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Staff Members

Gerard Clum, D.C.


Gerard W. Clum, D.C., a 1973 Palmer College of Chiropractic graduate has been a faculty member at Palmer College of Chiropractic, a founding faculty member at Life Chiropractic College (now Life University) and first president of Life Chiropractic College West holding office from January 1981 through January 2011. Dr. Clum served on the board of directors or as an officer of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC), the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), the International Chiropractors Association (ICA), the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), the Chiropractic Summit and the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC). He presently serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the F4CP, as Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors of the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) and as a member of the Council of the WFC.

Michael Karlin, Ph.D.

Associate Director

Michael Karlin is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Life University in the Positive Human Development and Social Change Department and the Associate Director of the Life University Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics. Karlin received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Jewish Studies from Emory University in 2014. His dissertation, “‘To Create a Dwelling Place for God’: Life Coaching and the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic Movement in Contemporary America,” is an ethnographic study of two Jewish life coaching programs that blend psychology, religion and contemplative practice in order to provide resources with which individuals can construct moral selves and heal psychological wounds. Karlin is also a Fellow of the Tam Institute of Jewish Studies and the Mind and Life Institute. Prior to graduate school Karlin was the founder and President of the Mythic Imagination Institute, a non-profit institution dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of myth and ritual and how it functions in daily life. Additionally, he served as the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Alliance for a New Humanity, an international non-profit organization founded by two Nobel Peace Prize winners and Deepak Chopra that attempted to address pressing international issues by bridging the spheres of politics, economics, and religion. Karlin is also an active real estate investor and was co-founder of Security First Network Bank, the world's first Internet bank, and S1 Corporation, Inc. (NASDAQ: SONE), the world's leading provider of financial portal solutions. He was president of Security First Network Bank at its inception, and was responsible for setting up the Internet operations, defining the original product offering, and receiving all regulatory approvals. Prior to SFNB, Karlin co-founded VST Financial Services, an SBA lending subsidiary of Cardinal Bancshares, Inc. of Lexington, Kentucky.

Thomas Fabisiak, Ph.D.


Thomas Fabisiak is a consultant with the Center for Compassion, Integrity, and Secular Ethics on the Chillon Project. He currently co-directs Candler School of Theology's Certificate in Theological Studies Program at Lee Arrendale State Prison. For the last three years, Fabisiak has taught college level courses in the Certificate Program and now oversees the new Advanced Certificate, in which graduates of the program carry out independent research and service projects. During this time, Fabisiak also served as a Graduate Fellow, Writing Scholar, and Graduate Writing Advisor in Emory University's Writing Center, Writing Program, and Graduate Writing Support Service.

Brendan Ozawa-de Silva, D. Phil.

Associate Director

Brendan Ozawa-de Silva is Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Positive Human Development and Social Change and Associate Director for the Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics at Life University. He also serves as Associate Director for Buddhist Studies and Practice at Drepung Loseling Monastery and as a senior instructor for Emory University’s Cognitively-Based Compassion Training program. Dr. Ozawa-de Silva received his doctorate (D.Phil.) from Oxford University in Modern History in 2003, an M.Phil. in Russian and East European Studies from Oxford University, and a Master of Theological Studies from Boston University. In 2015 he completed a second doctorate at Emory University in Religion that examined methods for cultivating compassion through meditation in the context of contemporary research in psychology and neuroscience. From 2003 to 2012 he worked in various capacities at Emory University, including Visiting Professor at the Candler School of Thoelogy, Religious Life Scholar for Buddhism in the Office of Religious Life, and Program Coordinator for the Dalai Lama’s Visits in 2007 and 2010. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Emory University, the University of Chicago, Life University, and on study abroad trips to Dharamsala, India. Dr. Ozawa-de Silva’s chief interest lies in bringing secular ethics—the cultivation of basic human values—into education and society. His research focuses on the psychological, social and ethical dimensions of prosocial emotions and their cultivation, with a focus on compassion and forgiveness. He is currently involved in half a dozen meditation studies in Atlanta and in Japan, and has received multiple grants to fund these studies. He has worked to bring compassion training into elementary schools in the Atlanta area, to foster children in Georgia’s foster care program, to women in domestic violence situations, and to incarcerated persons in state correctional facilities in Georgia. This work is featured in the book Compassion: Bridging Science and Practice and in the documentary film, Raising Compassion. Dr. Ozawa-de Silva also serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Healthcare, Science and the Humanities. He has published recent articles and book chapters on the secularization and scientific study of contemplative practices, scientific research on compassion meditation and its benefits, suicide and mental health in Japan, the mind/body relationship in Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan medicine, and the introduction of contemplative practices and pedagogy into education.

Tali Abraham

Administrative Research Assistant

Tali graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Minor in Cognitive Science. She worked as a Research Assistant in the Human Biofactors and Vision Science Laboratory under the supervision of Lisa Renzi, Ph.D. in the Psychology Department, where she investigated the relationships between macular pigment optical density and cognitive function in unimpaired and mildly cognitively impaired adults. She currently works as the Administrative Research Assistant for the Center for Compassion, Integrity, and Secular Ethics.