Position At NOLS: Special Events & Recruitment Coordinator
NOLS Course: Brooks Range Backpacking & Rafting, 2002
WMI Certification: Wilderness EMT
Sarah Lancaster can’t recall exactly how she first came to know about NOLS. Growing up outside of Cleveland, Ohio, she always had a passion for spending time in the outdoors. Each summer her family would travel to Colorado to spend time in the Rockies, while fishing, camping and hiking. Her desire to be outdoors was only increased by her love for horses. You could go as far as to say that Sarah grew up on the back of a horse, where she rode competitively for 13 years.
In 2002, Sarah traveled north into Alaska to take a 40-day Brooks Range Backpacking and Rafting course. Although she had some experience prior to her course, she enrolled to become a more competent and capable outdoor enthusiast. “I chose to take a course in Alaska because I never thought I’d be able to go there again,” remarks Sarah. “It was new and exciting and different from everything I’d ever done.”
An extended taste of the Rocky Mountains came while working on her undergraduate degree in Art History with a minor in Anthropology at the University of Denver. Following her graduation, Sarah was on the job hunt and ran across a position with the marketing department of an organization she’d become passionate about a few years prior, NOLS. This, combined with easily accessible outdoor areas, brought her right to the heart of the organization, Lander, WY.
Sarah has been an integral part of the NOLS Marketing Department since her acceptance of a Student Services Representative position in January 2006. She has served on the front lines, answering phone calls and e-mails from prospective students, enrolled students, parents, and everyone in between. “One of my favorite things about working in our department is that I have the opportunity to chat with students and their families all the way through their NOLS experience,” expresses Sarah. “I’m there from their first inquiry, to choosing a course, applying for that course, preparing for it and finally keeping them connected as NOLS alumni.”
As the current Special Events and Recruitment Coordinator, Sarah thrives in a constantly challenging environment. Booking events at expos, conferences, study abroad fairs and the like, Sarah ensures that NOLS has a presence in the frontcountry. “Not only am I challenged (and supported) to be the best I can at my job, but I also have to seek new and different avenues to get the word out about NOLS.”
In January 2009, Sarah enrolled herself on a Wilderness EMT course offered by the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS. “I’ve always been interested in medicine and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore,” says Sarah. “I hope to do regular volunteering within the NOLS and Lander communities and put my knowledge to use.”
Sarah is working on becoming a tri-athlete and loving it. Her passion for the outdoors is ever increasing, especially when it comes to spending time with her dog, Cleo. She hopes to one day own a solo canoe and spend extended periods of time on the water.
“Spending time in the backcountry was something I always considered a hobby before I started at NOLS,” comments Sarah. “Now, it’s a passion I share with the people I work with.”