For the past 15 years, Alejandro has served as an assistant professor and director of education at the Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in the Texas Medical Center, where he conducts research on the effect of meditation practices in people diagnosed with cancer. He is also an associate faculty member at the University of Texas’ McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics, where he teaches medical students in the areas of spirituality, complementary and integrative medicine, and end-of-life care. Alejandro is also the author of chod practice in the Bon tradition.
James Beard Award-nominated chef and culinary pioneer Monica Pope has taken a holistic, farm-to-table approach to Sydenham Clinic’s food and beverage program. A revolutionary in Houston's dining scene, Pope brings her core philosophy of connecting local farmers and clients through interactive cooking classes, communal table dining, and one-on-one meal prep curated for each individual and their dietary needs. By combining high-quality, local and organic ingredients, Pope elevates the menu offerings to create a wholesome, health-focused sanctuary. The program is committed to providing nourishing and nutrient-dense meals, free of GMOs, pesticides, artificial sweeteners, and added hormones.
MARY JO RAPINI
Mary Jo Rapini, M.Ed, LPC, is speaker, psychotherapist, and author encouraging healthy relationships. Her dynamic style, passion, and enthusiasm is engaging for those dealing with intimacy issues and relationship challenges. Mary Jo is on Fox Houston 26 Mondays and Thursdays with a segment on healthy relationships and “Ask Mary Jo.” She has been a contributor for CNN’s Prime News and has been on CBS up to the Minute, Fox National Morning News, Montel, Steve Harvey, the Today Show and Dateline. Mary Jo was also featured in TLC’s Big Medicine (two seasons) and Discovery Health Channel. In addition, Mary Jo is a love/relationship expert for the Houston Chronicle, Health News Digest, Your Tango. She is also a contributor to Cosmopolitan Magazine, Women’s Health First, Seventeen Magazine, Redbook, and Self Magazine as needed. She has a column in Prime Living Magazine which is released every other month. Mary Jo has authored three books.
Crystal Collier, PhD, herself a person in long-term recovery, is a therapist and educator who has been working with adolescents and adults suffering from mental illness, behavioral problems and substance use disorders since 1991. Her area of expertise includes adolescent brain development, prevention programming, parent coaching, addiction, family-of-origin work, and training new clinicians. She possesses a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, and a doctorate in Counselor Education.
Dr. Collier’s comprehensive prevention model, which teaches the neurodevelopmental effects of risky behavior to children, teens, teachers and parents, was selected for the 2015 Prevention and Education Commendation from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. In 2018 she received the Torch Bearer Award for her work in the field of addiction from the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals. In the same year, The Hope and Healing Center and Institute in Houston, TX, granted Dr. Collier a research fellowship to support the completion of The NeuroWhereAbouts Guide. In 2019, she received the Outstanding Research Award from the Association of Alternative Peer Groups and was acknowledged as Counselor of the Year by the Houston Counseling Association.