Personal Testimonies about Ekaterini Vlamis as an Outdoor/Experiential Educator
I recently attended a peaceful nonviolent communication seminar facilitated by Ekaterini Vlamis. My initial thoughts where that it was about conflict resolution, but as I sat though the seminar I came to see that it was so much more. As a business owner I have respond to queries and bring resolution to customer concerns. I found this seminar an invaluable tool in communicating to, understanding, all the different mindsets that I encounter in my daily interactions not just with my customers, but with my friends, family, and everyone else that I encounter.
Ekaterini comes alive in her seminars showing her command and belief of the topics she shares, it’s a pleasure watching a professional at work. And I would recommend this seminar to everyone, so that we can make this a better world…
Owner of F.F.S., Inc.
Ekaterini is a gifted presenter with great energy. I particularly liked that her workshop was well structured but still flexible enough to be responsive to our specific needs and experience. We would love to have her back for additional workshops and trainings.
Ekaterini is an exceptional facilitator, and is adept at catering the challenging and diverse tasks to a particular context.
Andrew Meade, PhD
Director of International Services
I used Ekaterini's services as part of a Wellness Retreat that I had this winter. The goal was to offer my guests a light to moderate hike in the Mohonk Preserve and Ekaterini exceeded my expectations. She guided us through a very scenic trail that no one had ever hiked before and my guests were beyond pleased. Ekaterini also took extra precaution prior to the hike to get an idea of what I was looking for and even offered extra hats and gloves to those in need. I would highly recommend her services to anyone looking for a fun-filled adventure.
In Good Health, LLC
Ekaterini is a consummate professional of outdoor adventures! It was obvious how much preparation Ekaterini put into building community with our college group on retreat through ropes course activities and a rigorous mountain hike. She has a keen eye for detail and safety. And following each activity, Ekaterini facilitated lively learning conversations. Her many years of experience leading adventure retreats was evident in the flow of trust and joy that grew in our group throughout the adventure weekend.
Assistant Director of Campus Ministry
Saint Peter’s College
Ekaterini is warm, witty and endearing. She reaches out with equal ease to all types of people and enjoys social interaction. She is curious, always learning, and passionate about living a healthy, growthful life.
Ekaterini is made for adventure/outdoor education. She is enthusiastic, creative, and detailed yet flexible – all features vital to outdoor programming. Outstanding at being thorough and prepared, Ekaterini is skilled at all aspects of preparing for programs as well as working creatively with the diverse people within them. I have witnessed her organize and deliver many seamless programs. Ekaterini reads people very well and puts great effort into creating rapport and skillful relationships with others. She clearly enjoys the challenge of tailoring her delivery to various ages and settings. I have found Ekaterini to be consistently eager to take on new initiatives. She is a very high-achiever and has clear vision when it comes to developing quality programs.
Former Director of Challenge Education
Hartwick College (1990-2009)
I had the honor of working with Ekaterini while she was a graduate student, as well as serving as her advisor in the UNH Outdoor Education Program. While under my guidance, Ekaterini completed two, year long assistantships in the field of outdoor education. One year she worked for a counseling service with children and families considered to be at-risk, using outdoor education programming as a medium for offering learning experiences and growth opportunities for them. During the second year Ekaterini worked at the UNH Browne Center for Innovative Learning. Ekaterini applied herself diligently to every learning situation she encountered. She even excelled at topics not covered in her graduate program, such as Top Rope Rock Climbing and the skills of grant writing and budgeting for Outdoor Education programs. Ekaterini possesses a great deal of knowledge about best practices in the field of outdoor education. She will be fully committed to seeking out the answer your program needs.
Michael Gass, Ph.D., LMFT
Professor and Coordinator of Outdoor Education
University of New Hampshire
That was amazing! Best 'Gunks hike I've ever been on and I've been there a ton. The kids are still talking about it and telling everyone!
Bryan Wigton, Owner
Ulster Computers Inc.
Ekaterini facilitated team building activities for Grace Smith House, Inc. and did an amazing job. Prior to the actual day she took the time to listen to a description of the diverse services the agency provides, really heard our wishes for the day and provided a thought provoking and inspirational experience. On the day of the event Ekaterini infused her positive energy and gentle nature into the day and with very little effort on our part allowed us to learn a great deal about one another while enjoying each other’s company. It was a day not to be forgotten but rather a day filled with fond memories to build upon.
Mary Ann Wing
Grace Smith House, Inc.
Thank you Ekaterini! It was great meeting you and I learned a lot from your workshops. You’re a lovely person with such positive and calming energy in you. Thank you for everything. I’ve been using all kinds of the things you have taught me with my Girls Circle groups and they are LOVING it!
Understanding Healthy Masculinity and Girls Circle Projects
Women’s Network PEI
Ekaterini led my sister and I on an incredible half day hike in New Paltz. She was professional, fun, knowledgeable and sensitive to our needs. Our hike was the highlight of our vacation. We climbed to a rock formation which gave us incredible 360 degree view of the surrounding area with the breathtaking Catskills in the background. It was very spiritual and memorable. I recommend her services wholeheartedly.
I heard Ekaterini speak at an AEE conference and was impressed by her in depth knowledge and
professionalism. As a result of that interaction Ekaterini took me on a guided tour of a section of
the Shawangunk Ridge. The hike was breathtaking and enjoyable and I would highly recommend
Ekaterini as a workshop presenter AND practitioner. She is personable, an expert, and has high
Ekaterini is a positive and organized leader with much to offer to outdoor adventure groups! Her love of the outdoors is evident, as well as her knowledge of the courses and surroundings. Her calm and positive manner helped our whole group to partake in a high ropes course, several low ropes course activities, and a nature hike. It was easy for the members of our group to put our trust in her; she truly made the weekend the best it could be for our group.
Senior, Retreat Student Leader
Saint Peter's College
I have known Ekaterini as a professional, as a researcher, and as a student. She is unmatched in her efforts to provide excellence. No one attends to details better, and no one will take care of people and a program better than Ekaterini.
Brent Bell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Outdoor Education
University of New Hampshire
Purple trillium (photo by E. Vlamis)
What incredible days we had hiking the beautiful Hudson Valley region with our very knowledgeable hiking guide, Ekaterini. Having someone who knew the area so incredibly well was especially beneficial, as she was able to map out a perfect hike for us, depending on what we were in to that day. If we wanted a very challenging climb, we could opt for that. If we preferred a more gentle approach, that was possible too. The hikes were perfect for our group. Everyone enjoyed the experience immensely. I would recommend it highly to anyone who wants to get the most out of their outdoor experience.
Ekaterini is always reliable and consistent with safety and time; deeply caring; professional; creative and playful; knows how to help your team reach the goals you desire; a gifted facilitator and leader with people of all ages.
The communicating peacefully session is a great training tool for individuals who might have issues communicating effectively with others. This training helps others to share their feelings and facilitate communication with others in different settings.
Kevin Jones, AmeriCorps NCCC Volunteer, 2/24/10
The facilitators had a lovely way of interacting with each other and the participants. I really saw the good messages behind the "bad" language. I would like to see this taught in healthcare facilities. Thank you. You did wonderfully! 10 out of 10!
Anna Siudy RN
Registered Yoga Teacher
I learned to be present to difficult feelings and needs. The facilitators allowed space to step away and let us progress individually. They were good at role playing too! I would recommend this class to Department Chairs, Resident Advisers, and Administrators because they experience an environment that pressures them to do the opposite of this work. I give the facilitators a 9 out of 10 in their effectiveness! Thanks.
Professor & Department Chair,
Thank you for having the workshop at Syracuse University. I have been using the methods you shared whenever a conflict occurs, and it has really helped me see the situation in a more objective way rather than allowing my emotions to take over. I have always tried to resolve conflicts everywhere- at work, school, home, and church. However, the way I thought the issue should be handled was never the correct way (my previous communication method didn't serve me well). This seminar teaches a simple but powerful way to get your message across that can be applied in any situation with anyone.
Syracuse University Student