Mandy Bruney, Instructional Coach

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“When I decided to take the Mindful Growth course, I never expected how drastically it would change both my personal and professional life.  I learned to value silence and appreciate curiosity, and it felt really powerful to realize I had control over my own feelings, emotions, and especially my reactions.  I started meditating and journaling regularly, and this gave me more overall peace in my life.  My brain began to reside in a calmer state more often, giving me more time and awareness to decide how I wanted to react to stressors.  I’ve learned how to be a better listener and communicator, how to stick with a task even when it’s frustrating, how to get outside of my comfort zone in order to make connections with colleagues, and how to take risks professionally.

All of this learning has enabled me to be much more effective in my work.  Once I realized how much of an impact the idea and practice of mindfulness had on me, I couldn’t help but share it with teachers, and eventually with their students, too.  These teachers, and others throughout the district, plan to begin next school year by introducing students to mindfulness and other ideas from the course: valuing silence, having a growth mindset, using grit, building resilience, and taking risks.”

– Mandy Bruney, Pickerington Local School District

Joy Sullivan, Wexner Center Fellow, Pages Artist-in-Residence, Poet and Educator

Joy jpeg“Brandi is an intuitive thinker, creative risk-taker, and marvelously capable leader.  She creates thoughtful and intentional spaces to explore, write, discuss, and observe, leaving participants with resources that enable continuous growth and stretch.  As an organized presenter and a practiced rhetorician, she not only facilitates focused learning, but she also radiates kindness and support. On many occasions, Brandi offered me and others insight and encouragement. Furthermore, I watched her, time and again, adeptly form and nurture communal spaces that fostered authentic relationships.”

Joy Sullivan, Pages Program

Verónica E. Betancourt, Museum Educator

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“Brandi is an energetic and curious professional who is able to ground her knowledge of mindfulness in the practice of classroom teachers, making her an exceptional choice of facilitator for a teacher professional development work. She deftly combines critical reflection to improve mindfulness and self-awareness with a range of arts activities from writing and discussion to hands-on practices.  She is also responsive, creative, and an easy collaborator whose love of learning enlivens her teaching.  It was a pleasure to work with her on the 2015 Capital Day workshop.”

– Verónica E. Betancourt, The Wexner Center

Maggie Buckley, Teaching and Learning Coordinator

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“Pickerington Local Schools has included the idea of instilling a growth mindset in students and staff in our strategic plan, and we are thrilled to have Brandi be a part of this work in the district.  Brandi has helped us to survey current needs and establish professional development to address the concept of mindfulness and growth. The staff that has been involved in Brandi’s sessions: workshops, in-classroom work, and job-embedded coaching, have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have found it to be transformative and rejuvenating. This work has never been needed more in the field of education!”

– Maggie Buckley, Pickerington Local School District 

Aaron Sherman, Teacher

Aaron“I have some experience with using mindfulness in class with students, but Brandi facilitated a much deeper appreciation for, and understanding of, mindfulness practice. Brandi’s facilitation of this work led to epiphanies in my classroom. She fostered a greater awareness in students who can now seek solace from the stressors of life productively and constructively. Many of the students now use mindfulness practices weekly and in some cases daily, not to escape from the challenges of school and their lives, but to reenergize and come back fresh and ready to grow further and faster than they would be able to otherwise. None of this was possible for them before.

After over a decade plus of teaching and management experience, I can enthusiastically say that having Brandi Lust can help your team feel and perform better, not to mention the added value that inevitably will come to the stakeholders your institution serves.”

Aaron Sherman, Art and College Preparatory Academy

Rachel Lang, Literacy Specialist

Rachel Lang jpeg“Brandi’s ability to connect with participants, her true dedication to personal growth, her kind spirit, and her thoughtful listening skills, all contribute to her ability to create and support rich learning environments. I initially supported Brandi in her role as an instructional coach through my work with school districts. From our first encounter, I could sense her deep dedication to learning and her desire to evolve personally and professionally. It has been a pleasure to watch her continue to grow. And most importantly, it has been a privilege to call on Brandi to share her knowledge and passion for mindfulness and growth through professional development opportunities here at the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio.”

Rachel Lang, ESC of Central Ohio

Josh Culbertson, Activist

Josh Photo“Brandi’s awareness, empathy and engagement with participants are strengths she embodies as a facilitator.  I had the honor of co-facilitating with Brandi a communications workshop for a group of adult men whose lives have been affected by HIV during the West Ohio AIDS Task Force Healing Weekend. Her contributions were phenomenal.

Her awareness of others, which I assume comes with being a mindfulness practitioner, allowed her monitor and respond to the moods of the group, while also focusing in on individual needs.  She brought empathy to her interactions by meeting participants where they were and encouraging them to engage in their own process and story.  Even when some were a bit hesitant, with her gentle encouragement, she was able to re-engage them in the process with success.  Her experience as both an educator and a mindfulness practitioner were both evident in the work she was able to facilitate. I would be pleased to work with her on other collaborations!”

– Josh CulbertsonWe Are Compatible podcast