About Us

About the Initiative

The Contemplative Practices in Education (CPE) initiative at FIU aspires to support contemplative practice in all facets of university life.  Members of the CPE Workgroup and various FIU faculty collaborate to cultivate an academic community that enhances teaching and learning, fosters individual and institutional well-being, and contributes to the research surrounding contemplative practices.

Contemplative practices can help us live with greater awareness, improved focus, enhanced purpose, and closer connection to our core values.  When we engage in contemplative practices regularly, we are more likely to experience a sense of wellbeing, belonging, and interconnectedness to our local and global communities. This interconnectedness can be a conduit against division and toward solidarity in bringing about a more just world. 

This initiative is also part of FIU's broader Equity Action Initiative to address issues of inclusion and equity. Contemplative practices, for instance, can be used to help people recognize unconscious biases and to skillfully work through race issues and engage in racial justice work.

Contemplative practices are rich and varied, with roots in diverse traditions from around the globe.  We may practice in stillness, such as through mindfulness meditation or deep listening.  Others may engage in movement practices, such as tai chi, yoga, qigong, dance, or walking meditation.  Expressive acts—such as making music, dancing, or journaling—can also be forms of contemplation. This artist’s rendition of a tree of contemplative practices offers additional examples.

As part of the CPE initiative, we offer a broad range of programs and services. The Workshop Series and Speaker Series support ongoing reflection and exchange about faculty efforts to implement contemplative practices into their teaching and scholarship. Mindful Mondays provide a space for fostering presence, awareness, and resilience. Reading groups present an opportunity for interdisciplinary conversations regarding the use and benefits of these practices in higher education. Consultations are also available for educators interested in integrating these practices into their teaching. 

Podcast Featuring CAT's Contemplative Practices Initiative

CAT Assistant Director Dr. Ileana Hernandez sits down with Laura Baecher from the POD Network to discuss CAT's Contemplative Practices in Education initiative and more. Additional Centering Centers podcast episodes are available on Anchor.

Contact Us & Location: 

For general information, please contact us via email at teach@fiu.edu, call 305-348-4214, or stop by CAT at PC 237. To schedule a consultation, please fill out the request form

Our mailing address:

Center for the Advancement of Teaching

Contemplative Practices in Education Initiative

11200 S.W. 8 Street, PC 237

Miami, FL 33199 


Meet Our Team

Photograph of Ileana Hernandez

Ileana Hernandez, Ph.D., LMHC, CMT-P

Ileana Hernandez leads the Contemplative Practices in Education initiative, is an Assistant Director for CAT, and an adjunct for the Department of Psychology. She earned her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from FIU and is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in the assessment and treatment of anxiety. She is a Certified Mindfulness Teacher trained with UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. 

Photograph of Ana Luszcynska

Ana M. Luszczynska, Ph.D.

Ana M. Luszczynska is an Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Department of English. Her research and teaching interests include US Latinx and African-American literatures as well as phenomenology and deconstruction. She has been studying and practicing yoga and meditation since 2009 and is continually struck by the various connections between her scholarly endeavors and contemplative practices.

Photograph of Erin Weston

Erin Weston

Erin Weston is the Director of the Program in the Study of Spirituality at FIU. She teaches a variety of classes in the Department of Religious Studies, including Meditation and Mystical Traditions, Survey of Buddhism, Magic and Religions, and Healers and Mediums. She is committed to designing curriculum that provides students with transformative, experiential educational experiences.

Photograph of Michael Creeden

Michael Creeden

Michael Creeden is a Teaching Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of English.  A former technical writer and project manager, his teaching and professional interests include writing in the workplace, developing student-centered assessment practices, and helping students prepare for post-college life. He has been meditating since 1998 and enjoys sharing meditation practices with students as an aid to their personal, academic, and professional development. 

Photograph of Paul Feigenbaum

Paul Feigenbaum, Ph.D.

Paul Feigenbaum is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Florida International University and co-editor of the Community Literacy Journal. He is currently Director of Project THINC: Teaching Humanities in the New Context, a Mellon-funded grant to facilitate curricular development and scholarship for Humanities faculty at FIU. His research, teaching, and engagement interests include wicked learning, community literacy, public rhetoric, justice entrepreneurship, and the intersections between rhetoric and psychology.

Photograph of Rosario Lozada

Rosario Lozada, J.D.

Rosario Lozada, associate professor of Legal Skills & Values at the College of Law, is committed to making well-being education and practices accessible to members of the FIU community. As part of that commitment, Lozada frequently facilitates mindfulness workshops for students, staff, and faculty. Lozada is trained as a mindfulness facilitator with UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.