Courses and Events by Instructor

Travis Allison
Janice Bates Janice is an experienced municipal clerk, Athenian Dialogue facilitator, and speaker. She has served as Clerk of Council for Tipp City, Ohio since 2011. She is active in both the Ohio Municipal Clerks Association (OMCA) and the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC). Within the OMCA, she has served in the roles of president, vice president, immediate past president and city board member. While on the OMCA Board, her priority was increasing membership and educational opportunities. In 2019, she was sworn in as the IIMC Region V Director. She is presently an IIMC vice president candidate. Janice holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in art and art history with a concentration in photography from Wright State University. In addition, she is an Athenian Leadership Society Fellow with Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) and Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) credentials from the IIMC.
Dan Belhassen
Jonathan Buffkin Seth Buffkin is a recent graduate of William and Mary and works in the fields of computer science, psychology, and education. He is passionate about equity, inclusion, diversity, and providing everyone the ability to elevate themselves in academics and in health.
Abigail Byram
Virginia Chu Dr. Chu, a licensed occupational therapist, also serves as an assistant professor with the VCU department of Occupational Therapy. In addition to teaching in the department, Dr. Chu oversees the sensorimotor processing and rehabilitation engineering lab. Her professional interests include sensorimotor integration and motor control, development of sensory processing in children, dyspraxia and developmental delays, pediatric sensorimotor evaluation and assessments, and rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology.
Sharon DeFonteny
Mary Dereshiwsky
Jeff Dowdy
William Draves
Debra Duke
Dionne Felix
Betsy Flanagan
Aubrey Ford Aubrey Ford's training in mindfulness represents a substantial change in direction after a 40 year career as a trial lawyer who focused on civil litigation and was inducted into the distinguished American College of Trial Lawyers. Aubrey has maintained a regular meditation practice for over twenty years and attended extended retreats with Thich Nhat Hanh, Omega Institute and Insight Meditation. He is certified as a mindfulness meditation teacher by the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, having completed its two-year program led by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. Aubrey recently completed a three-year term as President of The Innerwork Center.
Katie Francis Katie Francis is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Registered Play Therapist -Supervisor™ (RPT-S), and Certified Trauma Practitioner-Clinical (CTP-C). She has been working for ChildSavers for over 10 years providing outpatient therapy to children, teens and families. Katie is also the Program Manager for Mental Health Services Outpatient Program and Immediate Response program and provides clinical supervision to some of our staff. Katie has extensive training in providing trauma focused treatment to children, teens and families as well as training in the use of play, art, sand and attachment-based treatments. She has previously taught for the Play Therapy training courses on Group, Family and Filial work. Katie thoroughly enjoys supporting our community’s children and families by helping them to find healing and build resiliency through the use of play and expressive therapies.
Bruce Freer Bruce C. Freer received his BSEET from Youngstown State University in 1978.Bruce began his 40-year career with Allen-Bradley in 1979 as an Application Engineer and later moved to Product Marketing where he was responsible for the PLC-3 Product Line. In 1985, Bruce moved to Richmond, Va. as an Area Manager helping customers develop Automation Systems in the Food & Beverage, Pharmaceutical, Pulp & Paper, Mining & Metals, and Marine Industries. These systems involved PLC/Automation Controllers, Safety Controllers, Safety Systems, Industrial Ethernet Switches & Networking, Operator Interface Devices, S.C.A.D.A software, Historian Software, PlantPAx DCS systems, Motion Systems, Vibration Monitoring, Industrial Computers, Industrial Thin Clients, Thin Client Management Software, and VMWare Virtual Servers. Bruce retired from Rockwell Automation in December 2019. While working at Rockwell Automation, Bruce helped Dr. Klenke configure the first Industrial Automation Class at VCU in 2015 with six (6) workstations. In 2019, five (5) more workstations were added.
Vaughn Garland
Ngoc-My Guidarelli
Andy Helmi
Libby Hume Libby Hume is the Town Clerk of the Town of Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and has been in the position since 2008. Libby has over 25 years' experience in administration, fifteen with the Town of Cape Charles, and ten in the private sector. She joined IIMC and the VMCA in 2009 and obtained her CMC in November 2013 and her MMC in September 2016. She was inducted into the IIMC Athenian Leadership Society as a Fellow in May 2018 and is the first clerk in the Commonwealth of Virginia to receive this designation. She is the only clerk in Virginia certified by the IIMC to facilitate Athenian Leadership Dialogues.
Susan Hurrell
Mary Beth Izard
Felisha Jones Felisha Jones is Chief Wellness Officer (CWO) of Heal My People and the Engagement Director for The Innerwork Center. As a self-care activist, she has been guiding underserved inner-city teens, entrepreneurs, and distressed adults in self-care and meditation practices for the past six years, aiming to disrupt generational cycles of trauma. She is a certified Meditation Teacher under Deepak Chopra and a Healing Companion under Santa Sorenson's Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) - An African trauma-healing initiative out of Rwanda. Other modalities include: Intro to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Advanced Facilitator of Mind-Body Medicine under Dr. Gordon of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, and a student of Foundations in Somatic Abolitionism (FSA) with Resmaa Menakem.
Sally Klauss
Robert Klenke Dr. Robert Klenke is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at VCU. Dr. Klenke's research interests include system-level modeling and hardware/software codesign for complex, embedded digital systems. His recent research work has been concentrated in the area of digital flight control systems and payload data systems for unmanned aerial vehicles. In 2015, Dr. Klenke developed the first course in Industrial Automation to be taught at VCU. This course has been supported by generous donations from Rockwell Automation and several local industries. In 2016, a second, advanced course was added to the sequence. Thus far, over 100 VCU engineering undergraduates and graduate students have taken the Industrial Automation courses. Dr. Klenke received his BSEE degree from the Virginia Military Institute in 1982 and his MSEE and Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering) degrees from the University of Virginia in 1989 and 1993 respectively. He joined the faculty in the Department of Electrical Engineering at VCU as an Associate Professor in 1998. Dr. Klenke led the efforts to develop computer engineering as a separate degree program in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering which was first ABET accredited in 2005. He has over 35 years of combined military, education, and consulting experience in engineering and has published over 85 refereed papers and book chapters.
Amy Klous
Jeff Kritzer
Conrad Brian Law
Ana Yenni Leon Lima
Kathryn Lynch-Morin
Sarah Marrs Dr. Marrs is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Gerontology and the Director of Research for the Virginia Center on Aging. She teaches statistics and research methodology courses and oversees CIRCAA - a faculty and clinician professional development program focused on interprofessional geriatrics. Her research interests focus on the impact of ageism on healthcare, professionals’ recognition of and response to abuse in later life, and geriatrics workforce enhancement through interprofessional training. She is the Principal Investigator of the Virginia HEAR project, a federally funded project awarded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL). Her scholarly activity includes peer-reviewed publications and presentations utilizing quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies.
Greg Marsello
Kathy Nadlman
Robert Nickles Bob Nickles is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and registered play therapist™ (RPT) who lives and works in Richmond, VA. Bob has practiced clinical social work since 2009 with a variety of populations across the lifespan and especially enjoys seeing families find new ways to solve old problems. He presently serves as a school-based services manager with the non-profit agency, ChildSavers. Outside of work, Bob enjoys cooking, exercise, and theatre.
Joyce Odidison
John Rutledge
Nanette Sanders-Cobb
Jennifer Selke
Nicole Siscaretti
Boris Solomonov
Yedda Stancil Yedda Stancil brings a rich tapestry of experience as a mindfulness meditation teacher, spiritual guide, and contemplative life seeker. She refers to herself as a "shunk"—part shaman, part monk. Her journey has been marked by a deep commitment to integrating spiritual wisdom with practical mindfulness practices. Yedda's approach is rooted in creating sacred spaces where individuals can explore silence, stillness, and self-awareness. With a background in corporate leadership, community health, and transformative engagement, Yedda combines her extensive knowledge in behavior change, mindfulness, and leadership development to foster environments of growth and well-being. Her vision for the InnerWork Center encapsulates a profound understanding of both organizational dynamics and the sacredness of space—honoring wisdom, spirituality, and empirical knowledge alike.
Jodie Trana
Chaitankar Vijender
Tracy Walters Tracy Walters is a team member in the Office of Child and Family Services at the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. She currently serves as Virginia’s Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Coordinator. Tracy has devoted 35 years of service to Early Childhood Education and Early Intervention with a focus on Mental Health for young children in the last 12 years. Tracy has served children and families in both the public and private sector throughout her career. Some of Tracy’s engagements beyond her state appointment include serving as the Board President for the Virginia Association for Infant Mental Health, serves on the Virginia Mental Health Access Project advisory Board, and an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University. Tracy engages in Speaker appointments at both National and local conferences as an advocate for Infant and Early childhood mental health for our youngest citizens. Prior to her current engagement, she served as the Site Director for VCU Health Systems Family Care Services Unit for 28 years working with children, families and educators. Tracy’s work also encompassed studying the Reggio Emilia Schools in Italy and working for Richmond City and Chesterfield County public schools as an Early Childhood Special Educator. Tracy is truly passionate about providing information and education on the importance of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. She views IECMH work as vital to a child’s overall health and development and believes that it serves as a leveraging tool for social justice. She resides in the City of Richmond and enjoys supporting local businesses and is a patron of the Arts.
Educational Journey:
  • M.ED, Special Education, Early Intervention, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University

Notable Endorsements:
  • IMH-II Leadership/Infant-Toddler Mental Health
  • IMH-E Infant Toddler Mental Health Specialist
  • Dementia Champion
  • EOLD /End of Life Doula
Dennis Williams Dennis Williams II, MA MEd, is a doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education at the University of Virginia, where he teaches undergraduate mindfulness courses and serves as a research assistant in the Contemplative Teaching and Learning Lab. Dennis worked for several years in Richmond Public Schools and Virginia Commonwealth University's Gender and Women's Studies Department. He is also a community activist and creative writer with publications in outlets like Johns Hopkins University's African American Review, Illinois State University's Obsidian Literature and Art in the African Diaspora, the Richmond Racial Equity Essays series, and Educational Policy. He is certified to teach mindfulness by the Mindfulness Institute for Emerging Adults.
Marion Williams