Outdoor Adventuring with Itzela

Segment #5 from Western New Mexico University


To learn more about epic outdoor adventures, let’s meet Itzela, a kinesiology major with a minor in outdoor leadership. WNMU is well known as the University of EdVenture. And with so many on-campus resources, that foster outdoor experiences. It’s easy for students to take full advantage, especially with the Gila National Forest just minutes away. Itzela, tell us more.

– I appreciate it, Alex. Hey, everyone. One of the most important things to me during my college search was access to the outdoors in a smaller campus community. Western New Mexico University was easily the best fit with an average class size of about 18 students and its proximity to the Gila wilderness, the nation’s first designated wilderness area. Having the Gila and other public lands and trails so accessible from campus has benefited me greatly from my personal adventures and for my education. The outpost serves both as an outdoor rental shop and a classroom for my outdoor leadership minor. I’m able to rent free of charge all the gear I need to support my spontaneous trips into the Gila and bring peers out to experience places such as the Catwalk Recreation Area, the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, and the area’s many hot springs and summits. My kinesiology classes utilize our location next to the Gila for our education by giving us the opportunity to volunteer for one of the hardest bike races in North America toward the Gila. WNMU understands a college education is more than just classroom lectures. It provides experiences beyond traditional learning styles. And although it’s clear that I love my adventures off campus, I’ve really enjoyed my time living on campus. It’s allowed me to meet new people, walk to every class, and stay connected with activities and events. My college experience at WMU has been everything I hoped for and more. I’ve always loved the outdoors and never knew it could be more than a hobby. But WMU has shown me that I can take all the knowledge I’ve gained here outside the classroom and apply it to practical situations in the real world. Always stay ready for new adventures. Back to you, Alex.

– That’s just awesome, Itzela. It’s so cool to see that a college education can be more than just sitting in a classroom. At WNMU, students are encouraged to explore the great outdoors and experience epic adventures in the beautiful national forest. Thank you for sharing your incredible adventures, Itzela. That was awesome.

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