Our lives intersected in so many accidental ways that I thought it was destiny speaking to us. We were both graduate students at the University of California at Berkeley. I first met Russ during a protest rally on campus. I just knew him as Russ and didn’t know much about his history or biography. I was in a doctoral program at the School of Education and I believe he was getting a doctorate in political science. At the time we were both against the American War in Vietnam and our discussions were less about personal things and more about protest strategy on and off campus.
I came into contact with him indirectly again at Sonoma State University where I was visiting to consider a teaching position. Lo and behold, he had a faculty appointment there. I was attracted to Sonoma State because of its focus on innovative teaching and curriculum in psychology and counselling. Russ, it seemed, was going much more in my direction: humanistic psychology and alternative education. We never met at Sonoma State, but our mutual interest in that state university and its alternative curriculum seemed to appeal to us both.
This lead us to another connection through Saybrook Institute. I was teaching at the Wright Institute in Berkeley and both places were alternatives to the traditional university education models were practiced. Russ’ interests in innovative teaching opportunities paralleled mine and between us we probably taught at every innovative campus in California.
Then Russ discovered that the coach training field could be a fruitful source for learning and applying some of his ideas. He connected with some of the top and pioneering coach training organizations while at the same time that I was compiling an online list of all coach training organizations as a way to help potential students make better decisions about which one met their needs best.
Russ became a publisher of an innovative journal as well as a leading advocate for Spiral Dynamics and transpersonal psychology (and other areas). I also became a publisher of an innovative journal that focused on peer helping, coaching, and mentoring. Our lives were working in tandem. I would eagerly await the publication of his journal. I often had difficulty understanding the articles, and I would sometimes joke about this with Russ. While he was gracious in listening to my joking, I realized that his consciousness and understanding of the universe was often beyond my comprehension. I admired his ability to discuss abstract concepts, yet I was often focused on the practical and what these ideas meant in day-to-day life. One thing I admired about Russ was he always knew where his centre was. He had various spokes extending out from his core, and while they were remarkably different they all had a connection in common. I will miss his dedication, commitment to, and advocacy for understanding where we are in the universe, where we want to and how we can get there.
Rey Carr, Ph.D
Victoria, British Columbia