Mar. 29, 2017

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Kalamazoo, MI

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Est. 1877

Alumni Update

Paul Lovaas K’13 Takes His LandSea Skills to the Real World.

Paul Lovaas K’13 uses his skills as a former LandSea leader to teach young people about the outdoors (Courtesy of Paul Lovaas)
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Q: Can you talk about how youve spent your life since graduating K?

A: I have been enjoying living in northern Wisconsin. I have spent my time pursuing a Master’s degree. More generally I have spent my time pursuing a career doing the stuff I love doing. I am trying to figure out a way to incorporate wilderness trips, camping, and environmental education into my work. I have gone on a lot of adventures, and a lot of camping trips for work and for pleasure.

Q: What do you do for work and school now?

A: I worked for two and a half years at a place called Conserve School, an environmental boarding school here in northern Wisconsin. I started as residential life supervisor and trip leader, then I worked my way up to become the Assistant Director of Outdoor Programs. I was also teaching a physical education, outdoor-education course for high school students full-time. This December I got a new job at camp Manito-wish YMCA as the Wilderness Programs Director, which is a huge new responsibility for me, and it is catapulting my career into camping and outdoor education.

Q: What skills and lessons from K have helped you in post-grad life?

A: The first one that comes to mind is time management. I was an incredibly busy student, between Ultimate Frisbee, classes and social life. It really prepared me to manage a busy life schedule after college. My communication skills blossomed at K and I believe that they have gotten me in the door at some of the organizations I have worked at. Lastly, I learned so much through LandSea. It was foundational to the things I do now for a living. All of my LandSea skills have transferred very well for me. Now I am running a program even larger than LandSea. We are still after the same goal of teaching life lessons in the wilderness that transfer back to the “real world.”

Q: Do you have any big upcoming plans or ideas?

A: I have been getting into carpentry and I am getting a dog in February. I am excited for that. I don’t know exactly what I want to do in a few years, but I want to stay in education. I really care about the environmental crisis and I find that important so I want to be working towards fighting that in collaboration with others.

Q: Do you see yourself making it back to Kzoo soon, and what are you looking forward to?

A: Homecoming and graduation are the two times I like to come back because there are so many alumni there. On top of seeing friends from my time at Kalamazoo, I want to go back to the Beer Exchange, that and the twenty other amazing restaurants that are in Kalamazoo. I feel like there is good food in a town for that size.

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