Southern Utah University Blog

Faculty Friday; Meet Jacob Manning, Outdoor Recreation

Posted: October 13, 2017 | Author: Abigail Wyatt | Read Time: 3 minutes

Jacob ManningProfessor Jacob Manning started college as a pre-med major. He considered architecture, but quickly settled on recreation leadership and earned a master's degree from Oklahoma State University in 2012.

Manning never planned to be a teacher but liked the idea of training and helping other people. Through his college experience, he realized that he enjoyed the college atmosphere and decided that he wanted to eventually work at a university as a director for campus recreation. This type of position would involve training student employees and volunteers to successfully lead outdoor trips, workshops, and adventures.

As he was finishing graduate school Manning applied to dozens of campus recreation positions across the U.S. The one that stood out to him the most was a teaching position at Southern Utah University. He applied, was offered the position, and began teaching in 2011.

Manning teaches the following courses:

  • ORPT 1030 Intro to Backpacking
  • ORPT 1035 Winter Backpacking
  • ORPT 1050 Canyoneering I
  • ORPT 1527 Climbing I
  • ORPT 1528 Climbing II
  • ORPT 1610 Skiing/Snowboarding I
  • ORPT 2000 OSS: Wilderness First Aid
  • ORPT 3040 Leadership in Outdoor Recreation
  • ORPT 3050 Risk Management & Safety
  • ORPT 4860 Outdoor Recreation Skills Practicum
  • ORPT 4890 Outdoor Recreation Internship

At SUU, Manning strives to impart knowledge and passion for the outdoors into every student he interacts with. His efforts are recognized and he was awarded the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative (IIC) Internship Coordinator of the Year in 2015 and received two Influencer Awards, the first in 2016 and the second in 2017.

“My primary goal as a lecturer of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism (ORPT) is to be an advocate for my students and help inform them of the many career options in the outdoors,” said Manning. “Once a student determines the path they want to pursue I consider it my personal obligation to help them reach those ambitions.”

Manning has internalized SUU’s motto “learning lives forever.” He works hard to learn and improve his abilities as a professor. Recently, Manning set the goal to become a wilderness medicine instructor as well as an American Mountain Guide Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) provider. This will allow the ORPT program to offer more students a chance to earn a well-recognized and respected certification in the outdoor recreation industry.

Jacob Manning rock climbing

“I hope my ORPT students gain valuable knowledge and skills that help prepare them for a meaningful career and fulfilling lives,” expressed Manning. “I hope all my other students gain insights they can apply to whatever career path they follow and have a lot of fun.”

One of his most memorable experiences at SUU was during his first semester when he facilitated a whitewater rafting trip for students. They traveled down the Colorado River through the lower portion of the Grand Canyon.

“We’ve kept that tradition and done it each year since then,” he said. “It’s a spectacular place to take students and the trips mean a lot to me and those that have gone on them.”

From the beginning, Manning has loved his job at SUU. It is the perfect location for Outdoor Recreation. The program has access to organizations, people and places that draw attention from around the globe.

“We have incredible partnerships with multiple outdoor agencies that give students an automatic ‘foot in the door” to many positions and internships. Many students from other universities will never hear about those opportunities,” said Manning. “We have dedicated and passionate faculty who are always working to develop new relationships with industry professionals in order to make sure our program remains relevant and keeps growing.”

Learn more about the Department of Kinesiology and Outdoor Recreation at SUU.

Tags: Faculty College of Education and Human Development

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