Compassion and creativity in education conference
Educators convene to share and learn at WCSU

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Doctorate of Education in Instructional Leadership program, WCSU Counselor Education, WCSU Department of Social Work, the Do Ngak Kunphen Ling Tibetan Buddhist Center for Universal Peace (DNKL) and the WCSU Center for Compassion, Creativity & Innovation will host the “Nurturing Compassion & Creativity in Education Conference.” The two-day event will take place on Friday April 28, and Saturday, April 29, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Warner Hall and White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

The conference will feature a variety of breakout sessions and a keynote address by Scarlett Lewis on “Choosing Love.” 

WCSU Associate Professor of Education and Educational Psychology Dr. Tricia J. Stewart will be a featured presenter at the conference. “The event,” Stewart said, “will offer a unique opportunity for educators and those interested in compassion and creativity when working with schools to experience theoretical and hands-on practices. It brings together a wide range of presenters and promises to be engaging and informative.”

Breakout sessions provide opportunities for education professionals, researchers, advocates and others interested in compassionate and creative education to learn, network and engage. The sessions will include “Integrating Yoga & Mindfulness in Schools,” “Developing Social Emotional Learning in Students,” “Mindfulness for Educators,” “Compassion in Practice,” “Compassion & Analytical Selective-Focus Skills,” “Teaching Compassion in Children with Comfort Dogs,” an update on the TeachLive Lab, “Creating Enrichment Academies in Elementary Schools” and “Cultivating Cultural Awareness in Middle School Students.”

Featured presenters include WCSU Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences Faculty & Staff Wellness Program Coordinator Christel Autuori; Wooster School Head of Lower School, Head of Prospect and Bridge Programs Dr. Stephanie Bell; WCSU Department of Education and Educational Psychology Coordinator and Professor Dr. Marcia Delcourt; DNKL Director Geshe Lobsang Dhargey; Danbury Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bill Glass; clinical social worker and George Mason University Adjunct Professor Wilson C. Hurley; WCSU Political Science professor Dr. Christopher Kukk; Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science Director Dr. Joe Loizzo; WCSU Department of Education and Educational Psychology Associate Professor Dr. Gabriel Lomas; meditation coach Megan Mook; WCSU Department of Education and Educational Psychology Chair and Professor Dr. Catherine O’Callaghan; WCSU Department of Education and Educational Psychology Associate Professor Dr. Jody Piro; Quinnipiac University Psychology Professor Dr. Tom Pruzinsky; WCSU Department of Education and Educational Psychology Associate Professor Dr. Tricia J. Stewart; and others.

Scarlett Lewis is the mother of Jesse Lewis who was killed in his first-grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. She founded The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation in honor of Jesse to promote social and emotional education in schools and a consistent message of compassion in our communities. Lewis is the recipient of the International Forgiveness Award, the Live Your Legacy Award and the Common Ground Award for her advocacy work for peace and forgiveness. After Jesse’s death, Scarlett wrote “Nurturing Healing Love,” a story about her journey of turning personal tragedy into something that can positively impact the world. 

Participants may register online at

Tickets for WCSU students are $25 per day. For the general public, tickets are $62.50 for each day. Tickets have a $2.50 processing fee.

For more information, call the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

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