About the Fullerton College Mindful Growth Initiative

The Fullerton College Mindful Growth Initiative was developed in 2014 under the California Community Colleges’ Success Network (3CSN) Habits of Mind Initiative which is aimed at addressing the affective domain in learning communities.

The Mindful Growth Initiative includes mindfulness and mindset pedagogies and practices open to all Fullerton College students, staff, faculty, and administrators.

Planning Group


Deidre Hughes Deidre Hughes

Deidre Hughes has formal training in growth mindset and mindfulness practices and considers them an important element of her pedagogy. In 2015, she completed her certification as a Mindfulness Educator through Mindful Schools and is also certified through the International Mindfulness Teachers Association (IMTA). She is a Trained Teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens and Young Adults (MSC-T), and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). She leads drop-in mindful awareness classes, MSC-T and MSC programs, and mindfulness workshops for the Fullerton College community.

Miguel Powers

Miguel Powers has been practicing, researching and presenting about growth mindset and mindfulness since 2014.  He earned his doctorate in Education from UCLA in 2015 for his work researching the benefits of mindset for faculty and students. Collaborating with colleges across the United States and abroad, he co-facilitates a statewide Community of Practice implementing and researching Growth Mindset and Habits of Mind strategies to improve student success. At Fullerton College, he serves as the Pathways Transformation Initiative Growth Mindset Coordinator and the Mindful Growth Co-Facilitator, promoting mindfulness and growth mindset across campus.

Planning Group Members


Amy Garcia

Amy Garcia has been a full-time instructor at Fullerton College in the Reading Department and Mindfulness Program for 19 years. Amy has been involved in the Mindful Growth Initiative since 2015 and currently teaches MIND 101: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, and MIND 105: Mindfulness in Everyday Life, and authored the MIND 105 course textbook, Mindfulness in Everyday Life, Engaging Fully in Life’s Experiences. She is a Trained Teacher of Mindfulness through the UCLA Semel Institute, Training in Mindfulness Facilitation [IMTA, CMT-P]. She has been practicing mindfulness in her personal life since 2010 and believes in the importance of this practice as an incorporated component to all her courses. Additionally, Amy has taught introductory and drop-in mindful awareness classes for Fullerton College and the surrounding community.

Carol Henke

Carol Henke began using mindfulness practices in her classes in 2014 to help students stay grounded during exams. As gallery director, she has embraced the opportunity to bring mindfulness to the Fullerton College Art Gallery. Holding Mindful Mondays in the gallery offers an opportunity to enjoy a mindful break, surrounded by artwork.

Porsha Boyd

Porsha Boyd has been a full-time counselor at Fullerton College in the General and Athletic Departments for four years. Porsha has long worked closely with all student populations at every level but is most passionate about student-athletes. Porsha prides herself on promoting mental health, academic integrity, and self-compassion in addition to pursuing athletic greatness among student-athletes. As a former Division-1 athlete, Porsha appreciates the importance of a healthy student-athlete life balance for success in the classroom and the arena. Porsha began her mindfulness practice in March of 2010 after a life-changing experience. To date, she has desired to encourage others to acquire the skills of mindfulness practices and being intentional in present-moment experiences. Porsha understands the importance of self-care and has recently included Mindful Self-Compassion into her routine.  Porsha strives to promote mindfulness practices in all students’ academic, career, and personal activities.

 Jennifer Merchant

Jennifer Merchant is the Director, Career Education and Internship Program Coordinator and has been a member of the Mindful Growth Initiative (MIG) Committee for over 5 years.  She began a daily practice of mindfulness several years ago and has included Mindful Self-Compassion into her routine.  She strives to promote mindfulness practices in students’ career development including mindful interviewing techniques and mindfulness in the workplace.  She is also a Trained Teacher in  Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) and is certified in Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness.  At Fullerton College, Jennifer assists in the MFY and MSC programs as well as Thoughtful Thursdays where she and other mindfulness leaders host the community in a weekly 30-minute mindfulness session on Zoom.

Alexandria Rosales

Alexandria Rosales is an EOPS counselor and has been at Fullerton College since 2013. She became increasingly interested in mindfulness when the pandemic hit and decided to enroll in MIND 101. She immediately came to see the life changing benefits of mindfulness and self-compassion to both herself and her students. She has since maintained a personal practice while also promoting mindful growth activities and classes to her students. She has joined the Mindful Growth Planning Group to become more involved in supporting and promoting mindfulness to the campus community.


Sarah Kaump

Sarah is the mentor co-coordinator for the Hornets Tutoring program. She was introduced to growth mindset, mindfulness, and purpose & belonging through working as an embedded tutor and mentor tutor at Fullerton College. As her interest and experience grew, she completed the Mindfulness Institute for Student Leaders, the Mindful Self-Compassion 8-week workshop series twice, the introductory mindfulness course at the Center for Mindful Self Compassion, and the Purpose and Belonging workshop series hosted by Tim Klein. She has also participated as a Growth Mindset and Mindfulness Ambassador and tutored for two years in Deidre Hughes’ MIND 101: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion for College Students course. She joined the Mindful Growth Initiative to help coordinate and facilitate workshops open to all FC students. She is thrilled to be a part of the initiative to provide access to these research-driven skills and mindsets for community college students.

Kelly Salazar

Kelly Salazar serves as the Health Education Coordinator at the Fullerton College Health Center. She has a background in Public Health and prior to Fullerton College, served as the Wellness Program Manager at UCI’s Center for Student Health and Wellness. In 2014, Kelly completed a nine-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course through UCI’s Samueli School of Integrated Health Institute. This led to her to incorporating mindfulness-based strategies into her personal life and her work with college students. As a member of the Mindful Growth Initiative, Kelly assists with Mindful Mondays and other mindfulness activities for Fullerton College students.

Jeff Samano

Jeff Samano is a full-time Communication Studies professor who began practicing mindfulness three years ago and has been a part of the Mindful Growth Initiative since 2017. He believes mindfulness is essential for reducing communication apprehension and is an evidence-based practice that can help anyone become a better public speaker. Through a pedagogy that embraces mindfulness, he believes mindfulness can have a positive impact on students’ lives and improve their overall well being.

 Tamara Trujillo

Tamara Trujillo has been incorporating mindfulness practices into her teaching since fall 2014, after receiving training through Mindful Schools. She is a member of the Mindful Growth Initiative Committee and is currently involved in creating a campus Serenity Garden as part of her work with that committee. A long-time practitioner herself, she credits mindfulness with helping her overcome a fear of flying and in helping her manage the many personal projects she balances outside of work.

Valerie Tuttle

Valerie Tuttle has practiced mindfulness in her personal and professional life for many years and been a member of the Fullerton College Mindful Growth Initiative since its inception. She completed a year-long mindfulness teacher certification program in 2020 and currently is one of the instructors providing students the opportunity to become empowered through mindful awareness and self-compassion in the MIND 101 class. Valerie also facilitates campus workshops and volunteers to lead guided meditations for the campus community.

Carla Falb

Carla Falb is a full-time professor in the Art Department who incorporates mindfulness into her daily life, her art practice, and her teaching. She believes that art making offers us the opportunity to be present in the moment, and with regular practice, the ability to take one step at a time and learn to trust the process. After taking her fine art classes, her students have reported that they “never noticed as many details of things in my life before this class than I do now, and honestly it’s quite liberating.” “It really has helped me see my world in a different way.”