Center Co-Founders / Co-Directors
Debora Colbert is the co-Founder and co-Director for Colorado State University’s (CSU) Center for Mindfulness. She also serves as the Director of Professional Development at The Institute of Learning and Teaching (TILT) and has worked in higher education over 18 years. Debora collaborates with faculty to develop high quality programs for faculty and students regarding teaching and learning theory and best practices. She has been practicing mindfulness meditation for many years, a yogi for the past six years, and promotes diversity and inclusivity in sharing the powerful effects of mindfulness practices in higher education. Debora has taught “Calm within Guided Meditation” workshops for faculty and staff at the Professional Development Institute (PDI) for the past four years. She holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Performance and Change from CSU.
Margit Hentschel is the co-Founder and co-Director for Colorado State University’s Center for Mindfulness. She also serves as the Director of the Office of Service-Learning at Colorado State University’s (CSU) Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT). Her office is dedicated to carrying out the university’s commitment to service-learning through outreach, diversity, enhanced student learning, instructional innovation and effectiveness, student retention, and directs CSU’s Community Engagement Leaders program. Margit teaches mindfulness practices in campus classrooms and community workshops. She has taught mindfulness practices for over 15 years and is a certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist. She has several publications as a book contributor on global community sustainability and climate change adaptation strategies. She has a Ph.D. from Colorado State University’s School of Education with a focus on Peace and Reconciliation Leadership.
Center Committee Members
Linda Anson, M.Ed
Linda Anson M.Ed, is a C4M leadership team community member and member of the Community Hospice Labyrinth committee. After 30 years in Poudre School District as a licensed high school teacher, grant developer and certified counselor, her focus is now combining her passions of teaching and Mindfulness. She began her mindfulness practice in 1994 after reading “Where Ever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat Zin. Her professional trainings include MBSR, Mindful Schools, and several trainings through The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkely. Linda has introduced Mindfulness to many CSU students, staff members, and community groups, through presentations and workshops.
Christina Berg is the CSU Health Network Director of Health Education and Prevention Services (HEPS). HEPS is designed to foster and support healthy behavior, lifestyles and learning for the CSU campus community through mental health, alcohol and other drug, nutrition and fitness, and sexual health initiatives. Her vision is to foster mindfulness, heart-centered awareness and resiliency capacity building for CSU student success. She is trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR) and the Institute of Heart Math. Christina teaches mindfulness and meditation at the college level and at various professional trainings and conferences. She brings an embodied understanding and wisdom to the field of mindfulness, with its capacity to help navigate our inner and outer experiences. She has a Master’s in Public Health and undergraduate focus in organizational communication and psychology.
J. Douglas Coatsworth is a Professor in Human Development and Family Studies serving as a prevention scientist with a research focus on wellness in adolescence and family-based preventive interventions to promote positive parenting. Over the past 20 years, Doug has studied family treatment for substance in adolescents and helped apply that successful treatment model in a preventive mode focused on youth competence/resilience. His research involves studying mindfulness in the family context. He is completing a five-year, clinical trial, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, on a mindful parenting intervention. His research team adapted the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 by infusing mindfulness techniques and principles into the parent/youth training curriculum. Doug holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
Viviane Ephraimson-Abt, M.S., M.Ed., LPCC
Viviane Ephraimson-Abt, M.S., M.Ed., LPCC, is the Coordinator of Resiliency and Well-Being Initiatives with the CSU Health Network. Viviane has taught mindfulness practices for groups, organizations, and individuals since 1998. She shares mindfulness for its many benefits in one’s academic, professional, and personal life. Viviane enjoys facilitating a variety of mindfulness-based trainings at CSU including for stress reduction and enhancements in workplace climate, leadership, and interpersonal effectiveness. She also incorporates mindfulness into her intercultural and diversity teaching. She serves as a leader in the Community for Mindful Living leader, a Center for Council Dialogue trainer and a Personal Leadership: Making a World of Difference facilitator. She is a graduate of the Hakomi Institute for mindfulness based psychotherapy and holds an M.S. in Intercultural Communication from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.Ed. in Counseling and Career Development from CSU.
Gwen Gorzelsky is Executive Director of The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) and Associate Professor of English at Colorado State University. She has published articles in College Composition and Communication, College English, Reflections, JAC, JAEPL, and other venues, as well as The Language of Experience: Literate Practices and Social Change (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005). Her research interests include writing instruction, learning transfer, metacognition, and literacy learning, particularly uses of literacy for personal and social change. At TILT, she supports students’ learning and academic success and helps faculty members to implement state-of-the-art, research-based approaches to course and curriculum design and contributes to research on learning and teaching. She has meditated regularly since 2000 and now practices with Peaceful Heart Sangha in Fort Collins.
Susan Howe, PhD
Susan is a Research Scientist in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, holds an Affiliate position in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, and serves as grants writer for the new Center for Mindfulness (C4M) at Colorado State University. She has engaged in contemplative practice for over 20 years with formal training in the Shambhala tradition, and holds a BS in Management Science from Ithaca College, MS in Ecology, and PhD in Earth Sciences from Colorado State University. Her research has historically focused on basin-scale ecohydrology and fluvial geomorphology, and she is currently exploring the integration of contemplative pedagogy and traditional scientific methods of inquiry in environmental science for its efficacy in inspiring individual and social change toward sustainable human societies and the biosphere.
Nathalie Kees is an Associate Professor of Counseling and Career Development in the School of Education at CSU for the past 28 years. Her areas of teaching and research include women’s issues in counseling, spirituality and counseling, group work, peace education, counseling skills training and supervision. She teaches Contemplative Practices in Counseling and Education. Dr. Kees also served as Co-Chair for CSU’s President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity and as CSU’s Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute. She founded the Women’s Interest Network for the American Counseling Association, served as guest editor for the Journal for Specialists in Group and the Journal of Counseling and Development, and co-authored Manager as Facilitator and 147 Tips for Teaching Peace. She has studied with Thich Nhat Hanh and Parker Palmer.
Arlene A. Schmid, PhD, OTR
Arlene A. Schmid, PhD, OTR, is an Associate professor for the Department of Occupational Therapy, and co-director of the Integrative Rehabilitation Lab. Dr. Schmid is an Occupational Therapist and Co-director of the CSU Integrative Rehabilitation Lab, http://www.irl.chhs.colostate.edu, and is on the scientific committee for the international Symposium on Yoga Research. She studies the efficacy and effectiveness of yoga and meditation as a complementary and integrative health (CIH) therapy to improve rehabilitation care, health and wellness, and QoL for people with disabilities. She is also interested in integrating yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices into rehabilitation education curriculums to better prepare occupational therapists (and other rehabilitation professionals) to incorporate such therapies into clinical practice.
Katya Stewart-Sweeney has been a CSU staff member since 2002 and currently serves as a Graduate and International Student Advisor in Electrical and Computer Engineering. She is a member of the Fort Collins Shambhala Meditation Center, and has been meditating since 1988. Katya has been practicing the martial art T’ai Chi Ch’uan for 30 years, as a student at Rocky Mountain Tai Chi in Boulder. She earned her B.A. in Buddhist and Western Psychology; and her M.A. in Counseling, both from Naropa University. She has been connected with Quaker (Society of Friends) schools and organizations in Pennsylvania and Colorado. Katya is excited for all that our new Center for Mindfulness stands for, and to be a part of this pioneering endeavor.