Faculty and Staff


diana winston

Diana Winston, Director
Email: [email protected]

Diana Winston is the Director of UCLA Mindful, the author of The Little Book of Being: Practices and Guidance for Uncovering your Natural Awareness, and the co-author, with Susan Smalley PhD, of Fully Present, the Science, Art and Practice of Mindfulness. She has taught mindfulness for health and well-being since 1993 in a variety of settings including the medical and mental health field, and in universities, businesses, non-profits, and schools. At UCLA she has developed the evidence-based Mindful Awareness Practices (MAPs) curriculum and the Training in Mindfulness Facilitation (TMF), which trains mindfulness teachers worldwide. She is also a founder of the International Mindfulness Teachers Association. Her work has been mentioned in the New York TimesO Magazine, Newsweek, the Los Angeles TimesAllure, Women’s Health, and in a variety of magazines, books, and journals. The LA Times calls her “one of the nation’s best-known teachers of mindfulness.” Diana has been practicing mindfulness since 1989, including a year a Buddhist nun in Burma (Myanmar) and is the mom of a teenager.

serena cox

Serena Hoenig, CMT-P Program Coordinator & Technical Support
Email: [email protected]

Serena, with over a decade of health and wellness expertise, has passion for leading and facilitating healthy lifestyles. She is a UCLA Semel Institute Trained Mindfulness Facilitator, has her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, and has been a leader in the community for the past five years growing youth and womxn's rugby. Serena plans to continue her LGBTQ+ and rugby community involvement with mindfulness facilitation.


susan smalley

Susan L. Smalley, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
Founder & Founding Director, MARC
Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA Semel Institute
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Smalley's scientific career as a behavior geneticist included seminal studies on the genetics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity, Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and the cognitive and emotional impact of mindfulness meditation on health and wellbeing. She authored over 100 scientific publications and lectured globally on the genetics of human behavior and the science of mindfulness. In 2004, she founded MARC at UCLA to investigate and spread self-awareness practices, like mindfulness meditation, to the general public through education and research. She shares her commitment to equality of all human beings through global work for women and girls in education, advocacy, and the law. She serves on the board of Equality Now, an international human rights organization focused on women and girls, and Gordon and Sarah Brown's High Level Panel on Education. In 2010 she co-founded an organization to bring basic literacy to adults in underserved populations using mobile phones. She writes for online communities at the Huffingtonpost and Psychologytoday on a range of topics including gender equality, mindfulness, kindness, and well-being. She and co-author, Diana Winston, published Fully Present: The Science, Art and Practice of Mindfulness (2009) to elucidate both the scientific support for mindfulness and how to practice its cultivation.

daniel siegal

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., Professor Emeritus
Founding Co-Director, MARC
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine
Editor-in-Chief, Norton Professional Series in Interpersonal Neurobiology
Co-Investigator, UCLA Center for Culture, Brain & Development
Email: [email protected]

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. is an internationally acclaimed author, award winning educator, and renowned child psychiatrist. He is the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational center devoted to promoting insight, compassion, and empathy in individuals, families, institutions, and communities. Dr. Siegel's books include Mindsight, Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, The Developing Mind, Second Edition, The Mindful Therapist, The Whole-Brain Child and his latest book, Brainstorm.

marvin belzer

Marvin G. Belzer, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus
Email: [email protected]

Marvin G. Belzer, PhD, has taught mindfulness meditation for twenty years. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. For many years he taught a semester-long meditation course in the Department of Philosophy at Bowling Green St. University, where he was an Associate Professor of Philosophy. He teaches an undergraduate course at UCLA (Psychiatry 175: Mindfulness Practice and Theory) and teaches mindfulness in many different venues.

allyson pimintel

Allyson Pimentel, EdD, Instructor

Allyson Pimentel, EdD is a psychologist, yoga teacher, and long-time meditation practitioner and teacher who works at the intersection of mindfulness, mental health, healing and social justice.Allyson has served on the Board of Directors of Insight Meditation Society (IMS) and presently is a Board Member at Insight LA.  Originally from New York City, Allyson now lives with her family in Los Angeles, where she has become an avid gardener and student of succulents and other native plants.