Molly Maxwell has been working and learning in the outdoor field in different capacities since 2012. She earned her Master’s degree in Recreation Administration from Southern Illinois University in Recreation Administration in May of this year. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in 2009 from Appalachian State University in North Carolina. She knew even then that she had an interest in working more directly in the outdoors so she moved to New Mexico to take part in an Outdoor Leadership, Education and Recreation program at San Juan College in the Four Corners region. She also reported and photographed for the Outdoors section of the local paper and volunteered with the Four Corners Paddle Trails Project. For 2014 and part of 2015, she coordinated marketing for the Outdoor Leadership program and recreation center at San Juan College.
During her studies at SIU, Molly initiated a project that is still going strong to install multi-use mountain bike trails at SIU’s environmental center, Touch of Nature. Along with this project, she applied for grants, managed a fundraising campaign, created several marketing pieces, and presented to the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce and other economic development organizations for promotion of the idea. As a graduate assistant for the Environmental Education Department at Touch of Nature, she gained a lot of experience coordinating and budgeting for programs, and even got some trail building experience.
In the two years she’s lived, worked, and studied in the Shawnee National Forest, she has gained admiration for the unique landscape and outdoor opportunities that the region holds and looks forward to much more exploring!