The purpose of this 2.5 day, science and practice retreat is to introduce participants to the science and practice of compassion. Compassion, defined simply as the capacity to feel, and wish to relieve, the suffering of others, is increasingly important in our society where high levels of personal and interpersonal stress exist, and also across the globe as we become a more interconnected and interdependent species coping with large scale problems like climate change, global inequality, and population growth.
Robert W. Roeser is a Professor of Psychology and Human Development in the Department of Psychology at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. He received his Ph.D. from the Combined Program in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan (1996) and holds master's degrees in religion and psychology, developmental psychology and clinical social work. In 2005 he was a United States Fulbright Scholar in India, from 1999-2004 he was a William T. Grant Faculty Scholar, and from 2006 to 2010 served as the Senior Program Coordinator for the Mind and Life Institute (Boulder, CO).
Dr. Roeser's research focuses on the developmental effects of schooling on student identity development, motivation, wellbeing and learning across childhood, adolescence, and emerging adulthood. He is also interested in the professional development of teachers, especially with regard to their developmental knowledge of students and professional dispositions such as mindfulness and compassion for self and others.
Currently, Dr. Roeser's Culture and Contemplation in Education Lab (CaCiEL) at Portland State University (Portland, OR) is devoted to the study of the putative effects of mindfulness and compassion training for teachers, parents and students with regard to health and wellbeing, teaching and learning, and ethical development. Can such trainings be viable and effective means of cultivating the skills and dispositions teachers and students need to thrive and flourish in the 21st Century – a healthy body, a calm and clear mind, and a kind and good heart?
Margaret Cullen is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher. She has also trained with Zindel Segal in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and in MB Eat with Jean Kristeller. For fifteen years she has been teaching and pioneering mindfulness programs in a variety of settings including cancer support, HIV support, physician groups, executive groups, obesity and Kaiser patients. For six years she has been involved in teaching and writing curricula for several research programs at UCSF including "Cultivating Emotional Balance" designed for teachers and "Craving and Lifestyle Management with Meditation" for overweight women. In 2008 she launched a mindfulness-based emotional balance program for teachers and school administrators in Denver, Boulder, Ann Arbor and Vancouver, B.C. She has also been a facilitator of support groups for cancer patients and their loved ones for twenty years at The Cancer Support Community and is currently a senior teacher at the Center for Compassion at Stanford. A meditation practitioner for nearly thirty years, she is a frequent contributor to "Inquiring Mind".