Leader Bios: Meet Connor, Savannah, Malcolm & Nicole!

Connor Murphy – Maine’s Downeast Explorer, New England Mountains & Coast

Connor Murphy joins Apogee as a newly minted graduate of the University of North Carolina. While pursuing a double major in Public Policy and History, Connor still found time to minor in Entrepreneurship and held numerous leadership positions on campus. Connor upheld high standards while weighing in on the conduct of his peers as a member of the UNC Honor Court, took part in the club Swimming and Skiing/Snowboarding teams, served as a research assistant, and even honed his impressive juggling skills (he’s mastered three objects and is currently working on four)! Connor enjoyed going to summer camp near Lake Tahoe for 10 years as a child and remembers looking up to his leaders immensely. It was because of this that he has made giving back to the community and working with youth a priority. His endeavors in this regard include coaching a local recreational baseball team for boys ages 11-12, accompanying youth groups through the Appalachia Service Project, and, as a senior in high school, founding a summer Summer Sports Camp for students ages 11-14. A dual citizen of Canada and the US, Connor loves to travel and even spent a summer studying abroad in Seville, Spain, between his freshman and sophomore years at UNC. After spending the first decade of his life in California and the years since based in North Carolina, Connor can’t wait to come to the Northeast to lead our Maine’s Downeast Explorer and New England Mountains & Coast trips this summer!

Savannah Brusett – Maine’s Downeast Explorer, New England Mountains & Coast

Savannah Brusett grew up in the Pacific Northwest and didn’t take the beautiful setting for granted. Whether alongside her family of six, a group of friends, or her trusty golden retriever Ragnar, Savannah loved getting out and exploring, especially in the stunning Olympic National Park backcountry. A 2018 graduate of Portland State University, Savannah majored in French and Arts & Letters, and even put her language skills to the test during a year abroad in France as a junior. Savannah is no stranger to travel, a passion spurred by high school trips to the UK, Kenya, and Rwanda, and has been to 24 countries on 3 continents. Back home, Savannah has served as a nanny, summer camp counselor for kids 10-14, and as a volunteer coach with Girls Inc., a non-profit that teaches young people confidence and problem solving skills. She’s also worked with students in an academic setting, volunteering at a homework club for low income students and as a private math tutor. Lucky for her students, Savannah’s prowess in the kitchen is also remarkable – she loves cooking, baking, and (of course) eating! A card game enthusiast, Savannah is eager to spend her summer teaching her Maine’s Downeast Explorer and New England Mountains & Coast students new games and exploring all that New England has to offer.

Malcolm Seamans – Maine’s Downeast Explorer, New England Mountains & Coast

It’s a rare occurrence that you would find Malcolm Seamans indoors; it’s far more likely that he’s out skiing, backpacking, playing tennis, soccer, or Frisbee, all depending on the season. He is, after all, “a self-proclaimed explorer,” which is just one of the many reasons why we’re so excited to welcome him to the Apogee team to lead our Maine’s Downeast Explorer and New England Mountains & Coast trips this summer! Malcolm grew up on skis – as a matter of fact, his parents claim that he skied before he walked – and he hit the slopes in each different place that he lived growing up, from Maine to Nevada and upstate New York to California. He eventually found himself back in central New York at Colgate University, where he double majored in Economics and Psychology and graduated in 2019. Malcolm’s junior year semester in New Zealand continued to fuel his love for the outdoors, and he also managed to summit a few 14,000’ peaks while working for the National Ski Areas Association in Denver, Colorado. Back at Colgate, Malcolm served as a role model to underclassmen in his leadership positions as the captain of the Colgate ski team and president of his fraternity. Malcolm has also spent several years as a ski instructor for 11-16 year-old students. This summer, Malcolm looks forward to get back to his Maine roots and continue to live his favorite quotation, “Happiness is only real when shared.”

Nicole Polglaze – Maine’s Downeast Explorer, New England Mountains & Coast

To say that Nicole “Cole” Polglaze is motivated doesn’t quite do her justice; by the time she finished high school, she already had two Associate’s Degrees from a local community college to her name! But it wasn’t all school for Cole by any stretch of the imagination – she took full advantage of the outdoor opportunities in her hometown (just outside of Boulder, Colorado) and is still an avid skier, backpacker, climber, canoer, and horseback rider. Now a rising senior at Grinnell College in Iowa, Cole manages to balance her Math and English double major while simultaneously serving as a Math TA and a peer leader for Grinnell’s sophomore science retreat. This wouldn’t be a proper biography without mentioning Cole’s love of Shakespeare and theater – after volunteering with the Shakespeare Sprites at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Cole served as a camp counselor at Camp Shakespeare for five years and a camp manager for two years. There, she directed young actors, taught Elizabethan dances, and played theater games with middle and high school students. She also helped organize the Will Power Festival, which included coordinating several local schools as they collaborated on a Shakespeare play. Nicole is excited to share her love of the outdoors with her students on our Maine’s Downeast Explorer and New England Mountains & Coast trips this summer!