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Biography - Dr. TA Loeffler




Dr. TA Loeffler

Dr. TA Loeffler brings 20 years of expertise leading people through significant life-changing experiences to every facet of her work. Her work and adventures have taken her to 35 different countries and five different continents.

As a professor of outdoor recreation at Memorial University of Newfoundland, TA has developed a reputation for excellence in experiential education because her students are more likely to be outside chasing icebergs than sitting in a classroom. TA is attempting to complete The Seven Summits, the highest peak on all seven continents.

TA has received international and national recognition for her innovative teaching and motivational speaking:

  • In 2008, TA was awarded a prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship.
  • Minnesota State University-Mankato named TA as the 2008 Distinguished Alumnus in the Humanitarian category.
  • In 2007, TA received the Karl Rhonke Creativity Award from the Association of Experiential Education.
  • In 2006, The Globe and Mail named TA, "A Class Act” and she received the Association of Atlantic Universities Distinguished Teaching Award.
  • The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport named TA to their 2006 Top Twenty Most Influential Women in Canadian Sport and Physical Activity List.
  • As well, TA received the Memorial University Presidents Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2005.
  • In 2001, the Society of Parks and Recreation Educators awarded TA a Teaching Innovation Award
  • The Association for Experiential Education named TA the Outstanding Experiential Teacher of the Year in 1999.


TA is a recognized expert in the area of gender and outdoor education. She has several publications in this area. Her work in the area of competency development in outdoor education is well respected and frequently cited. TA has presented this body of work throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia. Recently, TA has been doing very innovative work using visually based research methods to further the study of outdoor phenomenology. Several publications, scholarly presentations, and media coverage have resulted from this work. TA is currently co-editing the fourth edition of the Theory of Experiential Education.

TA believes that we all long for a balanced, engaged, and creative life that challenges us to be the best we can possibly be. She models this belief in her life on a daily basis and combines her broad range of skills to inspire all to create the life they truly want. With compassion, care, presence, and playfulness, TA creates a safe space for all to learn and grow within.

Using her vast collection of outdoor adventures to create metaphors that provide new ways to see and transform the inevitable obstacles of life, TA's multi-media presentations inform, educate, inspire, and motivate. As a filmmaker and speaker, TA understands the power of metaphor to initiate and sustain life change. TA inspires hope, possibility, and vision in those whose lives she touches.

During her recent climb on Mount Everest, TA updated her website daily from 21,000 feet above sea level using a personal digital assistant and satellite phone. During the year leading up to Everest, TA spread her message of Big Dreams, Big Goals to over 17,000 youth in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Having heard TA speak, many of these same children followed her climb via the web and sent supportive messages to her on the mountain via email.

TA is a talented athlete. TA uses strength training, running, biking, yoga, cycling and step aerobics to prepare for her climbing expeditions. She has a passion for hockey and has played every position on the ice including goaltender. TA has coached several championship winning hockey teams and has officiated at the national championship level. Through her experience in both sports and outdoor adventure, TA intimately appreciates teamwork and knows how to bring teams together to accomplish their goals and fulfill their greatest potential.

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