Jane Martin. Founder/Chief Innovation Officer. Jane developed the Social Harmony curriculum over a decade ago, after identifying a critical need for bullying prevention programs that go beyond a standard punitive model. Jane is a licensed psychotherapist in New Jersey with experience in a range of transformational modalities, such Breathwork and Imago, that help clients heal their childhood wounding at its core to achieve lasting change. Coming with this perspective, Jane is well aware that punishments and rewards are not sufficient for generating true behavior change and personal growth, and she is committed to bringing a broader perspective that can facilitate growth and understanding for individuals and across communities. As a parent of three children who attended the Princeton Waldorf School, Jane has cultivated a strong appreciation for Steiner-based education. For over three decades, Jane has been well aware of the damage caused to our bodies and psyches by toxins in our environment, founding in the 1980s the Natural Baby Company, a leader in the Natural Parenting Movement, reaching over 3 million parents, to provide healthy natural products for their children. She is the author of "The End of the List," a book series on living life well, which includes topics ranging from parenting, to self-care and time management, to fostering a healthy home environment. The Social Harmony curriculum, which Jane designed, is informed by all of these perspectives and takes a truly holistic approach to guiding children and supporting the development of strong, healthy communities.
Ruth Ever. Chief Program Officer. Ruth has been in the prevention field for 25 years as a public health advocate, educator, evaluator, coalition coordinator and trainer. She loves the field of public health and believes deeply that effective prevention work, based on the right combination of science and heart can change outcomes for our children. She has trained teachers and schools, along with parents and community members all over western Massachusetts, in social-emotional learning, bullying prevention and underage substance abuse prevention. Although she lives in a more rural setting now, Ruth also spent many years in Philadelphia doing coalition work and youth prevention education. She received her undergraduate degree in (self-created) Feminist Studies from SUNY-Binghamton and her Masters in Public Health in Health Education from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is finishing up another Masters in Non-Profit Management from Bay Path College and is also currently training as a life coach through the Psychosynthesis Center in Amherst, MA near where she lives with her husband and two teenagers, which is her best training in the field.
Beth L. Haessig. Partner, Facilitator. Beth joined Social Harmony in 2014. She is a licensed psychologist, a somatic psychotherapist, and a certified Kripalu yoga teacher. Starting in 1990 as a school psychologist, she works in schools, a Newark hospital, and in private practice. As current President of the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy, she fosters public awareness around the importance of incorporating the body when working with the mind. She spent 6 years beyond her doctorate studying body-centered psychotherapy, along with other integrative health psychology practices. Beth had her professional beginnings as a teacher in Honduras for the Peace Corps and in a New Jersey high school teaching history. Her specialties include social skills training, eating disorders, mindfulness, and anxiety.
Suzanne Aptman, MBA. Facilitator: Suzanne is passionate about developing self-awareness, social awareness, empathetic cultures and system-wide change in schools and organizational settings. For 15 years, she has been working as a leadership, social intelligence and communication skills trainer, coach and facilitator for corporations and organizations. She is also a trained conflict resolution mediator through the NY Peace Institute and completed relationship/organizational systems coach training through the Coaches Training Institute. Suzanne has an avid interest in developing youth to become conscious, confident, expressive realtors and change-makers. She designs and leads programs for elementary school children that develop socio-emotional skills through theater based activities, mindfulness practices, and environmental stewardship and literacy. For many years, Suzanne designed and led a fellowship program for high achieving college students with disabilities to help them to self-advocate, break down barriers and succeed in the workplace. She holds a BA from Tufts University and MBA from Columbia University and certificates in educating youth for sustainability and teaching mindfulness in schools. Suzanne infuses her work with the spirit of possibility, creativity, and mutual understanding.
Dina Nowicki. Facilitator: Dina is a certified ESL and Spanish teacher and has been working in the public school system since completing her Master’s Degree at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education in 2009. As a teacher, Dina seeks to create a meaningful and rigorous learning environment that nourishes the minds and hearts of her students. With an emphasis on both academic and social and emotional learning (SEL), she aims to help students develop academic excellence, compassion, character, and a deep sense of joyful connection to themselves and the world around them. Dina currently teaches ESL at the Ichabod Central School District in Valatie, NY and works as a tutor/advocate for NYS Migrant Education. Dina is constantly exploring her own inner landscape and is dedicated to living a deeply conscious, passionate, and creative life based on the pursuit of Truth and growth. She lives at the Quaker Intentional Community in East Chatham, NY where she and others explore conscious culture creation in community.
Patti Pierson. Partner, Facilitator. Patti joined Social Harmony as a partner and facilitator in 2013. Through her professional career managing communications for large organizations such as Microsoft, AOL, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and as a consultant advising mission driven organizations, Patti has become keenly aware of the effect that interpersonal and interdepartmental relations have on an organization's ability to succeed. Patti's interest in better understanding interpersonal relations and herself inspired her own personal growth journey which has included Insight Meditation, Breathwork, Native American vision quest, indigenous ceremony, and a plethora of retreats and workshops. She believes that raising consciousness is our best hope for creating better societies and a better world, and knows that this work must start with our children. She has served as a court appointed special advocate for children in foster care and has mentored teens in a variety of settings from meditation retreats to law related education classes. Patti has a bachelor's in political science, with a concentration in peace studies, from the University of Notre Dame, and a master's in economic development from the London School of Economics. She has traveled, lived, and studied in over 40 countries and integrates wisdom from around the world into her work. She is location agnostic and divides her time primarily between the San Francisco Bay Area, the greater New York City area, and the Pacific Northwest.
Julia Martin. Facilitator. Julia attended the Waldorf School of Princeton, NJ, pre-K-8th Grade. She currently teaches Movement and runs the Social Harmony program at the Orchard Valley Waldorf School, in East Montpelier, VT. She co-started, and has been running ReTribe, a Rite of Passage Program for teens, and Coyote Clan wilderness adventure camp as well as afterschool programming in Shelburne and Monkton, VT for the past 4 years. Julia has been a staff member of the Wayfinder Experience, a fantasy role-playing and improvisational theater camp for teens, for the past 7 years. She has been working with kids since 2000, including directing theater programs for kids ages 7-17. She has been staff at the iBme (Inward Bound Mindfulness Education) teen meditation retreats in Virginia. She is certified in Integral BreathTherapy as well as Energy Medicine, and she teaches yoga and leads Kirtan (Sanskrit Chanting) at River House Yoga in Plainfield, VT. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 2009 with a degree in Sociology and Music, with a focus on intentional community living. She is very passionate about helping teens to heal, grow, and transform, has a deep connection with nature, imagination, and magic and hopes to help facilitate youth to foster these connections, which already exist so powerfully within them.
Susan Mintzer. Facilitator. As a former .com co-founder and workaholic, Susan surprises and amuses herself every day with who she has become since becoming a mom. She has a B.S. in English literature with a minor in psychology from William Smith College and also holds a certificate in training & development. She has had jobs in various fields including advertising, training & development, casting, magazine production, and advertising. For inspiration, community, and growth, she attends workshops as often as she can. This includes 100+ hours of play therapy, 100+ hours of nonviolent communication, child development, parenting, and mindfulness. For additional nourishment, she hugs her two kids, ages 9 and 8, as often as she can. And for companionship, she teams up in life and work with her husband, who makes things.
Alyson Raskin. Facilitator. Alyson is a bilingual (Spanish/English) school psychologist and has worked therapeutically with children in schools, mostly in New York City and New York State, since 1989. She is a certified yoga instructor, a certified advanced clinical hypnotherapist, certified release therapist and a certified personal transformation intensive leader. She has also been offering holistic therapeutic workshops to children and adults, integrating yoga with other body/mind healing modalities in New Jersey since 1998.
Howard Moody. Facilitator. Howard has been a faculty member at the Omega Institute for Holistic studies for many years and he is also the co-founder of The Adventure Game Theatre, an extraordinary interactive learning process (featured on PBS and NPR). Howard, along with Brian Allison, co-founded the Adventure Game Theatre (AGT) in 1985. Through the process of developing AGT, Howard and Brian created a unique form of play and personal growth for teens and adults. Combining experiential learning with creativity, improvisational theater, play, community building, mythology and storytelling they have brought magic into many young people’s lives. AGT evolved into the Wayfinder Experience which was created and now run by all the young staff people that Howard and Brian trained. Howard has also taken this work and adapted it with Wayfinder and Valarie Paradiz to work with Students on the Autism spectrum particularly students with Aspergers syndrome.