| Andrew Miller

Staff Profile: Admin + Special Events Coordinator Vicki Whisenhunt

Vicki Whisenhunt wears many hats for Cottonwood Institute. As Administrative and Special Events Coordinator, Vicki provides critical support to CI programs and performs all the behind-the-scenes magic to make the Bash and our other events go off smoothly. She also serves as in-house aerialist, resident cat lover, and occasional mixologist for CI team events. Get to know Vicki in our latest staff profile, and find the rest of our them here!

Why is EE important to you?Vicki Whisenhunt

I remember being a classroom teacher and spending the majority of the day indoors. Recess wasn’t a priority and there were a lot of times where that time was taken away from the students and it really made a difference in their days. When I switched to outdoor teaching, I noticed that the kids I worked with loved and craved that time disconnected from their screens using the forest as a playground. For me personally, I was able to see that the things we think are the “big things,” are really so small and insignificant when you compare it to the natural world. I remember a day where my group and I watched a turtle lay her eggs and it was one of the most amazing moments as a teacher. I think that all students should have the opportunity to witness some of nature’s most beautiful moments.

Do you have a formative memory of when you learned to love the outdoors?

I remember having a trail right by my house growing up in North Carolina. I spent so much time down there playing in the creek, getting dirty, making “meals” for the squirrels and fairy houses. I spent hours and hours down there and never wanted to come inside.

How have you been staying connected to the outdoors during COVID?

I’ve been getting out on as many hikes and bike rides as I can. I did my first 14er back in September and I thought I was going to die but I survived! It was such an accomplishment. Now that I am living downtown, I try to get on some walks around the city with my roommate when I can!

What’s an unusual skill people might not know you have?Vicki Whisenhunt

 I’m an aerialist, which I guess people know about me. Unknown, I can do a pretty convincing British accent.

What’s your favorite snack to eat in the woods?

Chocolate covered cashews and beef jerky.

If you didn’t work for Cottonwood, what do you think you’d be doing?

Probably full time dancing and performing.

Thanks to Vicki for her contributions!

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