Wellness-Connect 2020-2021

Wellness Connect Program Logo

Eight monthly live and recorded webinars with discussion guides.
Renowned national experts, authors and leaders.

Wellness-Connect inspires and educates your community. Moderated by Katie Koestner, who appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine at age 18 and is subject of an HBO movie, these 24 live webcasts address eight timely topics via a secure, interactive platform.

Garner current research and practical action items from the brightest minds in the country. Subcriptions include access to live and recorded on-demand sessions, discussion guides, and supplemental resources.  

Subscription Options

FACULTY-CONNECT

Eight live 23 min sessions @ 3:30pm EST.
Recorded and on-demand.

  • Appropriate for educators in K-12 and higher education.
  • Professional development with CEU credit.
  • Training for advisors, coaches and sub-contractors.
  • Engage with thousands of educators throughout the country.
  • Commitment to the safety and wellbeing of students and the school community.

PEER-CONNECT

Eight live 23 min sessions @ 7:00pm EST.
Recorded and on-demand.

  • Appropriate for student age 14-21.
  • Programming option for assemblies.
  • Training for peer educators, peer counselors, peer leaders and resident assistants.
  • Engage with thousands of students throughout the country.
  • Bystander engagement training.
  • Opportunity to talk with your parents after they watch Parent-Connect.

PARENT-CONNECT

Eight live 23 min sessions @ 7:30pm EST.
Recorded and on-demand.

  • Appropriate for parents of children age 1-21.
  • Programming option for PTA/PTC meetings.
  • Training for volunteers at your child’s school.
  • Engage with thousands of parents throughout the country.
  • Commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our children.
  • Opportunity to talk with your child after they watch Peer-Connect.

Wellness-Connect:
Access to Faculty-Connect, Peer-Connect and Parent-Connect.

Pricing for a single person for our WC Series is $1,250. The cost for an organization is $6,000.

Find out more about our fee schedule!

Series Schedule

Session 1: October 5, 2020
Microaggression & Discrimination: Identifying and Undoing Bias

We live and work in a diverse world with people from a variety of identities, specifically racial backgrounds. Recognizing that race and racism remain salient in our society, we need to understand the messages we’ve been taught about race and how they may show up in the form of prejudice, bias, and/or discrimination. It is important to know that most of us are well-intended people, and despite that, the impact of our words and actions could harm others.

Learn about the history and context of race and racism in the United States. Explore our conscious and unconscious biases, and how to address them when they arise. Understand microaggressions and how they may manifest in educational environments and impact historically marginalized communities. Implore yourself to take responsibility for the impact of individual actions and self-awareness. This session creates a space for open, honest communication and active engagement by all members of the community in recognizing the value of every voice.

Jordan West

Dr. Jordan West – Director of University Diversity & Inclusion Programs, George Washington University

Jordan S. West, Ph.D. is a senior Diversity Officer and faculty member in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies at The George Washington University. In her administrative capacity, Dr. West is responsible for creating and implementing sustainable and transformative change across the institution that informs people, policies, and practices, in continuing to shift the campus towards a more positive and just climate. Dr. West’s professional experience includes Princeton University, Syracuse University, University of California Berkeley, and Pennsylvania State University in Residence Life, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Multicultural Affairs, Admissions, Athletics, and more. Dr. West identifies as a scholar activist and is a formally trained social justice educator and facilitator. Dr. West’s experience and research interests focus on campus climate, narrative and storytelling as a method, and how BIPOC and individuals from historically marginalized identities work towards liberation while in higher education through the lens of Black Feminist Theory and Critical Race Theory.

Pawan Dhingra

Dr. Pawan Dhingra – Professor of American Studies at Amherst College and Author of Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough

Pawan Dhingra is a sociologist and former curator and senior advisor of the Smithsonian Institution exhibition, Beyond Bollywood: Asian Indian Americans Shape the Nation. His most recent book is Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough and has been profiled on National Public Radio (NPR), Library Journal, and elsewhere. He is the author of the award-winning Life Behind the Lobby: Indian American Motel Owners and the American Dream (Stanford University Press, 2012), which has been profiled in NPR, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Colorlines MagazineWall Street Journal, and elsewhere. Professor Dhingra joined Amherst College after serving as professor and chair of sociology and professor of American studies at Tufts University, as an associate professor of sociology at Oberlin College, and as an assistant professor of sociology at Bucknell University. 

Session 2: November 2, 2020
The Balancing Act: Managing Stress and Anxiety

Anxiety can mean waking up at 3:34am with a full-plate of to-do’s; a cold-sweat before a critical conversation; and paralysis about a course of action. Expectations whether self-imposed or external can create a tidal wave of feelings of being overwhelmed with no clear way out. Learn accessible techniques that can assuage, and even overcome these common experiences within one to ten minutes a day.

Learn research-proven strategies including exercise, mindfulness training, and one-minute stress reducers that can take any of us from overwhelmed to triumphant.  Understand root causes and imbalances that give rise to anxiety and how they can be quickly and obviously addressed. We will share “pattern interrupt” methods known as the “One-minute heart meditation,” and the “shake and smile” exercise. These methods have been shown in numerous studies to reduce the stress hormone cortisol for up to five hours. Learn how to unveil your inner resources that heal anxiety and their root causes for a lifetime. Garner practical ways to help yourself and others easily abolish anxiety.

Johnathan Robinson

Jonathan Robinson – Psychotherapist, Author of 14 Books, and Highly Sought-After Speaker

Jonathan Robinson is a psychotherapist, best-selling author of ten books, and a professional speaker from Northern California. His work has appeared in Newsweek, USA TODAY, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as dozens of other publications.

In addition, Mr. Robinson has made numerous appearances on the Oprah show and CNN, as well as other national TV talk shows. Mr. Robinson’s first book, “The Experience of God,” included interviews with such notable people as the late Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Wayne Dyer. Jonathan’s second book, “The Little Book of Big Questions,” became a New York Times bestseller, as did his book “Communication Miracles for Couples.” Mr. Robinson’s other books include: Instant. Jonathan speaks regularly to Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Microsoft, Dell, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, and FedEx/Kinko’s. In his public talks and workshops, Jonathan is known for providing his audiences with powerful and immediately useful information in a fun and entertaining manner.

Bruce Pardoe

Bruce Pardoe – Founder of Heart Fluency and Meditation Teacher in the Vipassana tradition of Buddhism

Out of his own healing journey with complex trauma, Bruce Pardoe developed the radically gentle Heart Fluency method and trainings that have helped hundreds of conscious individuals fully heal and transform trauma, emotional wounds and anxiety into happiness and well-being.

With over 40 years of healing experience, Bruce combines ancient wisdom traditions with modern neuroscience and somatic practices to reveal our unconditional resilience and joy. Bruce is a long term meditation teacher having spent over 2 years on silent retreat, and has studied extensively in Asia in the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and Advaita. He also has an extensive background in neuroscience and related modalities having trained in Polyvagal Theory, Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement and Hakomi’s body-centered psychotherapy.

Session 3: December 7, 2020
Misinformation, Disinformation & Your Digital Footpring: Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship

Who will see your digital footprints and how long will they last?  Learn how Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Xbox, TikTok, Google and other applications are making use of your self-posted information. What is misinformation and disinformation put forth as information on the web, and how can you tell the difference? What are top strategies and tools to become a circumspect digital consumer, student, parent and educator?

Consider how your digital dossier is being shaped by your friends, family, and colleagues. We identify apps and web-resources to help you stay in control of your profile, data, privacy and time. Understand internet addiction and mental health consequences of social media messaging. We peel back the curtain on corporate monetization and messaging to empower you to choose how you use technology and shape its future.

Belinha DeAbreu

Belinha De Abreu – Practitioner, Author, Professor and Researcher

Belinha S. De Abreu, PhD. is a global media literacy educator. She served as an International Expert to the Forum on Media & Information Literacy for UNESCO’s Communication & Information Section. 

Her research interests include media and information literacy education, educational technology, global perspectives, critical thinking, privacy & big data, young adults, and teacher training.  Dr. De Abreu is the founder of the International Media Literacy Research Symposium which has been held in the USA and Portugal. She is the author of Teaching Media Literacy (ALA: Neal-Schuman, 2019), and Mobile Learning through Digital Media Literacy (Peter Lang, 2017).

Jimmeka Anderson

Jimmeka Anderson – Founder of I am Not The Media, Speaker and Activist

Jimmeka Anderson is a Doctoral Candidate in the Urban Education program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a research focus on urban students and critical digital media literacy. 

She received her master’s degree in Educational Media with a focus on New Media Literacies and Global Perspectives at Appalachian State University. While serving as the Founder and Executive Director of I AM not the Media, Inc. for nine years, she has developed curriculum and award-winning community programs that empower youth through media literacy and media creation (www.iamnotthemedia.org).  Additionally, Jimmeka is the Chapter Lead for North Carolina for the national Media Literacy Now organization and the creator of the Teen Media Literacy Conference in Charlotte, NC.

Merve Lapus

Merve Lapus – Vice President, Outreach & Community Partnerships, Common Sense Education

Merve is responsible for the overall outreach strategy and national partnerships for Common Sense Education and oversees a team that works directly with leadership to impact communities using technology for learning and life.

Merve has over 18 years of experience driving education technology initiatives across school programs, and building educator confidence through professional learning, and strategic implementation.  Merve sits on a number of steering committees addressing school climate and state policy initiatives, and currently sits on the Marketing and Communications Board for the University of San Francisco and the Children’s Creativity Museum of San Francisco. Merve holds a BA in Psychology and Sociology from the University of San Francisco and is often behind a camera snapping pictures of his   wife and two daughters dancing around the Bay Area.

Session 4: January 4, 2021
High Impact Leadership by Way of Resiliency

We seem to live in a constant state of “uncertain times”, and the “new normal” can seem untenable. More than ever before, we live in an almost relentless place of stress brought on by a combination of lack of sleep, heightened expectations, and over-exposure to endless stimuli from every direction. What are the skills needed to thrive despite this plethora of life stressors including academic, economic, family, discrimination, social media and even the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Learn how to change challenges into success with effective strategies and leadership skills. Bolster your resiliency and stability with high-impact self-care designed to get you out of your head and into your optimal states of body and mind. Learn how these science-backed strategies increase energy, emotional wellbeing, and mental sharpness. Discover how to feel and perform your best with tools from performance coaching, mental strength training, and positive psychology.

Sienna Abdulahad

Sienna Abdulahad – Director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Tulane University

Sienna Abdulahad serves as the Director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Tulane University. Abdulahad earned a B.S. in Marketing and Management from Siena College and an M.A.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Virginia Tech. She has experience working in multicultural programs and services, student activities, inclusion and diversity, and academic advising. Sienna has always been committed to excellence when working with and for students. Throughout her time in the profession, she has proposed initiatives that challenge the status quo and counter the dominant narratives in our society. Her favorite quote is: “There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation – veneer isn’t worth anything.” -George Washington Carver

Cara Bradley

Cara Bradley – Leadership Consultant, Speaker, Podcast Host, Author of On The Verge: Wake up, Show up and Shine

Cara Bradley is a leading authority of body-mind training having led thousands through her signature strategies to live in flow. She shares her expertise in mental strength training and embodied leadership with Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurial start-ups, and collegiate sports teams. Known for her no-hype, New Yorker street-savvy style, Cara integrates stories and practical body-mind practices to connect with others at a real-life, intimate and human level. Cara is the author of On The Verge: Wake Up, Show Up, and Shine, and founder of the award-winning Verge Yoga Center in Philadelphia. She was recently named one of the “12 Most Powerful Women in the Mindfulness Movement” by Mindful Magazine and partners with the Flow Genome Project, and with wearable and wellness brands including Insight Timer, Muse and Happify.

Session 5: February 1, 2021
He, She, They & Ze: Gender Inclusion or Gender Chaos?

When considering the increasing visible presence of transgender and other gender diverse people, there is much interest – and opinion – with respect to pronoun usage (she, he, they, or ze), how to navigate gender-separated spaces (bathrooms, locker rooms, dorm rooms, etc.) and engagement on sports teams and other activities.  Some will express interest in deepening their learning, getting a grasp on current terminology, and engaging gender diverse people in respectful ways.  Others are of a very different mindset. There is resistance that makes evident the dark layer of fear that is pervasive when considering a simple request of moving from “he” to “she”.  This underbelly is made evident when we see statistics that reflect the violence, contempt, and dismissal of trans lives.  We can’t be effective allies if we don’t address the deepest layers – the apprehension of what feels to be a descent into gender obliteration and the specter of societal upheaval and chaos.  How do we step into inclusivity when we fear that inclusion could be dangerous?  Learn about concrete, straightforward steps towards gender inclusion and the paradigm shift needed to get there. 

Aiden Key

Aidan Key – Speaker, Consultant and Co-Author of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: Children and Gender Cognition in Transgender Children

Aidan Key is the founder and director of Gender Diversity, an organization serving families of trans and gender diverse children. He produces Gender Odyssey, the longest-running annual conference for families and professionals. Key has served as a consultant to hundreds of K-12 schools and youth-based agencies across the US, providing training, strategic planning, policy development, and staff, parent, and student education.

Key is the co-author of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: Children and Gender Cognition in Transgender Children. The Greater Seattle Business Association honored Key as the Humanitarian of the Year and The Pride Foundation, Ingersoll Gender Center, Chicago Black Pride, Seattle Out and Proud, have praised Key’s work. He has been featured in the national media, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, Al Jazeera America, Larry King Live, and Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Most recently, Aidan was selected as one of Seattle Magazine’s 2019 Most Influential People of the Year.

Petey Peterson

Petey Peterson – Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusivity, Tulane University

Petey Peterson is responsible for overall leadership, administrative and programmatic direction for the office of Gender & Sexual Diversity at Tulane. With 10 years of experience doing gender and sexuality work in higher education, Petey previously worked at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio; where they served as the Director of the Office of LGBTQA Affairs. They also worked in LGBTQI Life at Vanderbilt University. Petey received a Bachelor of Science in Child, Adult and Family Services; a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies; and a M. Ed in Higher Education (Student Affairs) from Iowa State University. Petey has a wealth of knowledge and experience in gender, sexuality, and equity. They most recently served as the Advancement Coordinator and Equity Officer for the ACPA Coalition for Sexuality and Gender Identities. Petey is a Hufflepuff, Cancer, and furparent to two pups (Max & Silver). They enjoy hiking, biking, non-competitive kickball, good coffee, and now snowballs!

Nyk Roberston

Nyk Robertson – Assistant Director TRIO Student Support Services at Emporia State University, Former Associate Director of Gender Initiatives at Swarthmore College

Nyk Robertson grew up in Kansas as a young queer person. Their struggle with reconciling their family, religion, queerness and gender identity in small-town America is what built their resilience as well as drive to support others going through similar struggles. They currently work with undergraduate students specifically offering services and support for Asian American, LatinX, Multiracial, Native American, Queer (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), low-income, international, and first-generation college students. Nyk has a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in poetry and a Master’s in Gender Culture Studies. Their academic research involves looking at how language constructs a subjectivity for gender non-binary folx and how spoken word poetry produces a space for this language to be created in a way other literature does not. Currently, Nyk is completing a Doctorate Degree. Nyk considers every presentation another opportunity to share this language and these lived experiences of the LGBTQ+ community with more folx and broaden the conversation around these experiences.

Session 6: March 1, 2021
Power-Based Relationships: Bullying & Prosocial Bystanders

“But I was just kidding.” Free speech with the intent to harm and degrade others can easily become bullying. We analyze what is bullying and how it is perpetuated within our social hierarchies. Understand why and how someone becomes a bully or the target of a bully (and sometimes both) as well as the role the bystanders play in perpetuating the cycle. Grasp the importance of recognizing the difference between teasing and taunting and flirting and sexual bullying.

Learn how to empower those who are targets, so they feel supported in speaking up. Silence can lead to struggles with mental health and even self-harming behaviors. We uncover the power issues around gender, race, religion, ethnicity, economic status, appearance, sexual identity and more. Learn ways to become a prosocial bystander and create lasting culture change within our communities.

Barbara Coloroso

Barbara Coloroso – Founder of Kids Are Worth It, Author, Speaker

Barbara Coloroso is an international bestselling author and educator and for the past 49 years an internationally recognized speaker and consultant on parenting, teaching, school discipline, positive school climate, bullying, grieving, nonviolent conflict resolution and restorative justice. She is the author of six international bestsellers including the latest edition of The Bully, The Bullied, and The Not-So-Innocent Bystander. She has appeared on CBC, BBC, Oprah, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and NPR and has been featured in the New York Times, Time, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, and other national and international publications.

Session 7: April 5, 2021
Navigating Healthy Relationships & Consent in the #MeToo Era

The expectations and policies regarding appropriate interactions between romantic partners have changed dramatically in the wake of #MeToo, Time’s Up, and Campus Title IX regulations. Learn the difference between “affirmative” and “effective” consent, what constitutes sexual misconduct, sexting, child pornography, incapacitation, and coercion. How do criminal, civil and campus “courts” address these issues, including knowing about an incident, but not reporting?

Should you buy someone a drink or even compliment someone’s outfit in the current climate? Do you need verbal consent for a kiss? How does someone’s use of alcohol, study-drugs, or marijuana affect their ability to give effective consent? This program is inclusive to all gender and sexual identities, as well as morals and values. The information is presented from an educational perspective, not a prescription for action or legal advice. Understand appropriate personal boundaries for students and educators.

Amanda Blaugher

Amanda Blaugher – Title IX Director at Gettysburg College

Amanda Blaugher serves as the Title IX Director at Gettysburg College. She is a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University, where she founded a Women’s Empowerment program and was awarded the Third Century Scholar Award. She is also the Program Director for the Take Back the Night Foundation and the Curriculum Director for Campus Outreach Services. Amanda served as the Conference Coordinator of the International Summit to End Sexual Violence and was awarded a Certificate of Advocacy from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs in 2016.

Gordon Braxton

Gordon Braxton – Author, Activist and Educator on Sexual Violence, Former Director of Men’s Outreach on Sexual Assault Prevention at Harvard University

Gordon Braxton is Contract Specialist with the Department of Defense, and previously served as the Prevention Specialist at Harvard University, where he implemented the University’s violence prevention policies. Gordon completed his undergraduate work at the University of Virginia and has a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He was identified by Ebony Magazine as a “super man” because of his commitment to activism focused on fighting intimate partner violence. Gordon was introduced to the field of sexual violence prevention as a peer educator in an all-male anti-violence group at the University of Virginia.

Session 8: May 3, 2021
Inhaling More Than Air: Juuling & Inhalants

With a full array of colors and flavors coupled with creative targeted marketing, the vape has become the latest addiction amongst teens and young adults. Learn how misleading advertising permeated the screens of teens via social media, often cloaked within social justice messaging and stress-relief promises.

Understand how these devices work and what research reveals about the effects of nicotine in pod-based systems like JUUL, PHIX and Sourin on the adolescent body and brain. Learn what substances are contained in vapor and aerosol. Become more informed about the impact of primary and secondhand vapor produced by these devices. Review current legislative initiatives to curb use and how each of us can make positive change in our communities.

Ian Wong

Ian Wong – Director of Health Promotion and Prevention at Tufts University

Ian Wong is the Director of Health Promotion & Prevention at Tufts University. He is responsible for providing a comprehensive, campus-wide prevention effort regarding health issues impacting Tufts including: alcohol, substance use, healthy relationships, stress and depression, eating concerns, and violence prevention. He has a background in Public Health specializing in Health Promotion and Prevention and has served on National, Regional and State Boards.

Peter Doyle

Dr. Peter Doyle – MD, Associate Medical Director of Health Service at Tufts University

Dr. Peter Doyle is the Associate Medical Director of Health Service at Tufts University. He is also the provider of routine and acute medical care at Tufts. He received his MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and his BA from the MetroWest Medical Center University of Pittsburgh. His areas of interest include Sports Medicine, Men’s Health, Depression, and Sleep Medicine.

Peter Doyle

Dr. Matthew Sutherland – Director of Neuroinformatics and Brain Connectivity Lab

Dr. Matthew Sutherland is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Director of the Neuroinformatics and Brain Connectivity (NBC) Lab. His research focuses on understanding the impact of drug use on human brain function and cognition. Specifically, his research aims to understand the brain mechanisms leading to and maintaining drug use with specific emphasis on nicotine addiction, cannabis use, and attentional process. Towards this goal, Dr. Sutherland’s research employs multiple neuroimaging tools (e.g., pharmacological, task-based and ‘resting-state’ functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)) to identify potential biomarkers for diagnosis and tracking of disease progression, new targets for therapeutic interventions, and strategies for expediting the implementation of personalized treatment. His research is funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).

Peter Doyle

Dr. Elisa Trucco – Director of Research on Adolescent and Child Heath Lab

Dr. Elisa Trucco is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of the Research on Adolescent and Child Health (ReACH) Lab. Her research program is committed to identifying biological, social, and personality factors that lead to alcohol, e-cigarette, and drug use among adolescents and young adults. Informed by developmental theory, her work examines how factors such as early childhood stressors, personality, biology, parenting, and peers impact risk for substance use across childhood into young adulthood. Ultimately, the goal of this line of research is to improve substance use prevention programming for children and teens. Dr. Trucco’s research is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).

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