Outdoor enthusiast Abigail Konerman came to southern Utah for one reason: to major in Outdoor Recreation in Parks and Tourism. Representing the College of Education and Human Development as one of their co-valedictorians, she is a humble exemplar of hard work and dedication.
Konerman grew up in the woods of Bloomington, Indiana, spending her summers in camps and her days in the creek by her home. Her parents encouraged her to be outdoors as much as possible, instilling in her a passion for nature.
“When I tried to picture what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” said Konerman, “I could only picture myself outdoors.”
She knew she wanted to major in outdoor recreation, so she did a quick Google search and found SUU.
“When I was accepted to SUU, I came out to visit,” she said. “I fell in love with it and all the recreational opportunities in the area.”
Her favorite moments at SUU were when she could get people outside and help them appreciate nature more. Her outdoor recreation classes taught her how to best accomplish that and helped her get to know her resources better.
During her time at the university she worked for SUU Outdoors, where she spent much of her time. Her work included renting and selling gear, as well as leading adventure trips for students and faculty. She loves being able to provide opportunities for students to get outside. Although she enjoys guiding locals she has even more fun guiding people who don’t know the area well.
“I remember when I first arrived here I was amazed how different the landscape looked from what I was used to in Indiana,” said Konerman. “It’s really awesome to be able to introduce others to an area they’ve never been to before because I know how they feel.”
Konerman encourages everyone to do what will make them happiest and never give up. “You don’t need to be the best at something,” she explained,” you just need to be your best.”
After graduation she plans to stick around southern Utah to travel and rock climb. She’s considering pursuing gear outfitting, but wants to try a little bit of everything before she settles on one thing. She has made the most of her SUU opportunities and hopes to continue sharing her passion for the outdoors with others.