CORE UF MINDFULNESS TEAM
PROGRAM DIRECTOR UF MINDFULNESS
Sabine Grunwald, Ph.D., leads the UF Mindfulness Program and is Professor in the Soil and Water Sciences Department, IFAS, UF. She blends expertise and interests in mindfulness, spirituality, environmental and geo-sciences. Inter- and transdisciplinary thinking that integrate human, socio-cultural, ecological and biophysical domains to address wicked global human-environmental problems of our time are of special interest to her. Dr. Grunwald earned a Ph.D. in environmental sciences from the University in Giessen, Germany, a 1-yr. Graduate Certificate in Integral Studies from Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA, and an Authentic Leadership Certificate with Mindfulness training (Naropa University, Boulder, CO). She studies integral and transpersonal psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA. Dr. Grunwald is affiliate faculty member in the UF Center for Spirituality and Health. Since the 1980s, she has practiced qigong, tai chi and various meditation styles including somatic meditation. She trained extensively in mindfulness meditation, mind-body, and self-inquiry through retreats, workshops, and courses. She is a Tantrika in Vajrayana Buddhism and interested in open forms of modern American Buddhism (https://www.meetup.com/Dharma-Open-Meditation-Group-Gainesville/).
Monika Ardelt, Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology and a Founding Faculty Member and Member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Spirituality and Health at the University of Florida. She is also a 1999 Brookdale National Fellow, a 2005 Positive Psychology Templeton Senior Fellow, and a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. Her research focuses on successful human development across the life course with particular emphasis on the relations between wisdom, religion, spirituality, aging well, and dying well. Dr. Ardelt has been a practitioner of mindfulness meditation for over 25 years and has taught and co-taught university courses incorporating mindfulness and service learning, such as Sociology of Aging and the Life Course, Group-Related Internship Program, which focused on service learning and the meaning of life, and Cosmic Dance: The Integration of Science, Religion, and Compassionate Love.
Ana Puig, Ph.D., NCC, LMHC, is a licensed mental health counselor and qualified supervisor in the state of Florida and a National Certified Counselor. She has more than 20 years of clinical experience working with clients using holistic wellness and humanistic frameworks, and holds a Spirituality and Health certificate from the Center for Spirituality and Health at the University of Florida (UF). She has been a Counselor Educator and Research Director of the Office of Educational Research at UF and has conducted research on creativity, counselor burnout and wellness, and mindfulness in counseling and healthcare and published articles focusing on related topics over the last 10 years.
Nancy Lasseter received a Masters and Specialist degree from the UF Counselor Ed. Dept. in 1984 and has been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor since 1987. Ms. Lasseter has been an instructor of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program in the Gainesville community since 2004 and at UF Health since 2006. As co-founder of the UF Health Arts in Medicine Contemplative Arts Program in 2009 and pioneering the UF Health Integrative Medicine Program in 2013, Nancy has offered stress reduction interventions to patients, families and staff, teaches Mindfulness in Medicine to UF Health med students, is contracted to teach mindfulness to case managers in the statewide Maternal and Infant Care program and the local Partnership for Strong Families program. Nancy and her husband Ewen host the Karuna Cottage “Nurturing in Nature” Community Center in Gainesville that offers MBSR, meditation, creative arts, and nature therapy (https://www.facebook.com/KarunaCottage/).
UF MINDFULNESS TEAM MEMBERS
Angie Brown is Assistant Director for Communications and Wellness for UF’s Office of Human Resource Services. In addition to facilitating strategic administrative communications designed for university faculty and staff, Angie works to forge partnerships and collaborations among UF and UF Health units and individuals in order to develop and provide employee wellness programming and information. She has co-chaired the University of Florida-UF Health Wellness Committee since 2013 and serves on the board of directors of the National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities. Prior to joining UF, she held positions in university public relations at Penn State University and Oregon Health & Science University. Angie has a deep interest in contemplative practices, including mindfulness meditation, and is a seasoned practitioner of “beginner’s” Yoga.
Teresa Drake is Director of the Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Clinic (IPVAC) as well as Visiting Legal Skills Professor in UF’s College of Law. She has expertise in domestic violence and is a national lecturer on domestic violence and the use of children as witnesses, former prosecutor and division chief of domestic violence unit, former Child Welfare Legal attorney, former director of Guardian ad Litem Dissolution and Custody Division. She is a yoga teacher and advocate for mindful education.
Kim Holton, Ph.D., is Lecturer in the Department of Health Education & Behavior, UF College of Health & Human Performance and previously served as Health Promotion Specialist for UF’s Office of Human Resource Services. Kim has been a practitioner of mindfulness since 1998 and began leading yoga classes and workshops in 2002. She offers yoga and meditation for the UF and Gainesville area community at various locations. Visit kimholtonyoga.com for current offerings.
Jennifer Kennymore, MPH, CHES, CWHC. Jennifer received a Master’s in Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health in 2010 and has been a Certified Health Education Specialist since 2012. Jen has also been a Certified Wellness and Health Coach since 2017. Currently, as a Health Promotion Specialist with UF GatorWell Health Promotion Services within the Division of Students Affairs, Jen oversees stress management programming for UF students. She began her formal mindfulness practice in 2018 through Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training. Prior to joining UF, she worked as the Health Educator at Northwest Missouri State University. Jen is excited to expand mindfulness programming for UF students.
Emi Lenes, LMHC, LMFT, Ph.D. She is an approved supervisor for both Mental Health and Marriage and Family Therapy Registered Interns. Emi deeply enjoys facilitating experiential activities in graduate/undergraduate courses related to healthcare and mental health. She has completed the MBSR Teacher Training, as well as 2 years of the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Resolution training, and 2 years of Gestalt Training. Emi is currently employed as a counselor and supervisor at an alternative school for underprivileged adolescents. Additionally, for 8 years, Emi implemented creativity and healing group activities at an inpatient psychiatric hospital. Furthermore, she has developed a 12-hour training curriculum for professionals called Color-Conscious Multicultural Mindfulness (CCMM). Emi loves being a member of the UF Mindfulness Team!
Carol Lewis, Ph.D.,MPH, CPH, is a clinical psychologist with 30 years of clinical experience. She is currently a Clinical Associate Professor in the University of Florida College of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, where she is involved in professional training, research, clinical practice, and community behavioral health. Dr. Lewis’ expertise includes the treatment of chronically suicidal, self-injurious individuals, using skills-based methods. She is trained in three mindfulness-based treatment protocols, which she uses extensively in her clinical work. Dr. Lewis has a personal mindfulness practice including sitting with a local meditation group and retreating yearly.In 2014, Dr. Lewis earned a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree and is board certified in public health (CPH). She has particular interest in evidence-based treatment for behavioral health problems, and the dissemination of best behavioral health practices to underserved populations using low-intensity and brief treatment models. Dr. Lewis is one of the founding members of Peace4Gainesville, a trauma-responsive resilience-building community initiative. She has recently completed training to be a Community Resiliency Model© (CRM) trainer.
Chuck Pickeral, Ph.D., is the Director of Operations for the UF School of Music where he currently teaches a Quest course on the relationship between music and spirituality. Much of his work, both in and outside of academia, has been devoted to bringing the artistic experience to diverse populations, using the arts to enhance creativity and awareness, and to forge connections across disciplines. Chuck is a practitioner of mindfulness, moving meditation, and deep listening. He is a member of the Florida Community of Mindfulness in Tampa and frequently sits with Live Oak Sangha in Gainesville.
Lou Ritz, Ph.D., serves as course director for Medical Neuroscience, taken by first year medical students, and for Functional Human Neuroanatomy, taken by a diverse group of graduate and undergraduate students. Dr. Ritz’s research interests centered on injury to the central nervous system, as he investigated new techniques that hold promise in alleviating the devastating consequences of injury to the spinal cord. As Director of the University of Florida Center for Spirituality and Health (http://www.spiritualityandhealth.ufl.edu/), he has special interests in teaching the relationships between the brain, health, meditation, and spirituality in his Honors courses called “Spirituality and Health” and “Neurotheology.”
Gary Ritzenthaler, Masters of Arts in Mass Communication, UF; B.S. of Arts in Fine Arts SUNY@ Plattsburg; B.S. of Arts in Philosophy SUNY@Oswego; B.Sc. in Information Science SUNY@Oswego. Gary is an Adjunct Professor in the UF College of Journalism teaching classes. He is a mindfulness practitioner and interested in to communicate mindfulness to large and diverse audiences.
Jan Snyder received her B.A summa cum laude in Classics and Psychology from Tufts University in 1977, and her M.A. (1980) and Ph.D. (1983) in clinical psychology from Boston University. She has been in the private practice of psychotherapy since 1983, focusing in particular on relational issues for both men and women throughout the lifecycle. Dr. Snyder was a Clinical Fellow in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School from 1981 until 1990, when she moved to Florida. Since 1995, she has been a courtesy clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Florida College of Medicine. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Florida Psychological Association, and past president of the North Central Florida Chapter of the Florida Psychological Association. In December 2014, Dr. Snyder was awarded the Harry Grater Award for Distinguished Service to Psychology by the North Central Florida chapter of the Florida Psychological Association. Dr. Snyder has a particular interest in meditation and mindfulness practices in psychotherapy. She is the coordinator of the Gainesville Shambhala Meditation Group, and is a certified Shambhala teacher and guide.
HONORARY UF MINDFULNESS SUPPORTERS
Angela Lindner, Ph.D., is the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs at the University of Florida. Previously she served approximately 6500 engineering students as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Student Affairs in the College of Engineering at the University of Florida. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences, UF. She earned a B.S. degree in chemistry from The College of Charleston (S.C.), an M.S. degree in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University, and a Ph.D. degree in environmental engineering from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the University of Florida faculty in 1998, she worked as a chemical engineer at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and at General Motors Corporation. Dr. Lindner is committed to a student-centered approach in her leadership at UF and has shown support to create a mindful campus culture at UF. She has supported the UF Mindfulness Creative Campus Initiative.
R. Elaine Turner, Ph.D., is Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) at the University of Florida (UF) where she provides leadership for academic programs across the 16 departments and schools that comprise UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Serving more than 5,000 students in 22 undergraduate and 22 graduate majors, CALS is one of the largest colleges of its kind in the nation. Dr. Turner has a strong commitment to promoting excellence in teaching and academic advising and holds a faculty appointment in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department. Dr. Turner earned her undergraduate degree in dietetics from Kansas State University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in nutrition from Purdue University. She served as a faculty member at Clemson University for 10 years before joining the UF faculty in 1996. Prior to her appointment as Dean in April 2014, Dr. Turner served CALS as Associate Dean and Senior Associate Dean. She has supported the UF Mindfulness Creative Campus Initiative.
Henok Pankhurst completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at the University of Florida in the Spring of 2019. He interned at the UF mindfulness program in the Fall of 2019 and Spring of 2020, and will continue as the mindfulness coordinator this summer His interests lie in the interface between psychology, spirituality and healing; and he is particularly passionate about mindfulness based therapies and various forms of contemplative practice.
FORMER UF MINDFULNESS TEAM MEMBERS
Nuengruetai (“May”) Dolen was the Project Assistant to Dr. Sabine Grunwald in the Soil and Water Science Department, University of Florida (June 2014 – May 2018). She coordinated activities and events related to the UF Mindfulness Program. She transferred to the Fisher School of Accounting at University of Florida in spring 2014 after her graduation from Santa Fe College with her AA Degree in Accounting and with a Business Operations Accounting certification. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Masters in Accounting from UF. Her personal experience in mindfulness and practice of meditation brings a spark to UF Mindfulness (Thai meditation tradition).
May has graduated from UF and now works as an accountant in south Florida.
Ferdinand Lewis, Ph.D., is on the faculty of the University of Florida School of Landscape Architecture and Planning, where he leads service-learning projects teaches research design, and ethics. He also serves as Graduate Coordinator for the online Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning. He holds a Ph.D. in Policy, Planning and Development from the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy. He taught in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo. He was on the faculty of the Public Art Studies program at the University of Southern California’s School of Fine Arts, and taught in USC’s Neighborhood Studies Program and in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. He served the Interdisciplinary Studies and Theater faculties at the California Institute of the Arts. As a life-long meditator and secular humanist he is interested how mindfulness as an evidence-based practice is integrated into various spiritual traditions. Ferdinand participated in UF Mindfulness 2015-2016. Dr. Lewis accepted a position in the Netherlands.
Jennifer (Alonso) Martin, Ph.D. CGP, Licensed Clinical Psychologist. I have been helping people learn to feel empowered and thrive amidst life changes for 10+ years. I earned a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Brigham Young University in 2011 and am a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Florida. I have the privilege of supervising counselors in training and present yearly at national conferences training my peers in the field of group psychotherapy. I am a Certified Group Psychotherapist and have met internationally accepted criteria and am considered an expert in Group Therapy. Given my extensive background in group dynamics, I am able to provide support in improving your relationships and interpersonal patterns. I also provide Wellness Retreats to facilitate supportive group environments for people to harness the power and healing of group therapy in a non-therapeutic, relaxing and fun setting. I received my Life Coaching Certification with the Martha Beck Institute in 2018 and in a Qi Gong training through Flowing Zen Studio. She is currently working in private practice: Gainesville Sage Wellness (https://gainesvillesage.com/). Dr. Martin participated in UF Mindfulness 2017-2019.
Michael Murphy, Ph.D., is a clinical associate professor and psychologist at the University of Florida counseling and wellness center where he specializes in the use of mindfulness meditation in treating anxiety disorders and other mental health issues. He also teaches numerous non-Western psychology classes, including teaching therapists how to use mindfulness techniques in psychotherapy. Dr. Murphy has had his own mindfulness meditation practice for the past 20 years. He started the highly successful Taming the Anxious Mind group mindfulness program at the University of Florida counseling and wellness center 12 years ago. Dr. Murphy has published articles on the topic of mindfulness. He participated in UF Mindfulness 2015-2017 (Creative Campus Mindfulness Initiative).
Vincent Schroder, PsyD, MA in Clinical Psychology, MA in Counselor Ed. Work: Counseling & Wellness Center, University of Florida. Varied independent practice, psychotherapy, testing, assessment, report writing, medical psychology, adjunct teaching. Author: Buddha’s Mom: The Neurobiology of Spiritual Awakening. I feel especially blessed to have worked with many gifted/disturbed kids, adolescents, college students, professors and professionals over the years, and to assist in and experience their growth and healing. Sometimes dream-work and art boosted the healing process. Early, potent experiences were related to surfing, Hawaiian culture, travel in Thailand and meditation. Major sources of scholarly and personal inspiration include attachment theory, affective neuroscience, polyvagal theory, somatic-based trauma models, Tantric and Vajrayana Buddhism, Diotima, Prajapati, Jung, Buddha, Jesus of Nazareth, Milton Erickson, Kübler-Ross, Chögyam Trungpa and Reggie Ray. A current, personal interest is in less mental, material and cyber clutter. An ultimate goal is to live a practice where intention is integrity / ground.
Tina Tannen received her Ph.D. in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Florida after earlier careers in arts management and education. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at the University of Florida Counseling and Wellness Center. Over the last six years she has instructed students in basic mindfulness meditation practice as a therapeutic intervention in the Taming the Anxious Mind group at the Counseling and Wellness Center. She began her meditation practice in a Buddhist tradition over thirty years ago and in the last six years shifted to more secular practice of mindfulness through training in MBSR (John Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli) and in psychospiritual work with John Welwood. Dr. Tannen retired from UF. She participated in UF Mindfulness 2015-2017 (Creative Campus Mindfulness Initiative).