Brandon Bless has a deep connection with Sterling College, even though his role as Visiting Faculty in Sustainable Agriculture is new.
He was an adjunct faculty from 2013 to 2015. Before that, he was the Sterling Farm Livestock and Pasture Manager, and previously, he was a dorm parent with his wife, alumna and former Trustee Stephanie Bless ’07. In fact, the couple were married on Sterling College’s campus (Common Voice, Fall 2013).
Bless said, “I met my wife, Vermont, and Sterling College all at the same time. I was completely smitten with all three.” He met Stephanie when she was completing her Senior Applied Research Project. The two were Wilderness Rangers for the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF) of Vermont, part of the United States Forest Service (USFS). They worked throughout all of the wilderness areas in the Green Mountains.
She told him about Sterling College, and when she returned to complete her degree and work in Admission, Bless followed. “If I had known about Sterling when I was an undergraduate, I would have gone here. Sterling’s brand of experiential curriculum is what true education is all about.” Bless found his appreciation for Sterling deepen as he began in a teaching role. “Faculty teach what they love, they’re educators anchored in practice. ”
As Visiting Faculty, Bless is working full-time at the College and teaching five courses this academic year: Permaculture Design; Landscape, Food & Culture; Special Topics in Natural Science: Agroforestry; and this semester, Introduction to Restoration Agriculture, and Senior Seminar. He is part of the newly- organized Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food System instructional team.
Bless has a BA in Ethnoecology from The Evergreen State College and an MS in Natural Resources-Agroforestry from the University of Missouri. He also holds certificates in Sustainable Building and Design and Permaculture Design from Yestermorrow Design/Build School.