Meet Our Self-Care Guides
Marydale Hahn Pecora
Marydale Hahn Pecora, RMT, is founder and director of Param Yoga Healing Arts Center. A practicing yogi since 1970, as well as a certified Yoga Therapist and Reiki Master Teacher, Marydale creates classes with a strong, systematic structure and flow anchored in the breath, which she has adapted into a simple, yet effective, practice that can be done at your desk in just a few minutes to relieve stress and rejuvenate you in body, mind, and spirit. (for more information go to http://www.param-yoga.com/)
Malene Kai Bell
Malene Kai Bell, M.A., Founder and Practitioner at S.A.G.E. Wellness. “S.A.G.E. imagines a world where schools are loving spaces for children. For this vision to manifest, it is imperative that we support the well-being of educators and staff who take care of our children.” (for more information go to www.wellbeingforteachers.com)
I’ve practiced daily mindfulness meditation for 10 years. My introduction came at CSUN in 1983 when my Indian philosophy professor lead a guided meditation session during class. I loved it! Years later, backpacking through Southeast Asia, the lead monk of a Buddhist temple in Saigon took me under his wing, graciously tutoring me in hand postures, lotus position, and breath work. Flash forward to 2009, during a personal crisis, I turned seriously toward daily mediation to relieve severe anxiety. What began as a struggle to clear my mind for two to three minutes at a time, evolved into 10-years daily meditation for about 20-30 minutes. That practice segued beautifully into daily quest for expanded consciousness, and my meditation often happens on enormous sandstone boulders among the wild foothills near my home.
I enjoy leading simple meditation sessions, introducing novices to practice I’ve found life altering in the best of ways. At small gatherings and in learning circles, people to join me in breath awareness. Recently, I’ve opened Toolbox LA’s First Friday events with brief mindfulness/breath-work sessions. https://www.facebook.com/events/toolboxla/first-fridays-at-toolbox-la/348154775745033/
I’m an artist, and these days, much of my art revolves around interconnectedness gleaned from meditation. During the Self-Care session I’ll be leading at CSUN, as a backdrop to our meditation work, I’ll play excerpts from Mind Murmur, a meditation-oriented art installation I created for Burning Man. Beneath a glowing pyramid, a meditator sat peacefully in lotus position wearing an EEG headset; as their mediation deepened, the pyramid pulsed and responded. From the meditator’s live EEG data, we created fractal video art, and controlled tiered soundscapes and an LED chandelier. Mind Murmur created a beautiful scene for onlookers, and a sublime environment for the meditator.
During the Self-Care session, you’ll see and hear the fractal art and sounds spun from a pre-recorded Mind Murmur EEG session. For a preview, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXVDhvUQqn4&t=150s
More about my artwork:
Ellen Bauersfeld is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator and has been practicing in the nutrition field for 28 years. She has an extensive background in nutrition related to wellness, weight management, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. As the Staff Registered Dietitian at the Klotz Student Health Center at CSUN she provides individual counseling for students and is a frequent speaker in classrooms and at campus events. In addition, Ellen collaborates with a variety of campus departments including Athletics, the Student Recreation Center, University Student Union, The University Corporation and Human Resources where she is able to provide her nutrition expertise to help students enhance their academic experience. Ellen is a “Home Grown” staff member, graduating from CSUN in 1987 with a Master’s Degree in Nutrition. For questions, please contact Ellen before or after the activity session. Check out her CSUN On Point Discussion.
Mechelle N. Best
Mechelle N. Best, PhD, Associate Professor, Chair & Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Recreation & Tourism Management. Michelle has been awarded a grant to re/connect the community (including students, staff, faculty, and administration) with the state parks. She arranges for transportation, fee payment, and docent guides for local national state walks. Learn more about her fall semester walks and activities by contacting her at 818 677-3858 or emailing her at
Joshua Einhorn, Ed.D., is Grants Officer of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education. He has a Master’s degree in community health education. Also he is a certified yoga teacher with over 500 hours of instruction. For five years he taught three yoga classes weekly through the Los Angeles Unified School District “Older Adult” Branch. He will use lessons learned to instruct staff and faculty in chair yoga and guided relaxation exercises.
Diane Gehart, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling and a licensed California Marriage and Family Therapist, who has a national reputation for her work in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. She authored Mindfulness and Acceptance in Couple and Family Therapy and has conducted research on using mindfulness to enhance training of therapists in their first year of practice. See her website for more on mindfulness meditation.
Joo Kim teaches for the College of Health and Human Development and is an acupuncturist at the CSUN Health Center. Joo presents on Asian and holistic medicine and stress.
Susan Krikorian, MPH, CHES, is a Health Educator and Certified Wellness and Health Coach for students at Klotz Student Health Center. She also serves as a preceptor to undergraduate and graduate interns in the Public Health program. Susan is very passionate about health and wellness and self-care, and is happy to be able to share her knowledge and experience to help CSUN students (and SUN faculty and staff attendees!) make healthier lifestyle choices for themselves.
Meet Our Self-Care Program Facilitators
Shari Tarver Behring
Shari Tarver Behring, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and holds CA credentials in School Counseling and School Psychology. She is currently the Interim Dean for the Michael D. Eisner College of Education. Shari has been on a journey of finding out about self-care for several years, and has visited self-care programs all over the country, and in Canada. She soon realized that the answers to her questions, similar to the great lesson of Siddhartha, lead her straight back to her own home. To learn more about the SUN Program or discuss collaboration and networking possibilities, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Former Self-Care Program Facilitators
Carolyn Jeffries Maeder
In her numerous jobs in the education field, Carolyn Jeffries Maeder, Ph.D., has worked as a science teacher, an instructional designer, a program evaluator, and a college professor. She was stressed until she took to heart the spiritual teachings of presence, compassion, gratitude, and conservation.