Union College’s International Rescue and Relief Program is comprised of bold and adventurous students. The IRR program’s new expedition coordinator matches their energy perfectly.
Eric Barber comes to Lincoln from the state of Washington where he served as the executive director of Chelan Wilderness Retreat and executive director and board chair of Free Spirit Adventures, both non-profit organizations that offer outdoor adventures to reach youth and veterans. He also has been a mentor/trainer for Camp Mivoden and a substitute teacher and coach for schools in the Wenatchee area, while also working part-time for his local ambulance service to maintain his EMT skills. Barber holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational management and a master’s degree in outdoor education from Southern Adventist University.
“Coming to Union was a clear thing from God,” Barber said. “I was comfortable and not looking for anything, as I liked my position teaching at public schools. However, I wanted more opportunities to express my faith. I love working with college students, and I appreciate the opportunity to express my faith and not be scrutinized.”
“I have an appreciation for the IRR Program because I believe in service,” he continued. “People are happiest and have more life fulfillment when they are serving others. That’s the way we were designed. EMS and the fire department are in my blood, and the opportunity to teach and help students find the fulfillment I’ve found is something I’m very excited about.”
In his free time, Barber loves adventure and spending time with his wife of 28 years, Amber, and two adult children. “I’m an adrenaline junkie,” he said. “I love snow skiing, mountain biking, disc golf, rock climbing, rafting, backpacking, world travel, and anything that lets me get out in nature.”
As he leads the IRR summer program in Colorado and semester abroad in Malawi, Barber’s depth of experience is certain to give Union’s students a meaningful academic environment and unforgettable adventure.
by Evan Majors, junior English and communication major