WISR’s Distinctive Alumni . . .
One good way to learn more about WISR is to read stories about some of the many different people who have chosen to study at WISR, and who have succeeded in completing one or more degrees at WISR.
Some of the stories, below, are very detailed stories, telling a bit about the person’s life before they enrolled at WISR, then providing some details about what they studied at WISR, and finally, describing what they’ve done since graduation. Other stories are briefer, and also there are many other WISR alumni with interesting stories that have not been included here.
Furthermore, as a premiere academic institute for social change since 1975, a great majority of WISR’s alumni could well be characterized as outstanding scholar activists—people who advance knowledge in their professions and fields of specialization, and who do so to contribute to the creation of a better world for others. And indeed, the stories below will illustrate this. We have put together some expanded stories about a handful of our alumni on a companion page, entitled, “WISR Scholar-Activists.” On that page, we have assembled an extremely diverse and especially in-depth collection of stories, which, when read together, illustrate both the diversity of WISR learners and the theme that many WISR learners are outstanding scholar-activists. In addition, we believe that this theme will also be apparent in a very high proportion of the stories told on this page, below, as well.
Some Alumni of WISR’s Doctoral Program in Higher Education and Social Change*
*Effective June 1, 2013, WISR admits all new doctoral students to an EdD program, while previously enrolled doctoral students complete their PhDs–we made the decision to switch the PhD program to an EdD program to enable us to explore the possibility of seeking national accreditation with an agency approved to accredit professional doctoral degrees.
Dr. Richard Otis Allen is a retired adult education and high school teacher of English language arts and cultural history. After 30 years of teaching, he earned an M.S. degree in education from California State University at Hayward, and then enrolled in WISR’s PhD program. His PhD thesis explored the approaches, methods, studies, and practices by which a teacher and at-risk students help each other to gain greater mutual, self, and cross-cultural respect and greater liberative power and wellness. He refined and rewrote his dissertation after graduation, and it was published by iUniverse, Inc. in 2004 as Fighting to Finish: Personal Storytelling in a Public Library Adult Literacy Program. The continuing and related subject of much of his PhD study at WISR was an analytic self-study of the efficacy of critical teaching and learning of narrative concepts and techniques in encouraging people individually and collectively to create healthy, realistic, and meaningful socioeconomic and cultural change in themselves, their communities, and the larger U.S. society. In order to achieve these ends, he established an adult learning center, the Benu Bivekananda Center in Oakland.
His dissertation studied and developed a teaching-learning model, whereby adult educators can help learners to conceptualize their life problems and concerns as elements of an incomplete or unresolved story, and then learn and use methods of narrative analysis and critical literacy to understand and solve the problems of concern to them. The method was developed, implemented and evaluated in conjunction with its use by several literacy tutors and with teachers of over fifty learners at two adult learning centers. Richard completed his PhD in April 1998. Subsequently, he volunteered as an adult literacy educator for the Second Start Program of the Oakland Public Library, and presented papers on his work at professional conferences.
In 2000, Richard moved to Eugene, Oregon where he lived until 2010. There, he was involved with the University of Oregon and its Community Education Program. He took classes in such areas as international relations, philosophy, literacy theory, psychology, social anthropology and geography, and gerontology. In addition, he was invited to give lectures in nearly all these all of these subject areas because of his academic and practical experience. In 2006, he wrote and published Resolutions of Age: Life Reviews and Stories of Six Elders Enhancing Our Peacefulness and Wellbeing. This work continues his interest in learners’ narratives and how sharing them with each other can help enhance learning and wellbeing. Most recently, in 2010 he moved to Los Angeles. There, he continue[s] in a limited way, due to age, to do volunteer work in enhancing the literacy of adult learners at the LA Public Library.
Larry Berkelhammer finished his WISR PhD in July 2011. He is a licensed MFT, who obtained his BA from WISR a couple of decades ago, and then returned to WISR for the intellectual support and stimulation to aid him in doing the necessary inquiry to develop a mindfulness-based behavioral medicine program to help people living with chronic medical conditions to improve quality of life and health. Larry believes that his PhD experience did indeed help him become engaged in the necessary in-depth research to create such a program. He wrote, “For me, the single most valuable learning in this program was that I learned how to do really good qualitative action research. ” His dissertation was the almost final draft of the book that he plans to use as a foundation for the development of this mindfulness-based behavioral medicine program. As Larry states, “This book is written for people living with chronic medical conditions who would like to learn how the mind affects states of health or disease. Mindfulness practice is explored as an evidence-based path to improved health and wellbeing. The book is also written for integrative medicine physicians, as well as physicians, nurses, and psychologists who work in psychooncology, psychoneuroimmunology, mind-body medicine, and mindfulness-based behavioral medicine.”
Dr. Inger Best has a BA, magna cum laude, in Environment and Politics, and a Master’s of Public Administration, from California State University, Hayward. Her interests include environmental issues, consumer protection and citizen participation. As evidence that citizens do have the power to make public policy changes, she single-handedly was able to persuade the City Council of Alameda to reduce developers’ hours of construction work in residential neighborhoods, and as a result the City Code had to be changed. One of her other deep concerns is the advancing globalization, whereby large corporations are gradually diminishing the power of democratically elected governments worldwide. Inger is a native of Norway, a long-time U.S. resident, and a Norwegian citizen. Her dissertation at WISR, Environmental and Societal Consequences of Consumption Instigated by Advertising, concluded that worldwide consumer oriented lifestyles are incompatible with environmental sustainability. After completing her PhD at WISR, she and her husband moved to Norway to live there permanently. She remains involved with environmental protection and sustainable issues and is an active member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
Dr. Uwe Blesching has been a paramedic in the San Francisco Department of Public Health since 1986. He has been a filmmaker for 10 years, doing documentaries and educational films for children. He previously completed his BA and MA at WISR. Academic projects he completed at WISR, include: a large-scale documentary project on the Cuban health care system and the use of natural remedies; the development of a web site; the translation into English of the Cuban health department’s guide to remedies based on traditional and natural medicines; and a practical guide to green, effective, economical and safe personal health care regimes, based on his research done in Cuba. He is currently working on a feature length film set in Cuba, and he completed a major documentary film, Viva Chile M, about the life and literary works of Fernando Alegria, who was a former WISR Board member, former Chair of the Spanish and Portuguese Department at Stanford University, and a renown Chilean poet and novelist. (For more information, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Alegr%C3%ADa ) Uwe’s PhD dissertation is a book in the making—a guide to alternative and natural medicines.
Dr. John Borst completed his PhD at WISR in August 1995. His dissertation, entitled The Metaphors We Teach By, was an ethnographic study of the careers of college faculty and the organizational cultures in which they have taught. The dissertation was written for and about college faculty who have an ongoing interest in making a difference in students’ lives. Its intent was to provide faculty with a way of thinking and talking about education, in order to critique and better understand their own teaching practice, and for the more adventuresome, to help chart a path toward meaningful and lasting personal/institutional change. He made presentations about his dissertation research at the Eighth Annual Lilly Conference on College Teaching. John lives in the high desert country of Southern California where he teaches third through twelfth grade part-time in the Victorville School District. He also runs a business that publishes fine art prints and posters. After completing his Ph.D., he became a part-time faculty member at the University of Redlands and La Verne University, where he taught organizational development. Currently, he teaches graduate level research methods, both in the classroom and online, for Antioch University. Also, at Chapman University he teaches a graduate level course in organizational dynamics and an undergraduate course in organizational behavior. He teaches communication courses online for Jones International University. John also is an avid distance runner and has a consulting service, which focuses on “values-based leadership practices and collaborative methods of achieving personal and institutional renewal.”
Dr. Rosemary Christoph is a licensed MFT who completed her PhD at WISR in March 2004. At that time, she works as a counselor at La Familia in Hayward. Her dissertation was an extensive study through literature review, interviews with therapists and clients, and her years’ of observations as a therapist of themes and issues surrounding the turning points in people’s lives.
Rosemary received her BA in Psychology from the University WithoutWalls, Berkeley in 1976. She graduated with a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Antioch /New England Graduate School in Keene, NH in 1981. Rosemary taught Psychology at the Community College of Vermont and at Sonoma State University. By 1989 she had found her way to La Familia in Hayward, Calif., where she worked with families, children and teenagers in their Day Treatment program as a psychotherapist and counselor for more than 18 years. There she was to develop an innovative program in art & drama therapy, as well as a Creative Writing program for SED teens and children, focusing upon exercises suitable for each age group, 9 – 12 year olds, 13 – 15 year olds and a third for 16 – 18 year olds. Her WISR PhD dissertation was on the subject, “From Impasse to Turning Point,” focusing upon impasses in people’s lives of whatever age, and how their impasses were or were not resolved through breakup, breakdown, breakthroughs, and finally, a turning point. The key question was what would bring about change or a shift in our lives from being stuck or trapped or limited, to a new sense of hope, movement and growth.
In 2006, Rosemary moved to New England to be with her daughter Eve and granddaughter Maisha. She first worked there as a Family therapist at the Academy at Swift River in Cummington, MA from 2006 to 2008. Since 2008 she has been working as a Clinician and Family therapist at Clinical & Support Options in Greenfield, Massachusetts. She now lives with her dog Eli in Shelburne Falls, Mass. where she also has a private practice. She continues to be interested in the role of music and the arts in psychological healing, and continues to play the piano and violin. She is also compelled by the teachings of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, J. G. Bennett and Maurice Nicoll, and gives talks on their work in Greenfield and Amherst, Mass. She also continues to write stories, poems, essays and articles.
Dr. Che Kum Clement is Cameroonian, and full Professor and Chairman of the Department of Technical Education, Islamic University of Technology (IUT), in Board Bazar, Gazipur, Bangladesh. IUT is a subsidiary organ of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) comprising 57 countries. He was recently appointed a member of the newly created Monitoring and Advisory Committee (MAC) of the OIC Vocational Education and Training (OIC-VET) programme.
Before joining IUT in 2002, Che Kum had been working for the Cameroon’s Ministry of National Education as senior management staff in charge of Vocational schools in Cameroon. He is a Board member, and also African regional representative of (UNIP), United Network on Innovation and Professional Development in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) working in collaboration with UNESCO-UNEVOC. He is also the president of Cameroon Association for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CATEVOT). Che Kum’s research interest is in the development of the capacity of teachers of technical and vocational education and also in developing the capacity of youth in the area of TVET as a means of social change. Che Kum has published many papers in international conferences in USA, UK, Russia, Israel, China, Malaysia, Thailand, to name a few, and has also published many papers in refereed journals in the area of Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
Dr. Rebecca Daniel-Burke was a family therapist in Oregon, then a clinical supervisor of other therapists in Korea and Japan. She now works as the Director of Professional Projects and Career Services at the American Counseling Association in Alexandria, Virginia. She enjoys swimming, international travel, seeing Independent films, and cooking gourmet food. Her dissertation involved an extensive review of the literature and dozens of interviews with people over 50 about various aspects of aging. Specifically, she focused on the following questions: 1) Is there evidence to support what kinds of things help us to age well? 2) Is social network an important factor in aging well? 3) Is there a model of care that can help people with symptoms of dementia and/or help their loved ones to self-assess their situation, educate themselves about prevention and various forms of dementia, plan self-care, and remain in their social network as long as possible?
The late Dr. Marita Davila received a postdoctoral fellowship from the American Council on Education in 1982-83, after finishing her PhD at WISR in 1980. After several years as a teacher and as Director of the Library and Learning Resources Center at Laney College in Oakland, she took a faculty position at the College of Alameda, where she taught Spanish and Folklore until her retirement. Marita was active in a number of community groups, and was President of the Association of Latin American Women in the Bay Area. Her dissertation was an in-depth historical study of The Black Presence in Spanish America, including comparative studies of African-American people in different Latin American countries, race and social structure, and comparisons with slavery in the United States. This work has been used as a resource in classes at Stanford University and at several other Bay Area campuses. Dr. Davila passed away in 2003.
Dr. William Duma completed his PhD in September 1997. He is a Black South African journalist who was in exile for 14 years. While working on his PhD at WISR, he was a faculty member in English, Journalism, and Ethnic Studies at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, CA. In May 1994, he was named Contra Costa Community College District Teacher of the Year. His dissertation studied the dynamics of social change in South African, in particular reference to William’s concept of “Neo-Apartheid.” At the end of 2000, he returned to South Africa at the invitation of several officials of the South African government. His recent work there has included research and analysis on issues of social policy and social justice for the South African government.
Dr. Osahon Chris Eigbike completed his PhD at WISR in August 2011. He joined the WISR life-long learning and research community with a doctorate degree in spirituality and culture (specific on holistic counselling/empowerment). His PhD program in higher education and social change at WISR focused on development at community and national levels. His dissertation was “Riding on a Lion: Looking Beneath the Surface of imperialism, monotheism, colonialism, globalization and corporate control, and systemic racism.”
A Nigerian-Canadian, he has done extensive teaching (in social studies) at both secondary and university levels in Nigeria, Southern Africa, and Canada. He has also worked as a career-employment counselor and consulting-case manager, and also as project manager in the area of capacity-building for poverty alleviation. He has served on the boards of many organizations, including Employment Development Mennonite Church Canada, African Multicultural Centre in Vancouver and many Nigerian development agencies, among others. He currently does contract teaching and consulting in community development and preventive primary health care in a semi-retired space. A Nigerian-Canadian, he has done extensive teaching (in social studies) at both secondary and university levels in Nigeria, Southern Africa, and Canada. He has also worked as a career-employment counselor and consulting-case manager, and also as project manager in the area of capacity-building for poverty alleviation. He has served on the boards of many organizations, including Employment Development Mennonite Church Canada, African Multicultural Centre in Vancouver and many Nigerian development agencies, among others. He currently does contract teaching and consulting in community development and preventive primary health care in a semi-retired space.
Dr. Steven Fletcher is an educator, author and musician who is currently teaching at Guizhou University in China. He integrates his music and the stories from his two anthologies into his teaching. Recently he created an approach to second language learning called HILL (Holistic Integrated Language Learning) which he has implemented in China. At WISR he has written about a number of theories and educational methods that he has either developed or expanded.
Dr. Irene Favreau completed her dissertation on the performing arts as tools for social change in September 1998. As part of her dissertation, she produced a musical drama on the death penalty, entitled “Dilemma.” She studied the effects of this production on several audiences and the participants, and articulated how nonprofit agencies can learn to use music and theater. She entered WISR after having served as a state legislator in New England and while working as an administrator for the Community Congregational Church in Tiburon. Her PhD papers focused on such topics as how gender influences violent behavior and crime, proactive policy-making, religion and social change. Soon after receiving her Ph.D., she was appointed Executive Director for the Mental Health Association of Marin. Dr. Favreau is currently on staff at Touro University on Mare Island where she is the Director of Alumni Relations and the Advisor to Student Government. She is also a member of the Marin Threshold Choir, an a cappella chorale group which sings at the bedsides of people struggling with health issues as well as for people dealing with other life challenges and in her spare time dabbles in writing poetry and songs.
The late Dr. Lee Francis resumed his private practice as a consultant in Washington, D.C., after completing his PhD at WISR in 1991 with specializations in higher education administration, social policy and social change, communication theory and praxis, American Indian cultural perspectives, and the institutionalization of multiculturality. He entered WISR after receiving his MA in education from San Francisco State University, where he also served as an administrator in the Educational Opportunity Program. Lee’s dissertation was an intensive study of empathic communication and its application in institutionalizing multiculturality in business, community agencies, government, and educational institutions. His research drew heavily on his years of experience as a private consultant, designing and conducting workshops in cross-cultural communication. After completing his PhD at WISR, Dr. Francis wrote Native Time: A Historical Time Line of Native North America (New York: St. Martins Press, 1996). A prolific writer and eloquent speaker, Lee Francis was awarded the 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas.
Dr. Vicente Gannam, has worked in several areas of social services since 1987, in various communities in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. He currently works as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Ontario Ministry of Health, in Canada. Prior to this position, Vicente was the Director of Youth Intervention and Outreach Services for the YMCA of Greater Toronto. He was responsible for YMCA youth initiatives in Toronto, more specifically those targeting youth at risk and homeless youth. He was also responsible for a partnership with the YMCA Colombia, which involved program development and delivery for youth in Medellin. Vicente also has a private practice in Toronto, Canada, facilitating individual’s spiritual well being. More information about his practice can be found at www.spiritualwellbeing.ca. Besides spirituality, his interests include the Enneagram, ethno-culturalism and diversity as well as various approaches to addressing substance abuse.
Dr. Damun Gracenin set up an educational program for homeless children through the San Francisco Homeless Youth Network, with funds from a San Francisco Foundation grant. This pilot project provided a high school option for homeless youths who have dropped out of the school system, and was based in a crisis shelter program and at a drop-in center. Damun enrolled in WISR when he was a teacher/counselor with the Mission Reading Clinic’s Occupational Reading Skills Program at the San Francisco County Jail. While studying at WISR he received a fellowship to serve on a commission with 120 other literacy teacher/counselors in the United States and Great Britain. His dissertation, using data gathered when he designed an innovative jail-based literacy program, described a model for teaching literacy in adult basic education. Since receiving his PhD in 1989, he has also taught basic reading courses for adults at the College of San Mateo, and a writing course in New College’s Tribal Justice Program for Native Americans.
Dr. Diane Heller is a psychotherapist in Colorado who specializes in helping clients work through the aftereffect of life-threatening events to a restored sense of resiliency and well-being. She teaches trauma intervention in the United States and internationally, most recently in Copenhagen, Munich and Jerusalem. Since 1992, she has been a faculty member of the Foundation for Human Enrichment, specializing in training for therapists and health care professionals related to the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. One of her PhD projects was her videotape, Columbine: Surviving the Trauma. It featured interviews with two Columbine survivors and their family, and was designed to provide education about trauma responses for survivors of that and other traumatic events. It was aired on CNN and over 600 other stations both in the United States and internationally. Her dissertation addressed the psychological issues facing survivors of auto accidents. It was published as a self-help book, Crash Course: A Self-Healing Guide to Auto Accident Trauma and Recovery (North Atlantic Books, 2001), which was written for professionals in the field, as well.
Diane has continued her innovative and widely respected work in the field of trauma resolution, attachment models and integrative healing techniques. She is a trainer, presenter, and speaker offering workshops, teleseminars and educational materials on trauma, attachment models and their dynamics in childhood and adult relationships, as well as many other topics. She has lectured and taught around the world as both a Somatic Experiencing trainer and special topics presenter, most recently with her very popular DARE: Dynamic Attachment Re-Patterning Experience series.
Dr. David Hough has taught English as a Second Language in Japan for many years, and is very involved in a number of other facets of cross-cultural education. His PhD studies have been furthering his professional writings about practice and action-oriented research into intercultural education. One of his PhD papers, “Ethnographies of Learning,” was presented at the 1997 TESOL Conference in Orlando, Florida. Another PhD paper, “Understanding Cultural Change: A Vygotskian Perspective,” was presented at the Conference of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research in Japan at Reitaku University in April 1997. His dissertation was concerned with researching and articulating a critical approach to learning and teaching culture, based on the study of “English as a Foreign Language” classrooms in Japan. He was professor of communication at Shonan Institute of Technology in Fujisawa, Japan. In that capacity, he was responsible for teaching communication theory, intercultural communication, cross-cultural psychology, anthropological fieldwork methods and area studies. His current research interests combine sociolinguistics with liberatory approaches to pedagogy in helping to preserve and enrich endangered indigenous languages and cultures. Dr. Hough received a three-year grant from the Japan Ministry of Education and Science to produce dictionaries and first language reading materials for Kosraean, a Micronesian language spoken by about 9,000 people in the Federated States of Micronesia. That project produced a children’s picture dictionary for 1st and 2nd graders, a junior dictionary for 3rd-5th graders, and other Kosraean language materials for the schools, which focus on oral histories and traditions. More recently, David and his wife moved to Tibet where he continues to carry on with many, related interests.
Dr. Marilyn Jackson received her PhD from WISR in September 2004 and has an MA from the Institute in Creation Spirituality and Culture, Holy Names College in Oakland. In her dissertation she contrasted popular spirituality movements in Western society to traditional religion by relating Creation Spirituality to Lutheranism. While studying at WISR she published a chapter, “The Life of the People: The Legacy of N.F.S. Grundtvig & Nonviolent Social Change Through Popular Education in Denmark” in the book, Community and the World, edited by former WISR faculty member, Dr. Torry Dickinson. Her studies also focused on unlearning racism and building multi-cultural society through dialogue, education, cultural expression and community based celebrations as well as women and career development issues. She is also concerned about lifestyle related to the health and the environment. She has organized education activities about indigenous people and has been extensively been involved with Scandinavian music and other cultural activities. She believes in egalitarian values and is concerned about dispelling negative stereoptypes about socialism and educating about social democratic values. She is on the board and staff of the Ecumenical Peace Institute and works for WISR as Assistant to the President. Marilyn is a member of WISR’s core faculty and also Executive Assistant to WISR’s President. Read and comment on Marilyn’s Wisrville blog.
Dr. Cheryl Jones has years’ of experience in doing cranialsacral work with children at risk, and in teaching others how to do it. While living in Kula, Hawaii on the island of Maui, she created an organic farm, certified by the Hawaii Organic Farmers Association. Cheryl’s dissertation was a research project with a longitudinal follow up to examine the impact of cranialsacral therapy on children’s and young adults’ anxiety. Cheryl received her PhD from WISR in May 2003.
Dr. Urmas Kaldveer completed his PhD at WISR in December 1993. His dissertation was on, “Education As A Ritual Process.” In his dissertation, which included an extensive review of philosophical, educational, and anthropological works, he proposed a possible solution to contemporary educational problems by describing the value of some traditional and contemporary systems that seem to work. He examined the social benefits of these systems in terms of global political and economic health, and their potential for furthering a healthier physical and mental balance with individuals. During his PhD program, Urmas was a part-time instructor in Science and History at Mendocino Community College in Ukiah. He served as Administrative Director of the Lake County Elderhostel Program, and as founder and main teacher of the alternative “New School” of Ukiah. He had an M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Arizona, where he had completed most of his PhD requirements, except for the dissertation, in 1969. After receiving his PhD from WISR, Urmas was selected Executive Director of Pelagikos, a Sausalito-based nonprofit center for marine research. Pelagikos is a place where professionals and lay people who have a fascination with marine life, and a desire to contribute to a better understanding of the global ocean environment, may meet. Several years ago, he was invited to participate in an international conference on ecology, native wisdom and spirituality in Killarney, Ireland. He is also a member of the advisory board of The Cloud Forest Institute in Ecuador and the Cetacean Studies Institute of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Most recently, Urmas has been living and working about half the year in a Mexican fishing village on the coast of Baja on the Sea of Cortez, where he monitors the condition of a coral reef there and conducts eco-tours so that others can learn about the land and sea.
The late Dr. Calu Lester (WISR PhD, 1984) was a part-time WISR faculty member and the founder of WISR’s KWIC-FAN Project, after leading many community programs devoted to helping jail inmates, biracial youths, mentally retarded citizens, people of color, and others. His dissertation was on the development of identity and self-esteem among biracial adolescents. Calu received an NIMH Research Fellowship to a 1986 Paris conference on AIDS. He was in NIMH’s National Advisory Group on AIDS in Third World Countries, and co-authored a report, growing out of the 1986 conference, that examined AIDS from a multidisciplinary, multicultural perspective
The late Dr. Wayne Morris entered WISR after retiring as a Colonel from the U.S. Army, in which he was a nurse anesthesiologist. He had previously received an MS in Nursing Administration from the University of California at San Francisco, and an MA in counseling from John F. Kennedy University. While enrolled at WISR, he worked as a nursing consultant, nursing home administrator, and gerontologist. His WISR studies centered on leadership training and gerontology, and he wrote his dissertation on male mid-life crisis. He conducted in-depth interviews with men who were undergoing mid-life crises or transitions. His dissertation critically reviewed research in psychology and medicine, and also drew on literary and historical writings and commentaries on popular culture. Wayne completed his PhD in the summer of 1990 while he was critically ill, and he thereafter volunteered his time to help WISR’s developmental efforts.
The late Dr. Robert Nichol completed his PhD at WISR, in part to follow up on his interests and studies from his Master’s program in Anthropology at San Francisco State. He was concerned with the development of human consciousness, and in investigating parallels between some current experiments in neuro-feedback using stroboscopic light and practices of spiritual shaman/explorers for hypnotic trance induction that might date as early as 10,000 BC. His PhD studies included: the development of a software program aimed at enabling people to engage in self-help efforts, to reduce their day-to-day stress, and a presentation on self-management to 25 patients at UCSF who have received or are waiting to receive an organ transplant. For his dissertation, Dr. Nichol created and studied two art-based stress management programs for adults. These programs drew on his extensive knowledge and experience in drama, art, music and poetry. He articulated a perspective on how to use art for soul building, given the political limitations of our present technology- and work-oriented society with regard to allowing the personal and spiritual into our institutions. Dr. Nichol was a very creative and resilient human being. Shortly after beginning his PhD studies, he became critically ill, but survived because he had the good fortune to receive a lung transplant. A few months later, he resumed his studies, and despite the health challenges of recovering from receiving, and then living with, a lung transplant, he continued to be very engaged with his PhD studies and finished in several years time. After that, he remained deeply engaged with his scholarly efforts and with his endeavors to educate, support and assist others. He passed away several years ago, about 12 years after receiving the lung transplant, and at that time, he was the lung transplant recipient who had shown the greatest longevity.
Dr. Victoria Patterson began her PhD program at WISR when she was a teacher and Director of the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) Program at the Willits Unified School District in Northern California, and an instructor in anthropology at Sonoma State University. She had worked intensively with members of the Hopland Pomo Indian tribe in the recovery and recording of their native musical heritage, to preserve it for the benefit of younger tribe members. Her doctoral program included study of participatory methods in anthropology and ethnography, educational innovation, and the uses of anthropology in community development and education. Her dissertation documented the tradition of Hopland Pomo music, with the help of a group of Pomo elders who are descendants of several generations of traditional singers and dancers. She was the Education Editor for News from Native California for many years and has published many articles and books in collaboration with northern California tribes, including a chapter on Pomo gender relationships in Women and Power in Native North America (University of Oklahoma Press). She has also worked with many museums on public education projects, most recently, the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Vicki teaches classes in American Multicultural Studies and Education for Mendocino College, Sonoma State University and Dominican University. She has served as the Director of Workforce Preparation Programs at Mendocino College and as a member of the Mendocino County Workforce Investment Board and the Board of Directors of Mendocino County Economic Development and Finance Corporation, Nuestra Casa-Mendocino Latinos Para La Comunidad, and the Redwood Empire Aikikai. Then, she became the Director of a nonprofit Latino organization. Currently, she is teacher of humanities at Dharma Realm Buddhist University in Ukiah.
Dr. Sally Riewald, a teacher of writing at The Evergreen State College/Tacoma, used her PhD dissertation as a vehicle in creating a model writing program for adults. She also conceived and developed The Student Handbook as a learning aid for the adult population enrolled at TESC/Tacoma. In 1986, INSTRUCTOR Magazine published her article based on observations and innovations made while teaching English as a Second Language to children in Tacoma schools. Sally received her PhD in 1987. Sally is now retired and living and writing in Mexico.
Dr. Darrell Sanchez is a licensed counselor in Boulder, Colorado. He is also an experienced bodyworker, and holds a degree in dance. He specializes in work with trauma survivors, and has held advanced workshops for other professionals on how to treat clients who are recovering from whiplash. Darrell’s PhD studies at WISR enabled him to further explore and investigate his varied interests in such topics as: therapy with trauma survivors, Jungian psychology, the role of arts and creativity in the healing process, choreography and the Argentine tango, and the role and importance of intuition in the practice of therapy and in everyday life. In his dissertation, Darrell explored the relationship between creativity, trauma and social development. He interviewed eighteen healthcare practitioners regarding these issues and with respect to the use of a balance board device he invented, called a Tuning Board. He finished his PhD at WISR in December 2001.
Dr. Don St. John is a psychotherapist in private practice in Seattle. He teaches and lectures in the area of somatic-emotional-relational development, which was the focus of his dissertation. His dissertation was based in part on interviews with adults who have successfully overcome childhood traumas in their subsequent years of mental, somatic, emotional, spiritual and interpersonal development. Don completed his PhD studies at WISR in March 2004. He continues his private practice as a psychotherapist.
Dr. Mary Kay Sweeney was Associate Director of the Canal Community Alliance, a nonprofit, multiservice agency in a multiethnic, low-income community, the Canal area of East San Rafael, during her doctoral studies at WISR. Her course of study focused on the “how” of community service including the philosophy and practice of nonviolent social change, especially related to food distribution. Her dissertation was entitled The Politics of Compassion: Psycho/Social Dynamics of Food Distribution. Her research was based on interviews with service providers and with recipients of food, recording their attitudes, behavior, and feelings about the acts of giving and receiving food. She completed her PhD in 1990, and in 1991 was appointed Assistant Executive Director at the Seva Foundation. “Seva” is a Sanskrit word meaning “service,” and the Foundation has projects throughout the world, but focuses primarily on eradicating preventable blindness in Nepal and India. In 1993, Mary Kay began a pilot program for homeless families at Homeward Bound, the chief provider of residential and support services to homeless individuals and families in Marin County. Mary Kay has led the organization to adopt ending homelessness as the primary cause and overall mission. HB also operates a viable social enterprise, training and employing residents at the Fresh Starts Culinary Academy and in Fresh Starts Catering. The agency produces chocolate truffles as well as other products like barbecue sauce and seasonal jams. Mary Kay continued to serve on the Board of the Canal Community Alliance, and was appointed Executive Director of Homeward Bound of Marin (formerly known as Marin Housing Centers) in 2000.
The late Dr. James Todd was the Chairperson for the Business and Hospitality Department at Morris Brown College in Atlanta at the time of his death. He was the former Director of the Step-to-College Program in the School of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University, where he was also a Lecturer in that University’s Black Studies Department. He enrolled at WISR after having received a Master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma, and having directed a number of innovative community health projects. While at WISR, he directed the Institute’s KWIC-FAN Project, providing education and outreach to prevent the spread of AIDS in Bay Area African-American communities. While a student at WISR he was appointed to the Step-to-College directorship, and his dissertation was an in-depth analysis of his experience in that program, teaching a yearlong course in critical thinking to students of color at two San Francisco high schools. The study applied and critically analyzed the pedagogy of Paulo Freire. Since completing his doctorate in 1990, Jim also served as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Education’s Secondary School Recognition Program, and founded a Bay Area chapter of the National Black Child Development Institute. He and his wife, Gigi Todd, established a Foundation to support projects for students who are now in the eighth grade and at severe risk of dropping out of school. Jim received the Coleman Foundation Award for Outstanding Entrepreneurial Teaching by the American Academy of Management. On February 19, 1998, in Chicago, The General Electric Fund awarded Step-to-College/ASCEND, a program founded by Dr. Todd, a National Best Practice Award.
The late Dr. Sandy Tomlin did research and publication work for the nonprofit, United Native Americans, Inc. She was a member of the former Native American Heritage Preservation Project in Contra Costa County. She was active in Indian burial ground preservation from 1979 to the mid-90s. After receiving her MA and auditing about 20 UC Berkeley classes in Native American Studies, she became motivated to make her own contribution to improving Native American Studies. One of her goals in her PhD studies at WISR was to promote improvements at all levels of lower and higher education. She worked with the Native American academician, Lehman Brightman, to get his research published and develop some work of her own. She was also concerned with how biological warfare has been used in genocide. Her dissertation was on the sacred meanings that Mt. Diablo has had for people native to the Bay Area, and about the subsequent political and cultural forces that have disrespected those meanings. She used her dissertation research to further the education of others about Mt. Diablo and its historical significance. Dr. Tomlin died relatively shortly after completing her PhD and only part of her purposes had yet been realized. At a WISR memorial for Dr. Tomlin, one of her daughters said, “All of this to say that mom was so absorbed in all things Native American, that she dedicated an entire degree to it, and she wanted to do something with it. Shortly after she got her Ph D here, mom said, ‘Now that I’ve got a Ph D, people will take me seriously now and I’ll have more credibility.’ I didn’t know what she meant until I read through her dissertation and read her writings on Mt. Diablo. I knew that she fought, but I had no idea she did all of that. Also, mom said that she might use her Ph D to try and get a Native American health clinic in Contra Costa County. The nearest one I think is in Alameda County and there’s one up in Woodland. . . . ”
Dr. Oba T’Shaka received his PhD from WISR in June 1991. He was Professor and former Chairperson of the Black Studies Department at San Francisco State University. He is a long-time community organizer and writer, and the author of The Political Legacy of Malcolm X (Third World Press). His PhD studies at WISR focused on his educational and community work, and the significance of that work in light of African philosophies. His dissertation was published as The Art of Leadership, Volume 2. T’Shaka said of his work: “A central topic . . . is how to ‘free the minds’ of African and African-American people. No effective organizing can occur among African-American people as long as we are programmed to ‘see ourselves through the eyes of others’.” T’Shaka is a regular speaker at African-American organizations, on college campuses, and at civic events around the country. He has spoken at the Fort Lauderdale (Florida) Martin Luther King 1991 City Commemoration, Emory University, the University of Chicago Law School, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of Kansas, the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilization, and the teacher/community training program on Afro-centric curricula of the Cleveland Public Schools, among many other occasions, over the years and around the country.
Some Alumni of WISR’s Master’s Degree programs in Psychology, Social Sciences, Education, and Human Services and Community Development
Isadora Asch had given conflict resolution classes and conducts conflict resolution sessions for families through the Family Support Network in Napa prior to enrolling at WISR. She transferred to WISR from the MA program in Psychology at the California Institute for Integral Studies. Her MA thesis at WISR was a study of the theory and practice of conflict resolution work with adolescents and their families. She graduated in 1991.
Paul Baber received his MA in Human Services and Community Development in 2001. His thesis was a study of the factors that impede and contribute to recovery from mental illness. He currently works in Contra Costa County for a human services county contract agency, Mental Health Consumer Concerns. His work there has involved advocating for persons identified as mentally ill–for example, providing advocacy services, referral information, and serving on mental health planning groups. He has served on various mental health planning groups and tasks forces. While working on his WISR MA, he made a presentation and co-led a workshop at the spring 1998 Conference of the California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies (CASRA) for mental health workers on factors that contribute to recovery from mental illness.
Theresa Beldon finished her MA in Psychology toward the MFT license in January 1999. Throughout her studies at WISR, she focused on her studies of Bodynamic Analysis, a European theory of somatic psychology that is new to the U.S. Her practicum was the Lomi Clinic in Santa Rosa. After completing her studies at WISR, she went on to obtain the MFT license, and she continues work as a Certified Bodynamic Analyst, teacher, and trainer. Theresa has taught Bodynamic psychotherapy in California and Canada and specializes in working with individuals, groups, and couples in her private practice, in Sebastapol and in Berkeley.
Dr. Philip Brooks was a faculty member at the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS) when he enrolled in WISR’s MFT program. Philip’s thesis was a study of a course he was teaching at CIIS on foundational psychospiritual counseling skills. The goals were to find out how the course impacted students and to discover how to improve the course. He completed his MA at WISR in November 2003, and went on to obtain his MFT license. He now has a private practice in San Francisco .
Beth Buchanan received her MA in Psychology from WISR in 1993, after entering WISR with an MA in Dance/Movement Therapy from California State University at Hayward. Her MA at WISR met the State’s academic requirements for the MFCC license. While at WISR, she worked at Oakes Children’s Center in San Francisco as a dance therapist. Her MA thesis was a study of ritual abuse, and the treatment of victims of such abuse. She subsequently moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she worked as Assistant Coordinator of Patch, a neighborhood-based, social work program there, which coordinates services for people in need. In that capacity, Beth did home visits, coordinated the work of volunteers, ran a dance therapy group for children, and provided administrative assistance to the director. She also maintained a small, private practice in dance therapy.
Brian Bullis completed his MA in Psychology in October 1995, and since moving to Oregon has begun practice as a licensed counselor. During his MA program, he worked at the True-to-Life Counseling Program in Northern California, and as the counselor for their Journey High School. There, he maintained an intense relationship with at-risk teens and their families. His study at WISR focused on his belief that life-changing therapy is the effort that a client and a therapist make to help the client examine the manner in which he or she has answered life-existential questions and revised some of these answers in ways that make life more authentic and fulfilling.
William Cavil was the Associate Director of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Black Family Life and Culture during his studies at WISR. He received his MA in Human Services and Community Development at WISR in December, 1992. His MA studies focused on youth development, African American family dynamics, and media and communication indoctrination. His MA thesis was based on interviews with adolescent African American males about their television viewing habits, self-perceptions, attitudes about Black people, attitudes toward women, and future goals and aspirations. He plans to continue to study mass media and its effects on African-American people. He now lives in Texas.
Louanne Cole Weston, PhD completed her MA in Psychology, leading toward the MFCC license, in January 1994. She became a licensed MFCC in 1996, and has a private practice in the greater Sacramento area, where she now lives with her husband and two young sons. Her MA thesis examined psychological aspects of 37 women’s responses to a major innovation in birth control and sexually transmitted disease protection, the “Women’s Choice” female condom. Louanne is also a Board-certified clinical sexologist. She is listed in the International Who’s Who in Sexology. For over two decades she has worked as a therapist, educator, public speaker, journalist, and frequent guest on TV and radio, including The Doctor Dean Show, People Are Talking, The Joan Rivers Show, The Alex Bennet Show, KCBS-AM, KGO-AM, KQED-FM, and The Don Bleu Show. As a journalist, she has written for Fitness magazine, and for a weekly column called “Sex Matters” in the San Francisco Examiner. She co-authored audio cassettes, video cassettes, and a workbook for the series “Love, Sex and Dating in the ’90s.” During her program at WISR, she worked as a counseling trainee at Mission Children’s Day Treatment Program, which serves a multiethnic population of children who have experienced traumatic separation, abuse, and/or economic deprivation. She was a Health Expert at www.webMD.com, a health website, for which she answered questions on the “sex matters” message board. She now lives in Sacramento and is in private practice as an LMFT.
Caroline Diana Cunningham (formerly Diana Montaigne) entered WISR’s MA program in Psychology several years after receiving her BA from Smith College. Her area of specialization at WISR was music therapy, and her MA thesis was on music and medicine. Her thesis research involved a review and synthesis of music therapy literature and an examination of the uses of music in mainstream and homeopathic medicine. After she received her MA in May 1990 she enrolled in a Doctor of Naturopathy program at John Bastyr Medical College in Seattle. She completed that program and relocated to Edinburgh, Scotland, where she established a successful homeopathy/counseling practice. Later, she returned to the U.S. and continues her professional work.
Annick Desmeules earned her WISR MA in Psychology and then soon moved to Arizona. There, she initially worked as Domestic Violence Counselor/Hypnotherapist at Justice Services, Inc in Phoenix and Psychology Instructor at the Southwest Institute for the Healing Arts in Scottsdale. She went on to become Senior Information Referral Specialist in Sedona, Arizona.
Simone Frei completed her MA in HumanServices and Community Development in November, 1989. Her Master’s thesis was a study of the causes and consequences of bulimia. Subsequently, she worked as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor in Corvallis, Oregon. She is currently Program Director at the Linus Pauling Institute in Corvallis.
Ed Harris worked for many years at Kaiser in Vallejo in the Chemical Dependency Services Program as a Certified Addictions Counselor and as a bilingual counselor there. In 2001, he completed his MA in Psychology, leading toward the MFT license. His thesis topic was a study of whether short stature is a factor contributing to depression in men. For over 20 years, he has worked with youth and adults in the fields of mental health and chemical dependency. Ed is also a serious guitar player.
Kathy Kain completed her MA in Education at WISR in August 1997. She is a bodyworker, who, for many years, has been training other bodyworkers in the use of hands-on methods to help clients with trauma recovery. Originally trained in Ortho-Bionomy, she has broadened her interests to encompass working with the body as a metaphor for life experience. Her MA thesis was a sharing of the results of her varied inquiries with other bodyworkers to achieve a deeper appreciation of the subtleties of mind-body connectedness. Since then she has distinguished herself in teaching in Europe, Australia, Canada, and throughout the U.S., while maintaining a private practice in Albany, California. She is a senior trainer in the Somatic Experiencing training program and is currently Director of Training and Education for the Foundation for Human Enrichment. Kathy is also an adjunct faculty member of the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute and was a senior trainer for 12 years in the Somatic Psychotherapy training program based in Sydney Australia, where she developed the Touch Training for Psychotherapists that she now teaches in the U.S. Kathy re-enrolled at WISR in 2010 to pursue her PhD.
Peter Kehoe, PhD received his MA in Psychology in 1996. Since then, he has obtained his California MFT license and a PhD in Psychology, and he now works for Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children’s Services. He develops and manages case plans for families of dependent children, writes court reports and makes recommendations to the court as to continuing dependency.
Warren Kaufman finished his MA in Psychology, in the MFCC (now called “MFT”) program at WISR, in June 1994. His M.A. thesis was on chemical dependency and addiction. Before entering WISR, Warren had been a sculptor, salesman, administrator, statistician, writer, and advertising and business consultant. He began college in New York City in 1951 and completed his BA at WISR in 1991, after transferring from New College of California. His major interest was in working with youth, and his senior project was “A Study of Youth Homes: Are Youth Homes Treatment Centers or Programmed Abuse Centers?” During his studies, Warren worked in a residential treatment center for youths in San Francisco. In the first year of his MA program, he gained experience as a supervised counseling trainee at a Santa Rosa nonprofit agency. He has become a licensed counselor in the State of Washington where he now resides.
Jill Klenota enrolled at WISR after many years of professional experience in the field of psychology. She finished her MA in Psychology (MFT) at WISR in 2001. Her thesis was a study of working with traumatized children in families with a history of sexual and physical abuse, and how therapy, including play therapy, can be used to help families heal and change. Following the completion of her MA at WISR, she worked at the Early Childhood Mental Health Program in Richmond as an Infant-Parent therapist. There, she provided therapy to low-income families with young children and was also a specialist in chemical dependency treatment. She has since moved to Seattle, where she is a Supervisor of Child/Parent Services for Wellspring Family Services.
Bobbi Lawrence is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, who did her MFT practicum with life-threatened clients and their families at the Center for Attitudinal Healing. She completed her MA in 1998, and her thesis was a study of how to integrate hypnotherapy and EMDR into a psychotherapeutic practice. Since graduating, she has co-authored the book, Allergy-Free (with Konorad Kail, N.D.), which is an alternative guide for those wishing to control their allergies. She has also taught a class on anxiety at the Antioch Kaiser, and she has served as the Program Director for Parent Education for the Family Stress Center in Concord.
Rick Longinotti completed his MA in Psychology (MFT) in 2003 and did his thesis on nonviolent communication. He was an MFT intern, counseling Medical clients in Watsonville and at the county jail. He has also led Nonviolent Communication groups at the jail. Rick has since obtained his MFT license and lives in Santa Cruz. His private practice focuses on couples, men and relationships, parents and teens, and family reconciliation. Rick speaks Spanish fluently and uses his bilingual skills in his practice. He also does training with the organization, Nonviolent Communication Santa Cruz .
A-lea Silas Lovis completed her MA at WISR in 1992. At Kaiser Hospital in Oakland and through the Shanti Project, she has counseled patients and their families about death, dying, and bereavement. She has studied hypnotherapy and family therapy with Milton Erikson. Her MA thesis was on “Re-Visioning Marital Intimacy.” It was a critical examination of readings and interview data on the spiritual dimension of marital relationships, as it pertains to difficulties and growth experienced within marriages. She is a practicing member of Judaism, the religion into which she was born, and during her MA program she served as a counseling trainee at Redwoods Presbyterian Church in Marin. After finishing her studies at WISR, she did pastoral counseling at Psychles of the Spirit.
H. Martin Malin, PhD completed his MA at WISR in May, 1996, and he has since received his California MFT license. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Sexology. He was previously manager of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution’s Sexual Disorders Clinic, and after finishing his MA at WISR, he served an Associate Professor and Director of the Clinical Studies Program at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. He has actively contributed writings to the field and has been published in such journals as The Therapist (the journal of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists). He now works with the Solano County Department of Mental Health as a mental health clinician.
Haritha Ragu (formerly Haritha Manthena) moved to the United States from her native country of India and completed the MA in Psychology at WISR, with the goal of obtaining the MFT license. Her MA thesis was on “Hinduism and the Effects of its Interpretation on the Psychology of Asian Indian Women.” She found this study to be very revealing, as well as personally helpful. She has completed her trainee hours for the MFT license, passed the first exam for licensure and has now entered a Califonia State approved program offering a doctoral degree that leads to the State’s Clinical Psychology license. In the meantime, she has returned to India, and in 2010, collaborated with several other women of Indian descent from various countries, in starting a non-profit agency [ www.roshnihyd.org ] that provides counseling and support for women, and chidren, who face various life challenges, and especially domestic violence.
Karen McChrystal received her MA in Psychology at WISR in 1980, in preparation for obtaining her State Marriage, Family and Child Counseling (MFCC) license. For many years, she maintained a private practice as a licensed MFCC in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Kentfield. Her clients included people who were victims of child abuse, and those suffering from hidden guilt or imaginary crimes. She also worked with clients to help them overcome writer’s block, and served as an organizational development consultant.
Alex Martinez Alex Martinez completed his MA at WISR in May 2012 in Social Sciences. His thesis was on the impact of social marginalization on the subculture of Mexican-American street gangs. He did research projects on identity, sports spectatorship, and mass media thought control. He collaborated with other WISR students in exploring Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, as well as in the Youth Development Action-Study Group that is being actively developed. Alex is involved in exploring youth gang affiliation, and prevention strategies. He will begin his doctoral studies toward the State clinical psychology license in early 2014 at San Diego University for Integral Studies Also, in early 2014, Alex has taken on a new job, working as a Child Development Specialist with Family Health Centers of San Diego. This organization is a non-profit medical clinic that serves the low-income and uninsured populations. There are over 28 clinics throughout San Diego county. He will be assessing children for developmental disorders and will be coaching parents in appropriate child rearing practices and in helping their children to communicate themselves effectively.
Sunaree Medrala completed her M.A. in Human Services and Community Development in 1998, as part of her ongoing work in her home country of Thailand. Her MA thesis was a follow up study of the continuing education efforts and activities of resettled refugees in Western countries, particularly in the vicinity of Vancouver, Canada. She reviewed pertinent literature, interviewed thirty Burmese refugees and five providers of services to refugees in Vancouver. She also drew on her observations in working twelve years as a professional in refugee programs. After receiving her MA, she returned to Thailand and assumed the positions of Senior Staff Trainer/ Liaison Officer to the Ministry of Education for St. Theresa International College in Bangkok. Subsequently, she accepted a position as a simultaneous interpreter for the International Law Enforcement Agency in Bangkok.
Prabha Milstein completed her MA in Psychology in 2000. Prabha earned her Bachelor’s in Social Welfare before moving to San Francisco. She was a teacher of elementary age children with San Francisco Unified School District for many years. When she began at WISR her role changed from teacher to that of crisis intervention counselor at a San Francisco public school in the Mission District. Her MA thesis examined the social context within which we provide therapy for children & families in poverty. She is now a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in San Francisco. She continues to work with children & families as well as individuals and couples. Prabha is currently preparing for her EMDR certification, for helping clients reprocess physical and emotional trauma.
Carole Morton received her MA in Psychology toward the MFT license. For her MA thesis at WISR, she produced a film, which portrayed an individual talking about their relationship with an unseen person, and at the end of the film we discover that the individual has been talking into a mirror. Carole used this film by showing it to a number of people, in order to learn more about what ideas and feelings the film elicits about each viewer’s relationship with her/himself. During her studies at WISR, Carole worked as a trainee in mind/body/spirit medical clinic, and in the field of pre- and peri-natal psychology with infants and young children as well. Carole received her MFT license in 2005, and runs a private practice with offices in San Francisco and Walnut Creek. She specializes in Mind/Body Medicine, with an integrated approach to healing. She is trained in the use of food as medicine and nutraceuticals–helping people to avoid, reduce or eliminate the use of toxic psychopharmaceuticals. She is a founding member of a new international educational organization called Micronutrients for Mental Health. In her private practice she works with adults, employing psychotherapeutic tools such as somatic experiencing, gestalt, breathwork, cognitive-behavioral therapy, focusing, inner-mediation, Imago and Gottman couples therapy, guided visualization, the teaching of self-hypnosis and past-life therapy (used in a similar fashion as dreamwork). Her work is relationship-based. She also provides adjunct breath therapy for clients in talk-therapy with therapists they want to remain with while adding a deeper level of investigation to their work. Carole is now a WISR core faculty member for the MFT program.
Jim Newberry of Merced, California, entered WISR’s MFT program at the tail-end of his decades-long career in the field of special education. His WISR studies reflected his interest in a meditational approach to psychotherapy, especially in contemplative psychotherapy and Psychosynthesis, as well as experiential and client-centered therapy. He received his Master’s from WISR in 2002, and is now an MFT Intern at the Miwu-Mati Native American Healing Center in Mariposa, California. He works with children, adults, couples, and families. His website is www.jimnewberry.net
Virginia Norton has been an innovator in human services since the early 1980s. She was founding Director of Napa Emergency Women’s Services and of a home health care referral program. She taught police officers and cadets in Napa, Sonoma, and Solano counties about domestic violence, and has been a part-time instructor at Napa Valley College. Her study for the MA in Social Sciences at WISR covered many topics, including services for homeless people, the formation of an ad hoc context bringing women together for dialogue, alternative futures, and the family in today’s society. Virginia’s MA thesis was on “The Role of Fiction in Social Change.” It included a review of literature on the impact of fiction on society, and several of her own short stories. Since receiving her MA in 1992, she has been working for the Napa County Employment Training Office, writing reports, plans, and grant proposals. She also has served on the advisory board for the Napa Valley College Re-entry Program. One of her short stories has been published in a local literary magazine, and her goal is to spend more time writing fiction, which is her true love. She is now Coordinator, Building Family Futures for the Napa County Council for Economic Opportunity.
Mark Notz received his MA in Education from WISR in April 2000. His studies focused on his work as a high school teacher with at-risk youth. His Master’s thesis was a study of the sport of Lacrosse—its past, including its “special spirit” and its connections to the communities and cultures where it is played, its current practice, and its future promise, including its possible role in the education of at-risk youth. After graduation, Mark continued to teach at risk students in the Opportunity Program at Vanden High School, which serves those students from Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base who have been struggling in the regular classroom. At the same time, he was the head coach of the University of California at Davis Lacrosse team. He has since moved to Massachusetts, and taught at an alternative education program at Stoughton High School. He is now Lacrosse Coach at Wheaton College, and he continues to be interested in education for at-risk youth.
Risa Pervier-Sawhill finished her MA in Psychology toward the MFT License in August 2000. Her thesis was on “Life Changes/Losses and the Grief Process.” Risa has worked for the Employment Development Department providing various services, some of which have included technical writing, training and group facilitation. During her traineeship, she worked at Diogenes Youth Services in Sacramento where she worked with youth and their families who were in crises. Her internship was with Sierra Family Services in Auburn and Roseville. Her internship included working with clients with a variety of presenting problems and diagnoses. Some of her focus included addictions, depression, anxiety, and loss/grief. Risa became a licensed MFT in January 2008. In her spare time, she enjoys a variety of outdoor activities some of which include kayaking, off road bicycle riding, hiking, Nordic skiing, and golfing.
Shoshanna Preiss enrolled at WISR to change careers, to retire from her many years of work in special education and to become a counselor. She completed her MA in Psychology in January, 1999. Her thesis was an examination of children’s choices of stories as gateways to self-knowledge and hope. After finishing Her MA, she began working at an agency in Richmond, Gateway, which sends her into schools in West Contra Costa County as a counselor. She also conducted parent education and facilitated a post-adoptive parent support group. Her interests include storytelling, music, dance, photography, the arts and the use of sand tray as an educational tool in the classroom. Shoshanna moved to Israel a few years ago.
Suzanne Quijano received her BA from Stanford University and her MBA from UCLA. Over the past 15 years, Suzanne has worked with families and children in a variety of settings. She completed her WISR MA in April 2013. In her practicum, she worked for the City of Fremont doing clinical and school-based counseling with at-risk youth and their families. Suzanne has concentrated her work on helping people of all ages navigate the gifts and challenges of anxiety and highly reactive temperaments. Her MA thesis was an exploration of gender differences in childhood anxiety. She has also combined her expertise from studies in psychology at WISR with her knowledge from previous degrees to offer seminars on career development tools for the professional counselor.
Lyn Rountree works with severely emotionally disturbed adolescents at Victor Youth Services in Redding. She has a specialized interest in Equine Psychotherapy, which was the focus of her MA thesis. Lyn received her MA in Psychology toward the MFT license in October 1998. She has since received her MFT license.
Ona Schissel‘s MA work in Human Services at WISR included an internship with the State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. In her MA thesis, she analyzed career education materials such as tests, planning guides, and curriculum guides, and compared these materials to contemporary themes and issues regarding the nature of work. After her graduation in 1980, she entered private practice as a vocational rehabilitation counselor.
Monika Scott completed her MA in Psychology at WISR in the area of Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT). She then began working an MFT intern working toward the MFT license, while also pursuing a PhD in Higher Education and Social Change at WISR. Her MA thesis studied and made recommendations on the topic of “Social Changes Needed to Respond to the Challenges Facing Foster Youth When They Turn 18 and “age out of the system.” Her MA practicum and subsequent job/MFT internship gave her direct day-to-day experience in working with foster youth through the STARS community services in the foster care support program. In that capacity, she provided mental health and intensive case management services to Alameda county foster care youth. More recently, she has become an Administrator in Training intern at Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland, and she just completed her required supervised hours for the MFT license as a MFT Intern at Southeast Mission Geriatric Services. She is now studying for the licensing exams, and preparing to enter the dissertation stage of her PhD studies at WISR. Her PhD program at WISR has focused not only on the unmet needs of foster youth, but also on gerontology.
Mary St. Clair has a BS in Business Administration from Hayward State and has served in the U.S. Air Force. While studying at WISR, Mary worked as an office manager in chiropractic and acupuncture offices. Mary completed her MA in Psychology in March 2000 with special emphases on the development, psychology and treatment of marital and sexual disorders, crisis and suicide intervention counseling, and counseling with “at risk” teenage girls. Mary then interned at A Better Way, an adoption and foster care agency, to obtain the necessary supervised hours for the MFT license. Mary is now a licensed MFT.
Nancy Taylor finished her MA at WISR leading toward the MFT license. At that time, she was doing individual and group therapy at Millhouse Children’s Services based in Nevada City and Sacramento and is also Chief of Quality Assurance there. She has since obtained her MFT license.
Larry Yavorsky completed his MA in Psychology in November 1994. His MA thesis examined the effects of the use of acupuncture in conjunction with other treatment modalities at the Chinatown-North Beach Clinic, which is part of the Department of Mental Health of the City and County of San Francisco. Larry continued to work at the clinic as a counselor, case manager, and outreach worker after graduation from WISR, and obtained his MFT license.
Raelene Weaver graduated from WISR’s MA program in Psychology leading toward the MFT license. She is now a licensed MFT in private practice, and also working as a school therapist in family and children’s services at Hyde Middle School in Cupertino.
Lydell Willis is the Transitional Students and Families Specialist for the Oakland Unified School District. Lydell’s role in that program is to support the academic success of students who are homeless or who reside in out-of-home foster care placements. Lydell completed the MA at WISR in July 2012, with the goal of eventually obtaining the California MFT license.
Shelly Zavala facilitated a weekly women’s support group while enrolled at WISR. Shelly is originally from New Zealand, and she and her husband had a school age daughter at the time of her studies at WISR toward the MFT license. Shelly completed her MA in August 1998, and her thesis was on her experiences of being a trainee therapist–on how the therapist’s shadow, his or her own issues and agendas and counter-transference affect what the therapist does with her or his clients. As part of her research, Shelly interviewed four clients with whom she worked as a trainee. Throughout her program, Shelly was especially concerned with learning how to relate to the inner selves of clients, and to better appreciate and understand the subtleties of therapeutic practice. Shelly has since become a licensed MFT and has a private practice.
Some Alumni of WISR’s Bachelor’s Degree programs
Larry Berkelhammer completed his BA in Psychology in April 1994, and went on to complete an MA program on his way to obtaining the MFT license. Larry’s senior thesis was “A Comparison of the Rosen Method [of Bodywork] with Psychotherapy: Focusing on the Effects on the Practitioner.” Larry entered WISR with no previous college credit, but with years of experience in starting and operating his own business and in learning about various approaches to humanistic psychology and bodywork. In conjunction with his studies at WISR, he studied at The Rosen Institute, and he became certified in the Rosen Method of bodywork just before completing his BA at WISR. Larry later went on to get his MA and then his MFT license, and has recent completed his PhD at WISR.
Lisa Carey is a single mother who returned to school to complete her BA in Human Services and Community Development in February of 1998. She was working full-time and also starting her own business. Some of her specific interests included: 1) getting school systems to acknowledge people of mixed heritage as a group within the category of people of color with needs for specific curricula and school practices; 2) looking at the powerful but subtle effects of language, for example when terms such as “dark” and “black” have negative connotations and can perpetuate racism; and 3) studying how people can change their learned patterns of communication so that they can more effectively work with each other to create social change. Her senior thesis was “The Process of Preventing Lice Infestation by Creating an Inhospitable Environment Through Research and Making Policy Changes at Walden School.” After graduating from WISR, she made presentations to various community groups, such as BANANAS (child care information and referral agency) in Oakland on how parents and childcare providers can address the problems posed by head lice infestations among children.
Sam Hunt completed his BA at WISR in 1988, with the aid of funding from the State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. He is a journeyman rigger who has worked in steel mills in Ohio and Chicago, an oil refinery in Los Angeles, and an auto plant in the Bay Area. At WISR, he pursued his interests in labor studies, social history, and 20th Century Japan and China. His senior project was a survey of the Communist League of China from 1928 to 1941, based on interviews with a former League member shortly before his death in late 1987. Immediately after receiving his BA in Fall, 1988, Sam achieved his objective of a job teaching English in Japan. A year later, he began MA studies at WISR, in conjunction with a residency at the University of Tokyo, through which he worked with Professor Hideo Totsuka on a comparative study of Japanese and American labor relations. Sam finished his MA in Social Sciences at WISR in 1991, with a thesis on “Japan’s Post-World War II Strike Wave (Before and After).”
Micha Kauert immigrated to the United States from Germany after obtaining the Berlin Degree in Education. While enrolled at WISR he was a self-employed carpenter and a devoted Black Belt in Aikido. He completed his BA in 1988, with a senior project on the psychological and social causes of violence and aggression. His research included interview data on the ways in which martial arts, particularly Aikido, help people to handle feelings of anger and aggression. After a break in his studies, he enrolled in WISR’s MA Program in Psychology, with the goal of obtaining his MFCC license. Micha completed a practicum in the crisis unit of Marin General Hospital during 1991-92, and did his MA thesis on Brief Therapies and the strategy of “reframing.” Upon completing his MA in 1992, he moved to Santa Cruz and took a counseling position in a community agency. He is now a licensed MFT.
The late Charmaine Murphrey received her BA in Psychology from WISR in April 1995. She completed her degree in just over two years after not having been in school for 40 years (high school in Texas). Her senior thesis was a study in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. She went on to complete of her PsyD at Western American University, and to obtain the California Clinical Psychologist License.
Eli Rosenblatt received his B.A in Social Science from WISR in April 1993. He has been organizing for human rights and social justice for more than 17 years. Eli enrolled at WISR after having completed almost two years of college at San Francisco State University and at Lewis and Clark College. His BA studies at WISR revolved around his involvement in community activism and organizing. They included a community education project to inform the public about the Rainforest Crisis; readings in community organizing; readings and interviews on the role of Euro-American activists in solidarity with Native North America; and a senior thesis that developed a handbook of readings for educators and activists on the crisis in prisons. His senior thesis, a book of articles he edited and wrote about, was refined and published by South End Press under the title, Criminal Injustice: Confronting the Prison Crisis.After graduation, Eli started his own business, providing legal and investigative assistance to criminal defense attorneys, focusing mainly on death penalty appeals. He founded and coordinated the Prison Activist Resource Center (PARC), a project that was launched out of Berkeley’s Long Haul, an activist community center. PARC worked in coalition with other prison activists, religious communities, academics and youth activist groups to organize a 3 day conference attended by 3,000 people on “Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex.” PARC also publishes an annual directory of contact information and areas of work for over 300 prison issues groups and organizations in the U.S., Europe and Canada. Eli continued to work with other groups around prisons and criminal justice issues, including projects of the Coalition for Battered Women in Prison, the Real Dragon Prison Project, and Free Radio Berkeley. He was the founding coordinator of the National Radio Project’s Prison Desk. He has also been an active contributor to a number of on-line discussion groups regarding prisons, criminal justice, and domestic violence. As a consultant and contractor, Eli provided custom installation of telephone and voice mail systems, PC and Mac networks and upgrades, and strategic tech planning to numerous grassroots non-profits. He then pursued a Master’s degree in education while living in Portland, Oregon. He is now a Board Certified Criminal Defense Investigator in Oregon.
Nadine Shaw-Landesvatter worked as an English as a Second Language/English as a Foreign Language teacher for over seven years in Kagoshima, Japan; Quetzaltenango, Guatemala; and Bangkok, Thailand. Nadine is African-American and married to a German photographer whom she met in Bangkok. They have two sons, Jacob and Kai. Prior to enrolling at WISR, she founded and later continued to facilitate a support network for parents of multiracial children, W.A.Y. 2000. Her involvement with multiracial and intercultural families served as an important part of her studies at WISR. For her senior thesis, she founded the nonprofit organization, Our Colors, Inc. That organization was, by design, “a community of lots of races– the multiracial community. We are a grassroots non-profit organization committed to fostering hope, courage, self-esteem and confidence in our children in this race conscious society. We offer support through facilitated forums, information and resources for parents of biracial, multiracial and transracial adopted children. Our mission is to educate and to bring awareness to ourselves as parents as well as bring an awareness to our community . . . on the issues of diversity–multiracial/multiculturalism and to promote racial sensitivity and acceptance.” She went on to become the owner of Breath Works CPR and First Aid Training where she is a Certified CPR instructor, while also working as a Certified Medical Assistant Instructor at Everest College in Hayward.
Gilles Tarquin completed his BA in Psychology in May of 1998. His senior thesis was an investigation into the father-son relationship, how it has been, how it is, and how it could or should be. His BA studies at WISR focused on psychological causes of disease, psychological factors leading to work injuries and psycho-social factors and issues pertaining to the father-son relationship. Gilles is a native of France, and is continuing his work as a chiropractor. He is now certified as an Industrial Disability Evaluator and does ergonomic evaluations for businesses, and is also involved in nursing homes with the elderly a few hours each week. In his spare time, he is working on writing a story, which takes place in Argentina after the first Peron presidency.
Steve Thompson completed the last 37 units of his BA studies in Human Services and Community Development at WISR. He received his degree in March 2000. He studied at WISR while working full-time and living with his family in the Sierra foothills in Angels Camp. His senior thesis was an assessment of services available to, and needed by, elders living in Calaveras County, especially the more remote areas. He now works as a social worker at Calaveras County Child Protective Services.
Susan Wayne completed her BA at WISR in Human Services and Community Development in December 1993. Susan came to WISR from Toronto, Canada, where she was on a year-long sabbatical from her job as Manager of the Toronto Centre for Career Education. The Centre was providing career counseling, job search and placement, and career information for high school students, adult students, and the general public. It also offered an eight-week course for welfare recipients, mostly laid-off factory workers, on self-assessment, job search, and development of computer skills. Susan’s studies at WISR focused on (1) strategies and models through which the schools could more accurately reflect the society of which they are a part; (2) employment and equity issues in general; and (3) ways to establish equity issues as parts of the language and agendas of the Centre, in the context of organizational restructuring and downsizing. Subsequently, Susan left the Centre and to focus on project work in the community, designing a program for a shelter for women and children who have suffered abuse, to help women move towards financial and personal independence. *