Teachers 2018-10-21T16:42:42+00:00

Richard Davidson, PhD

Richard J. Davidson, PhD ia the William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Founder & Director of the Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the co-author of "The Emotional Life of Your Brain" and “Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body”. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research, and was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2006. From 1992-2017, he was a member of the Mind and Life Institute’s Board of Directors. In 2017 elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the premier authority dedicated to the health and medical sciences.

You can learn more about Richard at https://www.richardjdavidson.com and check out his work at the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Patricia Jennings, PhD

Tish Jennings is an associate professor at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. She is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of social and emotional learning and mindfulness in education. Her research focuses on building resilience among teachers and students to transform educational environments.

You can learn more about Tish here and here.

Peter Levine, PhD

Peter A. Levine, Ph.D. is the originator and developer of Somatic Experiencing® and the Director of The Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute. He holds doctorate degrees in Medical Biophysics and in Psychology and during his thirty five-year study of stress and trauma, has contributed to a variety of scientific and popular publications, and has been worked with NASA, the Institute of World Affairs Task Force with Psychologists for Social Responsibility, and the APA. He is on the ‘distinguished faculty’ of Santa Barbara Graduate Institute and is a Senior Fellow at The Meadows Addiction and Trauma Treatment Center in Wickenburg, Arizona.

To learn more about Peter, check out his bestselling book, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, or his work at the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute.

Andres Gonzalez

Andres Gonzalez has been the Co-Founder and Marketing Director for the Holistic Life Foundation, Inc. in Baltimore, MD since 2001. For sixteen years, Andres has taught yoga to diverse populations throughout the world, including Baltimore City Public School students, drug treatment centers, mental crisis facilities, homeless shelters, wellness centers, colleges, private schools and other various venues throughout the nation and throughout the world. He is a certified Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, maintains a B.S. in Marketing from University of Maryland, College Park and an MBA from the University of Maryland, University College.

You can learn more about Andres' work at the website for the Holistic Life Foundation.

Atman Smith

Atman Smith is a Co-founder of the Holistic Life Foundation, where he served as Director of Youth Programming for ten years, Director of Fundraising for five years, and currently serves as the Director of Development. Since 2001, he has been teaching yoga and mindfulness to a diverse population including underserved and high-risk youth in Baltimore City Public Schools, drug treatment centers, wellness centers, and colleges. A native of Baltimore, Atman attended the University of Maryland, College Park where he was a letter award winner for the University’s men's basketball team. He graduated with a B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

You can learn more about Atman's work at the website for the Holistic Life Foundation.

Ali Smith

Ali Smith Co-founded the Holistic Life Foundation in 2001, where he currently serves as Executive Director. He is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and graduate of the Friends School of Baltimore and the University of Maryland, College Park, receiving a BS in Environmental Science and Policy with a Biodiversity specialization. He has over 16 years of experience teaching yoga and mindfulness to diverse populations all over the planet. Ali has authored a series of children's books, and co-authored several yoga and mindfulness based curriculums, as well as developed numerous workshops and trainings. He also helped develop and pilot HLF’s Mindful Moment program, known for turning “detention into meditation”.

You can learn more about Ali's work at the website for the Holistic Life Foundation.

Crystal McCreary

Crystal McCreary is a yoga and mindfulness educator, speaker, writer and wellness specialist. Crystal participates as a curriculum developer, consultant and lead teacher for research studies on yoga and mindfulness conducted by CUNY-Hunter’s public health department. She also serves on the Yoga Alliance Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Advisory Committee. She is involved with Mindful Schools, New York based Bent on Learning and Little Flower Yoga, and the Lineage Project. Crystal graduated from Stanford University with a BA in African and African American studies and completed The American Conservatory Theater’s Master of Fine Arts program in Acting. She is registered with Yoga Alliance as an ERYT500 and RCYT.

To learn more about Crystal, please visit crystalmccrearyyoga.com.

Dan Siegel, PhD

Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. He is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute which focuses on mindsight, insight, empathy, and integration in individuals, families and communities. Dr. Siegel's books include Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human, Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, Ph.D:The Whole-Brain Child, No-Drama Discipline, The Developing Mind, The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mindsight, The Mindful Brain, The Mindful Therapist, The Yes Brain, and his upcoming book Aware (2018).

You can learn more about Dan at his website or check out his work at Mindsight Institute.

Laura Bakosh, PhD

Laura Bakosh, Ph.D. is a mindfulness teacher, researcher and co-founder of Inner Explorer, a mindfulness-based social emotional learning (MBSEL) program. She was trained at the Center for Mindfulness at University of Massachusetts, in the teacher practicum. Inner Explorer's daily audio-guided series is one of the few CASEL approved mindfulness interventions that has published scientific research showing students achieve higher overall GPA as well as higher grades in key subject, including math, have fewer behavior issues AND that teachers experience less stress with a daily minduflness practice.

Learn more about Laura's work at https://innerexplorer.org.

Mark Sikora M.Ed

Mark Sikora has been a middle school counselor for 17 years and has held numerous school counseling leadership positions at the local and state levels. In addition to his passion for education and helping students being the best version of themselves, he and his family love travel and adventure. Mark has explored all seven continents, and feels his best learning has come from adversity and diversity. When not exploring new destinations, his wife, two daughters and him can be found on the hiking trails, ski slopes, or running paths around Colorado. He has experienced the profound positive impact of a mindful practice in both his personal and professional life, and hopes to help increase others awareness of the benefits of mindfulness.

Vivian Elliott, PhD

Vivian Elliott is a Senior Consultant with Learning Forward and with Elliott Service Systems, Inc. Dr. Elliott earned her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado, Boulder studying organizational change, equity, and leadership. Her recent publication, The Principal Story Guide, commissioned by The Wallace Foundation and Learning Forward, is widely used in conjunction with the documentary, The Principal Story. Dr. Elliott co-created the Colorado Coalition for Equity in Education, and served in leadership roles for the National Coalition for Equity in Education and the Colorado Partnership for Educational Renewal.

Rick Hanson, PhD

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author. His books are available in 26 languages and include Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture. He edits the Wise Brain Bulletin and has numerous audio programs. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, he’s been an invited speaker at NASA, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and other major universities, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, and NPR, and he offers the free Just One Thing newsletter with over 120,000 subscribers, plus the online Foundations of Well-Being program in positive neuroplasticity that anyone with financial need can do for free.

Learn more about Rick at his website.

Daniel Goleman, PhD

Goleman is a co-founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, originally at the Yale Child Studies Center and now at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and he currently co-directs the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations at Rutgers University and is a board member of the Mind & Life Institute. He's the author of New York Time bestseller Emotional Intelligence, and many others, including Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body, written with Richard Davidson.

Visit Daniel's website to learn more about him, and check out his course on emotional intellegence.

Meena Srinivasan MA

Meena Srinivasan is an educator, writer and innovator who's been teaching and leading in the fields of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Mindful Awareness Practices (MAP) for over 15 years. She is author of Teach, Breathe, Learn: Mindfulness In and Out of the Classroom (Parallax Press, 2014) and the forthcoming, SEL Everyday: Integrating Social and Emotional Learning with Instruction in Secondary Classrooms (Norton, 2019). Meena served on the Board of Directors of the Mindfulness in Education Network, and is a recipient of the 2014 Hemera Foundation Contemplative Education Fellowship.

Learn more about Meena on her website. You can also access the resources for her 3 Signature SEL Practices here.

Mark Greenberg, PhD

Mark Greenberg, Ph.D. holds The Bennett Endowed Chair as is the Founding Director of the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State Univ. He is a developer of the PATHS Curriculum used in over 4000 schools worldwide. He is the Chairperson of CREATE (Creating Resilience for Educators, Administrators and Teachers. Mark’s current interest is how to help nurture awareness and compassion in our society.

Learn more about Mark and his work at Create for Education and Paths Education Worldwide.

Leslie Booker

Leslie is a co-founder of the Yoga Service Council at Omega Institute, and the Meditation Working Group of Occupy Wall Street. She has spoken at Mind&Life Institute’s International Symposium, Contemplative Minds in Higher Education, and Mindfulness in Education conferences, as well as at universities across the country. Booker is a co-author of Best Practices for Yoga in a Criminal Justice Setting, a contributor to Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality’s report on Gender & Trauma, YOGA: The Secret of Life, and Sharon Salzberg's book Happiness at Work. Booker is on faculty with the Engaged Mindfulness Institute and Off the Mat Into the World. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Mindful Yoga and Meditation training (2012), Community Dharma Leaders’ Training (2017), and will complete Spirit Rock’s Teacher Training in 2020.

You can learn more about Leslie on her website.

Wendy Baron

Wendy Baron, MA, is a teacher, author, researcher, and leader in social, emotional, and academic development. Wendy co-founded New Teacher Center in 1998 and is a pioneer in applied neuroscience. Wendy is passionate about creating schools of wellbeing, cultivating healthy relationships, and exploring the natural world. Certified in yoga and meditation, Wendy launched Chopra Center online learning in 2013. She currently consults in schools and teaches mindfulness and conscious communication at 1440 Multiversity.

To read some of Wendy's work, check out Through Others’ Eyes, Research Insights: Improving Teacher Well-Being, and Three Ways to Cultivate Emotionally and Socially Intelligent Kids.

Kristin Neff, PhD

Kristin Neff is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research, conducting the first empirical studies on self-compassion over a decade ago. In addition to writing numerous academic articles and book chapters on the topic, she is author of the book "Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself," released by William Morrow. In conjunction with her colleague Dr. Chris Germer, she has developed an empirically supported eight-week training program called Mindful Self-Compassion, which is taught by thousands of teachers worldwide, and the Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook is now available by Guilford.

Learn about self-compassion, including research, the Self-Compassion Scale, videos, guided meditations, and exercises, on her website. Learn about the Mindful Self-Compassion program, including where to find a course near you or online, at the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion website. You can sign up to hear about special self-compassion events here and check out Kristin's books, the #1 bestseller The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook and Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself.

Dacher Keltner, PhD

Dacher Keltner is a full professor at UC Berkeley and director of the Berkeley Social Interaction Lab and faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center. He is the co-author of two textbooks, as well as the best-selling Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, The Compassionate Instinct, and the The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence from Penguin Press in 2016. Dacher has also written for the New York Times Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The London Times, and Utne Reader. Of late he has taken delight in translating Social Psychology outside of the lab, serving as a consultant for Pixar’s Inside Out, and at Facebook, Google, Apple, and Twitter.

Learn more about Dacher and his work here, and at the Greater Good Science Center.

Barb Catbagan M.Ed

Barbara Catbagan, Associate Professor Emeritus, Naropa University, most recently Chaired the Contemplative Education Department where she led the creation of a BA in Education that prepares new teachers with contemplative pedagogy and cultural responsiveness. She will continue teaching mindful, culturally responsive methods of teaching and communication to educators of all levels through her work at Passageworks Inc, the Equity Institutes and through one to one coaching. Nature, movement and family bring her the most joy.

Oren Jay Sofer

Oren Jay Sofer has practiced mindfulness since 1997 and teaches meditation and communication nationally. He holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University, is a member of the Spirit Rock Teacher’s Council, a Certified Trainer of Nonviolent Communication, and a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner for healing trauma. Oren serves as the Senior Program Developer at Mindful Schools and is author of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication.

Check out Oren's new book, Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication, and his online course, Next Step Dharma.

Amy Saltzman MD

Amy Saltzman M.D. is a holistic physician, mindfulness coach, scientist, wife, mother, devoted student of transformation, long-time athlete, and occasional poet. Her passion is supporting people of all ages in enhancing their well being and discovering the Still Quiet Place within. She provides holistic medical care and individual mindfulness instruction to children, teens, and adults. She also offers presentations and courses for young children, teens, parents, educators, health care professionals, athletes and coaches.

To support others in discovering the joy and peace of the Still Quiet Place, Dr. Saltzman has written three books. To learn more about Amy and her work, visit the Still Quite Place website.

Stefanie Goldstein, PhD

Stefanie Goldstein, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and the co-founder of The Center for Mindful Living in West Los Angeles. She is the co-creator of the Good Morning America featured popular teen program – CALM: Connecting Adolescents to Learning Mindfulness which is an 8-week program that teaches mindfulness and social/emotional learning to teens. Stefanie has also helped public and private schools through Los Angeles to implement Mindfulness into their curriculum and communities. She has dedicated much of her career to training and supervising therapists and her lifelong passion is working with adolescents, adults, couples, and families struggling with daily life, helping to support them on their path towards healing and growth.

Learn more about Stefanie and her work at her website.

Elisha Goldstein, PhD

Elisha Goldstein, PhD is co-founder of The Center for Mindful Living in West Los Angeles and creator of the 6-month coaching and mentorship program, A Course in Mindful Living. A psychologist, and international speaker and mindfulness educator, his books include Uncovering Happiness and The Now Effect. He’s also co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook and MBSR Everyday. Elisha synthesizes the pearls of traditional psychotherapy with a progressive integration of mindfulness theory and practice to help his clients and students thrive. In an increasingly fragmented society, he is working to bring people together so they may motivate and inspire one another in far-reaching ways.

Learn more about Elisha on his website.

Rose Pavlov

Rose Pavlov is the Founder of nonprofit Ivy Child International. Her professional experience have led her to partnerships with UNICEF and World Vision. The Worcester Business Journal honored Rose as one of the “40 Under 40 Rising Stars” in Central Massachusetts in 2010, 2011 "Young Leaders pioneering global social change," "Top 12 People Making a Difference in Central Massachusetts" in 2012 and named "Women Leading In Central Massachusetts" in 2013/2014 and a featured TEDx speaker on "Unlocking Children's Potential Through Mindfulness" in 2014.

To learn more about Rose and her work, check out Ivy Child International and the Healing our Healers Initiative.

Eleonora Cahill, PhD

Dr. Eleonora Cahill has worked with trauma-impacted families and communities for 25 years. She is the Co-Founder of Resilient Futures, a non-profit whose mission is to promote equitable, safe, resilient communities for all youth. Ellie passionately believes in the resiliency of the human spirit, the tenacity of community, and the unsurpassed capacity for healing. Ellie holds a strong anti-oppression lens and is committed to addressing race-based and cultural disparities experienced by youth.

To learn more about Ellie and her work, check out Resilient Future, Inc. and the October 29, 2018 Conference, Creating Trauma Informed Culturally Responsive Schools.

Susan Kaiser Greenland

Susan Kaiser Greenland is an internationally recognized leader in teaching mindfulness and meditation to children, teens, and families. She is the author of books The Mindful Child and Mindful Games. Susan and her husband, author Seth Greenland, founded The Inner Kids Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that taught secular mindfulness in schools and community-based programs in the greater Los Angeles area. Susan was on the clinical team of the Pediatric Pain Clinic at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, co-investigator on several UCLA research studies on the impact of mindfulness in education, and a collaborator on an investigation of mindful eating for children and caregivers.

Check out Susan's blog and her website, where you can listen and watch recordings of mindful games, guided meditations, songs, classes, and other resources for the classroom.

Daniel Rechtschaffen MA, LMFT

Daniel Rechtschaffen, Marriage and Family Therapist, is the author of The Way of Mindful Education, The Mindful Education Workbook, and Alphabreaths. He is the founding director of Transformative Educational Leadership, a year-long training for educational leaders to integrate mindfulness-based social and emotional learning into school systems worldwide, and organizes the annual Mindfulness in Education Conference and Teacher Training at the Omega Institute. Daniel offers keynote speeches and mindfulness trainings at conferences, schools, and communities around the globe and teaches mindfulness through music, sports, storytelling, games and other creative and engaging ways. He is the founder of the Mindful Education Online Training.

Leanr more about Daniel at his website, and check out Mindful Education and Transformative Educational Leadership.

Dzung Vo MD

Dzung X. Vo, MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at British Columbia Children’s Hospital, and clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine, Vancouver, Canada. He co-developed (with Dr. Jake Locke at BC Children’s Hospital) a mindfulness training program called MARS-A, or Mindful Awareness and Resilience Skills for Adolescents. Dr. Vo also developed a Mindful Healing course for health care providers, adapted from Mindful Practice (Ron Epstein and Michael Krasner) and other sources. Dr. Vo is the author of The Mindful Teen: Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time (New Harbinger, 2015). Dr. Vo also serves on the Board of Directors of the Mindfulness in Education Network (MiEN).

Learn more about Dzung and his work at http://mindfulnessforteens.com.

Rona Wilensky, PhD

Rona Wilensky is Director of Mindfulness Programs at PassageWorks Institute where she teaches SMART in Education, a mindfulness program for educators. From 1992- 2009 she was founding principal of New Vista High School, an innovative public high school of choice in Boulder, Colorado. She is a Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute and was member of the Leadership Council of the Garrison Institute’s Initiative on Contemplative Teaching and Learning. Rona holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University and taught that subject at Williams College and the University of Denver in the early 1980’s.

Check out Rona's work at PassageWorks.