Who we are

Who We Are

Our Story

In 2015 after more than two decades of talks with scientists and educators about the promise of bringing compassion and ethics into K-12 and higher education, the Dalai Lama asked Emory University to create a curriculum for compassion-based ethics that would be universal in application and grounded in science, reflecting the Dalai Lama’s vision for a universal, non-sectarian, and science-based approach to the education of heart and mind. That year an Emory team led by Dr. Lobsang Negi created an initial framework and sample curriculum. With input from Dr. Thupten Jinpa, Dr. Robert Roeser and Dr. Daniel Goleman, author of “Emotional Intelligence,” the framework evolved further to align with the worldwide movement in Social Emotional Learning (SEL), while adding key additional components including attention training, compassion and ethical discernment, systems thinking and resilience and trauma-informed practice.  These enhancements prompted Dr. Goleman to refer to SEE Learning as "SEL 2.0." SEE Learning has also benefited from the ongoing support and guidance of key SEL founders and researchers, including Linda Lantieri, Dr. Mark Greenberg and Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, as well as dozens of K-12 teachers and educators and other experts, such as Elaine Miller-Karas, director of the Trauma Resource Institute.

In 2017, Emory began offering SEE Learning educator preparation workshops.  The first workshops were held  in Atlanta, GA, Aspen, CO, Peoria, IL, Frankfurt (Germany), Dehradun (India), and Dharamsala (India), reaching over 500 educators who introduced the SEE Learning curriculum into their classrooms and who also offered extensive feedback to the SEE Learning team members developing the curriculum.

The global launch of SEE Learning took place April 4-6, 2019, in New Delhi, India with His Holiness the Dalai Lama presiding over the event co-hosted by Emory University, The Dalai Lama Trust, and Vana Foundation.  He was joined by fellow Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi as well as leading international educationists, education researchers, philanthropists, and policy leaders.  More than 1200 people from thirty-seven countries attended. 

Since the launch, individual educator preparation has largely shifted to "SEE Learning 101," an on-line platform (seelearning.emory.edu).  On-the-ground workshops are currently being conducted around the world to train facilitators who can train teachers in their respective schools, districts, and regions.

At present, SEE Learning has well-established connections in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Nepal, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Sweden, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Mongolia, Russia, Jordan, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, and the USA.  The See Learning resource materials are rapidly being translated into additional languages.

Our People

Lobsang Tenzin Negi

Lobsang Tenzin Negi is the executive director of the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics at Emory University where he oversees SEE Learning™ (Social, Emotional, and Ethical Learning), a program that develops and implements curricula for kindergarten through university level for the education of heart and mind among other initiatives. Lobsang was born in Kinnaur, a remote Himalayan region adjoining Tibet. A former monk, he began his monastic training at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamasala, India, and continued his education at Drepung Loseling Monastery in south India, where in 1994 he received the Geshe Lharampa degree. Lobsang completed his PhD at Emory University in 1999; his interdisciplinary dissertation centered on traditional Buddhist and contemporary Western approaches to emotions and their impact on wellness. His current research focuses on the complementarity of modern science and contemplative practice. 

Brendan Ozawa-de Silva, PhD, D.Phil

Brendan Ozawa-de Silva is the Associate Director for SEE Learning at the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics at Emory University. Prior to this, he served as associate professor of psychology at Life University, and as associate director for the Center for Compassion, Integrity, and Secular Ethics at Life University. His research focuses on the psychological, social, and ethical dimensions of prosocial emotions and their cultivation, with a focus on compassion and forgiveness; and his chief interest lies in bringing secular ethics—the cultivation of basic human values—into education and society. He was the founding director of the Chillon Project, a higher-education-in-prison program, a Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute, and an associate editor for the Journal for Healthcare, Science, and the Humanities. Brendan holds doctorates from the University of Oxford and Emory University. 

Lindy Settevendemie, MAT

Lindy Settevendemie is the Project Coordinator for SEE Learning. Lindy manages the areas of curriculum development and educator preparation. She also serves as a liaison with school partners and co-teaches SEE Learning in an afterschool program at an Atlanta public school. Prior to her position at Emory, Lindy worked for a decade with public middle and high school students and teachers in Georgia and North Carolina, mentoring and coaching educators, writing curriculum for 6th–12th grade classes, and facilitating student advisory groups that supported social-emotional learning and academic development. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Georgia and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary English Education from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Tsondue Samphel
Tsondue Samphel is the International Coordinator for the SEE Learning Program. He joined the SEE Learning team in November 2018 to take on the responsibility of coordinating the international aspects of the SEE Learning Program. Prior to taking on this role, Tsondue worked as a senior translator for the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative--a monastic science education initiative of the Center--translating scientific materials into Tibetan and supervising publication and collaborator relationships. He is one of the core members of the ETSI team that is creating scientific lexicons in Tibetan. Mr. Samphel holds a BS degree from Emory, and Pharchin Rabjam (BA equivalent degree) and Uma Rabjam (MA equivalent degree) in Buddhist Studies from Institute of Buddhist Dialectics.
Christa M. Tinari, MA
Christa Tinari is a Professional Learning and Curriculum Consultant for SEE Learning. She works on the development of the curriculum and educator preparation materials and process. For twenty years, Christa has provided expertise in peace education, bullying prevention and social-emotional learning to thousands of educational leaders, community members and students. She was formerly Adjunct Instructor of Education at Temple University, where she taught future educators how to build compassionate classrooms. She sat on the committee that crafted the Social-Emotional Learning Standards for the New Jersey State Department of Education and holds an M.A. in International Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution with additional credentialing in Student Assistance Counseling.
Tyralynn Frazier, PhD, MPH

Tyralynn Frazier is the lead Research Scientist with the SEE Learning Program. In this capacity, she works on the strategic development of implementation and evaluation goals and objectives that support evidence-based program planning. Her background is in the study of emotional self-regulation, and the importance of emotional regulation in the relationship between stressors experienced over the life course such as discrimination, violence, and trauma. Tyralynn's primary objective is to focus the SEE Learning research program on developing an effective educational intervention that has the potential to have a lifelong positive impact on both educators and students. She holds an MPH in epidemiology from Emory University, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Anthropology from Emory University.

Tenzin Sonam, PhD
Tenzin Sonam is a researcher with the SEE Learning Program. He works on the assessment and evaluation of the K-12 SEE Learning curricula, and on the online educator preparation platform. Sonam received his Ph.D. in Teaching and Teacher Education from University of Arizona in 2017. His research interest is in studying the learning experiences of communities traversing multiple epistemologies and worldviews, and how cultures influence learning and education in general. His doctoral dissertation looks at how monastics understand and situate the biological theory of evolution from their traditional Buddhist worldview. Prior to that, he worked in the science section of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in India where he worked with programs such as the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative.

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