Cornell Team and Leadership Center
Outdoor Odyssey
Cornell Tree Climbing Institute

Instructor Profile - Charlotte Ambrozek '13 

Major: International Agriculture and Rural Development
Home Town: Hastings-on-Hudson, NY
What I teach for COE: Backpacking the Fingerlakes, Backcountry Photography, Trail Running
Favorite outdoor activity: Astrobivying on a clear night
Favorite outdoor location: San Juan Mountains in Colorado
Personal Info: My outdoors hero is the head of school of the High Mountain Institute, who pioneered a fantastic semester program to promote a love of the outdoors in young people and start a new generation of outdoor educators. One of my life goals is to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Henry Crans '82

Major: Business Admin
Home Town: Dundee, NY
What I teach for COE: Xcountry skiing, climbing, hiking
Favorite outdoor activity: Xcountry skiing , backpacking
Favorite outdoor location: Paradox Lake, Paradox, NY
Personal Info: Have met my career goals
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Keith Luscinski '07

Major: Operations Research and Industrial Engineering

Hometown: Doylestown, PA
What I teach for COE: Rock climbing, tree climbing, whitewater kayaking
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Laying fresh tracks on my snowboard in waist deep powder.
Favorite Outdoor Location: Bishop, CA
Personal Info: I like to make pottery. Two of my life goals are to ride a motorcycle to Tierra del Fuego and to sail around the world.
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Blythe McCoy '13

Major: Policy Analysis and Management

Hometown: Davidson, NC
What I teach for COE: Backpacking and Climbing
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Same as what I teach! (plus kayaking)
Favorite Outdoor Location: Alaska
Personal Info: Backpacking in New Mexico, NC, and Alaska during high school fueled my passion for the outdoors and I now want to revisit all of these places as well as more!
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Shay Osler '13

Major: Electrical Engineering

Home Town: Jericho VT
What I teach for COE: Rock Climbing, Telemark Skiing
Favorite outdoor activity: Rock Climbing
Favorite outdoor location: Shawangunks
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Arielle Ray '13

Major: Comparative Literature

Home Town: Menands, NY
What I teach for COE: Rock Climbing
Favorite outdoor activity: Rock Climbing
Favorite outdoor location: Thurman Pond in the Adirondacks.
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Jake Rudin '14

Major: Architecture

Home Town: Nashville, TN
What I teach for COE: Tree Climbing, Backcountry Photography
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Climbing anything I can get my hands on and get cool photos while I do it.
Favorite outdoor location: Costa Rica
Personal Info: Would love to travel the world designing and building tree houses
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Perry Swergold '13

Major: College Scholar Program

Hometown: New Rochelle, NY
What I teach for COE: Rock Climbing
Favorite outdoor activity: Alpine Skiing
Favorite outdoor place: Palisade Glacier, California
Cool personal info: Spent a year living and studying on a Kibbutz (agricultural collective community) in Israel.
Posted November 24, 2010  

Instructor Profile - Benjamin Wie '13

Major: Biology and Society

Hometown: Buffalo, NY
What I teach for COE: CTLC Facilitator, Outdoor Odyssey Guide
Favorite Outdoor Activities: Frisbee, Camping
Favorite Outdoor Location: Halfway between the top of the tower and the ground at HCC: KING SWING!!
Personal facts: When I am not sitting in the hallway of Rockefeller simultaneously listening to a lecture on Quantum Mechanics of Physics and Super Duper Advanced Korean Discussion, I can be found in Weill Laboratory teaching mice to play chess. I have been hired by Jackie Chan to be his stunt double. My voice deepened when I was only four years old. I was once about to break the world record for solving the Rubik's cube but I heard a baby crying in a burning hut somewhere in Bombay, India and had to go save it - this baby grew up to be Ghandi. . You may have guessed this one already - I don't age. I cook instant meals in half an instant.
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Mike Willeman (Grad Student)

Major: Materials Science and Engineering

Hometown: Woodbridge, VA
What I teach for COE: Sea kayaking instructor
Favorite outdoor location: Thousand Islands (for kayaking), Blue Ridge Mountains (for backpacking/hiking)
Other hobbies: Outdoor photography, carpentry
Personal hero: Benjamin Franklin
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Miriam Wishnick '13

Major: China and Asia Pacific Studies

Hometown: Riverside, CT
What I teach for COE: backpacking
Favorite outdoor activity: backpacking, skiing
Favorite outdoor location: Maine
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Drew Zukosky '13

Major: Nutritional Sciences

Home Town: Springfield, VA
What I teach for COE: Land classes
Favorite outdoor activity: Running
Favorite outdoor location: Any body of water
Personal Info: I am in a group called Enrich: Project Kenya that goes to Kenya during winter break and teaches nutrition.
Posted November 24, 2010


Past COE Instructors

Instructor Profile - Sarah Kay Dela Cruz '11

Major: Applied Economics and Management

Home Town: Poughkeepsie, New York
What I teach for COE: Day-Hiking (maybe winter backpacking next semester? hint chris hint)
Favorite outdoor activity: Ultimate frisbee, backpacking
Favorite outdoor location: No favorite outdoor location yet, still lots to see!
Personal Info: Mangos are my favorite food
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Laura Durgerian '12

Major: Landscape Architecture

Home Town: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
What I teach for COE: ADK canoeing and river canoeing for COE and works as an outfitting Wiz (both since Freshman year) and is student representative on the COE advisory board
Favorite outdoor activity: CANOEING. And backpacking. And caving. And winter camping. But whitewater canoeing is the ultimate outdoor activity I've found thus far.
Personal Info: I grew up with a cedar strip canoe that my Dad made when he was in high school. I began overnight wilderness canoeing when I was 12. In the summer of 2008, I spent six weeks canoeing the Kazan and Kunwak rivers in the Canadian Arctic. Thanks to my father, I also have almost finished making an 18 foot cedar strip canoe, and plan on bringing it to Ithaca whenever my living room (or garage) is large enough to house it.
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Chris House '10

Major: Master's of Engineering: 2011

Home Town: Hillsborough, NJ
What I teach for COE: Rock climbing, tree climbing, backpacking, service trips, Odyssey guide, Odyssey coordinator, CTLC facilitator, wizard
Favorite outdoor activity: Whitewater rafting
Favorite outdoor location: Eating lunch in a tree in the Fall when all the leaves are changing
Personal Info: Planning to pursue a Ph.D. in Planetary Science.
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Anna Knight '12

Major: Agricultural Sciences and Biology

Home Town: Plainfield, NH
What I teach for COE: Mountain Biking and Tele Skiing
Favorite outdoor activity: Cross-country Skiing
Favorite outdoor location: The Adirondack High Peaks
Personal Info: One of my favorite summers was the one that I spent working on a trail crew in the White Mountains.
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - A. Miwa Oseki Robbins '12

Major: Science of Natural and Environmental Systems

Home Town: Somerville, MA
What I teach for COE: Rockclimbing
Favorite outdoor activity: That's hard... I love anything outdoors. Swimming, I guess?
Favorite outdoor location: The White Mountains in New Hampshire, especially the pemigawesatt river.
Personal info: The most extreme outdoor adventure I have had: 14 hours straight climbing up and then down a glacier above 5000 meters. The coldest outdoor adventure experience: climbing Whitney-Gilman ridge in October. I was not prepared for the winds. My most recent outdoor related accomplishment: learning how to roll a kayak!
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Molly Smith '12

Major: Natural Resources, minor in Viticulture and Enology

Home Town: Woolrich, Pennsylvania
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Nature walks, canoeing and rock climbing!
Favorite Outdoor Location: Cape Cod, right by the ocean.
Personal Info: I love trees, peanut butter, goats and crosswords. Heaven for me would involve sitting in a tree with a goat and doing a crossword all while eating peanut butter. Seriously.
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Alex Wilson '12

Major: Biology

Hometown: Spring Valley, Ohio
What I teach for COE: Rock Climbing
Favorite outdoor activity: Downhill skiing, steep and deep.
Favorite outdoor location: Two pitches up in the Gunks during Autumn.
Personal Info: I hope you have a skier's epic day not a climber's epic day!
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Anna Woodford '11

Major: Human Development

Home Town: Wilmington, DE
What I teach for COE: Backcountry Photography, Hiking,
Favorite outdoor activity: Skiing, ultimate frisbee
Favorite outdoor location: On top of a mountain
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Joanna Blaszczak '12

Joanna Blaszczak is a Natural and Environmental Systems major. She's taught Basic Rock Climbing (Spring 2009) and Day Hiking (Fall 2009). She started backpacking when she was 15 and did a Student Conservation Association trail crew and since then she has backpacked in Alaska, Texas, Arkansas, New York, Washington, Minnesota, Georgia, New Mexico, Oregon, and Idaho. She also enjoys skiing, hiking, backcountry cooking and photography, and rock climbing.

Posted October 21th, 2009

Instructor Profile - Melissa Halford '12

Melissa is a sophomore physics major from the Bay Area, California whose love of the outdoors began with a hiking class she took in high school. She was introduced to rock climbing and backpacking during a Wilderness Reflections (now called Outdoor Odyssey) trip for incoming Cornell freshmen. Melissa is also an amateur astronomer who enjoys stargazing and teaching others about the night sky. After graduation, she hopes to use her physics degree to pursue a career in astronomy.

Posted November 2nd, 2009

Instructor Profile - Katie McKenney '10

Katie is a Cornell senior pre-med majoring in Biological Sciences. She started climbing seriously after going on a Wilderness Reflections (now known as Outdoor Odyssey) backpacking and climbing trip her freshman year. When she's not plugging trad gear in the Gunks or clipping bolts at Rumney, NH, you can find her slacklining, reading poetry, or playing Ultimate frisbee.

Posted October 21th, 2009

Instructor Profile - Rob Moore '12

Rob is a sophomore applied and engineering physics major from Malvern, PA. He teaches tree climbing for COE in the fall and spring and co-coordinates Outdoor Odyssey, COE's outdoor pre-orientation program for incoming freshman. Rob spends the majority of his free time outside and loves to backpack, climb, bike, and ski. Rob is especially excited for this ski season as he is traveling to Colorado and the Austrian Alps to pursue some of the finest powder the world has to offer! Some of Rob's favorite indoor hobbies include cheering on Big Red Hockey, reading math textbooks, and philosophizing.

Posted October 21th, 2009

Instructor Profile - Evelyn Pain '10

Evelyn Pain is a senior and an Anthropology major from New York City. She can't wait for the weather to get nice so she can teach tree climbing again. Her favorite part of teaching tree climbing is getting everybody up into the trees during big tree day. She hopes to go to graduate school to chase monkeys around the jungle (possibly on a motion lanyard).

Posted October 21th, 2009

Instructor Profile - Eric Przybyszewski '11

Eric Przybyszewski is a Nutritional Sciences and Microbiology major who has taught Wilderness Survival Skills and Backpacking in the Finger Lakes. He's been involved with COE since his freshman year. He loves utilizing the outdoors to help others learn more about themselves, teamwork, leadership and our natural world. He really enjoys teaching Wilderness Survival Skills because students truly challenge themselves and enjoy the numerous learning opportunities available through primitive living. Cornell Outdoor Education creates an incredible sub-community within Cornell through which anyone can diversify their academic experiences. He hopes to take the leadership and team building he's developed here to medical school and soon after to the United States Army.

Posted October 21th, 2009

Instructor Profile - Guy Ross '10

Guy is a senior history major in Arts and Sciences. He first fell in love with climbing during a Wilderness Reflections (now known as Outdoor Odyssey) trip as a freshman, and has since sought out new vertical destinations everywhere from Yosemite, CA to Costa Rica. Rock, ice, or even tree, the sky's the limit for this 6'4" instructor. When he's not climbing, you can find Guy walking backwards and conducting campus tours or slacklining on the Arts Quad between classes.

Posted October 21th, 2009

Instructor Profile - Xenia Rudenko '11

Xenia is a junior in Applied Economics and Management, and teaches courses in hiking and backpacking. She's really into ultimate frisbee, and playing for the Cornell Roses team. She guided an Outdoor Odyssey trip last summer, and she's really excited to be guide again this coming summer! In addition to COE, Xenia work in the Schwartz Theatre Costume shop, sewing as a first hand.

Posted October 26th, 2009

Instructor Profile - Dan Somrack '12

Dan Somrack was born and raised in Newbury Ohio, a small town near Cleveland. He got started in the outdoors with the Boy Scouts. He is the third Eagle Scout in his family. He is studying Electrical and Computer Engineering and will graduate in 2012. He is a Resident Advisor in Clara Dickson Hall and the Microsoft Student Partner for Cornell. Dan is on the Land Staff and teaches Hiking and Camping courses. He enjoys backpacking in New Mexico when he get the chance and raising pigs, cows, and alpacas on his family farm. He plans to drag all of his hall students out to one of his classes by the end of the year.

Posted October 21th, 2009

Instructor Profile - Julien Wilson '12

He is from Los Angeles, CA. His major is International Agriculture and Rural Development. He has an aching for adventure in all forms. And whatever else you want to add about him!

Posted November 4th, 2009

Instructor Profile - Dan Birman '12

Major: Neurobiology

Home Town: Ithaca, NY
What I teach for COE: Rock Climbing, Winter Camping, Facilitator for CTLC
Favorite outdoor activity: Mountaineering and Rock Climbing
Favorite outdoor location: Adirondacks in Fall, Olympic National Park in Summer
Personal Info: If there were one dream trip I could go on it would be to spend several months in the Alaska range to climb mountains and explore. Plenty of other incredible places exist to visit but mostly I'd like to find good people to climb with when I get to them. Gregory Mallory is my inspiration to climb, humbly and with awe, and to never underestimate.
Posted November 24, 2010

Instructor Profile - Sam Cannon '09

Sam has been whitewater kayaking for 3½ years. First introduced to the sport at COE, Sam was officially “hooked” after completing the intermediate class in his second freshman semester. Sam went on to purchase his own equipment and seek-out more play-boating adventures in the United States and Canada. Native to England, Sam has taken full advantage of the opportunities available to him in about 100 days playing and learning (UWWK) on rivers. He’s paddled in CO, NC, NY, NC, Ontario and TN and (to date) Sam’s favorite river is the Ottawa. He recently finished teaching his first COE Intermediate Whitewater Kayaking class this spring ’08. Sam really enjoys helping people to comfortable in their boats, and with their paddling skills, so that they too can to get outside and have fun on the water. As evident in this photo (Jan. 29, 2008 Cayuga Lk.), Sam is ready to head back to Colorado in the summer ‘08 for some class V river “education.”

Posted April 20th, 2008

Instructor Profile - Anna Gutwin '08

Anna is a senior at Cornell and an avid climber of anything climbable. Native to Vermont, she has a deep love for the outdoors and a passion for sharing her skills. Coming into COE through WR as a freshman, the unique atmosphere has helped her develop both as a climber and as a leader. When asked why she loves spending time at COE, she says, “This is truly the most wonderful group of people at Cornell. They did not hesitate to take me under their wing and support me through my years at Cornell.” Post graduation, Anna is looking to go on and teach for NOLS or Outward Bound.

Posted December 9th, 2007

Instructor Profile - Erika Knight '09

Erika, a geology major in the College of Arts and Sciences, enjoys making music on the violin and flute, when she's not tearing it up on a pair of cross country or tele skis. Having grown up playing in the woods and mountains of the Adirondacks and New Hampshire, she loves to share her enthusiasm for outdoor activities with her students.

Posted February 10th, 2008

Instructor Profile - Rachel Ostlund '09

A lifelong fascination with the living world around her lead Rachel Ostlund '09 to Cornell as a Junior transfer to study plant science from Wesleyan University in CT. This marked a return to her native Ithaca, after 2 years of studying geology and managing the university's student-run organic farm at Wesleyan. Before coming to Cornell, Rachel took a much needed year off where she worked and lived at Lookout Mountain Flight Park, a world famous hang gliding park in Georgia. She's quite the pilot! Rachel shares her love of the natural world, especially trees, smaller plants & mushrooms with COE students as a land and skiing program instructor. In the future, Rachel hopes to pursue a career in organic farming and food production

Instructor Profile - Raghuram Ramanujan, grad

Raghu fell in love with the outdoors after taking COE's spring break backpacking course to Utah. When the opportunity to teach for COE came up, he grabbed it with both hands and hasn't looked back since. Backpacking and hiking have also afforded him wonderful opportunities to indulge in his other passion - landscape and bird photography. When he is not enjoying the great outdoors, Raghu is working towards completing his PhD in computer science, carrying out research in articial intelligence. He hopes to eventually enter academia to forge a career in teaching.

Posted March 20th, 2008

Instructor Profile - Hailey Wilmer '08

Hailey is a Cornell senior double majoring in International Agriculture & Rural Development and Agriculture Sciences Education. She started paddling under the influence of raft guides and photographers on the Yellowstone in Gardiner, Montana. After taking COE's beginner and intermediate whitewater kayaking classes, Hailey continued to paddle (and photograph paddlers) throughout CO, MT, NC, NY, and TN. "Warming-up" with almost 50 summer-'08 river days, she has been thoughtfully and creatively sharing her enjoyment, knowledge and skill in paddling whitewater kayaks with COE students this fall. Hailey is now planning a ten day paddling adventure to Costa Rica over Winter Break.

Posted October 19th, 2009