Meet Our Team

Steven D. Hickman

Steven D. Hickman, Psy.D.

Executive Director, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness

Dr. Steven Hickman is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and has a joint appointment as an Associate Clinical Professor in the UCSD Departments of Psychiatry and Family and Preventive Medicine. Dr. Hickman is the Founder and Director of the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, a program of community building, clinical care, professional training and research. Since founding the Center in 2000, he has taught over 40 Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses, as well as adapting the program for nurses, medical students and other professional and clinical populations. The Center for Mindfulness has also become a global leader in providing professional training in the burgeoning field of mindfulness-based interventions for professionals of all sorts. Dr. Hickman is also a member of the Executive Committee of the UC San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine. He is married and has three teenage children, affording him ample opportunities to practice what he preaches.

Allan Goldstein

Allan Goldstein

Managing Director, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness
MBSR Teacher Mentor, UCSD CFM Professional Training Institute
MBSR and Mindful Eating Senior Teacher

Allan Goldstein is the Managing Director of the USCD Center for Mindfulness. Working in collaboration with Dr. Steven Hickman, Executive Director, he has contributed to the development and evolution of the UCSD CFM Professional Training Institute and Certification programs and the center’s UC San Diego Health System’s group mindfulness programs and teaching staff.  He has been a member of the Conference Committee for the center’s annual Bridging the Heart’s and Minds of Youth conference since its inception. Allan’s growth within the field of Mindfulness-Based Interventions has led him to teach extensively to groups and individuals in various health care, university, military, business, and community settings. He has even taught in the virtual world of Second Life. Allan has had a passion for learning, teaching, and providing mentorship for teachers of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programs since participating in his first program in 1993. Allan’s strong passion for promoting and facilitating the valuable teachings found within MBSR and Mindfulness-Based Interventions has propelled him through a journey that continues to unfold in mystery with his love for this sacred work.

Lorraine M. Hobbs

Lorraine M. Hobbs, MA, CHom

Director, Youth and Family Programs
Senior Teacher

Lorraine M. Hobbs, M.S., CHom., is a senior MBSR teacher at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. She received her training under the supervision of Dr. Steve Hickman. She has served as clinical director of in-patient and residential treatment programs, where she worked extensively with teens and their families. Her interest in integrative medicine and in the growing research on the consequences of stress and the executive function of the brain in children/teens inspired her to create a six week Mindfulness/Stress Reduction training program for Teens at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. Her interest in reaching a larger population of teens and pre-teens led to the implementation of an eight-week mindfulness based curriculum in schools, designed to reduce stress, improve self-regulation and concentration and enhance the learning process. In addition. Lorraine developed a Mindful Parenting program, which supports parents in developing a greater capacity to parent with compassion and presence. She is also a part of the Mindfulness in Schools teaching/training team in the U.K. and lectures on the efficacy of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with teens in the community. She is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and Homeopathic practitioner.

Michelle Becker, MFT, Director of Compassion Programs

Michelle Becker, MA, LMFT

Director of Compassion Programs
Senior Teacher

Michelle Becker, M.A., LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in San Diego, CA utilizing mindfulness and compassion based psychotherapy with individuals, couples, families and groups. She is Director of Compassion Programs at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness where she also teaches Mindful Self-Compassion and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Michelle is a teacher trainer for Mindful Self-Compassion and co-founder, along with Drs. Germer, Neff and Hickman, of the Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training. She is also co-founder of the San Diego Center For Well Being and co-developer of the Mindful Living for Couples program.  Michelle enjoys helping people find a meaningful and satisfying way of life.  For more information on Michelle’s work and schedule please visit her website: MichelleBeckerLMFT.com.

Christy Cassisa

Christy Cassisa, JD

Director of WorkLife Integration

Christy has a passion for supporting people in learning to lead happier, healthier and more productive lives through mindfulness and self-awareness. Since discovering mindfulness meditation in 2010, she has become an advocate and is beginning the process of becoming Certified to teach MBSR. As a relative newcomer to mindfulness and meditation, she understands the immediate benefits as well as the real challenges people encounter when learning this new skill and integrating the practice into their daily lives. Her mission is to facilitate this integration through programs for businesses and non-profit organizations.

Christy has also taught as an adjunct professor for California Western School of Law, where she developed a groundbreaking mindfulness-based emotional intelligence seminar called Life Skills for Lawyers, which was acquired by a legal education company in 2013. She has also previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the University of San Diego School of Law and Barbri. She graduated with a JD from the University of Missouri, Columbia School of Law and a BS in Life Sciences from Missouri Science & Technology, is certified to administer both the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® and the EQ-I 2.0, and is also trained as a professional coach.

Megan Leuchars

Megan Leuchars

Director of Outreach

Megan Leuchars received her practicum training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at El Camino Hospital under the direction of Bob Stahl. Along with teaching MBSR in hospitals, Megan has been passionate about bringing MBSR into unique settings and has gone on to develop and deliver customized Mindfulness programs for populations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to Non-Profits and Addiction Recovery Programs. In addition to numerous other trainings, Megan has received her RYT 200 and Yoga of Recovery Counselors Certificate, as well as completed her training in Mindful Self-Compassion under the supervision of Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. Megan seeks to empower individuals with an understanding of the important role they play in their own health, and believes through compassionate awareness individuals are able to utilize the best resource they have- themselves.

Cassondra Graff, L.C.S.W.

Cassondra Graff, MS, LCSW

Speakers Bureau Coordinator
MBSR Teacher

Cassondra Graff, L.C.S.W., is a licensed psychotherapist with a private practice in Rancho Bernardo, California. She has trained in MBSR through the University of Massachusetts Medical Center program, under the direction of Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. Cassondra completed a training in Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) under the direction of Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer. She has also trained in MBSR and MSC at UCSD Center For Mindfulness. Cassondra is a graduate of Columbia University in New York. Cassondra’s personal mindfulness practice inspires her work as a teacher and psychotherapist. She believes in the power and potential of mindful awareness to help us navigate life with greater wisdom, health and sense of well-being.

Steven D. Hickman

Steven D. Hickman, Psy.D.

Executive Director, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness

Dr. Steven Hickman is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and has a joint appointment as an Associate Clinical Professor in the UCSD Departments of Psychiatry and Family and Preventive Medicine. Dr. Hickman is the Founder and Director of the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, a program of community building, clinical care, professional training and research. Since founding the Center in 2000, he has taught over 40 Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses, as well as adapting the program for nurses, medical students and other professional and clinical populations. The Center for Mindfulness has also become a global leader in providing professional training in the burgeoning field of mindfulness-based interventions for professionals of all sorts. Dr. Hickman is also a member of the Executive Committee of the UC San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine. He is married and has three teenage children, affording him ample opportunities to practice what he preaches.

Allan Goldstein

Allan Goldstein

Managing Director, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness
MBSR Teacher Mentor, UCSD CFM Professional Training Institute
MBSR and Mindful Eating Senior Teacher

Allan Goldstein is the Managing Director of the USCD Center for Mindfulness. Working in collaboration with Dr. Steven Hickman, Executive Director, he has contributed to the development and evolution of the UCSD CFM Professional Training Institute and Certification programs and the center’s UC San Diego Health System’s group mindfulness programs and teaching staff.  He has been a member of the Conference Committee for the center’s annual Bridging the Heart’s and Minds of Youth conference since its inception. Allan’s growth within the field of Mindfulness-Based Interventions has led him to teach extensively to groups and individuals in various health care, university, military, business, and community settings. He has even taught in the virtual world of Second Life. Allan has had a passion for learning, teaching, and providing mentorship for teachers of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programs since participating in his first program in 1993. Allan’s strong passion for promoting and facilitating the valuable teachings found within MBSR and Mindfulness-Based Interventions has propelled him through a journey that continues to unfold in mystery with his love for this sacred work.

Lorraine M. Hobbs

Lorraine M. Hobbs, MA, CHom

Director, Youth and Family Programs
Senior Teacher

Lorraine M. Hobbs, M.S., CHom., is a senior MBSR teacher at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. She received her training under the supervision of Dr. Steve Hickman. She has served as clinical director of in-patient and residential treatment programs, where she worked extensively with teens and their families. Her interest in integrative medicine and in the growing research on the consequences of stress and the executive function of the brain in children/teens inspired her to create a six week Mindfulness/Stress Reduction training program for Teens at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. Her interest in reaching a larger population of teens and pre-teens led to the implementation of an eight-week mindfulness based curriculum in schools, designed to reduce stress, improve self-regulation and concentration and enhance the learning process. In addition. Lorraine developed a Mindful Parenting program, which supports parents in developing a greater capacity to parent with compassion and presence. She is also a part of the Mindfulness in Schools teaching/training team in the U.K. and lectures on the efficacy of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with teens in the community. She is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and Homeopathic practitioner.

Michelle Becker, MFT, Director of Compassion Programs

Michelle Becker, MA, LMFT

Director of Compassion Programs
Senior Teacher

Michelle Becker, M.A., LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in San Diego, CA utilizing mindfulness and compassion based psychotherapy with individuals, couples, families and groups. She is Director of Compassion Programs at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness where she also teaches Mindful Self-Compassion and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Michelle is a teacher trainer for Mindful Self-Compassion and co-founder, along with Drs. Germer, Neff and Hickman, of the Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training. She is also co-founder of the San Diego Center For Well Being and co-developer of the Mindful Living for Couples program.  Michelle enjoys helping people find a meaningful and satisfying way of life.  For more information on Michelle’s work and schedule please visit her website: MichelleBeckerLMFT.com.

Megan Leuchars

Megan Leuchars

Director of Outreach

Megan Leuchars received her practicum training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at El Camino Hospital under the direction of Bob Stahl. Along with teaching MBSR in hospitals, Megan has been passionate about bringing MBSR into unique settings and has gone on to develop and deliver customized Mindfulness programs for populations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to Non-Profits and Addiction Recovery Programs. In addition to numerous other trainings, Megan has received her RYT 200 and Yoga of Recovery Counselors Certificate, as well as completed her training in Mindful Self-Compassion under the supervision of Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. Megan seeks to empower individuals with an understanding of the important role they play in their own health, and believes through compassionate awareness individuals are able to utilize the best resource they have- themselves.

Adele Josepho

Adele Josepho, MD

Senior MBSR Teacher

Adele Josepho, MD has been a mindfulness practitioner for 12 years. She has completed both the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in Mind-Body Medicine training with Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. and Saki Santorelli, Ph.D. and the MBSR Intensive Training at UMASS Center for Mindfulness. Board Certified in Psychiatry and Holistic Medicine, she is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Josepho is a graduate of Georgetown University Medical School and Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry (Voluntary) at UCSD Medical School. She practices psychiatry in Del Mar, CA.

Lois Howland

Lois Howland, DrPH, RN

Senior MBSR Teacher

Lois Howland, DrPH, RN, completed the professional training program in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and at the Omega Institute with Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, and Saki Santorelli, EdD. She has been a mindfulness practitioner since 2000. Dr. Howland is a graduate of the UCSF School of Nursing, and the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Howland is a full-time faculty member in the School of Nursing, University of San Diego, and conducts research related to biological mechanisms of stress particularly as it affects maternal and child health.

Luis Morones

Luis Morones, MA MFT

Senior MBSR Teacher

Luis Morones MFT has had a mindfulness practice since 1987 when he first began attending classes with Jack Kornfield in Marin County, Ca. Luis has a private practice as a family therapist in San Diego and Chula Vista . He has trained with Dr. Steve Hickman at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness . He has worked as a therapist since 1980 primarily with at risk families, refugee youth and adults who have a history of mental illness in their families . He has a special interest in the development of MBSR in Spanish and has taught the MBSR class in the Latino community. He is developing a Mindfulness Based Therapy specialty in his private practice that seeks to integrate spirituality, and psychology.

Livia Walsh

Livia Walsh, RN, LMFT

Senior MBSR Teacher

Livia Walsh is a nurse and licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Encinitas, California. She developed an interest and pursued training in the area of holistic/integrative health including mindfulness over her 30 plus years of professional practice. She completed the MBSR training program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and Omega Institute under the direction of Jon Kabat Zinn, Saki Santorelli and the senior teaching staff. Ms Walsh also teaches MBSR at the Senior Center in Encinitas. She integrates mindfulness in her work with patients and students. In her capacity as clinical supervisor at San Diego Hospice and other institutions she has taught mindfulness-based interventions to graduate/post-graduate students and professional staffs. Ms. Walsh believes strongly in the mind-body connection and in an integrative approach to achieve and sustain optimal health and well being.

Deborah Rana

Deborah Rana, MD

Senior MBSR Teacher

Deborah Rana M.D. is a board-certified pediatrician with an academic appointment in the Preventive Medicine program in the UCSD School of Medicine. She received her Practicum Training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine in Massachusetts. She has been teaching mindfulness to physicians since 2007. Dr. Rana believes mindfulness practice has an important place in helping health professionals develop skills which foster their own health and well-being and in so doing, can enhance their ability to authentically cultivate healing relationships with patients and their families over time.

Cassondra Graff, L.C.S.W.

Cassondra Graff, MS, LCSW

Speakers Bureau Coordinator
MBSR Teacher

Cassondra Graff, L.C.S.W., is a licensed psychotherapist with a private practice in Rancho Bernardo, California. She has trained in MBSR through the University of Massachusetts Medical Center program, under the direction of Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. Cassondra completed a training in Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) under the direction of Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer. She has also trained in MBSR and MSC at UCSD Center For Mindfulness. Cassondra is a graduate of Columbia University in New York. Cassondra’s personal mindfulness practice inspires her work as a teacher and psychotherapist. She believes in the power and potential of mindful awareness to help us navigate life with greater wisdom, health and sense of well-being.

Lucas LeardMann, B.A.

Lucas LeardMann, B.A.

MBSR Teacher

Lucas attended his first multi-day meditation retreat in 2002 and has been meditating and cultivating a mindfulness practice ever since. He holds a bilingual teaching credential and has been working in elementary schools for over 12 years. For Lucas, mindfulness has been integral to learning new ways of relating to the inevitable stresses of teaching and daily life. With two kids under five at home, he explores daily the potential of a whole new application of these practices: mindful parenting.

 

Noriko Morita, B.A.

Noriko Morita, B.A.

Teaching Intern

Noriko began assisting MBSR at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness after she completed the MBSR foundational teacher training in 2013. Since then she has completed the Mindful Self-Compassion teacher training under the direction of Christopher Germer, Kristin Neff, Michelle Becker and Steven Hickman. Born in Japan, she moved to the States about 27 years ago. Noriko feels that her life transforming journey of discovering and exploring mindfulness practices has allowed a more balanced life and identity between these two cultures. Noriko strongly believes practicing mindfulness and bringing its principles into her life has and continues to help her grow as a person. She feels passionate about bringing these practices to other people's lives. It is her mission to share what she has learned, what she continues to learn, to our community. In addition, Noriko sees an opportunity, based on her own integration experiences, to introduce mindfulness programs to the Japanese community.

Sara Schairer

Sara Schairer

Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) Teacher

Sara Schairer is the founder and CEO of COMPASSION IT, a start-up nonprofit organization and global social movement whose mission is to inspire daily compassionate actions. She invented the one-of-a-kind reversible COMPASSION IT bracelet that is now creating compassionate actions on six continents, 40+ countries and nearly all 50 states. Sara is an inspiring teacher encouraging her class participants to cultivate compassion in their daily lives.

Sara Schairer

Kalika McClure E-RYT 500

Director of Hospitality
Teaching Intern

Kalika has been a certified Hatha yoga instructor since 1985.She's been directing, designing and teaching yoga classes and workshops for the past 30 years in LA. SD. NY. Supporting, empowering and guiding students thru stress, good health (women's health) and everyday life. Kalika was Introduced to meditation, yoga and a Holistic/Integrative Healing lifestyle in her early years and continues living this way today. Her passion and life's work has been offering and supporting folks in attaining stress free optimum health and well being thru Yoga, meditation, healthful cooking and coaching. Kalika is a teaching intern at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, having completed foundational training in MBSR and assisted in teaching several classes.

Jennifer A. Miller, PsyD

Jennifer A. Miller, Psy.D.

Teaching Intern

Jennifer is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and owner of A Well Being Mental Health Services in La Mesa, CA. Jennifer assists individuals and families throughout their development as they contend with the vicissitudes of life. Her primary focus is on assisting clients who suffer from depression, anxiety, trauma and other stress-related disorders. Jennifer uses mindfulness-based interventions with all age groups and has taught mindfulness to elementary school students. In addition, Jennifer continues to develop her own mindfulness practice and finds that this is essential in enhancing her work with others. She strongly believes that health and wellness derive from developing, maintaining and renewing a strong mind-body-spirit connection.

Robin Stutzman, MS

Robin Stutzman, M.S., M.F.T.

Mindfulness Teacher

Robin received her graduate training in Counseling Psychology from Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Professional Studies in 1986. In full time private practice since 1996, Robin’s specialties have evolved over time from treating children, teens and adults with O.C.D., Anxiety and Depressive Disorders, PTSD and Bipolar Disorders as well as couples counseling, life-transition and transpersonal psychology. She particularly enjoys working with teen girls. A mindfulness practitioner since 1992, she brings cutting edge mindfulness-based treatment techniques to her eclectic practice. Her Mindful Awareness Stress Reduction Training series of classes have been well-received by hundreds of students as a pivotal point in their life-journey. Most recently, she has begun a series of trainings in elementary schools which assist children with self-regulation, focus and peer relating, as well as creating an 8 week parent-teen mindfulness based stress reduction training.

Cherylynn Glaser

Cherylynn Glaser, MA

Mindful Eating Teacher

Cherylynn earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego and is currently working on obtaining her PhD. Her primary interests include eating disorders, mindful eating, bariatric surgery and obesity. She spent last summer working as a behavioral coach at a weight loss and wellness camp for children and adults where she taught mindful eating principals as well as provided individual and group therapy. She has also worked with patients who have had weight loss surgery and has co-lead post surgical therapy groups where she taught mindfulness methods. Cherylynn believes that the key components to living a healthy life include the acknowledgement, acceptance, and cultivation of the mind body connection and that mindfulness is a medium through which one can learn to nurture these.

Lori Haase, PhD, mPEAK

Lori Haase, Ph.D.

mPEAK Co-Developer and Teacher

Lori Haase is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and completed her doctoral training the San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Haase's training specialized in neuropsychological assessment; however, she also received extensive training in multiple empirically supported treatments. In addition to her clinical training, Dr. Haase is also a neuroscientist. She is currently investigating the neural substrates of resilience and optimal performance and their modification through mindfulness training. She has worked closely with a number of different elite performers including Special Operations Forces, elite adventure racers, Olympic Swimmers, Olympic Cyclists, and RedBull Athletes. Dr. Haase has spent a number of years practicing yoga, is a mindfulness practitioner and is currently in the process of completing her teacher training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the UC San Diego Center For Mindfulness. Dr. Haase is a co-developer and teacher of the Mindful Performance Enhancement, Awareness and Knowledge (mPEAK) program.

Rebecca Cherry, MD, MPH

Rebecca Cherry, MD, MPH

Pediatric Liaison

Dr. Cherry is a practicing pediatric gastroenterologist at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego. She takes a special interest in the treatment of chronic pain in children and adolescents, and in the use of non-pharmacologic treatment of various gastrointestinal disorders. In her clinical practice, she encourages patients to explore the connection between mind and body. In addition to her specialized medical expertise, Dr. Cherry has trained in clinical hypnosis. She has an MD degree and a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University and did her post-graduate training at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.