Compassion Contagion: How To Create A More Engaged Classroom Community


  • Suzie Carmack George Mason University
  • Lisa Clow St. Mary's County Public Schools



Location: JC Room C

Students do not engage or perform well when they do not feel socially supported, and they have less opportunities to engage communicatively with each other in our increasingly digital world. This session will help instructors to learn how to create a more compassionate and socially supportive classroom, using evidence-based and evidence-informed mindfulness and compassionate communication techniques. This 90-minute session will blend compassionate communication exercises with mindfulness practices, to support attendees in their own self-awareness as well as their ability to provide and share these practices with their students. Attendees will leave the session with access to a "toolkit for compassionate classrooms" which they can then use in the future, for their own self-compassion and self-care and to support their students' self-care, self-compassion, and learning capacity.

Author Biographies

Suzie Carmack, George Mason University

As a translational scholar/practitioner in the fields of health communication and well-being promotion, Dr. Suzie Carmack is internationally recognized for her practice agenda which examines and promotes well-being as a matter of personal sense-making, organizational performance, and national security. She is the CEO of the Center for Well-Being Education, which trains coaches to take the national board exam in health and wellness coaching for the National Board of Medical Examiners. As a pioneer in the fights against sitting disease, burnout, compassion fatigue and maladaptive perfectionism, she is dedicated to improving the well-being of individuals, teams, organizations and agencies through her writing, workshops, and implementation science agenda which brings together the sciences of mind-body-medicine and health communication. She has supported multiple government agencies with her subject matter expertise, creating large-scale (international) health communication campaigns and co-creating agency-level, silo-cutting solutions to help solve national issues of concern. She was awarded George Mason UniversityĆ¢s Alumna of the Year award by the Department of Communication (2018), and currently serves on the adjunct faculty for George Mason University (where she teaches courses in well-being) and the American University (where she guest lectures for the School for Professional and Extended Studies' Master of Science Program in Healthcare Management). To learn more about Dr. Carmack and her programs to promote well-being for individuals and teams, please visit

Lisa Clow, St. Mary's County Public Schools

Lisa Clow, PhD/ABD has worked as a National Board Certified Health and Physical Education Teacher for the past 28 yrs. She is a 200 hr. Yoga Teacher and an Integrative Health Coach, trained by the Center for Well-Being Education. She is currently in the dissertation phase of a Ph.D. in Public Health, focusing on yoga as a women's population health intervention.






10:30am-12:00pm Workshops