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Expert Alert.

Expert Alert

U experts available to discuss new twist on New Year's resolutions

December 19, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (12/19/2012) – Tired of the same old New Year’s resolutions related to weight loss or healthy eating, many Americans are looking outside the box when it comes to reflecting and goal setting for 2013.

Experts from the University of Minnesota are available to discuss making lifestyle changes to jumpstart career advancement, take better care of the environment or become more centered in everyday life.

To interview the following university experts, contact Julie Christensen, University News Service, (612) 626-1670.


Janet Pelto, transfer specialist and lifework consultant, College of Continuing Education
A licensed psychologist, Pelto holds a master’s degree in educational psychology. She is an active member of the Minnesota Career Development Association, where she has served on the board of trustees and as president. Pelto can speak to steps people should take if they’re thinking about career change, career advancement or going back to school in 2013.


Beth Mercer-Taylor, sustainability education coordinator, Institute on the Environment
Mercer-Taylor directs the U’s Sustainability Studies minor, an interdisciplinary program with more than 300 students enrolled. She has led on-campus sustainability initiatives and has experience implementing family-run sustainability projects, such as calculating a household’s carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus footprint using a model developed by U of M faculty. Mercer-Taylor’s daughter recently led the family’s decision to compost all kitchen scraps.



Karen Lawson, director of health coaching, Center for Spirituality & Healing, Academic Health Center
Assistant professor of family medicine and community health, Dr. Lawson teaches at the university’s Center for Spirituality & Healing, where she leads integrative medical education efforts. She is past president of the American Holistic Medical Association and a founding Diplomat of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine. A medical doctor, Lawson is available to discuss reasonable goal setting, ensuring success with New Year’s resolutions and health coaching strategies.

Tai Mendenhall, assistant professor, Department of Family Social Science, College of Education and Human Development
A licensed marriage and family therapist, Mendenhall conducts research on relationships and how they evolve, develop and play a crucial role in supporting New Year’s resolutions. Many resolutions revolve around adopting lifestyle changes such as exercising more, eating better or quitting habits like tobacco and alcohol. Mendenhall can discuss these types of resolutions within the context of both the individual and the couple/family relationships.


Miriam Cameron, lead faculty, Center for Spirituality & Healing, Academic Health Center
Dr. Cameron, a graduate faculty member in the university’s Tibetan Healing Initiative, holds a doctorate of philosophy in nursing and bioethics. She has developed and teaches courses about the practices of Tibetan medicine, yoga and Ayurveda, a Hindu system of traditional medicine native to India. Cameron is available to discuss yoga, becoming more centered and relaxation.

Mary Jo Kreitzer, director and founder, Center for Spirituality & Healing, Academic Health Center
A leader in mindfulness research, Dr. Kreitzer teaches and conducts research on optimal healing environments and mindfulness meditation. She is also a professor in the U’s School of Nursing, has authored or co-authored more than 90 scholarly papers and book chapters, and lectures and consults nationally and internationally. A registered nurse, Kreitzer is available to discuss stress reduction and prevention, tips for overall wellbeing and mindfulness.

Tags: College of Continuing Education, Academic Health Center, College of Education and Human Development

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