Dr. David Anderson, the director of COMPASS, developed its predecessor, Healthy Expectations, to help first-year students as they transition to college. First implemented in 2000, the program was based on seven life health principles designed to create healthy communities by fostering a positive and supportive culture for students on campus.
Building productive and positive learning environments makes for an informed civil society. Benjamin Rush, civic leader and signer of the US Declaration of Independence, wrote, “Freedom can exist only in the society of knowledge. Without learning, men are incapable of knowing their rights.”
In 2005, as Senior Editor for George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Public Health, I led the editorial process for the multimedia version that earned a model program award from the US Department of Education. It was my first taste of life as a digital nomad, and I’ve worked remotely ever since. Here’s what Anderson says about my work:
Christopher provided excellent work with an innovative project. His creativity complemented his quality editing skills; he became a true collaborator on the project. He had an excellent team spirit, and worked long hours with quickly changing deadlines. I would hire him again!
The project and work culture that grew around it made an impression on me. Transforming COMPASS (Creating, Optimizing, Mapping, Planning, Achieving, Steering and Succeeding) was intense, an exercise fueled with autonomy, mastery, and purpose—the “Motivation 3.0” Daniel Pink would later bring to the mainstream.
Developing the name, brand, UX and curriculum for COMPASS, and managing contributions from 30+ experts across disciplines, brought unique challenges and experiences that still inspire me today.