Wisdom Thinkers Network

Change the Story

Changing the Story Together: Inspiring our Youth to Thrive in an Ever-Changing World


Join the Wisdom Thinkers Network in a two-day summer institute to equip all our children with a character-rich foundation needed for a meaningful life in school, community, and the workplace.

2 days

3 internationally known speakers

8 distinct exciting interactive professional development workshops focused on three key themes including: Whole Child Interventions, Raising Resilient Children, and Sustainable Livelihoods, plus great networking opportunities.

Institute Highlights

Enjoy reviewing presentations by Dr. Darcia Narvaez, Dr. Naresh Singh and Dr. Jonathan Cohen.


Download the program here.

DAY ONE: July 19, 2017

8:00 a.m.  Registration & Light Refreshments
8:30 a.m. Welcome – Ralph Singh,  Chair, Wisdom Thinkers Network

Introduction to Dr. Darcia Narvaez

8:45 a.m Dr. Darcia Narvaez
10:15 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. Session 1 – Workshops
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Session 2 – Workshops
2:30 p.m. Student Showcase
3:30 – 5:30 p.m. WTN reception by invitation

DAY TWO: July 20, 2017

8:00 a.m.  Registration & Light Refreshments
8:30 a.m. Welcome – Ralph Singh,  Chair, Wisdom Thinkers Network

Introduction to Dr. Naresh Singh

8:45 a.m Dr. Naresh Singh
10:15 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. Session 3 – Workshops and Thematic Discussion groups
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Dr. Jonathan Cohen
2:30 p.m. Wrap Up – amplifying our work

Break-out Session Workshops Include:

  • “Stories of our Past, Influencing our Future” – Changing the Story between school and community – service learning with a purpose – reversing the “Brain Drain”
  • Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges: How do I reach unreachable students and families?
  • Turtles and Sandboxes: Simply integrating SEL and Character Education into School Culture from Classroom, Specials, and Service Learning
  • Teaching Resilience and Instilling Hope: Understanding and Effectively Responding to the Impact of Childhood Trauma in Schools
  • Curbing Chronic Absenteeism: Tools for Engaging Students and Families in School, All Day, Every Day
  • Amygdala Hijack: Social and Emotional Learning


Click the names below to expand to full biographies.

Jonathan Cohen, Ph.D. is the co-founder and president of the National School Climate Center (NSCC). He is an Adjunct Professor in Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University; co-founder and emeritus chair, The National School Climate Council; co-editor of the International Journal of School Climate and Violence Prevention; and a practicing clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst.

Jonathan has worked in and with K-12 schools for over thirty-five years as a teacher, program developer, school psychologist, consultant, psycho-educational diagnostician and mental health provider. After working as a middle school teacher at the Marianne Frostig Center for Educational Therapy in Los Angeles, he received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the City University of New York, New York, New York and completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychology (1979-1980) at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center as well as at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Department of Pediatrics, New York, N.Y. He is a Diplomat in Clinical Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology (June, 1988).

Jonathan founded and directed the Teachers College Press Social Emotional Learning series, which was published in partnership with the Collaborative for Academic, Social Emotional Learning. He has authored over 85 articles, chapters and books including Educating Minds and Hearts: Social Emotional Learning and the Passage into Adolescence (Teachers College Press and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1999); (with B. Cohler) (1999) The Psychoanalytic Study of Lives over Time: Clinical and Research Perspectives on Children Who Return to Treatment as Adults (co-edited with Bert Cohler; Academic Press; 1999) and, Caring Classrooms/Intelligent Schools: Social Emotional Education of young Children (Teachers College Press; 2001). Both of his Teachers College Press books were awarded the “Best Academic Book” by the American Library Associations Choice in 1999 and 2001 respectively. He is a co-author (with John Devine) of the recently published volume Making your School Safe: Strategies to Protect Children and Promote Learning (Teachers College Press, 2007). And, the co-editor (with Kristie Fink and Sean Slade) of Integrating Prosocial Learning with Education Standards: School Climate Reform Initiatives (Routledge, 2017)

Dr. Cohen has consulted to scores of schools, districts and State Departments of Education interested in furthering social, emotional, ethical and academic education and positive school climate in America, France, Israel, Japan, Peru, and Switzerland. He often lectures to groups of educators, parents and/or mental health professionals here and abroad. He speaks to educational and parent groups about a range of topics and has presented keynotes at scores of national conferences, State and Federal educational meetings, schools and district professional development forums.

He is the father of two children and has been married for 36 years.

Darcia Narvaez is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. Her prior careers include professional musician, classroom music teacher, business owner, seminarian and middle school Spanish teacher. Dr. Narvaez’s current research explores how early life experience influences societal culture and moral character in children and adults. She integrates neurobiological, clinical, developmental and education sciences in her theories and research about moral development. She publishes extensively on moral development, parenting and education. Recently she has been studying the Evolved Developmental Niche (nest) and how it influences moral development, moral capacities and preferences. She hosts interdisciplinary conferences at the University of Notre Dame regarding early experience, flourishing and evolution. In 2016, she organizes a conference on Sustainable Wisdom: Integrating Indigenous KnowHow for Global Flourishing. She is the author or editor of numerous books and articles. Her recent book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom (2014), won the 2015 William James Book Award from the American Psychological Association. She is executive editor of the Journal of Moral Educationhttp://darcianarvaez.com/  http://www3.nd.edu/~dnarvaez/

AUTHOR OF: Moral Landscapes

I write typically about research findings related to moral functioning and living a good life. Sometimes I muse on things that I puzzle about (politics). I am very concerned about how much our society doesn’t seem to know about how to raise good, healthy and happy children, so I spend a great deal of time on parenting. I also write about things that I am working on myself–the endless quest for virtue! This is an opinion blog, not a set of research articles, intended for the public not scientists. For more nuanced and highly referenced work, look at my academic work.

Dr. Naresh Singh is currently an independent consultant in international development working mainly in the areas of sustainable livelihoods and resilience building in crisis and post crisis situations.  He was the Program Director of the Caribbean Local Economic Development Program with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities  ( 2012-2013 and was Director General of Strategic Planning and Operations the Partnerships with Canadians Branch at CIDA until January 2012 where he was also Acting Vice-President 2009-2010. From 2006 to 2008 he was Executive Director of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, co-chaired by Madeleine Albright and Hernando de Soto and hosted by UNDP.

Naresh has had a distinguished career in international development that has included work in more than 40 countries.  Before joining the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, he served as Director General of Governance and Social Development at CIDA.  From 1996 to 2001, he worked at the U.N.D.P. as Principal Adviser on Poverty and Sustainable Livelihoods.  This position followed his three-year tenure as the Director of the Poverty and Empowerment Program at the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Winnipeg, and several years as Executive Director of the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute.

Naresh holds a MSc. from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi and a PhD from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.  He is author of 6 books, several book chapters and numerous articles on governance, poverty and sustainable livelihoods. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Boston University, School of Public Health.  Naresh was also a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, Global Equity Initiative, the Canada Trust visiting professor at University of Waterloo, visiting scholar in international development at McGill University, and a visiting fellow at the University of Guelph, among others.

Outside of academia, Naresh has advised several organizations, including the Commonwealth Secretariat; the Pan American Health Organization; and the Foundation of International Environment Law and Development.



July 19 & 20, 2017

Hosted by Center for Instruction, Technology, and Innovation at their Mexico Campus, at their Mexico Campus, 179 County Route 64, Mexico, NY 13114

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