Novelette DeMercado came to the Dharma in 2005 when she sat her first retreat, with no prior meditation practice, at IMS. The practice has been a mainstay since then and core essence of her life. Understanding the fluidity of what it means to cultivate an inclusive and welcoming environment is an interest and an element of her practice life. Novelette has served in the capacity of POC Coordinator & Affinity Group Leader at Cambridge Insight Meditation Center since 2008, is a member of the Inclusion Advisor Council at her place of employment, and a Multicultural Competency Committee member at the National Wellness Institute. She is a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach and Certified Worksite Wellness Specialist.
Rosalyn Driscoll (Acting Co-Chair) is a visual artist whose work explores the experience of the body, the somatic senses and perception, drawing on her Buddhist practice in the Theravada tradition since 1971. She participated in the first ISPP at BCBS, and was instrumental in producing the Dharma and Arts symposium in 2016 and subsequent courses for the Dharma and Art program at BCBS. She is a member of Sensory Sites, an international art collective based in London, committed to multisensory, site-specific installations and research into aesthetic perception. Her work has been exhibited in the US, Europe and Asia, and received awards and fellowships from the Dartington Hall Trust, UK, New England Foundation for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico. Driscoll has presented worldwide at conferences for neuroscientists, philosophers, designers, art educators and people involved with disabilities.
Cheryl A. Giles is the Francis Greenwood Peabody Senior Lecturer on Pastoral Care and Counseling and core faculty for the Buddhist Ministry Initiative at Harvard Divinity School. She joined the faculty in 1997 and teaches courses on spiritual care, trauma, and contemplative care of the dying. Cheryl was co-editor of The Arts of Contemplative Care: Pioneering Voices in Buddhist Chaplaincy and Pastoral Work with Willa Miller. Her most recent book is Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Race, Resilience, Transformation, and Freedom co-edited with Pamela Ayo Yetunde.
Joseph Goldstein is a co-founder and guiding teacher of IMS. He has been teaching vipassanā and mettā retreats worldwide since 1974. In 1989, he helped establish BCBS and, more recently, IMS’s Forest Refuge. His books include Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening, One Dharma, Insight Meditation and others.
David Green (Acting Co-Chair) is a retired attorney living with his family in Providence, Rhode Island. He grew up in western Tennessee and graduated from the University of Tennessee School of Law. He’s been active in state and regional service leadership roles for family alcohol recovery organizations for the last fifteen years. His meditation and Buddhist practice includes graduation from the Mindfulness Clinic at UMass.; completion of the Dedicated Practitioners Program Five at Spirit Rock (DPP5); and completion of the Nalanda program and reunions at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS). He is a member of the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center and the Insight Meditation Community of Providence. He enjoys the outdoors, especially fishing, canoeing, and hiking.
Nidhi Kohli is Head of Media for the U.S. Fashion, Watches & Fine Jewelry divisions at Chanel. Prior to joining Chanel, she was Director, North America Advertising at Tiffany & Co. Nidhi began her career in media planning on the ad agency side, where she worked with clients such as AT&T, DeBeers, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Unilever. She attended Spirit Rock’s Mindfulness Yoga & Meditation Training (MYMT) program and is currently attending a 200hr teaching mindfulness program in NYC.
Robert Kolodny PhD is an organization development consultant working with a wide array of human systems in the public, non-profit/voluntary and business worlds. His work is guided by two visions: the building of more satisfying and inclusive workplace communities and the creation of more just and democratic ways of governing in the public realm. He is currently devoting the bulk of his time to large-scale social movements directly addressing the climate and ecological crisis. Bob is a veteran Vipassana practitioner, having sat his first retreat at IMS in 1992. Over the years since then he has consulted to IMS, BCBS and other Buddhist centers on their development, growth, and human dynamics. Bob has been on the faculty at Columbia University, the New School, the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland and the Gestalt International Study Center. He has taught at a number of other educational institutions around the world.
Rachel Lewis began practicing insight meditation in 2003, while completing her physics PhD at Yale. Since 2011, she has taught dharma and meditation classes and retreats in British Columbia and beyond. She completed the IMS/IRC 4-year teacher training in 2021, and is a guiding teacher of the British Columbia Insight Meditation Society. Her dharma teaching interests include the power of music, humour, and creativity to increase our capacity for learning, as well as the way that practice supports and is supported by social justice work. You can view Rachel's website at rachelmeditates.ca.
Kevin F. F. Quigley started studying Buddhism in college. He was struck by Buddhadasa Bhikku’s teaching linking dhamma to making social change. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand, Kevin had the opportunity to learn from individuals in the forest monk tradition, including Ajaan Chah. He has held leadership roles at non-profits, in government, at a foundation and has also served on numerous boards. Most recently, Kevin was president of Marlboro College, where he helped orchestrate the merger with Emerson College.
Peace Twesigye is the Program Manager of Buddhist Studies at Union Theological Seminary. Peace assists in designing and overseeing curriculum in Buddhist Studies. Peace supports and creates spaces for contemplative practice that serve as a basis for students' active engagement in and service to the Union community as well as supporting academic advisement of Buddhist students. Peace Twesigye organizes and manages public and private conversations and events as part of the Thích Nhất Hạnh Program for Engaged Buddhism at Union Theological Seminary to further expand its public offerings in socially engaged Buddhism. Peace is currently in the Insight Dialogue Teacher Development Cohort led by the Insight Dialogue Community Teachers Council. Peace also serves on the board of Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, and serves as a practice leader and event manager at New York Insight Meditation Center as well as enjoying the opportunity of offering reflections and programs in other spaces when invited. Peace Twesigye has two master's degrees; the first in violin performance, and the second in education, with a specialization in students with disabilities, and is committed to the path of being a lifelong student
Dr. Jacqueline Vischer has degrees in Psychology and Architecture. She recently retired as an Environmental Psychologist specializing in a field she helped found called Workspace Psychology. She has published several books, book chapters, and numerous articles on her work; and her consulting firm, Buildings-In-Use, advised a wide range of organizations internationally on managing workspace comfort, designing innovative workspace, and planning workspace change. She is Professor Emeritus at the University of Montreal, where she co-founded the Interior Design Program. Jacqueline has been an active Zen practitioner since 1998, first as a member of the Montreal Zen Centre and subsequently with the Kwan Um School of Zen, where she was recently named Dharma Teacher. Since her retirement, Jacqueline has obtained a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and is learning to write poetry. She has two grown children, and two small grandchildren that she loves to spend time with.