The Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators 2017

A six-day workshop for education professionals on the "Science of Prosocial Human Development".


  • Vicki Zakrzewski, Ph.D.
    Vicki Zakrzewski, Ph.D.

    Vicki Zakrzewski (zahk-shef-skee), Ph.D., is the education director of the Greater Good Science Center.


    In her role as education director, Vicki writes a blog that provides science-based ideas for promoting the social and emotional well-being of students, teachers, and administrators, as well as methods for creating positive school cultures. Her work has also appeared in ASCD’s Educational Leadership,Edutopia, and Huffington Post.


    Vicki also gives talks and workshops, and leads the GGSC’s Summer Institute for Educators—an annual multi-day event in which educators from around the world learn how the science of compassion, empathy, gratitude, awe, and other social-emotional skills can enhance their own lives and the lives of their students.

    In addition to her writing and workshops, Vicki consults with organizations on how to incorporate the science of well-being into their work. Recent collaborations include those with the Mind and Life Institute (of which she is a fellow), the Jim Henson Company on a new television show for preschoolers, the International School of Brussels on the Common Ground Collaborative curriculum, and Pixar/Disney on The Emotions Survival Guide—a follow-up book for children based on the movie Inside Out.


    A former teacher and school administrator, Vicki earned her Ph.D. in Education and Positive Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. In her doctoral research, Vicki spent two months in India at a school awarded the Peace Education Prize by UNESCO and the Hope of Humanity Award by the Dalai Lama, researching their methods for developing teachers’ ability to create caring relationships with students.

  • Amy L. Eva, Ph.D.
    Amy L. Eva, Ph.D.

    Amy L. Eva, Ph.D., is the education content specialist at the Greater Good Science Center. She writes for the center’s online magazine, facilitates the Summer Institute for Educators, and consults on the development of GGSC education resources. With over 23 years in classrooms, she is a teacher at heart. She is fascinated by neuroscience, the psychology of learning, and adolescent development and has spent the last 12 years as a teacher educator.


    As a researcher, she has published in the areas of teacher education, metacognition, adolescent mental health, social emotional learning, and mindfulness-based interventions with marginalized youth. Her most recent publication “The Mindful Teacher: Translating Research into Daily Well-being” (The Clearing House), describes mindfulness, provides research-based evidence of its usefulness, and highlights resources that educators can use to manage stress and improve their well-being.

    Amy received her doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Washington where she studied the interplay between thoughts and feelings as readers respond to poetry. In the creative realm, she has led a poetry reading group called “Monday Morning Musings” and has contributed to a book featuring poems that inspire educators (Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach. Amy lives with her husband Tim, three kids, and three cats in Seattle. She conducts workshops on teacher resilience and provides resources for educators on her blog (

  • Joan Sarin, M.S.
    Joan Sarin, M.S.

    A veteran practitioner certified as a Six Seconds facilitator and trained in numerous experiential and mindfulness-based programs, Joan has taught emotional intelligence and character development to the full range of preschool through university students for the past 10 years. Her vast experience as a teacher, school administrator, and corporate leader also informs her current work as a Senior Trainer at the Casa Center for Positive Social Change in Phoenix, Arizona, where she develops and teaches social-emotional learning (SEL) and mindfulness curricula for K-8 school districts, as well as trains teachers in these skills so that they can successfully model and integrate SEL and character development in their classrooms and for their own well-being.


    She also facilitates parenting groups, helping them to develop their own social-emotional competencies. In addition, Joan was a regular contributor for years to Stepmom Magazine, and has appeared on several radio programs discussing the challenges of step-parenting. Her private coaching practice focuses on helping individuals to achieve goal and relationship breakthroughs. She holds a B.A. from Tulane University and an M.S. in social psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a long-time yoga and meditation practitioner and lives with her husband in Phoenix, Arizona.

  • Dacher Keltner, Ph.D.
    Dacher Keltner, Ph.D.

    Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., is a pioneering awe researcher, the founding faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center, and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence and Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life and a co-editor of The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness.

  • Zaretta Hammond
    Zaretta Hammond

    Zaretta Hammond, M.A. is a former writing teacher turned instructional designer and professional developer in the areas of equity and literacy.  


    She is the author of the bestselling book, Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor.  In her work, she highlights the intersection between neuroscience and culturally responsive pedagogy.  She currently collaborates with the Center for Reaching & Teaching the Whole Child on ways to make social-emotional development practices more culturally responsive.  She is interested in looking at how we can integrate strategies marginalized communities use to promote social-emotional well-being in light of the stress of navigating racialized spaces like schools.  In addition, Zaretta is developing culturally responsive strategies to support academic mindset development among students of color.


    She is a native San Franciscan, born on the Presidio Army Base and has lived in Boulder, Colorado and New York City before returning to California with her school-aged children. Zaretta lives in the East Bay with her husband in their empty nest. She blogs at

  • Fred Luskin, Ph.D.
    Fred Luskin, Ph.D.

    Frederic Luskin, Ph.D., founded and currently serves as Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects. He is also Senior Consultant in Health Promotion at the Stanford University Health Center and Department Chair in Clinical Psychology at Sofia University. At Stanford Dr. Luskin teaches classes on The Art of Happiness, Meditation, Developing Emotional Intelligence and The Psychology of Storytelling to undergraduate and graduate students. He also conducts numerous workshops and staff development trainings in his work for the Stanford Be Well wellness program.


    Dr. Luskin is the author of the best-selling books Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness and Forgive for Love: The Missing Ingredient for a Healthy and Happy Relationship. His book Forgive for Good is the best-selling self-help book published on the topic of forgiveness. His research has shown that the Forgive for Good forgiveness methodology leads participants suffering from a wide range of concerns to improved physical and mental health.


    Dr. Luskin’s forgiveness work has been applied in veteran’s hospitals, churches, in resolving legal disputes, with cancer patients as psycho education and in psychotherapy. He has helped people recover from the murder of their family members as a result of political violence in Northern Ireland, as an aftermath of the attacks on 911, in Sierra Leone after their civil war and in artic Canada where native populations deal with the loss of their ancestral lands.


    Dr. Luskin’s work has been made into a PBS pledge drive video called Forgive for Good. He has been interviewed many hundreds of times in world -wide media on forgiveness including the New York Times, O Magazine, Today Show, Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, Huffington Post, and CBS Morning News.


    He is also the author of Stress Free for Good: Ten Scientifically Proven Life Skills for Health and Happiness which emerged from his 10 years as a researcher in preventive cardiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. His work showed the effect of enhancing stress management and positive emotion skills to in help patients cope with congestive heart failure and arrhythmia. He also did some consulting work for Stanford Hospital nurses in managing their emotions.


    Dr. Luskin teaches stress management, emotional intelligence and happiness skills to corporate clients throughout the United States. His work focuses on the research proven triad of a healthy and happy life: Enhancing interpersonal relationships, creating a positive purpose in life and guided practice in appreciation and other positive emotions.

  • Mary Hurley
    Mary Hurley

    Mary Hurley is the Coordinator for Social and Emotional Learning and Leadership in Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). Mary was a classroom teacher for 30 years prior to coordinating a district partnership with the Bay Area Writing Project (BAWP) and serving as an OUSD Leadership Coach. She is a Carnegie Fellow, a BAWP Teacher Consultant, and is on the Mills College Teacher Scholars Advisory Board and the Advisory Committee for the CASEL Collaborating States Initiative.

  • Josh Bloom
    Josh Bloom

    Josh Bloom is the Teacher on Special Assignment for Wellness and Social-Emotional Learning at Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, California.  He has worked as a member of the school’s Wellness Leadership team to examine and address the systemic, cultural, and personal work required to increase the mental health and well-being of students, staff, and the broader school community.  


    This year, Josh has served on a district-level committee charged with recommending a framework, standards, learning targets, curricula, and implementation plan for developing the social and emotional competencies of all Palo Alto Unified students pre-K through 12th grade.  In particular, his work on the committee has focused on researching and vetting existing SEL frameworks and implementation strategies and determining how best to adapt, integrate, and innovate existing work to fit the unique needs and culture of the Palo Alto learning community.  


    Prior to his current role, Josh served as a department instructional supervisor, and continues to serve as a teacher advisor in Paly’s advisory program.  Now in his 16th year as a high school physics and astronomy teacher, he continues to educate with the philosophy that all content in all subjects can serve as a context through which the deeper lessons of life can be explored, cultivated, and appreciated if we can first find this meaning for ourselves.

  • Emily contributes to education content, helps run the Summer Institute for Educators, and coordinates projects such as educator surveys and the gratitude in education grant program. A Ph.D. student in Human Development and Education at UC Berkeley, her research interests include moral development and education; social-emotional learning and positive psychology; and parenting/family socialization across cultures.

    Before coming to Berkeley and the GGSC, she graduated from Stanford with a degree in Human Biology, worked at an elementary school in East San Jose through the City Year program, and spent two years teaching English at a high school in Japan. She loves traveling, but is always grateful for the beautiful environment, weather, diversity, and vegetarian food availability in the Bay Area.