SDI is pleased to introduce our four 2020 Fellows: experienced, mature spiritual companions who are inspired to grow SDI's grow global movement. These fellows help us achieve our objectives of greater depth, breadth and diversity of members and offerings through mutually beneficial partnerships. Functioning as ambassadors of sorts, SDI Fellows forge and strengthen relationships between SDI, themselves, and institutions and organizations with whom they have a meaningful relationship.
Brenda Bertrand is a chaplain at Fuller Theological Seminary. Her career spans work in media, government, coaching, consulting and university chaplaincies. She recently spent a year as a university lecturer in the People's Republic of China, and currently serves God and country as a chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserve. An ordained minister, public speaker, and spiritual companion, Brenda inspires people in the simplicity of prayer and helps leaders lessen the gap between their spirituality and everyday life.
Piers Kaniuka, MA, MTS, serves as Director of Spiritual Life for Granite Recovery Centers in New Hampshire. He works within the nexus of recovery, spirituality, and activism and is especially interested in practices that utilize Heart Awareness and Silence to bring us into a deeper resonance with one another and the Earth. Piers is a co founder of the Plymouth House, a 12 Step retreat for addicts in early recovery, and of the Liberation Institute, a 501c3 dedicated to training incarcerated men in the Maine State Prison to be yoga instructors at the 200 hour level. Former chair of the department of Transpersonal Psychology at Burlington College, he is a core faculty member in the Contemplative Spiritual Direction certificate program at the Alcyon Center in Seal Cove, Maine. Piers is the co-author of the book, Real People, Real Recovery: Overcoming Addiction in Modern America.
Preeta Banerjee, Ph D is a spiritual companion who draws on a broad and deep range of experience, having spent 20 years in academia, coaching and consulting as an advocate, educator, researcher and author. She is a strong voice for combining spirituality, creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and social change. Her daily practice comes from yoga, Let Your Yoga Dance, meditation, as well as being an Ayurveda and a black-belt Tae Kwon Do practitioner. Co-founder and partner at WhiteLeaf Advisors LLC, she previously led a team at Deloitte and was a business school professor at Brandeis and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has a PhD in Strategic Management from the Wharton School and BS in Computational Biology and Business from Carnegie Mellon.
Teresa Mateus, LCSW, E-RYT 200 is an author, speaker, trauma therapist, professor and the Executive Director and co-founder of The Mystic Soul Project. She has served as a trauma psychotherapist/traumatologist for more than a decade of her career and recently co-created a program for addressing trauma within social movements called TRACC4movements.. She is a graduate of NYU School of Clinical Social Work, Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training, and the Living School at the Center for Action & Contemplation. Teresa is the author of Going Naked: Camino de Santiago & Life as Pilgrimage, Mending Broken: A Personal Journey Through the Stages of Trauma & Recovery, Sacred Wounds: A Path to Healing From Spiritual Trauma.