In 2014 Sharon Collaros, an Urban Zen Integrative Therapist™ working in hospitals with caregivers, saw the connection and realized the need for Urban Zen™ practices for her husband’s teachers, staff and students. Chris Collaros is principal of Wickliffe Progressive Elementary School in Upper Arlington, Ohio. Sabrina Walters, a Wickliffe Progressive classroom teacher, was motivated to find self-care strategies after suffering a heart attack at the age of 43. Utilizing her 25+ years of teaching experience as a Progressive educator, Sabrina translated her Urban Zen Integrative Therapy™ training into a developmentally appropriate school model to help her students and colleagues. Along with Urban Zen Integrative Therapists™ Janine Harris-Degitz and Susan Cunningham, they piloted a year-long Urban Zen™ immersion at Wickliffe in the 2017-18 school year.
Through the guidance and generous grants from local visionaries Karen Jones and Susan Keister, along with a commitment from the Upper Arlington School administration, MIND-ED is expanding the culture of education and the development of the whole child by teaching the skills of “pause.” MIND-ED is offered at Wickliffe for individual, small-group or whole-class sessions. Administrators, staff, and students sign up to participate, and data are being collected to track it's effectiveness. MIND-ED is a pioneer in expanding Urban Zen Integrative Therapy™ across the United States as part of the effort to promote well-being in education for staff, students and families.
The name, MIND-ED, derived from the dictionary definition below and our vision for education to focus on strategies for the mind, body and heart in order to foster well-being in schools.
Definition: Mind·ed /ˈmīndəd/
suffix: -minded; adjective: minded
inclined to think in a particular way.
2. interested in or enthusiastic about the thing specified.
Get to know us and see how we are inclined to think in a particular way and see our enthusiasm for changing the cultures of schools. The MIND•ED team is comprised of highly experienced and qualified Urban Zen Integrated Therapists™ ready to put their energy and skills towards helping the students, staff and parents at your school renew, restore and reflect. Join us at MIND•ED today and experience the positive changes that a "pause" can make.
Sharon believes the gentle practices and benefits received from the reflective quality of Urban Zen™ nurture a compassionate conscience desperately needed in 21st Century living. She is a yoga teacher who specializes in Urban Zen Integrative Therapy™ and Laughter Yoga and has a deep passion for I-Rest. Sharon currently works in schools as an Urban Zen Integrative Therapist™. She also takes the gentle practices of Urban Zen™ to The Church For All People, where she works with the social workers as well as the homeless and underserved population. Sharon lives in Columbus with her husband, three beautiful daughters and her dog (who snores).
SABRINA DE LIBERA WALTERS
Sabrina was born in Ohio and has been teaching in Upper Arlington City Schools for almost 30 years. Sabrina is a lifelong learner who graduated from Ohio University and earned her Master's degree in Early and Middle Childhood from The Ohio State University. She pursued a Certificate of Applied Positive Psychology from the Flourishing Center which led to becoming an Urban Zen Integrative Therapist™ and meditation teacher. She enjoys the energy on and around her yoga mat and uses her UZIT™ practice and progressive education pedagogy to embrace the joys, changes and connections that life offers. Sabrina currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with her two teenagers, loves family dinners and long walks holding hands.
Social and Emotional Learning Specialist
Susan Keister is a pioneer in the field of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and has dedicated her life to creating compassionate learning communities and cultivating social and emotional competencies in adults and students in schools. She holds an M.A. from Michigan State University and serves as a SEL Specialist for Lions Quest Program of Lions Clubs International and the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Currently, she serves as the principal for SELutions Consulting LLC. She taught middle and high school for ten years and has since developed SEL curriculum and facilitated professional learning for over 35 years in 40 countries internationally. She is a certified Urban Zen Integrative Therapist, holistic coach, restorative practices facilitator, and Reiki Master. She lives in the ravines of Clintonville with her husband and loves being an entrepreneur, Harmony Project participant, and eternal optimist!
FROM THE MAT OF THE MIND-ED TEAM
Our gratitude goes out for the love and support of our families and dear friends. For the positivity, energy and unwavering support of Karen Jones and Susan Keister. For the encouragement and teachings from Marcia Miller. For the "green light" and resources from The Urban Zen™ Foundation. For the Upper Arlington Education Foundation for funding grant projects. A special shout out to Jeff Stevenson for being our editor! For the practice and the pause. Namaste.
CFO (Left, with Rodney Yee)
JR earned his degree in Telecommunications from Ohio University and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Franklin University. He has worked in Information Technology for over 25+ years. His interest in yoga and meditation began with a Rodney Yee video to complement his P90X workouts. JR loves all things apple, Vizsla dogs, investing in the stock market and Phish concerts. On the weekend, you can find him helping friends, golfing or making improvements on his home in Upper Arlington.
Nurse Clinical Advisor
Susan’s experience as an Urban Zen Integrative Therapist™ draws on 30+ years as an oncology nurse and 20 years of practicing yoga and meditation. Susan regularly offers Urban Zen Integrative Therapy™ to patients, families and staff at the OSU Wexner Medical Center facilities and Wickliffe Progressive Elementary. Susan also teaches yoga and meditation to clients of all levels of physical abilities, from athletes to those with physical limitations including MS, Arthritis, diabetes and traumatic injuries. Susan lives in Columbus, with her husband and 2 cats.
Restorative Practices Specialist
Janine became a certified Urban Zen Integrative Therapists™ in April 2014 and became a staff mentor/teacher for the Urban Zen™ training class of 2015 to present through Yoga on High. She has been practicing and studying restorative yoga for over two decades. In addition to yoga, Janine is a Reiki Master and teaches The Embodied Present Process (TEPP) and Non-Violent Compassionate Communication (NVC). Janine has been studying and supporting schools and communities in the field of restorative justice, restorative practices, conflict resolution and non-violence for over 25 years. Janine’s other passions include her two daughters, life partner of 30+ years, faithful dog and several hives of bees.
Student Extraordinaire & Millennial Advisor
We met Cindy when she was a senior at Upper Arlington High School in Columbus. Cindy's student leadership, academic excellence and passion for being a change-maker inspired her to take the initiative to synthesize the Urban Zen™ data to support the needs of her high school peers. Insightful and articulate, Cindy attends The University of California, Berkeley. She plans to extend her passion for diversity and Urban Zen™ for student and staff. Look for Cindy Tang to change the world!
Community Philanthropist & Advocate
Karen holds a BA from Tufts University in English and an MA in Dance and Movement Therapy from Columbia College in Chicago. A "Big Magic" dreamer, Karen embodies engaging with the world with deep compassion and empathy. A passionate social justice advocate, Karen has been actively involved in Nonviolent Communication and civil discourse work, The Harmony Project Choir at ORW prison, The Yoga on High Foundation, and Urban Zen Integrative Therapy. She leads and facilitates women's retreats at Hope Springs Institute. She lives in Bexley with her husband and daughter and two cats.