Even when she was a little girl living in the Bronx, N.Y., Distinguished Faculty Award Winner (2008) Karen Uhlendorf was always outside, playing in parks and empty lots, or climbing trees.
As an undergraduate, she played field hockey and lacrosse but also discovered the joys of camping, canoeing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing while spending time at her college’s outdoor education facility in the Adirondacks. Along with physical education, outdoor education became her passion.
After teaching in the public schools on Long Island, Karen earned a master’s at Northern Illinois University and a doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, expanding her background in both physical education and outdoor education.
She arrived at Johnson State College in 1990 and developed the outdoor education degree in 1997. Karen enjoys helping future physical education teachers and outdoor educators to develop the skills that will help them excel in their careers and be able to find work that is meaningful and fulfilling.
While on sabbatical leave in 2005, Karen visited universities in Australia and New Zealand that offer outdoor education. She got to experience outdoor adventure recreation “down under,” fell in love with New Zealand, and can’t wait to return.
In her spare time, Karen enjoys kayaking, canoeing, camping, photography, and bird watching.