Annual Conference 2020

Planting seeds: Rooting in mindfulness for thriving communities

“Beloved community is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world.” ― bell hooks

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Annual Conference 2020

Planting seeds: Rooting in mindfulness for thriving communities
Wednesday, March 25 and Thursday, March 26, 2020.

Time: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Location: A.E. England Building, 424 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Register today!


The Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience is excited to invite you to attend our third annual conference - Planting Seeds: Rooting in Mindfulness for Thriving Communities. Come join us as we delve into the foundations of mindfulness for building and maintaining healthy communities. We invite all mindfulness practitioners, researchers and enthusiasts to come and share their methods of community building in this two day interactive conference, and invite all community members to share in the knowledge!

* Please note: we will update the website as we finalize conference items. If you have any immediate questions, please email:

Wed, March 25 and Thu, March 26
9:30am – 5:00pm
A.E. England Building, Downtown Phoenix
Early Bird: $299 until Feb 1, 2020 ($429 after Feb 1)

Students interested in applying for a scholarship to the conference should follow this link. 

By attending the conference you are consenting to have photographs taken of and around you. You may also be asked to participate in a research study.

Breakfast and Lunch provided (included in price) by: Green: New American Vegetarian Restaurant

 Logo of Green: New American Vegetarian Restaurant


Early Career Mindfulness Council would like to invite any researchers/scholars who are within 10 years of their terminal degree (student or professional) that are engaging in mindfulness research to submit an abstract to the Third Annual Center for Mindfulness Conference - Planting Seeds: Rooting in Mindfulness for Thriving Communities. 

Submission link:


Speakers (Knowledge Sharers)

Knowledge Sharer: Dr. Teri Pipe

 Photo of Teri Pipe ASU's Chief Wellbeing Officer and Conference Knowledge Sharer

Dr. Teri Pipe is Arizona State University's Chief Well-Being Officer. Formerly Dr. Pipe served as the Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University (ASU). She also is the founding director of ASU's Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience. Before coming to ASU in 2011, Dr. Pipe served as director of Nursing Research and Innovation at Mayo Clinic Arizona and was an associate professor of nursing at the Mayo Clinic’s College of Medicine. In 2014 she was selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow.

Dr. Pipe is an expert on mindfulness which is a skill set to increase the ability to experience being fully present, focused and alive. Mindfulness has important implications for resilience within and beyond the healthcare and higher education sectors.  Dr. Pipe is an expert on nursing leadership with a focus on interprofessionalism, bringing nurses together with physicians and other health professionals, business people, and policy makers, to help redesign and improve health in the U.S. Her research interests include:  mindfulness, resilience in professional and clinical populations, health promotion and wellness, positive coping and stress management, oncology, and gerontology.  She is a sought after speaker on the topics of mindfulness, workforce resilience and self-compassion.

Dr. Pipe earned her PhD in health policy and administration with a minor in gerontology from Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree in nursing with an emphasis in gerontology from the University of Arizona, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Iowa.

Knowledge Sharer: Dr. Nika Gueci

Photo of Center's Executive Director and Conference Knowledge Sharer

Dr. Nika Gueci is the inaugural Executive Director for University Engagement at the Arizona State University Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience. Under her direction, Center advances an environment of well-being through the promotion of skills such as mindfulness and compassion to support lifelong resilience. Creating a culture where wellness is of vital importance to the development of human potential is her daily call to action. Here, she develops curricula for mindfulness leadership workshops, retreats, and Selective classes for Mayo Clinic medical students. She was invited to develop, write and present curricula as the content expert and talent manager for a 5-part Health and Wellness: Mind and Body online series, an institutional-priority initiative for marketing and distribution across national markets. She initiated teacher training by the founders of Koru Mindfulness for Emerging Adults and guided series of cohorts through scaling efforts of subsequent courses taught at ASU and the surrounding Phoenix community.

In her previous role, Dr. Gueci served as Associate Director of the ASU Health Services Executive Team. Her duties included directing ASU’s first Collegiate Recovery Program, Recovery Rising, and scaling an innovative, outcomes-driven model to advance a university culture consistent with the ASU Charter, one that is inclusive of students in recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. She has served on multiple task forces and was invited to provide policy recommendations on collegiate recovery to the Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy.

Knowledge Sharer: Tiara Cash

 Photo of Tiara Cash - Center's Program Manager and Conference Knowledge Sharer

Tiara Cash, Program Manager, comes to Center for Mindfulness, Compassion, and Resilience as an alumnus of Arizona State University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Wellness from ASU and a Master’s degree from Western Illinois University in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sports Psychology. Her practice of mindfulness spans the last 19 years of her life, and as a practitioner she has worked in various higher education settings including: athletics, campus recreation, and student success.

Tiara has been granted scholarships, grants, and awards for her work with mindfulness in the student-athlete population, mindfulness and equity/social justice, and creating art with a foundation of mindful practice. In 2018 and 2019 she traveled internationally to present on her research involving mindfulness and overlooked populations. Her career focuses include delving into the intersections of mindfulness in marginalized and unrepresented populations, resilience training for life transitions, and mindful performance art.

In her current role with Center, she works to create innovative programming through workshops, trainings, presentations and events. Her vision is to engage ASU and the surrounding community in life-long learning and personal development with an emphasis on mindful practices and connection through compassion.

Knowledge Sharer: Hanna Layton

Photo of Hanna Layton Center's Management Inter and Conference Knowledge Sharer

Hanna Layton graduated from Arizona State University with her Bachelors of Science in Sustainability and is now pursuing Masters of Sustainable Solutions degree.  Hanna is a full-time student involved and in love with learning about how she can serve as an advocate for the natural world and all its resources, as well as ensuring the human and animal populations can proceed on with health and happiness. Hanna is particularly interested in human well being, focusing on the intersection of mindfulness and sustainability. Through this avenue she hopes to educate others on how to practice resilience and deepen their subjective sense of well being individually and as a community.  

Hanna is employed by ASU’s Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience as the Management Intern. In this role she serves to foster a more compassionate and connected student body at ASU. She acts as a liaison between student organizations and the Center to spread mindfulness through planning events and leading practices that students can apply to their daily lives. Her ultimate goal in this role is to  help students manage their daily stresses through healthy practices so that they can more easily achieve their academic goals.

Knowledge Sharer: Elizabeth (Liz) Athens

Photo of Liz Athens

Elizabeth (Liz) Athens is a practicing social worker and a member of the faculty at the ASU School of Social Work. Her areas of expertise are direct practice with clients experiencing mental health and substance use disorders, and enjoys working at the micro, mezzo and macro levels of service delivery to bring equity and parity to mental health services for everyone.

An artist at heart (although perhaps not by skill), Liz was recently introduced to the process of SoulCollage®, an intuitive, collaborate therapeutic process, which involves creating and using collaged images to help one bring clarity to some of life’s more complex issues. Honing skills that support insight and intuition lends itself well to the practice of an active mindfulness process. Liz enjoys introducing therapeutic expressive arts processes to her students and other groups as a way to improve client outcomes.

More Knowledge Sharers: TBA

This information is coming soon.

Knowledge Sharing Sponsor: Danna Pratte

Photo of Danna Pratte

Danna Pratte is an entrepreneur and wellness enthusiast and has worked in the wellness and natural industry for 20 years.  She is CEO and owner of Nutritional Brands, a Phoenix based multinational company that provides high quality nutritionals and wellness solutions to its customers.  Danna is an alumnus of Thunderbird, The International School of Management (now a part of ASU!), where she received her Master of International Management degree.  Danna is a regular contributor to local and national media. The Phoenix Business Journal recognized her as a 2016 Outstanding Woman in Business, and she was recently recognized as a 2018 AZ Business Leader in Health and Wellness by AZ Big Media.  She is a mother to three teenage boys, is a warrior for healthy living, loves to travel and is grateful for the opportunity to impact people’s life for the better.  

Nutritional Brands is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona and is a global leader in the nutritional supplement industry.  Nutritional Brands sales and distributes multiple consumers brands into various channels.  The brands include:  Aerobic Life for digestive health and immunity, Pure Vegan for vegan health and wellness, Pure Kidz for children’s health, Pure Advantage for sports and fitness nutrition, Oregon Health for foundational nutrition and Vida + for Hispanic health and wellness.  Nutritional Brands mission is to provide our customers a richer quality of life through premium products, ongoing educational outreach and ever-improving methods.  @nbpure  @aerobiclife @purevegans

Knowldege Sharing Collaborator: Susan West (M2)

Photo of Susan West

Susan is Owner and General Manager of M2 Well-Being, a workplace wellness solution that brings experienced mindfulness teachers and a unique mobile studio on site to lead mindfulness classes. M2 makes it convenient and efficient to educate and inspire employees to train their brains, improve their health, well-being and productivity, and build workplace relationships. 

Susan launched M2 to make mindfulness practice more accessible and relevant to busy professionals. She leverages her 25-year business career leading integrated marketing teams, products and budgets; her experience includes Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble, Director at Parchment, Assistant Dean at Arizona State University and business owner.

Susan received her B.A. degree from University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. She speaks fluent Spanish and is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Chile.

Knowldege Sharing Collaborator: Dr. Aliria Rascón

Photo of Aliria Rascon

Dr. Aliria Rascón is a clinical assistant professor at the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation teaching in the pre-licensure nursing program. She also serves as Assistant Director of Edson’s Global Health Collaboratory. During her time at ASU, she has served as co-director of CONHI’s Veterans Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership and as originator and faculty director of CONHI’s first study abroad program to Peru during 2016 and 2017. As a division one water polo athlete, Aliria received her BSN from Hartwick College in New York where she also minored in Spanish and co-founded “Nursing Students Without Borders.”

Aliria completed her Master of Science in Nursing Education at ASU and her PhD in Nursing at the University of Arizona. Aliria has since practiced volunteer nursing in Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, The Solomon Islands, and locally in a free mobile health clinic in the Phoenix valley. Her clinical nursing experience includes work in oncology, medical-surgical, telemetry, medical ICU, and trauma ICU.

Along with her teaching roles, Aliria is Rei Ki certified and has led Edson College wellness initiatives where she has taught yoga classes and hosted wellness activities for faculty and staff at Edson College. Aliria is the proud owner of two energetic dogs and enjoys practicing yoga, swimming, and playing water polo in her spare time.

Panel Knowledge Sharer: TBA

This information is coming soon.



Planting seeds: Rooting in Mindfulness for Thriving Communities

Please continue to check the website for upcoming information regarding agenda items!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

9:00 - 9:30 am


9:30 - 10:00 am


10:00 - 10:40 am

 Welcome Address

10:40 - 11:00 am 

 Mindfulness Listening Practice

11:00 - 11:10 am


11:10 - 11:55 am

Breakout Session

12:00 - 12:10 pm

Recognition of Presenting Sponsor

12:10 -1:00 pm


1:00 - 1:05 pm


1:05 - 3:00 pm


3:00 - 3:10 pm


3:10 - 4:00 pm

Breakout Session

4:00 - 4:45 pm

Closing and Debrief

Thursday, March 26, 2020

9:00 - 9:30 am           

Breakfast and Opening Meditation

9:30 - 9:45 am


9:45 - 11:00 am

Mindful Activity



11:00 - 11:10 am


 11:10 - 12:10 am

Breakout Session

12:10 - 1:00 pm     


1:00 - 3:00 pm


3:00 - 3:10 pm


3:10 - 4:00 pm

Breakout Session

4:00 - 5:00 pm

Pause, Reflect, and Closing Address



For more information, please contact, or view the flyer below:

Photo of the levels for Center's Conference Sponsorship


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Presenting Sponsors

Danna Pratte - Nutritional Brands

[your logo could be here]

Conference Sponsors

Silver Level

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Bronze Level

Your link could be here


Community Collaborators

Denise Resnik - First Place AZ

Holly Rodgers & Libby Webb - Koru Mindfulness

Mimi Sommers - DreamTeam Academy

Stacia Holmes & Shawnte Johnson - City of Phoenix - Parks & Recreation

Sophia Town - Fordham University (Gabelli School of Business)

Tara Jackson - AZ Town Hall

Tiesha Harrison - I Love This Journey 

Tomas Stanton & Jennifer Gastelum - Creative Catalysts' The Collective