PARENT UNIVERSITY: Mindful and Balanced Parenting

Saturday, January 26, 2019
Brentwood School, East Campus
100 South Barrington Place
8:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.

Tickets are $65 per person and include a light breakfast and lunch provided by Sweet Greens. 
FREE Tickets for Veterans

Childcare available for Brentwood School students (K-6). 

For general event questions, please contact:
Nasi Bamshad—nasibamshad@gmail.com
Shirin Yadegar—shirin@lamommagazine.com

For help with ticketing, please contact:
Josh Melnick—jmelnick@bwscampus.com | (310) 889-2695

Suniya Luthar

Professor of Psychology and Founding Director of Authentic Connections

Keynote Presentation: Youth in High Achieving Schools
This presentation will focus on how salient aspects of school climate, and of parent-child relationships, can best be modified to maximize the well-being of youth and the adults who care for them.


Founding Director of Authentic Connections, Dr. Suniya S. Luthar is Foundation Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University and Professor Emerita at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Luthar's research involves vulnerability and resilience among various populations including youth in poverty, children in families affected by mental illness, and teens in upper-middle class families. Her recent research has been focused on motherhood, exploring factors that best help mothers negotiate the challenges of motherhood. Luthar is the mother of two adult children. She lives in Tempe, AZ.

Mallika Chopra

Media entrepreneur, public speaker, and published author

Keynote Presenation: Breathe
Kids are more stressed than ever and Mallika Chopra is going to teach you how to help your children combat stress by building their own meditation and mindfulness practice. Mallika’s message is also about self-care and finding purpose as parents, educators, and caretakers of all ages. She will share her ideas on balance, and tips on how she re-discovered many of these practices as a busy mom and entrepreneur with little time for herself. Beginning with defining personal balance and stating what makes you happy, Mallika offers a roadmap to transform intention into action for health, happiness, connection and purpose.

Mallika Chopra is a mom, media entrepreneur, public speaker and published author. Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, Movement and More, her latest project, is an accessible, fun, how-to book filled with full-color illustrations written for 8-12 year olds. Mallika wrote the book to empower kids to learn how to deal with stress, sleep better, build self-confidence, and manage the anxiety so many of them face today. In Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy, Mallika shares personal stories and insights she gained while seeking balance as a mom and entrepreneur who felt she was overwhelmed by work, family and too many responsibilities. Her previous book, 100 Promises to My Baby and 100 Questions from My Child, were gift books that have been translated and sold in over a dozen countries. Mallika has taught meditations to thousands of people. She enjoys speaking to audiences around the world, and has shared her passion about intention, meditation, and living a life of purpose at conferences, companies, and festivals. Just some highlights include TedXSan Diego and TedXBerkeley, Ideacity, Business Innovation Factory, Wisdom 2.0, Women’s Conferences around the United States, and the Parliament of World Religions. She has shared ideas on balance and creativity at companies such as Coca Cola, Disney, LinkedIn and Google. She travels internationally for workshops on meditation and balance, as well speaks regularly at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing. Mallika was the founder of Intent and co-founder of The Chopra Well with her brother, Gotham Chopra, and father, Deepak Chopra. She now blogs on www.intentblog.com. Her writing and work have been featured in many publications including Time.com, Self Magazine, Women’s Health, Prevention Magazine, OWN, Glamour, Oprah.com, Mind Body Green, the LA Times, and Huffington Post. She is featured in Time Magazine’s Special Issue on Mindfulness, and for Just Breathe did a fun segment for Good Morning America and many other national shows. Mallika has a BA from Brown University, an MBA from Kellogg Business School, and an MA in Psychology and Education with a mind body spirit concentration at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Breakout Session #1

1A. Social Emotional Toolkit for Happiness

Social Emotional Toolkit for Happiness

Sofia Dickens, Emotional Intelligence expert and creator of Eqtainment
Grade Level: K-5

In this talk by Q Wunder founder Sofia Dickens, find out how to give your kids a practical framework for building their own happiness and stepping aside so they can strive towards their potential.

Sofia Dickens is the founder of EQtainment and creator of Q Wunder, an award-winning Social Emotional learning curriculum and tv show. EQtainment has been featured on Good Morning America, Larry King Now, and The View in their mission to reduce bullying and school violence, close the education gap, and break through social class barriers to change the trajectory of kids’ lives. As a student at Harvard, Dickens was blown away to learn that 40 years of research point to social emotional skills as the greatest correlate to life success. She embarked on a career in educational media as an on-air correspondent on the Emmy Award winning quiz show Jeopardy!, anchored the largest news show for teens, Channel One News, and served as a host of Tru TV’s entertainment show Hollywood Heat. Dickens took her experience in educational media and spent years diving into research on emotional intelligence, effectively translating the science and data into teachable, engaging and fun content for kids. Dickens thereby created the Q Wunder pre-K and early elementary school curriculum, tv show with live animation and celebrity guests, pop music album and products that have been featured in all 1800 Target stores and kids meals nationwide. Dickens lives with her husband and 4 children in Southern California.

1B. Healthy, Happy Family

Healthy, Happy Family

Elissa Goodman, Holistic nutritionist and lifestyle cleanse expert
Moderator Shirin Yadegar
Journalist, Publisher, TV Host and Creator of LA Mom Magazine

Grade Level: K-12

Creator of La Mom Magazine, Shirin Yadegar will interview holistic nutritionist and lifestyle cleanse expert, Elissa Goodman on recommendations for keeping our families healthy and strong with nutrition that will renew, recharge and rejuvenate to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Elissa Goodman Headshow with Juice

Elissa Goodman is a holistic nutritionist and lifestyle cleanse expert who believes that proper nourishment, healing by listening to your “gut, connecting to your inner strength and a daily renewal practice are essential for optimal living. Elissa’s mission is to educate and encourage healthy, mindful living helping others embrace the concept that we are a product of what we eat and how we treat ourselves. Through adversity Elissa has tapped into her greater purpose in life and in addition to her health and vitality has found that empowering others has become one of her greatest gifts. Creator of the online RESET program, “Cleanse Your Body, Cleanse Your Life” and “The S.O.U.P. Cleanse” a delivered food program available in the Los Angeles market. Elissa’s approach to cleansing is gentle and accessible for those looking to renew, recharge, rejuvenate and maintain their healthy lifestyle. Elissa collaborates with health and wellness partners throughout Los Angeles and is the creator of signature juice blends at Erewhon Market. She’s also created cleanse programs for Café Gratitude, M. Café and more. Elissa is the author of “Cancer Hacks” and executive producer of The Elissa Goodman Show on Focus TV. She is currently working on her next book, Auto Immune Hacks.

Shirin Yadegar Headshot

Shirin Yadegar is a mother, journalist, publisher and tv host. Her magazine, La Mom Magazine, shares expert advise to help parents live a healthier more meaningful family life. As the tv host of Moms Matter, she diligently finds experts whose interviews answer parenting, personal, and spiritual questions. Before becoming a mother, Shirin received her M.A. from USC's Annenberg School of Journalism and worked as a researcher and writer at the Los Angeles Times and Managing Editor of the Beverly Hills Weekly.

1C. Raising Resilient Kids and Teens

Raising Resilient Kids and Teens

Dr. Christine Izquierdo and Dr. Noah LaracyFounders of Straight Up Treatment, an anxiety disorder specialty treatment center

Grade Level: K-12

Children and teens today face a number of unique challenges including busy lifestyles, increased academic pressure, and the perils of technology and social media. All of which can lead to increased anxiety and decreased self-esteem. This breakout presentation will give parents knowledge and tools to better support their children, build confidence and resilience, and prepare them for a thriving future.

Dr. Izquierdo has worked in diverse outpatient treatment agencies treating individuals across the lifespan including adults, children, adolescents, and families. She is highly skilled in utilizing cognitive behavioral and mindfulness-based interventions. Along with other integrative approaches including self-compassion and resilience training. Dr. Izquierdo has published several research articles on various integrative treatments, and presented at national conferences on issues related to anxiety. She is also a current board member of the Southern California chapter of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Izquierdo is the co-founder of Straight Up Treatment, an anxiety disorder specialty treatment center. Straight Up Treatment utilizes a variety of cognitive behavioral approaches to treat anxiety-based conditions such as Generalized Anxiety, Social/Sports/Performance Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Depression.

Dr. Laracy Headshot

Dr. Laracy received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School, and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He has extensive training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Exposure and Response Prevention for the treatment of anxiety in children and adults. He has worked in private practice and community mental health settings, in addition to pediatric oncology. Dr. Laracy has also presented at various national conferences including the International OCD Foundation and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Dr. Laracy is the co-founder of Straight Up Treatment, an anxiety disorder specialty treatment center. Straight Up Treatment utilizes a variety of cognitive behavioral approaches to treat anxiety-based conditions such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social and Specific Phobias, Panic Disorder, Depression, and Generalized Anxiety.

1D. Supporting and Empowering Your Student Through the College Admissions Process

Supporting and Empowering Your Student Through the College Admissions Process

Jean Rutherford WallDirector of College Counseling at Brentwood School
Andrea Paz Frost, Southern California Regional Director for the Stanford University Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Mike Drish, Deputy Director of Undergraduate Admission at UCLA
Yetunde Daniels Rubinstein, Associate Director of College Counseling at Brentwood School

Grade Level: 9-12

Seasoned college admission professionals on both the high school and college side will be sharing their insights and experiences offering sound advice on how to best support your student through the process. The discussion will include strategies on how to let your student drive the process in a thoughtful and sane way that will allow you to enjoy this experience with your student.

Jean Wall Headshot

Jean Rutherford Wall is the Director of College Counseling at the Brentwood School. Prior to joining Brentwood, Jean Wall spent seventeen years at Tampa Preparatory School as the director of college counseling where she created their comprehensive college counseling program for parents and families. Before working on the high school side, she spent twelve years working in higher education as the Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA and as the Merit Scholarship Coordinator at the University of South Florida. All three professional experiences have provided her with much insight into the college admission process.


Andrea Paz Frost is currently in her sixteenth admission cycle with the Stanford University Office of Undergraduate Admission. For the past several years, she has served as the office’s Southern California Regional Director. In this role, she helps to coordinate communication, programming, and outreach in Southern California. Andrea has three children, and she is here today because she is passionate about helping students and their parents navigate the complicated, and often stressful, college admission landscape.



Mike Drish is the Deputy Director of Undergraduate Admission at UCLA. He serves in the #2 leadership position in a very successful and talented admission office and once again the largest volume admission office in the country. He has over 16 years of experience in higher education/undergraduate admission at both leading public and private universities across the country. He is based on-campus here in Los Angeles. He is married and has three children 5 and under.



Yetunde Rubinstein Headshot

Yetunde Daniels Rubinstein is an intuitive and passionate educational leader who empowers young people to recognize and celebrate their full selves, by providing a safe space in which student voices are heard and respected.

After immigrating to the US from Guyana, South America, in 8th grade, Yetunde graduated from Bucknell University with a BA in Psychology, before earning her MS.Ed in Counseling from Fordham University. Yetunde was inducted into the Bucknell Athletic Hall of Fame for Track & Field and remains one of the most decorated athletes in the Patriot League. As a scholar-athlete, Yetunde enlisted in the US Army Reserves and served as a Personnel Sergeant for 8-years.  After 15 years working at secondary and post-secondary schools in New York & New Jersey, Yetunde joined the Brentwood community with her family in 2015, as the Associate Director of College Counseling.

A mother of two fierce young women, Yetunde is humbled by all that she continues to learn from her children as well as from her students. Because Yetunde understands the value in working towards and owning her best self, she carries the same vision for her students. She is confident that the world is in good hands if we continue to nurture and inspire young people.

1E. Preliminary Findings on Brentwood School Students (for BWS families only)

Youth in High Achieving Schools: Preliminary Findings on Brentwood School Students

Suniya Luthar, Professor of Psychology and Founding Director of Authentic Connections

Grade Level: K-12, Brentwood School families only

Founding Director of Authentic Connections, Dr. Suniya S. Luthar is Foundation Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University and Professor Emerita at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Luthar's research involves vulnerability and resilience among various populations including youth in poverty, children in families affected by mental illness, and teens in upper-middle class families. Her recent research has been focused on motherhood, exploring factors that best help mothers negotiate the challenges of motherhood. Luthar is the mother of two adult children. She lives in Tempe, AZ.


Breakout Session #2

2A: Mindful and Conscious Parenting to Raise Connected Children

Mindful and Conscious Parenting to Raise Connected Children
Roma KhetarpalEducator and author of The “Perfect” Parent

Grade Level: K-5

Drowning in their gadgets and buried in the busy-ness of academics and activities, our kids are deprived of our most important human gift—connection! Connection is the driver of our children’s life success, and it starts and ends with effective communication and the bond between parents and children. Roma Khetarpal will give you simple, effective tools of mindful parenting to anchor connection and build a strong bond with your kids.

Mom, Mindful Parenting Expert, Entrepreneur, Educator and sought-after speaker, Roma Khetarpal is the founder and CEO of Tools of Growth, through which she helps parents raise kids to “Be Happy, Think Positive, and Do Good.” She is the author of the award-winning book The “Perfect” Parent: 5 Tools for Using Your Inner Perfection to Connect with Your Kids, recipient of 4 national industry awards. With mindful parenting classes, educational workshops for teachers, administrators, and support staff, community and social media outreach, articles, reviews, and blog posts, Tools of Growth provides parents, educators, and adults caring for children with simple, easy-to-remember, and effective communication tools that can help them build a strong foundation and relationship with children. By synthesizing the themes and concepts of the personal growth and emotional intelligence fields, along with cutting-edge scientific research, Khetarpal delivers her message in an accessible, reassuring, and personally empowering way.

2B: How to Help Your Kids Succeed in Sports

How to Help Your Kids Succeed in Sports
Mark Pattison, Former NFL wide receiver
James Lawrence Mora, Former Head Coach of the National Football League
Moderator: Leana Greene, Creator of Kids in the House

Grade Level: K-12

Are you struggling with how to deal with a coach that is not supportive of your child? This session will focus on how to take your child’s sports abilities to the next level and encourage your talented child without pushing them too hard. Come with all your questions and let the experts help settle your anxiety.

Mark Pattison is a former American football wide receiver who played for the Los Angeles Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, and New Orleans Saints. Mark will become the first NFL player to climb the seven summits and has created several multi-million dollar companies. He also is a Waterboys.org representative who raises awareness and money to build clean water wells in Tanzania.



James Lawrence Mora, commonly known as Jim Mora, is an American football coach who was most recently the head coach of the UCLA Bruins of the Pac-12 Conference. Prior to taking the job at UCLA, Mora served as a head coach in the National Football League, coaching the Atlanta Falcons from 2004 to 2006 and Seattle Seahawks in 2009. He has also served as an analyst for NFL Network and Fox Sports.



Leana Greene is the founder and CEO and founder of Kidsinthehouse.com—the world’s largest parenting video library.
Kids in the House has 9000 videos from 500 of the top parenting experts in the world and is the “manual” all parents been looking for. Kids in the house’s mission is to educate, inspire and entertain parents. Leana is a winner of an ABA Stevie Award for Best Use of Video and an Edison Award for Innovation.


2D. How to Avoid Power Struggles while Dealing with Resistance and Conflict

How to Avoid Power Struggles while Dealing with Resistance and Conflict

Richard B. Cohen, LMFT, Certified behavioral therapist, master addiction counselor, and founder of Of One Mind

Grade Level: 6-12

Do you find yourself arguing with your child to exert your parental authority? Does your child continue to test your resolve even after you have said “No” to them? Please join Richard B. Cohen, LMFT, MAC, CCBT, CDVC, as he shares research on the common tactics kids use to challenge their parents authority. Richard will offer parents effective responses to minimize the struggle. There will be time during the seminar for a question and answer discussion.

Richard B. Cohen is a licensed marriage and family therapist, renowned certified behavioral therapist and master addictions counselor who has developed and operated innovative award winning treatment programs on the Westside for the past 38 years. He is founder and president of Of One Mind, a treatment program dedicated to helping teens, young adults and their families resolve behavioral challenges, psychological issues and chemical dependency problems. Richard is known for using his creative skills and psycho-therapeutic strategies to help families in the community.

2E. Teen Sexual Violence and Misconduct

Teen Sexual Violence and Misconduct

Jonathan Cristall, L.A City Prosecutor and Sexual Violence Prevention Specialist

Grade Level: 6-12

The laws and expectations surrounding issues related to sexual violence and misconduct have changed dramatically in the last decade, particularly with the advent of technology. As a result, there can be confusion—for both parents and teens—about what constitutes acceptable behavior and what does not. This workshop is designed to help sensitize and clarify for parents the many complicated and delicate situations that face our teens on a daily basis and provide specific tools and techniques parents and other caregivers can use to start constructive conversations with their teens about these important topics.

Jonathan Cristall is the founder of What They Don't Teach Teens, a veteran prosecutor for the City of Los Angeles, a certified Sexual Violence Prevention Specialist, a husband, father to three sons, and was once a deeply troubled teen.

2F. Having "The Talk" with Your Children

Having "The Talk" with Your Children

Moderator Trina Moore-Southall, Director of Equity and Inclusion at Brentwood School

With Representatives from Brentwood School Family Affinity Groups:

Selena Cuffe, 5th and 7th Grade Parent
Julie Herskowitz, 10th Grade Parent
Punita Khanna, 8th Grade Parent
Tasnim Shamji, Parent of alumni and 11th Grade
Josette Valtierra, Parent of alumni and 11th Grade
Cecilia Victor, Parent of alumni and 12th Grade
Mark Wind, 10th Grade Parent

Grade Level: K-12

Your child will be smarter, more competent, capable, empathetic, and creative if they learn to navigate successfully in a multicultural environment. Each parent has a responsibility to have conversations (sometimes uncomfortable) toward the creation of allies for people of all identities. Come hear from Brentwood School parents as they speak to their experiences in the independent school system, and hear how you can engage your own child in thoughtful dialogue about the way they see themselves and the way the world sees them. 

Dr. Trina Moore-Southall has been an educator and administrator in independent schools for over 20 years. She graduated with a BA from UCSB, MA from CalState Northridge, and Ed.D. from Cal Lutheran University where her research focused on a sense of belonging for African Americans in independent schools. In her current position as Director of Equity and Inclusion at Brentwood School, Dr. Southall is focused on creating an environment where all participants and constituents can be their best selves, irrespective of background, experience and lifestyle. She has a passion and love for students, ensuring that the school is strategic about inclusivity with every constituent, in all conversations. As a Diversity Practitioner, Dr. Southall works with various schools and organizations in the areas of professional development, keynote speaker and workshop facilitator for events as well as accreditation. Trina and her husband, Patrick, have two sons that attended independent schools: Isaiah, currently a first-year student at Cal Poly Pomona and Donovan, a 9th Grade student at Brentwood School.