M is for Mindful pairs inspiring verses with vibrant, nature-based paintings to help cultivate self-awareness, compassion, respect for diversity, and other practices—for an intentional life centered on emotional regulation, cognitive focus, and meaningful movement.
Author Robin L. Flanigan is a national award-winning journalist and author. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in language and literature from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, she was a newsroom beat reporter for eleven years before becoming a freelance writer for magazines, newspapers, and marketing materials. Her essays have been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. Robin experienced some of her most mindful moments at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, where she saw the curvature of the earth at sunrise. A collector of inspirational quotes. www.thekineticpen.com
Illustrator Heather S. Jones is a professor of fine arts at Genesee Community College in Upstate New York. Her education includes a BFA from Alfred University, where she concentrated in K-12 art education, and an MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology. An avid explorer of innovation, she recently received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Since 2008, Heather has worked as an illustrator in educational publishing. As a professional artist and the owner of GlassFeather Studio, she creates original paintings, sculptures, and illustrations. Her artwork is inspired by themes of nature, sustainability, and the mindful connections that weave through life. www.glassfeatherstudio.com
Director of Business Development Carolyn Birrittella is a sales and marketing expert who develops successful strategies for growing products and services in the U.S. and internationally. She earned her bachelor’s degree at University of Waterloo, and her Masters of Business Administration degree at Wilfred Laurier University, both in Ontario, Canada. In 2015 Carolyn became a consultant in the publishing and education sectors, where she develops marketing strategies for authors and evaluates school programs designed to improve children’s social-emotional development and academic success.
Content Specialist Jean Hurst is a national curriculum designer, elementary teacher, and literacy coach. She is a two-time finalist for EL Education's annual Klingenstein Teacher Award, which recognizes the ability to help students display exemplary character, attain outstanding academic achievement, and pursue an ethic of citizen scholarship. For nearly three decades her passion has been guiding young children to think deeply about meaningful content while navigating the complexities of becoming proficient readers and writers.
Content Specialist Donnell Ritz is a registered yoga teacher, receiving her RYT 200 designation through Yoga Alliance after completing 200 hours of Hatha yoga teacher training. As the owner of Ritz Mountain Yoga, offering weekly community classes and events, she also has co-designed and taught a yoga and mindfulness residency program for grades K-4. Donnell is trained in trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness through The Prison Yoga Project, and has been teaching the incarcerated population as a volunteer since July 2017. Her most recent yoga studies have been through the renowned Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy program. She understands the great healing and wisdom latent in ancient yoga philosophy, and her passion is sharing with others how to apply it to our modern times.