Richard Brown, M.A.
Richard Brown founded the department of Contemplative Education at Naropa University in 1990. Early in his career he taught in public school and in a Buddhist-inspired K-12 school. He published a Buddhist view of children’s spiritual development and has been involved internationally in the development of contemplative schools and parenting. Based on his experiences in Naropa’s teacher education programs, Richard has written extensively on various areas of contemplative education. He is a founding member of the Garrison Institute’s Initiative on Contemplation in Education Leadership Council and is a co-developer of the CARE for Teachers program. Since 2009 he has been involved with the holistic and contemplative reform of the Kingdom of Bhutan’s education system. Richard is actively engaged with collaborative projects between Naropa’s Contemplative Education program and the Royal University of Bhutan.
Patricia (Tish) Jennings, M.Ed, Ph.D.
Dr. Jennings is an Associate Professor at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Prior to this position, she was the Senior Director of the Contemplative Teaching and Learning Initiative at the Garrison Institute and Research Assistant Professor in Human Development and Family Studies and the Prevention Research Center at Penn State University. Dr. Jennings received her doctorate in human development from the University of California, Davis and completed postdoctoral training at the Health Psychology Program at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She lead the CARE faculty team in the development of Garrison Institute’s Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) and she is conducting research to examine how CARE may improve teacher-student relationships, increased student pro-social behavior, a more positive classroom atmosphere and improved student academic performance. She is the Principal Investigator on a federally funded study to complete the development and preliminary evaluation of CARE. In addition to psychological research, Dr. Jennings has over 22 years of research and teaching experience in the field of education. After receiving a master’s degree in education, she founded and directed an experimental school where she developed and field-tested curriculum for children from infancy through 5th grade, applying a variety of contemplative approaches that come from alternative educational methodologies such as Montessori and Waldorf in her work. She later served as Director of Intern Teachers at St. Mary’s College Graduate School of Education in Moraga, California, where she taught education courses, supervised student research, developed teacher training curriculum, and supervised student teacher training. Dr. Jennings' new book Mindfulness for Teachers was published by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. in February 2015.
Christa Turksma, D.R.S.
Christa Turksma is a child-clinical psychologist who received her training in The Netherlands. Before becoming a psychologist, she was a Kindergarten teacher and principal. Christa has worked on various research and intervention projects including the Fast Track Project in Seattle. Christa began providing training in the PATHS program (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) in 1988, and has trained thousands of teachers across the US, and in Canada, The Netherlands, Northern Ireland, England and Australia. The PATHS program is an evidence-based social and emotional learning curriculum, which gives children in grades Preschool-6 the skills they need to find positive, nonviolent solutions to social problems. The PATHS program focuses on teaching children how to express emotions, how to appropriately control their emotions, develop effective conflict-resolution strategies, increase social competency, and become more empathic and compassionate in their interactions with others. Christa is a co-developer of the CARE for Teachers program, and is also a certified trainer for the Mindful Parenting Program developed by Larissa Duncan and Doug Coatsworth at Penn State University. She now provides training in CARE as well as in the PATHS curriculum. Christa is very interested in further developing mindfulness based programs for people in other stressful occupations.