The Freshman Outdoor Program is known to most as a chance to meet friends and trudge through the wilderness.
But from her office in the basement of Matthews Hall, newly appointed program director and experienced outdoors-person S. Beth Bellman will see mostly the administrative side of the program known for fun.
"It sounded like an exciting, challenging opportunity," Bellman said about her new post. "I'm looking for-ward to working with college level students."
The Freshman Outdoor Program [FOP] Steering Committee, composed of eight undergraduates, voted to hire Bellman on the strength of her experience.
Bellman comes to Harvard from a position as assistant director of the John Dorr Nature Lab, where she worked for six years.
The lab is affiliated with Horace Mann High School in New York City.
Bellman has also worked as an instructor at the Colorado and Canadian Outward Bound Wilderness School.
"She has a lot of credentials, especially in dealing with safety situations, which is important for the position," said steering committee member Jennifer L. Weh '96.
Bellman said she will work closely with the steering committee this year, following the pattern established by her predecessor.
Outgoing FOP Director Sharon Bassett, took a job at the Massachusetts Department of Education last fall.
Bellman said she hopes to see FOP accredited by the National Association of Experimental Education sometime in the next few years.
Among the group's plans for the future are a trip for transfer students hisSeptember, Weh said.
Bellman, who started work on February I, saidshe is currently spending time "learning all thefacets of my job."
"This upcoming year, I'm going to see what'salready in place here," she said. "I don't plan onmaking any sweeping changes."
Assistant Dean of Freshmen Michael J. Middleton'87 said Bell-man is a strong addition to theFreshman Dean's Office team.
"She's really been an asset," Middleton said