General Session Speakers for the EDU Wellness Conference Include:
November 2- Mohammed R. Forouzesh, MPH, PH.D.
Dr. Mo is known as the professor of health and happiness. He is an emeritus professor from CSU Long Beach Department of Health Science/Public Health. He is a teacher, motivational speaker, and a researcher. For years he has trained thousands of college, master and doctoral students in health promotion and wellness.
He has expertise in adolescent health, mental wellness, and Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs (ATOD). He currently serves as the arm of research and development of Partners 4 wellness organization in Orange County.
He is committed to improving the health of our teachers. He conducts trainings on promoting a happy classroom environment and strategies for improving school climate. Society needs to perceive teachers as gardeners today and not farmers. He is committed to creating a healthy and happy classroom. He is sad to know so many of our committed teachers are experiencing compassionate fatigue and competent burned out.
As a health teacher he has always been interested in understanding the secrets for maintaining a good emotional status during both good and bad times. What makes some people more resilient and navigate more smoothly in life? Working with young adults, he always wanted to teach them skills to succeed in life. He is working on a curriculum focusing on these areas. He will be unraveling these modules, and will make you believe, everything in life starts with good relationships. He will open your ears to new proprioceptive exercises to appreciate the number of signals we receive from our body and mind.
In his spare time, Dr. Mo spends time with his two granddaughters and is looking forward to another one on the way. He is an avid cyclist and a world Stamp and ancient coin collector.
“If love and joy grows in your heart, roses and lilies will flourish in the garden of your soul”
November 3 -Matt Bellace, PH.D
Dr. Bellace has a PhD in clinical psychology with a subspecialty in clinical neuropsychology, the study of the brain and behavior. He was twice awarded the Student Intramural Research and Training Award (IRTA) in neuroscience by the National Institutes of Mental Health to study memory in primates.
Dr. Bellace has a background rarely found in one speaker. He has a PhD in clinical neuropsychology and over twenty years of experience traveling the country as a motivational speaker and stand-up comedian. He uses humor, inspirational stories, audience participation and current research in the neuroscience to deliver a powerful message: “It’s not enough to just tell people what not to do, we need to empower them to create an environment that fosters positive mental and physical health.”This funny and informative presentation focuses on the science of coping with stress and managing emotions using healthy lifestyle activities (e.g. exercise, mediation, laughter). The program will also cover topics such as positive social support, productive use of emotions, improving mood and increasing quality of life. Particular attention will be paid to strategies for dealing with feelings of loneliness, isolation and burnout that are so common in the workplace these days.
“Turning to healthy coping mechanisms on a regular basis can improve mood, functioning and enjoyment.”
November 4- “Maggie” Magdalena Escobedo-Steele
Rebecca “Maggie” Magdalena Escobedo-Steele is the founder of 7th Generation Warriors For Peace an organization dedicated to working with communities, families, individuals, children and youth to prevent cycles of family violence, gang conflict, addiction and suicide, by promoting cultural healing, positive activism and empowerment. For over 25 years, Maggie has implemented women’s leadership programs, youth and community prevention healing events, peacemaking in prison facilities, and wellness workshops throughout California and the United States. Maggie is recognized as a Distinguished American Indian Educator by the California Department of Education, a Peacemaker by the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution, a Community Fellow for the California Wellness Foundation Violence Prevention Initiative, and an Ambassador for Peace Violence Prevention Coalition of Orange County. She has received the prestigious Chiefs award from Southern California Chief of Probation for her excellence and innovation in working to bring cultural healing and conflict resolution to countless individuals and families.
An accomplished artist and master drum maker, she has created murals with youth on reservations and schools throughout California and the nations. Her powerful stylized drawings have been given to youth and schools for decades. She is also a recording artist and is known for her beautiful drum songs and cultural storytelling. Her work is well known and respected in Native American communities. She is known as “Aunty Maggie” and is loved by many throughout the nation.