A New Leader for Outdoor Programs

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Katie Colleran has been an assistant dean of student engagement at Harvard.

Katie Colleran, new director of Outdoor Programs Office
Katie Colleran is the incoming director of the Outdoor Programs Office. (Photo by Amy Unell)

Katie Colleran, who is currently assistant dean of students for student engagement and leadership at Harvard University, has been named director of Outdoor Programs. She begins her role Aug. 15, in time to experience first-year trips, which begin two weeks later.

“Everyone who has met Katie has been impressed with her commitment to student agency and leadership, particularly in the outdoors,” says Interim Dean of the College Scott Brown. “Katie has a strong background as a student adviser, risk manager, leadership educator, diversity and inclusion advocate, staff supervisor, and civic volunteer. We are delighted to welcome her to Dartmouth.”

Colleran says she is glad to be coming to Hanover.

“As someone who has personally fallen in love with the outdoor space in New Hampshire, I am thrilled to be joining the Dartmouth community and the Outdoor Programs Office, in particular,” she says. “I look forward to the opportunity to build relationships with Dartmouth students and connect them to transformative outdoor experiences.”

In her role at Harvard, Colleran oversees several student life programs and departments, including Harvard’s First-Year Outdoor Program. She previously served as associate director of Duke University’s Center for Leadership Development and Social Action.

In her new role, Colleran will oversee the Outdoor Programs Office, which serves as an administrative umbrella for and facilitator of outdoor activities for the Dartmouth community, including the student-led Dartmouth Outing Club and Ledyard Canoe Club, the Second College Grant, and Mount Moosilauke and the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge. She will be the second woman in Dartmouth history to hold the directorship, following Kathy Doherty, who served in the position from 2001 to 2003.

A wilderness first responder and active member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, Colleran received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., and earned a master’s in higher education administration from Boston College. She began her career with Americorps VISTA at the Center for Service and Civic Engagement at Champlain College in Burlington, Vt., and went on to work as a graduate assistant at Harvard’s Center for Public Interest Careers and Public Service Network; a program coordinator for Brown University’s student activities and chaplain’s offices; and a service-learning coordinator at Clark College in Vancouver before joining the staff at Duke.

An avid hiker, Colleran also enjoys biking, climbing, skiing, and other outdoor activities.

The nationwide search for the new director was facilitated by the search firm Spelman Johnson, with input from stakeholders across campus.

“Many thanks to the search committee for their diligent efforts to find the right leader for this role,” says Brown. “In addition, Dartmouth owes a debt of gratitude to the entire Outdoor Programs team, led in the past two years by Paul ‘Coz’ Teplitz, for maintaining the outdoor experience for students through challenging times.”

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