Click here to return to Messiah College's homepage
Mathematical Sciences

Adventure Programs Staff

Dave Tanis' Picture

Dave Tanis
Director of Adventure Programs &

Senior Lecturer in Health and Human Performance

717-796-1800 ext. 2134

Education: B.S. Calvin College; M.A. Geneva College

Dave’s position brings the curricular and co-curricular sides of campus together; as an instructor he teaches courses in the adventure education major.  As director of adventure programs, he provides oversight to all adventure programming on campus and advises the Outdoors Club.  Dave has been involved in adventure programming in the college setting since 1991.  He holds an M.A. from Geneva College in Higher Education and is finishing a D.Ed. degree from Penn State Harrisburg in Adult Education.  His area of research is the role of play and playfulness in the adult learner classroom.  Although he loves playing and learning with students, his favorite play mates are his wife Tricia and their three children.  Dave enjoys a variety of outdoor activities but is most passionate about whitewater canoeing.


Wilderness Education Association NSP Instructor

American Canoe Association White Water Canoe Instructor – Level 4 (Tandem and Solo)

Leave No Trace Master Educator

Wilderness First Responder, SOLO


Training / Past Certifications:

Top Rope Site Manager, American Mountain Guide Association

Swift Water Rescue Training, American Canoe Association

Wilderness Lifeguard, Starfish Aquatics Institute

Advanced Technical Skills Course, Project Adventure

RMI Five Day Mountaineering School

Wendell Witter's Picture

Wendell Witter
Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership Programs

& Director of the Loft

717-796-1800 ext. 7096

Education: B.S. Messiah College; M.A. Wheaton College

Wendell directs adventure-based leadership and team-building experiences for Messiah's campus at The Loft. He has a passion for adventure education and investing in the lives of students to build them up as godly leaders. He holds an M.A. from Wheaton College in Educational Ministries and has worked in experiential education since 1998.  He currently lives on Messiah College’s campus with his wife Teri and their four children.  Wendell enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, especially rock climbing and canoeing.


PCIA Single Pitch Climbing Instructor

ACCT Level 2 Practitioner - Full Certification

Wilderness First Responder


ACA Moving Water Course - Level 3 (Tandem)

ACA Swiftwater Rescue Course

Leave No Trace

Multi-day Backpacking & Canoe Travel