Retreat Schedule

April 2

Sunday 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM In-person Holly Rogers, Mil Witt, Jennie Dickson Register 

Fundamentals Schedule

Jan 7 – Feb 4

Saturdays 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM In-person Mil Witt

Jan 18 – Feb 15

Wednesdays 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM Online Roger Mancastroppa

Jan 25 – Feb 22

Wednesdays 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM Online Vivien Roman-Hampton

Jan 31 – Feb 28

Tuesdays 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM In-person Libby Webb

March 1 – 29

Wednesdays 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM Online Roger Mancastroppa

March 20 – April 24

Mondays 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM In-person Holly Rogers Register 

March 28 – April 25

Tuesdays 4:30 PM- 6:00 PM In-person Libby Webb Register 

April 15 – May 13

Saturdays 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM In-person Mil Witt Register 

April 26 – May 24

Wednesdays 12:00 PM- 1:30 PM Online Vivien Roman-Hampton Register

Koru Mindfulness co-founder, Holly Rogers (pictured above on left), leads a meditation session in K-ville.

Promoting better health & well-being in the new year.

To promote better health and well-being for their students, the Duke Graduate School will be offering their graduate students a free opportunity (on a first-come, first-served basis) to participate in a Koru Fundamentals class. (A $295 value.)

Koru Fundamentals is a 5-week mindfulness program offered by the leading evidence-based mindfulness program for college students.

This program will help you develop or continue your own mindfulness practice and also serve as the foundation for becoming a Koru Teacher if that is of interest to you.

what to expect from koru fundamentals

Develop and deepen your mindfulness practice while learning our strategy for teaching mindfulness to young adults.

Taught by a Koru Trainer or Faculty member, this 5-week course will provide you with a lived experience of our Koru Basic curriculum along with a backdoor look at the development of Koru and our philosophy of teaching mindfulness to college-aged adults.

  • Deepen your personal mindfulness practice
    Learning to be more grounded and engaged as you transition into your identity as a professional will help you live with greater ease and fulfillment.
  • 5-week commitment
    Participate in 5, 90-minute classes with your Koru trainer and other Duke Graduate Students.
  • The Mindful Twenty-Something
    Read and discuss the companion text written by Holly Rogers, a founder of Koru Mindfulness.
  • Practice each day
    Submit a daily log of your gratitudes and reflections on your meditation practice.
  • Receive personal guidance
    Koru’s highly trained trainers and faculty are experts in teaching mindfulness to college-aged adults.
  • Koru curriculum
    Learn about the history, development, and research behind Koru.
  • Start on a path to teaching others these skills
    This course fulfills a pre-requisite for Koru’s popular Mindfulness Teacher Certification Program.
"I discovered mindfulness practice while struggling with panic attacks as a college student, and it gave me the lifeline I needed. Becoming a Koru teacher allowed me to come full circle by handing me the skills and the platform to offer mindfulness practice back to college students. I am forever grateful for this gift!"
why mindfulness?

Mindfulness is proven to help.

Develop skills and strategies that will allow you to thrive as you move through graduate school. Learning to be more grounded and engaged as you transition into your identity as a professional will help you live with greater ease and fulfillment. Mindfulness can help:

  • Improve concentration and focus.
  • Develop self-compassion.
  • Enhance the quality of sleep.
  • Manage anxiety, depression, and stress.
  • Improve your overall well-being.
  • Increase your productivity.
Please note, attendance in a Koru Fundamentals course does not guarantee acceptance into the certification program. You can see the full list of prerequisites for our teacher certification program here. However, Koru Fundamentals is a recommended first step in becoming a certified Koru teacher.

About the Koru Trainers

Koru Mindfulness, Holly Rogers

Holly B. Rogers

Co-Founder of Koru Mindfulness, co-author of Koru Mindfulness curriculum and Koru Trainer

Holly is one of the developers of the Koru Mindfulness program and a co-founder of the Center for Koru Mindfulness. She worked for over two decades as a psychiatrist at Counseling and Psychological Services, the student counseling center at Duke University where she developed strategies to help students incorporate the practice of mindfulness into their lives in a meaningful way.

Holly’s own mindfulness practice began more than 25 years ago when she had the good fortune to be taught and mentored by Dr. Jeff Brantley. Since that time, she has integrated the principles and practice of mindfulness into her clinical work with students and has been continually inspired by the profound growth she has witnessed.

Holly is the co-author of Mindfulness for the Next Generation: Helping Emerging Adults Manage Stress and Lead Healthier Lives. Her newest book, The Mindful Twenty-Something, is a handbook for college-aged adults who wish to learn about mindfulness and meditation. She lives in Durham, NC with her husband, daughter, Great Dane, three chickens, two cats, and Peaches the rabbit.

Koru Mindfulness, Libby Webb

Libby Webb

Co-Founder of Koru Mindfulness and Koru Trainer

Libby is a co-founder of the Center for Koru Mindfulness. Before retiring in 2016, she was a licensed clinical social worker at Duke University’s Counseling and Psychological Service, and a Clinical Associate on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center.

She has been working with emerging adults for the past twenty-eight years and finds great significance in helping them explore the question of meaning at a time of life filled with such ambiguity.

Libby came to the practice of mindfulness through her early participation in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program. Her interest in mindfulness expanded to include the integration of present moment awareness skills taught in the practice of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

In addition to her interest in mindfulness, she also has a strong belief in the restorative benefits of small group work to illuminate the humanness of struggle. Libby lives with her family in Durham, NC, and loves her adopted hometown.

Koru Trainer Roger Mancastroppa

Roger Mancastroppa

Koru Trainer

Roger “Mac” Mancastroppa has earned a MS in Education, a MA in Theological Studies and a BS in History. He taught history and religion for over a decade before joining the University of Richmond where he serves as the Associate Director of the Academic Skills Center. Mac is in his 9th year assisting students individually and collectively with academic and life skills development. He helps students transition to a mindfully engaged learning style where they conceptualize information through meta-cognitive and executive functions. He also leads a weekly meditation session on campus known as Mindful Mondays.

Mac’s personal mindfulness and meditation practices began during counseling and therapy for PTSD after exiting the military. His initial training began with a psychologist who practiced Buddhism and taught him the samatha that occurs with the vipassana practice. He began to integrate it into his work by using the CD’s by Jon Kabat-Zinn as a companion to his book “Full Catastrophe Living,” over and over again with students. He now works with students, faculty, staff, local non-profits, churches, and offers keynotes on mindfulness and meditation, and is one of the co-leaders of a faculty learning community that brought KORU to the university.

Koru Trainer Vivien Roman-Hampton

Vivien Roman-Hampton

Koru Trainer

Vivien Roman-Hampton is a LICSW in Massachusetts who trained to be a Koru teacher in New York in 2018. She uses Koru in her clinical practice where she focuses on emerging adults from marginalized communities. The transformation she has seen as she introduces Koru to these young people has motivated her to be part of Koru’s first Train-the-Trainer program.

She believes that her skills in meditation and mindfulness have enhanced her clients’ well-being as well as her own.

She has enjoyed facilitating Koru’s Social Justice circles online.

Koru Trainer Tim Auman

Tim Auman

Koru Trainer

Timothy L. Auman became the University Chaplain to Wake Forest in August of 2003. Tim has over two decades of experience in ministry in higher education, pastoral care, and work with religious, secular, and spiritual identity. At Wake Forest, Tim aims to build relationships amidst difference and to cultivate healthy contemplative and mindful practices for the transformation of self and world. He previously served as the United Methodist Ecumenical Campus Minister at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and as a pastor of two United Methodist congregations.

Tim created the MindfulWake program at Wake Forest in January of 2017. He began his mindfulness practice in 1985 as a way to reduce stress and credits mindfulness as key to his emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Tim practices in the Plum Village Tradition of Engaged Buddhism and will be ordained into the Order of Interbeing in April of 2020. He practices with the Planting Seeds Sangha of Chapel Hill and the Winston-Salem Community of Mindful Living.

Within a few months of learning about Koru Mindfulness, Tim knew that he wanted to share this practice with his students. That would become an important part of his life’s work at Wake Forest. Eventually, faculty and staff started to ask Tim to teach them what he was discovering. They wanted to share the practice of mindfulness, just as Tim did. But as demand increased, Tim stumbled upon the idea of becoming a Koru Trainer. A crazy idea at first, but being a teacher and practitioner at heart, he decided to give it a go. Tim believes that when you’re teaching with joyfulness and playfulness, you’re not just talking mindfulness…you’re living mindfulness.

Koru Trainer Mil Witt

Mil Witt

Koru Trainer

Mil Witt is a licensed clinical psychologist at the University of North Carolina’s Counseling and Psychological Services in Chapel Hill, NC (UNC-CAPS). Mil is passionate about working with emerging young adults in university settings. In addition to mindfulness, her professional interests include college mental health, the training and supervision of future clinicians, multiculturalism and diversity, and writing as a meditative practice. Prior to joining UNC-CAPS in 2014, Mil worked at the college counseling centers at UNC-Greensboro and Duke, and worked with medical students at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Mil was in the inaugural class of Koru Teachers in 2013 and has been a Koru Certified teacher since 2015. Her meditation journey started in the mid-1990s with her first meditation teacher and mentor Dr. Ronna Rachel Weiss, and followed with mindfulness trainings and practice at the Cape Cod Institute and at Duke Integrative Medicine. Mil is excited to work with, support, inspire, and mentor new Koru teachers, especially those working with students of color. The daughter of immigrant parents originally from New York City, Mil lives in Carrboro, NC with her family. Mil is an avid tennis player, and enjoys dancing, theatre, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Koru Trainer Erica Alexander

Erica Alexander

Koru Trainer

Erica Alexander, flutist and music educator, has taught music and mindfulness in private and group settings for over 20 years. She has a Masters in Music Education (MME) with all-level teaching certification.

Erica is the founder and director of The Open Wings School ( which specializes in helping busy people find a lasting sense of calm in their lives and discover their own inner musicians. Among her most popular offerings are Be the Music workshops which incorporate Native American inspired flutes and meditation

Erica is currently enrolled in the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield.

She has loved working with Koru for the past 5 years, teaching in local high schools and non-profit organizations and reviewing teacher portfolios.

Erica lives in Durham, NC, and enjoys hiking, swimming, gardening, and listening to and playing music from all over the world.

Koru Trainer Karen Newton

Karen S. Newton

Koru Trainer

Karen S. Newton served as Director of Health Promotion & Wellbeing in Campus Health Services from 2007 to 2018 as her team implemented a resilience framework to support the academic persistence and personal wellbeing of University of Louisville students. Inspired by her personal experiences with mindfulness and mediation practices through many years of her life’s ups and downs, Karen added Koru Mindfulness courses, retreats and drop-in Relax & Refocus sessions in 2015. Karen has also directed healthcare access initiatives for University of Louisville and at The Healing Place Recovery. Karen graduated from San Diego State University and completed her Master of Public Health degree in community health promotion and nutrition science at Loma Linda University, CA.

Karen’s current life is focused on her purpose and what she loves: family, travel, practicing and teaching. She teaches Koru and other courses at the Earth & Spirit Center Meditation School; Koru retreats at Speed Art Museum; and her Koru-based 14-week Mindfulness for Stress Resilience course in University of Louisville College of Education. She is collaborating with University of Louisville colleagues to develop a research agenda to study Koru Mindfulness.