Life Happens

Life happens, and time marches forward. As I draft this essay, September 9, 2017, I’m reminded of sweeping forces that impact millions of people, and local incidents that change individuals indelibly. Implications surfaced as I visited a nearby 96-acre Tree Farm (established 2004) and spent four fulfilling hours getting to know the owners, chatting in […]

Early Signs of Seasonal Shift

As I draft this, it’s only the fourth of September, yet signs are appearing that fall is advancing. I walked the FSU campus this morning, observing evidence. The fire-bush at the base of my hill is signaling change:   An ornamental red maple likewise: Whether viewing Nature’s seasonal rhythms or observing the enterprise we lead, […]

How Wonderful to be Centrally Isolated!

Here at Fairmont, I write a weekly column for the Times West Virginian newspaper. I offer perspective from my Interim Presidency, and frequently weave a Nature-Inspired Learning and Leading thread into the fabric. The essay/column below will appear sometime in September. Judy and I drove to Cranberry, PA Labor Day Friday to visit our son […]

Three Essential Steps Toward Nature Center DREAM Fulfillment

August 24, 2017 Dr. Cheryl Charles, Executive Director Nature Based Leadership Institute, and I presented a half-day workshop at the Magnolia Summit, the 23rd annual meeting of the Association of Nature Center Administrators. Our workshop: Three Essential Steps Toward Your Center’s DREAM Fulfillment. Twenty-six nature center directors from 18 states and Mexico participated. We posted […]

Steve’s Foolish Weather Dare

The Write Launch recently posted an essay chronicling a rather daring bike ride from my Ohio days: https://thewritelaunch.com/2017/07/steves-foolish-weather-dare/. The lessons I learned apply to much of living, learning, serving, and leading. My concluding remarks from the essay: “A towering thunderstorm reminds me that I am of little consequence. And that same storm instructs me that […]

Brief Return to Alabama

I drove the 640 miles from West Virginia to visit my Alabama home Saturday, August 19, seven full weeks since I had departed. Normally, by three weeks into August, summer has taken its toll. Browning road medians and some fading tree and shrub foliage. Lawns that are yellow, no longer lush as they were early […]

Stasis Does Not Exist in Nature; Nothing is Permanent

I carved out Sunday afternoon time to visit nearby Valley Falls State Park, August 6. The Tygart River Falls, flush with abundant July Rains, provided a great setting to begin and end my four miles through the more-than-century-old second growth forest. The Park’s 1,145-acres once supported a community dependent upon the site’s lumber and grist […]

August 2, 2018 One-Month Reflections

I spoke last Wednesday evening to the 300 folks gathered at the University’s Falcon Center. I include it as a GBH Blog to provide a sense of what GBH can do with a deep dive into any entity… perhaps yours. My Condensed Remarks Such a pleasure for me to speak at the 64th Annual Dinner […]

Karen Jacobs Cook’s GBH Photo

The younger of my Mom’s two brothers had two daughters, Karen Sue and Debbie. Karen is a year older than I. Life took all of us in different directions. Decades had passed since we last communicated. Early this past spring, Karen and I found each other on LinkedIn. I had no clue that Karen had […]

Football Season Already!

It’s August! Still summer, yet I’m preparing remarks to welcome new and returning football players and coaches to campus for the August 5, first official day of fall practice. My remarks, while crafted specifically to this purpose, fit any enterprise. Although I will not preach my full-throated Nature-Inspired sermon to the team, I could easily […]

Looking Ahead to 2018

Don’t get me wrong — I am fully and positively engaged in my Fairmont State University journey, flourishing and reveling in the experience. Great people, a wonderful place, and an unrivaled cause. I count my blessings each and every day. Yet I must be ever-unconscious that this pleasant northern West Virginia passage is finite. July […]

An Ecosystems Approach to My Interim Presidency

My approach to learning and evaluating, and then developing recommendations for any enterprise varies little from how I would have assessed (and then managed) a wooded property when I practiced forestry. I have been retained as Interim President to learn, evaluate, and make recommendations here at Fairmont State University (FSU). A Broad Overview and Context […]