Meet our academic and professional staff at Dartington Trust.
Dr Pavel Cenkl
Pavel is Head of Schumacher College, and oversees Programme Development for Movement, Mind, and Ecology.
Having taught and served as Dean for nearly 15 years at Vermont’s Sterling College, Pavel brings a depth of experience to Schumacher College’s unique approach to experiential learning. While pursuing research in ecologically-minded curriculum design and teaching courses in environmental philosophy, Pavel is also a passionate endurance and adventure runner. Over the past five years through a project called Climate Run, Pavel has covered hundreds of miles in the Arctic and subarctic on foot 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.
Pavel holds a Ph.D. in English and is the author of many articles, chapters, and two books: Nature and Culture in the Northern Forest: Region, Heritage, and Environment in the Rural Northeast. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2010; and This Vast Book of Nature: Writing the Landscape of New Hampshire's White Mountains, 1784-1911. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2006. He is currently working on a book titled Resilience in the North: Adventure, Endurance, and the Limits of the Human, which threads together personal narrative and observation with environmental philosophy and reflections on what it means to be human.
Dr Nathan Einbinder
Nathan is course lead for our Regenerative Food, Farming & Enterprise programme. Before arriving at Schumacher, Nathan taught geography at San Diego State University and the University of Northern British Columbia.
In addition to teaching, he worked as a consultant for international organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, where he conducted research on regenerative soil management and its connection to socio-ecological resilience in Central America.
Nathan has said that he is eager to bring his experiences to Schumacher College to inspire students and relate the principles and values of Indigenous agroecology to the UK context. He is also excited to put into practice his background and commitment to experiential education, to help train the next generation of change-makers and regenerative food and farming professionals.
Professor Roberto Fraquelli
Roberto is Senior Lecturer for MA Ecological Design Thinking. He is interested in Holistic Design and the dilemma many designers face between the pressures of economic growth and an empathy with all living systems.
Dr Stephan Harding
Stephan is a Deep Ecology Research Fellow and has been teaching on the MSC Holistic Science programme since its inception in 1998.
In 1990 Stephan became one of the founding members of Schumacher College where he worked closely with James Lovelock, with whom he has maintained a long-lasting friendship and scientific collaboration. As a result of this, they were jointly appointed as founding chair holders of the Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo.
Stephan led and lectured on the college’s MSc Holistic Science for nearly two decades, teaching on the core models of the programme, as well as on several short courses at the College. At Schumacher College Stephan has taught alongside many of the world’s leading ecological thinkers and activists, including Arne Naess, Fritjof Capra, Brian Goodwin, Vandana Shiva, David Abram, James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis. He is now Deep Ecology Research Fellow at Schumacher College, where his interests are the intersects between scientific ecology (especially Gaia theory) and the world of psyche and soul.
He plays classical guitar and the Venezuelan cuatro and loves to speak Spanish, his native tongue.
Stephan is author of Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia, as well as Gaia Alchemy and Poems of Lorca: Courting the Dawn, translated with Martin Shaw.
Melissa Harvey is a grower, horticulture teacher and facilitator. She is a lecturer on our MSc Regenerative Food, Farming & Enterprise programme.
In 2004 Melissa carried out research in Sri Lanka following the Tsunami for her MPhil in Sustainable Agriculture, where she explored elements influencing the resilience of smallholder farmers. The research looked at agroecological and psycho-social factors, finding that resilience of small farmers affected by the tsunami was boosted by both agroecological and social diversity and connections.
Inspired to work more locally towards a more sustainable food system Melissa trained in practical sustainable horticulture, and went on to work as part of a team to set up School Farm CSA, near Totnes, as well as working to support food growing and composting in schools across Devon. Melissa currently delivers the Practical Horticulture adult training at School Farm, and also runs a small herb, perennial vegetable and wildflower nursery based at the farm.
She has a profound respect for and interest in working with and learning from the land, and all plants and creatures. She lives on the edge of Dartmoor with her partner and, when she is not growing plants, enjoys exploring and meeting them in the wild.
Satish is Visiting Fellow and was the originator and cofounder of Schumacher College.
A former monk and long-term peace and environment activist, Satish has been quietly setting the Global Agenda for change for over 50 years. He was just nine when he left his family home to join the wandering Jains and 18 when he decided he could achieve more back in the world, campaigning for land reform in India and working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a renewed and a peaceful world into reality.
In 1973 Satish settled in the United Kingdom taking up the post of editor of Resurgence magazine, a position he has held ever since, making him the UK’s longest-serving editor of the same magazine. During this time, he has been the guiding spirit behind a number of now internationally respected ecological and educational ventures including Schumacher College.
Dr Andy Letcher
Andy is the programme lead for MA Engaged Ecology at Schumacher College.
Andy has doctorates in Ecology (Oxford University – studying patterns of distribution of mammals at the continental level) and in the Study of Religion (King Alfred’s College, Winchester – researching bardic performance within contemporary Druidry and radical environmental protest movements). Consequently, he is especially interested in the intersection between ecology and worldview or spirituality.
He taught for many years as an Associate Lecturer in the Study of Religion at Bath Spa University and Oxford Brookes University (Research Methods, Issues in Contemporary Religion, Contemporary Paganism and Festivals in Religion and Culture). Andy is third supervisor for a PhD student at the University of Sydney, who is researching the experiences of participants at the Synthesis psilocybin retreat centre in the Netherlands.
Andy’s areas of expertise include neopaganism, shamanism, the new animism, and psychedelic spiritualities. His current research focuses on the proliferation of both scientific and religious interest in psychedelics, and the assumptions, sympathies and antipathies between the various discourses by which psychedelic experience is interpreted. Current papers include a study of the use of psychedelics within contemporary Druidry, an investigation of the purported ability of psychedelics to engender an ecological self, and a co-authored paper on the significance of the Green Man in contemporary alternative spiritualities. He is the author of Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom and a range of papers, many of which can be found at independent.academia.edu/AndyLetcher.
Dr Marie Hale
Marie is Lecturer for Movement, Mind, and Ecology.
Including being head of year for a foundation degree, Marie has taught a range of modules at undergraduate and master’s levels (ecology, environmental philosophy, conservation; and a range of qualitative methods). Her teaching explores how places are transformed by contemporary processes of (im)mobilities, entanglements between humans and more-than-humans, as well as understanding how places, nature and societies are (re)shaped. She has a deep interest in transformative learning and how embodied practices can lead to a deeper understanding of our world.
Dr Mona Nasseri
Mona is Head of Research at Schumacher College and Programme Lead for MA Ecological Design Thinking. She joined Schumacher College in 2014 and been involved in the delivery and development of the programme since its inception.
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 Simon Platten
Dr Simon Platten is senior lecturer and course lead for BSc Regenerative Food and Farming, and lecturer for our MSc Regenerative Food, Farming and Enterprise.
During this time TGL has established over 30 community food projects, businesses, and co-operative ventures designed to be self-supporting but to benefit from the mutual support provided under the TGL umbrella. The resulting network of projects have been shaped to grow resilience and respond to market failures around small-scale food production, and to revitalise local food consumption, production and employment opportunities. Simon brings his academic, business and supply chain development experience to the BSc Regenerative Food and Farming at Dartington.
Ruth Potts is head of our Regenerative Economics programme. She is a researcher, facilitator, artist and activist who also works on the Green New Deal in the office of Caroline Lucas MP.
Ruth is a leading member of the secretariat for the Global Alliance for a Green New Deal, an alliance of 27 lawmakers from 22 nations working collaboratively for transformative economic change. In 2020, Ruth brought together a transdisciplinary team to deliver Reset, an inquiry that opened up space for a broad cross-section of the UK public to explore their experience of the first Covid lockdown and discuss how they might want life to change so that it is greener and fairer.
Previously, Ruth was a senior lecturer in Ecological Design Thinking at Schumacher College, co-developing the innovative MA. She initiated and was Artistic Advisor to, Utopia 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility at Somerset House, the Courtauld Institute and Gallery and King’s College London. Ruth was Head of Communications at NEF (the New Economics Foundation) for almost a decade where she helped shape the narrative of new economics, and was a co-editor of Red Pepper from 2016-2019. She is a co-author of The New Materialism, covered by the Guardian, the Telegraph and the Financial Times.
Ruth’s research and arts practice focuses on the phenomenon of political agency, following Donna Haraway’s demand that we ‘stay with the trouble’. Ruth is firmly committed to broadening perception of the possible, and is a member of the Cambridge Commission on Scaling Sustainable Behaviour Change and the Rapid Transition Task Force.
Dr Rachel Sweeney
Rachel is Head of Schumacher College Programmes and Programme Lead and Senior Lecturer for Movement, Mind, and Ecology.
Rachel has worked as Head of Dance Studies at Liverpool Hope University (2010-2021), as a Visiting Fellow for the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University, and as Centre Fellow for the Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Plymouth. She is a current member of the European experimental heritage project Karum Creevagh and her research has been supported internationally through the Arts and Humanities Research Council UK, Creative Ireland and CSIRO Australia, and locally through Dartmoor National Park Authorities, Teignmouth County Council and Dance in Devon.
Jay is a Lecturer for Regenerative Economics. He is also a co-founder of the Totnes REconomy Project, and associate lecturer in economics at Plymouth University.
Before moving to the UK Jay was based in Silicon Valley in the US as an entrepreneur and consultant in the ‘green business movement’. He holds an MBA from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and a BA in Philosophy from San Jose State University. He’s also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.