Staff & Contact
Director, Bhutan Partnerships
Jane Carpenter Cohn is an Associate Professor in the Contemplative Psychology Program and Director of the Naropa Center for Bhutan Partnerships at Naropa University. For over thirty years she has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Buddhist and Contemplative Psychology, including mindfulness meditation and compassion training. She began her study and practice of Tibetan Buddhist meditation in 1975 with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and has since taught and directed meditation programs around the world. She is also a contemplative artist practitioner and teacher specializing in Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. Jane is an ongoing visiting professor at the Royal University of Bhutan and in collaboration with a faculty team from both universities created the Bhutan Study Abroad Program and the Bhutan Masters in Contemplative Psychotherapy.
Assistant Director, Bhutan Partnerships
Anne Z. Parker PhD is the In-Country Director of the Naropa Undergraduate Bhutan Study Abroad Program and Professor of Environmental Studies at Naropa University. Her educational background includes a PhD and MA in Geography, an MA in Inner Asian Studies, Indiana University and a BA, Conservation of Natural Resources, University of California–Berkeley. She teaches in the MA in Resilient Leadership and BA in Environmental Studies programs at Naropa University. She has an extensive back ground in research in the Himalayan region, as well as in Tibetan Buddhist Studies and Sacred Geometry. Her current research in Bhutan includes the forthcoming monograph An Exploration of Sacred Geometry of Stupas in Bhutan coauthored with Tshering Choden and Dominique Susani and on-going research on Compassion in Contemplative Intercultural Praxis with Jane Carpenter-Cohn.
She is the author of Stories from the Origin and Multi Ethic Interface in Eastern Nepal, and co-author of Earth Alchemy, and the forthcoming book Secrets of Sacred Geometry.
Advisory Counsel Members
Carolyn Jacobs, MSW, PhD, is Dean Emerita and Elizabeth Marting Treuhaft Professor Emerita of the Smith College School for Social Work. Dr. Jacobs was a vital member of the SSW faculty for 35 years, serving as the dean and Elizabeth Marting Treuhaft Professor for 14 of those years, as well as director of “Contemplative Clinical Practice: An Advanced Certificate Program in Spirituality and Social Work Practice” for seven years. She was also a member of the doctoral program faculty. In 2001 she was elected to the National Academies of Practice as a distinguished social work practitioner.
While at Smith, Dr. Jacobs taught primarily within the social work research and practice sequences, and her areas of professional interest include religion and spirituality in social work clinical practice and organizational behavior. She has written and presented extensively on the topic of spirituality in social work. Her most recent publication is “Contemplative spaces in social work practice,” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2015, 49 (1): 150-4.
Since 2009 Jacobs has served as a trustee for Elms College, and since 2011 for Naropa University. From 2010 to 2016, Jacobs was a member of the board of directors for Contemplative Mind in Society. Since 2012 she has served on the board of the Mind & Life Institute, and was the MLI Interim President in 2015.
Jacobs received her BA from Sacramento State University, her MSW from San Diego State University, her doctorate from the Heller School of Brandeis University, and her training as a spiritual director from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. She maintains a spiritual direction practice.
Dr. Dasho Pema Thinley started his career as a school teacher in1975, and retired as the Vice Chancellor of the Royal University of Bhutan, in 2014. He has been instrumental for the establishment of the close relations between the Royal University of Bhutan and Naropa University, while he was the Vice Chancellor of the Royal University of Bhutan.
He is now helping to develop the Royal Institute for Human Values Education and Research, as a Technical Advisor. He is also a member of the Executive Board of the Royal Society for Senior Citizens.
Nima (Bumthang) is the chairperson at the Social and Cultural Affairs Committee of Bhutan, Member of the Bhutanese Parliament, and member of the National Council of Bhutan. He is the Deputy Chair, Foreign Relations Committee, National Council, Parliament of Bhutan. He completed his higher education in Bhutan (BA Geography Honours, Sherubtse College) and Australia (MA Human Services Counseling, Curtin University of Technology).
Holly Gayley is a scholar and translator of Tibetan Buddhist literature. Her enthusiasm for travel in Himalaya led her to pursue academic training, first an M.A. in Buddhist Studies at Naropa University and then a Ph.D. at Harvard University in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies. Early in her academic career, she conducted research on the Bhutanese saint, Pema Lingpa, contributing the introduction to The Life and Revelations of Pema Lingpa (2003) and an article to Bhutan: Traditions and Changes (2007). Since then, her research has focused on Buddhist literature in contemporary Tibet; she is author of Love Letters from Golok: A Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet (2016) and co-editor of A Gathering of Brilliant Moons: Practice Advice from the Rimé Masters of Tibet (2017). Gayley serves as Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she is helping to form a Contemplative Resource Center.