Bodhipaksa (pronounced bodhi-PACK-shah) is a Buddhist meditation teacher and author. He has been meditating for thirty years and teaching meditation for twenty years. He discovered a passion for teaching when completing a degree in veterinary medicine at the University of Glasgow, in his native Scotland, and later entered the field of community education, bringing educational and personal development opportunities to single parents and at-risk teens in a deprived town just outside Glasgow. For three years he ran a meditation retreat center in the Scottish highlands, before moving to Montana to undertake an interdisciplinary Master’s degree in Buddhism and business. In 2000, he founded Wildmind (www.wildmind.org) which is a leading online meditation resource and a publisher of guided meditation audio.
Dr. Virginia Barry
Virginia M. Barry Ph.D. was sworn in as Commissioner of Education on June 1, 2009. The New Hampshire Executive Council unanimously confirmed Governor John Lynch’s nomination to the position. The commissioner is responsible for the organizational goals of the department and represents the public interest in the administration of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of administrative and instructional services to all public schools in New Hampshire. The commissioner has direct responsibility for school administrative units for promoting excellence in education and the provision of resources through state and federal programs for all students. Dr. Barry has recently been recognized nationally for supporting a more holistic assessment of student achievement in support of students being college and work ready.
Dr. Barry has over 27 years of experience in education as a teacher, leader, tenured university professor, and provost and v ice president for academic affairs. Her teaching interests are embedded in the principles of human development and educational leadership. Dr. Barry is deeply committed to collaborative leadership and works closely with the school and business communities to create open communication among stakeholders and create a culture of innovation and excellence. Commissioner Barry is committed to keeping the best interests of the children of New Hampshire at the forefront.
Dr. Barry currently is a member of a number of boards including the University System of New Hampshire, the Community College System of New Hampshire, Healthy Kids of New Hampshire and a number of private foundations. She has received distinguished awards for outstanding teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels and most notably the Harold Hyde Award for outstanding leadership.
She received her B.S., from Florida State University and M.S., from Queens College City University of New York and State University of New York at Stony Brook., Ph.D. Florida State University with post-doctoral studies at New York University, Harvard and William and Mary..
Jim Forrest is the Principal of Ambalogic Interactive Studio, and former Creative Director of Berkleemusic at the Berklee College of Music. Previously he was the award-winning Web Creative Director of the Peabody Essex Museum, the oldest continuously operating museum in the United States.With a background in creative direction, new media design, information architecture, user-experience design, community building, animation, storytelling, fine art, and sound design, Jim’s work presents new possibilities for the changing experiential landscape online and beyond.Jim’s work has been featured in many articles, presentations, and shows about personalization, online outreach, social media, personalization, cultural exchange, and community outreach.
Carolyn Gamtso is a reference and instruction librarian at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester Library. Her professional and research interests include information literacy, faculty collaboration, and peer tutoring in the library. In 2007, she pursued a long-held dream by spending her academic sabbatical in the foothills of the Himalayas, teaching English to Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala, India, home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. While in India, Carolyn experienced firsthand the beauty of the ancient, rich, and tragically threatened Tibetan culture. Carolyn has spoken around the state about her adventures in Dharamsala, where she braved monsoon downpours—and roaming livestock—to get to language class; learned about the rules of cricket from sports-crazy monks; studied Buddhist philosophy with a respected lama; and discovered that ultimately her Tibetan students were the true teachers.
Dr. Jason Holder
Jason Holder is a licensed mental health therapist with over 31 years of child, adolescent and family counseling experience, most of which has been in an adventure-based environment. He has 15 years experience in teaching grades 1 through graduate school. During the summer, he directs a highly successful adventure program designed to enhance self-esteem and self-confidence through challenging activities in an outdoor wilderness setting.
In addition to his counseling practice, he has published 2 books that emphasize challenging oneself through physical activity and interactive games as part of our well-being. He regularly presents to schools, businesses and many other groups. His energetic, upbeat and interactive seminars and workshops have a key focus on healthy lifestyles, effective communication skills, positive team work and fun.
Michael Kennard has been active in EMS for over thirty years, starting as a First responder then achieving the Paramedic level. Mike has worked in many different environments, as a first responder, fire service, and private service, and for the past eighteen years, in the hospital setting as a 911 paramedic.
Along Mike’s travels he has earned his Associates degree in Emergency Para-medicine. He has his BLS, ACLS and PALS instructor certifications. Mike also works for the NH Bureau EMS as a Program Coordinator where he puts together continuing education programs for the pre-hospital provider. Mike presents these programs around the state in all five EMS regions along with presenting at the Mt. Sunappe and North Country EMS conferences.
In his free time he enjoys being outdoors working on the family farm, camping, running, biking and attempting to hike the Appalachian Trail in sections. For the last seven years Mike has been a participant in the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride. This is a group of bicycle riders that ride along the eastern seaboard and from Kentucky, to finish in Washington DC. This ride is to remember the fallen EMS providers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Mike is a retired Assistant Fire Chief from the town of Nottingham NH. Mike has been married for 35 years with two daughters and six grandchildren.
Michelle Lipinski, a New Hampshire Native and presently the Principal of the Northshore Recovery High School is a founder of I Can Help (icanhelp.com) an early identification program that creates “safe spots” in schools for youth to discuss issues with trained personnel. Currently the principal at North Shore Recovery High School in Beverly, MA, she has served for more than 20 years in various educational roles from licensed Biology teacher to Alternative Ed Director. Throughout her career she has focused on developing rigorous academic programs that address the whole child, particularly those students most at risk of social and academic failure. Recognized for her academic and experiential knowledge of at-risk youth, Michelle has and continues to speak at national, state-wide, and local conferences and workshops.
Avi Magidoff is an acupuncturist, and Buddhist teacher. He teaches technique and philosophy of the meridians to professional acupuncturists and facilitates meditation and mindfulness practice in Portsmouth, NH. A student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and long-time member of the Order of Interbeing (Tiep Hien), Avi has helped organize TNH’s tours in North America and the UK in the 90’s, and offers retreats and days of mindfulness for the Portsmouth and Boston Sanghas. His aspiration is to live with love and awareness, to be conduit for the wonderful teachings and to bring all beings to the shore of liberation.
Janice McDermott is the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. With over 25 years of experience in hospice and end of life care, Janice has had many roles and responsibilities. In 1985, she was the second staff member hired at Community Hospice of Greater Nashua. There, Janice was instrumental in developing what became one of the largest hospice volunteer programs in New Hampshire. During her 20+ years in that organization, two VNA’s merged with the hospice program to become Home Health & Hospice Care Inc. in Nashua, NH. With the agency expansion into a full service, Medicare certified hospice program, Janice expanded her role to include social work and supervision of bereavement and spiritual care services before becoming the Hospice Director. She is proud to have been a member of the team that developed and opened the Community Hospice House in Merrimack – a ten bed, free-standing facility that opened in 2000.
In her current position as Executive Director of the New Hampshire Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, since 2007, Janice works to promote access to quality end of life care through collaboration with statewide leaders as well as community members. Janice serves on the board of the NH Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration and the NH Home Care Association.
Dr. Peggy McIntosh
Peggy McIntosh is Associate Director of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She is Founder and Co-director of the United States S.E.E.D. Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity). She consults widely in the United States and throughout the world with college and school faculty who are creating more gender-fair and multicultural curricula. In 1988, she published the ground-breaking article, “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work on Women’s Studies.” This analysis and its shorter form, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” 1989, have been instrumental in putting the dimension of privilege into discussions of gender, race, and sexuality in the United States.
Rabbi Dawn Rose PhD
Rabbi Dawn Rose was raised Baptist on the small ranch in Northern California. Realizing she was gay at 17, she moved to San Francisco. There she attended UC Berkeley majoring in English Literature. At the onset of the AIDS epidemic, Rose sought and found a deeper spirituality and concept of responsibility in Judaism. Soon after her conversion, she entered the Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Denied ordination after five years because of her sexual orientation, she stayed to earn a PhD in Jewish Philosophy. Ordained finally at the Academy for Jewish Religion in Riverdale, NY, Rabbi Rose has taught theology and ethics at two rabbinical seminaries, authored many articles and book chapters, and served as the Director of the Center for Jewish Ethics in Philadelphia. Today, she is Rabbi of Temple Emanuel of the Merrimack Valley in Lowell, MA, where she lives with her two daughters, directing much of her work to issues of inclusion and interfaith relations.
Malcolm Smith is a Professor of Family Studies who has been looking for solutions to violence, bullying and meanness for over 30 years. He is the Founder of Courage to Care (http://www.courage2care.com) a means of teaching empathy, compassion and civility to young people. His research has led him to the scenes of school shootings and to have personal interviews with hundreds of violent teens.