An alumnus from The University of Southern Mississippi was recently
named the 2003 Outdoor Person of the Year by Hooked on the Outdoors
a behavioral specialist for the Lamar County School District, was
selected by readers of the national magazine and will appear in
the December issue. Entries for the honor were submitted from across
issue, featuring the Top 10 Outdoor People of the Year, seeks to
honor "inspiring people who share a passion for the outdoors
and a commitment to sharing the passion with others."
cross country 2,000 miles and climbing Mount Rainier in temperatures
below zero produces a satisfaction that you can only experience
if you are on top of that summit," Anderson said. "That's
what challenges me."
An avid bicyclist,
rock climber, rafter, mountain biker, weightlifter, runner and backpacker,
Anderson keeps a busy schedule. But he still makes time to volunteer
for several area facilities for troubled youth, where he uses outdoor
recreation as therapy. He has also served as an adventure guide
and counselor for several summer camps for youth and has been the
recreational coordinator for the Children's Center.
A former U.S.
Army Paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, Anderson competes
in adventure racing around the country several times a year. "These
activities have made me a stronger, more introspective person, which
allows me to continue to take challenges with a positive outlook
and have successful outcomes," Anderson said. "It also
provides me an avenue to use with others, which facilitates experiences
for them to be successful."
an adventure racing teammate of Anderson's and a fitness coordinator
in Southern Miss' Recreational Sports Department, said his passion
for the outdoors is "contagious."
me for adventure races, Markley has taught me more about overcoming
challenges than I ever thought possible," she said. "By
spending time with him during our training sessions, I've discovered
that connecting with nature can be much more than just a hobby,
but a truly rewarding lifestyle as well."
for these events through weekly, monthly and summer training sessions
and trips. "Cross-country trips expose me to new terrain and
conditions," Anderson explained.
his father exposed him to the outdoors at an early age, and he continued
to pursue outdoor activities throughout high school and during his
service in the Army.
led me to try different arenas in the outdoors, and I continue to
explore the unknown through my own curiosity."
from Southern Miss with a bachelor's degree in exercise science.
He was a lifeguard and also served as the outdoor adventure coordinator
and graduate assistant for Recreational Sports. Anderson received
a master's degree in counseling psychology from William Carey College.
Anderson plans to continue adventure racing, taking it to expedition
-- or multi-day style -- races. In addition to competing in the
upcoming Eco Challenge, he hopes to climb mountains both in the
United States and other countries such as France, Switzerland, New
Zealand and Argentina.