What is the Research Circle?
Members of the Research Circle come together regularly to share their experiences and learnings in the wide variety of systems that intertwine with the system of education.
Many members of this circle were a part of the original u.lab 2x team formed in Autumn 2021 and some have joined more recently. All have a commitment to using the principles of Theory U to contribute to the shift of our education systems toward Education 4.0, whether it is through consulting with organizations, teaching children, or sharing the fruits of their activities through writing.
We are dedicated to a collaborative co-sensing process focused on the emerging future.
From Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA
I have 25 years experience teaching students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds in all kinds of K-12 schools and programs, creating environments that link educational and spiritual equity. I’ve sat with older adults and folks living with Alzheimer’s as a mindfulness-based interventionist researching dementia, cortisol, and the mind beyond words. Currently I study and practice healing and integrating intergenerational and collective trauma through social presencing and spend summers at an equine assisted learning day camp designed for children experiencing homelessness. I’m thrilled to be exploring how to co-create institutions that grow and support lives of meaning and purpose, and am way more comfortable having folks get to know me in community than by reading a bio like this.
From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
Dr. Marsha Tongel has worked professionally in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. She has a Ph.D. in Organizational Development/Organizational Behavior; specializing in organizations created and led by women. She teaches in the graduate School of Business at North Central University and Point Park University. Dr. Tongel is also Principal of Metanoia Consulting-TCG, providing innovative and quality organizational, leadership and change management services, and tools to help organizations to manage transition and change. And she is the thought leader behind Legacy Wisdom School, a multi-discipline, multi-generational and multi-ethnic learning program that prepares children and youth in new ways to deal with current and emerging critical issues to help them evolve into the type of problem solvers, leaders, designers, and communicators needed to address global social, economic, and environmental issues.
From Sanford, North Carolina USA
Fiona has a passion for the intersection of neuroscience and human experience — education, childcare, healthcare, and storytelling, most especially. Over the course of her career, Fiona has researched the impact of vaping on mouse offspring, cared for patients with neurotrauma and COVID-19, consulted for hospitals implementing the Comfortability program for chronic pain, created opportunities for social-emotional and physical growth in autistic preschoolers, designed more useful tests for malaria, and taught young people how to believe in themselves. Fiona is new to Theory U, but she brings the lived experience of Waldorf and its systems thinking approach to life. Fiona was educated at Maine Coast Waldorf School (N-12) and she has a BA in Neuroscience and Behavior from Mount Holyoke College. She plans to begin studying for her PhD in Neuroscience in Fall 2024.
From Playa Del Ray, California USA
David Green is involved in many grassroots projects to empower citizens with tools for a healthier community. He is particularly interested in the tools and techniques that allow people to co-create in harmony. David facilitates a Prescencing Institute hub on Reimagining Democracy and a Spiritual Book Club and he also co-leads Humanity Awareness Initiative, a community spreading tools for increasing self awareness.
From Melbourne, Australia
I am a mother of three adult children and grandmother of one 3 year old girl. I live on the Mornington Peninsula 1.5 hours from Melbourne. Attended teachers college for children from k-8. travelled and taught children in Greece, UK and Israel. Taught on the Education faculty for more than 20 years University of Melbourne. Postgrad studies in Futures allowed me to use and understand systems and spiritual perspectives in my thinking and work with educators now. I am a part of the Hub Host Holding team for the Presencing Institute and support hub hosts in the Southern Hemisphere. I also produce and sell Endangered Australian Animal puppets and train adults to use the puppets to reconnect children, and adults with the natural world through story and puppetry.
Maria Del Rosario Villasana
From San Francisco, California USA
Rosario Villasana, M.A., is Department Chair of the Child Development & Family Studies department at City College of San Francisco. She is an Early Childhood Consultant, director/trainer of the LifeWays en Español teacher/caregiver program and trainer with the Program for Infant/Toddler Care (WestED). Rosario is a member of the Board of Directors of LifeWays North America and serves on committees at City College of San Francisco. She enjoys travelling and has conducted training and staff development in Rudolf Steiner based education in China and Mexico and throughout the United States.
From San Francisco, California USA
Liz Beaven, EdD, has over 35 years experience in Waldorf education, from multiple perspectives including class teacher, school administrator, adult educator, school consultant, researcher, writer, parent, and grandparent. She is the Executive Director and President of the Board of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education and former Provost of the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. She sits on the Ideal Learning Roundtable, a national group drawn from a number of developmentally based approaches with a commitment to equity, access, and high quality early childhood care and education for all children.
From Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Rosemary McMullen, PhD in English literature, was a university educator for several decades and works as an independent writer, researcher and editor. Publications include poetry, fiction, and essays. She is certified in poetry therapy, family constellations, biodynamic agriculture, primary and secondary Waldorf education. She has taken ULab courses since 2015.
From Los Angeles, California USA I’ve been following and pondering trends in the holistic education space and its growth and struggles vis a vis the mainstream education project since the 90’s. I was part of founding teams for the first two public Waldorf charter schools in Los Angeles. My focus with the u.lab 2x 2021 project is the goal of creating societal awareness about whole child education practice as the essential leap towards humanity’s great evolutionary challenges.
I live in Freeport, Maine with my husband, Jason. Collaborating with others to transform the system of public education from the inside out and toward de-colonizing, healing, and empowering is my intention as a part of this team. Currently I am the President of the Board of The Source School and full-time PhD student in Public Policy and Education with a focus on youth engagement in policy making. Waldorf educator, school leader, project manager, mentor, organizer, art therapist, volunteer, mother, wife, daughter, friend, artist, marketing professional, and dog mom are all titles I’ve used or been given. B.A. Art, Mount Holyoke College; M.Ed., Antioch New England University; Transdisciplinary Therapeutic Arts, Tobias School for Art and Therapy in East Grinstead, UK; Certificate in School Management and Leadership, Harvard Business School / Harvard Graduate School of Education.