Team

Cassandra Vieten, PhD

Cassondra Vieten, Ph.D.Cassandra Vieten, PhD

Acting Director, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness

Cassandra Vieten is a licensed clinical psychologist and mind-body medicine researcher. In addition to providing strategic leadership at the Center for Mindfulness and Centers for Integrative Health, she also serves as Director of Research and Associate Scientist at the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UC San Diego. Her research has focused on development and pilot testing of mindfulness-based interventions for substance dependence, obesity, mood disorders, improving psychological well-being, and increasing prosocial emotions and behaviors. This interest extended to developing and testing mindfulness-based approaches to prevention of postpartum depression in pregnant women, as well as "MAMAS" - a mindful eating and stress reduction intervention for overweight/obese low-income inner-city pregnant women, which showed not only reductions in stress for pregnant women, but also beneficial outcomes for their children, from immediately to 8 years postpartum. She has also been a leader in establishing empirically-based competencies for mental health professionals in the area of spiritual and religious diversity, including currently serving as co-chair of the American Psychological Association Division 36 Task Force on developing practice guidelines in this area. Her recent research has focused on development of virtual reality interventions to foster development of prosocial emotions such as empathy and compassion. She has authored three books, including Mindful Motherhood: Practical Tools for Staying Sane During Pregnancy and Your Child’s First Year and Spiritual and Religious Competencies for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals. She has published numerous articles in scientific journals and is an internationally recognized keynote speaker and workshop leader.

Noriko Morita Harth

Noriko Morita Harth

Managing Director, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness
Certified MBSR Teacher
Certified MSC Teacher

Noriko Harth is a Certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Instructor, Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Instructor and the Managing Director of UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. Noriko trained in MBSR under the direction of Beth Mulligan, Susan Woods, Char Wilkins, Patricia Rockman and Allan Goldstein, and trained in MSC under the direction of Christopher Germer, Kristin Neff, Michelle Becker and Steven Hickman. Born in Japan, she moved to the States in 1985. Noriko feels that her life transforming journey of discovering and exploring mindfulness practices has allowed a more balanced life and identity between these two cultures. Noriko strongly believes practicing mindfulness and bringing its principles into her life has and continues to help her grow as a person. She feels passionate about bringing these practices to other people's lives. It is her mission to share what she has learned, what she continues to learn, to our community. In addition, Noriko sees an opportunity, based on her own integration experiences, to introduce mindfulness programs to the Japanese community.

Hyun-Chung (Helen) Kim

Hyun-Chung (Helen) Kim

Project Coordinator, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness
Qualified MBSR Teacher
 

Helen Hyun-Chung Kim is a Qualified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher. In her previous life she was a board certified psychiatrist in Korea for 15 years, working for underserved communities. During this time she witnessed suffering in the lives of her patients and felt a strong pull towards the field of mindfulness and self-compassion as a way to heal and alleviate suffering. With the guidance of the founding director, Dr. Steve Hickman, Helen was able to join the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. At the center, Helen learned various Mindfulness-Based programs from many great teachers. In their teachings she discovered a rich, grounding foundation for her life, filled with awareness, acceptance, ease, and compassion. On her journey of self-discovery and healing, she is witnessing, over and over, her growth and transformation as a human being. Helen is committed to sharing what she has learned with others who may be on their own journey of self-discovery and healing. Helen joined the Center's Administrative Team in January 2022.

Philayne Pribnow

Philayne PribnowPhilayne Pribnow

Administrative Coordinator, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness 

Philayne Pribnow, originally from Wisconsin, moved to California back in 1999. Her most recent job was at UC San Diego Rady School of Management where she was an Event Manager for 6 years. Philayne began working as the Administrative Coordinator for the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness in March of 2022. She looks forward to continuing to build on her mindfulness training and offering administrative support to the center. In her free time, Philayne enjoys golfing, pet sitting, and hanging out with family and friends.

Program Directors

Tahir Bhatti, MD

Tahir Bhatti, MD

Wellness Physician

Tahir Bhatti, MD has been a faculty member at the UC San Diego School of Medicine since 1997, working both in the Department of Medicine and Department of Psychiatry as an Associate Clinical Professor. He is currently a Wellness Physician providing meditation instruction and Life Coaching through the UC San Diego Concierge Medicine, UC San Diego Executive Health & Wellness, UC San Diego Center for Wellness, and UC San Diego (Dean Ornish) Cardiac Rehabilitation & Wellness programs. He obtained his undergraduate degree at Brown University, completed his medical training at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, began his residency training in psychiatry at Rush Medical Center in Chicago and then completed his residency and a clinical research fellowship at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. He became a meditation practitioner in the early 1990's to cope with some stress related health issues. He worked with t'ai chi, qigong, yoga, mindfulness and other forms of sitting meditations. His dramatic improvement with meditation led him to conduct studies on Complementary & Alternative Medicine during his Clinical Research Fellowship. He was awarded one of the first Fellowships to Explore Alternative Therapies in the UCSD School of Medicine. He studied the effect of t'ai chi in patients with chronic low back pain, stress and anxiety. His current clinical work at UC San Diego is focused on teaching the principles and practice of meditation to inspire and empower his patients to claim their optimal health while embracing their most loving and authentic self.

Corrie Falcon

Corrie Falcon

Athletic Programs Director
Certified mPEAK Coach

After a decorated career as a world class swimmer, Corrie was first exposed to mindfulness on a yoga retreat in 2002.  A certified yoga instructor and the former Head Swimming Coach at the University of California, San Diego, Corrie incorporated mindfulness concepts into her athletes mental training routines.  Now as a certified mPEAK (Mindfulness Performance, Enhancement, Awareness & Knowledge) Coach, Corrie works with athletes and teams to increase their performance through the power of present moment awareness.  Corrie lives with her husband and 2 young children in Solana Beach, CA.

Joseph Glaser-Reich, MAPP

Joseph Glaser-Reich, MAPP

mPEAK Coach and Research Coordinator

Joe Glaser-Reich serves as a rotary wing search and rescue professional and rescue swimmer in the federal government. He practices, coaches, and teaches mindfulness as a way of being that supports both high performance and sustainable well-being. Joe is a certified mPEAK (Mindful Performance Enhancement Awareness & Knowledge) coach and an Assistant Instructor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Applied Positive Psychology Program where he earned his master’s degree in 2018. He regularly works with high performers to integrate mindfulness, positive psychology, and performance psychology to enhance performance and resilience. Joe also has extensive experience integrating mindfulness at an organizational level having co-led a mindfulness pilot project designed to advance wellness, resilience, and performance across multiple federal agencies. Prior to his current roles, Joe sailed on an ice breaking buoy tender for a year and taught English in Thailand on a Fulbright Scholarship. In his free time, Joe enjoys meditating, hiking with his wife and dog, reading a print newspaper, writing, hanging out on a surfboard with his wife (his dog doesn’t swim too well), and occasionally catching a good wave.

Lorraine Duran Hobbs, MA, CHom

Lorraine Duran Hobbs, MA, CHom

Youth, Family & Education Programs Founding Director
Certified MBSR Teacher
Certified MSC Teacher

Lorraine M. Hobbs is the Founding Director of the Youth, Family & School-Based Programs at the University of California, San Diego Center for Mindfulness.  During her tenure at the Center, she has developed and implemented curricula in mindfulness for multiple age groups and a course in Mindful & Compassionate Parenting.  As a family therapist and former clinical director of adolescent treatment programs, her concern for the adverse effects of stress on the social and emotional development of teens led to pioneering work in the area of self-compassion for teens. She is co-author of Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens & Young Adults, adapted from the adult Mindful Self-Compassion Program and endorsed by Kristen Neff, Ph.D. & Chris Germer, Ph.D.  She is certified to teach MBSR (Mindfulness Based-Stress Reduction), MSC (Mindful Self-Compassion), and CCARE (Compassion Cultivation, Altruism, Research & Education), a year-long training program created by clinical psychologists and contemplative scholars at Stanford University.  Lorraine is co-director of the Mindfulness for Adolescents Certification Program. She also consults with educators on integrating mindfulness and compassion-based programs in schools and offers workshops & public talks in the community.

Shannon Jordan, M.A.

Shannon Jordan

Workplace Program Co-Director
Qualified MBSR Teacher

Shannon Jordan, M.A., has spent 25 years helping people thrive in their professional lives. Her work has spanned learning & OD, career counseling, executive coaching, talent management, leadership development, and academic teaching. She specializes in mindfulness in the workplace and has consulted to Fortune 100 companies such as Qualcomm, eBay, PayPal, Cisco, AMEX, Oracle, Microsoft and Genentech. Working closely with the technology and science sectors she’s had an upfront view of stress in our modern workplaces as well as the positive effects empirically based mindfulness interventions can have on performance, resilience and well-being.

Shannon was one of the first to be certified as a Search Inside Yourself teacher (originated at Google), and now serves as a certified mindfulness facilitator and program designer with the Potential Project. She is a qualified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) instructor on the path to certification. Shannon also teaches at UC Irvine Extension and UCSD Rady School of Management, and formerly served on the evening faculty at USD School of Leadership. Although she’s had a meditation practice for 15 years, she only began teaching MBSR after a life-threatening illness in 2014. Shortly after that she left the corporate world in order to share the transformative practices of mindfulness and compassion on a broader scale. Shannon holds a B.A. in Business and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology, is a Board Certified Coach and a National Certified Counselor. She is active with the North County Insight San Diego sitting group, has a dedicated yoga practice, and lives in Solana Beach with her husband, teenaged daughter, and rescue dog.

Peter Kirchmer

Peter Kirchmer

mPEAK Program Director/Trainer
MBSR Teacher

Pete Kirchmer is a Life Coach, Mindful Movement Instructor and Meditation Teacher in Encinitas, CA. As the founder of Mindfulness Based Health, he specializes in helping his clients apply the practice of mindfulness to making healthy lifestyle changes as well as improving performance in both work and life. Pete has completed the foundational training as a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher through the University of Massachusetts Oasis Institute, holds a BS in Exercise Physiology, and is a Certified Professional Life Coach through the Coaches Training institute, Center for Applied Positive Psychology and Wellcoaches. Pete is also a Master Trainer for efi Sports Medicine and certified STOTT Pilates Instructor. He is a lifetime learner and an active member of the International Coach Federation and the Harvard Institute of Coaching. Currently Pete has a private coaching practice in Encinitas, is a regular presenter at Rancho La Puerta, a world-class wellness resort in Tecate, Mexico and is on the board of directors for the Encinitas Mindfulness Community.

Renée Lewis

Renée Lewis

Youth, Family & Education Programs Acting Director
Certified MBSR Teacher

Renée is the Acting Director of the Youth, Family & Education Programs at UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. With education as her background, Renée is very interested in mindfulness for teens and adults alike.  In 2013, Renée was hired as the Administrative Coordinator for the Center for Mindfulness. During this time, Renée attended her first MBSR class. Since then she has been practicing daily and has developed a passion for teaching mindfulness. She attended the MBSR Teacher Training in 2015 and since has become a Certified MBSR teacher.

Megan Prager, MA

Megan Prager, MA

Compassion Programs Director
University Liaison
Certified MBSR Teacher
Certified MSC Teacher

Megan Prager is the Compassion Programs Director at UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness and Co-Founder of Mindful Labs . Megan is a Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Instructor (MBSR), a Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Instructor (MSC), a Certified Compassion Cultivation Instructor (CCT), an Adjunct Faculty member at San Diego State University, and a Lecturer at UC San Diego Rady Business School. She is also a Teacher Trainer and Mentor for the UC San Diego Mindfulness Based Professional Training Institute and for the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. In addition to teaching Mindfulness-based programs, Megan specializes in developing and delivering mindfulness and compassion trainings for Fortune 500 companies as well as for educational, healthcare, and academic settings. She is currently collaborating with Universities to establish and instruct Mindfulness and Compassion courses at the collegiate level. In all her ventures, Megan's passion and mission are the same: to empower individuals with an understanding of the important role they play in shaping their lives and well being. Megan believes through compassionate awareness individuals are able to utilize one of the best resources they have: themselves.

Contact Megan Prager: meganprager@gmail.com

Cheryl Shah

Cheryl ShahCheryl Shah

Workplace Program Co-Director
Certified MBSR Teacher
Certified MSC Teacher

Cheryl has 20+ years of Finance corporate experience, in leadership roles, working in a high demanding career while raising two daughters. The daily stress she faced, led her to the conclusion that there must be a better way to live and work. She has seen firsthand the negative impacts of long work hours, stress and pressure on individuals and the resulting emotional and mental pain suffered in the workplace. Her extensive work experience informs her teaching, makes her an accessible and compassionate teacher, and helps her translate mindfulness and compassion into a language that is relevant and applicable to corporate life.

Cheryl first discovered meditation in college when her wandering mind caused difficulties with her studies. She learned about mindfulness when she discovered Mindful Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in 2005. In 2010, realizing how self-critical and judgmental she was with herself and others, she then began to explore mindfulness more purposefully, taking the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program. Cheryl subsequently attended an intensive 10-day silent Vipassana retreat at the Southern California Vipassana Center in Joshua Tree in 2013, and continues retreat practice every year.

Cheryl embodies mindfulness and self-compassion, with a solid daily mindfulness practice, but more importantly, these practices have given her the ability to take the “Pause” in life to respond with more intention, to help support herself and others with a compassionate and wise response.

Cheryl has decided to end her Finance career in Corporate America and start Simply Pause to support others in this great adventure of life, to change peoples’ relationship to stress and attend to themselves and others with wise compassion.

Previous employers include NRG, Sprint, CareFusion and Jack-in-the-Box, UpWind Solutions (Vestas, Wind Turbines), Pacira Pharmaceuticals and UC San Diego, Housing/Dining/Hospitality.

Cheryl lives with her husband in San Diego, CA and they have two beautiful adult daughters. She enjoys playing tennis, traveling, hiking & spending time with friends & family.