Brendan Trachsel wasn’t that outdoorsy growing up. Now he’s studying parks and recreation management with an emphasis in outdoor education and leadership. How’d he make the leap? The senior from Poway, California, who also is the 2022-23 ASNAU president, talks to The NAU Review about where he sees himself in the future and how he got involved in student government.
Why did you decide to get involved with ASNAU?
I’ve been involved ever since I started at NAU. The second week of school I went around door to door in Tinsley Hall starting a Minecraft server. The same semester I got involved with Community Council and the Residential Hall Association, eventually becoming a resident assistant in Sechrist. By this time, I was much more in tune with all campus had to offer and knew I had to get involved with ASNAU because of the amazing things they do!
What do you want to do after graduation?
I would love to be able to advise and manage campus life at a university. I think they have an enormous impact on the student experience. Working with student organizations, campus events and student government all sound like a dream job. If I can do any of that at NAU, even better!
Tell me about a significant childhood memory and how it has impacted your life today.
Not too long ago, but growing up I was never able to get into camping, hiking, etc.—my family just didn’t do that often. When I was in high school, one of my great friends, Katie Clevenger, brought me to Palomar Mountain State Park in San Diego County, California. It was a cold winter morning, and we sat in a meadow drinking hot homemade apple cider. I was absolutely hooked from that moment on, and it is the reason I chose my major.
What have you been most proud of this week?
While I’ve had about six hours of committee meetings this week with lots of exciting things coming, honestly I am most proud of being able to make the time to talk to ASNAU members and student organizations. Anytime I talk to students they inspire me.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?
Whenever I am able to make the time, I love to go camping down at Edge of the World. It is truly a magical place—the Mogollon Rim is very special to me.
What are three things on your bucket list and why?
- I want to spend a night in a redwood. I read about a woman who spent two years up one to save it, and I think that is awesome.
- Rafting the Colorado River! I have many friends who have guided trips and I have read about experiences from Ed Abbey and Katie Lee. It sounds life-changing, and once I can afford it I want to go.
- I want to build a cabin in the woods. The idea of building a home is fantastic, even if it takes years. I think the satisfaction and lessons learned would be immense.
What is your philosophy in life?
I don’t know if I have one that is overarching, but for many things I just think about something that would be awesome and try to do it. Whether if it’s creating a club and an entire concert about birds being drones, a super smash bros tournament or climate action, I will do what I can to get it done.