IHE Staff and Faculty

3039591552_9131544502_o The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/about-the-institute/ihe-staff/


Zoe Weil

Zoe Weil

In 1987, I found my life’s work and discovered that this work had a name: humane education. I taught several week-long summer courses to students in Pennsylvania – one on environmental preservation and another on animal protection. I watched in amazement as these 12- and 13-year-olds became passionate, committed changemakers virtually overnight. Since teaching these courses, my commitment to humane education has never wavered. I believe it is the most effective and important way to create an informed, conscious, and caring generation, and to prepare young people to take their place as global citizens and solutionaries who will make the world a better place for all through whatever professions they pursue.
Read more about Zoe.

Sarah SpeareSarah Speare
Executive Director

I believe so strongly in the Institute for Humane Education’s approach to creating social change through education – inspiring people to become solutionaries and the important connection between human rights, animal protection, and environmental preservation.
Read more about Sarah.

Mary Pat ChampeauMary Pat Champeau
Director of Education
Faculty, Institute for Humane Education/Valparaiso University

Humane education provides the framework for those of us who believe an authentic education should include an invitation to examine the world we live in and to apply our best thinking toward solving some of its problems. I hold firm to the idea that education is the most viable form of activism on the planet, and that injustice cannot thrive in a climate of awareness and compassion.
Read more about Mary Pat.

Melissa Feldman
Adjunct Faculty, Institute for Humane Education/Valparaiso University

It is a particular joy to be on the faculty of the nation’s first humane education master’s program. I finally feel at home at IHE. If you are considering a career in humane education, if you are a parent encouraging compassion in your child, if you are a classroom teacher looking for practical teaching strategies, or if you are someone trying to make a positive difference in the world in your own unique way, you have found community in IHE. Welcome home.
Read more about Melissa. 

Marsha RakestrawMarsha Rakestraw
Director of Online Courses & Education Resources
Online Course Faculty

I come from a long line of educators, and even though I had no intention of becoming a teacher, I discovered that teaching is in my blood. Throughout my professional evolution, you can see the commonalities: helping people learn new knowledge and skills and connecting them with their needs and interests; inspiring others to positive action. And learning — always learning. Again and again I return to teaching and learning and the power they hold to empower and free others.
Read more about Marsha.

Karen M. Jones
Director of Marketing

In the winter of 2002, I was feeling wounded by a series of traumatic national events. The shootings at Columbine High School, the murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming, the dragging of James Byrd behind a pickup truck until he died, and, finally, the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. These events first devastated me, then kindled a new and powerful resolve. I went looking for a way to help — to restore my faith in human kindness.
Read more about Karen.

Emma MathisEmma Mathis
Operations Manager

Having spent the majority of my life so far behind a desk, I feel most at home in a classroom. However, I have always felt there is something missing from the current climate of scholarship. It was by chance that I stumbled upon the Institute for Humane Education, and in its mission and values  believe I have found what is absent in education today.
Read more about Emma.

Lynne WestmorelandLynne Westmoreland
Online Course Faculty

In most places of learning, whether that is kindergarten or post-doctoral work, we are instructed in what that institution or setting wants us to learn. In humane education, however, we are all allowed and encouraged to learn what it takes for us personally to live a life of integrity, service, and fulfillment. Humane education allows us each to develop those unique gifts that bring to the world the solutions and vision of our individual wisdom. We are all teachers and learners every moment of every day.
Read more about Lynne.

Kim Childs
Special Projects Coordinator

The common thread of my career has been working in educational and nonprofit venues, both in the United States and overseas, providing authentic and experiential learning opportunities that empower individuals — from students to mature adults — to thrive,  using their passions and talents to make a difference in their communities and beyond. I have deep respect for the active role IHE plays in nurturing positive agents of social, environmental and community change in ways that do the most good with the least amount of harm to people, animals and our earth.

Read more about Kim.