Professors, Lecturers, and Instructors

LifeWorks Instructors

Gigi Otálvaro, Ph.D. – Associate Director of LifeWorks

Gigi Otálvaro is an educator, interdisciplinary performance artist-scholar, writer, and psychogeographer. As Associate Director of the Division of Health and Human Performance, she leads LifeWorks. Her research and pedagogy engage mindfulness-based art practice, Latina/x and women of color feminisms, queer of color critique, sexual commerce and performance, as well as art and activism. Prior to her current position, she was a Teaching Fellow in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, where she taught research-based writing courses exploring the connections between visual art, performance, embodiment, and mindfulness. She has a Ph.D. in Theater & Performance Studies with a minor in Art History from Stanford University, an M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts, and a B.A. in Hybridity and Performance from Brown University. Recent publications have appeared in Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture, Open Space (San Francisco MOMA’s online platform), Art Practical, and Performance Research. She is the recipient of the first-ever Carl Weber Prize for Integration of Creative Practice and Scholarly Research (Theater & Performance Studies) and has also received awards from Stanford’s Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, the Women’s Community Center (the university-wide Graduate Feminist Scholar Award), Core77, Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art, the San Francisco Art Commission, the Potrero Nuevo Fund Prize, and the National Association for Latino Art and Culture, among others.

Anthony Lising Antonio, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Education

Anthony Lising Antonio is Associate Professor of Education and Associate Director of the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research. Antonio’s research focuses on American higher education, particularly in the areas of stratification and postsecondary access, racial diversity and its impact on students and institutions, student friendship networks, and student development. Most recently, he was selected to the inaugural cohort of the Spencer Foundation Mid-Career Fellows Program. Among his current projects are studies of engineering education and career persistence and college-going culture in schools.

Aneel Chima, Ph.D. - Director of Health & Human Performance & The Flourishing Project

Aneel’s core interests exist at the intersection of the science of wellbeing, leadership praxis, and transformative technology studies. The questions animating his work are: What is the future of human flourishing in a hyper-complex, ever-accelerating cultural context where technology is ubiquitous? How do we practice flourishing authentically, propagate it effectively, and create vibrant, inclusive communities that ignite it? Aneel is passionate about using psychological insights to affect sustainable social change. Currently, he serves on the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and of Consciousness Hacking, a global community exploring technology as a catalyst for human transformation. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and a B.A., with honors, in consciousness studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Cari Costanzo, Ph.D. – Lecturer

Cari Costanzo is a Cultural Anthropologist who helps individuals unfold their stories. Integrating her work as an ethnographer and an Academic Director, Cari designs Body Map workshops that combine cultural awareness with artistic and contemplative practices to encourage the reframing and reclaiming of embodied experiences, enabling participants to both reflect upon and creatively share their life stories. Cari’s research, writing, and teaching focus on ritual, embodiment, and identity formation in contemporary society, looking closely at the cultural construction of race, class, gender, and sexuality. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in India, Hawaii, and on the Stanford campus.  Cari is a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, as well as the Thinking Matters and LifeWorks Programs at Stanford University. She has also taught undergraduate and graduate students in the’s Life Design Lab, served on the launch team of the Stanford Resilience Project, and is a founding member of Gender Inclusive Stanford. Cari is a recipient of the Centennial Teaching Award for outstanding pedagogical innovations in the classroom. From 2010-2015 Cari served as a Resident Fellow, living in an all-freshman dormitory with her two children, where she blended formal and informal learning to facilitate intellectual curiosity and personal growth among the 99 residents of Twain Hall.  Cari earned a BA in Comparative Literature from USC, an MA in the MAPSS Program at the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University.

Diane Friedlaender, Ph.D. - Associate Director of Learning, Pedagogy and Research

Diane Friedlaender is the Associate Director of Learning, Pedagogy and Research in the Division of Health and Human Performance Diane is committed to infusing humanity into our educational systems and explores holistic ways to support students’ development across social-emotional, creative, spiritual, physical and cognitive dimensions. Diane previously led case study education research at the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) with a focus on documenting educational change processes and the kinds of educational spaces in which students, particularly low-income, and students of color, can thrive. She has also worked for many years documenting the power of arts integration as a tool for social justice in schools that serve low-income communities of color. As part of her commitment to holistic educational experiences, Diane co-created and led an elementary school mindfulness program. She has a B.A. in Anthropology from UC San Diego, and a Ph.D. in education policy from UCLA.

Fred Luskin, Ph.D. – Lecturer

Frederic Luskin has been teaching at Stanford for twenty years. He co-taught the first class focused on spiritual well-being in the 90’s called Mind, Body and Spirit. Since then he has studied and taught extensively on the benefits of forgiveness as the Director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project. He has written two bestselling books on forgiveness: Forgive for GoodandForgive for Love. Five years ago, Dr. Luskin and Carole Pertofsky began teaching the happiness (positive psychology) classes at Stanford. As one of the original researchers in positive psychology, he is a firm believer in highlighting human strengths. He teaches workshops on developing emotional intelligence for the Vice Provost of Graduate Education.

Andrew Todhunter - Lecturer

Andrew Todhunter is an award-winning writer and lecturer at Stanford University, where he teaches writing, interdisciplinary creativity and contemplative practice. He is the co-founder of two programs at Stanford—The Senior Reflection, a creative capstone program in Biology, and the LifeWorks Program in Integrative Learning. He has also offered courses or workshops in collaboration with the Stanford Storytelling Project, Honors in the Arts, the Program in Writing and Rhetoric and other programs. His book A Meal Observed won the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction. He is also the author of Dangerous Games and the San Francisco Chronicle best seller Fall of the Phantom Lord. A longtime practitioner of meditation and Aikido, he often integrates these practices and wilderness experience into his courses at Stanford.

Jonah Willihnganz, Ph.D. – Lecturer

Jonah Willihnganz is the Bruce Braden Lecturer of Narrative Studies and director of The Stanford Storytelling Project, an arts program that explores how  narrative practices can help deepen natural human capacities such as courage, empathy, and gratitude.  His main research interests have been in the fields of narratology and psychology and he has published fiction, essays, and articles on American literature.  He teaches courses in creative writing, American literature, media studies, and critical theory, and collaborates extensively across disciplines to explore how story craft and practices can be used to create personal and social change.  A long-time meditator and student of Aikido, he incorporates their practices of attention and intention into many of his courses. He received a bachelor's degree in political economy from Georgetown University, an MFA in creative writing from Hollins University, and a PhD in English from Brown.

Wellness Education Instructors

Sarah Meyer-Tapia - Associate Director of Wellness Education

Sarah Meyer Tapia, MA, is Associate Director in the Division of Health & Human Performance, overseeing the Wellness academic program for students. Her passion is creating structures that allow for both high achievement and holistic well-being. At Stanford since 2013 she’s worked in both employee and student wellness, studying and teaching stress-management, positive psychology, and mindfulness to students, faculty, and staff.  Sarah earned her graduate degree in Counseling and Health Psychology from Santa Clara University where she received the Research Excellence Grant for her work teaching mindfulness.  She is now a PhD student in Integral & Transpersonal Psychology researching the science of intuition. She deeply believes staying connected to who we are and why do we what we do is critical to an exceptional, fulfilling life.

Claudia Bicen - Lecturer

Claudia Biçen is the Creative Director of Project Wayfinder, a Bay Area non-profit that designs purpose-building educational experiences for high school, college and adult communities. As a visual artist, her work has focused on how people construct meaning in a transient world. Her recent project Thoughts in Passing, a series of pencil portraits and interviews with hospice patients, was exhibited at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, featured in the Washington Post, Huffington Post and San Francisco Chronicle and has been shared in universities, high schools, hospitals and senior living centers across the US and UK. Claudia holds a BA in Philosophy & Psychology from the University of Oxford and an MSc in Social Anthropology from University College London where she wrote her thesis on the cross-cultural use of metaphor as a means to support people through life challenges and transitions. Claudia is co-teaching "Finding Your Purpose" with Aneel Chima and Patrick Cook-Deegan.

Nichol Bradford - Lecturer

Nichol Bradford is fascinated by human possibility and technology. She is the CEO of the Willow Group and Executive Director of the Transformative Technology Lab. Prior to becoming a leader in Transformative Technology, Bradford was a senior executive in video games with responsibility for strategy, operations and marketing for major brands that include: Activision Blizzard, Disney, and Vivendi Games. Nichol is a graduate of Singularity University GSP15, has an MBA from Wharton School of Business in Strategy, and a BBA in Marketing from the University of Houston. She is a fellow of the British American Project, served on the board of the Brandon Marshall Foundation for Mental Health, and is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Learn more at

Patrick Cook-Deegan - Lecturer

Patrick is a leader in purpose learning, meaning-making education, and reimagining high school for the 21st century. In 2015-2016, Patrick was an education innovation fellow at Stanford's He came into the fellowship with the question: How do we help adolescents craft meaningful lives and develop a sense of purpose? A year later, Project Wayfinder was born. Patrick has spent the last decade helping youth develop through a number of experiential education programs including: mindfulness education (Inward Bound Mindfulness Education), wilderness education (Back to Earth), social innovation (Brown University’s Social Innovation Initiative), and starting a travel abroad program for low-income students. Patrick is a longtime wilderness guide and has been deeply influenced by the history and practices of native traditions around the world. He is a graduate of the Tracking Project’s community mentoring training – a program focused on appropriately and effectively bringing native wisdom into the modern world.


Robert Cusick - Lecturer

Robert trained at Stanford University School of Medicine in the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE). He is a Stanford Lecturer & Certified Sr. Stanford CCT™ (Compassion Cultivation Training) Instructor and teaches at Stanford University, UCSF, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center and in multiple other venues. As a long- time meditator and former monk, Robert ordained in Burma under the renowned meditation master, Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw, and studied with him from 2003 - 2012.  He has studied in the Soto Zen tradition, in the Ridhwan School’s Diamond approach with A. H. Almaas (Hameed Ali), and in the Insight Meditation tradition with Gil Fronsdal PhD, Jack Kornfield PhD, and others. He provides grief counseling and bereavement support for adults and children at Kara in Palo Alto.

CAP profile

Dustin DiPerna - Lecturer

Dustin’s core interests explore the intersection of meditation and purpose finding as essential elements of wellbeing and living a flourishing life. He completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell University and earned his Masters degree at Harvard University conducting detailed cross-cultural analysis of advanced meditative states. Dustin is author of the books Streams of Wisdom, Evolution's Ally, and Earth is Eden - and co-editor of the books Purpose Rising and The Coming Waves

Bryan Lian - Lecturer

Bryan’s interests converge at the intersections between nutrition therapy and experiential modalities; quality improvement and healthcare; and body justice and body acceptance work. Bryan has trained and worked in pediatric nutrition since 2011, with specializations in eating disorders and behavioral health. He received his BA in biology and nutrition from Rutgers University, MS in Health Administration and Interdisciplinary Leadership from UCSF. He did his clinical training at two Harvard teaching hospitals, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital for dietetics and adolescent health respectively. He’s currently appointed as a staff dietitian at Stanford’s student health center, a member of the iThrive team, and a private practitioner. 


Ying Liu - Lecturer

Yingzhao is Director of User Experience Design for International Markets at LinkedIn, and draws from a deeply collaborative investigation of human processes to build empathetic and innovative products. She’s worked in the field of design and creativity across multiple tech companies and design agencies, and is also a facilitator and speaker on topics of mindfulness and integration.

Fred Luskin, Ph.D. – Lecturer

Frederic Luskin has been teaching at Stanford for twenty years. He co-taught the first class focused on spiritual well-being in the 90’s called Mind, Body and Spirit. Since then he has studied and taught extensively on the benefits of forgiveness as the Director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project. He has written two bestselling books on forgiveness: Forgive for GoodandForgive for Love. Five years ago, Dr. Luskin and Carole Pertofsky began teaching the happiness (positive psychology) classes at Stanford. As one of the original researchers in positive psychology, he is a firm believer in highlighting human strengths. He teaches workshops on developing emotional intelligence for the Vice Provost of Graduate Education.

Jeffery Martin  - Lecturer

Jeffery is a social scientist, entrepreneur, technologist, and investor who specializes in advancing the highest forms of human wellbeing. For over a decade he has conducted the largest international study on persistent non-symbolic experience (PNSE).  He is also the founder of the Transformative Technology space, which has grown to become a multi-billion dollar ecosystem that promotes the use of science and technology to substantially raise human mental and emotional wellbeing. The TransTech movement can be found in hundreds of cities an over 70 countries. A bestselling author and award-winning educator, Jeffery has authored, co-authored, or co-edited over 20 books. His work has regularly been featured at leading academic conferences and public forums worldwide. He has been covered in media as diverse as the South China Morning Post and PBS’s Closer to Truth, and been an invited speaker at many top universities. Learn more at: and

Molly Maloof - Lecturer

Imagine a future where healthcare does not just treat disease but promotes health—the ability to adapt and self manage in the face of adversity. Where patients are continuously monitored and tested to predict and prevent chronic lifestyle related illnesses, doctors and patients are partners in self-care and aging is no longer an economic catastrophe. Comparing the reality of today with a future focus on health optimization and healthspan extension, Dr. Molly envisions a world where chronic disease is no longer our destiny and we can thrive till the end of our lives. Combining her experience at the cutting edge of personalized medicine in Silicon Valley with her love of innovation, Dr. Molly is a pioneer in health technologies that enable more of us to own our own health, practice data-driven self-care so that we can perform better, have greater wellbeing, and live a better quality of life for longer.


Meag-gan O'Reilly, Ph.D. - Lecturer

Meag-gan O’Reilly is a Staff Psychologist and Program Coordinator of Outreach, Equity & Inclusion at Stanford’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at the Vaden Health Center. Dr. O'Reilly is the CEO of Inherent Value Psychology INC her private practice in downtown Palo Alto in which she provides clinical services for Silicon Valley professionals. Her areas of clinical interest include social class, college student mental health, resilience, identity development and multicultural identities particularly gender and ethnicity. Her research covers several areas under the umbrella of social justice and equality. She believes deeply in the transformative power of psychological science to liberate and improves lives.

Pamela Paspa - Lecturer

Pamela Paspa has over 16 years in working in higher education and career coaching. Her primary role at Stanford oversees the Engineering and SE3 Team at Stanford Career Education where she is dedicated to serving undergraduate and masters students with their career paths. Pamela is a Board Certified Coach, A Certified Professional CoActive Coach (CPCC), a certified MBTI level I & II facilitator, and a certified Social and Emotional Intelligence Coach. Pamela holds a B.A. in Sociology from UC Berkeley, and a Masters in Counseling. She is currently in her Doctorate program at USC, in Organizational Change and Leadership. She loves facilitating team development and conflict resolution, as well as teaching multiple career-related courses focused on well-being, courage, resilience and finding your purpose.

Carole Pertofsky - Lecturer

Carole teaches positive psychology, mindfulness, and well-being courses at Stanford, and is a national speaker, trainer, consultant, and workshop leader for health and wellness institutes, retreat centers, and companies.  Carole is a certified coach for individuals and teams focused on high performance. Her passion is inspiring people to thrive and flourish in a complex world. She also serves the campus as the Director of Student Wellness Services.

Jennifer Robinson, Ph.D. - Lecturer

In addition to teaching for HHP, Jennifer is the Administrative Director for the Community Health and Prevention Research Master’s Program as well as the Program Manager for Christopher Gardner’s Nutrition Studies Group. She received her PhD in Nutrition from UC Davis and has been working in the field of health and wellness for over 20 years. She is a certified Pilates & yoga instructor and has been teaching for almost the same amount of time. In her personal time, you will find her in a yoga class, hiking, or spending time with her young daughter and husband.

Mikey Siegel- Lecturer

Mikey is a robotics engineer turned consciousness hacker. He envisions a present and future where science and technology support psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing--where our devices not only connect us to information, but also connect us more deeply to ourselves and each other. He sees technology as a catalyst for individual and collective human flourishing. In addition to teaching at Stanford, he is founder of Consciousness HackingBioFluent Technologies, the Transformative Technology Conference, and serves on the board of trustees of the California Institute of Integral Studies. He speaks internationally on topics related to transformative technology and his work has been featured in The New YorkerWired, the national bestselling book Stealing Fire, and many other media outlets. He received an MS in robotics from the MIT Media Lab.

Kelly Takahashi - Lecturer

Kelly believes that personal finance is a powerful tool to help folks live the life they want and is excited to help Stanford students build these skills that will serve them for a lifetime. Kelly is a Senior Financial Analyst with Student Financial Services as is the program driector for Mind over Money. Prior to Stanford, she was a business lender with Union Bank for 13 years.

Sara Tanza - Lecturer

Dr. Sara Tanza graduated from the University of California, San Francisco. She went on to complete a year long residency at Kaiser Vallejo, being trained in Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation focusing on patients with neurologic conditions including spinal cord injury, stroke and brain injury. Sara went on to complete her Certification in Functional Manual Therapy from the Institute of Physical Art in 2014 with distinction. At her practice, Pelvic Potential Physical Therapy in Aptos, California (, Dr. Tanza treats patients with pelvic floor, musculoskeletal and neurologic dysfunction. She has a special interest in the care of high level athletes during the pre-natal and post partum period. In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Tanza is guest faculty in the UCSF Graduate Program in Physical Therapy. Dr. Tanza also teaches continuing education for physical therapists as faculty with The Institute of Physical Art.

Rosalyne Tu - Lecturer

Rosalyne is a Lecturer in WellnessEd, Dietitian, Instructor for Health Improvement Program (HIP), and Biometrics Manager and Coach for the BeWell Program. After receiving a BS in Nutritional Sciences at UC Berkeley (’02), and attending a dietetic internship at Pennsylvania State University, Rosalyne began her career as a clinical dietitian working in hospitals and outpatient services. During this experience she recognized the need to develop her skills in counseling and behavior change and went back to school to earn her MS in Nutrition and Applied Physiology from Columbia University (’08). Her work experience includes counseling, behavior change, teaching, program operations and evaluation, public health and policy, childhood feeding, eating competence, and obesity prevention.

Donnovan Yisrael - Lecturer

Through his work, Donnovan helps answer the question, “Why do people do risky things?” That is, he helps people understand how culture/society/institutions affect our health decision-making (and ultimately our health) and what we can do about it. More recently, Donnovan has integrated the tenets of emotional intelligence and positive psychology into his work with students to with the intention of adding meaning and happiness to their healthiness. Donnovan was trained as a grief educator and volunteer with Kara in Palo Alto and has a passion for teaching people about the skill of grieving everything from disappointment to death. He received his MA in Sociology and BA in Psychology from Stanford University.

Kinesiology and Physical Education Instructors

Tia Lillie, Ph.D. - Associate Director of Kinensiology and Physical Education

Tia received her Ph.D. from the University of Utah in the field of Exercise Physiology with an emphasis in Health Promotion. She has worked 18 years at the collegiate level as a Professor, Instructor and Health Educator. Her interests lie within the areas of curriculum development, instructional design for optimal teaching and learning, leadership, and mentorship. Her research interest is in the area of physical activity and health promotion among college students. In her free time she enjoys running, cycling, hiking and spending time with her family and friends.

Gong Chen, Ph.D. - Lecturer

Gong Chen, Doctor of Education from University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, currently teaching self-defense and taichi at Stanford University. Specialized in research, curriculum design and instruction, promotion, instructor training, and publication on self-defense science and self-defense education. 

Maithili Gavankar - Lecturer

Maithili is a certified Yoga and Pilates instructor. She has practiced yoga for more than two decades.  What initially started as a physical training activity eventually became a staple in her overall mental as well as physical health. She loves working with students to help them manage stress by focusing on both mental and physical well being.

Ken Look - Lecturer

Ken Look is the Club Sports Athletic Trainer at Stanford as wel as an instrictor of PE. He is responsible for the injury prevention, assessment and rehabilitation of 30 Club Sport teams. Ken has worked as an athletic trainer in school and community settings at the national level. Ken has created strength programs for individuals with fitness goals to club sport teams. Ken has a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State in 2009 and a master’s degree from California Baptist University in 2012. He is certified by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), National Strength and Conditioning Specialist, USA Weightlifting, Strong First Kettlebell Instructor and the American Heart Association in CPR/AED Instructor. Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Ken enjoys spending his free time being outdoors, hiking, playing basketball, and with his family.

Ying Mitchell - Lecturer

Ying joined the Stanford P.E. department in 2015.  She holds a Master in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology from SJSU and is an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist and ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor.   She teaches aerobic endurance, resistance training, fitness yoga, and Pilates mat and apparatus group fitness classes in non-profit and for-profit facilities.  Though she discovered the benefits of exercising while in college, she found her passion for teaching and staying fit while working in the high-tech industry as a software and systems engineer.  She also enjoys mentoring instructor-candidates and working on her other fitness ventures.  

Sara Safdari - Lecturer

Sara earned her Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Texas A&M University. During her time at Texas A&M she was an instructional assistant professor. Sara’s teaching weaves together experience, science and her ability to modify exercises to accommodate all levels.  Sara believes in cultivating compassion for well-being. Sara’s main interests are creating bridges between science and physical education as well as making physical activity a permanent part of students’ everyday lives. She is interested in health and wellness, cardiovascular physiology, body image issues, obesity, yoga and meditation.

Tom Sarsfield - Lecturer

Tom Sarsfield,  a respected USPTA Elite teaching professional, is the Managing Director and Proprietor of the Whitlinger/Sarsfield recreation tennis programs.  A graduate of San Jose State University in Physical Education, Tom began his coaching/ teaching career in 1981 with stints at the Almaden Swim & Racquet Club in San Jose, Saratoga High School, and has been involved with the Stanford Tennis Program since 1987.   He was nationally recognized in 2002 as a member of the first USTA All-American Team for his contributions in growing the game of tennis.

Erick Schlimmer - Instructor

Erick Schlimmer earned his Master's degree in kinesiology at San Jose State University in December of 2016. He is a certified personal trainer at the National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) and joined Stanford Health and Human Performance as a PE golf instructor beginning Fall quarter 2017. Erick, a Bay Area native, has played intercollegiate golf and American football and has coached children's golf and basketball. His main research interests include the social-psychological aspects of athletics and the psychopathology of athletes and applications for treatment.

Matthew  Thornton - Lecturer

Matthew holds a Master’s degree in Kinesiology from SJSU and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Holy Names University where he played intercollegiate golf.  Prior to Stanford, Matthew was an assistant women’s tennis coach at SJSU, an assistant men’s and women’s coach at Mission college, and a teaching professional at Bay Club Santa Clara.  He’s been a USPTA professional since 2010 and still competes in USTA and NCGA tournaments.  He currently teaches tennis, golf, basketball, and badminton classes on the Farm and is the Club Tennis coach.  He’s in a BBQ Club and an active coach with Special Olympics Northern California.

Nicholas Wooters - Lecturer

Nicholas graduated from Loyola University in Maryland after a 4 year varsity swim career. He has been teaching swimming for 16 years and is currently the Director of Competitive Swimming and Head Swim Coach at Ladera Oaks as well as a coach for the Stanford Triathlon team.  He enjoys helping students achieve their swimming goals all while laying a foundation for a lifelong love of the water.  He currently lives in San Jose with his wife and three children. 

Leadership & Change-Making Instructors

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, Ed.D. - Lecturer

Stephen received a doctorate in psychology from Harvard University and was professor at the University of Tokyo before coming to Stanford. His appointments include consulting professor in the School of Medicine and School of Humanities and Science, and visiting fellow in the School of Education and Asia Pacific Research Center. He has taught in Leadership Innovations, Wellness Education, Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity, Lifeworks, Psychology, Anthropology, and Human Biology. His leadership consulting practice with American and Japanese organizations is based in mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and compassion, integrating Eastern and Western wisdom and science. He is author of books in Japanese and English, including The Stanford University Mindfulness Classroom (2016), From Mindfulness to Heartfulness: Transforming Self and Society with Compassion (2018), and The Stanford Way of Leadership (2018). He has also begun an initiative called The Heartfulness Lab.

Outdoor Education Instructors

Sue Lowley - Director of Adventure Programs

Sue received her Masters in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Texas Health Science Center. For the past 18 years she has worked as an instructor, course director, and program director in both higher education and non-profit organizations. Her academic interests include student leadership confidence / competence development.  Sue holds certifications as a Wilderness EMT, PCIA Top Rope Climbing Instructor, LNT Trainer, and ACA sea kayak instructor.

Narinda Heng - Instructor

Narinda Heng has worked in experiential education since 2014, starting with GirlVentures as a backpacking instructor. She's also worked with National Outdoor Leadership School, Dunn School, and Eagle Rock School. Prior to 2014, Narinda worked in the nonprofit sector and Asian American arts community in Los Angeles. From rock climbing trips to extended wilderness expeditions, she values group outdoor experiences as opportunities to grow self-awareness, learn effective communication, and practice interdependence. As an instructor, she emphasizes reflection and curiosity around the complexities of history, place, and identity. Narinda is a certified Wilderness First Responder and PCIA Top Rope Climbing Instructor. Aside from teaching rock climbing and backpacking, Narinda spends her time making pottery, baking with wild yeast, and writing.

Emily McCune - Instructor

Emily studied Outdoor Adventure Leadership at Ithaca College.  Upon graduation, she began backcountry field work across the eastern and western coasts of the United States and Canada.  Emily has planned and implemented adventure programming for the United States Army, youth summer programs and has taught at private high schools. Emily uses the backcountry for students to learn their strengths, develop and reach goals and to learn about the world they live in. 

Caitlin S. - Instructor

Caitlin loves spending time with others in the outdoors. She aspires to help people cultivate the connections that can happen when we are away from distractions and able to be authentic. Since 2006 she has been leading backpacking, rock climbing, and sea kayaking courses and trainings, in addition to serving in administrative roles at outdoor organizations. For the past four years she has also worked in mindfulness education teaching meditation and relational mindfulness skills to young adults. Caitlin brings experience from well-respected non-profit organizations including Outward Bound and Inward Bound Mindfulness Education. She holds a BA in Psychology from Lewis & Clark College and a certificate in Community Sustainability Management from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Wilderness Medicine Instructors

Antja Thompson - Lecturer

Antja inspires sense and sensibility, passion and playfulness, and a mindset for growth. Her academic interests incorporate leadership development, curriculum and learning experience design, organizational learning, performance, and change. She has held varying roles for Stanford since 2000 as an associate director, coordinator, and lecturer in academic programs and outdoor recreational programs, as well as student and alumni adventure travel. She has served as a Wilderness EMT and firefighter, taught courses in Outdoor Education, holds a B.A. in Human Biology and a M.A. in Education and Human Resources. Outside of the work environment, Antja enjoys a joyful life that celebrates music and art, adventuring, being curious, and generally connecting with and supporting others.