Julie Munro attended the On-Campus Undergraduate program of Prescott College from 1981 to 1985, graduating with a degree in Outdoor Education and Program Administration. “I really felt like I had found paradise”, she said. “When I graduated, I started working in a variety of jobs which included working seasonally for the Prescott Forest Service as a hotshot. I worked in Antarctica, doing logistics for Antarctic Support Associates with ITT and a lot of seasons as an Outward-Bound instructor in the Pacific Northwest. Little by little, I came back to Prescott College to teach a class here and there. Ultimately, I was asked back to teach the White Water Rafting course for the College and then the next year I was asked to teach a course called Outdoor Education and Recreation.”
One constant program that Julie remained directly associated with was the College’s Wilderness Orientation. “I had a real affinity for orientation. I would come back and instruct, then I would course direct,” said Julie. “Around 1991, the Director of Wilderness Orientation stepped down and so I applied to take on this role. I was hired full time in 1992 as the Director of Wilderness Orientation. I did that for a decade and while I was doing that, I taught some classes.”
Julie led a semester-long adventure education class that was called Powell’s Journey. This class revolved around a 72-day river trip down the Green and Colorado rivers. It followed the route of John Wesley Powell from the border of Wyoming and Utah down the river all the way to the Grand Canyon, 720 river miles. However, in 1999, she needed to rethink some of those ambitious adventures when she became a mother. Part of that transition included starting a yoga teacher training program at the College. After obtaining her second degree from Mankato State University, a Master of Arts in Experiential Education and Experiential Methods, she expressed “this was my little area to cultivate.”
Julie’s goal for herself is to remain a learner as well as a teacher. What is important to her is to build a sense of trust and a learning environment that feels safe and welcoming. She is willing to be challenged by students by keeping an open mind to their diverse perspectives and views. “What I really enjoy is that the students really remind me of myself at their age. They see the world through an idealistic lens and are not afraid to go out and create a change. It is all reminiscent of the culture I grew up in.”
Julie aspires to teach students skills they can retain throughout and beyond the class. The most important aspect is that students leave with confidence in their ability to integrate what they learn into their lives. She hopes that students will gain a little more awareness of themselves, feel empowered in the world, and will share what they’ve learned and to use what they know to make positive contributions wherever they go.