Penn State and Outward Bound Oman form collaborative relationship

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As part of Penn State’s ongoing effort to develop academic and research partnerships around the world, the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management and Outward Bound Oman have committed to a collaborative relationship with a signing at University Park and at a royal ceremony in Muscat, Oman.

Read this press release in Arabic.

The Oman ceremony was attended by His Royal Highness Prince Andrew The Duke of York and His Highness Sayyid Faisal Bin Turki Al Said.

The partnership is an effort to enrich educational and research programs for both Penn State and Outward Bound Oman, the first Outward Bound School in an Arabic-speaking country.

The collaboration will include visits by faculty, staff and students to Penn State and Oman; curriculum development; joint research and educational programs; and joint seminars and other academic events. The first such event was a visit from Mark Evans, the founder and executive director of Outward Bound Oman, which included two campus lectures and various contributions to different classes in early September.

“This partnership will allow Penn State to work closely with Outward Bound Oman, including guest lectures, professional development, practice-informed research and the first of many partnerships within the network of 37 Outward Bound schools around the world,” said Peter Newman, professor and head of the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management. “This is an important strategic development for the department, which aligns not only with the department’s overall direction, but also with the wider University strategic plan.”

Penn State and Outward Bound leaders sign MOU

Left to Right: Iain Peter, executive director of Outward Bound International; His Highness Faisal bin Turki Al Said, patron of Outward Bound Oman; Peter Newman, head of the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management at Penn State; and Suleiman Al Harthi, chair of the board of Outward Bound Oman, sign a Memorandum of Understanding during a ceremony in Muscat, Oman. 

Image: Photo Provided

Outward Bound Oman is an educational, not-for-profit foundation that is part of the international Outward Bound community. The foundation’s courses help people from all walks of life develop valuable skills for education, work and life, through adventurous and challenging outdoor learning programs held in the mountains and deserts of Oman.

“Working with young people from both inside and outside of Oman, we help them become more confident, more effective and more capable at school, college and in the workplace,” said Evans. “A partnership with Penn State will allow us to also ensure our practice is grounded in the latest research, collaborate to develop a practice-based research agenda, share resources and develop opportunities for Penn State students to learn about and get involved with Outward Bound.”

In addition to working with young people, Outward Bound Oman also delivers training and professional development programs to companies in the region and customized leadership and team-development courses.

The collaboration with Penn State developed thanks to Evans, to whom Queen Elizabeth II awarded an MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 2011 for promoting cultural diversity, and Pete Allison, an associate professor of values and experiential learning who shares an appointment between the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management and Shavers Creek Environmental Center.

Allison has had a long involvement with Outward Bound, authoring a book about Kurt Hahn, who co-founded Outward Bound in 1941. Allison also delivers lectures about Hahn’s life and philosophy around the world.

“This partnership between Outward Bound Oman and Penn State is the first of many planned partnerships with Outward Bound schools around the world,” Allison said.

The collaboration also marks the launch of "The Kurt Hahn Consortium: A disciplinary community for values and experiential learning." The consortium is a hub for sharing good practices in teaching and research associated with all aspects of values and experiential learning in Kurt Hahn legacy organizations. Located at Penn State University Park, the consortium has an international network of affiliates and works closely with AURORA orientation programs on campus.

“This is an exciting time, which will place Penn State at the heart of progressive research to understand both the learning process and outcomes of Outward Bound and other Kurt Hahn legacy organizations whom we intend to partner with,” Allison said. “Additionally, the consortium will work within Penn State to enhance similar opportunities, such as the AURORA orientation programs, and development of compassion, self-respect, awareness and health, a sense of mastery and self-sufficiency across the Penn State Communities.

Penn State leaders stand outside of Old Main following signing of MOU

From left to right, Pete Allison, associate professor at Penn State; Mark Evans, founder and executive director of Outward Bound Oman; Michael Adewumi, vice provost for global programs at Penn State; Ann C. Crouter, Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean of the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State; and Peter Newman, head of the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management, stand outside of Old Main at University Park following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Penn State and Outward Bound Oman. 

Image: Rob Peeler

In a September ceremony at University Park, Evans; Michael Adewumi, vice provost for global programs at Penn State; and Ann C. Crouter, Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean of the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State, signed a memorandum of understanding with Outward Bound Oman. 

During the Oct. 1 ceremony in Muscat, Oman, hosted by Evans, which Newman and Allison attended, His Highness Sayyid Faisal Bin Turki Al Said; Iain Peter, executive director, Outward Bound International; and Suleiman Al Harthy, chairman of Outward Bound Oman, also signed the memorandum of understanding.

“Rigorous research that confirms the long-term benefit of Outward Bound programs will be of enormous value to the worldwide Outward Bound community. We look forward to building on the association with Penn State,” Iain Peter said. 

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated November 01, 2017