By Karen Jaenke, PhD

Wisdom Self, Wounded Self

In the sequence of research classes that I teach in the Consciousness and Transformative Studies MA program, the first exercise that students do is to complete a Wisdom Self Profile and a Wounded Self Profile. The Wisdom Profile asks one to identify the core Being qualities that form the foundation of one’s existence. These Being qualities are the attributes one hopes to be remembered for, when all is said and done, at the conclusion of life. They are the qualities that are present when acting from the higher self. These qualities arise from a person’s essence, existing without an opposite, such as Empathy, Authenticity, Wisdom, Truth. They are the inalienable values of one’s soul that demand expression in order for life to reach fulfillment.

Because we do not always act from our higher selves, however well-intentioned, I developed the Wounded Self Profile to focus a beam of light on the barriers that stand in the way of expressing Wisdom Self qualities. To identify the specifics of the Wounded Self, one engages in a meditative life review, going backwards from the present, to identify key moments of personal wounding, then giving each of these wounded selves a name, which can serve as a ready handle. The next step is to examine how the Wisdom Self and Wounded Self are in dynamic interaction, thereby engendering greater self-awareness and a shift towards more consistent living from the Wisdom Self.

As my students were sharing the fruits of this exercise, I became inspired to revisit my own Wisdom Self and Wounded Self Profiles. The Being qualities that emerged for me today are: Presence, Flow, Transparency and Silence.

Presence is a spiritual value that coalesces as undivided attention. The body and mind are one with each other and at one with the present moment and the immediate environment. Presence is cultivated through awareness of the steady rhythm of the breath, and chases away distraction and dissociation. Hence Presence approaches pure being, and is also fundamentally healing.

Flow refers primarily to an internal state of conscious attunement to the currents of subtle energy that run throughout the body. Flow is realized when the piece of cosmic energy that is deposited as my existence and my conscious awareness merge harmoniously. However, internal flow tends to lead to external flow with the circumstances of the wider world. The equation is: Vital energy plus Awareness equals Flow. And Flow in turn generates Joy.

Transparency arises when the barriers within the self dissolve, allowing for the barriers between self and world to also dissolve. Thus Transparency means permeability between self and world, or the end of alienated consciousness and entrance into participatory consciousness. I observe that Transparency accompanies consciousness development; an increase in conscious development means an increase in Transparency. As the fragments of consciousness become more integrated and fluid, Transparency manifests more regularly in our interactions with the world. This piece of writing, an act of self-disclosure, is an attempt to express the quality of Transparency.

The appearance of Silence as part of my Wisdom Self came as a complete surprise, with a cascading epiphany. In the paradoxical way that Wisdom qualities are connected to primal wounding, Silence is intimately connected to an early Wounded Self. As told to me by my grandmother, when I was two, one day my mother, trying to manage with three young children all under age five, removed me from my antics, placing me in the crib. Unhappy about the interruption of my play, I decided to take matters into my own hands, to escape my cage. I passed my legs and torso through the crib bars, but then, my head could not pass. All at once I was stuck, trapped, and in danger of suffocating, with my life and body hanging in the balance. My mother, hearing a change in my cries, got my father, who pulled apart the bars to rescue me. But not before a near death experience, and the stifling of my voice, were etched into my soul.

For over thirty years, I have actively worked with the residue of this throat constriction chakra, to include choosing a profession rooted in speaking and writing. However, only now do I realize the ultimate resolution of this inner conflict: embracing the necessity of my relationship to sacred Silence.

Meditating on the image of Silence in the center of my being gives me energy; it is liberating. Silence with a big S. The Silence that is connected to emptiness. The image of Silence in my soul appears as an empty space in the darkness, a clarity within stillness, where there is no perturbation. This Silence is the ground of my Being, and from this ground, clarity of speech and right action radiate out into the world. In pure Silence, the egoic agenda dissolves.

From within this Silence, I give a shout out to the world for consciousness, as a higher value, worth pursuing and staking one’s life upon, along with the option of pursuing a path of dedicated conscious development through a Master’s degree. The online program offers a conduit to global culture. The online program becomes the form that my speech takes. And in order to balance the tremendous energies unleashed by generating access to a global audience, along with rapid programmatic growth, I must return, again and again, to the Silence at the center of my soul.

Behind every great article is a college.

Dr. Alvin McLean: His Most Rewarding Experience Working in the Psychology Field

This winter, we sat down with Associate Dean of the College of Psychology Dr. Alvin McLean to gain some insight into working in the mental health field. This three-part blog series documents Dr. McLean’s in-depth answers to each of three questions about the field. Read on for question and answer #3.

What has been your most rewarding experience working in this field?

There have been two types of very rewarding experiences for me. The first one is common to anybody in the helping professions—what gets you excited is seeing people get better. My personal experience in this regard came after leaving academia and taking a more entrepreneurial approach to healthcare. The most rewarding part of this track has been designing and implementing a residential treatment program for people with traumatic brain injury. Seeing people who had been in a coma, unable to move or speak, return to their family members and careers in just two years—you can’t beat that.

The other type of rewarding experience for me is seeing students walk across the stage with their doctoral degree. Having seen them through the grad program and their clinical training and struggling through their dissertations, it’s like seeing one of your children make progress. Then you see them on the other side doing good clinical work in the community. That’s equally as exciting as the entrepreneurial aspect for me.

That’s the end of our discussion series. We hope you’ve gotten some good insight into how to discover if psychology might be the right field for you, how to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and diversify its presence in our communities, and the rewards that might be in store for someone who pursues a career in any of the various areas of psychology.

Behind every great article is a college.

Combating the Lack of Mental Health Care Professionals in the U.S.

This winter, we sat down with Associate Dean of the College of Psychology Dr. Alvin McLean to gain some insight into working in the mental health field. This three-part blog series documents Dr. McLean’s in-depth answers to each of three questions about the field. Read on for question and answer #2.

What can be done to combat the lack of mental health care professionals in the U.S.?

I think one of the first things we need to do is reduce the stigma associated with receiving mental health services by starting earlier in exposing students at the elementary and high school level to what mental health is all about. People want to go into a field they are excited about and it there is a stigma associated with it, it is less attractive. We need to promote the field and remove the stigma around it early on.

Next, we need to find ways for people to practice mental health in settings outside of the typical mental health arena. Allowing people to practice in alternative settings can attract a wider range of people to the field as well as expand perceptions about the field. One solution to this is the new field of integrated healthcare, which involves psychologists and primary care providers teaming up to provide physical and mental health services in tandem. Another solution is community partnerships that situate mental health services in places like churches or local community centers. Providing services in familiar, non-stigmatized contexts not only offers potential practitioners a more inviting way into the field, it also tends to facilitate better outcomes in clients.

Finally, it’s important to note that the lack of mental health professionals mainly exists in underserved communities such as in communities of color and rural areas. We need to incentivize people to work in these areas. One example of how this is already happening is in the grants that are available, such as those from HRSA, for psychology students interested in doing their clinical training in underserved communities. Here at JFKU we have received what are known as pipeline grants for the past two years from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. These grants enlist undergraduates from underserved communities who commit to returning to these communities after their education to provide services. This is especially useful as research has also shown that clients have better outcomes when receiving therapy from someone who looks like them.

Overall, the important thing is that we’ve recognized the problem and are taking mental health services outside of the normal arena and putting them in places where people are more likely to receive them.

That’s it for part 2 of this discussion series. Stay tuned for part 3 in which Dr. McLean discusses his most rewarding experience working in the psychology field.

Behind every great article is a college.

How to Decide if a Career in Psychology is Right for You

This winter, we sat down with Associate Dean of the College of Psychology Dr. Alvin McLean to gain some insight into working in the mental health field. This three-part blog series documents Dr. McLean’s in-depth answers to each of three questions about the field. Read on for question and answer #1.

How can someone interested in a psychology career get started?

I would suggest to anyone interested in psychology to start by going to the American Psychological Association’s website. They have a specific section for introducing people to the many different types of careers available in the field, and even a special section for high school students. Psychology is a very broad field, and while most people tend to have an interest in doing clinical or neuropsychology, others may be interested in areas like experimental or quantitative psychology. The APA website can offer a sense of what each of those careers are like and what you would be studying if you decided to pursue them.

Next, if you think you want to do something in clinical psychology where you’re helping people by speaking with them, a great way to try this is to volunteer for a local crisis or friendship hotline. Crisis hotlines are a great place for beginners because they provide a script and good supervision. Friendship hotlines are less well-known but rewarding opportunities that allow you to become a friend over the phone for someone who is a shut-in. Senior centers are also a great and very rewarding option.

A final way to explore the mental health field is to go see a psychologist yourself. This experience is one that has influenced many of our students to pursue a career in psychology.

That’s it for part 1 of this discussion series. Stay tuned for part 2 in which Dr. McLean discusses what can be done to combat the lack of mental health care professionals in the U.S.

Behind every great article is a college.

The Holistic Research Center Opens Exciting New Community Space on Campus

This February the Holistic Research Center (HRC) at JFKU will open the doors to a brand new community space on campus. While the HRC is not new, and has been supporting students, faculty, and alumni for the past two years in getting their research projects off the ground, the new physical space will allow the center to expand and ground its work in exciting new ways.

For the past two years, the HRC has been providing an institutional structure assisting students, faculty, and alumni in the holistic mental health field to collaborate on projects, connect to financial and administrative support, and maintain motivation for researching, publishing, and presenting. The Center also hosts public-facing programming such as film screenings, an annual symposium, and other community gatherings. The new HRC space will allow the Center to add a whole new dimension to its support services and programming.

According to Zvi Bellin, Director of the HRC, the space will serve as a community gathering point where people can get together to conduct research onsite, support each other’s research, discuss challenges, and celebrate successes. “It will be a place to dream research of the future into reality,” says Bellin, “especially research that prioritizes respect and equity for all involved.”

In its new space, the HRC will host support groups for researchers, onsite research projects such as the community-based self-reflexive narrative study conducted this January, and public-facing events, one of the first of which will be the grand opening celebration this February. This event will include a ritual, guest speakers, and student-lead meditation, as well as remarks from President Bean.

The new Holistic Research Center indicates exciting times ahead for the future of holistic mental health research at JFKU. It also brings yet another enriching offering for inquiry and interaction to the community at large.

Behind every great article is a college.

One of JFKU’s esteemed faculty members, Dr. Stephen Carlson, co-authored an article that was recently published in the well-respected journal, Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, entitled “Emotionally Focused Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: An Integrated Treatment to Heal the Trauma of Infidelity.” Highlighting the importance of treating infidelity as a trauma—for both partners—and outlining how the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) technique can be integrated into Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples, this article will likely become a seminal work in the field.

Infidelity in exclusive relationships is common. In fact, conservative estimates suggest that 15-20% of individuals in the United States have engaged in sexual infidelity. Opening the article with this perhaps surprising fact, Dr. Carlson and his co-authors proceed to describe that, unsurprisingly, infidelity is one of the most difficult problems to treat in couples therapy. A significant reason for this, the authors propose, is that the issue is not being adequately attended to and treated for what it is—a form of trauma.

While infidelity may not be what the literature refers to as a “large-T trauma”—that is, a life-threatening experience such as war, physical abuse, or loss of a loved one—it certainly does fit into the category of “small-t traumas”—failures, humiliations, or various types of loss that also affect the brain’s processing system.

The article suggests that once the field begins to approach infidelity through the lens of trauma, it can begin to formulate how to use trauma-informed approaches to help treat couples dealing with infidelity. Dr. Carlson and his co-authors proceed to propose the augmentation of emotionally focused therapy (EFT), an accepted treatment model for couples therapy, with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), a process that helps clients to process and reformulate negative believes associated with a traumatic event. The authors provide an in-depth outline of precisely how, when, and why a practitioner might use EMDR within the EFT process, as well as what types of situations and couples would or would not be best suited for it. This description is followed by a case study in which the two methods are used in tandem to treat a couple dealing with infidelity.

According to Dr. Alvin McLean, Associate Dean in the College of Psychology at JFKU, “Dr. Carlson’s publication will provide a very useful tool to clinicians working with clients, but perhaps even more importantly, it is likely to serve as a catalyst for researchers interested in performing larger-scale evidence-based treatment studies that can replicate these findings. This,” says Dr. McLean, “is the essence of clinical research.”

Behind every great article is a college.

HAC Kicks Butt (Again) in Bay Area Housing Case

The Housing Advocacy Clinic (HAC) at JFKU has scored yet another victory, this time keeping a multi-generational family intact in their longtime San Francisco home while continuing to preserve the diminishing number of affordable housing units in the Bay Area.

The story of the HAC’s most recent client begins in the early 1980s when a young Mexican woman moved into a single-family home in San Francisco. Several years later, she became legal guardian of her 10 year-old sister, who arrived from Mexico in 1989 to attend school in the U.S. Today, that younger sister is still living in the home, along with her husband, young children, an older brother, and their parents. The family has grown roots in the city, and the children are even attending the very same school their mother went to.

Despite the family’s rootedness in the city, their foundation was recently rocked when their longtime elderly landlord became incapacitated. The house was sold and then rapidly sold again, with each new purchaser attempting to impose a steep raise on the $1560 monthly rent, first to $4500 and then to $6500.

Enter the HAC. With each attempt of the new owners to raise the family’s rent, the HAC filed petitions with the SF Rent Board and also negotiated with the landlords’ attorneys. The Clinic was ultimately able to uncover the proof they needed to prove that the family had been in the house since before the passage of the 1996 Costa Hawkins Act, which prevented single-family homes from being protected under rent control. By virtue of their having been in the house since before the Act passed, the family was found to be protected under rent control and the exorbitant increases were deemed illegal. Go HAC!

After successfully proving the proposed rent increases illegal, as well as helping the client fend off pressure to be bought out, the HAC went on to assist the client in establishing a productive relationship with the landlord. A smaller, manageable rent increase was negotiated that satisfied both the client and landlord. In addition, HAC helped ensure that long-deferred maintenance and repairs were performed on the house.

“Although this was just one family, it was a multi-generational immigrant family that would have had to leave San Francisco, a place where they had developed deep roots,” mentions Ora Prochovnick, professor in the College of Law, JD Program at JFKU and Director of the Housing Advocacy Clinic. “And,” Prochovnick emphasizes, “San Francisco would have lost yet another unit of affordable housing.”

By being of service to a working-class family that would have been unable to afford the legal services required to take on their case, the HAC satisfied one important aspect of their mission, which is to serve the community. The other part of their mission, to educate students of the law, was also a tremendous success in this case. “This was a great case for students to learn from and dig into,” says Prochovnick. “They got to work with the family, negotiate the settlement, and learn all the ins and outs of client contact and how to go about it.” They also got to experience firsthand the satisfaction of doing public interest legal work. Thanks to JFKU students, a vulnerable family was protected from the cutthroat housing environment in San Francisco, and a landlord in search of economic gain was also able to be satisfied. Go HAC!

Behind every great article is a college.

JFKU’S Dr. Alette Coble Temple Elected to Esteemed APA Board

The College of Psychology’s Dr. Alette Coble-Temple was just elected to serve for a 3-year term on the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Board of Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest. Dr. Coble-Temple’s tireless work in advocating for women and people with disabilities in the social and political spheres, as well as in the area of psychology, make her a powerhouse selection for this role. Congratulations Dr. Coble-Temple!

“I am very excited to serve on the Board of Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI),” says Dr. Coble-Temple. “As a woman psychologist with cerebral palsy, my career and personal life have been devoted to navigating social, political, and psychological aspects facing women in our communities, especially related to healthcare, reproductive rights, and managing multiple roles. Becoming a member of BAPPI is the next step in intersecting my professional expertise of clinical practice issues with my personal commitment to advancing public policy, research, and social justice to enhance the lives of those who have been traditionally marginalized.”

A professor in the Doctor of Psychology program at JFKU, Dr. Coble-Temple has already gained recognition for her achievements in advocacy. In 2015 she was crowned Ms. Wheelchair California and in 2016 Ms. Wheelchair America for her innovative and lifelong efforts to improve social, political, and psychological conditions for people with disabilities. Dr. Coble-Temple has traveled throughout the country promoting her platform known as PRIDE: Parental Rights Includes Disability Equality. Through this platform Dr. Coble-Temple promotes policy and community-based infrastructure to support parents with disabilities as well as to transform social response to the disabled population.

Dr. Coble-Temple’s appointment to the Board will place her among other decision-makers geared toward addressing fundamental issues of human justice. For the professor and advocate, this is the next step in her lifelong work, and she is ready for it. “I thrive in situations where synthesizing multiple perspectives in order for an agenda item to move to the next level is required and enjoy working with others to become agents of change for disenfranchised and marginalized groups of people,” she says. “I am honored to be part of a team of individuals who are committed to addressing fundamental problems of human welfare and social justice at a national and international level.”

Dr. Coble-Temple’s appointment will begin on January 1st, 2019 and proceed for three years. Congratulations Dr. Coble-Temple, and good luck on advancing your work to the next level!

Behind every great article is a college.

January 2019 Student Newsletter

Academic News

Winter Quarter 2019 Registration

Instruction Begins January 7, 2019
Add/Drop Period January 7 – January 20, 2019

Academic Calendar

To register for classes log on to the SOAR portal. Follow this step by step guide to self-enroll in classes. How to Register for Classes – in 11 steps

If you have any questions about degree requirements and study plans email, or book an appointment online by logging on to BlackBoard – Office of Student Experience – Meet your counselor.

If you need assistance in registering for classes, please call the Registration Office at 925-969-3353 or email

For accounting questions, call 925-969-3160, email, or refer to the Managing Your JFKU Account Online – step by step guide.

New Student Orientations

Join us for the Winter Quarter University Student Orientations to learn more about JFK University’s resources and services, whether you are a new student or  a student returning to JFK after taking a break. You will be one step ahead in your academic goals, as you learn all you need to know about JFKU’s systems and services.

Winter 2019 JFK New Student Orientation (onsite) – Thursday January 3 at 6 pm – Pleasant Hill campus, Room 209 (Trifold)
Winter 2019 JFK New Student Orientation (online) –  Thursday January 3 at 11 am – Zoom

To RSVP access the New Student Orientation event page.

In advance of your orientation session, feel free to watch the interactive New Student Orientation video to learn how to navigate the BlackBoard Learn and SOAR portals, register for classes, access important academic information and learn about valuable student services and resources. Bring your questions!

To access the video navigate to BlackBoard – Office of Student Experience – New Student Orientation (on the left hand menu). Email us at with any questions.

Human Resources Certificate

Beginning in the Winter 2019 quarter, John F. Kennedy University will offer the Human Resource Certificate program. Individuals interested in boosting their career or enhancing their opportunities for promotion will be able to obtain an HR Certificate in just 2 quarters. The HR Certificate is available 100% Online. Interested in learning more? Please contact

Academic Certificate in Trauma Studies

The 20-unit certificate in Trauma Studies is available on the Pleasant Hill and San Jose campuses with classes enrolling for Winter quarter! The classes below are all available for Winter enrollment as part of the Trauma Certificate, or as single classes should you want more instruction on any of the topics offered.

In Pleasant Hill Law and Ethics TSC5005 will be offered in face-to-face, onsite format as well as Assessment and Treatment Planning TSC5004 in hybrid format.
In San Jose TSC5006 Somatic Approaches to Trauma will be offered in a primarily face-to-face, onsite format.
100% Online HSC 5003  Attachment and Developmental Approaches will be offered.

For more information visit the Trauma Certificate information page on our website. To register contact

Holistic Research Center Updates

The Holistic Research Center (HRC) will have a Grand Opening Ritual on Feb 13, 2019. More details to TBA.

The HRC is seeking study participants for a study entitled Community-Based Reflexive Narrative Research Methodology in Holistic Mental Health to take place on Jan 11th, 2018
Between 8:30 – 4pm. Breakfast, refreshments, and snacks will be served. For more information and to sign up please visit this page or contact

Welcome Alex Blasko to the Academic Counseling Team

We are thrilled to welcome Alex Blasko to the Academic Counseling team at the Office of Student Experience. Alex previously worked in the Registrar's Office at JFKU for almost two years, providing support for students, staff, and faculty. Alex earned a BA in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He grew up in the Bay Area and currently lives in Concord. In his free time, Alex enjoys hiking, fitness, history and archery.

Alex will be supporting students in all Sport Psychology programs and will also be the back-up academic counselor for the Holistic MA Counseling Psychology students.

Alex can be reached in campus, via email at, or by phone .

Welcome to the team (across the hall), Alex!


S202 at the Pleasant Hill




Student Services

DeepTok – Free Professional Development Webinars

There IS a “soft side” to College! Come and explore the impact on YOUR Academic Success of the topics below:

The Imposter Syndrome

Join Us—Tuesday, Feb. 5th 3:30—4:30 pm for a Live Webinar on these topics! DEEPTOK student professional development webinars CONTINUE….

RSVP to attend in person (S 228) or connect remotely. Email with your name,
your JFK email address and, how you prefer to attend: In person at the center (S228) or remotely.

Tues. Feb. 5 at 3:30“Soft Side” of College: Grit, Relationships, Stress, Imposter Syndrome
Tues. Mar. 5 at 3:30Leading: Yourself and Others
Tues. Apr. 9 at 3:30Your Sound, Look, and Actions

Announcing the Fall Gratitude Writing Contest Winners

Congratulations to our Fall Gratitude Writing Contest Winners!

Undergraduate Students

1st Place – Solomon Jones, B. A. Psychology
“I am grateful that my younger brother…was able to receive a kidney transplant this year.” “I am also grateful for the new support of John F. Kennedy University staff and faculty who, over the last year, have encouraged me to overcome obstacles in my learning that were previously covered up.”

Graduate Students

1st Place – Cathy Do, M. A. Consciousness and Transformative Studies (CTS)

2nd Place – Timothy Gale Walker, M. A. Counseling Psychology
“When we learn we expand our minds, and as our minds grow so does the number of paths the future holds, sprouting like blackberry vines from the earth for us to travel further.” “I cannot help but ponder those less fortunate than I. Those in plastic skiffs braving the stormy salt sea, in desperate flight from war or famine. With such contrasts rich in my mind the heights of my gratitude fly high, a blue kite searching for the moon.”

3rd Place – Toni Rivera, M. A. Counseling Psychology
“Gratitude has been a key to my healing….This has forced me to look at the simple things that bring me joy….There is something about acknowledging what I am looking forward to that intensifies the joy/happiness of the experience.”

In the Community

Ora Prochovnick

A Victory by the College of Law’s Housing Advocacy Clinic

Ora S. Prochovnick, Director of Clinical and Public Interest Law Programs at JFKU shared a success story about the Clinics’ advocacy work for a family in San Francisco facing repeated rent increases of up to $6,500. According to Ora, “Our Housing Advocacy Clinic filed petitions each time with the SF Rent Board, and also negotiated with the landlords’ attorneys. Using original school records and old pay stubs we were able to prove our clients were protected. After preventing these illegal rent increases, as well as responding to eviction threats and pressure to be bought out, we have helped our clients establish normalized relationships with the new landlord. We helped ensure that necessary repairs were made to remedy long time deferred maintenance. Finally, we negotiated a mutually satisfactory banked rent increase.”

Congratulations to the COL Housing Advocacy Clinic for their invaluable advocacy for Bay Area residents!

MBA Student Anna Lisa Escobedo’s Art and Activism Work featured in the SF Examiner

An interview with Anna Lisa Escobedo, a Museum Studies graduate and MBA student, was featured in the SF Examiner this past October. Anna Lisa is an executive assistant at the California Historical Society and an artist who chairs the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District’s Cultural Assets and Arts Committee in the Mission District.

Anna Lisa contributed the image of one of her paintings to the Undergraduate Success Center at JFKU and actively supported the launching of our Center in July 2016.

Read the full piece: Bernal Heights artist Anna Lisa Escobedo thrives in a painter’s paradise


Scooters ‘N Chairs Scholarship Deadline December 27th

Via the Office of Accessibility: Scooters N’ Chairs presents The Fall 2018 Student Scholarship for eligible students currently registered at an officially accredited University or College. For eligibility requirements please visit:

The deadline for applying is December 27th, 2018.


Consciousness and Transformative Studies Student Wandzia Rose’s Service Learning in San Jose

As part of her University’s Service Learning project, MA CTS student Wandzia Rose designed a staff development training workshop applying The Adult Learning Theory for Rebuilding Together, Silicon Valley. The project involved designing and facilitating a 5-hour staff workshop for a San Jose nonprofit to meet the Executive Director’s desired outcomes. This effort included materials and exercises that not only raised the self-awareness of each staff member, but also enhanced overall team effectiveness by highlighting the importance of both individual and collective contributions, productivity and effectiveness. Wandzia is a Certified Integrative Coach. To learn more about her work visit her website.

Follow My Lead - Alumni/Community Referral Scholarship Do you love your program, faculty and friends at JFKU? Refer a friend to one of JFKU’s degree programs and they will receive a scholarship upon enrolling.

Submit Your News to the Student Newsletter!

Are you a current student or an alumni of JFKU? We’d love to hear about what projects you are involved in or where you are in your professional journey or service to your community. Please email us news about your accomplishments or community involvement you’d like to share in the JFKU Monthly Student Newsletter. Pictures are particularly welcome. To submit, send a short blurb with your name, graduation year, and program of study to

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To help us give you the best and most useful content, please take this quick survey to give us your feedback about this Newsletter.

You can find all previous issues of the Newsletter on the JFKU Blog, The Kennedy League, under “Campus Life.”

SIP Summit Takeaways: Collaborative Leadership

At the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at JFKU’s recent Philanthropy Summit, several big ideas emerged for how nonprofits can build capacity, expand opportunity, and scale up toward greater success. One of these ideas was the notion of collaborative leadership, specifically, collaboration among organizations. The idea was simply and powerfully that when small nonprofits share and exchange ideas, education, and resources, bigger results become possible.

What can collaborative leadership look like? What might it include? How can it start? And, why is it important? In a world-cafe-style brainstorming session, Summit participants explored these questions together. The answers had a lot to do with generating an awareness of the people, ideas, and resources around us and seeking out partnerships and opportunities to share.

In her afternoon address, speaker, consultant, and social scientist Hildy Gottlieb described forming partnerships as a way of combating scarcity. “Together we have everything we need,” she said. “It is only on our own that we experience scarcity.” She continued, “There is so much capacity in our communities, even in impoverished communities. We never know who’s out there and who has what.” Until, of course, we start asking. In Gottlieb’s example she and her business partner were able to nearly single-handedly organize a large-scale diaper drive on a shoe-string budget largely by identifying other members of the community, even those in the for-profit sector, who had the resources they needed and partnering with them. Sharing, suggested Gottlieb, counteracts the impulse to horde, be competitive, and build walls. Instead, it makes everyone involved feel stronger because they have something to offer.

In addition to creating a sense of abundance, collaborative leadership generates awareness of big ideas, shared motivations, and potential for impact. As Dr. Benisa Berry, Diversity and Inclusion Officer at JFKU emphasized, “We are all running around only in our own spheres so we’re not getting our work out there on a wide enough scale.” Not only can collaboration help organizations generate greater capacity, it can help isolated nonprofits connect with others in their sector to form a bigger, more impactful picture. According to Miguel Gonzalez, Board Vice President of Solo Opera, it would be beneficial for small companies such as his to collaborate with other likeminded organizations to pool resources, “and not just in terms of funding, but in terms of exposure to the community.”

Convening over 200 community leaders from nonprofits throughout the region, the Summit itself was an excellent example of collaborative leadership at work. “It is always useful to talk to people who are in similar situations as us,” said Al Miller, President of the El Cerrito Library Foundation. As the day drew to a close, both Gottlieb and keynote speaker Kathleen Kelly Janus encouraged their audience to continue the type of exchange they had experienced at the Summit. “This can go beyond conferences,” said Janus in her closing remarks, and encouraged the formation of dinner groups, professional development groups, or even reading or writing groups—ways in which, on a regular and informal basis, participants might continue to tackle issues and help each other. “Together we have everything we need,” emphasized Gottlieb. “Despite the fact that society encourages us to go it alone, there is no such thing as going it alone. There is no thing on the planet that goes it alone.”

Behind every great article is a college.