Lisa is the academic director and program coordinator for the MA program in Conflict Transformation program at The Graduate Institute–Connecticut’s first master’s degree program in peace studies and conflict transformation. Her aim is to establish effective peace and social justice curricula built upon the principles of nonviolence, sustainability, compassion, and dialogue. In conjunction with developing and facilitating this program, Lisa is a teaching artist who utilizes story in its myriad forms–poetry, ancient mythology, folklore, wisdom tales, personal narrative, comic books, graphic novels, and theater–to generate healing, ethical reasoning, and shared understanding.
Lisa earned a BA in Theatre and Drama from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN; MA in Oral Traditions and Ph.D. in Peace Studies from Lancaster University in the UK.
Recent MA courses Lisa has developed and taught:
- The Dynamic Field of Conflict Transformation
- Art: Protest to Transformation
- Empathy, Compassion and Forgiveness: Tools for Healing and Transformation
- Re-membering History: Reflecting on Heroic Acts of Nonviolent Protest and Peaceful Initiatives
- Storytelling: A Toolkit for Social Change
- Standing in the Shoes of Another: Moral Imagination, Empathy and Compassion
- Creating Peaceful Classrooms K-12: Integrating Peace Studies Curricula across the Disciplines
Recent Programs developed and presented to K-12 Classrooms as Teaching Artist:
- Giving Voice to Wild Things: Celebrating Rachel Carson and Considering Endangered Species
- Humor and Revelations in Randomness: Telling Stories through the Language of Comic Books and Graphic Novels
- The Silk Road, the Buddha and Jataka Tales
- The Enduring Wisdom of Ancient Cultures
- How to be a 21-st Century Abolitionist
- Honoring our Ancestors
Professional Experiences in Peacebuilding / Community Building
Lisa is a peace educator and a participatory action researcher with a focus on empathy development. She teaches in universities, K-12 classrooms, homeless shelters, safe houses, and with youth at risk, incorporating the arts as a means to give voice to the silenced, address injustice, foster understanding and nurture compassion. Concerned with the growing epidemic of violence and bullying, Lisa has conducted numerous studies on the efficacy of humanitarian and social justice education as compared with existing programs on bullying, which has led her to advocate for mandated peace and conflict transformation curricula in all schools nationwide. She continues to research methods for developing empathy, one of the most important skills for creating a compassionate global society.
Involved in creating a Center for Conflict Transformation in CT, Lisa is a working with a diverse and talented group to design and implement programs to meet the needs of schools, local government, community organizations, veterans, families and individuals to navigate the challenges of violence, PTSD, bullying, sex-trafficking, environmental concerns, educational inequity and poverty.
Lisa is on the Launch Team for the Global Sustainability Fellows Program (www.sustainabilitylabs.org) an international, inter-disciplinary educational initiative in collaboration with The Sustainability Labs; Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition and Medical School for International Health, EARTH University, Costa Rica; Rhode Island School of Design; Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design; University of Colorado; University of Sidney, Australia; University of St. Galen, Switzerland; Tulane University; Stony Brook University; The Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology and Engineers Without Boarders. The purpose of this initiative is to help prepare a new generation of leaders in government, design, business and community organizations tackle effectively the challenges of a global transition toward an enduring and sustainable world.
Committed to public service, Lisa currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Peace Academy and the Advisory Board for the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence: A Dr. Martin Luther King Institute.