His Eminence (H.E.) Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche is a prominent lama of Tibetan Buddhism known throughout the world as a scholar, teacher and meditation master. With a doctorate degree from Harvard University in 2004, Rinpoche is the first incarnate lama to earn a PhD in the West. His western academic training allows Rinpoche to accurately translate the full subtlety and effectiveness of meditation practices for the western student.
Rinpoche is the spiritual director of Dharmakaya, a non-profit organization established in New York to promote precious meditation teachings in the U.S. In 2011, Rinpoche opened the Lumbini Udyana Mahachaitya - World Center for Peace and Unity, the largest temple and meditation hall complex at the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Lumbini, Nepal - the birthplace of the Buddha.
Rinpoche began his monastic training at the age of four including direct tutelage from the heads and senior teachers of all the major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. He is a Rimé, or non-sectarian, master of Tibetan Buddhism and is fluent in Tibetan, English, Nepali, Sherpa and Chinese, and knows Sanskrit, Hindi and French.
Rich Fernandez, Ph.D., is the Senior People Development Lead at Google as a people development leader focusing on the content, tools and programs that support the learning, leadership development and overall well-being of Google employees. Rich previously led the executive development function at Google.
Before joining Google, Rich took the scenic route in his career. Rich was the head of learning and organization development at eBay, where he worked with executive staff on learning, leadership development and team and organizational effectiveness. Prior to that Rich served as a learning and leadership development executive at Bank of America, and he also worked for a number of years as the head of talent advancement programs at JP Morgan Chase. Rich was also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University in New York City, where he taught courses on organizational effectiveness and career development. Early in his career Rich worked as a counselor in colleges, hospitals and community clinics.
Currently Rich also serves as a strategic advisor to Wisdom 2.0 and as an advisory board member for mindful.org.
Rich earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and M.A. in Organizational Psychology both from Columbia University. Rich received his B.A. from the University of California at San Diego, where he majored in surfing and minored in sun tanning.
With over 40 years of experience in education as a teacher and director of a middle school in East Harlem and faculty member at Hunter College in New York City, Linda Lantieri has shown a lifetime of commitment to enriching the daily lives of adults and children alike. Although she has worn many hats in the field of education, her occupation and vocation have always coincided - her professional life has also been her calling.
Linda is co-founder of the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program (RCCP), a research-based K-8 social and emotional learning program that has been implemented in over 400 schools nationwide. Currently she serves as the Director of The Inner Resilience Program whose mission is to cultivate the inner lives of students, teachers and schools by integrating social and emotional learning with contemplative practice. Linda is also one of the founding board members of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
She is the coauthor of Waging Peace in Our Schools (Beacon Press, 1996) editor of Schools with Spirit: Nurturing the Inner Lives of Children and Teachers (Beacon Press, 2001), and author of Building Emotional Intelligence: Techniques to Cultivate Inner Strength in Children (Sounds True, 2008). She has received numerous awards including Educational Innovator by the National Education Association; the Richard R. Green Distinguished Educator Award; the Spirit of Crazy Horse Award for "creating courage in discouraged youth" and the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) 2001 Making a Difference Award.
Michael Carroll is the author of Awake at Work (Shambhala 2004) and The Mindful Leader (Shambhala 2007) and over his 30 year business career has held executive positions with such companies as Shearson Lehman/American Express, Simon & Schuster and The Walt Disney Company. Michael has an active consulting and coaching business with client firms such as Procter & Gamble, Google, AstraZeneca, Viropharma, Starbucks, RED, National Geographic Expeditions, Gilbane, Inc. and others.
Michael has been studying Tibetan Buddhism since 1976, graduated from Buddhist seminary in 1980 and is an authorized teacher in Kagyu-Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Michael received his bachelor's degree in theology and philosophy from the University of Dayton and his master's degree in adult education from Hunter College. He has lectured and taught at Wharton Business School, Columbia University, Swarthmore College, Yale University, Virginia Tech, University of Sydney, St. Mary's University, University of Toronto, Kripalu, Cape Cod Institute, Zen Mountain Monastery, Shambhala Mountain Center, Karme Choling, Evam Institute, Omega Institute (assisting Pema Chodron) and many other practice centers throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.
Ali Smith is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, receiving a BS in Environmental Science and Policy with a specialization in Biodiversity. He Co-founded the Holistic Life Foundation in 2001, where he currently serves as Executive Director. Learning yoga and meditation from his parents, and visiting ashrams as a child, he has over 10 years of experience teaching yoga and mindfulness to diverse populations. Through his work at the Holistic Life Foundation he has helped develop and pilot yoga and mindfulness programs with at-risk youth, at drug treatment centers, colleges, alternative high schools, mental crisis facilities, as well as a yoga instructor training program. For the past four years he has partnered with The John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health and Penn State University's Prevention Research Center on a Stress and Relaxation Study in Baltimore City Public Schools, studying the effectiveness of yoga and mindfulness on urban youth. Ali has authored a series of children's books, and co-authored two yoga and mindfulness based curriculums as well as numerous workshops and trainings. He is a certified yoga instructor and a Commissioner on Baltimore City's Commission on Sustainability.
Atman Smith is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Friends School of Baltimore for twelve years, but graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School of Baltimore. He went on to attend and was a letter award winner for the Men's basketball team at the University of Maryland, College Park. He graduated with a BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Atman is a co-founder of the Holistic Life Foundation, where he currently serves as the Director of Programming. He is also co-founder and Co-CEO of For the People Entertainment. His parents were yogis and he has taught contemplative practices for the past ten years to a diverse population, including Baltimore City Public School students, drug treatment centers, wellness centers, and colleges.
Andres Anirt Gonzalez, MBA, is a trained and certified yoga instructor. He is the Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer for the Holistic Life Foundation, Inc. that is located in Baltimore, MD since December of 2001. He is also co-founder and Co-CEO of For the People Entertainment, LLC. that was created in 2004. Andres has been practicing and teaching yoga for the past ten years to a diverse population, including Baltimore City Public School students, drug treatment centers, wellness centers, colleges, and other various venues. For the past two years he has partnered with John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health and the Penn State's Prevention Research Center on a Stress and Relaxation Study and is the co-author of a high school physical education curriculum based on yoga principles. In addition to the yoga and mindfulness teachings and research, he also takes part in multiple environmental initiatives throughout Baltimore City and the surrounding area.
Richard S. Bowles III, PH.D. was most recently executive vice president and chief ethics & compliance officer for Merck & Co., Inc., returning to the company after its merger with Schering-Plough Corporation in November 2009. He retired form Merck in June 2012.
Bowles joined Schering-Plough in January 2001 as vice president, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and in March of the same year was appointed senior vice president, worldwide quality. He held the position of senior vice president, global quality operations, from March 2001 to November 2009.
From 1974 through 2000, Bowles was employed by Merck & Co., Inc., where he held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility in research, quality and manufacturing. From 1992 to 1997, Bowles was vice president for quality in Merck's manufacturing division. Just prior to joining Schering-Plough, he was vice president for Merck's Latin American and Puerto Rican manufacturing operations.
Bowles earned both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton University. He is active on the advisory and oversight boards of a number of Universities. Throughout his career he has been an advocate for continuous quality improvement methodologies, and the use of quality tools for organization transformation and operational excellence.
Bowles, dharma name shinsui, is a long time Zen practitioner and an ordained daojin (person of the way) in the Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism. He currently serves as Treasurer, Zen Mountain Monastery, Mt. Tremper, NY.
Dr. Mark G. McNamee has served as senior vice president and provost at Virginia Tech since 2001. As provost, he is the university's chief academic officer responsible for all undergraduate, graduate, research, and outreach programs of the university.
Dr. McNamee received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1968 and his Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry from Stanford University in 1973. He then served two years as a postdoctoral associate at Columbia University.
At Virginia Tech, Dr. McNamee has extended the university's efforts to expand research opportunities in biomedical and health sciences, bioinformatics, information technology, and nanotechnology. He led the effort to restructure the schools and colleges in order to position Virginia Tech for enhanced excellence across the disciplines, and his work resulted in one of the largest reorganizations in the university's history. He has also played a critical role in diversifying the university's ranks.
Dr. McNamee is a board member of the National Institute of Aerospace and the Science Museum of Western Virginia, an Advisory Board Member of the Taubman Museum of Art, and a member of the COACHE National Advisory Council. He also served as principal investigator of the National Science Foundation AdvanceVT program.
Before joining Virginia Tech's administration, Dr. McNamee spent 26 years at the University of California at Davis where he served from 1993-2001 as dean of the Division of Biological Sciences. He chaired the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics from 1990-1993. His research focused on the structure and function of biological membranes, with an emphasis on acetylcholine receptors in the nervous system. Dr. McNamee is a tenured professor of biochemistry and biological sciences at Virginia Tech.
Charles G. Lief is the newly appointed president of Naropa University, a Buddhist-inspired, accredited liberal arts institution in Boulder, Colorado graduating students who start or work for mission driven enterprises and nonprofits and become agents for change
Lief was the first president of the Yonkers, New York-based Greyston Foundation, one of the earliest and best-known models of integrated nonprofit social enterprises and service providers in the country. Greyston's mix of services includes permanent housing for formerly homeless families, accredited childcare, HIV/AIDS housing and health care and the well-known Greyston Bakery, which provides employment to low income residents of Yonkers and among many other products, supplies millions of pounds of brownies to Ben and Jerry's.
Until recently a principal in the Hartland Group, Community Developers and Consultants of Burlington, Vermont, he has been instrumental in the creation of mixed income housing and economic development projects in Vermont and New Hampshire. He has also served as founding board member, CEO and strategic planning consultant to Amida Care, a nonprofit Special Needs HMO, today a $200 million social enterprise, serving 6,000 low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS in New York City.
For decades Lief has served on non-profit boards of organizations working toward sustainable social and economic transformation. in This board work includes, among many other positions, service as chair of the national Social Enterprise Alliance; chair of the Intervale Center in Burlington, which supports and develops farm-and other land-based enterprises ; vice-chair of the board of the Vermont Community Loan Fund; chair of the Vermont Flexible Capital Fund, and advisory board member for KeyBank’s New Markets Tax Credit program and the New York office of the Enterprise Social Investment Corporation.
Jared Smyser served nine years in the United States Marine Corps including a deployment to Iraq and a humanitarian mission to South America. During this time he held many jobs such as martial arts instructor, artillery section chief, and training coordinator. In 2011 he came in contact with the Mind Fitness Training Institute and began training to become an instructor. In early 2012 he was honorably discharged from the marines and enrolled at Full Sail University as a full time student pursuing his bachelors degree in science with a concentration in digital cinematography. He is currently assisting the Mind Fitness Training Institute http://www.mind-fitness-training.org with the training of Marines at the school of infantry located at Camp Pendleton, CA.
To "appreciate" means to value or to honor. The University of Virginia Center for Appreciative Practice was first established to promote appreciative practices in health care. In appreciative practice, we celebrate and focus on the best in people and in the world around us. We affirm past and present strengths, successes, and potentials. We see and nurture those things that give life to an organization caring, collaboration, health, vitality, and excellence which in turn can improve relationships, performance, and satisfaction. Our experience has shown that as individuals embody and integrate these values, they are better able to embrace caring attitudes toward their patients, students, and colleagues. This condition, the ability to practice appreciatively, is arrived at by experience, even discipline. Most importantly, the ability to practice appreciatively can be nurtured in individuals as well as institutions. Today the Center's mission is to promote appreciative practices in not only healthcare, but also higher education and community organizations. We have worked with churches, professional organizations, nonprofit agencies, and colleges.
The Center hosts educational events, including Schwartz Center Rounds and an appreciative practices workshop series. We now offer a new course on Creating Happiness, and we provide facilitation and consulting services to organizations. For more information, please visit our web site or "Like" us on Facebook. Center faculty recently published a book of questions to foster positive change in healthcare, Appreciative Inquiry in Healthcare: Positive Questions to Bring Out Your Best. These questions are easily adaptable to all settings and organizations.
Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Plews-Ogan is Chief of the Division of General Medicine, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and Director of the Center for Appreciative Practice (CAP) at the University of Virginia. She has studied the effects of mindfulness on symptoms such as chronic pain and palpitations. She recently completed a 3 year-long study on the development of wisdom out of difficult circumstances that resulted in a Public Television documentary and a book entitled Choosing Wisdom: Strategies and inspiration for dealing with life changing difficulties. The Center for Appreciative Practice, established in 2008, uses appreciative inquiry to improve processes of care and training in healthcare, and promotes appreciative practices (compassion, reflective practice, narrative, positivity, mindfulness) in health care. The Center has helped over 40 microsystems within the University of Virginia Health System to facilitate the improvement of care and education and have provided consultation and facilitation to other schools and universities. In 2011 Center faculty published a book entitled Appreciative Inquiry in Health Care: Positive questions to bring out the best.
Susanna Williams, PhD, is on the faculty of the UVA Mindfulness Center,
where she teaches Mindful Writing, Mindfulness and the Brain and directs
educational research in the contemplative sciences. She also works with
the Center of Appreciate Practice, leading workshops and developing
curriculum. In terms of health care, she has worked both internationally
and domestically in the area of designing and implementing health
systems with a focus on full well-being, and has used mindfulness
practices in her work with African caregivers, based on the latest
neuroscience that marries human connection to human development. She
has been engaged in spiritual practice for many years, and is a
certified yoga instructor.
Julie Haizlip, MD is Associate Professor of Pediatrics
sub-specializing in Pediatric Critical Care. She also serves as faculty
in the UVA Center for Appreciative Practice and has represented the
Center in international presentations on the use of Appreciative Inquiry
and Appreciative Practices in healthcare. Dr Haizlip is affiliated
faculty with the UVA Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities through
which she serves as faculty of the Healer's Art, a series of seminars
promoting reflection and self care in medical students. Currently she
is actively involved in the development of Interprofessional Education
John Schorling, MD, MPH is the Harry T. Peters, Sr. Professor of
Medicine and Public Health Sciences and the Director of the Mindfulness
Center and the Physician Wellness Program at the University of Virginia.
He is also a member of the Center for Appreciative Practice, is on the
Directorate of the UVa Contemplative Sciences Center, and is a core
faculty member in the UVa Leadership in Academic Matters faculty
development program. He practices general internal medicine and
palliative care, teaches a variety of mindfulness courses including for
medical students, physicians and other healthcare providers, and studies
the clinical and educational applications of mindfulness-based
Natalie B. May, PhD is Associate Professor of Research in the UVA Division of General Medicine, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, and she has played a role in the Center for Appreciative Practice since its inception in 2007. In addition to serving as a faculty member in the Center for Appreciative Practice, she is also an investigator for the Wisdom in Medicine Project: Mapping the Path Through Adversity to Wisdom, a study funded by the John Templeton Foundation. She is also the Project Director for Call2Health, a grant-funded project to study the effects of daily text message reminders and strengths-based group sessions on diabetes self-care among African-American women. She is lead author of the book Appreciative Inquiry in Health Care: Positive Questions to Bring Out the Best and co-author of Choosing Wisdom.