The Ojai Retreat is our campus.
In 2021, the California Teachers College will begin offering a graduate school curriculum for educators in
Nature-Centered and Soul-Inspired Education.
The Purpose of the California Teachers College for nature–centered soul-inspired education is to foster soulful educators who actively create a more intelligent compassionate and eco-centric world.
The Mission of the California Teachers College is to re-invigorate and re-inspire teachers through a Master Degree course of study that touches their hearts and frees their souls to follow their calling. The college and center will reimagine education through far-reaching dialogues with thought leaders, self reflection and experiential courses.
The Vision of the California Teachers College is to play a significant part in a current international movement to dramatically change how we educate the world’s children. We are committed to the education of children that enables them to give their soul’s gifts to create a new, sane and loving civilization.
Course-work will be low-residency, combining online and on-site offerings. The Master’s candidates will attend on-site classes for several weeks in the summer and during the winter holidays and online classes during the academic year. During the onsite segment, the students will attend a four-day, personal development, nature-based retreat. They will also receive monthly personal development mentoring during their entire enrollment.
Coursework will combine both theory and practice toward soul-inspired, eco-centric education. Each course is designed to be experiential and self-reflective, taught by seasoned educators that have, for decades, worked with these principles in classrooms. This type of education will be essential for a nature centered, soul-inspired future, a civilization that we are being asked to develop at this unprecedented moment.
Our Location: The Ojai Retreat
The California Teachers College is located in Ojai, California, which is known as an educational, spiritual, and environmental destination and employs more teachers than any other profession. There are an astonishing 31 schools in this culturally rich, small valley.
The California Teachers College will have its permanent office at The Ojai Retreat at 160 Besant Road in Ojai, CA: https://ojairetreat.com. The entire Ojai Retreat facility will house the California Teachers College during the two weeks of sessions in the summer and the two weeks in winter. The Retreat has a large gathering room, many suitable outside spaces, a smaller library for meeting, and 12 overnight guest quarters, which can be shared. There are also many options for temporary stays in Ojai.
INTERVIEW WITH ELLEN HALL, FOUNDER
KEY TEAM MEMBERS
Many of the administrative staff also teach a class so that the group life of the college is not divided into disconnected categories, as so often is the case. It can be observed that many of those serving as administrators are also distinguished teachers. At times, students will serve various roles in the administration as well.
Ellen Hall Spokesperson, Vision holder
Responsible for advancing the mission, hiring personnel, creating the annual budget and
financial reporting. Oversees the Academic Dean. Member of the admissions process.
Brian Stafford, MD, MPH, Spokesperson, Vision holder
Offers support through personal transformation to students, responsible for strategic
partnerships with other organizations and initiatives. Member of admissions process.
Office of the President and Vice President
Secretary shared by both president and vice president.
President and Vice President oversee, the Administration, and Operations
Advisor, support and mentor for faculty and students. Participate in hiring faculty and
holding the integrity of the vision. Member of the admissions process.
Administrative Dean: Caprice Thorsen
External Affairs Director: John Connell
Community Outreach: Kate Russell
Marketing and Technical Support: Victoria Bernstein
To ensure smooth operation of the online aspect of the college,
including website and learning management system.
Ellen has directed and co-founded the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, was the Executive Director of the Ojai Valley Museum, and has been the Principal of the Krishnamurti’s K-12, Oak Grove School. She co-founded a distance-learning company, Laurel Springs School. She has owned a small publishing company that provided curriculum to thousands of home-schooled children. She was elected to the Ojai City Council and served as the mayor in 1999. She was the Executive Director of Meditation Mount for the seven years prior to devoting full time to establishing soul-inspired education initiatives. Through these various enterprises she has exercised administrative, supervisory and entrepreneurial competencies since moving to Ojai in 1980.
The President of the College ensures that the mission of the college is advanced and executes or delegates all executive and administrative duties. She ensures that the college acts with empathy and integrity in every circumstance. Because she stays well informed about students, teachers, staff and board, she makes policy recommendations for the good of the whole. She recommends to the board all personnel changes, personnel policies, site locations and facility uses. She submits an annual budget and three times a year reports on the financial condition of the college to the board of directors.
Courses: Who Am I?, Creativity, Nature of the Soul, Emergent Lesson Plans, Starting Schools with New Approaches
Ellen has been the Principal of the Krishnamurti K-12, Oak Grove School, and she co-founded a distance-learning company, Laurel Springs School. She has owned a small publishing company that provided curriculum to thousands of home-schooled children.
Ellen started her career teaching in a lab preschool, attached to a graduate school for Early Childhood Education. She co-founded a preschool. She was an elementary, 4th thru 8th grade homeschool support teacher. She taught secondary school English, American Literature, World Literature and Cultural Geography over a 12-year span. Ellen has authored two books, including "High Schools in Crisis: What Every Parent Should Know".
BRIAN STAFFORD, MD, MPH
Vice President, Teacher
Brian is a depth psychiatrist, wilderness and professional human
development guide, poet, essayist, and agent of human and cultural transformation. Previously, he was an academic pediatrician, and an adult, adolescent, child, perinatal and infant psychiatrist with numerous clinical, research, and educational publications as well as many institutional, state, and national awards. He left academic medicine in 2012 and founded Eco-Psyche-Artistry and Wilderness Is Medicine, organizations that foster mature eco-centric human development. He also completed training with the Animas Valley Institute as a Nature-Based Human Development and Soul-Initiation Guide. He serves as the Training Director for the Wild Mind Training Program in Wholistic Human Development with the Animas Valley Institute.
The Vice President will play a major part in the management team, helping to meet enrollment and matriculation goals. His contribution will be more strategic than operational, promoting and maintaining our distinctive educational vision.
His participation will include long term planning, the recruitment and selection of Master’s Degree candidates and support for grant writing, publishing and speaking.
One important role will be his development of strategic partnerships with other organizations. Working with students, he will offer support to each student though their journey of personal transformation. Brian will act as the nature-based professional human development guide for the whole college community.
Courses: Nature and the Human Soul in 4 parts: Cultivating Personal Wholeness in Nature, Self-healing from One’s Wholeness, Completing Nature Based Tasks of Development, Supporting the Natural Four Windows of Knowledge.
Brian spent decades in medicine, teaching, organizing conferences, and developing courses in adult, child and adolescent psychiatric conditions. His positions included a holder of an endowed chair and professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, at the University of Colorado, Denver Dept. of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Denver Children’s Hospital Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics. At Tulane University School of Medicine Dept. of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry New Orleans, Louisiana he served as Training Director, Triple Board Training Director and Associate Training Director. Tulane University School of Medicine Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Clinical Instructor of Psychiatry, and Clinical Instructor of Pediatrics.
He is now using his extensive teaching skills to mentor teachers to cultivate a relationship to wholeness in service to Self and to their students. Opportunities for guided nature immersion and for crafting nature based classroom experiences will be addressed.
Caryn Bosson has been leading nonprofit organizations for more than 30 years, and has been a resident of Ojai since 1993. From 1997-2007 she was the founding Executive Director of the innovative Ojai Valley Youth Foundation. This organization was founded on the principle that young people thrive when they are included, connected, and respected members of the community, and not only that, the community thrives as well. By involving Ojai’s teens as leaders, and connecting them with adults as mentors and partners, the OVYF developed programs, events and services that launched hundreds of Ojai’s young people to discover their gifts and become proactive citizens. Caryn has received several awards for her work, including being named as an Ojai Living Treasure.
For the past 8 years Caryn has been serving in various leadership roles at the Los Angeles based environmental nonprofit, TreePeople, developing a deeper understanding of what it takes to effect systems change at the level of individual action. A graduate of University of California Santa Barbara’s College of Creative Studies, she is completing a Masters of Science degree in Organizational Leadership.
Board Member, Teacher
Courses: The Inspired Classroom, The Body’s Intelligence; Exercise and
Tim has been a teacher trainer, a Special Ed/ Resource teacher, a Dean of Students for elementary and junior high levels, pioneered soul inspired education, developed outdoor educational programs and has written and lectured on the subject of education.
In Mr. Hall’s decades in the classroom, he has taught over 20,000 students at all K-12 grade levels. As a master teacher, he has advised other teachers on the various aspects of the profession, including classroom management, behavior without threat or fear, and bringing lessons to life. He has individually tutored many students with special needs in high schools, junior high and elementary.
The secret to his success with children is connecting to the soul of the child and creating safety, consistency and an atmosphere of love. In this course, he will share his unique perspective, simple techniques and many stories that demonstrate soul-inspired teaching.
JEAN MARIE WHITE
Board Member, International Coordinator
During Jeanne Marie’s 35 year career as an Architect/Educator she has applied her approach to education, speaking and teaching in grade schools, colleges, workshops and conferences in Brazil, the US and Europe. In 2004 Jeanne Marie designed, built and founded Centro Caraivas in the center of Brazil where people come to be immersed in nature and learn from their hearts, the essence of who they are. This Center accommodates up to 40 people and offers opportunities to participate in co-creating a better world.
Jeanne Marie founded two schools and a theatre company, taught Art and Design at the University of California at Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara City College. She is the author of Dhyana, The Art of Silence; The Journey to Vida; and Living in Meditation. Her new book, The Light Within the Heart is an urgent call for a New Education that will respond to the new generation of minds emerging on the planet.
Board Member, Teacher
Michael Lindfield is a highly regarded consultant and coach with over 45 years of international experience in helping individuals and organizations unleash the creativity of the human spirit to meet the needs of our times and the call of a brighter future.
Michael learned his craft from a broad range of experiences that include: a 14 year residency as a gardener and as Director of Education at the Findhorn Community in Scotland; small-scale organic farming in western Sweden; conducting seminars and presenting at conferences around the world on the themes of ‘transforming self and society’ and ‘cooperation with the Subtle Realms’ plus working as a senior organization development consultant with The Boeing Company from 1989-2005.
He is author of ‘The Dance of Change: an Eco-Spiritual Approach to Transformation’ (Penguin Books 1986) and numerous articles featured in psychology, education and business journals. Michael studies and seeks to apply the Ageless Wisdom teachings in daily life and has been involved in the practice and promotion of Creative Meditation since the late 1960s.
Michael is co-founder of The Science of Group Work initiative and currently serves as Board President of Meditation Groups Inc. (MGI) that is responsible for the welfare of Meditation Mount in Ojai, California. He is also a resident member of the Community of Living Ethics in Umbria, Italy.
CAPRICE THORSEN, MBA
Administrative Dean, Teacher
Caprice has been an innovator in education for the past 15 years. She co-founded a democratic school in North Carolina, started and ran a self-directed learning center in California, and secured half a million dollars in federal start up grants for two self-directed learning charter schools. She led teachers to develop learning programs for K-12 public schools. She is a certified personal and professional coach.
Caprice has worked with SelfDesign, a personalized learning program from Canada for the past 9 years, focusing on program design and development and business development. Before Caprice entered the alternative education space, she consulted to Fortune 50 and start-up companies. Early in her career, Caprice worked for two US Senators. She has an MBA in finance from Carnegie Mellon and a BA in cultural anthropology from the University of Virginia.
helps develop a strategic financial plan
prepares annual budget
develops budgets for all grants
manages post award financial reporting
manages accounting processes such as payroll and taxes
performs fiscal projections
ensures security of financial and student information
ensures compliance with county, state and federal regulations
Courses: Self-Directed Learning, Fundamentals of American Education,
Media and Conditioning.
Caprice believes we can transform our world by designing education and work in a different way. Her work with companies and educational programs has emerged from the understanding that people, no matter their age or stage, need autonomy as they develop mastery by doing meaningful work.
Her experience in education includes co-founding a Sudbury school where she was on the teaching staff, creating a self-directed learning and enrichment center, and leading teachers to develop learning programs for a K-12 public school. She started an international Parent Coaching program for SelfDesign (a personalized learning program from Canada), and won federal start-up grants of $500,000 to start two charter schools in California. Caprice is also a certified personal and professional coach.
Academic Dean, Teacher
Paul Herder holds degrees from Connecticut College (BA, philosophy) and The School for International Training (MA, Inter-cultural Administration and Education). Since first being introduced to progressive educational practices in graduate school, Paul has worked to unlock the deeper potential of collaborative, inquiry-based approaches to learning. In his first book,“Revolutionary Minds”, he tackles the iconoclastic educational philosophy of J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986). Mr. Herder has taught in Krishnamurti schools in America and England.
Paul’s experience includes serving as Teen Program Director at an innovative Self-Directed school, Adjunct Instructor /Teacher Mentor at the University of Arizona’s Masters of Education Program, Secondary English Teacher, Director of Oak Grove’s Teacher’s Academy, Director of Teacher Development at Oak Grove School and Teacher Trainer / In-service provider for the L.A. Unified School District in inquiry based and student centered learning strategies.
The Academic Dean/Dean of the Faculty reports to the President of College. Responsibilities include the following:
To maintain congruency between the school's mission statement and all academic activities.
To act as the academic leader of the school, including helping to coordinate overseeing the academic advising; monitoring student academic progress and addressing student academic emergencies.
To observe, supervise, and otherwise assist the faculty in the development and implementation of curriculum; and evaluate the academic programs;
To make recommendations to the head of school regarding the hiring and retention, and the assignment of faculty;
To conduct regular meetings with faculty which will deal both with routine school matters and with the stimulating exchange of ideas on issues of educational/philosophical interest and concern.
To provide for the academic guidance of students; to oversee standards and methods used by teachers in measuring student development.
To assist in the admission process for the interviewing and evaluating of applicants for enrollment.
To support the school and its leadership
Courses: Principles of Teaching and Learning, Authority, Fear, Mistakes
& Failing, Constructivist Education, Nature of Thinking
Paul has taught high school in two Krishnamurti Schools; Brockwood Park, in England and Oak Grove School in Ojai, CA. His approach to education is deeply influenced by David Bohm’s approach to dialogue, emphasizing whole group inquiry and the awakening of group intelligence. Paul is currently teaching teens at an innovative self-directed school. He has taught and mentored teachers extensively in public as well as private schools.
“Learning must be extended inwardly so that students learn about themselves in the context of group inquiry.”
Carol Castanon has been working with families and schools for over 40 years. Family and school clients span the age range of childhood 0-18 years. She was the Executive Director of the Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center in Ojai, California from 2008 until 2017, serving families with children 0-5. Her theoretical leanings are in attachment and regulation in human development, child development, and anti-bias practices.
Carol is a mediator specializing in family and school-based communication. Most recently, she has been part of a weekly Attachment Seminar for 8 years in which PhD and MFT students are trained in clinical psychology. Carol has also had training specific to parent and infant relationships and maternal mental health. Her work is focused on social and emotional development. She works closely with adults who are in relationship with children, nurturing a deeper understanding of behavior and curiosity as to just what a child is telling their adults.
Carol's work includes building adult tools for observing children, understanding the emotional life of children, and the work each stage of child development or experience represents, noticing what parents, caregivers, and extended family are feeling, and uncovering the dilemmas children and families face.
Heather King is most profoundly moved by the relationship between children and nature. “Nothing else has the same mirror to the nature of being human; A sense of calm, a surge of energy, a marvelous moment that lasts a lifetime, these are the gifts of nature, and I can only hope to create the space for that connection to happen more often”. Heather has two daughters (her best teachers) and is married to Greg Grant.
With a Masters Degree in Outdoor Education Administration, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Education and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, she continues to seek new insight and knowledge of nature, kids and herself. She is a professional outdoor educator and mentor with over 25 years of experience. Her broad range of positions have included outdoor education coordinator and science teacher at Oak Grove High School, wilderness educator for the International Center for Earth Concerns on the Taft property in Ojai, the Sunbow Ecology Center in Ojai, and Naturalists at Large in Ventura among many other programs around the country and internationally.
Currently Heather continues her work as Education Director and instructor for Once Upon a Watershed in Ojai, and in 2009 Heather co-founded Ventura Wild and continues as the director and lead instructor with a growing team of leaders and a community of families and collaborators. This is a heartfelt profession for Heather, who is committed to fostering a playful sense of discovery and wonder that leads to a joyful curiosity about life and learning.
Angela Shwam is credentialed both in elementary and special education and has over 23 years of experience teaching in public and private schools both in San Francisco and Ojai. She is also a mosaic artist, dancer and painter, and passionate about bringing the arts into learning whenever possible. Angela is honored to be able to assist in helping children recognize their unique gifts and abilities.
She has taught in all academic subject areas in classes consisting of multiple ability and grade levels, diverse cultural backgrounds, as well as with students with ADD, autism and learning disabilities. Angela is currently focused on supporting and bringing together highly perceptive and intuitive youth who are possessing exceptional spiritual gifts, such as psychic ability, energy healing, animal communication, channeling and other unique mystical capabilities.
Greg has been a teacher of meditation for over 30 years and has an abiding passion for working with people who want to build a conscious relationship with the soul. Greg has a Master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science with an emphasis on organizational learning and performance. He has worked with executives, managers and employees in leadership, coaching, communications, change management and team performance within organizations and several Fortune 100 companies.
Greg is a recognized Lay Teacher in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and a long-time student of Lucille Cedercrans known for her ground breaking work, “The Nature of the Soul”. Through his spiritual and professional training and experience, Greg brings a unique skill-set and methodologies for helping aspiring soul-centered educators connect soul to soul with themselves and their students. Currently, Greg has been offering classes, workshops and retreats on Loving Kindness in Action with co-teacher Theresa de Riggs. Together they have traveled throughout the U.S., Australia, Costa Rica and Europe. They also offer classes and forums on-line.
Theresa has been leading classes since 2004 focusing on soul to soul communication to empower the evolution of each individual. Theresa founded the Akasha Retreat Centre outside of Melbourne, Australia for mind-body healing through meditation, yoga and counseling, helping people adopt healthy and life affirming choices in their day to day life.
As a mother, grandmother and teacher, Theresa is well acquainted with both conventional modes of learning and how to apply a soul, mind, brain alignment to engage a new dimension of learning through soul to soul communication and the science of impression.
Linda’s professional work for more than thirty years has involved writing, training, and personal coaching in education, health care, and global corporations, with a focus on helping people integrate the cognitive, relational and sensory functions within a whole system perspective.
In the 1980s Linda played a key role in original research on individual differences, which was later formulated as Human Dynamics. As Director of Training & Product Development for over 20 years, she designed and delivered seminars, including producing multimedia workshop materials. She trained facilitators in more than 20 countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
For the past ten years, Linda has been Senior Fellow at the Learning for Well-being Foundation, a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands, which provides training opportunities to promote holistic learning opportunities and environments in Europe and the Middle East.
She has a B.A. from Scripps College, and earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles.
Terry was a highly energized child whose parents helped him channel that energy into gymnastics lessons. Terry made the study and expression of MOVEMENT his life’s work. He spent years in Cirque du Soleil, became a Hollywood stunt man, mastered Chi Gung and is an artistic performer and creative producer. Terry is now inspiring children, through what he has learned about the benefits and joys of MOVEMENT. Terry works with body-mind-soul, using our bodies to find our soul.
Tara Maria Blasco holds a BA in Psychology from the University Pontificia of Salamanca in Spain, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, (specializing in prenatal and perinatal psychology) and is a registered Craniosacral therapist in Spain and the USA. Since 2001 she supports families working as a facilitator for the Beba clinic, a non-profit with offices in Santa Barbara and Ojai, California. Presently, Tara co-directs the Beba clinic with Ray Castellino.
She co-facilitates the 2 1/2 year Castellino Prenatal and Birth Professional training in the U.S. and Spain. She is also a certified and experienced practitioner for the Womb Surround Process Workshop.
Tara has been a student of the Wisdom teachings through Alice Bailey’ books for 25 years. Together with her husband Lyn, she facilitates study groups at Meditation Mount and at the Ojai Wisdom Center in Ojai.
She is a director of Global Resource Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to find and implement solutions to the problems of poverty, malnutrition and disease in Tanzania, East Africa.
External Affairs Director
John Connell is a Media and Communications consultant specializing in managing distribution services for content producers, television programmers, and domestic and international multiple system operators. John has led distribution, marketing, and sales development for independently owned lifestyle programming in Education, Children’s, Family, Sports, Religious, Ethnic, and Commercial genres.
An avid outdoorsman, skier, and surfer John blends his love of the natural world and his passion for storytelling to enable his clientele to increase their Share of Voice by connecting them to audiences throughout the world. Whether working with Inguat, the tourism department of the Guatemalan government to increase awareness among US travelers to the natural and architectural wonders of the Ancient Mayans, or working with telco Digicel in the Caribbean to launch the latest technology for music apps to feature local artists, John has used his unique ability to connect with all walks of life at a soul level.
John will help lead the awareness campaigns for establishing CTC as an alternative and progressive movement for leading soul and nature based education domestically and internationally.
Community Outreach Director
Kate Bell Russell has been a student of art her whole life. Her personal philosophy is that we are all artists and live our lives witnessing and investigating this theory in a myriad of ways. Her passion for teaching is in sharing and giving hands-on art experiences to children and parents, allowing her the privilege of focusing on art and its soulful qualities with hundreds of fellow artists for over more than forty years. Kate holds a Masters of Science Degree in Child Development: Infancy - Teenager. She has worked at a major children's hospital as a Child Life Specialist, focusing on the emotional care of children, where she helped to run therapeutic playrooms, prepare individual children for procedures and surgeries, advocate for patients and families, and speak on the multiple uses of worthy children's books.
She has served as a certified Foster parent with young children, as a Hospice volunteer with the dying, and as an active member of a local youth organization to create support for all children and their families. Kate defines an artist as “a creative thinker” and thus believes we are, indeed, all artists.
Over the last 28 years Michael has been involved with television shows, feature films, marketing and training content, within a multitude of industries and locations throughout the world.
This experience has imbedded a deep understanding of production and what is needed to make a production successful. If you were to ask Michael, “What is the one thing that you need to make a production successful?” He would tell you, “Relationships”. The ability to build strong relationships within the industry has been one of Michael’s greatest assets
His marketing, entertainment and promotional projects include such companies as Disney, DreamWorks SKG, Meta Creations, Equity Toys, National Geographic, American Film Institute (AFI), Sony Playstation and PBS. Michael founded two production companies who among other things produced two seasons of a nationally syndicated TV show. Michael is skilled as a producer, cameraman and editor and has been part of a freelance team since 1995 that has produced several Emmy award-winning projects.
Over the last decade Michael has been an intricate part in the creation and production of training and educational programs for several diverse sectors of business. Michael decided to focus exclusively on content creation and distribution within the corporate and entertainment industries and he continues that work today.
Marketing & Technology Support
Victoria brings her entrepreneurial, creative spirit to everything California Teachers College designs as well as her passion for the incoming children and her support of the mission. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and has created her own company, Blossom Tools, for business consulting which currently serves a variety of clients such as an investment firm and a meditation center. A skilled computer technician, graphic designer and digital native, she has been invaluable to our start up and hopefully will continue with the College as we develop.
Victoria designs and produces our website, social media advertising, brochures and promotional videos. Victoria holds a most critical position for the beginning of this venture. She will ensure the smooth operation of the online aspect of the College including the information on the website and the Learning Management System.
Darakshan Farber serves as a “connecter” immersed in the arts, community organization, and emerging spirituality. He was a software architect for thirty years, and co-founded Sandpiper Networks which developed Internet technologies that eventually became “the cloud.” He is a graduate of Suluk Academy as well as the Nine Gates Mystery School, and created the Seven Pillars Journey of Wisdom, an immersive “transformance” experience based on the Seven Pillars. He is currently a nomad on a world walkabout.
Elinore Detiger began her global work at the United Nations early in her life. She travels extensively linking people and supporting initiatives for a better world. As a philanthropist and humanitarian she helped found the University for Peace in Costa Rica, the International Council of Wise Women and the Millionth Circle Initiative. She is a Fellow of the Findhorn community and maintains residences in Iona, Scotland and the Orosi Valley, Costa Rica. Her spiritual strength and relentless support of the women and children of the world make her a valued advisor.
Julie Heyman is a skilled administrator and strategic thinker with a passion for the new education. Graduated from Rutgers University as the “Most Promising Teacher” from the Education Department, she taught high school and returned to Rutgers as an Admissions Officer.
In the 1980’s she served as Assistant to the President of an international meditation organization (SYDA) and Assistant to the Director for the New York State Office of Aging in Albany, NY. Serving as the assistant and agent for author and renowned visionary in childhood and education, Joseph Chilton Pearce, she went on to become the Headmaster of Gopal Shala, a first through twelfth grade international school at Gurudev Siddha Peeth, Ganeshpuri, India. She administered several international projects for the SYDA Foundation and organized domestic and international events.
LISA MILLER PH.D
Lisa Miller, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University, Teachers College and is Founder of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute, the first Ivy League graduate program in spirituality and psychology.
Dr. Miller is a foremost scientist on spirituality across the lifespan, with her work published in top research journals including JAMA-Psychiatry, American Journal of Psychiatry, and the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Her innovative research has focused on quantifiable effects of spirituality in health, resilience and thriving, and an overall sacred and joyful life. Her clinical and consultation work focuses on spiritual awareness and spiritual growth, for individuals, families, groups and organizations.
Dr. Miller is the author of “The Spiritual Child; The New Science of Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving.” Based upon her decade and a half of experience, she offers talks, workshops and consultations on spirituality in healthy development to parents and schools, adult wellness groups, and private and public organizations. She is the Editor of The Oxford Handbook of Psychology and Spirituality and Co-Editor of the APA journal, Spirituality in Clinical Practice. She has been elected as Fellow by the American Psychological Association, as well as for the Virginia Sexton Mentoring Award of graduate students. A graduate of Yale, she received her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania from Martin Seligman.
She frequently is cited in print and in on-line media and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and NBC Today Show as an expert. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children.