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Andrew J. Bobilya - Western Carolina University. Cullowhee, NC, US

Andrew J. Bobilya Andrew J. Bobilya

Professor, Program Director of Experiential and Outdoor Education | Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC, UNITED STATES

Andrew Bobilya's background includes serving as a field instructor and program manager for various summer outdoor adventure programs.

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Biography

Andrew Bobilya currently serves as professor and program director of the Masters in Experiential and Outdoor Education (EOE) program while also continuing to teach in the undergraduate Parks and Recreation Management (PRM) program at WCU. Andrew's background includes serving as a field instructor, trainer and program manager for various summer camp, wilderness and outdoor adventure programs. He is a former instructor with the North Carolina Outward Bound School and continues to engage in research and evaluation projects connected with Outward Bound. Bobilya is also a Certified Outdoor Educator through the Wilderness Education Association (WEA) and continues to offer WEA courses through the EOE and PRM programs. He has served in various roles at industry associations and publications, including the Board of Directors of the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) (2005-2012) and as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education and Leadership (2010-2018). Bobilya's current research interests include wilderness solitude, autonomous student experiences, the human nature relationship, spirituality and outdoor programming, and college student transition programs.

Bobilya has received the Association for Experiential Education's Servant Leader Award (2013), the Western Carolina University College of Education and Allied Professions Legislative Teaching Award (2017) and Dean's Research Award (2017), the Wilderness Education Association's Outdoor Educator of the Year (2018). He also is a founder and director of training and education at 2nd Nature TREC (Training, Research, Education and Consulting) where they come alongside existing programs to help them become better at what they do. Bobilya enjoys spending time with his family and friends, moments of adventure, exploring natural landscapes and the related personal spiritual journey.

Industry Expertise (2)

Leisure / Recreation

Education/Learning

Areas of Expertise (5)

Outdoor Programming

Human-Nature Relationship

Wilderness Solitude

Autonomous Student Experiences

Spirituality

Accomplishments (3)

Servant Leader Award (professional)

2013 Association for Experiential Education

Legislative Teaching Award (professional)

2017 Western Carolina University College of Education and Allied Professions

Dean's Research Award (professional)

2017 Western Carolina University College of Education and Allied Professions

Education (3)

University of Minnesota: Ph.D., Education 2004

Minnesota State University: M.S., Experiential Education 2001

Montreat College: B.S., Outdoor Education 1996

Affiliations (9)

  • Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education and Leadership (JOREL) : Associate Editor
  • Journal of Experiential Education (JEE) : Editorial Board Member
  • American Camp Association : Member
  • American Canoe Association : Member
  • Association for Experiential Education : Member
  • Leave No Trace : Member
  • North Carolina Association for Environmental Educators : Member
  • The Academy of Leisure Sciences (TALS) : Member
  • Wilderness Education Association : Member

Languages (1)

  • English

Media Appearances (5)

Cherokee Central School continues mask mandate and lunchroom closure in marathon School Board session

The Cherokee One Feather  online

2022-02-28

The first guests to the meeting on Thursday evening were a group who are doing a project at Cherokee Central Schools to teach kids about air quality. The presentation was led by Sara Duncan, an assistant professor at Western Carolina University. Duncan works in the WCU Environmental Health program. She has been coming to CCS every Thursday to teach a class on air quality and other lessons regarding clean energy. Also attending the meeting were Ronda Denton and Andrew Bobilya. Denton and Bobilya said they are implementing Cherokee language into some of the lessons and finding different ways to keep the lessons hands-on and multi-dimensional.

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WCU designated a ‘green college’ for 10th year by The Princeton Review

WCU Stories  online

2020-11-02

“WCU’s ongoing commitment to undergraduate and graduate programs that utilize its unique natural environment is evidenced in the launch of one of its most recent graduate programs in experiential and outdoor education,” said Andrew J. Bobilya, a professor and program director. “This master’s degree is the first of its kind in the state of North Carolina.”

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New outdoor and experiential education consulting firm opens in Black Mountain

Black Mountain News  online

2019-03-13

The company was founded by Dr. Brad Daniel, former Chair of the Outdoor Education Department at Montreat College, Dr. Andrew Bobilya, Associate Professor and Program Director of Parks and Recreation Management at Western Carolina University, and Dr. Brad Faircloth, Associate Professor and Chair of the Psychology and Human Services Department at Montreat College.

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Spending time alone in nature is good for your mental, emotional health | Guest column

TCPalm  online

2018-06-08

Americans live in a world today that thrives on being busy, productive and over-scheduled. Further, they have developed the technological means to be constantly connected to others and to vast options for information and entertainment through social media.

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Why Spending Time Alone in Nature Is Good for Your Mental and Emotional Health

The Inertia  online

2018-06-04

Today Americans live in a world that thrives on being busy, productive and overscheduled. Further, they have developed the technological means to be constantly connected to others and to vast options for information and entertainment through social media. For many, smartphones demand their attention day and night with constant notifications.

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Event Appearances (5)

The Psychology of Risk and 21st Century Wilderness Program Participants

International Conference on Outdoor Leadership  

The Psychology of Risk and 21st Century Wilderness Program Participants

International Conference on Outdoor Leadership  Three Lakes, WI

10th annual trends and issues in outdoor education programs panel discussion

Association for Experiential Education International Conference  Orlando, FL

Publishing isn’t just for academics

Association for Outdoor Recreation and Education Conference  Snowbird, UT

Exploring perspectives on optimal challenge and risk

Association for Outdoor Recreation and Education Conference  Snowbird, UT

Articles (4)

Community Impacts of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership.

Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education and Leadership

2022 Outdoor recreation, education, and leadership have been increasingly recognized for their economic, environmental, and sociological impacts. Collectively, these impacts influence the sustainability and resiliency of communities of all kinds. With this in mind, we are pleased to present the first of two special issues of the Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership (JOREL) focused on community impacts of outdoor recreation, outdoor education, and outdoor leadership.

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Engaging Youth as Community Leaders in Outdoor Education Research, Program Design, and Evaluation

Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership

2022 When considering community impacts of outdoor education (OE), youth are community members, leaders, and experts who can and should be meaningfully involved in the design and evaluation of OE programs and research that impact them.

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A Pre-Post Analysis of Participant Learning and Growth Using a New Outward Bound Outcomes Instrument

Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership

2021 This study examined differences in participants’ perceptions of their Character Development, Leadership, and Environmental Service prior to and immediately following participation in a North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) course using the NCOBS Course Impression Survey (NCOBCIS).

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An Exploratory Study of the Benefits of a Three- Week Cycling Expedition for Potential First-Generation, College-Bound Students

Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership

2020 This exploratory study examined the benefits of participating in a three-week, multi-state bicycling trip for eight adolescents who participated in a first-generation, college-bound program. The primary purpose of this study was to explore participants’ perceptions of their own resilience, independence, responsibility, and problem-solving and to identify elements of the program that help facilitate the development of these outcomes.

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