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Staff and Faculty

Dr Pavel Cenkl

Head of Schumacher College and Director of Learning, Dartington Trust

Pavel has worked for more than two decades in higher education in America and has always been drawn to colleges and universities whose curriculum fully integrates learning with practice and thinking with embodiment. For nearly 15 years he served as Dean at Vermont’s Sterling College. As well as extensive published work, Pavel continues to pursue research in ecologically-minded curriculum design and teach courses in environmental philosophy. Pavel is also a passionate endurance and adventure runner and has covered hundreds of miles in the Arctic and subarctic in order to bring attention to the connections between our bodies and the more-than-human world in the face of a rapidly changing climate.

Colin Searls

Head of Quality & Standards, Dartington Learning

Colin is the former Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Plymouth and is responsible for ensuring quality processes are embedded in the taught programmes.

Colum Pawson

Head Gardener and Programme Lead for Sustainable Horticulture

Colum assists in the planning and management of the growing areas around Schumacher College and teaching our horticulture students.  He also advises on the care of our chickens and Indian runner ducks.

Dr Andy Letcher

Programme Lead, MA Engaged Ecology and Senior Lecturer, MSc Holistic Science

After a brief spell studying physics and astronomy, Andy Letcher completed a degree in Ecology at Sheffield University, then a doctorate in Ecology at Oxford. It was as an eco-activist in the 1990s that he was invited to do a second PhD in the Study of Religion at King Alfred’s College, Winchester. He is especially interested in the tangled and sometimes tortuous relationship between science and spirituality, and in so-called dark green religion. He has written papers on: the distribution of mammals across continents; fairies; mysticism; and psychedelic spirituality. He is the author of Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom.

Dr Marie Méténier

Associate Lecturer, MA Movement, Mind, and Ecoogy

Marie comes from a background in law and geography. She completed an LLB in French private law and went on to broaden her expertise by gaining two Master’s in environmental law and geography (sustainable environmental management) at the University of Limoges.

Dr Mona Nasseri

Programme Lead, MA Ecological Design Thinking

Mona has a background in craft and design. After doing an undergraduate degree in Craft and Material Culture at the University of Art, Tehran, Iran she completed MDes and PhD in Design at the University of Dundee, Scotland. Her doctorate thesis is an exploration of the role of unmediated relationship with the environment in the evolution of human consciousness. Her aspiration is to reintroduce the embodied and relational qualities of craft practice into regenerative design processes, particularly in participatory approaches to Transition.

Dr Rachel Sweeney

Programme Lead and Senior Lecturer, Movement, Mind, and Ecology

Rachel is a practicing movement artist whose research actively seeks our transdisciplinary approaches to decolonizing body-place relationships, engaging creatively and imaginatively with cultural heritage and sustainability discourses. She is a graduate of the BA Theatre Degree at Dartington College of Arts and holds an AHRC funded PhD from Middlesex University exploring site based approaches to movement training.

Dr Sarah Elisa Kelly

Lecturer, MA Engaged Ecology

Sarah comes from a background in cultural theory and critical thinking, specialising in philosophies of meaning-making via the field of deconstruction and French feminism.

Dr Stephan Harding

Deep Ecology Research Fellow

Stephan oversees the MSc in Holistic Science, teaching on the core modules and as part of several of the short courses at the College

Dr Tine Bech

Dr Tine Bech, Senior Lecturer, Arts and Place

Tine Bech is a multidisciplinary artist, researcher, and teacher with extensive practical and theoretical experience working with public art and designing for people, play and participation. She was born in Denmark, lives in London and works internationally. Her PhD thesis ‘Playful interactions: A Critical Inquiry into Interactive Art and Play” was completed at the Digital Cultures Research Centre, University of the West of England.

Dr Troy Vine

Lecturer, MSc Holistic Science

Troy studied Physics with Astrophysics at Bristol University before completing a doctorate at University College London with a thesis based on experimental research at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, near Chicago. He then studied Goethean science in America and Germany before moving to Berlin, where he began a second doctorate on which he is currently working. His thesis develops a Wittgensteinian approach to the history and philosophy of science that is based on seeing connections.

Jay Tompt

Lecturer, MA Regenerative Economics

Jay is a co-founder of the Totnes REconomy Project, an associate lecturer in economics at Plymouth University as well as a regular teacher on our postrgraduate economics programmes. He co-developed the Transition Network REconomy Project’s Local Economic Blueprint course and handbook, co-founded the REconomy Centre, and developed the Local Entrepreneur Forum model. He has worked with groups in many communities picking up these models. He has also developed a course on ‘Citizen-led Economics’, as well as led workshops and given talks in Europe, USA and Japan.

Jonathan Dawson

Programme Lead and Senior Lecturer, MA Regenerative Economics

Jonathan is a sustainability educator and a former President of the Global Ecovillage Network, He has around 20 years experience as a researcher, author, consultant and project manager in the field of small enterprise development in Africa and South Asia and before joining the College he was a long-term resident at the Findhorn ecovillage.

Julia Ponsonby

Head of Food

Julia has helped create Schumacher College's reputation for first class vegetarian food, so loved by staff and students alike. A chef and writer she has produced a number of cookery books which include the award winning Gaia's Kitchen as well as Gaia's Feasts and The Art of Mindful Baking.

Lou Rainbow

Craft Learning Programme Manager

Lou began her career as a published and recorded writer, working on radio and touring as a performer, sketch writer and poet. Since then she has clocked up over fifteen years experience working in the arts sector and has worked in publishing and book selling, marketing and arts development.

Professor Roberto Fraquelli

Senior Lecturer, MA Ecological Design Thinking

Roberto is interested in Holistic Design and the dilemma many designers face between the pressures of growth, resilience and an empathy with all living systems. His research focuses on 3 interrelated ecological themes: systems design thinking, deep empathy and contemplative inquiry. Before joining Plymouth University (2004) as Professor of Design and Schumacher College (2016) he spent over 20 years in professional practice, mostly working with IDEO Global Design company, Roberto has designed products, environments and experiences for clients across Europe, America, India and the Far East. 

Sarah Gray

Learning Community Coordinator

Sarah has worked at the Dartington Estate since 2005 and has over ten years of experience in community media, events production, and project management. She is currently secretary of Soundart Radio, an arts based community station for Totnes and Dartington.

Satish Kumar

Visiting Fellow

Satish was the originator and cofounder of Schumacher College, served as its program director from 1991 to 2010, and was also the primary fundraiser during that time. He is currently a visiting fellow.

Valerie Lancaster

Alumni Outreach Co-ordinator

Valerie brings her breadth of experience to the College as our Community Coordinator where she supports the Head of College in the smooth running of the community.