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Southern Oregon University


Nearly sixty presenters are offering their unique perspectives on holistic education.

Please visit this page regularly for updates

The HTLC Committee is honored and excited to host Dr. Jack Miller as a keynote speaker.

Dr. Jack Miller

John (Jack) Miller has been working in the field of holistic education for over 35 years. He is author/editor of 17 books on holistic learning and contemplative practices in education which include Education and the Soul, The Holistic Curriculum, Transcendental Learning: The Educational Legacy of Alcott, Emerson, Fuller, Peabody and Thoreau, and most recently, a revised edition of The Contemplative Practitioner. His writing has been translated into eight languages.  The Holistic Curriculum has provided the framework for the curriculum at the Whole Child School, now named Equinox school, in Toronto where Jack has served on the Advisory Board. Jack teaches courses on holistic education and spirituality education for graduate students and students in the Initial Teacher Education Program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto where he is Professor.

Featured Preconference opportunity with Dr. Fred Korthagen

Prof. Dr. Fred Korthagen

Fred Korthagen is a professor emeritus of teacher education at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, specializing in the professional development of teachers and teacher educators. He is co-developer of the Core Reflection approach and has worked with many schools, both national and international, on the use of Core Reflection. Fred received international awards for his scientific work, for example from the American Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) and the American Educational Research Association (AERA). For more information, see


All Presenters (in alphabetical order)

Amy Abbott

Amy Abbott has dedicated thirteen years to classroom teaching, five of which have been spent working as a Gifted Resource Specialist servicing elementary, middle, and high school students.  Her educational achievements include a B.S. in Elementary Education, a M.S. in Secondary Education, a Gifted Endorsement from the University of VA, and earning National Board Teaching Cercccctification in the area of Generalist-Middle Childhood.  She is currently a Graduate Assistant in the Curriculum and Instruction PhD program at Old Dominion University.  Her research and literature topic interests are: alternative assessment, data-informed decision making, motivation, and problem-based learning.

Dr. Nicole Apelian (presenting with Marna Hauk)

Nicole Apelian is a researcher, expeditionary leader, Southern Africa specialist, mother, scientist, and educator. Her doctoral research focused on indigenous-based tourism maintaining intergenerational knowledge in Bushmen communities in Botswana. She is working on an ethnobotanical study of Bushmen plant uses in the Kalahari Basin and teaches traditional skills. Nicole is recognized for bringing vibrant energy and passion into her work in the field of transformative nature education. She mentors and teaches at Prescott College and leads EcoTours International, specializing in tracking and wildlife safaris in Southern Africa. Nicole received a BS in Biology from McGill University in Canada, a MS in Biology from the University of Oregon, and a PhD focused in Cultural Anthropology and Sustainability Education through Prescott College.

Gary Babiuk

Heesoon Bai

Angela Bosco

Angela Bosco is currently a full time Primary/Junior educator with the Toronto District School Board in Toronto, ON, Canada. She is a recent MEd graduate (November 2012/UofT) and 2nd year PhD student (start 2013) of the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include exploring a more holistic approach to learning that looks more closely at interactions as relationships that are taking place between individuals within classrooms and schools. Through many years of classroom experience, she has come to associate classrooms with habitats where children's learning is affected by such interactions and where individuals co-exist, often without having choice as to whether cooperation and various conflicting issues are at play.

Tom Browning

Tom Browning is a graduate student and associate instructor at Indiana University-Bloomington.  His scholarly interests reside within the intersection between teacher education, criticalism, and multiculturalism.  He supervises pre-service teachers during their practicum and student teaching experiences.  Additionally, he facilitates the instruction of two courses at Indiana University: Teaching in a Pluralistic Society and the Community of Teachers Field-Based Seminar.  Before his graduate studies, Tom was an alternative high school science teacher for seven years.

Kathryn Byrnes (presenting with Jane Dalton)

Michael Carberry, M.S.

Michael Carberry is the founder and director of the Whole Life Learning Center in Austin, Texas. He explored Waldorf, Montessori and democratic education before coming to the realization that a truly holistic approach to learning would integrate the best aspects from all of these approaches while putting the learner first. Thus, Whole Life Learning was born. Since 2011 Michael has been directing WLLC, which offers many innovative programs serving ages 5 and up. He is passionate about transforming education, building community, and making the world a better place by encouraging people of all ages to do what they love! Michael is currently pursuing an M.A. in Post-Modern Schools and Integral Learning from the SelfDesign Graduate Institute.

Jane Carr

Avraham Cohen (presenting with Heesoon Bai)

Dr. Rupert Collister

Dr. Rupert Collister has worked in the post-compulsory education sector for over seventeen years and his experience reflects the diversity of the sector in its broadest sense.  Rupert’s personal philosophy of teaching and learning is guided by a deep belief in the transformative power of learning and that it is the context within which that learning occurs that determines whether the transformation is positive or not. He believes that it is the role of those who support learning (in any context) to create learning environments that facilitate such a positive transformation. Finally, he believes that the systems and processes which underpin teaching and learning (including technology) should be transparent and should simply be the catalyst for community building including communities of learning, practice, and discourse.  His first book, A Journey in Search of Wholeness and Meaning, was published in 2010 by Peter Lang Publishers (Switzerland). He is currently working on two writing projects. The first is exploring teaching from the point of view of the teachers, and the second explores the connections between meaningful work, learning, and collective consciousness as they relate to transforming toxic organisations.

Caroline Cory

Caroline Cory is a teacher of Consciousness Studies, author and the founder of the OMnium University--a new education system for learning, healing, media creation, and consciousness expansion. Caroline completed her graduate studies in Educational Psychology. However, because most of her knowledge and deeper awareness came through direct experience, she has designed an education system based on the same principle of what she calls resonance or “entrainment.” This means that one can bypass the traditional system of rote learning--reading, repeating and memorizing--and acquire the information or knowledge as a direct consciousness and experience. For more information, please visit: OMNIUM ONLINE UNIVERSITY

Sam Crowell

Jane Dalton

Nitai Deranja

Nitai Deranja was founding director of the first Education for Life (EFL) School in 1972 at Ananda Village in Northern California, as well as co-founder there of the first EFL high school in 1997. Since then he has overseen the development of other EFL schools in California, Oregon, Washington, Slovenia, and Italy. Nitai currently serves as executive director of Ananda College of Living Wisdom. He is the author of For Goodness' Sake: Supporting Children and Teens in Discovering Life’s Highest Values.

Usha Dermond (presenting with Nitai Deranja)

Mia Driscoll (presenting with Tia McLean)

Gina Dusenbury (presenting with Younghee Kim)

Gina Dusenbury has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Development and 35 years of experience teaching and learning with children, families and other professionals, including 28 years in several Head Start programs as well as Early Childhood Special Education programs. Gina is currently the Education Director for Southern Oregon Head Start and part time Early Childhood/Elementary Education program instructor at Rogue Community College. She believes that by being present, we can be our true-self with others and support meaningful experiences.

Jacki-Leota Ete (presenting with Sangita Lal)

Frits Evelein

Paul Freedman

Paul Freedman is an elementary school teacher, a school Founder and Director, author and activist.  Paul has taught for 22 years including in public schools in California and Oregon.  In 2001 he helped to found the Salmonberry School, an independent pre-K – 6th grade school on Orcas Island, WA, where he continues to serve as the school’s program director.  The school is founded on principles of holistic education.

Paul holds an MA with a concentration in Partnership Education from Goddard College.  He served for a number of years as a Contributing Editor for the journal Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice.  He has published work in this journal as well as Education Revolution and Communities Magazine. He has presented workshops at many conferences and hosted several of his own.

Jenny Freeman

Tobin Hart, Ph.D

Tobin Hart, Ph.D. is father, professor, psychologist, author and consultant. He serves as professor of psychology at the University of West Georgia, as well as the co-founder of the ChildSpirit Institute, a nonprofit educational and research hub exploring and nurturing the spirituality of children and adults. His work explores consciousness and integrates spirituality, psychology and education. His latest books include: The Four Virtues, The Integrative Mind: Transformative Education for a World on Fire, From Information to Transformation: Education for the Evolution of Consciousness, and The Secret Spiritual World of Children.

Marna Hauk, Ph.D

Marna Hauk, Ph.D., is a professor, regenerative designer, and collaborative creativity catalyst. She innovates experiential educational programs for wild Gaian thriving. Marna serves on the faculty of Prescott College and directs the Institute for Earth Regenerative Studies at the convergence of creativity, ecological restoration, and the living wisdom traditions ( Marna graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Reed College, with an M. A. from the Sophia Center at Holy Names University, and from Prescott College with a doctorate in Sustainability Education. She has been studying, designing with, and teaching permaculture for twenty-seven years. She has advanced training in contemplative listening and poetic medicine. Marna publishes and presents internationally. Her research interests include Gaian Methods, terrapsychology, and community-based climate action.

Heather Hutton

Heather Hutton has enjoyed a diverse livelihood as a teacher and musical artist in the Rogue Valley since making her home here in 2000. After receiving a Bachelor's in Music and teaching credential from Humboldt State University in her native county, she continued as a music specialist in the public schools, spanning four school districts over 16 years. Heather's teaching experience also includes Waldorf education, general substitute teaching, and her private studio practice: "Unified Voice-Works." The nature of her entrepreneurial work is to bridge the performing arts to personal growth. Current projects include a new pilot project for middle schoolers connecting music and poetry, and also pursuing a Master’s in Education from Southern Oregon University.

Christopher Jess (presenting with Gillian Stevens)

A passionate advocate for the empowerment and confidence building of youth effected by our current food climate, Chef Christopher Jess is well situated to engage in a meaningful dialogue. He is a high school culinary arts instructor at Centre Wellington District High School in Fergus, Ontario, where he feels honoured to be interacting with youth in his community. With training from many great chefs in Canada, Australia, and the U.S., Jess completed his professional training at both the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s Culinary Program and at The Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California. Slow Food mentors throughout his 20 year career have cemented both a love for local & seasonal ingredients, and a commitment to pursuing the tough questions that need to be brought to the table. Can our current food system guide us into a healthy environment while serving  to nourish our bodies? These and many other campaigns drive Chef Jess to encourage us all to cook, eat and sit together while working to design our future.

Younghee Kim

Younghee Kim is a professor of education and an early childhood specialist in the School of Education at Southern Oregon University. Her recent record of scholarship includes whole child development and play, core reflection, diversity, teacher preparation, and the human potential. She has a special interest in a holistic approach to learning and teaching and applying core reflection in working with preservice and beginning teachers and teacher educators.

Edmond Knighton

Sangita Lal

Zahra Lightway

Bob London

I am a professor at California State University, San Bernardino; program coordinator for the MA in Holistic and Integrative Education; and director, Spirituality and Education Network. My major professional interest is clarifying the implications of a spiritual perspective in education, particularly a spiritual perspective that is consistent with a variety of spiritual traditions, as well as consistent with the implications of the new sciences and some current educational psychologies.  My specific interests in this area include: identifying principles and statements concerning education considered consistent with a spiritual perspective, clarifying the implications of a spiritual perspective for developing a strong connection with nature, describing a research methodology consistent with a spiritual perspective, and transformative approaches to teacher education.

Janai Lowenstein

Holistic educator for 40 years, Janai Lowenstein creates a haven for the whole being with, fun, innovative techniques, teaching about inner resources beginning with preschoolers. CBS Morning Show has showcased her work. State of Oregon awarded her work in the 1990's. Instructor at Univ. of Oregon and SOU, Janai's books are used in classrooms and with general public. Her television series was awarded 2nd place, Silver Medal out of 2,000 entries worldwide at the NY International Film and Television Festival for children. Children and adults alike find her approach irresistible and confidence building. She is known for her inner child focus with all ages, using play as a foundation for 3D experiential learning. She is an outrageous grandmother!

Geoffry "Ba" Luvmour, MA

Geoffrey “Ba” Luvmour, MA is a consultant, educator, and Summa Academy Director. Endowed with a keen sense of social justice and natural abilities for research and introspection, Ba has dedicated his life to discovering how to restore and deepen optimal well-being in society and the world. Ba has worked with thousands of families, teachers and schools on all facets of relationship with children using the system of Natural Learning Relationships whole-child development for over 27 years. Over time, he has published five books on relationships with children as well as numerous articles. Ba's 's many years exploring the expanses of spirituality informs all of his work. Participating in the spiritual essence of children can be discovered in each of his interactive seminars.

Josette Luvmour, PhD

Josette Luvmour, PhD is an educator in human development and a developmental consultant specializing in child and adult development, adult transformational learning, and sustainable family relationships. She serves in the non-profit sector as Director of Family and Professional Development at Summa Institute, a nonprofit organization that provides Natural Learning Relationships™ programs to students, families, and professionals. In addition to her 27-year consulting practice at Luvmour Consulting, LLC, her writing has been published in ENCOUNTER: Education for meaning and social justice, Paths of Learning, Journal of Adult Development, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Parenting Matters, Family Post, Holistic Education Review, Mothering Magazine, Naturopathic Doctor News, and she is also the author of five books that focus on building positive relationships with children.

Stephen Marble

David Marshak

David Marshak is the founding president of the SelfDesign Graduate Institute, a unique international learning community with offices in Bellingham, WA. David is an emeritus professor in the College of Education at Seattle University and the author of The Common Vision: Parenting and Educating for Wholeness, a study of the coherent teachings about human unfoldment in childhood and adolescence of Rudolf Steiner, Sri Aurobindo, Ghose,, and Hazrat Inayat Khan.

Michael Maser

Michael Maser is a co-founder, educator and visioneer of the innovative and award-winning SelfDesign Learning school programs in BC, now enrolling close to 2,000 BC children and youth. A 27-year award-winning educator (Prime Ministers Award, BC Ministry of Education Special Merit), Michael's special focus, based on leading-edge research and experience, is on optimizing personalized learning for people of all ages and all backgrounds. Michael's recent book, 'Learn Your Way! SelfDesigning the Life You Really Want, Starting Now' is now an approved health and personal development text book for BC middle and high school courses. Michael lives in Gibsons, BC. More about Michael may be found at

Hunter McEwan

Karla McLaren

Karla McLaren is a pioneering educator, researcher, and award-winning author whose empathic approach to emotions revalues even the most "negative" emotions, and opens startling new pathways into the depths of the soul. She is the author of The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life's Most Essential Skill (2013), The Language of Emotions (2010), and the online course Emotional Flow (2012). Karla has taught at such venues as the University of San Francisco, Naropa University, Kripalu, and the Association for Humanistic Psychology. A national Phi Kappa Phi honors scholar, Karla is now pursuing her master’s in education and focusing her thesis on developing new forms of social interaction and empathy curricula for neurologically diverse people.

Tia McLean

Ayako Nozawa

Tom Peterson

Jake Pollack

Andrea Purcell

Andrea Purcell has over 20 years of experience working in alternative school settings as a teacher, administrator, and program development consultant. She believes strongly that schools are happily filled with imperfect and unpredictable human beings, and that developing genuine and respectful relationships with families and students is more powerful than any curriculum. Dr. Purcell received her PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawaii and is currently the Principal at New Village Girls Academy, a Big Picture Company school for young women in Downtown Los Angeles.

Daniel Rechtschaffen

Gay Garland Reed

Gay Garland Reed is a Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations at the University of Hawai‘i. She received her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education from the University of Virginia where she also served as adjunct faculty. Currently she teaches courses in Multicultural Education, Social and Cultural Contexts of Education and Foundations of Education at the graduate and undergraduate levels at the University of Hawai‘i but has also taught in China, Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and American Samoa. Her research and publications focus on the intersection of cultural values and education in China, Korea, Hawai‘i and Bhutan. She has also published articles on moral education, Confucianism, multicultural education, identity construction, and globalization.

David Reid- Marr (presenting with Sam Crowell)

David Reid-Marr was born in England, graduated from the Royal College of Art, joined a punk band, and managed farm before coming to the U.S. to study Zen Buddhism with Maezumi Roshi. After seminary training he was ordained ordained as a Monk in the Soto school. He currently teaches painting, drawing and architecture at Idyllwild Arts Academy, a highly regarded arts high school; and is an adjunct professor at Cal. State San Bernardino. In 2013 he co-authored the book "Emergent Teaching" with Dr. Sam Crowell which illustrates their unique approach to the theory and practice of teaching and learning. David is a practicing artist who has exhibited regularly in California and the U. S. He lives with his wife Jennifer in Idyllwild.

Doug Robertson

Doug Robertson has been an elementary school teacher for eight years from Southern CA to Hawaii to Oregon teaching 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades. He will teach 4th again next year at the newly formed Tablerock Elementary in White City, OR. Doug has a grand plan to become a famous teacher and infect future generations of educators and students with his positive and loving teaching philosophy, which will lead to a joyous education renaissance, flying unicorns, and rock and roll for all. To that end he's written a book called, He's the Weird Teacher that is available at most booksellers and which outlines his plans for education domination through joy.

Michael A. Rousell, Ph.D

Michael A. Rousell, Ph.D., is an associate professor in Education at Southern Oregon University. He studied life-changing-events for 25 years. His book, Sudden Influence: How Spontaneous Events Shape Our Lives, Praeger, 2007, is in 1000 libraries in 60 countries. His current work focuses on Building Students’ Strengths.

Lucila Rudge

Lucila Rudge began her career in holistic education as Waldorf kindergarten teacher in Brazil, her home country. She has a doctorate in Holistic Education from the Ohio State University. She co-developed and taught a new M.A. program in Holistic Education at Ohio State. She is now Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The University of Montana. Her teaching and research interests include teacher education, multicultural education, teacher-student relationships, pedagogy and learning, and holistic approaches to education. In the past few years, her research has focused on evaluating teacher education programs aimed at improving the quality of teacher-student relationships and advancing awareness and understanding of diversity.

Mariella Saba (presenting with Andrea Purcell)

Cari Satran

Susan A. Schiller, Ph.D

Susan A. Schiller, Ph.D. is the Director of the M.A. in Humanities Program at Central Michigan University as well as a professor of English and member of the Graduate Faculty at Central Michigan University.  She teaches composition and rhetoric, American literature, film studies, and English education.  She and Gary Babiuk co-edit The Holistic Educator: The Newsletter for the Holistic Learning and Spirituality in Education Professional Interest Community Group of ASCD.   Her research interests include spiritual approaches to writing and learning, holistic education, and studies in Willa Cather.  Her most recent publication is Sustaining the Writing Spirit: Holistic Tools for School and Home, 2nd ed. (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014).

Katie Schluntz (presenting with Linda Shannon)

Charles Scott

Linda Shannon

Mark Sherbow

Shauna Sorce

Shauna Sorce lives in Grants Pass, Oregon, with her partner and their three children. She holds a BS in elementary education and is pursuing a master’s degree in education at Southern Oregon University. Shauna has worked in Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf education programs. She has also run her own preschool and kindergarten program blending aspects of these methods. Most recently, she has taught “Nature Studies” as a special subject and middle school mathematics at Woodland Charter School, a Waldorf-inspired school in Murphy, Oregon. Shauna is currently working on developing curriculum for an after-school, hands-on science program to be implemented at Woodland in the coming academic year. 

Gillian Stevens

Michele Tanaka

Michele Tanaka is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Her learning~teaching~researching focuses on clarifying and articulating the essential elements, intuitive processes and practical tensions inherent to the Transformative Inquiry process with pre-service teachers. To address these issues, she has been carefully attending to the process of mentoring, the rhythms of inquiry, and to the thoughts and opinions of course participants. Her research interests include transformative learning, mindfulness, holistic education, indigenous ways of learning and teaching, cross-cultural understanding, and re-visioning educational culture for sustainability. For more information, please visit:

Rebecca Tree (presenting with Younghee Kim)

Rebecca Tree is the Founder and Director of Roots & Wings Community Preschool and a strong advocate for play and playful learning in early childhood programs and beyond. She has served in the early childhood field for over 30 years beginning in Colorado prior to moving to Oregon in 1990. She believes that through intentional observation and understanding children's play we can make meaningful curricular decisions that support children's development and learning.

Vanessa Tse (presenting with Michele Tanaka)

Rachel Van Boven

Rachel Van Boven has worked in the field of education since 2002 in a variety of roles, including as a classroom teacher, an environmental educator, and a tutor. She has a Masters in Teaching from the University of Washington and teaches curriculum development at Ananda College. She is currently the 1st/2nd grade teacher at Living Wisdom School, a school based on yogic principles in Portland, OR. In this supportive community, she has complete freedom to integrate nature into her classroom, including spending one day a week playing and learning on the same piece of land outside of the city.

Rick Vanosdall

Leslie Whitcomb, Ph.D

Leslie Whitcomb, Ph.D. Child and Family Development in Applied Ecopsychology
Dr. Whitcomb is Academic Dean at Project Nature Connect Institute of Graduate Education/ Akamai University, Department of Applied Ecopsychology. She maintains a courtesy faculty appointment within Portland State University. Her experience as a Post Partum Adjustment Educator, Parent/Infant Mental Health Counselor and Somatic Therapist enrich her current teaching and facilitating. Dr. Whitcomb's experience as a bi-cultural White/Indigenous woman and mother of six children led her to integrate Sensory Ecologies of teaching and counseling into her work. She values thirty years of time spent in forests, along coastal shorelines and in riparian grasslands, teaching, counseling and learning, as essential to her professional contributions.  Leslie mentors and teaches graduate students in the of fields Education, Family Therapy, Social Service, Systems Engineering and Community Organization in order to support their integrations of Applied Ecopsychology into professional settings.

Michelle Zundel


Please visit this page regularly for presenter updates.