Life at NaropaAlumnx RelationsConnect and NetworkRegional Volunteers

Regional Volunteers

What is a regional volunteer?

Regional Volunteers are local alumni contacts in an area who:

  • Act as a central contact for alumni, parents, prospective students, new graduates, and the Naropa University Alumni Association.
  • Serve as a university ambassador at events determined by the University (alumni events, faculty visits, presidential visits).
  • Plan the occasional informal event (social events, professional networking events).
  • Assist in determining a location for a University event in their region.
  • Distribute promotional emails inviting people to attend upcoming event in their area.
  • Assist alumni relocating to their area.

If you are a Naropa alumna or alumnus, and are interested in serving as a Naropa Regional Volunteer, please contact Alyzabeth Anath at

Naropa University Regional Volunteers

Please note: The email addresses are spelled out, to limit SPAM. if you have any difficulty contacting a Regional Volunteer, please contact Alumni Relations at or 303-546-3594.


Diana M. Conley

Ryan Harrison

MA, Transpersonal Psychology (low residency), 2003

“Naropa was a much needed life-changing experience for me … and I got a master’s degree as part of the journey! I wear several professional hats: Certified Holistic Health & Wellness Practitioner, Adjunct Faculty, Health Consultant and Vocalist. I’m currently pursuing a Doctor of Psychology of Health & Wellness degree to advance my career and deepen/widen my ability to make a positive change in the world.”

Contact: ContactRyan[AT]aol[DOT]com

Britton H. Turkett

MA Religious Studies, 2004

Britton worked at Living Well Transitions, in Boulder, for seven years and ended his tenure as Program Director there in July 2011. He had met his mentor, employer and friend, the late Bill Sell, during a Naropa meditation class that forever changed the course of his life. He is currently living in San Diego where he worked for a Fortune 500 financial group for a while before getting back to his passion of working in the behavioral health field. He is currently working with Dr. Tom Horvath at Practical Recovery’s Reunion facility and with Dr. Steve Hickman at University of California San Diego’s Center for Mindfulness. Oh, and did he mention the weather?

Contact: b_turkett[AT]yahoo[DOT]com

Los Angeles

San Diego

San Francisco

BA, Traditional Eastern Arts, Concentration in Aikido, 2004

“I’m currently living in the Bay Area, working as a bookkeeper and travel arranger for an innovation consulting firm. I am vigorously continuing my zazen, ikebana, aikido, and brushstroke practice—all arts I learned at Naropa.”

Contact: diana[DOT]conley[AT]gmail[DOT]com

Marta Donarye

BA Contemplative Psychology. with a concentration in Transpersonal and Existential/Humanistic Psychology, 2009

I graduated from Naropa University in 2009 with a degree in ContemplativePsychology with a concentration in Transpersonal and Existential/Humanistic Psychology.  I also have a minor in Religious Studies.  Currently I am enrolled as a doctoral student at the California Institute of Integral Studies in the Clinical Psychology Department – PsyD, and have just completed my masters degree.  I am currently working on my dissertation, the subject of which is exploring the role of spirituality in perpetrators of clergy childhood sexual abuse.  I was drawn to Naropa University because I believe it offers a unique perspective in contemplative education which brilliantly fuses the elements of traditional, spiritually based Eastern philosophy  with rigorous Western education paradigms.  Especially in the world of psychology, this provides the ground for therapists to work from a more fully aware and compassionate perspective while maintaining the ground of the clinical tradition, thus allowing the client to explore their own inherent brilliant sanity.

Contact: kennethjmcdonald[AT]gmail[DOT]com

Jean-Paul Eberle

MA Somatic Counseling, 2006

After years of personal growth and exploration, I have gone back to the beginning. I currently work with our youngest, children 0-6 years of age, providing mental health services to these little ones and their underserved families. Naropa taught me invaluable lessons, an art of living from the inside out with mindfulness, that to this day I am still deeply touched by and I am paying it forward to the individuals with whom I work.

Contact: jeanpaul_eberle[AT]yahoo[dot]com

Ken McDonald

MLA, Creation Spirituality, 2006
Marta Donayre is an artist, writer, activist, consultant and travel agent. She co-founded Love Sees No Borders, an organization dedicated to denouncing the injustices faced by binational same-sex couples in the U.S. As the Public Education Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, she was the only rider in the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride representing an LGBT organization. Ms. Donayre’s activism also includes being a member of the National Steering Committee of Amnesty International USA OUTFront Program, and the National Latina/o Coalition for Justice. In 2003, Tentaciones Magazine named her one of the most influential LGBT Latinas in the U.S. In 2004, she was granted the prestigious American Immigration Law Foundation Award for her contributions as an immigrant. Her work has been recognized by former California Governor Gray Davis, the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission, the City and County of San Francisco, Assembly members Mark Leno and Sally Lieber, and by congresswomen Barbara Lee and Nancy Pelosi. Through her travel agency,[7], she helps travelers design their custom vacation, and leads spiritual tours to the Amazon community of Amazanga, in Ecuador. Ms. Donayre received a Cum Laude Bachelor of Science in Public Relations with a Minor in Physics from San Jose State University. She holds a Masters Creation Spirituality from Naropa University.

Contact: marta[AT]sweetlywild[DOT]com

Santa Cruz

Alison Hanwit Harre

MA, Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, 2002

“I moved to Boulder in 1998, looking for some sun, mountains and a graduate program in counseling. I remembered hearing about Naropa 10 years earlier, and after checking it out I fell in love immediately. I received my master’s in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology in July 2002. Now living in Santa Cruz, CA, I am parenting two young boys and slowly working toward becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I credit Naropa with teaching me how to understand the mind, how to relate to my own mind, and for supporting me through the illness and death of my father, which occurred during my master’s program.”

Contact: ahanwit[AT]hotmail[DOT]com



Marissa Afton

MA, LPC Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, 2008

Marissa works as a safety, wellbeing and leadership consultant fo Sentis, a global organization based in Brisbane, Australia.  She has traveled to 8 countries and worked on 4 continents delivering cognitive-behavioral based training seminars to individuals and groups working in high-risk industries.  She assists companies bring tangible change to the workplace through targeted coaching rooted in positive psychology and neuroscience.  She enjoys working with all levels of an organization from C-level leaders to frontline workers.

“Naropa was my first-choice for my post-graduate degree.  I searched for a place that would enable me to blend my love of Eastern philosophy with my interest in traditional Western psychology.  I got it all at Naropa, plus an unforgetable journey leaving me with professional and personal skills I will always value and use.”

Contact: mafton[AT]msn[DOT]com

William Ashton

BA Religious Studies, 2007

A native New Orleanian, William graduated Naropa in 2007, with a degree in Religious Studies, focusing on the spiritual and psychological effects of conversion. Recently, he has been blessed with acceptance into the Clergy Training Program of his tradition (, the upcoming formation of a church body in Boulder, and once his partner (a future Naropa Somatic Counseling therapist) graduates, William intends to get his M.Div. from Cherry Hills Seminary, with a focus in polytheistic pastoral counseling applied in prison ministry.  Currently, he is a managing partner in Command-A Consulting, a local technology consulting group, with his dearest friend, and Naropa alumnus, Robert Cooper.

Contact: WilliamEdwardAshton[AT]gmail[DOT]com



Robert Cooper

BA Religious Studies, 2006

I studied extensively in Buddhist and Yogic studies.  My spiritual practices are the foundation for my entire life.  Everything I am is filtered through my practice, including my professional life.  Naropa provided the container in which I could explore how I am in the world, and provided the academic structure to really explore and deepen my own practices of Yoga, Dzogchen and Tibetan shamanic elements.  Two years after graduation I founded a technology consulting company.  Naropa provided a great foundation in mindfulness that has allowed me to connect to a wide variety of clientele and situations, and excel in my professional career.

Contact: quasichaos[AT]gmail[DOT]com

Heidi Nordlund

BA Contemplative Psychology, Concentration in Health & Healing, 2005

Heidi moved to Colorado from Denmark in 2002 to attend Naropa to engage in ongoing deepening learning and application of spiritual healing disciplines. Naropa fulfilled her desires and shined light upon her career. After completing her BA at Naropa, Heidi continued her studies in Ayurvedic Medicine, Yoga Therapy and Tibetan Cranial and is now offering consultations and workshops through her business Namaskar Healing™, LLC ( The multifaceted healing modalities that Heidi offers are consistently effective in improving health and wellness concerns, resulting in enhanced vitality and well-being. Clients find inspiration in her practical skills and caring wisdom as well as by her continuing personal dedication to spiritual and devotional practices.

Contact: Heidi[AT]NamaskarHealing[DOT]com


Janet Herrick


MA, Transpersonal Psychology, 2005

Jan graduated from Naropa University in 2005 with a Masters in Transpersonal Psychology. After graduation she continued her association with Naropa for several years as a TA for Ecopsychology. She is a photographer, artist and the author of two books. She has used her Naropa degree in her work with Stone Circle, a national organization for women devoted to women’s spirituality and personal development, which she co-founded over a decade ago.

Contact: janherrick[AT]aol[DOT]com



Andrea Knight, DC, BA, CYT

BA, Traditional Eastern Arts and Contemplative Psychology, 2004

Sacred Healer, Dr. Andrea E. Knight is the founder and owner of Sacred Healing Technologies. The humanistic and interdisciplinary training she received at Naropa serves as the heart of her approach to holistic healthcare and foundation of mindful living.

In December 2004, Dr. Andrea Knight, D.C. graduated from Naropa University double majoring in Traditional Eastern Arts, concentrating in Yoga and Contemplative Psychology, concentrating in Health and Healing. After graduating, she returned to Atlanta, Georgia to attend Life University, College of Chiropractic and in 2012 she was awarded a Doctorate of Chiropractic degree.

Dr. Andrea Knight is an intuitive healer, artist, and educator weaving together modern practices of Chiropractic, Nutrition, and Emotional Freedom Technique with ancient healing traditions of Eastern Asia such as Energywork, Yoga Therapy, Thai Yoga Massage, and Herbal Medicine.

As a Naropa University Regional Volunteer and University Admissions Alumni Ambassador, Dr. Knight is truly honored to recommend Naropa University for an outstanding undergraduate educational experience.

Contact: SacredHealingTech[AT]gmail[DOT]com



Shirley Rivera

MA, Transpersonal Psychology, 2008

Shirley is counseling and also teaching Peace Education classes at an elementary school on Oahu, as well as facilitating support groups for children experiencing the loss of a parent or caregiver. “I chose Naropa because of its rich contemplative studies and that it addressed the heart as well as the mind in learning. What I gained from this experience was the richness and fullness of a deeper kind of knowing and how to nurture compassionate connections with myself and the world around me. I wouldn’t trade my Naropa experience for anything! It’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever given myself.”

Contact: riveras002[AT]hawaii[DOT]rr[DOT]com



Kevin Gunnerson

MFA, Creative Writing, 2012

I am a graduate from the MFA Creative Writing Low Residency program at Naropa University. I live in Chicago and work full-time at the University of Chicago with the Reva & David Logan Center for the Arts. I also pursue writing as a passion and run a website, which is geared toward self-publication and collaboration with other writers. Naropa was a truly enlightening experience. Not only did it provide me the opportunity to pursue my MFA while continuing to live and work in Chicago, but the Summer Writing Program provided the ability to collaborate with fellow students and amazing writers in Boulder. I have grown exponentially as a writer, as well as personally through my experiences at Naropa and the Kerouac School. I am hoping to employ more mindfulness practice in all of my dealings socially, personally and professionally. It is through the experiences at Naropa that I have been able to see a path of how a community can gather to be supportive and collaborative while succeeding professionally and continuing to grow personally.

Contact: kmgunnerson[AT]gmail[DOT]com


Alexander J. Rossi

MA, Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, 2006

“I spent a total of 8 years in Boulder, CO and formed amazing relationships with my fellow students, Naropa faculty and many creative and engaged people throughout the Front Range. I have been of service professionally as a craftsman, a counselor, researcher and small business owner. For me, Naropa was a unique personal journey that informs my professional choices and shapes the way I serve my community here in the northeast. I returned to central Massachusetts at the end of 2009 and currently work outside Boston at Sun Life Financial. I look forward to connecting with any alumni or prospective students who find themselves in the New England area! I invite each of you to be in touch. -Best, Alex”

Contact: alex [DOT] j [DOT] rossi [AT] gmail [DOT] com (note: no spaces in the actual email address)



Daniel Wolpert

MA, Contemplative Psychotherapy, 1987

“Greetings from the Great Plains! Among other things, I am currently the founder and director of a contemplative center called MICAH: The Minnesota Institute of Contemplation and Healing. My time at Naropa is a treasured part of my life. Contemplative education is so valuable for everything one encounters in life; and my contemplative practice continues to be at the heart of all I do and who I desire to be in the world.”

Contact: revdoc[AT]gvtel[DOT]com



Sabrina Bajakian

MA, Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, 2005

As a counselor and art therapist I am informed by the time I have spent working alongside my clients and from the in-depth training I received in transpersonal psychology, art therapy and art education, the visual arts, and shamatha vipassana meditation. I am a member of both the National Art Therapy Association (ATTA) and am a founding member of the Montana Chapter of ATTA.

My counseling background includes work in various settings: schools, a community art studio, a residential treatment center, a psychiatric facility, a crisis-counseling center and a hospital. In Bozeman I currently (2012) offer my services to children, adolescents and adults as I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in private practice, Art and Soul Counseling.

Contact: sabrinaart[AT]yahoo[DOT]com

New York

New York City

Kate Barrow

BA, Contemplative Psychology, 2004

After Naropa, Kate went on to receive her Master’s in Social Work from New York University.

“I am currently the youth services coordinator at Midtown Community Court, an alternative, community-based courthouse, and have spent the last five years managing various nonprofit youth programs. I also do community organizing work through a grassroots collective I founded, RISE[17]: Social Work to End Oppression. All of my work is grounded in the training I received as a student at Naropa. I chose Naropa because I knew that I wanted more than a typical college experience could offer. I wanted a transformative educational environment, where the focus was on helping me develop as a whole person. My education there created an incredible foundation for the work I have gone on to do.”

Contact: katebarrow[AT]gmail[DOT]com

North Carolina


Sajit Greene

MA, LPC, Dance/Movement Therapy (now known as Somatic Psychology), 1994

Sajit and her partner Eric founded Soul Vision Consulting which offers a range of services to assist the processes of healing, awakening and empowerment. Whether the focus is therapeutic, educational or spiritual, she has a holistic approach that honors body, heart, mind and soul.

Contact: sajitgreene[AT]yahoo[DOT]com


Kevin Mays

Ed.D., MA, Contemplative Psychotherapy, 1994

Dr. Kevin Mays is a senior consultant and AVP with Farr Associates. With nearly two decades experience in personal and leadership development, Kevin is well seasoned in guiding executives toward their own optimal performance.

“I chose Naropa because it offered me the opportunity to gain true insight into what makes me tick and then, based upon that knowledge, to create my life intentionally. While the vocational skills that I learned at Naropa were amazing, my education there transcended the work of doing and left me well grounded in my own being. This quality of self-possession has served me most profoundly throughout the incarnations of my professional life. In my current work developing executives, teams, and organizations, toward greater consciousness, I am thankful for the enlightening education I received at Naropa.”

Contact: Kevin_mays[AT]farr[DOT]net



Aaron Hill

BA, Environmental Studies, 1997

“I am currently living in Portland, Oregon, developing sustainable business models. I chose to attend Naropa because of the small class sizes and innovation from the traditional education model. I got more from Naropa than I could ever expect from a college and most importantly I learned how to “be” with the world.”

Contact: aaronhill[AT]greenmba[DOT]com



Amanda [Ngoho] Reavey

MFA, Writing & Poetics, 2014

Ngoho is the Marketing Director for Drunken Boat LiteraryMagazineand for Woodland Pattern, a nonprofit literary arts center. She continues to write, explore and perform somatic experiments.

“I didn’t choose Naropa so much that it chose me. I was traveling and trying to figure out what to do with my life; it seemed that every third person I met knew about Naropa and suggested I go. I’m really glad I did. Naropa helped me gain a different perspective and it nudged me onto a path I didn’t think possible. I enjoyed learning from and collaborating with fellow students, faculty members and staff members. They believe in a creative, contemplative education where spiritual and personal growth is just as important as academics. I’ve made wonderful friendships with really kindred spirits.”

Contact: amandangoho[AT]gmail[DOT]com


Jonathan Simons

BA Religious Studies, 2006

“After graduating from Naropa in 2006 I continued my studies as a postgraduate researcher in Buddhist Studies at McGill University in Montreal. I am also an active artist with a love for poetry, music, and photography. I found Naropa just as I began to wonder whether such a place was impossible to find. I have always felt that knowledge needs more than memorization but something in the likes of soil and water too. Naropa offers education on several different levels concurrently. It’s malleable and gives the student what is asked for, whether that be a sound foundation in liberal arts, creative discipline, contemplative practice, or some degree of personal transformation. I read all about contemplative education in the brochure before arriving but didn’t have the facility to even imagine what it would be like to find myself in the middle of such a well-intentioned community, surrounded by so much support, creative energy, and passion for growth. It was an amazing time for me, those four years.”

Contact: jon[AT]jonsimons[DOT]com

Sarah Byrd

BA, Religious Studies & Contemplative Psychology, Sanskrit Minor, 2009

Sarah will be exploring the UK via Leicester for a year before returning to Boulder, CO in 2016.

If you are in the United Kingdom areas and would like to connect with a Naropa graduate, contact Sarah.

“Naropa helped me to discover myself and gave me a sense of my own being in a way that keeps me grounded. My exposure to the Buddhist teachings and the concepts of contemplative psychology have helped me to be more authentic and present with who I am.”

Contact: Sarah.PeaceBeStill[AT]gmail[DOT]com

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.