Jack Petrash, Director, is the founder and director of the Nova Institute. He is an educator with over thirty years of classroom experience (having just completed his fourth class at the Washington Waldorf School) and a teacher of teachers. He has written extensively on issues pertaining to innovative classroom instruction, has served on the editorial board of the journal Encounter, and is the author of Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching from the Inside Out. In addition, has traveled extensively to work with parents. His parenting pieces have appeared in the Washington Post and on National Public Radio and he is also the author of Covering Home: Lessons on the Art of Fathering from the Game of Baseball, which received the National Parenting Publication's gold award. His third book, Navigating the Terrain of Childhood: A Guidebook for Meaningful Parenting and Heartfelt Discipline was released in August of 2004, the Nova Institute Press' first publication.
Anne Wotring, our Board-President, has her doctorate in human and organizational development. She consults with schools and other institutions, mentors individuals in a variety of fields, and writes journal articles in an effort to foster new leadership models based on collaboration and consensus. She is a member of the International Enneagram Association and the Enneagram Society of Greater Washington and offers workshops in this field to promote self-knowledge and harmony in the workplace and in the home. Dr. Wotring is intrigued by the intersection of psychology and spirituality and believes this intersection provides practical models for the renewal of society. A former teacher and administrator, Anne has a Masters degree in English Education with an emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and writing.
Carol Petrash is the Secretary of the Nova Institute board. She is currently a Waldorf teacher working with young children and Parent/Infant and Parent/Toddler classes. Carol has previously taught public school kindergarten and has over twenty five years of classroom experience. For a number of years, Carol was the Registrar/Administrator of the Rudolf Steiner Institute, an organization working with adult education. She is an avid environmentalist and a trained bio-dynamic gardener, as well as the author of Earthways: Simple Environmental Activities for Young Children.
Robert Engelman is vice president for programs at the Worldwatch Institute, a globally focused environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C. Engelman provides strategic direction for the Institute's research and programs and is a specialist in issues of population, reproductive health, global public health, climate change, and food security. Prior to joining Worldwatch, he was vice president for research at Population Action International, a policy research and advocacy group in Washington, and directed its program on population and the environment. He has written extensively on population's connections to environmental change, economic growth, and civil conflict.
A former newspaper reporter specializing in politics, science, health, and the environment, Engelman has served on the faculty of Yale University as a visiting lecturer and was founding secretary of the Society of Environmental Journalists. The Population Institute awarded his book, More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want, the 2008 Global Media Award for Individual Reporting on Population. Salon.com wrote that "More" convincingly champions women's reproductive rights the world over. Engelman's writing has appeared in scientific and news media including Nature, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He serves on the boards of the Center for a New American Dream, the Population Resource Center, and Nova Institute.
Greg Mueller is a professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Genetics for the Uniformed Services University where he teaches neurophysiology and endocrinology in the university's medical school. He has received repeated awards for teaching excellence, published numerous articles in his field, and has received significant grants for advanced research. Dr. Mueller is also involved in non-profit endeavors. In addition to serving on the Nova Institute board, he has been the chairman of the board of the Acorn Hill Children's Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, a Waldorf kindergarten and parent education facility.
Tom Dews is our newest board member. He is the librarian at the St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. and is keenly interested in ways to enhance education by incorporating arts into academic instruction. Tom is a former high school teacher at the Kimberton Waldorf School in Pennsylvania. Aside from his literary interests, Tom Dews is a fine musician and a consummate student of the guitar. His recordings and his musical performances are widely appreciated in the Washington D.C. area.