Robert Frager, Ph.D.
Robert Frager is the founder of Sofia University, formerly Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He is a transpersonal psychologist, consultant, author, and educator. Robert founded the university in 1975 after graduating from Harvard. He is currently a core faculty professor and has served as director of the school’s Spiritual Guidance program since 1998. Additionally, he is ordained as a sheikh, or spiritual guide, in the Sufi mystical tradition. He recently released a new book, Sufi Talks: Teachings of an American Sufi Sheikh, which discusses Sufism as a living practice.
Bob was trained in Aikido in Japan where he was a personal student of the founder of Aikido, and holds a 7th degree black belt—the highest honor ever awarded to a westerner.
James Fadiman, Ph.D.
James Fadiman is co-founder of Sofia University, formerly Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He is a professor, management consultant and author, and teaches courses in both residential and global programs at Sofia University. James helped develop a residential psychedelic research course to be offered to students this year. The course covers clinical research on psychedelics as adjuncts to psychotherapy for the treatment of addiction, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and existential distress at the end of life, as well as how to address psychedelic experiences that clients bring into psychotherapy.
Fadiman is the author of “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic and Sacred Journeys,” and is currently directing two national psychedelic research studies. He has authored numerous books and articles including: Personality and Personal Growth (with Bob Frager), The Proper Study of Man, Health for the Whole Person, and Unlimit Your Life, as well as the novel Shadow Dancer.
Paul Roy, Ph.D.
Paul Roy is Academic Vice President (Provost) of Sofia University. He maintains a private practice as a psychologist in Santa Clara where he has practiced since 1989. Prior to that, he was Assistant Professor of Pastoral Counseling at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has also taught classes in the graduate psychology program at National University in San Jose.
Paul has an extensive theological background and over twenty-five years of experience as a spiritual director. His interests have focused on the connection between spirituality and psychology; the integration of spiritual development; and work for justice, peacemaking, and mind-body healing.
In 1982, Khenpo Pema was sent to the West by His Holiness Sakya Trizin, as the first of the younger generation of Tibetan teachers in America from the Sakya School. In 1989, Khenpo Pema founded the Vikramasila Foundation, which encompasses the Palden Sakya Centers. The Palden Sakya Centers are located in New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Ohio, and Jamaica, offering courses in Tibetan Buddhist studies and meditation.
In New York his Pema Ts’al School provides a traditional Buddhist education of monastic training and study, in the format of Western university teaching. Lama Pema also created a Tibetan Braille. Lama Pema was the first Tibetan ever to have received the distinguished “Ellis Island Medal of Honor” award by the National Ethical Coalition of Organizations in May, 2009 for his humanitarian work around the world.
Elaine Ikeda has been the Executive Director of California Campus Compact since 2000.
California Campus Compact is a statewide coalition of California’s leading colleges and universities. CACC builds the collective commitment and capacity of colleges, universities and communities to advance civic and community engagement for a healthy, just and democratic society. Through ongoing dialogue and collaboration, CACC is committed to the development of socially responsible individuals as well as public and private higher education institutions.
California Campus Compact was previously hosted at UCLA from 1988 to 1995, and at San Francisco State University from 1995 to 2011. Sofia University president, Neal King, has been a member of the CACC executive board since 2011.
Rev. Stephen A. Privett has been president of the University of San Francisco since 2000. Father Privett entered the Society of Jesus in 1960 and is a graduate of The Catholic University of America, the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley and Gonzaga University. His doctorate is in Catechetics and his particular expertise focuses on the Hispanic community in the Catholic Church.
He chairs the California Campus Compact Executive Board and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Club of California, Board of Directors of the American Council on Education, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Public Architecture, the Beijing Center and the Fromm Institute. He serves on the accrediting commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Throughout his career, Father Privett has demonstrated a commitment to “whole person education,” a traditional hallmark of Jesuit education.
Gordon Wheeler is a licensed clinical psychologist with over thirty years of practice, teaching and training widely around the world. The author of numerous books and articles in the field, he is noted for his work integrating the gestalt tradition with relational and developmental psychology, with a special focus on child and lifelong development and education, individualism, gender issues, and the dynamics of intimacy and shame. His writings have also been in values and cultural psychology, including multi-cultural issues and post-Holocaust studies. He teaches and trains clinicians widely around the world, and also serves as editor and director of GestaltPress (a logo of Analytic Press).
Since 2003 Gordon has served as president of Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA, which offers over 600 residential public and intern programs to some 15,000 students each year, and hosts the world’s largest and longest-running Gestalt-based residential community, now nearing its 50th year.
Carol S. Pearson is president of the Pacifica Graduate Institute and the creator of The Pearson Archetypal System (www.herowithin.com). Carol’s scholarly, administrative, teaching, and consulting work has always been in the service of helping people live and work at a deeper level of awareness. The resulting insights enable individuals, groups, and organizations to be more successful, and employees to experience a greater sense of joy and personal fulfillment in their work.
She has promoted these ends in practice in administrative and teaching positions at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, the University of Maryland, Georgetown University, and the University of Colorado; as Senior Editor of The Inner Edge: A Resource for Enlightened Business Practice; and as a seminar leader and consultant working with nonprofits, government agencies, and mission-driven for-profit businesses. Dr. Pearson also is developing a master’s degree program in Leadership and Organizational Development for Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Fritz Schaeren, Ph.D.
Fritz Schaeren currently serves as Chairman on the Board of Trustees at European Graduate School (EGS). He is also a professor.
The European Graduate School (EGS) is a private tuition-funded university institution, established in 1994 by the Swiss non-profit foundation Stiftung EGIS in Zurich, Switzerland and chartered as graduate and post-graduate degree-granting University with its campus in Saas-Fee, Wallis, Switzerland, and its university administration in Leuk-Stadt, Wallis, Switzerland. EGS is accredited by the State and Canton of Wallis to award the graduate degrees of Master of Arts (M.A.), of CAGS and of Ph.D. (Dr. phil.) and has been officially recognized as university by the State and Canton of Wallis by Staatsratsbeschluss (State Council decision) in 2002, recently renewed by a new State Council decision in 2007. The European Graduate School is listed as a private research institution and university in the registry and website of the Canton Wallis.
Alvaro Romo de la Rosa currently serves as Secretary General-Elect of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) a global organization with a membership of approximately 600 university Presidents from some 70 different countries all over the world.
Alvaro has been active for more than 35 years in the development of international educational opportunities including mobility and exchange programs for students and faculty. He has been a visiting professor and lecturer in universities in Japan, Brazil, the USA, Mexico, and other parts of the world. He holds three honorary doctorates: one from Brazil (Catholic University of Petropolis), one from Russia (Penza State University) and one from the United States (Indiana State University), as well as honorary professorships from various parts of the world. The IAUP has granted him several awards for his distinguished service to this global association. He has been a lecturer and speaker in countless academic conferences and professional meetings throughout the world and has published in international journals connected with the field of international education.
Luisah Teish has been a professional storyteller, writer, ritualist, and community activist for more than 40 years. She grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana, and spent many hours along the banks of the Mississipi River, an area rich in folklore, music and mystery. As a child, she was surrounded by a community of elders who maintained centuries old stories and traditions.
Luisah is the author of several books on African and African American spiritual culture (Carnival of the Spirit: Seasonal Celebrations and Rites of Passage , Jump Up: Good Times Throughout the Seasons with Celebrations from Around the World, and What Don’t Kill Is Fattening Revisited: Twenty Years of Poetry, Prose, and Myth). She has also written several plays (Rice and Revolution, The Division of the Cowries, The Rise and Fall of Sam DeClaws Or How DeClaws Got Clipped and The Deer Woman of Owo). She has contributions to 13 anthologies and has written numerous movie, play and book reviews. She has published articles and interviews in magazines such as Essence, Ms., Shaman’s Drum, and Yoga Journal.
Kate Wolf-Pizor is former chair of the Residential Master’s programs at Sofia University, formerly Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. She has taught at the university since 1997 and served as Chair from 2001 until 2009. She is also a faculty member of the Spiritual Guidance program.
Kate is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California. She is the past president of the California State Division of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and is currently a board member. She maintains a private practice in Mountain View, California. She is also a Wiccan priestess, a spiritual guide and an Elder in the New Wiccan Church. Kate has also taught at Santa Clara University and National University.
Rabbi David Dunn Bauer is a pastoral counselor, ritual leader, community leader, scholar, and artist. He is the founder and coordinator of “The Jewish Queer Sexual Ethics Project” at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at Pacific School of Religion.
Having served as a congregational rabbi in Western Massachusetts for seven years, he has been an outspoken activist for Queer and Trans rights in both New England and the Bay Area. David has taught about eros, gender, and Queer spirituality around the United States, for colleges and seminaries on both coasts, and at countless retreats, camps, and workshops. Prior to the rabbinate, David had a 20-year career stage managing and directing theatre, opera, and ballet around the world. Based in San Francisco, David has recently served as the Bay Area Director of Programming for “Nehirim,” the leading national provider of community programming for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) Jews, partners, and allies.