Summer Session on Contemplative Learning

15th Annual Summer Session on
Contemplative Learning in Higher Education

Sunday, August 4 – Friday, August 9, 2019
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Save the date! More information TBA, winter 2018/19.


The Summer Session on Contemplative Learning is a week-long intensive that prepares higher education professionals with resources to:

  • practice and develop contemplative methods which inform their work in higher education within and beyond classroom settings;
  • investigate their unique identities and experiences to help create inclusive, inquiry-based learning environments;
  • build relationships with a diverse interdisciplinary network of scholar-practitioners.

Each day offers a variety of opportunities for professional development, but the Summer Session is also a time for personal growth and development through contemplative practice, discussion, and reflection. It offers a chance to engage deeply with contemplative practices, to reconnect with old friends, and to forge new connections with like-minded colleagues from across many disciplines.

For reference: 2018 Summer Session Lead Facilitators

Katja Hahn d’Errico is Adjunct Professor of Social Justice in the College of Education at University of Massachusetts Amherst, as well as, Program Director of the IMPACT: Service Learning Residential Academic Program. In Impact, first year students connect academic learning and mindfulness in their service placements in community organizations. For the last 20 years Katja has integrated contemplative practice into her academic curriculum and leadership seminars. Contemplative practice guides her work beyond abstract academic theory into daily life. Katja’s ethos is to work with compassion towards a more just world within and without the academic world.

Dr. Kamilah Majied has been a practicing Buddhist for 36 years. She has taught domestically and internationally about mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, mindfulness and racial justice, Buddhism and mental health, mindfulness practices as a path towards preserving the environment and contemplative practices in education. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work and is Co-Editor of a Special Issue on Peace, Reconciliation and Non- Violent Conflict Resolution. Dr. Majied gave opening remarks at the first White House Conference of Buddhist Leaders on Climate Change and Racial Justice, where she also facilitated the dialogue on ending racism amongst the internationally represented Buddhist leadership. She is one of the original authors of the Buddhist People of Color Statement Calling for Racial Justice published by Lion’s Roar magazine. Dr. Majied serves as facilitator for the North American Buddhist Alliance’s ongoing dialogues on Buddhism, mindfulness practices and social justice. A member of the Association of the Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, Dr. Majied employs contemplative pedagogy and mindfulness practices in both clinical practice and education. Dr. Kamilah Majied is a mental health clinician, clinical educator, researcher, author and international consultant on the impact of oppression on mental health and social functioning. Her scholarship focuses on racism, sexism, homophobia, heterosexism and other forms of social oppression. Dr. Majied has conducted research and presented on mental health, social development and education in various parts of the world including Japan, Trinidad, Iceland, the Bahamas, Copenhagen, Jamaica, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Egypt, Haiti, Gambia and Cuba. As a consultant, she works to make health and human service organizations more culturally competent. Dr. Majied is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Howard University. She has successfully assisted various University-based, national and international entities in developing programming that welcomes and supports diversity, addresses disparities and advances organizational and community wellness.

Vaishali Mamgain received her PhD. in Economics from the University of North Carolina. She is a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Southern Maine (USM). She is also the director of the upcoming Center for Compassion at USM. Her research focuses on the contributions that (im)migrants and refugees make to the Maine economy. Her most recent work relates to the role of migrant workers in Maine’s blueberry industry. She is also very engaged in the newly emerging field of Contemplative Pedagogy. By helping students cultivate an attitude of open inquiry, she invites them to study contentious topics using different modalities in order to evoke an intelligence that is grounded in a sense of ethics and personal responsibility as world citizens. She has recently completed a 3 year meditation retreat in Samten Ling Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado.

 Dr. Kerr Mesner is an independent scholar, and was an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Arcadia University. Kerr is also a queer Christian minister and theologian, a theatre performer and educator, and an activist. Kerr completed his doctoral dissertation at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. Kerr’s doctoral research explored performative autoethnography, queer theology, and anti-oppressive education in addressing religiously rooted anti-queer violence, and includes an original one-act play written and performed by Mesner. The dissertation was awarded the Recipient of the 2014 AERA Division B: Curriculum Studies Dissertation Award. Kerr’s current areas of research and writing include gender and sexual diversity in education, trans and gender nonconforming identities, arts-based educational research, contemplative educational practices, and anti-oppressive approaches to education. Kerr recently completed a new play exploring the experiences of transgender lives in our current political climate, and premiered this play in Canada in Spring 2018.

Alberto López Pulido considers himself a fronterizo or border person who has spent the majority of his life living and experiencing the U.S. – Mexico political border. He is professor and founding chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of San Diego where he challenges his students to look within themselves through reflexive assignments by applying the power of both words and creativity in the form of autobiographies, autoethnographies and cajitas or sacred boxes. The things he values most as an educator and guide come from his family and community elders. Alberto is the author of several publications and is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker in Chicana/o/x Studies, Chicana/o/x Sacred Worlds, Chicana/o/x Material Cultures, Ethnic Studies Pedagogy and Community Studies. He is currently at work on a book on what he has come to understand as Emotive Pedagogy that utilizes a contemplative framework.

Monika L. Son joined the Percy Ellis Sutton SEEK Program of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York in 2003 and was awarded tenure in 2009. She has served as a faculty for Education and Justice and counselor for over 14 years. Since Fall of 2012, Dr. Son has led SEEK’s counseling component as the Counseling Coordinator. Dr. Son completed her Master’s in Education and Counseling at the Fordham Graduate School of Education in 2002. She received her license in Mental Health Counseling (2006) and was awarded a PhD in Developmental Psychology from the CUNY Graduate Center (2013). Dr. Son, who is also an experienced yogi and Zen meditation practitioner incorporates the use of mindfulness in her counseling and supervision practices. Her most recent contributions to fusing the world of academia and meditation have been opportunities to lead her department’s annual professional retreats, appearing on KBS (Korean Broadcasting System), being invited to teach a course on Spirituality and Counseling and Human Services and beginning an apprenticeship in Somatic Leadership.

at the Summer Session


If you have any questions, please contact Maya Elinevsky at or at 413-582-0071.


Smith College Campus Center


Reports on Past Summer Sessions

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2006 (sorry, our 2005 and 2007 reports are unavailable!)


2014 Summer Session ReportReport on the Tenth Annual Summer Session on Contemplative Pedagogy
Smith College, Northampton, MA
August 3 – 8, 2014


2013-summersession-reportReport on the Ninth Annual Summer Session on Contemplative Pedagogy
Smith College, Northampton, MA
August 4 – 9, 2013


Report on the 2012 Summer Session on Contemplative PedagogyReport on the Eighth Annual Summer Session on Contemplative Pedagogy
Smith College, Northampton, MA
July 29 – August 3, 2012


Report on the 2011 Summer Session on Contemplative Curriculum DevelopmentReport on the Seventh Annual Summer Session on Contemplative Curriculum Development
Smith College, Northampton, MA
August 7 – 12, 2011


Report on the 2010 Summer Session on Contemplative Curriculum DevelopmentReport on the 2010 Summer Session on Contemplative Curriculum Development
Smith College, Northampton, MA
August 8 – 13, 2010



Report on the 2009 Summer Session on Contemplative Curriculum DevelopmentReport on the 2009 Summer Session on Contemplative Curriculum Development
Smith College, Northampton, MA
August 9 – 14, 2009



Report on the 2008 Summer Curriculum Development SessionReport on the 2008 Summer Curriculum Development Session
Smith College, Northampton, MA
August 3 – 8, 2008



2006 Academic Summer Session on Contemplative Curriculum DevelopmentReport on the 2006 Academic Summer Session on Contemplative Curriculum Development
Smith College, Northampton, MA
August 13 – 18, 2006