Merrell and Outdoor Nation Select College Ambassadors for 2016

13 college students were selected to be campus ambassadors across the US, dedicated to getting their peers outside and active.

Merrell and Outdoor Nation Select College Ambassadors for 2016
Merrell and Outdoor Nation Select College Ambassadors for 2016

Washington DC –  -( Today leading outdoor brand Merrell and Outdoor Nation announced that 13 college students were selected as the inaugural class of the newly created Campus Ambassador Program. The initiative is expected to engage 2,500 college students, especially outdoor novices, in regular outdoor recreation experiences.

“At Merrell, we believe that nothing should get in the way of enjoying active outdoor adventures, “said Linda Brunzell, Chief Marketing Officer, Merrell. “We are excited, with the help of Outdoor Nation and our new Campus Ambassador, to welcome new Young-at-Heart Adventurers into the Merrell community”

“Outdoor Nation has emerged as one of the largest communities of young people – especially college students – who are championing outdoor recreation on campuses and in communities,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation, the organization that started the Outdoor Nation movement. “Thanks to our partnership with Merrell, Outdoor Nation will build on its successful nationwide campaign — empowering student leaders to motivate and mobilize their peers, especially outdoor novices, to recreate outside.”

The 2016 ambassadors are (name • school • state):

  • Alex Valladares, Texas Woman’s University, Texas Vicinity (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri)
  • Jacob Hardin, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Gulf South (Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas)
  • Noa Kattler Kupetz, Barnard College/Columbia University, New York Vicinity (New York, New Jersey)
  • Ulemj Enkhbold, Washington and Lee University, Mid-Atlantic (Virginia, West Virginia, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania)
  • Mallory Reese, Brigham Young University, Rockies (Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming)
  • Tristan O’Mara, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington State
    Forrest Koslowski, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Midwest (Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, N. Dakota, S. Dakota,


  • Casey Dunphy, Clemson University, Southeast (South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida)
  • Jair Cruikshank, University of Massachusetts Amherst, New England (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Main,

Rhode Island

  • Ben Swank, University of Redlands, Southern Cali/Arizona
  • Rachel Curtin, California State University Chico, Northern Cali/Nevada
  • Nina Oishi, Lewis & Clark College, Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Idaho, Montana)
  • Madison Lavern, University of Kentucky, Michigan Vicinity (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky)

These ambassadors will serve as the first class and founding members of this pioneering program. Each ambassador will utilize their social media networks to engage and inspire new outdoor activities through creative campaigns. Ultimately, the goal is for each of the 13 ambassadors to help at least 200 peers engage in regular outdoor recreation experiences. The program kicks off in mid-December.

The Merrell College Ambassador program is a powerful initiative created to help combat the inactivity crisis prevalent among college students and young adults in America. The statistics are staggering. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average young person spends eight hours in front of a screen and only eight minutes outside and active.

About Merrell

Merrell inspires people to seek outdoor challenges and enjoy the outside every day. Merrell hiking boots, trail running shoes and apparel are built on Merrell’s outdoor heritage, quality and performance. The trail is the core of our design philosophy and has continued to guide us in the development of innovative products that inspire and enable enjoyment of the outdoors.

About the Outdoor Foundation & Outdoor Nation

The Outdoor Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Through groundbreaking research, action-oriented outreach and education programs, the Foundation works with partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In 2010, the Foundation launched Outdoor Nation, a pioneering initiative that aims to empower young leaders to champion the outdoors on campuses and in communities across the United States. For more information visit: and