Outdoor Adventures Leaders



The Leaders of SMU Outdoor Adventures is comprised of a great cross-section of outdoor enthusiast from the SMU community.  We are dedicated to making your experience positive and rewarding.

Join the madness, see the employment page!

Albert Mitugo
Position: Senior Coordinator Outdoor Adventures
E-mail: amitugo@smu.edu
Phone:  (214) 768-4822
Working Since: 2008 
Hometown: Rowlett, TX
Degree: M. Ed - Educational Leadership

Favorite Trip: Kind of difficult  to pick out one considering the length of time I have spent in the back country (over 160 weeks). They are all pretty awesome!
I get to work with and develop awesome young leaders that move on to do great things!
Quote: "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions" - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Albert Mitugo Picture 


Kelly Gilliland
Position: Trip Leader
Working Since: August 2011
Hometown: Medfield, MA
Major: Advertising

Favorite Trip: Rock Climbing!  I love going out to Mineral Wells for a whole day of climbing.  Even when I don't get to climb, I still really enjoy setting anchors and helping participants have a good time.
I love the OA because I'm friends with everyone I work with and I get to do things I love to do while also gaining leadership skills and experience.

Kelly Gilliland Picture 

Hunter Higgins
Position: Assistant Trip Leader
Working Since: August 2011
Hometown: Winter Park, FL
Major: Communications and Advertising

Favorite Trip: My favorite trip has been Sea Kayaking to Matagorda Island where I got to camp on the beach, experience some exotic wildlife, and survival the elements with only the things you have almost gives a hint of danger.
The Outdoor Adventures has given me the opportunity to lead trips and receive many certifications I would not have received otherwise.

Hunter Higgins Picture

David Graham

Position: Training for Outdoor Leadership
Working Since: January 2012
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Major: Geology

Favorite Trip: The rock climbing trip, I enjoy the challenge, the technical skills needed, and it's a fun trip that you can bond with others on!
The OA makes it possible and safe to learn a whole new set of skills that can be practically used in the field and taken with you later in life.

 David Graham Picture

Grant Ryden

Position: Training for Outdoor Leadership
Working Since: August 2012
Hometown: Texarkana, TX
Major: Mechanical Engineering and Physics

Favorite Trip: My favorite trip was the Outdoor Leadership backpacking trip.  Going to the Rocky Mountains and hiking all over the mountains was incredible and refreshing.
The Outdoor Adventures has allowed me to continue working in the outdoors, while participating in Outdoor Leadership training.

Grant Ryden Picture 

Joshua Munguia

Position: Training for Outdoor Leadership
Working Since: August 2012
Hometown: Arlington, TX
Major: Environmental Engineering
Minor: Environmental Geology

Favorite Trip: I like long trips that are fun, strenuous & educational so the Outdoor Leadership trip to New Mexico is a favorite trip.  I love being in the wilderness and backpacking in the Rockies is right up my alley.
Outdoor Adventures embodies everything that I’m about.  The OA makes it easy to plan, prepare, and coordinate trips while teaching valuable skills and getting other students involved. 

Joshua Munguia Picture 

Manuel Familiar

Position: Outdoor Leadership Training
Working Since: May 2012
Hometown: Monterrey, MX
Major: EMIS

Favorite Trip: Outdoor Leadership Training trip of the summer of 2012 was a fantastic experience spending a week in the mountains, totally unplugged from society and being able to truly be immersed in the awesome beauty of nature.  Quite the inspiring experience.
I love the OA because I get opportunities to do the things I love right at my finger tips, exposing myself to new experiences and enriching my life, as well as going on adventures!

Manuel Familiar Picture

Matt Montsinger

Position: General Leader
Working Since: May 2012
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Major: Finance and Spanish

I love interacting with the staff and seeing people reach their personal climbing goals.

Matt Montsinger Picture

Jackson McMartin

Hometown: Bossier City, LA

Working since September 2013

Favorite Trip:

I really enjoyed the Outdoor Leadership Training trip in New Mexico. I saw myself grow by the hour until the final day. Any week-long trip comes with a little bit of personal transformation, but the excursion also brought the group really close together.

I love that Outdoor Adventures lets students share experiences that they would normally not be able to. The bonding and teamwork skills developed through the outdoors are benefits that will last a lifetime.

Ashlyn Casto

Hometown: Plano, TX

Major: Communication and Religious Studies

I love the OA because of the staff and the learning experience that working here provides.  The people who work at the OA are friendly and they genuinely love their job.  I have learned so much from them and through the program about the outdoors and specifically about rock climbing.  The OA provides a unique experience for SMU  students: we get to go on adventures and connect to the outdoors while going to school in a big city.


Christina McConville

Position: Training for Outdoor Leadership

Working Since: September 2013

Hometown: Plano, TX

Major: Biochemistry/Pre-med

Favorite Trip: HSP Expedition in Taos, NM. This was the first backpacking trip I ever went on. Besides giving me an unforgettable experience and a close group of friends prior to the start of college, this trip really changed my outlook on everything-from my interactions with others to my view of myself-and equipped me with skills I will use throughout my whole life. I have yet to find anything within the urban world that makes me feel the way I do when I am enveloped in the wilderness; it is the purest, most recharging feeling. But this feeling is even greater when I get to share it with everyone, which is why I love working for the Outdoor Adventures.

Christina Chase

Position: General Leader

Working Since: June 2013

Hometown: Jacksonville, FL

Major: Electrical Engineering and Math 

My favorite things about  working with Outdoor Adventures are meeting new people and helping them try new things at the climbing wall.

Max Mitchell

Position: General Leader

Working Since: Fall 2013

Hometown: Pasadena, California

Major: Sport Management and Applied Physiology 

Working at the OA is awesome, it facilitates challenging and fun experiences that allow anyone to push themselves and be hands on in ways they haven't before.



Kaitlyn Hatfield

Hometown: Austin, TX

Working since: September 2013

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Position: General Leader

I was introduced to the OA when I went on the Hilltop Scholars Expedition this summer. I loved being out in the wilderness and disconnected with the "real" world. It gave me a chance to really appreciate the beauty that surrounds us and allowed me to think about how there are so many amazing places in this world. Now that I am working here I get to share that with others, and have the opportunity to be with people who love the outdoors like me!

Jessica Garza

Position: Training for Outdoor Leadership
Working Since: August 2013
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Favorite Trip: By far my favorite trip with the OA has been the Outdoor Leadership Training Trip. The area was absolutely beautiful, the group was awesome, and I learned a lot about backpacking and camping.
I love working for the OA because it goes beyond a typical job. I really enjoy that I get to learn about the outdoors while building great friendships with my co-workers, as well as introducing the beauty of the outdoors to OA participants.



Karly Hanson

Working since December 2012

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Major: Journalism and Environmental Studies Minor: International Studies

Favorite trip: Backpacking in the Rockies. I love mountains more than anything, so any chance to leave everything behind and escape to them is perfect for me. I love to hike, and I love being immersed into nature, carrying everything I need on my back.SMU Outdoor Adventures has given me the opportunity to learn more about what I love to do, and to introduce my passions to others on trips. I love working with people that I am friends with, and I love being challenged as a leader through the program on a daily basis.

Heather Hardenberg

Position: Training for Outdoor Leadership

Working Since: December 2012

Hometown: Woodland Hills, CA

Major: Environmental Engineering and Global

Favorite Trip: Truly I love all of the OA trips, but I think the most exotic of them all and my favorite would have to be the Matagorda Island Coastal Kayaking and Camping Trip. Paddling out to what seemed to be our private island and spending the days relaxing on the beach, body-surfing the warm waves of the Mexican Gulf, and playing competitive beach volleyball, allowed us to leave all our worries and stresses back on the mainland. In this way Outdoor Adventures is so amazing because it offers everyone that chance to break away from the mundane routines of society and just get outside! Working for the OA I am able to lead and encourage others who share a sense of adventure to love the environment and the outdoors, and ultimately foster a new zest for life.

Austin Johnson

Working since: September 2013

Hometown: Spring Branch, TX

Major: Real Estate Finance

Favorite Trip: My favorite trip is HSP Expedition because I made 18 new friends before school even started.

The OA has given me the chance to meet new people that I would not have met outside the OA. It has also taught me to be a leader in and outside the OA.






For any questions please contact the Outdoor Adventures Office at 214-768-9918 or email outdooradventures@smu.edu.


Recreational Sports is a department in the Division of Student Affairs.