Students, colleagues, teachers and mentors share their experiences of me…
Chris was an excellent mentor and has an immense capacity for empathy, adaptability, and patience. I had never been exposed to the style of deep questioning and introspection that Chris taught me, and it truly helped me delve deeper into what I really wanted out of my life and where I saw my real purposes and future path. He showed me how to further question prospects I had taken for fact before, and made me conscious of my own dispositions that I carry.
~ Asha Knish, Student
In my four decades of guiding and many years of training youth guides and mentors, Chris is one of the most balanced, skilled and attuned leaders I have met. He is always tracking the many overlapping circles of relationship, community, Nature and personal growth of his students. He has a tremendous range and easily transitions with his students through the many emotions, attitudes and belief that are part of the experience of being human. He can be joking around with you one moment and seamlessly track when the exchange needs to take on a more serious or focused tone. Chris is one of the rare guides who is deep and well-versed in the many skill sets of wilderness guiding. He is equally at home teaching hard skills or managing group safety as he is drawing out a student's vulnerable truth or knowing how to respond to an emotionally delicate moment. He is one of the least judgmental people I know and has a wonderful capacity to make others feel calm, welcome and valued.
~ Dave Talamo, MFT
Chris melds his passion for mentorship, global citizenship, and communing with nature into a holistic approach to learning and growth. His presence with students and co-workers reflects his own process of deep inquiry and intentional engagement with the world, setting an inspiring example. Chris is a clear communicator, taking the time to ensure his words are carefully chosen and that he truly understands what others share with him. He invites others into inquiry with grace, humbly asking questions with students, rather than simply posing questions to students.
~ Robin Pendoley, Ed.M, Founder & Director: Thinking Beyond Borders
Chris leads with questions, and with a resilient attitude of diving deeper to understand self and world as they relate to each other. Through questions he offers people the space to bring their own wisdom to the world and to themselves building confidence, empowerment and sense of trust that encourages the shy parts of our vulnerabilities to have a voice.
Chris is a natural leader in the sense that he can lead a discussion that draws on multiple voices, he speaks from experience and from deep learning and encourages dialogue and multiple perspectives to be hosted in any one conversation at a time. He listens deeply and can identify themes and threads within conversations that when pulled out specifically can move the conversation into a more connected web of ideas. His charisma and passion for topic matter is contagious. His work building relationship with nature is particularly inspirational because you can feel that he speaks from the heart and with a seriousness that brings the conversation to a dimension of sincerity. Chris’ leadership can be jarring in moments because he also is not interested in leading all the time nor having people follow him. He wants to see participants, students and other leaders pitching in their passions and whole selves and taking initiative to be themselves and offer their exuberance. He welcomes the challenging of ideas in the context of dialogue, story, deep caring and self truth.
~ Meg John, Student
Creative problem solving, strong communication skills, and a healthy sense of play are among Chris’ many fortes. He was confident in sharing his unique gifts with the group, and in the process, encouraged us to reflect on our own. As a facilitator, Chris designed thoughtfully-crafted lessons that engaged his students and pushed their thinking. During one lesson about sustainable agriculture, Chris asked students to participate in a mock game show. This playful introduction to a nuanced topic made it accessible to all of his students and led to meaningful discussion. Chris, it was so fun working with you as a program leader. As a team member, you were communicative, energized, creative, and supportive. Co-teaching with you was a joy: your teaching style reflects your dedication to both the content and your students and this was inspiring to see.
~ Jessie Pezdek, Co-Leader