Dr. Amishi Jha is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami and Director of Contemplative Neuroscience for the Mindfulness Research and Practice Initiative. Prior to her positions in Miami, she was an Assistant Professor at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her PhD from the University of California–Davis and received her postdoctoral training at the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center at Duke University in functional neuroimaging. She studies the neural bases of attention and the effects of mindfulness-based training programs on cognition, emotion and resilience.
With grants from the Department of Defense and several private foundations, Dr. Jha has been systematically investigating the potential applications of mindfulness training in education, corporate, elite sports, and the military contexts. In addition to her own published body of research, her work has been featured at TED.com, the World Economic Forum, the New York Times, NPR, the Aspen Institute, the Pentagon, the Journal of Special Operations Medicine, and Joint Force Quarterly.
Sona Dimidjian, PhD
Dr. Sona Dimidjian is a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research focuses on cultivating mental health and well-being among women, children, and families by engaging people’s capacities for learning skills and promoting community change. She studies and develops programs and practices in education and healthcare settings, with an emphasis on navigating key developmental transitions, such as the perinatal period, early childhood, and adolescence. She also has a longstanding interest in expanding access, scaling, and sustaining effective programs, using both digital technology and community-based partnerships.
Current projects in her lab focus on promoting healthy body image among young women, preventing depression and supporting well-being among new and expectant mothers, and enhancing mindfulness and compassion among youth, families and educators. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, philanthropists, and foundations that are dedicated to supporting positive social and community impact. She is the recipient of numerous awards acknowledging her teaching and clinical research. She received her BA in psychology from the University of Chicago and her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Washington.
Dorrie Fontaine, PhD
A passion for critical care nursing underlies the distinguished career of Dorrie K. Fontaine, RN, PhD, FAAN, as a clinician, scholar, researcher, educator, and leader.
Since her appointment as Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing and Dean at UVA, Dr. Fontaine has implemented Appreciative Inquiry methodology as the basis for the school’s strategic planning and launched an interdisciplinary process to create a transformational model to provide compassionate end-of-life care across the health care spectrum. In addition, she has been a strong advocate for interprofessional education, engaging both medical and nursing students in collaboration with the School of Medicine, and has been a champion for the School's continuing education programs for working nurses.
Dr. Fontaine’s teaching has centered on issues related to critical care, including sleep promotion, pain relief, and family presence at the end of life. Most recently, she has investigated strategies to promote nursing education partnerships, diversity, and interprofessional education in university settings. Her priorities as dean include continued work in promoting healthy workplace environments, building more interprofessional collaborations, and increasing diversity in both the faculty and student populations.
Dr. Fontaine received her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Villanova University, a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, and her PhD from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. In 2006, she completed a Management and Leadership in Education Program at the Harvard Graduate Institute of Higher Education.