Our Leadership Team

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William Krame

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer
William@UThriveEducation.com

William Krame has been a successful real estate developer for almost 40 years, having founded his company shortly after graduating with advanced degrees in marketing and international business. He came across mindfulness approximately 20 years ago and has a daily meditation practice. Recognizing the overwhelming benefits he has derived from mindfulness and other similar practices, he has made it his life’s mission to share these gifts with as many people as possible so they too may benefit. William was the co-founder of the Krame Center for Contemplative Studies and Mindful Living at Ramapo College and has recently co-founded the Krame Center for Mindful Living. He is actively involved in philanthropy and supporting leading academics and thought-seekers in this field. William is the proud father of two daughters and has been happily married for over 30 years to his wife, Catherine.

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Simone Figueroa

Co-Founder & President
Simone@UThriveEducation.com

Simone Figueroa graduated Cum Laude from the University of Florida with a Bachelor's degree in Finance and concentration in Spirituality and Health. At the beginning of her academic journey, Simone struggled with her mental health and emotional well-being. It wasn’t until her Junior year when she fatefully stumbled upon a credit-bearing course in Mindfulness that she went from surviving in college to thriving. The effects of this course were so profound that it ultimately changed the trajectory of her career. Upon graduating, Simone went to work for Canyon Ranch, a premier Health & Wellness Resort in Tucson, AZ where she held various positions ranging from Operations Manager of Health, Healing & Spiritual Wellness to Director of Guest Experience. She then went on to start Conscious Living & Lifestyle, a coaching practice to support individuals in achieving physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. An avid learner, Simone returned to Columbia University and received her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology in Education with an emphasis on Mind-Body Medicine, graduating at the top of her class. During her studies at Columbia University, she took a year long practicum in Positive Psychology and became fascinated with and quickly saw a need for Positive Education, the incorporation of ‘heart-based life skills’ into the academic environment. This, coupled with her own struggles as an undergraduate student, drives her passion and mission to effectuate positive change within the mental health landscape on college campuses and to the realization of U-Thrive Educational Services. Simone lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband, Isaac and her dog, Diesel, and has a love for traveling, being active, hiking, and spending quality time with family and friends.

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Sarah Gouveia

Executive Vice President
Sarah@UThriveEducation.com

Sarah Gouveia earned her Masters in Counseling Psychology and shortly thereafter became interested in Mind, Body, and Spirit medicine, completing her Yoga Teacher Training (200-hr) as well as becoming a qualified MBSR Instructor through the Center For Mindfulness at U-Mass Medical Center. Furthermore, as a research assistant Sarah has looked at the relationship between yoga, stress, and college students.

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Daniel Lerner, MAPP

Co-Director of Curriculum Development

As a speaker, teacher, and strengths-based performance coach, Daniel Lerner is an expert in positive and performance psychologies. His key theme is that developing a healthy psychological state has a profound impact on the pursuit of excellence—a message that he brings to students, established and high-potential performing artists and athletes, and executives at Fortune 500 companies and startups worldwide. Lerner is on the teaching staff at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a clinical instructor at New York University, where he has taught “The Science of Happiness” to almost 6000 students over the past eight years. Following a decade at International Creative Management (where he specialized in the representation and development of young performers), Lerner studied closely with renowned sports psychologist Dr. Nathaniel Zinsser—a Director of The Center for Enhanced Performance at the United States Military Academy at West Point—focusing on coaching and performance enhancement techniques employed by professional and Olympic athletes. He holds a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and co-authored U Thrive: How to Succeed in College (and Life), which was released in Spring 2017 by Little, Brown, and Company.

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Alan Schlechter, MD

Co-Director of Curriculum Development

Alan Schlechter, MD is a clinical associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center and the director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Services at Bellevue Hospital Center. In his role as Director he treats and helps organize the care of some of the most vulnerable children and families in New York City. Alan teaches “The Science of Happiness” to almost 1,000 NYU students each year, in which he shares the mental health education that he believes all people should receive early in life. Alan is interested in using the best science that we have to foster behaviors and thoughts that might help prevent mental illness and grow well-being. In addition to co-authoring U Thrive: How to Succeed in College (and Life), he recently co-edited Becoming Mindful: Integrating Mindfulness Into Your Psychiatric Practice. He is a highly competitive Connect Four player and lives in Greenwich Village with his wonderful wife and two spectacular daughters.

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Joseph Cuseo, Ph.D

Academic Program Advisor

Joseph Cuseo is a professor emeritus of psychology and an educational advisor to AVID for Higher Education—a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the college access and success of underserved student populations. He is a recipient of the “Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award” from the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition and the “Diamond Honoree Award” from the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). His research and scholarship has focused on providing holistic support for college students, unifying the curriculum and co-curriculum, and forging collaborative partnerships between Academic and Student Affairs.

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Robert Biswas-Diener, Ph.D

Instructional Design Advisor

Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener has spent his career studying groups of people traditionally overlooked by mainstream psychologists. He is widely known as the “Indiana Jones of Positive Psychology” as his research on happiness has taken him to far-flung places worldwide, including Amish farmers in the USA, sex workers in India, hunters in Greenland, peace protesters in Palestine, and the Maasai of Kenya, among others. He is a leading authority on strengths, culture, courage, and happiness and best known for his pioneering work in the application of positive psychology. Robert is also particularly interested in how the results of positive psychology research can be applied to work, relationships, and society. He regularly publishes on well-being policy and has trained professionals at a range of organizations including Standard Chartered Bank, Australia Department of Defense, and Humana Healthcare.

He has published nearly fifty scholarly articles and nine books on diverse psychological topics. He lives in Portland, Oregon (USA), and is passionate about rock climbing and travel.

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Robert W. Roeser, Ph.D

Curriculum Advisor

Robert W. Roeser is the Bennett Pierce Professor of Care and Compassion, and a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies in the College of Health and Human Development at Pennsylvania State University. He received his Ph.D. from the Combined Program in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan (1996) and holds masters degrees in religion and psychology, developmental psychology and clinical social work. In 2005 and 2016, Dr. Roeser was a United States Fulbright Scholar in India; from 1999-2004 he was a William T. Grant Faculty Scholar; and from 2006 to 2010 served as the Senior Program Coordinator for the Mind and Life Institute (Boulder, CO). At the Mind and Life Institute Boulder, he also helped to coordinate the Mind and Life Education Research Network (MLERN). He currently serves on the steering committee for Mind and Life Institute. Dr. Roeser’s main research expertise is in the areas of development during adolescence and early adulthood; schooling as a central cultural context affecting students’ academic, social-emotional and identity development; and the role of mindfulness and compassion training for parents, teachers and students with respect to improving health and wellbeing, teaching and learning, and a culture of compassion and equity in education. His recent scholarly articles have focused on mindfulness in education and compassion in human development.