Field Staff in Wisconsin
The Field Team includes outdoor experts with an array of professional and personal experience. Wilderness specialists bring expertise in safety, compassion for struggling youth, enthusiasm for utilizing the outdoors as a catalyst for positive change, and are the core of the team. They frequently bring creative use of natural resources to individualized interventions.
Ben Koch MSc
Ben’s interest in working and teaching outdoors began while studying at the the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his undergraduate years, he became involved with the Hoofers Outing club and spent his summers in the outdoors, first working with young kids at local summer camps and then leading international trips for high schoolers in Fiji, Switzerland and Tanzania. After graduating with a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering, he decided to follow his passion for working with kids in the outdoors full-time, working as an outdoor education instructor for school programs and then returning to school to get a MSc in Outdoor Education, as well as getting certified as a Wilderness First Responder. Now, Ben wants to use his knowledge and experiences to help others reconnect to nature and better understand our dependence on the world around us. In his free time, Ben is an avid backpacker who has hiked the entire west coast of Scotland, the Haute route in Switzerland, and Mt. Kilimanjaro. He also enjoys other outdoor pursuits, including skiing, kayaking and climbing, and when the weather turns ugly, he also loves to cook, play board games with friends, or read a good book by a fire.
David Puhl B.S.
David studied Wildlife Ecology and German at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. After graduating David spent two years in West Africa with Peace Corps Senegal; as an Environmental Education volunteer he spent much of his time working with local teachers on techniques to adjust their lesson plans to make subjects more applicable to the students’ lives. He also helped with the annual regional youth leadership camp, and in his second year acted as the lead coordinator and liaison between Peace Corps and local volunteers on the project. David enjoys spending time in nature and has a passion for encouraging that in others. In the winter cross country skiing is one of his favorite ways to spend time outdoors, David is also trying to find more time to climb and enjoys spending time on his bicycles when possible.
Emily Fritz B.S., M.S., CTRS
Emily is an Iowa native that now calls the north woods of Wisconsin home. As an undergrad, Emily double majored in exercise science and human performance and fitness, then went on to pursue her masters in recreation, park and tourism administration with an emphasis in therapeutic recreation. Emily fell in love with working outside during graduate school, while she managed a high ropes course and climbing tower. Emily's graduate course work also led her on a variety of other adventures including backpacking and sea kayaking. After completing her internship in a hospital setting at an inpatient psychiatric unit, Emily knew she needed to get back outside. New Vision Wilderness was the perfect fit for working with the population she loved and being outside. Emily is now a certified therapeutic recreation specialist and is excited to share her knowledge with the kids in the woods. In her free time, Emily enjoys reading, rock climbing, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Ben grew up in the Colorado mountains and developed a love for the outdoors at an early age. Ben also spent several years studying abroad in Canada, Argentina, and the Middle East. In these travels, Ben developed a love of culture, language, and food. Ben began working as a field guide in wilderness therapy in 2009. Since then, Ben has held multiple jobs in both field and operations for several wilderness therapy and outdoor education companies. Highlights include leading multiple 30-day backcountry trips for both Outward Bound and National Outdoor Leadership School, and becoming an AMGA climbing guide. When not working Ben enjoys fishing, cooking, and adventuring with his wife and black lab Opie.
Winona Hapgood B.S.
Winona grew up camping and hiking in Maine. She graduated from East Carolina University with a bachelor of science in Exercise Physiology and a bachelor of arts in Hispanic Studies. During college she was a member of the club field hockey team and participated in a white water kayaking trip with the university adventure club. She worked as a Resident Advisor for three semesters before taking a semester abroad in Ecuador to improve her Spanish speaking skills. While in Ecuador she joined the mountaineering class and took bi-weekly backpacking trips where she experienced the mountains and jungles of the country as well as the Galapagos Islands. As a student she worked with kids as a mentor in a research program that was designed to show that a one-on-one mentoring program increased weight loss in overweight adolescents. She is excited to work for New Vision Wilderness because it combines her passion for the outdoors and her desire to help people. During her free time she enjoys skiing, running, hiking, and reading.
Lauren Lingenfelter B.A.
Lauren is from Hudson, WI where she grew up spending time exploring the many forests and rivers in the area. She graduated from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, MN with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology and a minor in Hispanic Studies. In college she spent a semester studying abroad in Chile where she spent majority of her free time hiking and camping in the diverse landscapes. Lauren has a passion for the outdoors and enjoys being able to share this love with others. When she’s not in the woods, you can find her playing ultimate frisbee, spending time on the water, and hanging out with family and friends.
Joe Ingall, B.A.
Joe grew up in Michigan and has been going camping with his family as long as he can remember. In more recent years, Joe learned that he prefers living in the woods to life in the city and strives to share this passion with everyone he meets. Joe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Michigan State University and feels incredibly fortunate to be able to apply the knowledge from his education in the woods. He owns being goofy and hopes that this mindset can help everyone around him to be the most themselves that they can be. Joe dreams of climbing mountains around the world but always feels at home hiking through the woods. When he is not in the Northwoods, he can be found mountain biking, listening to a variety of records, sailing, and spending time with his family.
Abby Barten, B.S.
Abby graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Animal Ecology and a minor in Forestry. Although not an Iowa native, Abby has always found the Northwoods to be home. During college, she spent summers in Northern Minnesota teaching environmental education and leading backpacking trips at summer camp. After graduating, she continued working in outdoor education at a nature center and later for the Minnesota DNR. Abby has always had an interest and passion for the outdoors and is always excited to share it with others. Abby is grateful for the opportunity to continue working with students in an outdoor setting at New Vision Wilderness. When she's not in the woods she enjoys hiking, kayaking, traveling, drinking coffee/tea, reading and spending time with family and friends.
Eric Cychosz B.A.
Eric holds a B.A. degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. While at UWP, Eric played on their club hockey team in the ACHA. Eric grew up in the small town of Custer, WI where he found his love for the outdoors. While growing up he spent much of his time in the outdoors. During his last year or two at UWP, Eric found a passion for wanting to help others through social work and spent a majority of his schooling focused on the social sciences. In his free time, Eric enjoys hunting, fishing, coaching youth hockey, canoeing, backpacking, reading, and spending time with his family.
Maggie grew up outside of the city of Milwaukee. Being raised in an Urban environment gave her a thirst to find time to spend outdoors in the woods. She met this need with family summers spent camping and involving herself in scouting camp-outs. Her love of the environment inspired her schooling in architecture in Madison WI, because she had the hope of bringing green architecture to the forefront of our world today, with the root hope of finding ways to help heal this planet. After she was done with her schooling she attended Earthship Biotecture academy in Taos NM, a school that educates it's students in the innovation of how to design totally off-grid self sustaining homes. She worked in architecture from 2016-2018 and realized the healing this world needs is much deeper than the buildings. As an avid permaculturalist, both ecologically and primarily emotionally, she explored ways to work with the natural systems of the Earth to facilitate deeper healing. She did this through her yoga certification (200-YTT) and mindfulness practices and volunteering at a Scout camp. It was in this exploration that it became apparent to her that the healing she is gifted in is social and emotional nature. This realization inspires her work at New Vision Wilderness (NVW) and she genuinely enjoys bringing all of the pieces that have brought to NVW to share with students in the field. She finds her work deeply gratifying and feels deeply fortunate for her opportunity to be part of the team at NVW.
Drew grew up in Northwest Minneapolis and has loved the outdoors for as long as he can remember. Growing up in the “land of the lakes” instilled in Drew a sense of adventure and a love of being near the water. Drew received his bachelors degree in business administration and began working in a logistics position at a shipping company which lacked adventure and meaning that Drew craved. Drew was looking for a way to reconnect with his love of adventure and the outdoors which led him to spending some time abroad. When his time abroad ended, Drew was looking to integrate these experiences into a purpose driven and meaningful career which is what led him to New Vision Wilderness. Drew enjoys his connections to the students and meaningful work he is able to do set in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin. In his free time, Drew enjoys exploring and engaging in his community, caring for plants and continuing to learn and grow.
Sara grew up in Southern Minnesota where she found her passion for the outdoors by experiencing the world around her to the fullest. No matter with whom or where that was. Be that with a pair of boots on her feet and a pack on her back hiking in the Minnesota north-woods or open prairies with strangers, or, surrounded by water and old friends with a paddle of some kind in her hands. Through working at camps and schools teaching Environmental Outdoor Adventure Education, Sara developed her passion of working with others in the natural world and earned her Associates of Science in Outdoor Leadership from Vermilion College, followed by earning her Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental and Outdoor Education from the University of Minnesota Duluth. When not at work you can find Sara in the natural world, hopefully on the water in canoe or sea kayak, listening to music, looking at maps, or building friendships and community with those around her through adventures. Sara is beyond delighted to be able to work with students in the natural world using compassion and understanding to change lives though challenge and discovery at at New Vision Wilderness.
Jess was born and raised in Wisconsin where she spent years exploring the shores of Lake Michigan and hiking the bluffs along the Mississippi. She realized her love for outdoor adventures when she guided a week-long canoe trip in Northern Wisconsin. Since then, she has had many awesome opportunities to lead bike treks, backpacking excursions, and other outdoor activities. Jess is almost done with her bachelor's degree in Environmental and Outdoor Education, and currently holds a Wilderness First Responder Certificate. Jess is passionate about assisting others in healing and in becoming more whole individuals. In her free time you can find Jess swimming, mountain biking, hiking or spending time with friends and family.
Kristina grew up a short walk from the dune-filled beaches of West Michigan. She graduated with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Ethnic Studies from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, where she was an active member of the Outdoor Recreation Club and her environmental co-op. After graduation, Kristina moved west to Seattle, where she continued to develop her technical outdoor skills as a guide and as a Wilderness First responder. With experience in places as remote as Alaska and as urban as Chicago, Kristina has worked with kids from all walks of life. Using her knowledge and experience as a guide and climbing coach, Kristina hopes to help provide a safe and encouraging space for others to discover what they love about the outdoors. Kristina hopes to earn her Wilderness EMT and learn how to ski within the year! In her free time, she’s probably climbing, hanging out with her dog, Toad, or eating cheese curds.
Frank has a B.A. in psychology and is a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR). He has always found purpose in connecting with others. Whether it be volunteering for an after school tutoring program, rafting in Idaho, or backpacking in Scandinavia. Frank will tell you that he has never experienced a more peaceful feeling than kayaking across a lake as smooth as glass. Yet the water doesn’t always need to be calm, the sense of accomplishment navigating choppy waters sea-kayaking is something he will never forget. The outdoors has taught him many lessons that transfer into everyday life. Upon graduation with his B.A from Colorado State University, he began to look forward as he considered the next step towards a meaningful career. He knew he needed to be helping people and bonus points if the position was outdoors. It all came together when Frank met some New Vision employees at his W.F.R. certification course in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Frank enjoys hiking, kayaking, cooking, exercising, reading, and sitting around a campfire with his friends. A good movie is always appreciated as well. He views his participation in a therapeutic experience as an extraordinary privilege
Gabby graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. During her undergraduate studies, she focused on incorporating ecology, geography, and environmental science into her tutoring, teaching, and research. Gabby spent most of her schooling traveling and studying culture, biological processes, and landforms throughout the US. She worked as a campus sustainability assistant and as a tutor and a mentor in biology and geography.
She grew up playing with her siblings and her neighbors in the woods and waters throughout Wisconsin. She discovered the importance of the connection that nature creates within oneself and within a community. She began to hold tutoring sessions outdoors and advocated for bringing the outdoors in by educating staff and students about composting in classrooms and about the influence that the earth holds on us.
Her work with youth in STEM education events and environmental summer camps have only ignited her passion to guide others towards the health benefits of the earth.
Every day at New Vision Wilderness she gets to witness the power of nature’s effects on students, families, and her coworkers. Sharing the therapeutic power of the outdoors with others is a humbling experience that she is grateful to be a part of.
Outside of work she finds joy in practicing yoga, gardening, reading, drinking tea, skiing, and sharing time with her dear family and close friends.
Alan brings considerable depth of experience to New Vision Wilderness.
He founded Powers Young & Company in 2000 to provide Arizona’s nonprofit organizations with capital development planning, management, and counsel. More than 20 years later, the firm remains Arizona’s leading fundraising management firm with over 75 completed projects! He recently returned from Ukraine where he represented the United States as a Peace Corps Volunteer. His three-year assignment there involved advancing the capacity of local government to address the needs of citizens. For his service, he was awarded the distinguished “Order of the Mayor”, a recognition held by few others.
Alan's career began in the Wisconsin Northwoods where he led Scout groups on backpacking and canoeing trips. He went on to work professionally for the Boy Scouts of America and directed a camp in San Diego County as well as corporate and special event fundraising in Los Angeles. He is certified as a camp director by the American Camp Association. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, he earned his MBA from Pepperdine University in 1989.
He is a past president of the Pacific Crest Trail Association and has served on the board of Florence Crittenton Services of Arizona. When not engaged in community development, Alan is a world-class adventurer. He walked the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail from the Mexican border to the Canadian border in one continuous trip. He also sailed his ketch across the Pacific Ocean to Easter Island and on to New Zealand before travelling by train aboard the Trans-Mongolian Express from Beijing, China to St. Petersburg, Russia.
Molly was raised in southeastern Wisconsin, where she spent as much time as she could in the woods or on the lakes of Wisconsin. But she ended up falling in love with saltwater, which pushed her to earn a Bachelors degree in Marine and Freshwater Ecology from the Univeristy of Wisconsin- Whitewater. During her time at UWW, she traveled to Ecuador, the Amazon Rainforest, The Galápagos Islands, and spent an academic year studying marine environments in Australia. Molly enjoys interacting with people, hearing their stories, and creating connections that last a lifetime! After college, Molly wanted to find a job where she could make a difference in the lives of others and NOT sit in a cubicle, and that is how she found NVW! In her free time, Molly is a HUGE Wisconsin sports fan and can frequently be found hanging out at Miller Park and Lambeau Field!
Emily is an Illinois native that has always had a love for the outdoors. She graduated from the University of St. Francis with a degree in Recreation and Sport Management with a concentration in Outdoor Recreation and a minor in Leadership Studies. However, Emily’s love for the outside world started way before her college years. Emily fell in love with the outdoors at a young age with her three younger brothers through Scouting. Emily has worked at various Boy Scout camps including Rainbow Scout Reservation and Philmont Scout Ranch in which she has guided hundreds of individuals on backpacking expeditions and other outdoor experiences. During college, Emily played on the university soccer team and was involved with the Recreation Club on campus participating in various outdoor activities like backpacking in Escalante, Utah for spring break. She is currently in her internship semester at New Vision Wilderness and is very excited to share her knowledge and love of the outdoors and to begin making a difference in the youth’s lives.
Lauren comes from the North Star State, Minnesota. Her deep love and appreciation for nature comes from volunteering at the nature center three blocks from the house she grew up in, which later led to a full-time job as an educator. She headed animal outreach programs and worked as a naturalist to educate children about the environment and teach them outdoor skills. These experiences led her to major in Wildlife Ecology, with a focus in education, at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. She joined several clubs, which provided her the opportunity to go on frequent camping and backpacking trips. After graduating, she became an educator at the Como Zoo and Conservatory and a naturalist at Kroening Interpretive Center in Minneapolis, which gave her the chance to work with people of all ages and cultures and enabled her to see things from a variety of different perspectives. Outside of work you can find her frolicking through the woods, rock climbing, hiking, running, trudging through swamps to find frogs, or cross country skiing.
How To Contact New Vision
To speak to a team member, please fill out the CONFIDENTIAL form below. A team member will contact you within 24 hours.