function. White calls it “The Human Element.” And when she saw a chance to work in NOLS Professional Training and focus on how teams function, the now-17-year veteran NOLS Instructor grabbed it.

As a program coordinator for NOLS Professional Training, White custom designs courses for groups and then leads and watches them develop into higher functioning teams. “It’s a way for people who otherwise wouldn’t go on a NOLS course to get a NOLS education,” says the experienced instructor who believes that every segment of the population would benefit from leadership training.

Her own Wind River Mountaineering course provided an eye-opening experience. “I’d never seen mountains like I did in the West,” the one-time New Orleans resident remembers. “I loved it.” White went on to co-chair Davidson Outdoors at Davidson College, and soon after became a NOLS Instructor.

“It’s just been this great, adventurous learning curve,” White says of her NOLS career. Over the years, in addition to instructing throughout the Winds, Pacific Northwest, Alaska and South America, White has program supervised, participated in a special project examining the effects of different group sizes, and most recently has started teaching WMI courses. She also keeps busy skate skiing, knitting (avidly), biking, hiking, gardening, remodeling her house and making preserves.

And her favorite part of NOLS? The people. “This school is full of interesting characters,” she says. “They’re funny, compassionate, talented, incredibly bright, hardworking. You just can’t pigeonhole who a NOLS staff person is.”

Within the NOLS Professional Training office, White loves the constant sense of adventure. “It’s so fun when the phone rings and it’s an outside call. I have no clue who could be calling.”

Meet a few of the nearly 800 people who make NOLS the Leader…
Dave Anderson
Andy Bassett
Pip Coe
Matthew Copeland
Jim Ferguson
Victor Flores
Lindsay Nohl
Sarah Hueniken
Janeen Hutchins
Rey Johnston
Paul Koubek
Jen Lamb
Sarah Lancaster
Riley Hopeman
Brian Murphy
Fredrik Norrsell
Amy Rathke
Atila Rego-Monteiro
Katie Price
Kary Sommers
Phil Schneider
Shawn Stratton
Darran Wells
Missy White
Roger Yim

NOLS Professional Training - The key to learning leadership at NOLS is the wilderness expedition, where teams like this group of NASA astronauts can practice real leadership in real situations.
Photo: Missy White
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