Our graduate program faculty are experienced educators and pioneers in the field of humane education. They are outstanding humane educators, mentors, and advocates for our students.
Nandita Bajaj teaches three courses in IHE’s graduate programs with Antioch University: the core courses of Human Rights and Environmental Ethics and the elective Pronatalism & Overpopulation. She designed Pronatalism & Overpopulation to explore the impacts of the pervasive and oppressive pressures placed on people to have children and their resulting impacts on them, other humans, animals, and the planet. Nandita is the Executive Director of Population Balance, a U.S. nonprofit that offers education and solutions to address the impacts of human overpopulation and overconsumption from a humane education framework. She completed her M.Ed. in Humane Education at IHE in 2021. Previously, Nandita worked as a high school physics and math teacher and an administrator in both the public and independent school systems, as well as an engineer at Bombardier Aerospace. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Society for Humane Science, which provides education on ethics and alternatives to animals in research, testing, and teaching in Canada.
Sarah Bexell, has worked in wildlife conservation, humane education and sustainable development for over 25 years. She holds a B.A. in biology and environmental studies from Augustana College, M.A. in biological anthropology from Northern Illinois University, M.Ed. in secondary science education from Georgia State University, and a Ph.D. in early childhood education from Georgia State University. Currently she is Clinical Associate Professor with the Graduate School of Social Work as well as Director of Humane Education for the Institute for Human-Animal Connection, both at the University of Denver. She is also a faculty member with the Institute for Humane Education-Antioch University and Senior Advisor to Conservation Education at China’s Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base.
Mary Pat Champeau is the director of graduate programs at the Institute for Humane Education and faculty at Antioch University. She holds an MA from New York University.
Mary Pat has been in the field of education since 1979 when she began teaching as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, West Africa. Before becoming part of the IHE team, she worked in refugee camps in Southeast Asia and supervised American culture and language programs for the World Trade Institute in New York City. Since 2002, she has directed and taught in IHE’s graduate programs first with Cambridge College, then Valparaiso University, and now at Antioch. She has served on numerous school and non-profit boards and is a longstanding member of the humane education anti-racism working group.
Mike Farley teaches the core Animal Protection course in IHE’s graduate programs with Antioch University. He has been teaching middle and high school Geography and Environmental Studies for more than 20 years in Toronto. He is also a Sessional Lecturer for the University of Toronto’s Master of Teaching program. Mike completed his M.Ed. degree in Humane Education in 2021 and organized the inaugural Educators for Animals Conference that brought together educators from around the world who are incorporating animal protection into their school communities. Mike is a frequent presenter at conferences in Canada and the U.S. on topics such as human rights, environmental issues, and animal protection. In 2014, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society presented Mike with the 'Innovation in Geography Teaching' award, the highest honour for K-12 Geography teaching in Canada.
Chitra Golestani is on the faculty of IHE and Antioch University, associate director of the Wilmette Institute, and a co-founder of the Paulo Freire Institute (PFI) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She holds a Ph.D. in Social Science and Comparative Education from UCLA and a Master’s in Education from University of California, Santa Barbara. She is engaged in numerous grass-roots programs aimed at raising human capacity for people of all backgrounds to build a more just, peaceful, and sustainable planet.
Dana McPhall has over 25 years of experience in the nonprofit and government sectors. In 2015, Dana graduated from the joint Valparaiso University/IHE Master of Education-Humane Education program, and she also has a Juris Doctorate and a Master of Public Policy. Early on in her career, Dana worked to protect and to seek justice for low-income women and children exposed to domestic violence and for animals suffering from cruelty and neglect. More recently, Dana has dedicated herself to exploring the intersection of humane education and racial justice, particularly the link between race and animality, and to teaching educators, advocates, and parents about the intertwined systemic roots of anti-Black racism and animal exploitation. Three years ago, Dana joined IHE’s faculty at Antioch University, and started facilitating a self-designed course called Race, Intersectionality and Veganism. Dana also chairs a working group of IHE staff and alumni dedicated to integrating racial justice issues more deeply into the field of humane education. In addition, Dana has taught two of the core courses in IHE’s graduate program, Human Rights and Environmental Ethics. Most recently, Dana has taken on a new role at Farm Sanctuary as the Director of Community Learning and Engagement, where she will lead the expansion of Farm Sanctuary’s social justice education programming.
Cynthia Trapanese is a classroom teacher at an inquiry-based school in San Francisco. Her professional focus includes weaving together humane education, arts integration, culturally responsive pedagogy, and positive learning environments. Cynthia has an M.Ed. in Humane Education, and GA and CA Elementary Education (TK-6) Teaching Certifications. As a writer, she has published articles in YES! magazine, and the Audubon Activist, and has co-authored a chapter in a college-level social studies textbook. Cynthia is a member of the IHE faculty at Antioch University where she teaches Creative Activism and Just, Good Food. She is a lifelong learner with a passion for continuously looking at contextual relevance based on what is needed in the moment for students and faculty, as cultural and societal changes happen.
Kris Tucker is on the faculty of the IHE program at Antioch University and teaches Writing for Social Change, Humane Education Capstone, and Building a Solutionary Practice. She has her Ed.D. in Higher Education and Adult Learning and is a veteran teacher with 20 years of classroom experience. Her interest in humane education, adult learning, literacy, special education, sustainability, outdoor/experiential education, and transformative learning is indicative of her deep commitment to social change. Kris works full-time as an educator at Ridge and Valley Charter School.
Zoe Weil is the co-founder and president of IHE. She is a pioneer in the humane education movement and has been teaching humane education and training humane educators since 1987. In addition to creating IHE's graduate programs, speaking around the world, and leading workshops, Zoe has authored several books, including The Power and Promise of Humane Education, Above All, Be Kind, and Most Good, Least Harm. Zoe received a Master's in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a Master's in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania.