Saybrook graduate Tamami Shirai recognized for e-presentation on Hijiki at the 13th annual conference for Natural Supplements

Tamami Shirai, PhD, is a recent graduate of Saybrook University’s College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Shirai was awarded third prize for her e-poster presentation within the residency/student category at the Natural Supplements 2016 conference, held by Scripps in San Diego in January 2016.

Since the completion of her doctoral degree, Tamami Shirai has focused her research on Lifestyle Medicine, while also serving as a post-doctoral trainee at the University of California San Diego’s School of Medicine.  Dr. Shirai’s systematic review of literature on Hijiki (i.e., brown algae) is one of her most recent research projects.  In certain Asian countries, such as Japan, the consumption of seaweed is a relatively important dietary component and may add substantially to people’s daily exposure levels of inorganic arsenic (iAs). iAs is considered a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and some countries such as Canada prohibit the import of Hijiki.  The Canadian Food Standards Agency also advises consumers not to eat Hijiki seaweed.

Dr. Shirai commented, “In spite of this fact, Hijiki has enjoyed a healthy image as a food product throughout my life in my home country, where they even say that it is one of the key foods for longevity.”

Hijiki’s potential is still under-researched.  Dr. Shirai notes that recent studies have found interesting and medicinally potent chemicals, predominantly belonging to polyphenols and sulphated polysaccharides, in marine flora. Research has reported various biological activities in Hijiki, including anti-oxidant activity, anti-cancer activity, anti-microbial activity against bacteria-virus-algae-fungi, organic fertilizer potential, and bio-remediation potential. Specifically, fucoxanthin and fucoxanthinol are mediated through various pathways, and both have potential for treatment of cancer or even for preventing the development of cancer. Another research study reports that Hijiki reduces the weight of mice with Type 2 diabetes mellitus, and addresses liver and kidney problems. These research findings shown Hijiki to have many health benefits, including anti-mutagenic, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, and anti-neoplastic effects.

Dr. Shirai commented, “Ancient wisdom can often give us the right answer. I will promote Hijiki for daily cooking, and will keep enjoying Hijiki as a source of health, as Japanese have done for centuries.”

This was Dr. Shirai’s first e-poster experience. She enjoyed the convenience of not having to provide a paper poster, and the e-poster format allowed for 2-3 pages of visual interactive presentation. However, the number of e-poster presentation was limited due to the cost of individual screens, and, ironically, many people asked Dr. Shirai for printed references at the venue.

Response to executive order on immigration

Dear Saybrook Community:

I want to directly address the Executive Order President Trump signed on Friday restricting people from seven countries from entering the U.S.  As we wait with the rest of the world to understand the impact of this order, my first concern is our international students that may be affected.

We are vigilantly following updates as they evolve to ensure that we are offering the best support for our international students and scholars.  The Offices of Student Affairs and Global Engagement will continue to offer support and are working closely with me as we partner with the broader academic community to monitor and respond to the situation.  If you have specific questions, please contact Jennifer Fullick, Director of Global Engagement.

As has always been a part of our mission, at Saybrook University we believe that every living being has the right to thrive in a just, inclusive, and sustainable world; that will not change.  I will be in touch directly as news unfolds.


Dr. Nathan Long, President
Saybrook University
Oakland, CA and Bellevue, WA

T. 510-593-2910

E. [email protected]



Fifth Saybrook presidential fellow: Mr. Ahmad Mansur

Mr. Ahmad Mansur, Saybrook's fifth Presidential Fellow

Mr. Ahmad Mansur, Saybrook’s Fifth Presidential Fellow

Saybrook University is pleased to announce the appointment of our fifth Presidential Fellow, Mr. Ahmad Mansur of Oakland, California.

Ahmad is a strategist, educator, entrepreneur and a thought leader on the talent economy. He helps leaders learn deeply about complex global challenges and big shifts impacting their organization, region and community, and offer leadership solutions to adapt for change.

Ahmad splits his time between two enterprises. He is the co-founding partner of the Urban Economy Group, a global consulting and venture firm that focuses on innovation and growth sector opportunities in cities and communities.

Recently, he formed Consilient Education, a development company that builds innovative brands for adult lifelong learners to access training through online courses, catalyst events, media channels, and high-impact learning experiences.

A sought-after speaker, Ahmad shares his insights on a broad range of topics with audiences worldwide through keynotes, panel discussions, and executive sessions at premiere events like the Swissnex “Future of Leadership” conference, the U.S. Congressional Panel on Biotechnology and Jobs, and the ILA London Conference.

Ahmad also pens for various media platforms, exploring transformational perspectives about leadership challenges at the intersection of innovation, society, and globalism.

Ahmad draws on his in-depth knowledge from previous experiences as an Aspen Institute Fellow, a college dean in workforce education, a senior associate at an international research firm, an advisor to government ministries, and as a program director of an interactive media arts center.

Ahmad earned is B.S. in Social Sciences from Long Beach State University, a master’s in Strategic Leadership from St. Mary’s College, a M.Ed. in Adult Learning from San Francisco State University, and a graduate certificate in Adaptive Leadership from Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

For more, please visit his website at

Saybrook Presidential Fellow brings positive change in home city

Kelly D. Carlisle, Founder and Executive Director of Acta Non Verba

Kelly D. Carlisle, Founder and Executive Director of Acta Non Verba, and Saybrook Presidential Fellow

Saybrook University is pleased to announce the appointment of our fourth Presidential Fellow, Ms. Kelly Carlisle, Executive Director of Acta Non Verba and resident of Oakland, California. We welcome her to the Saybrook family and look forward to partnering with her to advance positive social change in Oakland!

Carlisle writes in her bio at Newman’s Own Foundation that she enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2001, where she served as Operations Specialist. Upon returning to civilian life, she says she was distressed by the severe conditions in her childhood home of East Oakland where poverty, childhood obesity, and school dropout rates are high. As a mother and a veteran, she decided she wanted to be part of the solution.

“I didn’t immediately consider urban farming,” Carlisle explains. “But one day, I was cruising a nursery and came across a lemon tree that had two ripe lemons on it. My daughter, who was three at the time, was shocked! So I purchased the lemon tree and dared it to produce again. It did. I decided right there that I wanted to learn how to grow everything. I was meant to grow food, and growing food was going to transform my community.”

As a result, she founded Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project with a group of neighbors in August 2010. Acta Non Verba means “Deeds, not Words.” The organization’s primary focus is at-risk youth in grades K-8 and their families. The students plant, cultivate, and harvest crops year round, and sell the produce to local residents. All proceeds are placed into individual savings accounts.

In 2011, Acta Non Verba got a boost from the Farmer Veteran Coalition after Carlisle was named a Bon Appétit Good Food Fellow. The fellowship enabled the organization to purchase a heavy-duty pickup truck. In addition, they’ve moved into a new office space, hired several employees, and are in the process of recruiting a Board of Directors.

Since Acta Non Verba’s inception, Carlisle and her team have cultivated dozens of crops, planted fruit trees, built a beehive, and more. They even hold garden parties and community dinners on a monthly basis.

“We’ve engaged hundreds of schoolchildren, and many adults, in learning new skills and taking charge of their health,” Carlisle says. “They are eating better, earning money, and experiencing the joy of being close to the Earth. We’re realizing our vision of holistic community revival—literally from the ground up. I’m proud to be a part of the Farmer Veteran Coalition. This is what I fought for.”

We look forward to seeing the unique ways Mrs. Carlisle will collaborate with the Saybrook community.

Saybrook University launches presidential fellows program

Saybrook University Launches Presidential Fellows Program

Saybrook University has launched a new Presidential Fellows Program, designed to offer practitioners and scholar‐practitioners the opportunity to connect with a reputable university that is dedicated in mission and purpose to advancing positive social change. The program will provide a beneficial experience to both Saybrook University and the individual’s work in the community.

“Because Saybrook University’s mission is one dedicated to social change and transformation, we are taking this step forward to find and support agents of progress in our communities—people who are making a true difference in the lives of individuals, organizations, and communities,” says President Nathan Long, Ed.D. “With this program, we aim to set the example of how academic institutions can lead positive change both academically and practically.”

Ways Fellows Will Collaborate With Saybrook University

  1. They will participate in relevant Saybrook symposia, panel presentations, and residential conference sessions that are relevant to her or his particular focus area 3‐4 times per semester.
  2. They will actively participate and contribute to the Saybrook University President’s Advisory Council twice a year.
  3. They will develop and share a culminating presentation to the University and broader community on her or his particular focus area during the Spring semester of each academic year.

“Our goal with this program is that Saybrook becomes an active center of not just thought leadership, but action in the community,” Dr. Long says.

Find out more about our first three Saybrook Presidential Fellows here.

Saybrook presidential fellow, Dr. Ginger Charles, explores police culture and spiritual health

Saybrook University is pleased to announce our first appointee to the Saybrook University Presidential Fellows Program, Dr. Ginger Charles, Ph.D., Executive Director, Research Psychologist, Consultant, and Police Sergeant (ret.).Saybrook University is pleased to announce our first appointee to the Saybrook University Presidential Fellows Program, Dr. Ginger Charles, Ph.D., Executive Director, Research Psychologist, Consultant, and Police Sergeant (ret.).

Dr. Charles is a retired police sergeant, having served 27 years as a police officer in Colorado. Her experience in the police culture gives her a unique, boots on the ground, approach in the law enforcement world. Ginger has served in patrol, administration, and investigations.

In 2005, Dr. Charles received her doctorate from Saybrook University in Health Psychology, focusing on Health Risk Factors in the police community, specifically in the area of health and spirituality. Ginger recently retired in 2013 after living in the “petri dish” and relocated to Northern California to continue research, writing, and consultancy in the law enforcement culture. She recently authored the book, Police Pursuit of the Common Good (2016, Balboa Press), in which she “…examines the current issues facing law enforcement and marginalized communities. She presents reasons why our police communities appear to be in constant conflict with marginalized communities for the last several years. In the book, she explores the behaviors in the police culture from a social psychological perspective, illustrating the importance of understanding police behaviors in order to change the culture of conflict. It is her experience as a police officer that provides the reader with a unique understanding from inside the police community and as an observer of that community. Dr. Charles concludes with potential solutions to reform and restore the police culture, as well as heal the divide between our communities and the police.”

As a result of her work, she is beginning to lead a variety of training sessions with police departments in the Bay Area. For the most up-to-date information on Dr. Charles’ work, please go to

We welcome Dr. Charles to the Saybrook University community as our first Presidential Fellow and look forward to the great work she will be doing over the coming year.

Saybrook presidential fellow, Ms. Kelly Amis, is founder of Loudspeaker Films

Saybrook University is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Kelly Amis, our second appointee to the Saybrook University Presidential Fellows Program. Saybrook University is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Kelly Amis, our second appointee to the Saybrook University Presidential Fellows Program. In selecting Ms. Amis, it was clear her efforts in education and documentary film, specifically focused in the Oakland and Bay Area communities, uniquely qualify her for the appointment.

After graduating from Georgetown University, Kelly taught in South Central Los Angeles as a charter corps member of Teach for America. She has an M.A. in Education Policy from Stanford University and researched the Australian education system as a Fulbright Scholar. In Washington, DC, Kelly worked for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Fight for Children, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Cesar Chavez Charter Schools and Building Hope, which she helped design and launch. Since founding Loudspeaker Films in 2009, Kelly has won the Teach for America Social Innovation Award, the Rising Star Director’s Award from the Canada International Film Festival and documentary awards from festivals including Harlem, Napa, Amsterdam, Houston, Humboldt and (In)Justice for All. You can learn more about her work at, watch more videos below, as well as here and read some of Kelly’s writing here.

We are thrilled to have Kelly join us as a Presidential Fellow and anticipate a tremendous partnership over the coming year.

This video highlights the winners of the 2013 Teach For America Social Innovation Award. You can see what they had to say about Kelly beginning at around :25 mark – click here to view.

Saybrook presidential fellow Shaka Jamal Redmond creates social justice-oriented films

Saybrook Presidential Fellow Shakajamal Redmond creates social justice-oriented films.Saybrook University is pleased to announce the appointment of our third Presidential Fellow, Mr. ShakaJamal Redmond of Oakland, California.

OLU8 founder, ShakaJamal is a culturally innovative artist and filmmaker from Oakland, California. His many experiences as film producer, director, cinematographer, editor, writer, performing artist, and music producer bring a distinctive and invaluable perspective to any venture. ShakaJamal is a graduate of Tuskegee University where he earned a BA in History. He received a Master’s of Fine Arts in Cinema at San Francisco State University. ShakaJamal is the first filmmaker from Oakland, CA to receive the Game Changers Fellowship which lead him to premiere a series of micro-documentaries in New York at Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. His work has premiered both nationally and internationally, on television, and in numerous film festivals.

After meeting ShakaJamal and his wonderful family, it is clear his skills, dedication, and passion for making change in our community will add significantly to the Fellows Program. We welcome ShakaJamal to Saybrook University.

To see a sampling of ShakaJamal’s work, see below as well as visit his website for more information.

View ShakaJamal’s work on Vimeo.

Saybrook professor announces new scholarship with Ernest Becker Foundation

Saybrook University faculty member Louis Hoffman, Ph.D., recently announced that the Ernest Becker Foundation of Seattle, Washington, has agreed to offer a $1000 scholarship each year for the continuing Saybrook student who writes the best research paper using the work and research of Dr. Ernest Becker. Dr. Hoffman, who directs the Existential, Humanistic, and Transpersonal Psychology Specialization within the College of Social Sciences, began working last year with Deborah Jacobs, Executive Director at the Ernest Becker Foundation, to make arrangements for the scholarship.

“Becker has long had an influence on existential-humanistic psychology, and has long been integrated in various ways into the curriculum at Saybrook,” said Dr. Hoffman. “A number of the faculty at Saybrook identify Becker as one of their most important influencers, so Saybrook is deeply thankful for the relationship with the Ernest Becker Foundation,” he said. Saybrook faculty member Dr. Ed Mendelowitz, who is an insightful Becker scholar, will be the lead person for facilitating the scholarship and writing projects.

Ms. Jacobs hopes that by providing this scholarship the Foundation can encourage Saybrook students to engage deeply with Dr. Becker’s work and develop their ideas around the present-day applications of his synthesis. “We have long-standing relationships with Dr. Kirk Schneider and others at Saybrook, and have appreciated the University’s commitment to teaching Ernest Becker,” she said. “When looking for an opportunity to encourage student scholarship on Becker, Saybrook came first to mind as a great partner.”

Established in 1993, the Ernest Becker Foundation seeks to advance understanding of how the unconscious denial of mortality profoundly influences human behavior. Ernest Becker laid the foundation for this work in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Denial of Death.

The student author of the winning paper receives $1000 and the potential to receive another $1000 if she or he chooses to develop the paper for publication under the mentorship of a Saybrook faculty member. The Foundation also provides a stipend of $2000 to the faculty advisor, Ed Mendelowitz, who works with the student to develop the paper. Papers are solicited by Saybrook faculty and judged based on the quality of writing and exposition of thought by a team of Becker scholars from both the University and the Foundation.

Ms. Jacobs is hoping that this scholarship project fosters deeper relations between the two organizations. “We would love to see the Saybrook and EBF communities have increased exchange of ideas, gatherings, and outreach efforts,” she said. “We encourage Saybrook students and professors to follow us on Facebook or Twitter to keep abreast of our current and future partnerships!”

Dr. Hoffman said, “We really hope that our Saybrook students carry forth these ideas as ambassadors for Becker’s work. His work is extremely relevant to contemporary times.” For more information regarding the new scholarship, please contact Dr. Louis Hoffman.