Staff Spotlight: Steve Goulding

The Dragonfly team is a group of talented, dedicated individuals who strive to offer support to our students and families on a daily basis.  Each member of our team plays an important role – from our mentors and coordinators to our clinicians and directors.  Take a moment to learn more about Steve Goulding – Academic and Program Coordinator at our Ashland Campus.  

Steve Goulding, Academic & Program Coordinator

Steve worked in Wilderness Therapy for more than four years and enjoyed field guiding, leading adventure trips, teaching, and coordinating transitional programming for young adults. While having an irrefutable enthusiasm towards building relationships and engaging in activities, he loves to have fun and promote lifelong learning for himself and those in his life. Steve graduated from Northern Michigan University with a degree in Earth Science Secondary Education, accompanied with minors in Biology Secondary Education and Music. Before joining Dragonfly Transitions, he completed an extensive Academic Life Coaching course.  We are excited to have him as part of our team! 

 What attracted you to the Dragonfly community? 

Steve: I was interested in working in later phases of treatment after spending more than four years working in wilderness (early phases of treatment).  I appreciate being around folks that talk about emotion, difficulties, and successes and I think in general, a great group of people are attracted to this type of work.  I also enjoy the blend of continuing education, outdoor adventure, mentoring, and guiding in my role. 

I wanted to continue to be a part of the Embark family. I was previously with a company that merged with Embark three years ago and wanted to stay in the family and help bring Embark culture and core values to a new team; empathy, service, trusting relationships, growth. 

I recently completed an academic coaching course and really wanted to be involved in a program with a significant college component. Working alongside clinicians has been enjoyable for me and I am glad to collaborate with a team that cares so much about therapy, academics, and independent living.   

 What are some of your responsibilities in your role? 

Steve:  As the Academic & Program Coordinator, I’m also responsible for the hiring, management, and development of the Mentors in Ashland. While overseeing logistics, operations, and the relational dynamics of the Ashland campus, I ensure quality of programming is always improving and standard of care is excellent.  Alignment between our departments and employees is crucial and I am thankful to carry team building responsibilities.  

The other side of my role is focused on academic and vocational coaching, advising, mentoring, teaching, and guiding. I meet weekly with our students to check in on details and deadlines around college and both job and apartment hunting. My time with students is really individualized which keeps my role interesting and engaging. 

What are some highlights of your job? 

Steve:  I love how dynamic my role is and how my job is based around relationship with others.  I enjoy coaching staff and students and seeing students take the risks necessary to live on their own. Every so often I’ll see a student off to their first day of college or work. How exciting is that? 

On a personal level, my job motivates me to be balanced and well taken care of so that I can be a consistent level-headed person that can best serve others. Our CEO Alex Stavros has had me think more about a work life integration rather than a work life balance. Integration is easy when my work revolves around the core values I mentioned earlier. I get plenty of time to evaluate and assess my own existence and because my work is centered around people, I have so many perspectives for seeing my own situations.  

What are some of your goals for this coming year at Dragonfly?

Steve: A big goal of mine is to apply coaching methodology to staff development as a means to increase employee engagement and staff retention. 

I’d also like to create new relationships for myself and students in the Ashland community. Building connection and socializing with other companies and organizations has always been an interest of mine. 

Personally, I am hopeful to take a college course and maintain my own schedule, like that of a student; gym trips, groups, volunteering, practicing music, etc. 

 Any other cool facts you would like to share? 

Steve:  I Just bought a raft and am really looking forward to taking my river knowledge to the next level. I plan to take courses around swift water rescue this spring for my own growth. Outside of rafting expeditions, as a certified rescue diver I may join a type of volunteer search and rescue team. 

I am also hoping to play in one of the concert bands associated with Southern Oregon University to work towards being in the Ashland City Band as a percussionist. First, I need to work on my sight-reading abilities.


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