Krame Center’s Mindfulness Mission, Vision and Core Values
Our Mission Statement
The mission of the Krame Center is to support faculty, staff and students while also serving the greater community as a distinctive center at Ramapo College of New Jersey, for learning and applied research in contemplative and mindfulness practices for the betterment and well-being of individuals, organizations and society.
To be an inclusive and safe educational environment that fosters the development of faculty, students, staff and the community through meditation, mindfulness and contemplative practices.
Our Core Values
- Enhance human potential through meditaiton, mindful and contemplative programs for individuals, professionals and organizations
- Inspire creativity and innovation through mindfulness and contemplative studies and practice based research
- Foster an inclusive, interdisciplinary and diverse learning environment
- Develop strategic alliances with organizations that exemplify excellence in mindfulness, contemplative
practices and research
- Compassionately understand and serve those in need to reduce human suffering
- Cultivate a sustainable environment that will support the future vitality of the Krame center through fundraising and philanthropy
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a purposeful way of focusing attention in the present moment. It promotes a presence in the here and now that is often lost in today’s fast paced society. Research indicates that mindfulness practices decrease anxiety and stress while enhancing the ability to concentrate and pay attention. The physical and psychological benefits have been well documented.
What is Contemplative Studies?
Contemplative Studies is a new and emerging discipline that applies rigorous research methods to the study of contemplative and mindful practices as expressed across many cultures, traditions and historical eras. This interdisciplinary field spans the Arts and Humanities as well as the Natural and Social Sciences.
Applying Contemplative Practices to Teaching and Learning
Contemplative Studies use a wide spectrum of mindfulness practices to help students learn course material in a deep and meaningful way. It is an approach to teaching and learning that emphasizes direct immediate experience. Examples of contemplative practices vary from mindful ways of journaling, reflective reading, deep listening and many others and can be applied to any course.
Ramapo College takes seriously its mission of educating students as whole persons. The mindful approach to pedagogy complements traditional methods of teaching and learning and would be in agreement with Harry Lewis, former dean of Harvard who states that a college’s job is “to help (students) grow up, to learn who they are, to search for a larger purpose for their lives, and to leave college better human beings.”
Programs, speakers and workshops on mindfulness, meditation and contemplative practices
The Krame Center offers many interesting and innovative programs, speakers and workshops. We offer Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses, free weekly meditation sessions and free Introduction to Mindfulness workshops. Our Creating Mindful Schools program provides K-12 educators with the opportunity to expand their understanding of how mindfulness practices can be concretely applied to the classroom. In addition, we have a speaker series who present on a variety of topics. Check the tabs on the left side of this page for more information. Since partnering with the Center for Mindfulness Mass, we are able to offer Oasis Teacher training Fundamentals courses for those interested in learning to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR.)
Customized Mindfulness workshops are also available to local schools.
Partnership with Center for Mindfulness at University of Massachusetts Medical School
The Krame Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey has partnered with the Center for Mindfulness (CFM) at UMass Medical School. CFM has been a pioneer in the mindfulness movement and in bringing Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course to tens of thousands of people.
In addition to our speaker series and 8-Week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses, the Krame Center offers Silent Retreats and the MBSR Fundamentals Professional Education program for future MBSR instructors, a free Introduction to Mindfulness workshop and special programs for educators. Learn to meditate or expand your practice at our weekly meditation sessions. Our CFM partnership enables us to offer many new and exciting mindfulness programs to the greater New York/New Jersey community.
Our program offerings are listed on our Mindfulness Programs page. There you will find more information about each program and will be able to register for an event.
All events require registration and a parking pass for non-Ramapo participants.
To reach the Krame Center, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 201-684-7475
All programs are offered at Ramapo College campus, 505 Ramapo Valley Rd, Mahwah, NJ 07430, Bergen County in Northern New Jersey.
The Krame Center Directors’ Council
The Krame Center Directors’ Council is composed of faculty and academic staff who oversee the academic standards and the mindfulness mission of Krame Center offerings.
Carol Bowman, Faculty Advisor, Coordinator of the Faculty Mindful Fellows Program
Carol Bonilla Bowman, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Education at Ramapo College of New Jersey, holds a doctorate in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her specialties include elementary education, portfolio assessment, bilingual education, and mindful education. She is the Faculty Advisor of the Krame Center for Contemplative Studies and Mindful Living and Director of Yoga Programs at Ramapo. She was trained at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School to teach Mind Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Her training to teach .b mindfulness curriculum to middle and high school students was completed in July 2015. A yoga practitioner most of her life and a yoga teacher for the last 10 years, her practice has expanded to include a variety of contemplative practices of Zen and Tibetan Buddhism.
She is also the Coordinator for the Mindfulness Fellows Program of the Krame Center. Through this program, faculty receive support to bring mindful practices into their classrooms and their lives. The mindfulness based courses she teaches include Contemplative Practices in Education, Yoga, and MBSR. It is her greatest pleasure to introduce mindfulness practice to future teachers. Her publications include an article on Yoga for students suspended from school and she continues to work on mindfulness based research projects that examine Yoga teaching, assessment, and elementary education. She is dedicated to engaging the Ramapo community in mindful interactions across the curriculum and culture of our institution.
Catherine Magner, Program Coordinator
Catherine is a Graduate of Villanova University with a BS in Economics, and is a Certified Holistic Health Coach from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Before joining the Krame Center in 2015, she was the Program and Marketing Coordinator at the Chambers Center for Well Being at Morristown Medical Center; and was a major part of the team instrumental in opening this new 20,000 square foot wellness center. Her past experience includes management in NYC and Boston Advertising Agencies; pioneering the health and wellness committee at one of the elementary schools in Glen Rock, NJ; and offering coaching services and education as a Holistic Health Coach and a writer for an online newsletter and her local Patch.com. Her own personal journey has been focused around healthy living and the practice of vinyasa yoga, meditation and mindfulness.
Carolyn Tucci, Program Assistant
Graduate of University of Illinois BS Business/Marketing. Market Researcher, Marketing Consultant, Founding Member and President of Mahwah Schools Foundation, Fundraiser Thomas C. Giordano Memorial Educational Fund. Certified Children’s Yoga Instructor for ages 3-17, Yoga and Meditation practices
Peter Shalit, Krame Assistant
Peter Shalit, a Graduate of Syracuse University with a BA in Psychology, studied Eastern Philosophy and Practices in Asia for several years. He is a qualified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher and is a Certified Yoga Instructor. Peter leads meditations and mindfulness practices, and develops talks and programs for the Krame Center.
Kathleen Burke presently serves as the Assistant Dean in Charge of Nursing at Ramapo College of NJ. In this position, she is the chief administrator of a 550 student program with pre-licensure, RN to BSN and MSN programs. She has been in this position since 2007. In this role she has created academic/clinical partnerships between the college and The Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, NJ, The University of Sierra Leone in West Africa and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. Additionally, she serves as research advisor to three large Magnet Hospitals in NJ (Hackensack University Medical Center, St Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, and The Valley Hospital). Prior to that, she was the Assistant Dean of the UMDNJ (the State’s health sciences university) School of Nursing, in charge of the Northern Region since 1996. As a nurse, she has a long history of applying the principles of mindfulness in patient care. She was one of the first nurses in the area trained in therapeutic touch.
Kathleen had served as a member of Quality New Jersey as an examiner, trainer, senior examiner and Member of The Board of Judges from 1995-2003. She has been a member of the Baldrige Board of Examiners since 2004, serving as a senior examiner and presently an Alumni Examiner. She has also facilitated training and served on writing panels and scorebook review panels. She has participated in and led numerous site visits both on a state and national level. She led the first of the new Baldrige Collaborative Assessment Teams.
Kathleen is presently serving on the Board of Trustees of The Valley Home Care System in Ridgewood NJ. She previously served on the Board of The Mountainside Hospital in Glen Ridge, NJ. She is the sole academic representative to the NJ Council of Magnet Organizations and the Northern NJ Council of Magnet Organizations.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers-The State University of NJ, College of Nursing. Her MA is from New York University, Division of Nursing and she holds a PhD in Nursing Theory and Research from New York University. She has completed the Six Sigma Green Belt certification from Villanova University. Recently she was awarded an AACN/Wharton Executive Leadership Fellowship.
Jill Brown joined the staff of Ramapo College in 2000 as the Benefits Manager in the Human Resources Department. She received a BA in English from SUNY/Plattsburgh and a Masters in Counseling from the College of New Jersey. She has coordinated wellness initiatives for the employee population.
Angela Cristini received her Ph.D. in Biology from the City University of New York. She is a Professor of Biology at Ramapo College of New Jersey and is the Assistant Vice President for the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs.
Dr. Cristini’s credentials in grant seeking range from grants for her biological research to securing funding from the National Science Foundation for a $1.2 million biology laboratory renovation project in the science building in 2010. She has a national reputation as an expert in STEM education for students, educators and the community including being the Co-PI on a NJDOE funded – Math Science Partnership grant from 2010-2013. She has been invited by the National Science Foundation to present her work at national meetings and by the National Academies of Sciences to serve on the Committee on Informal STEM Learning.
Angela and her team deliver STEM learning to over 30,000 students from K-12 schools in NJ at the Meadowlands and Wayne Environment Centers. The team has developed partnerships with more than 30 school districts that involve working with educators and administrators on STEM curriculum development.
Cathleen Davey is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement and executive director of Ramapo College Foundation. The scope of this position, which she has held since 1993, encompasses fundraising, communications, and external relations. Ms. Davey creates partnerships between the College and the community to obtain funds for scholarships, faculty development, and campus projects. She cultivates, solicits, and receives funds from alumni, friends, parents, corporations, and foundations. She is a member of the New Jersey Association of Fund Raising Professionals and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. She is past President of the Greater Mahwah Regional Chamber of Commerce (GMRCC). She serves on the University Advisory Council at Seton Hall University and previously served on the Campus Ministry Board for the Archdiocesan of Newark. She is president of the school board for her children’s school. Ms. Davey was part of the first M.A. class in Public and Corporate Communication at Seton Hall University where she also earned her B.A. She worked for nine years at her alma mater, serving as director of development.
Brittany A. Goldstein
Brittany joined Ramapo College in 2010. As Chief of Staff, she serves as the primary liaison of the Director’s Council to the College President. Brittany is currently enrolled in a doctoral program and is exploring the connections between mindfulness and leadership. Brittany’s personal contemplative practice includes Sudarshan Kriya and Kai Chi Do.
Anthony T. Padovano
Anthony T. Padovano, Distinguished Professor of Literature and Philosophy, is a founder of Ramapo College and the author of 29 books and 250 articles, including 3 plays, translated into nine languages. He has two doctorates and three masters degrees and is the Director of the graduate program in Liberal Studies. He was a decisive influence in creating the Padovano Peace Pavilion, the Spiritual Center and the Padovano College Commons.
The Krame Center Advisory Board
The Krame Center for Contemplative Studies and Mindful Living’s Advisory Board is made up of an impressive group of professionals, executives, academics and entrepreneurs, all with a background in mindfulness.
William Krame, Board Chair
Mr. Krame was born to immigrant parents in 1959 in the slums of Paterson, New Jersey. After scoring “off the charts” on various IQ Tests, at the age of six he was selected to study at a world renowned boarding school for gifted children in Lausanne, Switzerland. Upon graduating Valedictorian, Mr. Krame received a full scholarship to Princeton University where he was captain of the Fencing and Chess Teams. After graduating with degrees in both molecular biology and nuclear elasticity, Mr. Krame pursued his Masters Degree at M.I.T. Within 12 short months, he received an M.B.A. and entered the doctoral program at Harvard University. Mr. Krame pursued his post-doctoral studies at Cambridge University, England becoming the youngest ever Nobel Laureate to be considered for the Nobel Prize in Physics. He did not win and the resulting disappointment led to a prolonged period of depression; which eventually caused Mr. Krame to re-evaluate his life and all those things he deemed important. Hence, he discovered Mindfulness.
Although a compelling story, none of the foregoing is true. Mr. Krame is simply a ”normal” middle-aged white male who accidentally came-across Mindfulness 20 years ago while on vacation. Having witnessed first-hand the enormous benefits derived by him and his family through incorporating Mindfulness into their daily lives, Mr. Krame determined that the greatest gift he can offer mankind is to share Mindfulness with others. In collaboration with his wife, Catherine, they founded the Krame Center at Ramapo College.
Dr. Jacqueline Ehlert
Jackie Ehlert is a registered dietitian with a doctoral degree in nutrition from Columbia University, Teachers College. Her nutrition practice is focused on the eating behaviors of emerging adults. She develops and implements nutrition programs for students at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her programs include; mindful eating seminars, mindful cooking classes, as well as the treatment of disorders such as; obesity, disordered eating, celiac disease, body image distortion, diabetes, and other metabolic illnesses. Her focus is on wellness and disease prevention through nutrition and daily mindfulness practice.
Dr. Ehlert has taught nutrition at Columbia University and Montclair State University.
In 2006 she founded the Havemeyer Edible Garden at Ramapo College where she delivers nutrition programs to teachers, college, university and high school students who learn about food, nutrition and the environment. In 2012, two honey producing bee-hives were added to the Edible Garden. The Edible Garden has hosted notable speakers such as Dr. Marion Nestle, Dr. Joan Gussow, Ellie Krieger and Kailen Krame.
Dr. Ehlert lectures widely on nutrition and mindfulness to professional and lay audiences. She is married to Dr. Peter Mercer, President of Ramapo College.
Her passion is to inspire healthy eating habits of young adults. She can be reached at Jackie@wisegourmet.com or on social media – Facebook – Nutrition for Students, Twitter – Nutri4Students, or Instagram – Wisegourmet.
Dr. Patricia Hanratty
Patricia Hanratty has been a leading educator in the state of New Jersey for the past four decades. Now a trustee of West Bergen Mental Healthcare, she instituted an innovative wellness program for children that included yoga and healthy eating while she was the Principal of the George Washington Elementary School from 1994 to 2011. Dr. Hanratty also worked for the state’s Department of Education as a special coordinator and analyst, as well as serving as a consultant to several New Jersey educational task forces. She received her doctorate in educational administration from Teachers College of Columbia University. Dr. Hanratty has been active in numerous yoga and meditation programs during the past two decades.
Catherine Krame, co-founder of the Krame Center for Contemplative Studies and Mindful Living at Ramapo College, is an approved Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher completing her training at the Center for Mindfulness within the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She is also certified in Positive Psychology, she has been a meditation practitioner for 20+ years, and is actively engaged with yoga and healthy living.
Dr. Peter Mercer, President Ramapo College
Dr. Catharine M. Napolitano
Catharine Napolitano is an organization development consultant, specializing in change management consulting. As founder and president of Organizational Strategies L.L.C., she and her firm worked with organizations to address the interdependent business, human, and technological aspects of change. Working in organizations of varying size, including many Fortune 500 firms, she and her associates focused in the arenas of team development, group problem solving, strategic planning, business process redesign, customized training, and all aspects of change management.
In addition, early in her career, she was adjunct faculty at College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. In this capacity, she worked with biotech, medical and pharmaceutical organizations across the country. Later in her career she was a member of the Center for Organizational Fitness, an international consortium of scholars, consultants and executives organized by members of the Harvard Business School faculty.
Currently, she serves as Co-Chair of the Friends of Hackensack University Medical Center, an organization she founded to create community around the medical center and to spotlight the resources that it provides to our localities and the region.
Cathy has a Ph.D. in Social and Organizational Psychology from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University, an M.A. in General-Theoretical Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a B.A. in Education from Newton College of the Sacred Heart.
Dr. Anthony Padovano
Anthony T. Padovano is a founding member and a distinguished professor of literature and philosophy at Ramapo College of New Jersey. He is the author of twenty-nine books including three award-winning plays, translated into nine languages. He has been visiting professor at twenty-five American colleges and universities, lectures world-wide and appears regularly in the media on both sides of the Atlantic.
Dr. Padovano presents occasionally at United Nations Conferences in New York City, Geneva and The Hague. He has been invited to the White House and Congressional staff meetings as a consultant for pending programs and legislation. Dr. Padovano was the first elected president of CORPUS and served in that capacity for ten years. He has served, since 1986, as pastor of The Inclusive Community where Catholics and Protestants worship together.
Dr. Padovano’s personal and professional papers are in the permanent archives of the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Padovano was instrumental in the realization of the Salameno Spiritual Center on the Ramapo College campus which opened in 2010. The Spiritual Center was modeled after the United Nations Meditation Room, and the Parliament of World Religions. The Center is open to all people of good will for tranquility and reflection. The Spiritual Center has as its main building the Padovano Peace Pavilion, which was made possible in large part by Dr. Padovano’s generous support.
He holds a BA from Seton Hall University, an MA from New York University, an MA in philosophy from St. Thomas International University in Rome and a PhD in literature from Fordham University. He also holds STB,STL, and STD degrees from Pontifical Gregorian University and PhL degree from St. Thomas Pontifical International University.
Krame Center for Contemplative Studies and Mindful Living at Ramapo College of NJ
505 Ramapo Valley Rd, Mahwah, NJ, 07430 in Bergen County, New Jersey, Northern New Jersey