Director of the University Writing Center
Jared Featherstone directs the University Writing Center and teaches at James Madison University in Virginia. Before entering academia full-time, he worked as a reporter and editor in and around Washington, DC. He has an MFA in Creative Writing and a BA in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Featherstone started studying and practicing Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong in 1996, along with Ba Gua, Xing Yi, and Taoist sitting meditation. In 1998, he sat his first 10-day vipassana retreat in the system of Burmese teacher S.N. Goenka. In 2000, through Wu Shen Tao Martial Arts Center in Washington, he studied under Masters Liu Xiao Ling and Paul Ramos, focusing on the Chen and Yang styles of Tai Chi. He has continued to practice vipassana, attending retreats and classes with Jack Kornfield, Larry Rosenberg, Tara Brach, Hugh Byrne, and Jonathan Foust.
For the past seven years, he has been a mindfulness meditation teacher for the Madison Meditates program at JMU. He also been teaching meditation locally for The Center Yoga Studio and for community groups in and around Harrisonburg. He has received meditation teacher training from the Koru Mindfulness Center in Durham, NC.
Tammy Gilligan, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of School Psychology Program
Department of Graduate Psychology
Tammy has practiced mindfulness and meditation for many years now and enjoys teaching and sharing practices in the K-12 educational setting with children, teachers and administrators. She has conducted research with other mindful colleagues and graduate students examining the impact of mindfulness practices on attention and emotional regulation of children. Tammy has offered numerous workshops for educators interested in integrating mindfulness practices into their classrooms or roles in school communities. She currently is the director of the School Psychology Ed.S. Program and begins each meeting with the agenda item “Gratitude and Acknowledgements”!
Deborah Kipps-Vaughan, Ph.D.
Department of Graduate Psychology
Deborah Kipps-Vaughan, Psy. D., currently serves as a full time faculty member of the Graduate Psychology Department at James Madison University in Virginia. As an Associate Professor, she trains graduate students to be school psychologists. As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, she has a private practice specializing in children, adolescent, and family services. Dr. Kipps-Vaughan served as a school psychologist for twenty five years and promotes the provision of mental health services within the school setting. She engages mindfulness and contemplative practices in her graduate courses, as well as teaches graduate students to use these practices in their future careers as school psychologists. She has developed a Teacher Wellness program that is used nationwide in schools and Dr. Kipps-Vaughan provides Teacher Wellness programs within the local region in many local schools
Wren River Stevens, Ph.D.
Director of the Madison Art Collection
Associate Professor of Art History
Using contemplative, experiential teaching methods, Wren teaches "Spirituality in the Ancient Mediterranean World" and "Spirituality in Asia" for the Honors College at JMU. She is the faculty advisor for the student meditation group, Turning In. A certified meditation instructor, Wren also teaches stress management techniques. She currently studies T'ai Chi Ch'uan and QiGong.