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 Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Young Adults (MFY), and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). She leads drop-in mindful awareness classes, MFY 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

Megan Debin

Megan Lorraine Debin began her mindfulness practice in 2004 after studying yoga, and Buddhist and Hindu meditation. She teaches art history full time at Fullerton College since 2016 and has long incorporated mindfulness practice into courses to reduce stress and anxiety. Students have reported improved peace of mind. Like Henke and Falb, Debin is interested in the intersection between the fine arts, aesthetic experience, and inner wellness. Prof D is always looking for new ways to teach students vital tools like mindful awareness for success and fulfillment in life.

Carla Falb

Carla Falb

Carla Falb has been teaching fine art for over thirty years and is a practicing artist.  She was introduced to yoga and meditation at a young age and is particularly interested in the similarities between the creative process and the practice of mindfulness.  When she began teaching at Fullerton College in 2017, she was thrilled to learn of the Mindful Growth Initiative because she believes that her greatest challenge is to help students learn to focus intensely on their work to achieve not just success in the arts, but to experience true happiness in life.

Amy Garcia

Amy Garcia

Amy Garcia has been involved in the Mindful Growth Initiative since 2015 at Fullerton College and has taught mindful awareness (Mindfulness) as a part of her classes for the past two years. Amy has completed UCLA’s Intensive Practice Program (IPP) and is now enrolled and completing her Training in Mindfulness Facilitation (TMF) at UCLA.  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.

Jacque Johnson

Jacque Johnson

Jacque Johnson has been teaching English at Fullerton College for the past three years. As a member of the Mindful Growth committee, she co-founded Fullerton College’s Mindfulness Club and enjoys designing and leading workshops on campus, such as Personal Mindfulness Practices, Mindful Communication, and Mindful Argumentation. By leading these sessions and integrating mindfulness and growth mindset principles into her pedagogy, she intends to help others feel centered and empowered, strengthen their communication skills, and serve their campus communities.

Jennifer Merchant

Jennifer Merchant is a Career Center Coordinator of Internships and Workforce and has been a member of the Mindful Growth Initiative Committee for over three years.  She began a daily practice of mindfulness several years ago and has recently 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 taking steps to become a Trained Teacher of Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Young Adults (MFY) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC).  At Fullerton College, Jennifer assists in the MFY programs and enjoys visiting classrooms to introduce students to mindfulness.

Kelly Salazar

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 is a full-time Reading professor who began practicing mindfulness five years ago and has been a part of the Mindful Growth Initiative since its inception.  She is currently taking a year-long mindfulness teacher certification program through Mindful Schools and enjoys teaching others how mindfulness can positively impact their lives.