Certified Facilitator Directory

Please check this Directory often, as we continually have people in the process of becoming Certified Facilitators. In addition to those Facilitators listed here, there are currently four men at Phillips Men’s Prison in Buford, Georgia, and four women at Lee Arrendale Women’s Prison in Alto, Georgia, who are Level I Certified Facilitators who cannot be listed here by name.

Avital Abraham

Atlanta, GA

Avital has taught CIT to faculty and staff at Life University, peace workers in Northern Ireland, incarcerated women at Arrendale State Prison, teachers working with at-risk youth, as well as the general population.

Charles Barker, MD

Compassionate Dallas/Fort Worth
Dallas, TX

Dr. Barker is founder of Compassionate Dallas/Fort Worth, a non-profit organization that promotes the Charter for Compassion, the value of compassion and compassionate action in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex with the Golden Rule as its core operating principle.

Conoly Barker

Compassionate Dallas/Fort Worth
Dallas, TX

Conoly is the Secretary/Treasurer of Compassionate DFW and Chair of the Compassion Conference Planning Team. She works with Charlie Barker to offer CIT in the Dallas metropolitan area.

Kaley Hixson

Williston, VT

I live in Vermont, USA with my son, and we spend a lot of time in Canada as well. I love to travel, which is why I am so grateful that it is so easy to learn and work online these days. I am a professional coach and massage therapist, and am currently finishing up my Masters in Positive Psychology from Life University. When I first took CIT I knew within the first few weeks that I would like to be a facilitator; there is something about this training that seems so relevant and so needed in this time where so many people are divided and are in search of language that can unite people with differences. This course provided me with that language as well as practices to become a more compassionate person.

Kristin-Luana Baumann

Port Angeles, WA

Kristin-Luana Baumann teaches CIT on the Olympic Peninsula, WA and online. She has a MA from Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany, and a MDiv from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, CA. Kristin-Luana is convinced that CIT is transforming this world into a better place, one person at a time. She currently serves with her husband Olaf Baumann as co-pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Port Angeles, WA.

Rabbi Dr. Analia Bortz

Congregation Or Hadash
founder of Hope For Seeds (women struggling with infertility),
co-founder of BAKEN (Mental Wellness Initiative)
Atlanta, GA

Analia has been teaching CIT students at Congregation Or Hadash, The Berman Center, Women’s Retreats and as a scholar in residence in many states nationwide and in Mexico-Argentina and Chile. Analia has found the passion of merging the spiritual rabbinic experience with the physical empirical exercise through the tools and skills of CCISE (Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics).

Judith Bryant

Chelmsford, MA

I offer Compassionate Integrity Training in Massachusetts and New Hampshire in both secular and non secular settings.  I am so excited about CIT because I believe that deepening our capacity for compassion is the key to bringing positive change to a world that needs it. I am passionate about social justice and being a change agent for peace.  I hold a Masters of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School. I have spent the last 25 years working for churches and I am an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.  I volunteer for THRIVE, a community and restorative based response to the challenges faced by adults returning from prison in Lowell and Lawrence, MA.

Mara Burghard

Tucson, AZ

Mara has been very involved in interfaith activities throughout her life.

Mara has a varied background in business, education, church and interfaith activities.  

She has a B.A. in Education, and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Mara and her husband worked together in a technology business for twenty years. 

In 2018 she became involved with the Charter for Compassion. Mara has found the Compassion Integrity Training to be so transformational in her life that she is eager to share this course as a Certified Facilitator with as many people as possible across the country and the world.

Margarida Cardoso

co-founder of Centro Budista do Porto
Porto, Portugal
With a background on Portuguese and French Literature and Linguistics, I’ve been a student of contemplative arts since the 80’s. I’m a Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher and I am especially interested in Education; I’ve been working with the general public but also with teachers, facilitating programs for personal and community flourishing. My next goal is to translate CIT into Portuguese and to help to establish CIT in Portuguese speaking countries.

Lauren Chekanow

Lauren Ivy Health
Atlanta, GA

Lauren is a certified Health & Wellness Coach, now bringing her Compassion Integrity Training to caregivers looking to make over their mindset and live a more conscious, value-driven lifestyle.

Susan de Gaia

Frazier Park, CA

Susan de Gaia is adjunct professor of religion at Central Michigan University, where she teaches Introduction to World Religions and the Study of Death and Dying online from her home in Frazier Park, California. She is editor and contributor to the Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions: Faith and Culture across History (ABC-CLIO 2018/19). Susan received her Ph.D. in Religion-Social Ethics from the University of Southern California and her B.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara. She works for social and environmental justice – internationally in collaboration with the Charter for Compassion, and locally through community organizing and support.

Susan will offer CIT in Frazier Park, Bakersfield, and Santa Clarita, California. CIT’s resilience based training is life-changing. She sees its combination of self-cultivation and other-directed compassion in a skills-based training course as essential in today’s world.

Tom Flores, Ph.D.

Life University
Atlanta, GA

Tom has taught CIT to students, faculty and staff, and Executive groups at Life University, as well as to city and community representatives of “Compassionate Cities” Atlanta, and San Antonio, Texas.

Jody Frankel

Atlanta, GA

Jody taught  middle school and high school students for 15 years. She is currently subbing in various schools. She facilitates CIT with K-12 educators and is planning to work with high school students.

Nancy Gahles

Rockaway, NY

I own and operate Health & Harmony Wellness Education Center in Rockaway Beach, NY. I retired from chiropractic practice after 35 years of loving service to my community. I continue in my Center as a Certified Classical Homeopath, MBSR practitioner, holistic health consultant, journalist and healthcare policy consultant. As an Ordained Interfaith Minister, I founded Spirit of Love~ The Rockaway Sangha in response to the devastation in my community from Hurricane Sandy. The stress that underlies disease, PTSD, Burn Out Syndrome, auto-immune issues, chronic pain and pervasive anxiety are my focus. I am a Partner in the Charter for Compassion in the Education, Healthcare and Religion, Spirituality and Interfaith sectors. I am an Ambassador to the Women and Girls sector. My goal is to bring the art and lifestyle of Compassionate Integrity and Secular Ethics to the healthcare, education, media and policy making communities and to develop Rockaway as a Compassionate Community/city within the Charter.

Pam Glustrom

Compassionate Atlanta
Atlanta, GA

Pam teaches mindfulness and compassion practices in a variety of settings and is currently teaching CIT to incarcerated men at Phillips State Prison. 

Sande Hart

Las Vegas, NV

Sande leads the Women and Girls sector of the Charter For Compassion, Co-Organizer of Compassionate Las Vegas, and Founder of Compassionate California. She is an interfaith activist and President of S.A.R.A.H. (Spiritual And Religious Alliance for Hope) women’s interfaith organization, and Producer at Alchemy Productions.

Kaley Hixson

Williston, VT

I live in Vermont, USA with my partner and my son, and we spend a lot of time in Canada as well. I love to travel, which is why I am so grateful that it is so easy to learn and work online these days. I am a professional coach and massage therapist, and am currently finishing up my Masters in Positive Psychology from Life University. When I first took CIT I knew within the first few weeks that I would like to be a facilitator; there is something about this training that seems so relevant and so needed in this time where so many people are divided and are in search of language that can unite people with differences. This course provided me with that language as well as practices to become a more compassionate person. This is the reason I am excited to share CIT with others.

Teresa Cowan Jones

Breakthrough Leadership Institute
Tucson, AZ

Teresa is an executive and personal coach, developer of the CIT Coaching Program, and founder of the Breakthrough Leadership Institute, a transformational leadership and community development initiative. As such, she directs its premier program, Sacred Space, a secular and interfaith community that builds skills of compassion through contemplative practices to fuel social justice. Author of over one hundred tools for effectiveness, Teresa holds a B.S. in Psychology and a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University. Teresa has served as coach and faculty of the Center for Progressive Leadership, the Center for Integrative Medicine, and the Hesychia School for Spiritual Direction, and is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.

Janssen Judge

Tacoma, WA

Janssen has worked in the well-being industry for 10 years and has her Masters in Positive Psychology through Life University. Currently, she works as a human performance coach in the Seattle, Washington area.

Michael Karlin, Ph.D.

Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics
Atlanta, GA

Michael has taught CIT to students, faculty and staff at Life University, peace workers in Northern Ireland, incarcerated men and women, teachers working with at-risk youth and entrepreneurs, as well as the general population.

Rebecca Koch

Director of Service Initiatives, Life University
Marietta, GA

Rebecca’s work involves finding ways to operationalize the founding value of Life University, Lasting Purpose (To Give, Do, Love and Serve from Abundance), and includes customer service, community service, and service to one another within the University community. CIT holds special interest for her since it is an expression of and is in perfect keeping with Lasting Purpose. Rebecca is a long-time experiential learning facilitator and holds a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Positive Psychology with a focus on coaching. She has participated in and facilitated numerous CIT sessions with Life University personnel, CIT Facilitators in Training, and with homeless persons in Atlanta, GA.

Pam Lewis, Ph.D.

Compassionate Houston
Houston, TX

Pam is President of the Board of Compassionate Houston, a non-profit organization based on the Charter for Compassion. She is also a Board member and the Community Coordinator for Insight Meditation Houston.

Pam worked many years as a Licensed Professional Counselor (TX) and rehabilitation consultant.

Michaela Maxwell

London, England

Michaela has a background in Buddhist Studies and strives to better understand how we as human beings can nurture our basic human values and elevate ourselves and those whose lives are touched by us every day.  She has done research on notions of gender and race in ancient Buddhism, and how Buddhist philosophy is applicable to modern issues.  Michaela has worked with interfaith organizations at the United Nations, as well as the Indian Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness consultancy, Beyond Mind. Her research and experience has shown her that cultivating compassion is a fundamental step toward healing our societies and our planet, which is why she is passionate about her role as a CIT facilitator!

Merida McCarthy

Monterrey, Mexico

Encuentro Mundial de Valores, Charter for Compassion, CIT Facilitator

I’m British by birth, travelled most of my life living mostly in Nigeria, Spain and currently in Monterrey, Mexico. I have a Diploma in Environment and Social Development by the Open University, UK; I’m certified in Gestalt Psychotherapy by Procesos Humanos in Monterrey, México; and an organizing member of Grupo Manos and Sintergética Monterrey. I collaborate closely with the Encuentro Mundial de Valores (World Wide Meeting of Human Values) an annual event that takes place every year in Monterrey, México bringing together great minds to give talks and workshops about human values; and I’ve been collaborating with Charter for Compassion, Think Equal, SEE Learning and CIT in order to promote Compassion as a way to reduce violence in all areas of society.

Shane O’Connor

Madrid, Spain

Versatile facilitator, trainer and educator trained in everything from private coaching for adult professionals to teacher training workshops or outdoor movement-based activities.  Energetic team building, leadership  and conflict management specialist and experienced in working with groups from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. Highly experienced practitioner of the multiple intelligence theory for inclusive learning. Practical knowledge and experience of living and working in five different continents and passionate about empowering people to ignite their own passions, improve their health, build their resilience, harness their growth and foster their sense of contribution.  Shane has over two decades of working in the area of Peace Education and Global Awareness and has worked for local human rights organisations as well are within larger International NGO’s and Educational Institutions in the Global North and South.  (Oh, and Shane also a degree in journalism and a graduate degree in development education and conflict mediation).

Brendan Ozawa-de Silva, Ph.D.

Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics
Emory University
Atlanta, GA

Brendan has been teaching compassion and meditation practices through a variety of modalities, including most recently CIT, over the past fifteen years, to populations including incarcerated individuals, foster children, students, peace workers, and others.

Anja Pelzer-Brennholt

Berlin, Germany

Anja Pelzer-Brennholt has been a member of the CIT working group from October 2016 to March 2018. She holds a MSc in Positive Psychology, a Master in Humanitarian Assistance and a law degree with focus on Human Rights and International Law. She is a lawyer and a  certified mediator. Anja is translating CIT into German and helps us to establish CIT in Germany.

Leanne Rubenstein

Compassionate Atlanta
Atlanta, GA

Leanne’s passion for social justice has led her to take her degree in Special Education and her Master’s level training in counseling to a wider audience through program leadership, fundraising and development. As a passionate storyteller, Leanne has transformed her program development and leadership skills into helping the wider community understand the impact of their voices and their philanthropy in order to make a positive impact in their communities and worldwide

Kay Stewart

Atlanta, GA

Kay founded Stillwaters Mindfulness Training after completing graduate studies in Mindfulness and Contemplative Education in May, 2013. She facilitates retreats at the intersection of mindfulness and self-reflective spiritual renewal, and she is passionate about living and teaching from the inside/out. 

For more than 26 years, Kay served on the faculty in the Department of Health and Physical Education at Emory University.  She currently teaches the mindfulness component of a Health Coaching Certification course through Emory Continuing Education.

Through her teaching and retreat leadership, Kay considers it an extraordinary privilege to travel alongside others to cultivate a way of being in the world that is large enough to hold mind, body, heart, and spirit in an integrated and resilient wholeness.   For more info go to stillwatersmindfulness.com.

Kate Trnka

Charter for Compassion
Appleton, WI

Kate Trnka taught in the public schools for 26 years and has her Master’s degree in Education. She is the founder of The Sacred Earth Institute and is the Environment Sector Director for the Charter for Compassion. Kate looks forward to facilitating CIT courses all over the world.

Marilyn Turkovich

Charter for Compassion

Marilyn is executive director of the Charter for Compassion, an international movement that works with grass roots teams globally to address issues within their local communities.  She is involved in promoting CIT with compassionate city initiatives and in share training with educators who are interested in broadening their understanding of compassion, secular ethics and social emotional learning.

Jennifer Valtos

Life University, Center for Compassion, Integrity, and Secular Ethics
Swedesboro, New Jersey

Jennifer spent more than 20 years working in higher education, specifically in student affairs, working with students, staff, and faculty in a variety of roles.   She has worked with groups in person at LIFE University and with the Charter for Compassion.  She also co-facilitates online courses in conjunction with the charter for compassion education institute.