Kristin Makena is a Ph.D. student in the College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences at Saybrook University. She is a licensed educational psychologist working with a large urban school district and two local community agencies. She is the California State Delegate for the National Association of School Psychologists and recently won the Nadine Lambert Outstanding School Psychologist Award from the California Association of School Psychologists.
Her work in a large urban school district began with a mindfulness pilot study she initiated with students in elementary and high schools. The study utilized the Mindful Schools© curriculum. The school district is supporting the pilot study, and Kristin is hoping to expand the scope of the mindfulness project to reach more students. The District serves 130,000 students and Kristin is recruiting additional personnel (school psychologists, nurses, and mental health clinicians) to undergo the Mindful Schools training.
Kristin has also been working with two community agencies to support health and wellness. Kristin is teaching mind-body skills groups for the Bayside Community Center leadership program. This is a program in collaboration with the University of San Diego to provide community leaders with training in leadership and language skills to advocate for their community. Secondly, Kristin is working with 211 San Diego to deepen the work of their health and wellness program for employees. She recently presented with 211 San Diego and 211 Los Angeles on “Workplace Wellness” at the annual California Alliance of Information and Referral Services in Los Angeles. Kristin noted, “Many corporations have started some great wellness programs and incentives. However, the staff noted an additional need for training to support stress management and deepen their understanding of healthy functioning.”
Her dissertation focus is investigating the effectiveness of various mind-body modalities to support trauma recovery. Kristin noted that her time with Saybrook’s College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences has been incredibly transformative. “Saybrook has been life changing for both my individual and professional growth. The staff and faculty have opened my eyes to new ways of thinking and I am passionate to share my knowledge with others in need.”