Alumni Messenger


An Update From Saybrook Alumna Marie Fonrose in Haiti


Update from Marie in Haiti.

God is Good, all the time!

This past Friday I was a guest on the Pignon's radio station (102.5) discussing the earthquake's psychological impact on the people, especially children. Many cities listen to this station and we received many calls from across the city and Port-au-Prince about the issues that people face post the earthquake. We ran out of time and we were not able to take every caller. This week Pastor Mioche Rock and I will do another session to give people a chance to process and to answer their questions.

Today, I spent the first half of the day at a school (K-12) visiting
classes and educating people on what to expect and how to help others
move on. We talked with the teachers and administrators on various
symptoms they may see in the classroom from the earthquake victims.
Tomorrow morning I will go back to the school to meet with a group of
adults from Port-au-Prince to get a sense of where they are since
January 12 and to answer their questions on mental health. This
afternoon will be spent in the hospital with patients and we (Pastor
Rock and I) will do some community visits as well.

I attended Pastor Rock's church yesterday for worship. I was impressed with the youths there. Since the earthquake they have been
volunteering their time to cook a hot lunch for the patients in the
hospital so I commended them for this effort. In hospitals in Haiti,
the family is responsible for cooking and bringing the food to the
patient. We know that a lot of people are in this town without their
family so the youths are providing a great service. What won my heart
with them was the small donation I made to the group; they were so
grateful, one would have thought I gave them a $1000. Everywhere you
turn, there is a prayer meeting going on despite their suffering. Keep us in your thoughts!

Until then,

Alumnus Michael Mayer, PhD '77 Presents on "Ask the Experts"


Saybrook Alumnus Michael Mayer, PhD '77 co-presents with Maggie Phillips as part of her “Ask the Experts” teleseminar series on Wednesday, March 17, from 9 am – 10:30 AM Pacific time. The topic is Qigong and Bodymind Healing: An Integrated Approach for Stress and Pain.

Maggie has written a recent book called Reversing Chronic Pain, which features a multi-modal approach to reversing the effects of persistent pain. She also has created a multi-media, online self-treatment program at and has released a pain CD program through To learn more about Maggie, please go to, where you will discover how she uses a combination of breathing, mindfulness, hypnosis, Somatic Experiencing and Energy Psychology to help clients obtain rapid, lasting results.

Dr. Mayer will be contributing information from his last two books, Energy Psychology: Self-Healing Practices for Bodymind Health and Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy: Ancient Pathways to Modern Health.

Michael's specialty is in self-healing methods derived from Western psychology, energy psychology, qigong, tai chi and other ancient healing practices. For more information on this teleseminar, please see his website:

Please register now at: The teleseminar package includes:

• Access to this event by telephone or internet connection
• A one hour, intensive presentation followed by 30 minutes of live questions and answers
• Unlimited 30 day replay whether you attend live or not so you don’t miss a moment if you have a schedule conflict
• A study guide to help you organize your learning

Michael Mayer, Ph.D. Saybrook '77
Director- The Bodymind Healing Center
2029 Durant Ave - Suite 202
Berkeley, Ca 94704

Saybrook Alumni and Faculty Present at the First East-West (International) Existential Psychology Conference in Nanjing


Several Saybrook Community Members will be presenting at the First East-West (International) Existential Psychology Conference in Nanjing, including: Dr. Kirk Schneider, Saybrook Alumnus and Faculty Member (delivering the opening keynote); Dr. Susan Gordon, Saybrook Alumna; Dr. Ed Mendelowitz, Saybrook Faculty; and former Saybrook instructor, Dr. Ilene Serlin. See also the Beijing workshop where Dr. Schneider will be presenting on existential psychology and on his book with Rollo May, Psychology of Existence.

or go to:

The Chair of the Board of Trustees Announces Appointment of Saybrook University's New President


Dear Saybrook Community,

I am delighted to announce that the Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the appointment of Mark Schulman, PhD, as President of Saybrook University.

Mark, who will begin his term July 1, 2010, has a distinguished career and an outstanding record of accomplishment in higher education. The Board chose him from a number of excellent candidates because of his unique qualifications to lead Saybrook in fulfilling its mission as a humanistic university serving the needs of today’s world.

Mark currently serves as President of Goddard College (Vermont and Washington) and has held this position since 2003. Under Mark’s leadership Goddard flourished as a low residency educational model dedicated to “progressive education for creative minds.” While supporting and nourishing Goddard’s core values Mark tripled the endowment, substantially increased enrollment, significantly strengthened the school’s financial position, and raised its national stature and reputation.

Prior to joining Goddard, Mark served in a variety of academic leadership positions that included: President and Professor of Humanities at Antioch University Southern California; and Academic Vice President, Dean of the College, and Associate Professor at Pacific Oaks College (California and Washington). He has held faculty positions at the New School for Social Research (New York), City College of New York, Saint Mary’s College of California, and others.

Mark received his PhD in Communications from the Union Institute and has consulted and published extensively on higher education and communications strategies and issues. Prior to his July 1, start date, he will also join us at the June Residential Conference, Alumni Homecoming, and commencement for the Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies.

Mark, Bob Schmitt, our interim president, and the Board will work together to ensure that the present momentum of growth and development continues without interruption or shift in direction.

Mark asked that I share the following statement from him with all of you.

I am delighted to be joining Saybrook at this important and exciting moment in its history. Saybrook and I share an ethos and values that will make it a great time for the institution in all its constituencies – faculty, staff, students, Board, alumni, and friends – to continue our momentum as a leader in education that profoundly changes all of us and changes the world.

Please join me in welcoming Mark to Saybrook.

Alison Shapiro

Chair of the Board of Trustees

Saybrook Alumna and Board of Trustees Member Renee Levi, PhD '03 Co-Directs Power of Place Initiative


Leadership Development at The Banff Centre, along with The Fetzer Institute’s Powers of Place Initiative, would like to invite you to participate in an intimate forum on Place-Based Leadership, which will explore the role of place in transformative leadership theory and practice.

The forum will be held at The Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta, Canada from May 9 -12, 2010.

To See Invitation Click Here.

The forum, Place-Based Leadership, will be an opportunity to come together to explore how our surroundings – place, space, and environment – can work with us as leaders to inspire and revitalize our organizations and communities. Although much has been discovered and shared about transformational leadership practice, place – the container in which we bring people together to do their work – has been largely overlooked. By connecting people like you in study, and in dialogue, enriched through an intimate experience of place, in glorious Banff and the Bow River Valley, we intend to deepen our understanding of leadership and collective wisdom by including the more invisible dimensions that contribute to transformation.

Our intention is that what we learn together during this May, 2010 forum, will be the basis for future programs and curricula that can help us as human beings reestablish our profound relationship with place for the benefit and future of both.

Faculty and staff from Leadership Development at The Banff Centre will join with Renee Levi and Michael Jones, of the Powers of Place Initiative, to seed the dialogue with new ideas and practices, and to facilitate the two and one half days we will have together. We will begin at dinner on Sunday, May 9th and end after breakfast on Wednesday, May 12th. As The Banff Centre is located in Canada, the fee for the retreat is $1500 CAD (approximately $1428 USD), and includes three nights’ accommodation at The Banff Centre, meals and instructional materials.

We hope you can join us for this unique experience. Please respond to Katrina Donald at The Banff Centre,, to register for the forum. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact:
Michael Jones
Renee Levi
Sheryl Erickson

You can visit our websites for more information about the sponsoring organizations, and

Alumnus David Whitsitt, PhD '08 and Three Saybrook Doctoral Students Present at The International Human Science Research Conference in August


Alumnus David Whitsitt, PhD '08 and Three Saybrook Doctoral Students Erica Shane Hamilton, Miyuki Tomura, and Christine Thomas Present the Symposium
Giving Voice to Experience: Health and Sigma, Student Contributions to Qualitative Research

The International Human Science Research Conference
Seattle University
August 4-8, 2010

Abstract: This symposium will showcase the power of qualitative research to express the human experience of living with illness or stigma, as well as the experience of the treatment process. The symposium includes four students/recent graduates of Saybrook University, and the research ranges in method from phenomenology, to grounded theory, to mixed methods.

The first presentation applies grounded theory and mixed methods to understand the psychosocial and existential stresses in the lives of women with CPP as well as some of their coping mechanisms. The researcher combined qualitative interviews with innovative web-based daily tracking strategies to sample the daily experiences of pain and life stress of the participants.

The second presentation used a phenomenological methodology to explore the lived experiences of three couples, where one of the partners has undergone coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG). The study highlighted the impact of meanings or beliefs, coping styles, and marital quality on the couples’ experiences of bypass surgery.

The third presentation is a descriptive phenomenological study of a prostitute’s lived experience of stigma. The researcher used a semi-structured interview method and Smith and Osborn’s (2003) interpretive phenomenological analysis, to disclose ten central themes in the initial prostitute’s experience. Additional interviews are now in progress with five additional prostitutes to delineate common themes across subjects.

The fourth paper is a mixed method study exploring the experience of living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the experience of undergoing an alternative therapy for the disorder. The researcher will use a case study approach integrating qualitative interview data with presentation of psychophysiological changes in treatment.

Each of the presenters will provide a rationale for choosing the specific methodological approach, and will highlight strengths of this qualitative method or mixed methods approach for the problem under investigation.

Moderator: Donald Moss, PhD, Chair, College of Mind-Body Medicine, Saybrook University

Presenter 1: Erica Shane Hamilton, doctoral candidate
Title: Interview Combined with Daily Tracking Questionnaires: Gaining Insight into the Stresses and Coping Efforts of Women with Chronic Pelvic Pain

Presenter 2: David Whitsitt, PhD
Title: Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: The Experiences of Three Couples

Presenter 3: Miyuki Tomura, doctoral candidate
Title: A Prostitute’s Lived Experience of Stigma

Presenter 4: Christine Thomas, doctoral candidate
Title: Heart Rate Variability Training for Women with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Case Study Research

Discussant: Steen Halling, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Seattle University

Saybrook Alumni Haiti Fund Raises More Than $1500


Saybrook Alumni Haiti Fund Raises More Than $1500 in Support of Alumna Marie Fonrose's Mission

On February 19th Marie left for Haiti. In little over a week she has begun her work as a psychologist at a hospital in Pignon; has visited an orphanage and held group therapy; has been on the radio with local clergy educating the public about mental health issues in Haiti; and has visited an elementary school to speak with teachers and administrators!

See several Alumni Message Board entries below to hear from Marie in her own words.

Ransom Center Awards Annual Fellowships


The Ransom Center annually awards 50 fellowships to support scholarly research projects in all areas of the humanities, including literature, photography, film, art, the performing arts, music, and cultural history. Applicants must demonstrate the necessity of substantial on-site use of the Center's collections. The fellowships range from one to three months, with stipends of $3,000 per month. Also available are $1,200 to $1,700 travel stipends and dissertation fellowships with a $1,500 stipend. The stipends are funded by individual donors and organizations, including the Ransom Center, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Hobby Family Foundation, the Dorot Foundation, the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the South Central Modern Language Association, and The University of Texas at Austin Office of Graduate Studies.

A Message from Alison Bonds Shapiro, Chair of Saybrook's Board of Trustees


Dear Students, Faculty, Alumni, and Staff,

During this transition period, I promised to periodically update you on the progress we are making at Saybrook University on the presidential search. By design the presidential search process has been discreet. However, there are a few items I would like to share with you and to give you an idea of where we are in the process.

First, the Search Committee was overwhelmed by the number of resumes received for this position. There is a lot of interest in and enthusiasm for Saybrook University at this moment. This response has to do with the investment of hard work and resources the staff and Board have put into our transformation into Saybrook University. It took the Search Committee and the search firm a good deal of time to review these candidates’ applications and select a list with whom we conducted extensive face-to-face meetings. After doing so, the Search Committee came to agreement on a short list of candidates, all of whom have the credentials, experience and passion to lead Saybrook University. We were very impressed with the caliber of candidates who stepped forward in this search.

Once this final group of candidates was identified, which took place before the holiday break, the Search Committee turned the process over to the Board of Trustees. We were pleased to find ourselves in such an optimal position to make a choice for the future leader of Saybrook University. The Board of Trustees fully realizes the potential of this moment in Saybrook’s history and is conducting the selection of our next President with the appropriate care and thoughtfulness. We have been meeting with the final candidates and conducting thorough background and reference checks to ensure our decision is as informed as possible. We have been exhaustive in our due diligence, and we are impressed by what we are learning about our choices.

The carefulness with which we are conducting this search takes a good deal of time. However, we are confident it will pay off in as we ensure the Saybrook University community that we have made the best decision possible. As soon as there is more information to report to you, I will be happy to do so. In the meantime, thank you for all the good work you have been doing to keep Saybrook moving forward during this transition, and thank you to the alumni for your ongoing support.


Saybrook Alumna Deirdre Bundy, PhD '09 Opens Mentoring Service for Adolescent and Teenage Girls


Saybrook Alumna Deirdre Bundy, PhD '09 and Briana Schuck are very excited to announce the official launching of the LITTLE LADIES SPORTS CLUB, a mentoring service for adolescent and teenage girls ages 8-18 years of age in the Malibu, Venice, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, Westwood, Brentwood, Bel Air and Beverly Hills, CA area! After months of creation and collaboration we are now enrolling young ladies for activity based mentoring!

And here is what’s in it for you! We are pleased to offer REFERRAL REWARDS! It’s easy – if you have a friend, family member etc. with a daughter and they sign up to work with us you will receive a $25 gift card!

Sounds simple enough? Just send them (or print out) the flyer attached to this email and make sure they mention your name when they sign up!


The LITTLE LADIES SPORTS CLUB is a mentoring service for adolescent and teenage girls ages 8-18 years of age. We pair strong, athletic, and healthy female role models with young girls experiencing various challenges in their lives. This relationship allows the girls to work through such issues as low self-esteem, body image issues, low sociability, low self-confidence, sedentary lifestyle and substance abuse just to name a few. The outcome is an empowered sense of self, a new enjoyment of physical activities and a healthy body!

For more information please visit our website:

Also, become a fan on facebook!

Thank you so much for all of your love, support, and assistance in helping us and these girls!

Briana and Deirdre
310-402-6479 310-804-2402