As a Field Instructor, Spenser believes we do our best work for others when we first do our best work for ourselves, which means looking closely at our own areas of discomfort - without judgment - and approaching challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. He works hard to see the person behind the behavior, to treat people as people rather than as objects, and to support sustainable personal growth by cultivating practices of self-awareness and accountability. He believes there’s no better place to explore our identities and sense of purpose than in the wilderness, where we can make our own fire, hike till we’re tired, and sleep under the stars.
Spenser holds strong boundaries with the intention of creating a safe environment that encourages vulnerability and empathy. With this in mind, he challenges the status quo by drawing attention to participant patterns, while modeling healthy detachment from outcomes. He encourages participants to break their cycles of shame and explore emotions with gentleness, curiosity, and a sense of wonder. He’s working on removing his own armor, letting go of how he wants to be seen, and modeling courage through vulnerability.
Spenser brings experience from two-plus years in the field and five-plus years in youth development. Prior to joining Evoke, he managed an AmeriCorps team for an education non-profit, led after school programming, volunteered in a youth probation facility, and served with the Peace Corps in Nicaragua. He graduated in 2011 from Pepperdine University, where he studied film, literature, and philosophy.
Outside of his work in the field, Spenser is an accomplished trail and ultra runner and has won local races from the half-marathon to 50-mile distance. He takes pride in the process more than the results and sees his physical health and mental health as directly tied. His dream is to run the Hardrock 100 in Colorado’s San Juan mountains, and he took a major step towards this goal in 2019 when he finished the Wasatch 100, making him eligible for the Hardrock lottery. Spenser is in love with the Southern Utah landscape and has found what he considers to be his long-term home. In his free time, he runs from his front door to the tops of nearby mesas and ridges, where he enjoys fast, technical single track and distant views of Zion National Park.