As an Instructor/Facilitator at the OSU Challenge Course, James Ivelich has learned a lot about himself and other people. “I have gained a tremendous respect for the human dynamic and the impacts we can make on each other’s lives”, said James. “Working in experiential education through the challenge course enabled me to help participants learn about themselves and others in a way that fosters a healthy environment.”

James continues, “In observing the way hundreds of people have interacted in the programming that I’ve been part of, I now find it impossible to put others down, discount opinions or be generally disrespectful. In many ways”, he adds, “All of the lessons I have imparted on participants have been embedded tenfold upon myself”.

Being a facilitator has been rewarding work. “Everyone wants to work better in groups and the Challenge Course provides opportunities to learn these skills”. One memory stands out. “I had the opportunity to belay a deaf participant on one of our most challenging high course elements, the Power-Pole. Having to forgo the typical verbal communications used to instruct and encourage participants challenged my conception of programming. Viewing her eagerness and fearlessness despite her limitation was inspiring”.

With a degree in engineering, James will work with people to optimize both technical and social proficiencies. “My work through RecSports has prepared me for the social and group dynamic aspects of a professional career”.

Asked for his ‘words of wisdom’ for other students, James said, “be malleable! It’s one thing to have an open mind; it’s another to act on it”.


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