New Program That Evolved From My Gettysburg Experience

Hi, ES students –

            Please see below.  You will remember that Tess is an ES alumna who gave a job talk here last semester.

            Rock on! – John

John A. Commito


Environmental Studies Department

Gettysburg College

Gettysburg, PA 17325 USA


Phone:    717-337-6030

Fax:        717-337-8550




From: tess barton []
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2012 10:31 AM
To: Tess Barton
Subject: New Program That Evolved From My Gettysburg Experience

Dear Gettysburg Friends and Mentors,

I hope this email finds you all well and enjoying the spring weather – I really miss springtime in Gettysburg!  I’m writing about a program that I’ve launched for college students and recent grads, which has incredibly strong Gettysburg roots. A quick update about where I am in life – I’m working full time as the Marketing Director for Community Energy, a private wind and solar energy company based outside of Philly, and am pursuing an MBA in Managing for Sustainability as a part-time student at Marlboro College Graduate School. I live and work (remotely) in Brooklyn, NY and am getting married to another Gettysburg (and GRAB) alumn this August.

Since leaving Gettysburg, I’ve always considered my work with the GRAB program to be the work that I’ve done that was both most fulfilling for me and made the greatest difference for others.  I’ve been searching for the right way that I can continue to make the type of impact that I did in the GRAB program while at Gettysburg. I’ve hosted students as part of the Career Center’s externship program, which has grown into a greater interest in mentoring students on the transition from college to career. It’s taken me a few years, but through the personal leadership class in my grad program (the Marlboro College Graduate School MBA in Sustainability), I’ve found a way to combine my real-world experiences, interest in career coaching/mentoring students, and GRAB background as a side project to my work in clean energy.

Some of you might remember me making noise about this over the last 6 months… I’m super excited about The Reality Trek Program, which I’m co-leading with Beverly Winterscheid – the professor of leadership in my grad program and the founding partner of the Institute for Nature & Leadership. The program is a 5 day retreat at the AMC Cardigan Lodge in NH this June, dedicated to career empowerment for college students and recent grads seeking social and environmental change. The Reality Trek is designed to tailor the skills and competencies of these talented students to make their difference in the world starting with their first job. Beverly and I are merging the best of nature-based leadership (NBL) practices and the latest in career planning and job search skills, combined with our up-to-date experience in sustainability industries and organizations, to gear this program specifically to matching one’s values and skills to the right organizations.

This program is designed for all future innovators in environmental sustainability & social justice, that:

– Are high achievers who hold themselves to high standards

– Have a big vision for their future & are ready to take your first step

– Dream of a career that does not fit in THE BOX of traditional jobs & career paths

– Want to be part of a "creative incubator" of like-minded leaders and guides challenging them to be their best

I know that many Gettysburg students meet this description, and I’m hoping that you might be able to help spread the word about the program to your students and colleagues.

For You: We’re hosting a webinar on Wednesday, March 28th at 12:30 – 1:15 pm. I’d like to invite you to join and get a sneak peek of what’s happening with leadership in the sustainability field and get a brief overview of The Reality Trek program and its nature-based leadership components. As a thanks for your participation, at the end of the call we will be raffling off $100 scholarships to three webinar attendees, so that you can offer a lucky student this incentive. To register for the webinar, go to

Students can find out more on, on our facebook page (The Reality Trek Program), or sign up for more info at

Please help spread the word about this program to your students and colleagues. The registration deadline for the Reality Trek is April 12th and were shooting for 15 students/grads.

We hope to make this an annual event, and would love to have Reality Trek alumni from Gettysburg. This program has truly evolved from my robust Gettysburg experience – working with GRAB as an undergrad, studies with the incredible Environmental Studies department, the externship I landed through the Center for Career Development after graduation (which turned into my current job), hosting students every year thereafter, the dinner conversation I shared with the Garthwait Leadership Center’s sustainability program this past summer, and the conversations I had with Environmental Studies students while on campus in October.  And – we’ve brought on Gettysburg senior Jess Bozzo as an intern to help launch the program!

I’m forever grateful for the tremendous opportunities I had at Gettysburg and hope to pay some of it forward by supporting newer Gettysburg grads as they transition from college to career.

I’m happy to answer any questions you might have or share any other info! A BIG THANKS for helping to spread the word!

Warm Regards,
Tess Barton ‘06

Tess C. Barton

t: @TessCBarton



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