Director of MSOEE
Steve Rubinstein is the Director of APU’s Graduate Program in Outdoor and Environmental Education. He received his M.S. in Experiential Education from Minnesota State University, a B.S. in Psychology from Guilford College and a Certificate of Outdoor Leadership from Seljord Fork College. Steve has extensive experience in the field teaching and directing programs since 1987, including his work as Faculty and Program Director in Outdoor Education at MT Hood Community College in Oregon, Program Director at Northwest Earth Institute and Education Coordinator & Asst. Director at Northwest Service Academy.
Field School Instructor
After receiving her BA in Theatre and Interdisciplinary Studies from Emerson College in Boston, MA, Dylan Manderlink joined the national public service program, Teach for America, to teach high school drama and technology classes in rural Arkansas. Through her two-year corps commitment in a state she had never been to prior, she not only discovered a love for education but for the outdoors as well since it was through visiting local state parks and forests that she got to know the Natural State and herself better. After Teach for America, Dylan taught first grade in Blanding, Utah for a year while living in and exploring the high desert of Moab. When the school year ended, Dylan decided to transition out of the classroom and into the outdoor industry. For nearly two years she worked as a wilderness therapy instructor in central Utah and became even more passionate about working with youth in nature. From there, she moved to Dubois, Wyoming and worked as a program instructor for a gap year program for 18-24 year olds – planning and going on two-week long expeditions around the western U.S. and facilitating adventure programming and life skill development the other half of the month at the nonprofit’s home base in the Wind River Range. After spending a memorable eight months in America’s least populated state, she headed to the boundary waters of Northern Minnesota to seasonally work at a fishing and boating outfitter and lodge. After it got too cold to fish and boat on the remote and very northern lakes, she headed to Seattle to work as a forest preschool teacher. Although it was tough to leave her kiddos in the PNW this past June, the river was calling, and she decided she must go…to Montana to work as a raft guide on the Clark Fork River before moving to Palmer to start APU’s Outdoor and Environmental Education graduate program. In her spare time, Dylan enjoys listening to lots of podcasts, finding fun and quirky roadside attractions, planning future road trips, bouldering, and watching any nature documentary she can find.
Field School Instructor
Katie Skinner earned a BA in Classical Studies with a minor in Environmental Studies from Connecticut College where she enjoyed playing rugby and taking advantage of the school’s arboretum. Katie spent her previous summers throughout school, working at a residential summer camp in the Adirondacks, NY where she started as a cabin counselor and worked her way up to Program Coordinator. During her time there she primarily worked with the teen leadership program and led them on overnight camping trips. When she wasn’t teaching sailing, she was leading rafting and canoeing trips. While there, she discovered her passion for not only the outdoors but also for working with young people and helping them to discover what they love too. After college, Katie worked for the YMCA of Greater Boston as the Aquatics Coordinator where she had the privilege of being a swim instructor to preschoolers for the year. When Katie got the chance to leave Boston, she spent her time exploring the outdoors as much as possible, hiking and kayaking with her dog all over New England. These passions have now brought Katie, and the dog, to APU for the next chapter of her life.
Field School Instructor
Priscilla Hunt holds a bachelor’s degree in Music from Asbury University in Kentucky and worked after college as a fiddle teacher, Suzuki violin teacher, and dance musician in her hometown of Asheville, North Carolina. Priscilla has a lifelong love for hiking and backpacking, and when she landed a summer job at Colvig Silver Camps in Colorado, she began to consider outdoor education as a possible career direction as well. Many applications later, Priscilla was offered an internship with the Colorado Outward Bound School. She has worked for Colorado Outward Bound since 2010, where she serves as a field instructor, course director, and staff trainer. Leading teenagers and young adults on wilderness trips is fascinating and rewarding, and Priscilla believes it is more and more needed in a time when walls and screens sometimes make genuine human connection more difficult. She is passionate about teaching communication skills and emotional awareness alongside more tangible outdoor skills such as knots and navigation. During the school year, between seasons at Outward Bound, Priscilla works for NOLS Wilderness Medicine teaching Wilderness First Responder courses. For the past four years, she has taught at Warren Wilson College and Montreat College in North Carolina, teaching courses including challenge course facilitation and management, backcountry skills, and introductory backpacking classes. n Priscilla’s free time, you’ll find her tromping through the woods searching for mushrooms and berries, trail running, cooking, and hanging out with her seven nieces and nephews.
After graduating from university in Mexico, in 2015, Jimel Lopez-Montoya started work as a field instructor for Ecology Project International in Mexico. She first learned about EPI by taking one of their field courses on whale research in the Gulf of California and she was hooked. She worked her way up from volunteer to field instructor, eventually leading multi-day trips for local and visiting teenagers, with a focus on conservation and sustainability. For her first year of graduate studies, Jimel attended Teton Science Schools Graduate Program. She completed her Master’s of Science in Outdoor and Environmental Education at APU in the winter of 2020. Since then, Jimel has become a NOLS Instructors, leading both hiking and kayaking expeditions across the US and in Mexico. Jimel is excited to continue to share her love of the environment with others. When she is not in class, you will find her exploring the area, hiking, climbing or doing art projects.
Shannon O’Laughlin earned a BA in Liberal Studies, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and Preliminary Administrative Services Credential all from California State University Chico. Additionally, she got a Waldorf Teacher Education Diploma from Rudolf Steiner College. Shannon began her work in education as an English Language Development Specialist for two year before she became a class teacher at a Waldorf methods charter school. Shannon carried a vibrant class of students for seven years from second grade through eighth grade graduation. Her vocation imbedded all core subjects (Math, Language Arts, Science, and History) in addition to lessons in watercolor, handwork, form drawing, sculpting, music/recorder, singing games, and movement activities as her students developed in their primary years into adolescence. Shannon fostered strong parent relationships and communication, and modeled how to blend State Standards with a balanced and holistic pedagogy. In 2013, Shannon traveled to Navi Mumbai and Hyderabad India as a Waldorf Education specialist in the Humanizing Education Conference, where she led workshops for classroom teachers and presented as a keynote speaker. Similarly, she became an Independent Contractor and Curriculum Consultant for the Blue Oak School and an adjunct faculty member for the Art of Teaching summer program at Rudolf Steiner College. For the past five and half years, Shannon has helped instill the excellence and wonder of Waldorf Education for over 400 students as the Education Director of the Blue Oak School. She has a special love for animals (especially her dogs), growing flowers, fiber arts, and swimming. She is thrilled to move into the next chapter of her life as the Kellogg Field School Coordinator.
Field School Instructor
Karl Boehmer’s passion for teaching began while working at a local summer camp in Wisconsin, but having been born in Anchorage, his appreciation for the outdoors grew from those formative early years spent in Alaska. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and realized that a typical path wasn’t for him, so he accepted a teaching position in Taichung, Taiwan. Since then, Karl has pursued experiences teaching in a variety of environments; from substitute teaching in the Anchorage School District and working as an environmental educator in Wisconsin, to engaging with place-based programming at Teton Science Schools in Wyoming and ski instructing in Colorado. Through these opportunities, he has gained extensive experience working with educational curricula and delivering programming to a variety of audiences. Karl looks forward to this opportunity to further engage with environmental and place-based education through APU’s MSOEE Program while learning and teaching at the Kellogg FIELD School this Fall.
Field School Instructor
Ruby Williams earned her B.S.ED in her beloved hometown of Athens Ohio at Ohio University studying Adolescent-Young-Adult Integrated Social Studies Education. While in university, she specialized in progressive education aspiring to cultivate holistic teaching practices in her classrooms. After moving to Nepal in 2019, she shifted her career towards outdoor education. Since her educational paradigm shift, she has worked as a wilderness instructor and expedition leader in the Sierra Nevada, as a rock-climbing instructor in the Pacific Northwest, and has now journeyed north to join Alaska Pacific University’s newest cohort of Master’s of Science in Outdoor and Environmental Education students. When she’s not sleeping, you can find Ruby trying to not injure herself rock climbing, backcountry skiing, and playing in whitewater. She also loves food and expressing herself with art.