Naropa University Announces Core Faculty and Senior Staff Appointments

Continued Upward Trajectory at Naropa Enabled by Strategic Hires

September 1, 2015 (Boulder, CO): Naropa University today announced a series of faculty hires that will bring additional depth to its core faculty pool. This announcement reinforces Naropa’s commitment to attract and retain distinguished faculty who will play significant roles in enhancing the student experience. Biographies for the new hires are listed below.

"In order for Naropa to maintain its place as a leader in contemplative education, it is critical to recruit the best professors--those with strong academic experience as well as a passion for our unique educational model," said President Charles G. Lief. "Naropa's mission calls for us to educate the whole person, and we do this by cultivating academic excellence and contemplative insight, while embracing the richness of human diversity with the aim of fostering a more equitable society. I am pleased to welcome these new faculty members to Naropa University."


Jason Appt, MA, Contemplative Psychology. Appt is a Ph.D. candidate in Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University. He worked in the mental health field for 12 years in psychiatric hospitals, counseling centers, and private practice. He has taught in Naropa's Contemplative Psychology and Contemplative Counseling Psychology programs since 2009. Appt is an active member in the Boulder Jewish community.

Daniel Blausey, MA, ATR-BC, is a Boulder-based art therapist, psychotherapist, and artist. For over 20 years, Daniel has worked with adult and adolescent survivors of childhood sexual abuse and adult sexual victimization, the LGBTQ community, and matters of gender and sexuality. Prior to spending the last three years as visiting instructor, Daniel effectively designed, implemented, and directed several mental health programs in New York City. Previously Daniel was on the Board of Directors for MaleSurvivor, past president of the Art Therapy Association of Colorado and was recently elected to the Board of Directors for American Art Therapy Association. He holds an MA in Art Therapy from New York University and a BFA from Columbus College of Art & Design.

Elizabeth Grassi, Ph.D. Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education. Grassi started her career as a K-12 ESL teacher and was awarded Teacher of the Year in 1998. In 2003, Elizabeth joined the Regis University faculty as a specialist in culturally and linguistically diverse education. In 2010, she was awarded the Regis College Faculty Lecture of the Year and presented a speech on “Defining Quality in Education.” Grassi is also an evaluation and assessment specialist and is presently serving as the Director of Faculty Assessment at Regis University. Grassi’s scholarship focuses on the impact of international and domestic community-based learning on pre-service teachers and equity issues in education. She has published several articles in these areas and her latest textbook addresses the assessment and teaching of culturally and linguistically diverse students with exceptionalities: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Students: Strategies for Teaching and Assessment (Grassi, E.; and Barker, H., 2010, Sage Publications).

Kathleen Gregory, BBSc, BEd (Couns), MA, Ph.D. Gregory has more than fifteen years experience in graduate counselor training in Melbourne Australia. She is a registered counseling psychologist (Aus) and has worked in private practice and in university counseling services. She teaches at the E-Vam Institute in Melbourne and international affiliated centers. Her Ph.D. was in comparative philosophy, and she holds an MA in psychoanalytic theory. Kathleen has published book chapters and journal articles on contemporary Buddhism, Buddhism within healthcare, mindfulness and loving-kindness for therapists; and 'race' in psychotherapy. Her research interests include the interface of Buddhism and psychotherapy through the construct 'psychological health', ethics in psychotherapy practice, and the 'best-practice' training of counselors.

Amelia Hall, Ph.D., Tibetan and Himalayan Studies. Hall studied at the University of Oxford in 2012. Her doctoral dissertation translates and reflects upon the biography of a visionary Tibetan Buddhist teacher and the assimilation of Tibetan Buddhism into contemporary North America. She has taught and developed courses on Buddhism as an online religious studies faculty member at Central Michigan University and served as a faculty member for Antioch University Buddhist Studies Abroad program in Bodhgaya, India. Dr. Hall’s current research focuses on the translation and study of material culture, biographies, historical texts and maps relating to the spread of Buddhism in the 17th Century CE from Tibet and Bhutan to the North East Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. She is also an affiliated scholar at the Tibetan and Himalayan Studies Centre at Wolfson College, University of Oxford and a contributor to the forthcoming Oxford Encyclopedia of Buddhism.

Jason Hays, Ph.D., Religious Studies. Reverend Hays earned his PhD and clinical training in Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Counseling from Brite Divinity School. He comes to Naropa after teaching spiritual care and counseling at Lexington Theological Seminary, and serving in pastoral leadership positions with First Congregational Church in Boulder and Christ Church of the Deaf in Baltimore, MD. In addition to teaching and ministry, Hays has also maintained a private spiritual direction and pastoral psychotherapy practice. Julie Kellaway. Kellaway holds a doctorate in counseling psychology and a certification in ethnic studies (with a concentration in Native American studies) from Colorado State University. She brings experience in teaching, administration, and research to Naropa University. Kellaway is a licensed psychologist and maintains a private practice.

Jordan Quaglia, MA, MS, Contemplative Psychology. Quaglia is a doctoral candidate in Experimental Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). He received an MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at Naropa University and was recently awarded Mind and Life Institute’s Francisco J. Varela Award for his research. Quaglia uses diverse methods ranging from neuroscience to smartphone-based surveys to study meditative cognition, emotion regulation, and social functioning. His research is featured in leading scientific journals and books.

Lindsey Randol, PsychD, Transpersonal Counseling Psychology. Randol earned her undergraduate degree at Naropa University and her doctoral degree in counseling psychology at Roehampton University in London. Before coming to Naropa, Lindsey worked as a counseling psychologist in various capacities in London, including University counseling, addictions counseling, guest lecturing, and co-facilitating mindfulness groups. Her interests include critical psychology, the mind-body relationship, and counselors’ reflective practices.

Jeffrey Sichel, BS, MFA. Associate Professor and Chair of the Naropa MFA Theatre: Contemporary Performance Program. Sichel earned his B.S. at Skidmore College and his M.F.A. at Columbia University, and is the Establishing Director and Vice President of The UNESCO - International Theatre Institute UNITWIN Network for Higher Education in The Performing Arts based in Paris, Shanghai and Washington. He is a noted international stage director, auteur, professor, cultural ambassador and pedagogue specializing in east-west intercultural engagement and interdisciplinary practice in the arts and humanities.

Ian Wickramasekera. Dr. Ian Wickramasekera is the co-author of one book on the history of psychology as well as being an author of more than 50 publications. He has a lifelong fascination with topics such as Affective Neuroscience, Bon-Buddhism, Dzogchen, Empathy, Hypnosis, Integrative Medicine, Transpersonal Psychology, and Lucid Dreaming. His research regarding empathy and hypnosis has won a number of awards from the American Psychological Association and other institutions. Ian is a Past-President of the American Psychological Association’s Society of Psychological Hypnosis (Division 30) and a Science Editor of the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. He previously taught at the University of Illinois Medical School, Saybrook University, and a number of other fine schools.