An enduring purpose: A statement from NOLS and Norm Plotkin

Posted by: Casey Adams on 2/15/13 8:33 AM

NOLS and the father of Thomas Plotkin, Norm Plotkin, have
come together to best understand the facts and circumstances that led to
Thomas’ death while hiking on a trail above the Gara Ganges River while
attending NOLS’ Semester in India in September 2011. Collectively, NOLS and
Thomas’ father wish that Thomas’ death serve an enduring purpose and, as a
result, we have worked together to define specific actions that NOLS can
implement to enhance its operations and the safety and welfare of its students,
promote greater instructor engagement with students, and further nutritional
research. NOLS has created the Thomas Plotkin Memorial Instructor Course
Scholarship for a student who has demonstrated both the potential for
outstanding mentorship and empowerment of NOLS’ students and a commitment to
safety and risk management. NOLS has also created the Thomas Plotkin Instructor
Mentorship Award to recognize a NOLS field instructor who embodies exemplary
communication and mentorship of students as evidenced by consistently positive
student evaluations, develops excellent decision-making in NOLS students, and
implements excellent risk management practices that promotes the safety and
welfare of students. Our mutual goal is that Thomas’ brilliant life and tragic
death carry us forward to improve, learn, and provide the best environment for
our students.

Casey worked as a writer and PR specialist for NOLS.