Amanda Bernal-Carlo Carlo is originally from Colombia where she studied for several years the ecology Andean Forest and the Paramos. She is a scholar of Biogeography, Ecology and Medicinal Plants. In 1989, while carrying out research on the biogeography of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, she became involved in the study of the Kogi Indians, their philosophy of life, and their traditional healing. For several years she collaborated with the Fundacion Pro-Sierra an NGO supporting these Indigenous communities. In 1996, she received the First National Research Prize from the Colombian government for the work she had accomplished on the Colombian Andean Mountains.
Dr. Bernal is a full Professor at the Natural Sciences Department at Hostos Community College of the City University of New York where she has worked as the Chair of the Department, Associate Dean of the Office of Academic Affairs. She worked on the creation of several initiatives at the college including the Honors Program for Liberal Arts students, the Summer Honors Institute, and the Center for Teaching and Learning. For 12 years she was the Chair of the College Wide Curriculum Committee. Prof. Bernal-Carlo received the International Exemplary Leadership award from the Chair Academy as well as the Exemplary Initiatives award for Curriculum Innovation from the Instructional Leadership Academy.
Gloria Harrison, a Canadian transplant, received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1999 and established a private practice, where she specialized in psychospiritual development as the underlying treatment of mental health challenges. Her dissertation focused on Intercessory Prayer and helped advance the scientific efficacy of prayer research. Now retired, she focuses her time in service to local and international projects.
Dr. Harrison has had a lifelong interest in exploring and expanding consciousness and developing a personal spiritual path. This led to her participation in many conferences and workshops focused on Transpersonal Psychology and Spiritual Development. She facilitated the Bellingham Institute of Noetic Sciences community group and developed and taught mindfulness and other spiritually-focused classes and workshops.
She co-founded the Creative Child Center, a 501(c)(3) organization formed to provide educational programs, resources and services for children. For the past few years she has helped develop the Centre for the New Human, a virtual community where participants can experience their innate divinity. She was instrumental in founding the Grandmothers of the Salish Sea, a local circle of the Grandmothers Circle the Earth Foundation, whose mission is to find peaceful solutions to conflict through rituals and grandmother wisdom.
Dr. Harrison helped raise funds to build a school in rural Cambodia. This fostered an interest in international projects that serve to raise consciousness around the wisdom of indigenous populations. Currently she is working with a group of educators to develop sustaining educational programs for the Arhuacan people of Northern Colombia.
John Gillen, a native of New York City, studied plant physiology, morphogenesis and ecology at the City University of New York. He is an Assistant Professor of Biology in the Department of Natural Sciences of Hostos Community College of the City University of New York, where for eight years he served as Biology Unit Coordinator, and has been for many years a member of its college-wide senate. He is one of the directors of the Torrey Botanical Society, which recently celebrated its 150th anniversary, and is its recording secretary. For over 30 years he has also been serving on the board of directors of the Bronx Council for Environmental Quality.
Dr. Gillen has been collaborating for a number of years on projects in the Mata Atlântica region of Brazil and in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada. In addition to his scientific pursuits, he has given tutorials at the Graduate Center on Old Irish, one of the oldest Celtic languages, and is a research fellow of the CUNY Institute for Irish-American Studies.
Janis Roze, originally from Latvia, is Professor of Biology Emeritus of the City University of New York, currently Senior Resident Scientist of the CUNY’s Americas Center on Science and Society. He was Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History, New York, and Resident Scholar at the UN Institute for Training and Research, as well as at the UN Center of Science and Technology for Development. He has held several senior academic positions in Latin America. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Colombia, and for several years, he was Professor of Zoology at the Central University of Venezuela. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Commagüe, Argentina, and at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Dr. Roze has given lectures and seminars in almost all the Latin American countries and in several countries in Europe. After having written nine books and produced three documentaries on evolution, serpents, and human genetic rivers. His recent interests are human development and transformation, interdependence of science and spirituality and the human deeper destiny. His activities encompass several projects and collaboration in Argentina and Brazil and especially in Colombia where he is collaborating with the Arhuaco tribe of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta on numerous projects.
Hamilton (Ham) Hayes is an independent business and technology consultant with over forty years’ experience where he has served as a scientist, engineer, manager and director for major corporations, small businesses and government contractors. His responsibilities have included basic research, engineering and project management as well curriculum development for adult and technical training programs. As director of a major aerospace program, he had overall engineering, budget, personnel and contract management responsibilities and successfully delivered complex systems to the US government within budget and on schedule. In his current consulting assignments, Ham serves as a Principal Architect and Data Scientist in the field of Enterprise Information and Process Design and Governance for global clients. Ham and his wife, Gloria, have been sponsors of school construction and sustaining support in rural Cambodia under the auspices of World Assistance for Cambodia, a qualified non-profit.Their sponsorship resulted in the construction of school #253, the Bellingham Community School, in the village of Phnom Dek, Cambodia. They also established a sustaining partnership between the Bellingham Community School and teachers, students and parents in their home town of Bellingham, Washington that provides additional annual operating funds. Ham believes that non-profit organizations, such as The Great Balance, can be highly effective in helping communities solve difficult educational, economic and social challenges using a collaborative systems approach that respects the cultural diversity of humanity.