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Leadership Team

Niki Elliott

Co-Director, Center for Neurodiversity, Learning, and Wellness

Niki serves as the Co- Director of the Center for Neurodiversity, Learning, and Wellness. She earned a Masters Degree and elementary teaching credential from Teachers College, Columbia University. She holds a PhD in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. Over the past twenty years, Niki has taught at all levels from elementary school to university courses in Education and Human Development. She specializes in the development of educational programs and services for special needs student populations. She is committed to approaching learning differences and behavioral support from a holistic perspective. Niki is a certified energy therapist, Reiki Master Teacher and Level1 Kundalini Yoga instructor. As the founder of the Innerlight Method, Niki trains educators, mental health professionals and parents to include mindfulness, nutrition and energy balancing techniques to support student success. She is the author of two books on energy healing and intuition development.

Laurie Schroeder

Professor, Education

Laurie earned her PhD in Educational Studies from Claremont Graduate University, and has been a faculty member in the MS in Educational Counseling and Pupil Personnel Services Credential program at the LaFetra College of Education for 16 years. Prior to coming to the University of La Verne, she ran a private practice as a marriage and family therapist, and was the director of a community counseling center in southern California. Laurie’s research and scholarship focuses on the social and emotional well being of both teachers and students, and the use of contemplative practices as a foundation of educational practice and pedagogy. She has created holistic, mindfulness-based student assessments that have been used in national studies, and infuses mindfulness and contemplative practices in her work with graduate students in the field of school counseling.

Pat Taylor

Associate Professor, Education & Coordinator of Special Education Programs

Patricia earned her PhD in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and has been a Program Chairperson for special education programs at the University of LaVerne for 27 years. Prior to coming to the University of LaVerne, she was a principal for Los Angeles County Office of Education. Her schools provided services for learners identified as having emotion challenges and behavior disorders.  She learned from and taught such learner for 15 years prior to her principalship.

Patricia’s current writing interests are in the area of the history of  words and their impact of current  social behavior and understanding and in the mytho-poetics of inter and intra –relationships  She considers her area of educational expertise positive behavior support and curriculum design. Whether teaching about the origin stories of words, positive behavior support or delivering culturally responsive instruction her guiding principle is to honor the essence and genius of each individual. Her recently co-authored book, Seeing in the Dark: Wisdom Works by Black Women in Depth Psychology (2017), is a testimony to the importance of honoring the uniqueness of perspective that can contributes to a meaningful whole. She seeks to honor unique perspectives in neuro-diverse learners, their teachers and families and the communities in which they live.

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