Myths and Folktales
A special thank you to the team of generous people who contributed to this project.
Mark Nepo, Project Coordinator
Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for over thirty years. Nominated for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, he has written several books. Most recently, he published The Exquisite Risk (Harmony Books, NY, 2005) which Spirituality & Health Magazine cited as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2005, calling it "one of the best books we've ever read on what it takes to live an authentic life." Mark is also the editor of Deepening the American Dream: Reflections on the Inner Life and Spirit of Democracy, a collection of essays from Jossey-Bass (Fall 2005). His most recent books of poetry are Suite for the Living (2004) and Inhabiting Wonder (2004), available from Bread for the Journey (www.breadforthejourney.org). His work has been translated into French, Portuguese, Japanese, and Danish. He formerly served as a Program Officer for the Fetzer Institute. Mark's personal website is www.marknepo.com.
Jomie Goerge is a social worker advocating for children in a variety of settings. She has worked in both rural and urban public school systems. She also serves as a Trustee for The Colina Foundation and volunteers for other non-profit organizations in the Kalamazoo area where she lives with her husband and two children. Jomie previously worked at The Fetzer Institute as a program officer in the area of philanthropy.
Deborah Higgins is a Program Manager who has been with the Fetzer Institute since 2001 and supports projects across a number of concentration areas.
Margo McLoughlin is a writer and storyteller with a particular interest in the healing power of narrative. She translates and performs her own adaptations of the Jataka, Buddhist stories said to be the Buddha's recollections of his previous lives. As a chaplain at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Margo offered several storytelling series which brought patients, families and staff together to listen to stories and share their reflections. Margo has published short fiction in several anthologies, including Nixon Under the Bodhi Tree and Other Works of Buddhist Fiction (Wisdom Publications, 2004). Margo received a Master of Divinity degree from the Harvard Divinity School in 2003.
Wayne Muller, founder of Bread for the Journey, is an ordained minister, a therapist, and an author. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, he has spent the last twenty-five years working closely with some of the most disadvantaged members of society. He is the founder of the Institute for Engaged Spirituality, a Senior Scholar with the Fetzer Institute, and Extended Faculty of the Institute of Noetic Sciences.
Wayne Muller is the author of the national bestseller Legacy of the Heart: The Spiritual Advantages of a Painful Childhood, (Simon and Schuster). His following two books are How, Then, Shall We Live? Four Simple Questions That Revealing the Beauty and Meaning of Our Lives and Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in our Busy Lives, (Random House). His latest book is called Learning to Pray: How We Find Heaven on Earth (Random House).
Peggy Quinn is an Administrative Assistant with the Fetzer Institute since 2004, and provides administrative support to the Generosity of Spirit project.
Megan Scribner is a freelance editor and has worked on several books including: Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach; Living the Questions: Essays Inspired by the Work and Life of Parker J. Palmer; Stories of the Courage to Teach: Honoring the Teacher's Heart; and Navigating the Terrain of Childhood: Guidebook for Meaningful Parenting and Heartfelt Discipline. She has also worked as a researcher, scribe and evaluator of programs.
Over the past fifteen years, Ian has met with inspiring international and local leaders in over 20 countries across five continents and visited scores of grassroots and global social change projects. While in college, Ian became a founding director of Resource Generation, a national organization of young people interested in social change. Ian has advanced projects on issues such as basic human rights, democratic elections, financial corruption, just compensation for immigrants, global AIDS, and youth leadership. Underlying the initiatives is an interest in what it means for Americans to be global citizens. Ian has conceived and catalyzed several public service initiatives which have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The International Herald Tribune, as well as on CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN.
Zelene Wilkins is founder and president of Management Consulting International, Inc., which provides management support to nonprofits in a variety of programming and admnistrative areas. She has worked with various philanthropic institutions including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Battle Creek Community Foundation, International Youth Foundation and the Fetzer Institute at the local, national and international levels. She holds master's degrees in International Affairs and French, both from Ohio University, and is pursuing doctoral studies in Evaluation.
Zelene's interest in generosity and philanthropy started as a child, emulating the generosity of her mom and being involved in volunteer activities with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. She played an active role in community development activities for women and children in Sierra Leone and was recognized with a travel award from UNESCO for her leadership. She used the award to do a comparative analysis of development projects for youth and women in East and West Africa. Zelene now reports to her two-year-old son and hopes to pass on to him the gift and the joy of generosity.
Dr. Pat Harbour, a Certified Professional Coach, assists teachers, entrepreneurs, trainers/facilitators and other professionals achieve breakthrough performance, personal and professional excellence and balance. Her experience includes: Educator, teacher principal, assistant superintendent; Social Change Leader and Trainer/Founder of Healing the Heart of Diversity, a Fetzer Institute initiative; and, Entrepreneur/CEO of Center for Quality Education, LLC; Breakthrough Coaching; www.mybreakthroughcoach.com.
Alexandra Cosima Budabin, story collector and reader
Alexandra is originally from New York City. In 2000, she graduated from Harvard University with a degree in History and the History of Art and Architecture. Alexandra recently completed a Master of Arts in Social Thought and Humanities at New York University, where her thesis investigated the status of refugees in relation to a framework of global citizenship.
Karen Craddock, story collector and reader
Karen is a mother is a mother of two who lives in the New England area while pursuing a Ph.D. in Child Development at Tufts University. As part of an independent study while completing her M.Ed. at Harvard University Graduate School Education, Karen looked at narrative styles in African-American children. A Parent Facilitator as part of The Parenting Journey curriculum at The Family Center in Somerville, MA, Karen also serves on the Board of the Shady Hill School in Cambridge.
Alison MacDonald, story collector and reader
Alison grew up in England and attended the American School in London. A recent Harvard University graduate with a B.A. in Folklore and Mythologoy, Alison conducted ethnographic research on Western “tribal” tattooing and body piercing for her undergraduate thesis. During the course of her studies, she investigated the them of reciprocity in Zuni folktales.
Elizabeth Hagan, story collector and reader
A 2003 Harvard University graduate, Elizabeth’s senior thesis was based on ethnographic research in Central Asia. She has won national honors for her leadership in environmental education initiatives.
LeAnna Alderman Sterste, story teller and reader
Originally from Appalachia, West Virginia, LeAnna is currently a candidate for a Master’s of Science degree in Philanthropy and Media from Suffolk University where she is also doing coursework in Documentary Production and Nonprofit Management. An accomplished short story writer, LeAnna also has experience as a grant writer, editor and writing instructor. As part of her Master’s thesis, she is shooting and editing a short documentary on a girls’ empowerment camp in West Virginia. She graduated summa cum laude with high distinction from Amherst College and also spent three years as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Allegheny Mountain Radio where she produced and hosted a weekly oral history radio series called Living History.
The Learning to Give Generosity of Spirit Team
Kathy Agard, Executive Director
Dr. Kathryn Agard has over thirty years of nonprofit leadership and management experience. She has worked with grantmaking foundations, sixteen of those years with the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF). Agard first served CMF as the founding program manager for the Michigan Community Foundations’ Youth Project, and then as founder and Executive Director of Learning to Give. In 2006, Kathy was named as Executive Director of the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University.
Barbara Dillbeck, Curriculum Director
Barbara is director of Learning to Give (LTG) part of generationOn, the youth division of Points of Light Institute. She taught elementary school for more than 20 years, before joining LTG. Barbara holds a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education from Hope College and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction (philanthropic focus) from Ferris State University. Barbara mentors teacher writers in creating teaching units and maintains quality assurance of the lesson materials throughout the editing and Fairness Review process. She also plans and presents professional development workshops,and recruits and nurtures schools in implementing service-learning and philanthropy edcuation.
Rita Higgins, Communications and Information Technology Director
Rita has over 30 years of marketing experience in a variety of business settings including: Gordon Food Service, Burdick and Jackson Laboratories (a division of Honeywell), and TCI Cablevision. Her experience includes senior-level corporate responsibilities in advertising, literature development, trade shows, national marketing, cable television production, and Internet/computer technologies. She has also served as a corporate in-house trainer on computer use for a technical sales team. Rita holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Grand Valley State University.
Jennifer Matteson, Program Associate
Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Cornerstone University. As a registered social worker, she has experience in nonprofit management, including senior-level responsibility for managing a sheltered workshop for Goodwill Industries. In her role at Learning to Give, she assisted with the development, publication and marketing of new business products, Web site maintenance; planning and support for the individual giving campaign; and providing ongoing support to the Curriculum Director and the Communications and Information Technology Director. Jennifer was instrumental in placing the Generosity of Spirit content on the Learning to Give Web site.
Evelyn Nash, Lesson Writer/Consultant
Retired after 30 years of teaching and administrative experience with the Detroit Public Schools, Evelyn is a high school lesson editor and writer. She served DPS as the Social Studies Curriculum Director, and has been active in the Michigan Council for the Social Studies.