About Us

About Us 2018-10-16T13:12:27+00:00

The MEHRIT Centre Team

Stuart Shanker, Founder & CEO
Susan Hopkins, Executive Director

TMC Telephone/Fax #: (705) 243-6636
Finance Department Fax #: (705) 243-6609

General Inquiries: Ext. 103, info@self-reg.ca
Finance Inquiries: Ext. 101, finance@self-reg.ca
Media Inquiries: media@self-reg.ca
Self-Reg eSchool: onlinelearning@self-reg.ca
Event Inquiries:
 events@self-reg.ca
Human Resources: tmc.humanresources@self-reg.ca
Chief Executive Officer’s Office: colleen@self-reg.ca

TMC Executive Bios

Stuart Shanker
Stuart ShankerFounder & Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Stuart Shanker (D.Phil) is a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Psychology and the CEO of The MEHRIT Centre, Ltd.. One of his many books, “Calm, Alert and Learning: Classroom Strategies for Self-Regulation (2012)”, is a top selling educational publication in Canada. His latest book, Self-Reg: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage With Life (2016), has garnered enthusiastic reviews and media attention throughout North America and has also been published in the UK, the US, Poland, Germany, South Korea, The Netherlands, and The Czech Republic, with further translations and foreign editions in the works.

In 2012 Dr. Shanker founded The MEHRIT Centre as a Self-Reg learning and information centre. Stuart commits considerable time to bringing the research and science of Self-Reg to parents, early childhood educators, teachers, educational leaders, health practitioners and communities through presentations, master classes, online courses, webinars, publications, social media and a blog entitled, “The Self-Reg View”. Read more about Dr. Shanker here.

Susan Hopkins
Susan HopkinsExecutive Director, TMC
A passionate advocate for children, families, schools and communities, Dr. Susan Hopkins has been leading Dr. Stuart Shanker’s organization, The MEHRIT Centre (TMC) as Executive Director, since 2014. As a one-time at-risk youth who quit high school twice, Susan went on to complete four degrees. Over the course of Susan’s career, she has worked in every area of education from the early years to post-secondary and across contexts from Italy to the Northwest Territories. Susan led the territorial implementation of the Early Development Instrument (EDI), co-authored the Government’s Early Childhood Framework and developed the NWT play and culture-based kindergarten curriculum. She went on to lead the Planning, Research, and Evaluation division for the Department of Education before relocating to Edmonton to head up the Society of Safe and Caring Schools and Communities. Under Susan’s leadership, The MEHRIT Centre has grown and developed into a highly respected, accessible, and successful centre of teaching and learning. In addition, Susan brings her skills to Stuart’s self-regulation research centre (SRI) as the lead researcher for SRI’s fourth area of focus: The Practice of Self-Reg.

TMC Staff & Consultants

Aaron Peacock
Aaron PeacockVideographer
Aaron is a videographer and filmmaker from Port Hope ON. He studied Film & TV Production at Humber College, and has had several projects play at film festivals all over North America. His company (with Aidan Kennedy) Two Blue Shirts Productions, produces online course content for TMC. Aaron is new to Self-Reg but looks forward to utilizing the five steps in the Shanker Method on set, possibly the most high stress workplace known to man.

What helps Aaron stay calm and alert: Crowded coffee shops.

Aidan Kennedy
Aidan KennedyVideographer
Descended from a family of performers, Aidan found a passion behind the camera. After studying Television and New Media Production at Loyalist College, he co-founded the Northumberland County based video production company, Two Blue Shirts Productions. Awarded for his work on corporate productions at Loyalist, Aidan now produces content for clients across the province, including TMC. Though an amateur when it comes to Self-Reg, Aidan looks forward to utilizing it when his computer crashes during an editing session.

What helps Aidan stay calm and alert: Watching sports, specifically his beloved Boston Red Sox.

Alaina Kunder
Alaina KunderTeaching Assistant
Alaina is currently pursuing her Master’s of Psychology degree at Trent University under supervision of Dr. Brenda Smith-Chant (senior researcher at the Self-Regulation Institute). Alaina completed her Bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Guelph-Humber. Having learned about Self-Reg through the Foundations courses and at Trent University, Alaina is eager to continuing to expand her knowledge.

What helps Alaina stay calm and alert: Spending time with family, being in the presence of nature and cuddling her dogs.

Amanda Binns
Amanda BinnsSelf-Reg Foundations Program Facilitator
Amanda is a Speech-Language Pathologist, PhD student and mother. She is also a DIR-Floortime training leader, adjunct faculty at Fielding University, and blogger. Amanda has worked with children, adolescents and parents in home, school, hospital, university clinic and agency settings. She is passionate about sharing with others what she has learned about self-regulation through years of clinical and research work. She has presented to and consulted with professionals across four continents. Amanda continues to be inspired by working in conjunction with Dr. Stuart Shanker and his dynamic team at TMC.

What helps Amanda stay calm and alert: A hot cup of tea, yoga, snuggles with my daughter, and sharing meal and laugh with friends and family.

Angie Rosati
Angie RosatiSelf-Reg Consultant
Angie is a Professor of Early Childhood Education at Sheridan College and a PhD student in Education at York University. Angie has been interested in the impact of the schooling experience on the developmental pathways of children for as long as she can remember. Angie writes policy papers and op-ed pieces for an array of educational organizations and regularly delivers workshops to early childhood educators and college professors on the topics of Self-Regulation, Temperament and the Biology of Behaviour. Angie is working toward the day when the science of self-regulation becomes an embodied aspect of education and is hopeful that when all children come to be viewed through a self-reg lens by the important people in their lives, they will be freed to experience the promise of their potential.

What helps Angie stay calm and alert: The memory of her father’s smile, sharing stories with a friend over a glass of craft beer, Frank Sinatra, teaching, and watching her daughters sleep.

Antony Czachor
Antony CzachorTeaching Assistant
Antony “Anton” Czachor is a public speaker and has finished his undergraduate interdisciplinary degree in Political Science and Geography at Lakehead University. He has spoken about and done rigorous research on the topics of mental health, educational psychology, the subconscious mind, and what it takes to lead a fulfilling life. He is primarily motivated by his fascination with the human experience and helping others realize their potential in life.

What helps Anton stay calm and alert: Exercise, his daily routine, proper nutrition, reading, music, and improving the lives of those in his community.

Arlene Robinson
Arlene RobinsonSelf-Reg Foundations Program Facilitator
Arlene is an elementary school principal with more that 25 years in education, wife and mother of two. She has been searching for more effective ways to support students to their fullest potential in spite of what lies in their life path. For Arlene, the Self-Reg is the answer to this search and she is finding the learning journey to be beneficial both personally and professionally, and believes everyone can benefit from this learning.

What helps Arlene stay calm and alert: Reading, kayaking, gardening, learning, practicing mindfulness, quiet time with family and any time spent on both the shore and the surface of Lake Katchiwanooka.

Ashley Marcoux
Ashley MarcouxEvents and Administrative Assistant
Ashley graduated from The University of Toronto with an Honours in Psychology and Fine Art. She married her high school sweetheart, and while planning their wedding discovered her love of event coordination. She has several certificates in Event Management and worked for four years as an Event Coordinator at a banquet hall planning many social and corporate events before coming to work at The MEHRIT Centre. She is a huge believer in having a job that you love, and is grateful to be part of the team at TMC. She’s always optimistic, almost always has a smile on her face, and truly believes there is good in everyone. Ashley had a sweet baby girl in August of 2016 and is drawn to Self-Reg as a way to manage the positive and negative stressors that come with being a parent, and wants to learn more about helping her daughter understand and successfully manage stress as she grows up.

What helps Ashley stay calm and alert: A cup of good coffee in the morning (sometimes a whole pot!), snuggles with her daughter and spending time with her hubby and family, looking through old photo albums, blasting music in her car while singing at the top of her lungs, and visiting extended family in Newfoundland.

Aviva Dunsiger
Aviva DunsigerSelf-Reg Portal Plus Moderator
Aviva is no stranger to self-regulation, whether in the classroom or in her everyday life. When she’s not moderating Portal Plus, Aviva works as a JK/SK teacher at an inner-city school in Hamilton, helping her students develop self-regulation skills. Dr. Shanker’s book, Calm, Alert and Learning has been a source of inspiration for Aviva as a teacher and digital native.

What helps Aviva stay calm and alert: Regular blogging, slowly sipping her morning coffee, low lighting, a quiet room and reading a good book.

Casey Burgess
Casey BurgessSelf-Reg Foundations Program Facilitator
Having lived across Canada from coast to coast, Casey has worked for over 20 years as an Autism Resource Consultant and Clinical Supervisor on multidisciplinary teams, in both British Columbia and Ontario. Currently in Sault Ste Marie, she is an adjunct faculty member at Algoma University (Psychology), Lake Superior State University (Education), and Sault College (Social Sciences), as well as a PhD student, a parent of a teen and a tween, and the partner of a very understanding man.

What helps Casey stay calm and alert: Yoga, meditation, forest trails, a glass of wine, hearty laughs amongst good friends, the beach, a variety of stringed instruments, and her amazing family.

Cathy Lethbridge
Cathy LethbridgeSelf-Reg Foundations Program Facilitator
Cathy has been an elementary educator for 32 years with the Simcoe County DSB, the past 13 years as principal. She actively applies Shanker Self-Reg in both her personal and professional life and believes in the power of Self-Reg to change trajectories no matter a person’s age or stage in life. Inspired by Dr. Shanker’s work, Cathy is leading her current school toward being a Self-Reg Haven and works with other schools to help them achieve school-wide improvement through Self-Reg.

What helps Cathy stay calm and alert: Workouts at the gym followed by decaf coffee and classical music, photography, hand washing dishes, cooking and blogging daily gratitudes.

Claudio Moschella
Claudio MoschellaSelf-Reg Foundations Program Facilitator
Claudio is currently an elementary school administrator in the Peel District School Board. He has always had a keen interest in understanding behaviour specifically that of elementary school aged children. Since he has come in contact with Shanker Self-Reg he has been a strong advocate in bringing to light a growth mindset in understanding stress behaviour versus misbehaviour. Self-Regulation has given him the tools to support the most challenging of behaviours and he also recognizes the positive personal impact this learning has had on him as a husband, father, friend and school leader.

What helps Claudio stay calm and alert: Meditation, organizing and cleaning something, time with family and friends, and yard work, to name a few.

Colleen Dickinson
Colleen DickinsonExecutive Assistant for Dr. Shanker
Colleen is a natural born organizer and planning is in her blood. She is returning to Ontario from Fredericton NB where she spent 14 years working for an IT company as their training and travel administrator. Her diverse experience in finance, customer service, insurance sales and travel planning make her a great addition to the TMC family as Dr Shanker’s executive assistant.

What helps Colleen stay calm and alert: Spending time with her grandchildren, playing with her ferrets and cats, whale watching, animals and exploring new places.

Daisy Pyman
Daisy PymanTeaching Assistant
Daisy Pyman is a MSc Psychology student at Trent University, an avid Self-Reg researcher, and keen self-regger. Daisy is incredibly motivated to learn, and has an insatiable desire for more knowledge and understanding. For Daisy, the beauty of education and research work is that the more knowledge you gain, the more you realize how much information remains foreign and unknown to you. At Trent, the motto is “nunc cognosco ex parte” which translates into “now I know in part”. This quotation has shaped Daisy’s approach to life, schooling, and research. Daisy’s goal through her research work with SRI is to help extend Self-Reg’s reach, whether this be through journal articles, blog postings, providing teachers, parents, or just about anyone with the information they need in their arsenal to help them cope with the day to day stresses of life.

What helps Daisy stay calm and alert: Exercising, watching The Office, and being in good company.

Frederica Black
Frederica BlackAdministrative Assistant
Frederica Black is a certified event and meeting planner. With over 11 years of event planning experience, Frederica has planned numerous events in the Corporate and Private Sector. On her journey to becoming the country’s greatest event planner, Frederica enjoys playing and coaching basketball, reading anything that will contribute to business and spiritual growth, and dancing “like no one is watching”.

What helps Frederica stay calm and alert: Time spent with her beautiful daughter, receiving her monthly copy of Essence magazine and a delicious meal, enjoyed with family and friends.

Gail Molenaar
Gail MolenaarSelf-Reg Consultant
Gail is a passionate educator connecting nature and self-regulation as both a practicing Forest and Nature School Practitioner student and facilitator of nature learning and Self-Reg. Children naturally self-regulate in the forest! She graduated with honours in ECE from Georgian College. has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Lakehead University and is passionate about all things Early Years. Gail is an aspiring children’s author, an occasional blogger, and an independent Early Years consultant/presenter who is proudly amongst the first cohort in TMC’s Foundations 1 and 2 courses. She also works as a Kindergarten educator in the SCDSB and is a member of the CCCF and the AECEO.

What helps Gail stay calm and alert: Watching great movies and children at play, exploring/hiking in the forest, sitting by a night fire and laughing with her granddaughters and patient partner.

Jamie Barker
Jamie BarkerClient Services Representative
Jamie is excited to join the TMC team as Client Services Representative. Jamie moved to Peterborough in 2007 where she met her husband and began her career in customer service and administration. Jamie is a big believer in continuing education on and off the job. Jamie received her certificate in Medical Office Support Staff in December 2014 and has always been interested in the health and wellness of others.

What helps Jamie stay calm and alert: Going to the cottage, yoga, spending time with her husband, reading and walking down to her favourite local café for an ice cream or a London Fog.

John Hoffman
John HoffmanCommunications Officer & Newsletter Editor
John has had three distinct careers that have blended together at times: roots musician, stay-at-home father and freelance writer. A former long-time columnist and feature writer for Today’s Parent, John now specializes in knowledge translation, blogging and writing for not-profit organizations like The MEHRIT Centre, The Psychology Foundation of Canada and Dad Central Ontario.

What helps John stay calm and alert: Playing the fiddle, sailing his Laser and making wisecracks.

Karen Braun
Karen BraunSelf-Reg Consultant
Karen is a wife, mother of five and grandmother of four. She has been an educator for 30 years in Southern Alberta. Her last twenty years have been in the area of behaviour support. Shanker Self-Reg has transformed her professional and personal life. Karen believes strongly in “see a child differently, you see a different child” and her goal is to help everyone to look at each other with soft eyes. Karen is currently working with her school board to change the outlook and to embrace the understandings and science of Self-Reg.

What helps Karen stay calm and alert: Photography, nature, time with family, baseball, time on Shuswap Lake, hanging with my husband and reading.

Kathleen Sullivan
Kathleen SullivanTeaching Assistant
Kathleen is a recently graduated occupational therapist, who became interested in Self-Reg while pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Throughout university, Kathleen worked with children in a number of capacities, including as a coach, a researcher, and after-school program provider. From the school to the swimming pool, Kathleen’s experiences led her to strongly believe in Self-Reg’s ability to benefit children and adults from all walks of life. She is excited to be a part of the Mehrit Centre team and to expand her understanding of Self-Reg.

What helps Kathleen stay calm and alert: Synchronized swimming, reading, and listening to the ocean.

Kim Smith
Kim SmithSelf-Reg Foundations Program Facilitator
Kim is a wife and mother and has been an elementary educator for over 30 years with the York Region District School Board, 18 of those years as a Principal. She has a Master’s degree in education, is a Cognitive Coach and is also trained in Adaptive Schools and Mindfulness. Kim has been inspired by the work of Stuart Shanker and strives to create a haven in her school for students, staff and parents. She believes that self-reg is the way to finding calmness and comfort in our fast paced world and looks for ways of sharing this with others.

What helps Kim stay calm and alert: Spending time with her family and friends, reading a good book, yoga and crossfit.

Kyla Zachary
Kyla ZacharySelf-Reg Consultant
Kyla is a Speech-Language Pathologist who spent the first 13 years of her career working in early intervention as part of a multidisciplinary team. She now has her own private speech and language practice serving children and youth in greater Victoria. Kyla came to Self-Reg after seeing an unmet need in the children she serves and in her own children. She is inspired by the change and growth that have come from practicing the five steps of Self-Reg both in her professional and personal life.

What helps Kyla stay calm and alert: Snuggles with her boys and husband, listening to music and going to concerts, being active outdoors, and spending time alone with a good book and a cup of green tea.

Laura Cesaroni
Laura CesaroniSelf-Reg Foundations Program Facilitator
Laura received her Ph.D from OISE/University of Toronto. Her area of interest was within developmental psychology, psychological and educational assessment and counseling. Currently she is a Registered Psychotherapist (CRPO #002669) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Laura’s early training began at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry and the Hospital for Sick Children as a Psychometrist and research assistant. She has worked in a number of organizations and had a private practice. Her experience with families and children with learning, attention and developmental challenges spans over 20 years in the field. Family Education Resource Network (FERN) was inspired by Laura as a way to support more families and children in meaningful ways. She began fundraising for FERN through annual rummage sales from her home. Today, FERN has developed into a not-for-profit community of caring families, children and staff. Laura works as a clinician at FERN. She is compassionate and believes that the supports and services at FERN must come from the ground up- families play a critical role in the development of programs. More recently, Laura has been training with The MEHRIT Centre, bringing the science of Self-Reg to the families, students and staff at FERN. She believes that Shanker Self-Reg is a critical journey with the potential to move us all towards well being and resiliency.

What helps Laura stay calm and alert: Finding quiet moments in a day, reading, sipping warm drinks, spending time with family, Pilates.

Leigh Anne Jacques
Leigh Anne JacquesSelf-Reg Consultant
Leigh Anne is a Montessori teacher and the owner of Beaches Montessori School. She is a wife and mother of four and lives in Toronto. She is inspired by Dr. Shanker and the Self-Reg movement. It has had such a positive effect on her personal life as well as the lives of the children and staff that she works with. She is working towards creating a Self-Reg haven at her school.

What helps Leigh Anne stay calm and alert: Daily cardio especially long runs along the beach, hot yoga, family time without electronics and spending time at the cottage.

Letitia Calver
Letitia CalverCommunication Designer
Letitia is a communication designer from Port Hope, ON. She holds a Bachelor of Design from NSCAD University and an Advanced Diploma in Communication Design from George Brown College. She is currently working as a freelance designer under the company name Calver/Create. Letitia specializes in brand strategies, print mediums and creating custom designs and logos. She is passionate about design, typography, and branding and enjoys working on projects where she can use design thinking to enrich an original idea.

What helps Letitia stay calm and alert: Staying organized, time in the outdoors, Sunday brunch and conversations with friends.

Linda Warren
Linda WarrenSelf-Reg Consultant
Linda is an experienced presenter, and as a school and system principal, she has 30 plus years’ experience in education and community involvement. She has worked in centralized roles in Special Education and Safe Schools and has taught in elementary and secondary schools. Linda sits on the Board of Directors for Frontenac Youth Services, a not-for-profit mental health agency for children, youth and their families.

Linda believes self-regulation is the foundation of a happy life of learning and living. She is grateful for the opportunity to continue her journey of Self-Reg learning with Dr. Shanker and is committed to supporting others on theirs.

What helps Linda stay calm and alert: Being outside, time with her grandchildren and practicing gratitude.

Lisa Bayrami
Lisa BayramiSelf-Reg Consultant
Dr. Lisa Bayrami is the Executive Director of the Self-Regulation Institute (SRI). Lisa is passionate about fostering wellbeing among children, youth, families, and communities. As former Director of Research at Roots of Empathy, a large not-for-profit organization, Lisa oversaw all aspects of research globally. Lisa trained as a developmental psychologist under Dr. Stuart Shanker and Dr. Stanley Greenspan and continued her journey as Senior Scientist at the Milton and Ethel Harris Research Initiative (MEHRI) at York University where she designed and led multiple school-based research initiatives and worked with children with special needs and their families. She instructed as a Professor of Psychology in the School of Liberal Arts and Academic Partnerships at Seneca at York. Lisa also consults internationally supporting children, educators, parents, and Governments with the central focus of cultivating wellbeing.

In addition, Lisa is on the Advisory Committee for Measuring What Matters (People for Education) and the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Holistic Early Learning and Development. Previously, she has served as a member of the Babies and Preschool Working Groups as part of the National Reading campaign.

Lisa believes that Self-Reg is foundational to changing the landscape of wellbeing for all and is excited to bring her vision and enthusiasm to lead SRI into the future.

What helps Lisa stay calm and alert: Playing with her son, walking nature trails, being near the ocean, reading, cooking, music, and a nice cup of coffee.

Lisa Cranston
Lisa CranstonSelf-Reg Foundations Program Facilitator
Lisa Cranston has over thirty years of experience as an educator in Southwestern Ontario. She has taught grades kindergarten to four and worked as an instructional coach for literacy and mathematics. Lisa spent the last eleven years of her career in education as the educational consultant for kindergarten and primary grades, and led the implementation of Full Day Kindergarten for her school board from 2010 – 2015. Now retired, she is a consulting editor for the National Association for Young Children’s journal Teaching Young Children. Lisa believes that Shanker Self-Reg® has changed how she views both her own behaviour and that of others, and her goal is to help others to ‘lend their calm’ to those around them. Lisa blogs about her Self-Reg reflections and learning at https://openingdoorsforrlearning.blogspot.ca.

Lisa is currently completing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at Western University, studying policy enactment of self-regulation curriculum expectations in kindergarten. She has a Masters degree in Curriculum Studies from the University of Windsor and an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education from Ryerson University in Toronto.

What helps Lisa stay calm and alert: Running, gardening, reading, campfires, and spending time with her husband, two grown daughters, and extended family.

Lisa Pinhorn
Lisa PinhornTeaching Assistant
Lisa is a holistic family interventionist with Feeding Futures, a private practice she co-founded with her sister. Feeding Futures supports families and professionals to improve the day-to-day lives of children with Autism, anxiety, ADHD, OCD, and developmental trauma. She has over 25 years of non-profit community work, public speaking, and is an advocate for children and their families. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Child Studies specializing in Developmental Disabilities from Mount Saint Vincent University, and a Masters of Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, in Adult Education.

Lisa is a firm believer that empowered parents, holistic care, and empathic relationships are powerful, and often missing pieces of pediatric interventions and care. She knows firsthand the challenges of parenting a child on the autism spectrum.

What helps Lisa stay calm and alert: Her daily gratitude practice, meditation next to her favourite river, singing lessons, audiobooks, podcasts, volunteering, laughing with her kids, cooking Indian food, and tea (lots and lots of tea).

Liz Shepherd
Liz ShepherdResources & Services Development Manager
Prior to completing her MSc in Psychology at Trent University, Liz was deeply involved in voluntary work both in the USA and the UK. Her voluntary experience ranges from working at an animal shelter to acquiring resources and funds to support local youth. Her passion for volunteering, helping and understanding others led her to pursue a career in psychology and makes her a natural Self-Regger. After a year with The MEHRIT Centre, Liz has now used her organizational skills and Self-Reg certification to branch out in the realm of Self-Reg project management. Liz additionally works as a research assistant for the Self-Reg Institute, where she hopes to integrate her knowledge of the brain to further understand self-regulation.

What helps Liz stay calm and alert: Listening to music, exploring nature trails, reading, and knitting.

Marilyn Barros
Marilyn BarrosSelf-Reg Consultant
Finding Self-Reg, the Shanker Method was something Marilyn had been looking for, for a long time. She has always been a person who tries to see the positive in others and learning about Self-Reg has helped her learn the science behind our actions.

Marilyn’s experiences as a mom have taught her so much. Her career has taken her from residential services, vocational services, supporting mental health services then into the school system to her current role as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in paediatrics. In each of these roles, she has had the opportunity to meet and learn from so many children and their families.

What helps Marilyn stay calm and alert: She enjoys spending time with her family and friends which includes her beagle, Aldo. She loves to swim, likes to run, read and enjoys walking in nature.

Meaghan Trewin
Meaghan TrewinCreative Lead
Meaghan is an experienced editor, writer, graphic designer, and communications strategist. She cares deeply about the big questions in life, such as: Do we want to use the Oxford comma? and Would an en or em dash be appropriate here? She lends her creative eye and obsessive attention to detail to TMC and SRI printed materials and online resources, to ensure key messages are easy to understand, visually engaging, and, above all, fun to read.

What helps Meaghan stay calm and alert: Small-batch roasted coffee, yoga, biking, cooking, reading a good book, her cat, and binge watching old episodes of The Mentalist with a glass of red wine.

Melissa Raine
Melissa RaineSelf-Reg Consultant
Melissa’s research background is in medieval English literature. After becoming an Associate Investigator with the Centre for the History of Emotions in Australia for a project on children’s voices in medieval narratives, she became aware that the key questions she was asking – When do children have voices? What are they permitted/expected to say? What do their voices tell us about the culture they inhabit and how it understands childhood? – were as relevant for living children as for the imaginary children of the texts she was researching. As a result, she expanded her project into a symposium in 2016, “Children’s Voices in Contemporary Australia”. This coincided with her learning at The MEHRIT Centre, which informed the shape and questions that were considered on the day. Melissa continues to work on both projects as well as being a mother to 2 sons.

What helps Melissa stay calm and alert: Sharing happy times with her children, her cats, quiet conversations with her partner, being involved in community, reading, walking and trees!

Melshean Boardman
Melshean BoardmanTranscription
As a bibliophile from a young age, Melshean followed her love of the written word to pursue degrees in English Literature and Education, and to develop a background in editing and research. Currently, she is a part-time transcriber for TMC, including creating closed captions for videos in the Self-Reg Foundations Program. She is also an occasional teacher for her local school board, where Melshean patiently walks herself through the five steps of Self-Reg when experiencing stress as a model for her elementary-age students.

What helps Melshean stay calm and alert: A good breakfast, organized work spaces, a walk in the woods, an episode of Gilmore Girls, and singing at top volume in the car.

Nancy Niessen
Nancy NiessenSelf-Reg Foundations Program Facilitator & Consultant
Nancy thrives on grounding theory into practice. She is a retired elementary teacher whose career spanned over three decades. Most of her time was spent in the Early Years and Special Education. During her teaching career, she also instructed ETFO’s Kindergarten Specialist AQ and was part of her local Reggio Study Group. Nancy finds that Self-Reg has become an ever-present influence in all that she does and now her interests have shifted to considering how Self-Reg applies to those working with seniors, and seniors themselves. She considers Self-Reg equally as important for these populations as it is for students, educators and families. Nancy is also very interested in herbal remedies, food choices, complementary healing practices, and the impact these areas have on personal self-regulation. She is excited to have the time to further pursue these long-time interests now that she is retired.

Nancy is proud to be a Cohort 1 graduate of TMC’s Foundations course and is delighted to be enrolled in Level 2 which allows her to delve even deeper into Self-Reg learning.

What helps Nancy stay calm and alert: Quiet, having her feet in the sand, beautiful sunsets, kayaking, hammocking, handfeeding birds in the woods, djembe drumming, playing the ukulele, reading, and spending time with her two children and other loved ones.

Natalia Fedan
Natalia FedanOwner of MindCare (Poland)
Natalia Fedan is a psychologist, English studies graduate, with training in cognitive-behavioral therapy and in Self-Reg method. Mother to three kids, including two teenagers and one almost two-year-old. Translator of Stuart Shanker’s book on Self-Reg. She gives anti-stress consultations, emotion regulation consultations, personal development workshops and psychological counselling for adults, children and adolescents.

Natalia is the owner of a developing company MindCare (www.mindcare.pl) – a center for stress management and reduction and emotion regulation. Co-author of the blog www.zyciowapsychologia.wordpress.com. She also writes guest posts on the blog Droga Uważności, www.drogauwaznosci.pl, promoting mindfulness.

Telephone: +48 505 422 950

For more information and to read Natalia’s biography in Polish, click here to visit the Self-Reg Poland section of TMC’s website.

Paula Jurczak
Paula JurczakDean of eLearning & Self-Reg Consultant
Paula is a native Vancouverite and enjoys living near the ocean. As a Registered Clinical Counselor and Registered Social Worker she works with infants, children, adolescents, parents and professionals in her clinic, schools, hospitals and mental health settings. Additionally, Paula is a Special Needs Consultant and DIR Floortime Training Leader providing therapy, consultation, training and workshops locally and internationally.

Paula enjoys supporting each person’s self-regulation journey to become calm and alert.

What helps Paula stay calm and alert: Music, walking, tea, reading a good book, cardio salsa, time with friends and loved ones.

Rachel Thompson
Rachel ThompsonTeaching Assistant
Rachel is currently completing her MSc in Psychology at Trent University under supervisor Dr. Brenda Smith-Chant (Senior researcher at the Self-Regulation Institute). Prior to graduate studies, Rachel completed undergraduate degrees in Kinesiology at the University of Windsor and in Psychology at Trent University. Combining her interests in the two disciplines, Rachel has found a passion in researching Self-Reg and exercise in educational settings. Through the Foundations courses, Rachel has learned that Self-Reg is essential for well-being of not only students but all members of society. Knowing this, Rachel hopes to advocate the importance of Self-Reg within a variety of community agencies she is involved with.

What helps Rachel stay calm and alert: Spending time on the golf course, relaxing by her pool, and spending time with family.

Rebecca Leslie
Rebecca LeslieSelf-Reg Consultant
Rebecca completed The MEHRIT Centre’s Foundations program, became a Self-Reg Consultant with TMC, and joined the research team at SRI in 2016-2017. Drawn to Self-Reg as a way to understand stress, both negative and positive, she is particularly interested in the brain-body connection and applying this framework in classrooms, families, and the workplace. With a BEd and graduate studies at McGill University, she is now completing her MEd in Developmental Psychology & Education at the University of Toronto. Her interests there revolve around exploring the most evidence-based ways of supporting children via strong teacher-student relationships, as well as neuropsychology.

Rebecca has taught for the last 15 years: in English and French, both in the inner-city and specialized with children experiencing attachment issues, and draws on her diverse experience living in France, the United States, Quebec and now Toronto, Ontario. Building relationships is at the heart of her work with kids. She passionately embraces Dr. Shanker’s statement that “Self-Reg is an approach of great optimism and hope.”

What helps Rebecca stay calm and alert: That first cup of coffee in the morning, friendship with her husband, hot Moksha yoga, cuddles with her two boys, daily texts with her best friend, and getting her hands dirty while gardening.

Robert Malowany
Robert MalowanySelf-Reg Consultant
Robert is a counsellor/psychotherapist and part-time professor. He is a husband and a parent of two teen-aged girls. The concept of Self-Regulation fits perfectly with his passion for helping people to find paths that lead to flourishing, which has been a foundational value throughout his career. Since 2003 Robert has been working at George Brown College in Toronto, where he follows his passion of facilitating self-awareness and psycho-education in the development of positive mental health through one-on-one sessions for students and in workshops for students and staff. It is in this work where Robert found resonance with Stuart Shanker’s model of Self-Regulation, which can impact the well being of students as well as their academic and personal successes.

What helps Robert stay calm and alert: Using mindfulness in the moment, relying on the relationships that help him get there, as well as finding joy in thinking about his next woodworking project.

Sarah Diotte
Sarah DiotteH.R. & Finance Manager
Sarah Diotte is the Human Resources and Finance Manager at The MEHRIT Centre Ltd. Sarah has built her career from being involved in a variety of industries and brings extensive experience as a Corporate Operations Officer, Financial Manager and Human Resource Manager to her role overseeing all aspects of the Finance and Human Resources Departments. Sarah believes the greatest asset a company has is its people. Her strategy: “Listen and observe, then speak with informed facts. Always encourage, and build up the confidence of those around you.”

What helps Sarah stay calm and alert: Gaining experience in the art of wine making, painting and creative hobbies, watching the sunset at her country home, and relaxing outside with her three little dogs by a cozy fire.

Stefani Burosch
Stefani BuroschSelf-Reg Foundations Program Facilitator
Stefani is a Registered Social Worker with a background in research, communities, organizations, and planning. She is a passionate advocate for school-based mental health and spent five years in northern Alberta as a Project Coordinator with the Alberta Mental Health Capacity Building in Schools Projects. Since moving back to Ontario, Stefani has continued her work in mental health leadership within the education sector. She believes that self-regulation is absolutely essential for promoting the well-being of kids, families, and communities.

What helps Stefani stay calm and alert: Sharing a good laugh with friends and family, walking with my dog, hitting the trails on my horse.

Stephanie Cudmore
Stephanie CudmoreDigital Communications Assistant
Stephanie is excited to be the Digital Communications Assistant for The MEHRIT Centre. She brings with her a background in marketing, and specifically social media marketing. Her degree in Sociology from The University of Western Ontario, her social media training through Algonquin College, and a variety of professional and life experiences have set her up well to take on this role. The values associated with Self-Reg support her own personal values of promoting well-being for all, with the well-being of her family being first and foremost.

What helps Stephanie stay calm and alert: Spending time with her husband and teenage daughter and son, time at the cottage, being on the water, and laughing with friends.

Stephanie Pellett
Stephanie PellettDigital Communications Lead
Stephanie is the Digital Communications Lead for The MEHRIT Centre. Passionate about building a career doing work that matters, Stephanie chooses to work only with values-driven organizations such as TMC. After majoring in Psychology and working as a teacher and camp counsellor for young children, Stephanie has come to believe strongly in the power and potential reach of Self-Regulation. She is excited to be a part of the TMC team and to continue learning how to implement Self-Reg into her own life.

What helps Stephanie stay calm and alert: Plenty of long walks outdoors, getting lost in a book, listening to podcasts, practicing yoga, and working on creative projects.

Stephen Retallick
Stephen RetallickeSchool Administrator & I.T. and Systems Manager
Before working at The MEHRIT Centre, Stephen found solace as a librarian in a small local library. As a graduate of Fleming College, Stephen uses his background in technology to perform his countless responsibilities. His interests include exploring his family’s genealogy, increasing his knowledge of world history and encouraging his wife to do the same.

What helps Stephen stay calm and alert: Spending time with his wife and son, eating dark chocolate and listening to classical music.

Sonia Mastrangelo
Sonia MastrangeloSelf-Reg Consultant
Sonia Mastrangelo is an Associate Professor at Lakehead University Orillia in the Faculty of Education, associate editor of the International Journal of Holistic Early Learning and Development and former special education teacher. She is also a certified Miller Method therapist, a cognitive developmental approach to working with students on the autism spectrum. Sonia travels nationally and internationally, speaking with parents and teachers about autism spectrum disorder, self regulation, the importance of play and developmentally appropriate practice and provides direct consultative support to schools and clinics.

What helps Sonia stay calm and alert: Daily exercise, hikes along the Humber Valley Trail, baking, and dancing with her daughters.

Susan Conklin
Susan ConklinSelf-Reg Foundations Program Facilitator
Susan came to Self-Reg as an elementary school teacher drawn to the process and promise of Self-Reg to re-envision and re-imagine our way of understanding and responding to experiences and narratives within learning communities, families and personal journeys of living and learning. Shifting trajectories even smidgens at a time drives and guides daily interactions, approximations and missteps with boundless hope for nurturing haven within individuals, relationships and communities.

What helps Susan stay calm and alert: Morning coffee meditation, scribbling, walking/talking, water-rocks-and-trees, and reading with little ones.

Tania Moher
Tania MoherJr. Graphic Design Assistant
Tania is excited to join The MEHRIT Centre team as a graphic design assistant. Her previous background is in newspaper and magazine work. She lives at home with her husband and two boys.

What helps Tania stay calm and alert: Spending time with her family, four-
wheeling, watching a good movie and snuggling with her dogs.

Taylor Wilson
Taylor WilsonLead Teaching Assistant & Learning Navigator
Taylor is a strong believer in the power of personal relationships. With over five years in the service industry as a server and youth leader at her local church, Taylor continues to serve as a customer service assistant for the Self-Reg community. Currently pursuing Psychology at Trent University, Taylor hopes to translate this degree into a career as a Speech and Language Pathologist. While still new to Self-Reg, Taylor is eager to learn more about Dr. Shanker’s methods.

What helps Taylor stay calm and alert: Listening to music, singing, reading for pleasure, watching Downtown Abbey, taking nature walks and spending time with family.

Travis Francis
Travis FrancisTeaching Assistant, Research Assistant
Travis is currently pursuing a degree in Interdisciplinary studies at Lakehead University in Orillia with a specialization in Psychology and Criminology. One of the youngest members of The MEHRIT Centre’s team, Travis works as a Teaching and Research Assistant. Having presented on Self-Regulation at the Conference on Holistic Early Learning and Development as well as the Canadian Conference on Student Leadership, Travis has a strong understanding of Self-Regulation and is eager to expand his knowledge.

What helps Travis stay calm and alert: Performing with his band as a guitarist, playing with his two golden retriever puppies and staying active on the Lakehead University hockey team.

Vicki Parnell
Vicki ParnellSelf-Reg Parenting Group Administrator
Vicki is the administrator of the Self-Reg Parenting group on Facebook. She also works as an RDI Certified Consultant and Special Needs Resource Navigator, offering parent support and personalized intervention for families throughout British Columbia who have been affected by autism and other neurodevelopmental differences.

Vicki can often be found reading from her growing pile of books about neuroscience, mindfulness and self-regulation, purchased while taking the Self-Reg Foundations course.

What helps Vicki stay calm and alert: listening to bel canto opera, looking at the ocean and the sky, and drinking big cups of Yorkshire Gold tea.

Vicki Storaas
Vicki StoraasTeaching Assistant
Vicki has worked with people on the autism spectrum for over 20 years in both clinical and educational settings. She currently works at the Upper Canada District School Board, providing consultation and professional development to educators who work directly with students with ASD. She has also been invited to present at conferences across Ontario as well as in the Caribbean.

Vicki originally started studying Dr. Shanker’s work in order to learn how to better support her 2 daughters, but quickly recognized its importance for the students and educators she supports. She now sees it as a gateway to fulfillment and overall wellness, and is passionate about sharing her learning with anyone and everyone.

What helps Vicki stay calm and alert: Laughing with her friends, snuggles with her husband and daughters, and a quiet, early morning cup of coffee.

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