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, PhD, Geshe Lharam

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. 

Ryder Delaloye, Ed.D

Ryder Delaloye is the Associate Director for the SEE Learning Program. He is a practitioner of education and learning, his experience as a teacher and administrator spans from 2nd grade through graduate school. He has taught in public and private schools and universities both domestically and internationally. Prior to his role as the Associate Director of SEE Learning, his research and school engagement focused on whole school and district transformation, district leadership, sustainability education, civic education, and teacher and administrator SEL. Ryder believes that education is vehicle for interpersonal growth and societal change. He is grounded by his wife and children, with whom he loves to play and go on adventures in the mountains. He received his Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Montana.

Tsondue Samphel
Tsondue Samphel is the Assistant Director 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.
Tanya Frierson

Tanya Frierson serves as a Senior Program Coordinator for the SEE Learning Program.Tanya has eight years experience as an educator teaching middle grades humanities in Atlanta and South Fulton. Most recently, she served as the Equity & Service Coach at a K-8 charter school in Atlanta Public Schools. Tanya received her Bachelor's in Middle Grades Education from Georgia State University. She went on to earn her Master's in Curriculum and Instruction at Georgia Southern University. Tanya lives in Atlanta with her husband and four children. She is a certified CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training) Instructor who appreciates the opportunity to help children and adults improve their emotional health and well-being.

Iman Sebunya

Iman Sebunya is the Senior International Program Coordinator for SEE Learning. She has worked in K-12 Education for ten years, in a variety of contexts and settings. She has been a teacher, teacher trainer, curriculum developer and director of therapeutic learning. Iman is very passionate about innovative models for educating the whole child, and believes in creating spaces where scholars are held in holistic, healthy, safe, secure, integrated and connected ways which in turn, allows scholars to rise to their full potential and further impact personal and societal change. She holds an MA in International Education Development with a focus in Peace and Human Rights Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. While there, her research was centered around non-formal religious education in Senegal and its role in promoting social cohesion in rural and urban settings.

Elizabeth Ura
Elizabeth Ura is a Senior Program Coordinator for SEE Learning. Prior to joining SEE Learning, she worked as a public defender for nearly a decade. Working with diverse populations under tense and emotionally-charged conditions, Elizabeth saw the deep need for the transformative power of heart and mind education for all people. Her experience living with a Tibetan refugee community in India and among indigent communities in Central Appalachia, as well as her time as a public defender, informs her professional dedication to ensuring human dignity and personhood is recognized within any system individuals engage. She received her Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law.
Tyralynn Frazier, PhD, MPH

Tyralynn Frazier is the lead Research Scientist with the SEE Learning Program. She is dedicated to developing a global research program for the cultivation of more compassionate schools. Over the last three years, Tyralynn has worked with international research collaborators, school leaders, and non-profit organizations to support the development of compassion-based education research worldwide. Through these relationships, the research team develops evidence-based program planning to help schools and school systems create spaces of increased compassionate engagement. Tyralynn’s passion for this work comes from a deep desire to leave the world just a little bit better than it was before she arrived. Her dedication to building schools that support compassionate, prosocial development reflects her commitment to understanding how research can help foster a positive difference in the lives of others. Schools are complex, dynamic, and ever-changing systems. The goal of this research agenda is to understand how to positively shift these complex systems across cultural and contextual landscapes. This work happens meaningfully through team efforts, and she is so grateful for the collaboration of colleagues and partners around the world who share her vision of systems that can support the well-being of all. Tyralynn has an MPH in epidemiology from Emory University and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Anthropology.

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.
Kimble Sorrells

Kimble Sorrells is the Program Coordinator for SEE Learning. He has worked in the non-profit sector, prior to joining the SEE Learning team, where they have over ten years of experience in program development and management. In addition to their non-profit background, Kimble is also an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and a Registered Yoga Teacher through the Yoga Alliance. In this capacity, they have taught contemplative practices and developed education programs for children, youth, and adults. Kimble holds a Master of Divinity from Emory University and a B.A. in Religion from Berry College. Kimble’s professional interest lies at the intersection of spirituality and social justice work, and they are an active leader in LGBTQ+ advocacy and spiritual care in Atlanta.

Nora Donovan
Nora Donovan is a Program Coordinator for SEE Learning. Prior to joining SEE Learning, Nora spent three years working as a special education teacher in both preschool and elementary settings. During this time, she honed her skills in providing individualized instruction and support to children with diverse learning needs. Nora is committed to educating the whole child and providing opportunities for all children to succeed. She possesses a deep passion for promoting inclusivity and empowering children to recognize their full potential. Nora holds a BS degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in Early Childhood Education and Special Education.
Amy Richards
Amy Richards works with the SEE Learning® program as a Data Analyst, and brings with her a background in public health and anthropology. With the SEE Learning research team, she coordinates the collection and management of students and educator data from multiple research sites. She works closely with the Compassion Lab student research team and is a certified CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training) facilitator. Her special interests include loneliness, belonging, inclusion, contemplative ethics, community asset assessments, qualitative methods, and systems transformation.

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