Mindfulness Initiative Advisory Board

An advisory board co-chaired by Dr. Bobby Mukkamala and Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha provides leadership, guidance, and medical expertise to ensure the efficacy and impact of this work.

  • National leadership provided by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D; James Gimian, and Daniel Rechtschaffen.
  • Local leadership provided by physicians, public health and educational leaders from MSU, Hurley Hospital, McLaren, HAP, the Greater Flint Health Coalition, Beaumont Hospital-Center for Mindfulness, Flint Community Schools, Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools, and the Genesee County Intermediate School District.

Evaluation and Research Team

Drs. Karin Pfeiffer and Julia Felton of Michigan State University (MSU), Dr. Lenwood Hayman of University of Michigan, and Dr. B Grace Bullock of Oregon Research Institute all contribute to the evaluation and research of the initiative.

Mindful Community Leadership Team

As the Crim Mindfulness Initiative grows, we are excited to begin inviting local mindful leaders to serve as our Mindful Community Leadership Team to serve as Mindfulness Champions in their schools to help others learn about and practice mindfulness. They meet quarterly as a group with the Crim Mindfulness Staff Team to share feedback, engage in training, and help design the future of this work to be responsive to their needs.

Mindfulness Ambassadors - Teachers

The first team of Mindful Community Leaders are teachers in the Flint Community Schools and Genesee Intermediate School District. They were invited to serve as Mindfulness Teacher Champions in the fall of 2017.

Mindfulness Ambassadors - Administrators

The second team of Mindfulness Community Leaders are administrators in the Flint Community Schools and Genesee Intermediate School District. They were invited to serve as Mindfulness Champions in the Spring of 2018.

Crim Staff Team

The Crim Mindfulness Team Members come from diverse backgrounds; yet share the same passion - to improve the health and wellness of the Flint and Genesee Communities through the daily practice of mindfulness.

Program Director – Sarah Sullivan

Sarah Sullivan has served in a variety of leadership roles over the past decade to support healthier, more mindful, and resilient communities. She is currently the Director of Mindfulness Programs for the Crim Fitness Foundation. Prior to this, she led a Coordinated School Health Initiative funded by the Centers for Disease Control for Washington State and served as a Youth Development Faculty member for Washington State University - King County Extension. She is passionate about finding creative ways to engage the whole community to meet the health and educational needs of all children in a holistic, sustainable way. She often draws upon lessons learned during her graduate work at Seattle University focused on Organizational Design and Transformational Change and from trainings including: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Fundamentals, Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI), Mindful Schools, Mindful Education, and Yoga Ed. She is grateful to many mentors, and is currently learning the most from the resilient youth, families, and educators in Flint, Michigan.

Program Manager – Tom Hauer

Tom came to the Crim in late 2009 after a thirty year career as an elementary school teacher.  His diverse sports background, which included track, baseball, ultra-marathoning, martial arts, and coaching; combined with his classroom experience, created a perfect fit at an educational fitness foundation such as the Crim.  He serves as program manager. Tom has trained and studied mindfulness techniques with Thich Nhat Hanh, Mindful Schools, the Holistic Life Foundation, Mindful Education Institute, and the world-renowned University of Massachusetts Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program.  He is a nationally certified yoga teacher (RYT) and is trained in multiple styles including working with children (Yoga Ed. and ChildLight Yoga).  Tom was born in Cleveland, Ohio and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.  He currently lives in Fenton with his wife Susan and Oliver their cat.

Mindfulness Educator – Lisa Malinowski

Lisa, born in Flint and a Michigan native, learned the practice of yoga and meditation while studying abroad in the Netherlands during college. Her passion for community, health, and mindfulness lead her to become a full-time mindfulness and yoga educator with the Crim beginning in 2017. She is a nationally Certified Yoga Instructor (ERYT) with over 1000 hours of teaching yoga, a Yoga Ed. Trainer, a Certified Children's Instructor (RCYT) and a Certified Yoga Education Provider (YACEP). Lisa has trained with mindfulness and yoga leaders in the industry all over the world including Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, Mindful Education, Transformative Educational Leadership and Shiva Rea, and she continues to develop and grow in her personal practice locally. As a runner, yoga practitioner and mindfulness advocate, Lisa believes that yoga should be a compassionate and community-centered practice that is accessible and approachable for anyone. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking and playing outdoors as often as she can.

Mindfulness Educator– Canisha Bell

Canisha graduated from the University of Michigan- Flint with a Bachelor of Science in Health Education with particular interest in health disparities in minority and low-income populations. While interning for a non-profit organization that focused on preventing intergenerational incarceration for at-risk families, she was introduced to Mindfulness and began incorporating Mindfulness in her everyday life. In 2017, Canisha began coaching for a Crim Youth Summer Running Club where she learned more about the Crim Mindfulness Initiative, and was eager to support it. Canisha is a graduate of Flint Community Schools and is excited to join the Crim Mindfulness team to promote Mindfulness to Flint area teachers and students. Outside of work, Canisha has 3 children that keep her active and culturally aware of all things youth related.

Mindfulness Educator– Elizabeth Wise

Elizabeth grew up in Flint and is proud to call Genesee County her home.  She graduated from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor with a bachelors in education and went on to the University of Chicago where she received her master’s degree in clinical social work. Additionally, she has a certification in Traumatic Stress Studies from the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute. Elizabeth taught seventh and eighth grade language arts at Flushing Middle Schools and is truly grateful for her time in the Flushing community.  Elizabeth has been co-chair of the Genesee County Human Trafficking Taskforce and is an active board member for the YWCA of Greater Flint. As an advocate for those in need, Elizabeth believes in empowering women and youth through education and supportive resources. Elizabeth is a certified yoga instructor, with training in trauma informed yoga and YogaEd. She is excited to help bring the power of mindfulness and mindful movement to the Flint Community.  Elizabeth lives in Fenton with her husband and two children who often remind her to take a mindful breath.