Michael Shattah

Michael Shattah has worked in educational, medical, counseling, and organizational settings for more than two decades, with a focus on wholeness-based approaches to learning and health.

While a Ph.D. candidate in Health Counseling and Educational Psychology at UT-Austin, Michael helped hundreds of clients explore therapeutic concerns in mind and body, as well as develop skills to enrich their personal and professional pursuits. His doctoral research examines the Quality of Life in medical patients with chronic pain, using a comprehensive Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual health model to enhance options in assessment, self-care, and treatment. The related evidence-based study examines potential effects of mindfulness and self-compassion for promoting patient health, reducing pain, and preventing additional disease. [Quality of life in pain patient population, as potentially moderated by self-compassion]

Michael Shattah received a M.A. in educational psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to instructing college psychology courses, Michael formerly taught standardized test preparation throughout the United States with The Princeton Review to over a thousand students seeking advanced medical and graduate degrees. During this time, he created and began teaching the Step-wise PRIMER on integrative learning.

Previously, Michael received a B.B.A. in business management from Georgia State University, with a concentration on human resources training and business development. He has started, worked at, and consulted with many enterprises, health, and sustainable community organizations devoted to improving Quality of Life in the workplace and marketplace as a whole.

Relevant Professional Training:

  • Austin Pain Associates, Dr. Wills M.D. and Dr. Byrne, Ph.D. – Psychological Services Provider
  • Austin Capital Area Counseling – Mental Health Counselor and Services Provider
  • UT-Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center – Community Outreach and Programming

Posters and Publications:

  • Poster Presentation – Stanford University CCARE Conference: The Science of Compassion
  • Article Contributor: Self-Compassion and Adaptive Psychological Functioning (Neff, 2007)
  • Article Author: Learning and Mindfulness, The Learning Curve at UT Learning Center

Group Training Course Facilitator:

  • Fitting pieces: A Step-wise PRIMER on integrative learning – self-directed skills and strategies
  • Fitting pieces: Wholeness-based health promotion and disease prevention programs
  • SMART Options for pain management: Support, Methods, Assessments, Resources, Treatments

Ali Ronder

My educational background is varied, to say the least. I have been home-schooled, Unschooled, Waldorf schooled, Montessori schooled, and public schooled. I have worked for (and my daughters have attended): parent run co-ops, Waldorf-oriented and Montessori pre-schools, Sudbury schools, public schools and public-charter schools.

My previous teaching experience focused on early childhood with: South Austin Children’s Cooperative, Starbright Preschool, Montessori Escuela de Montopolis as well as bilingual Kindergarten at Maplewood elementary (AISD) and Kindergarten/first grade at Austin Discovery School. I believe that by understanding communities’ needs through language and culture, and by demonstrating respect for differences within our communities, we can truly reach every student or learner.

My board of directors experience includes membership:

  • People’s Community Clinic patient advisory board (1989-1992)
  • Teen Help Line board of directors (1990-1992)
  • March of Dimes (1991)
  • Clearview Sudbury School (2007-2008)
  • Austin Discovery School (2008-2009)
  • Education Transformation Alliance (2012 – 2015)
  • Conscious Garden (2014 – present)
  • Natural Learning Foundation (2015 – present)

I hold an EC-4 teaching certificate from the State of Texas as well as a B.A. from UT-Austin in History/Applied Learning & Development and a M.Ed. from Texas State University-San Marcos in bilingual/bicultural education. I am currently working on my PhD. in Educational Administration at Texas State University-San Marcos. Some of my related volunteer work includes teaching ESL in Mexico and Guatemala at: Colegio Cuernavaca, Casa Xelaju, Colegio Alonzo Morelio, and La Pedrera. Additionally I was the Community Wellness Program developer and manager of Ruta Maya Coffee House for over 12 years.

You can view my entire electronic portfolio at www.austinyogamama.com for more detailed information including my resume and video documentation. Also find me for private educational consulting at http://startuplearning.me/our-team/erin-ali-ronder/


Vicki Wolf

Her mission is “to provide the information and tools people need to take better care of themselves and the planet.” In an effort to fulfill this mission, Wolf has been a leader for public awareness of the connection between health and the environment. She also teaches yoga and meditation.

Over the past two decades, Wolf has written hundreds of articles on health and environmental issues for radio programs and websites including Citizens League for Environmental Action Now, Houston, Texas. Her radio series include EarthCare Radio, which aired daily on KPFT90.1FM, Houston’s Pacifica Network affiliate, as well as Hill Country View, a series on the conservation of natural resources that currently airs daily on many stations across the Texas Hill Country.

Before moving to Austin in 2002, Wolf worked as a medical and consumer health writer in Dallas, Texas. While a medical writer at UT Southwestern Medical Center, she wrote an award-winning daily radio health series, and contributed articles on nutrition and medical research for a variety of the medical school’s publications. She was co-producer and writer for a consumer health series on WFAA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Dallas, Texas, sponsored by Baylor University Medical Center.

Wolf’s leadership experience includes communications director for Texas Health Resources, the largest healthcare organization in North Texas. She created a new internal communication department and led a creative team to accomplish the organizations communication goals.

Wolf’s knowledge of health, wellness and resilience is deepened by 20 years as a yoga teacher. Her specialty is Yoga of the HeartTM, the yoga-based stress management program for patients who have cardiovascular disease, cancer or other life-altering diseases.

Wolf has a Bachelor of Science degree in Radio, TV and Film, specializing in News and Public Affairs, from the School of Journalism, Oklahoma State University. She has a 500-hour yoga teacher certification with Namaste USA Yoga and 500RYT registration with Yoga Alliance.