Current PhD Students


Elizabeth McAnally is a doctoral candidate in the PCC program, writing her dissertation on integral water consciousness.  She works as the newsletter editor and website manager for the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale.  Elizabeth has taught classes on philosophy, religion, and ecology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, the University of North Texas, Diablo Valley College, and the University of San Francisco. She practices yoga and Chinese internal arts (taiji, qigong, bagua, xingyi, and yiquan), and offers free Integral Taiji & Qigong classes at CIIS (  She is also an avid musician and enjoys singing and playing the flute, piano, and bass guitar.

Current MA Students


Lilly Falconer is passionate about deep listening and active receptivity as they mature through the relationship between trust and finding one's voice. More specifically, she is interested in the practice of listening as it applies to the roles of place and power within the movements of ecological and social justice. In her experience, those who have been historically marginalized and oppressed within the Western worldview (i.e., people of color, women, flora, fauna, beings of the Devic and subtle realms - and many more) have a lot to say and teach if we can learn to listen. Lilly holds a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is currently back at CIIS working on her Masters degree in the Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness program with a concentration in Integral Ecology.


Abeer Desai studies at PCC to better understand the trends shaping society. He finds inspiration in big history, transpersonal psychology, and religious studies. One of the themes Abeer is able to explore at PCC is the relationship between consciousness and currency. Previous experience includes internet marketing, rural development and military training. Abeer studied business at NYU Stern and works for a software company.

Recent Dissertation Titles

Many prospective students ask us what kinds of dissertations we supervise in PCC. While there is no single answer, the following list of recent dissertations written in the PCC program can give a broad idea of the range of acceptable dissertation topics:


Matthew Davis - "Love and Ecology: Moving Beyond Language and Pedagogy"

Shelli Renee Joye - "The Holoflux Theory of Consciousness: An Integral Interpretation of the Theories of Karl Pribram, David Bohm, and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin"

Gary F. Moring - "The Intimate Universe: A Phenomenological Investigation into Gebser's Structures of Consciousness Understood Within the Context of the Seth Material"

Toni Marie Nash - "Cosmological Commitment in a Time of Planetary Crisis: Values for a Vibrant Earth" 

Matthew David Segall - "Cosmotheanthropic Imagination in the Post-Kantian Process Philosophy of Schelling and Whitehead"

Lisa da Silva - "Earth Matters: The Ecological Activism of Body Love"

John Nickolas Tillyer, Jr. - "Intellectual Intuition" 


Henry Liêm - "Re-Visioning the End of History"

Toni Marie Nash, CSJ - "Cosmological Commitment in a Time of Planetary Crisis: Values for a Vibrant Earth"

Matthew Evan Davis - "Love and Ecology (Moving Beyond Language and Pedagogy)"

Lisa da Silva - "Earth Matters: The Ecological Activism of Body Love"

John Provost - "Jacob Needleman: The Philosopher as Contemplative Educator"

Geneen Marie Haugen - "Awakening Planetary Imagination: A Theory and Practice"


Marc Slavin - "The Role of Metaphor in Imaginal Psychology"

Timothy Desmond - "Psyche=Singularity : a comparison of Carl Jung's transpersonal psychology and Leonard Susskind's holographic string theory"

Blair Robert Carter - "Alchemical permaculture : polishing the mirror between land and steward"

Hiroko Shiota - "Cosmogenesis, Shinto, Tantra: Embodying the New Universe Story"


Adrian Villasenor Galarza - "The Yoga of the Earth-Human Cosmos: Planetary Healing via an Elemental Typology of Ecopsychic Ailments"


Drew Dellinger - "The Mountaintop Vision: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Cosmology of Connection"

Jeff Jenkins - "EcoZoic NeoNative Wisdom: Indigenous Cosmological Ritual and the Story of the Universe"

Karen Chen - "Rethinking Community Preparedness: A Relational Approach to Self-Reliance"

Frank Poletti - "The Neptunian Awakening: An Archetypal Interpretation of the Cultural Trends in the Nineteenth Century"


Josefina Burgos - "Story as Embodied Philosophy: A Tool for Cultural Transformation"


Kerri Welch - "A Fractal Topology of Time: Implications for Consciousness and Cosmology"


Keiron Le Grice - "Foundations of an Archetypal Cosmology: A Theoretical Synthesis of Jungian Depth Psychology and the New Paradigm Sciences"

Scott Hill - "A Jungian Framework for Understanding Psychedelic-Induced Psychotic States"

John Taylor - "The Hidden Spark of Hasidism in Martin Buber's Philosophy of Dialogue"


Regula Wegmann - "Eco-Sophie: Thinking and Knowing in Dynamic Harmony With the Ways of Nature"

Rodney O'Neal - "Seasons of Agony and Grace: An Archetypal History of New England Puritanism"

Luan Makes Marks - "Natures of the Sacred: On Native North American Lands and Places"


Linda Jaye Gibler - "Cosmocentric Sacramentality: Water, Oil, and Fire in the Roman Catholic Celebration of Baptism"


Sean Esbjörn-Hargens - "Integral Ecology: A Post-Metaphysical Approach to Environmental Phenomena

PhD Graduates

PCC alumni are active locally and internationally, bringing a new perspective to many different areas. Several alumni are now teaching in higher education, many have published books since graduating, and some are continuing in their original careers, practically applying the insights gained from their scholarly research.

Sean Esbjorn-Hargens

Sean Esbjörn-Hargens (PhD, 2005) is codirector and a founding member of the Integral Ecology Center of Integral University and has been doing research in environmental philosophy and sustainable development for more than a decade. Sean is also an assistant professor at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA, where he teaches courses in consciousness, culture, and ecology. Sean's articles have appeared in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, Journal of Bhutan Studies, World Futures, and AQAL: Journal of Integral Theory and Practice. He is also one of the editors (along with his wife, Vipassana Esbjörn-Hargens), of Ken Wilber's recent book Simple Feeling of Being. He is currently collaborating with Michael Zimmerman on the book Integral Ecology: Consciousness, Culture, Nature. Visit Sean's website

Drew Dellinger

Drew Dellinger (PhD, 2013) is the award winning author of Love Letter to the Milky Way, whose poems have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, as well as the climate change hearings in the US Congress. He is the founder of Planetize the Movement and is a core designer of "Awakening the Dreamer Symosium", now used in 80 countries.

Josefina Burgos

Josefina Burgos (PhD, 2012). Throughout her life, Josefina has been in search of a vision beyond both the Catholicism she learned as a child in Chile and the Cartesian and capitalistic orientation of her profession as an architect in the United States. Alfred North Whitehead, together with other major thinkers investigating an organic vision of the cosmos, brought everything together. She now teaches this vision and its potential impact on our spiritual lives at Holy Names University. In addition to presenting papers at Whiteheadian and eco-oriented conferences, Josefina is in the midst of articulating her intellectual and spiritual journey in biographical form using the anamnetic process of Erich Voegelin. Her working title is "Missing the Southern Cross."


MJ Zimmerman (PhD, 2004). After completing her doctorate investigating Native American consciousness from a theoretical perspective, MJ decided to go further into her research by moving to the southwest to study with a Dineh elder. As professor at Central New Mexico Community College, she has chaired the honors program in which she taught great books seminars as well as electives in Native American studies, ancient religions, environmental literature, and the new cosmology. Beginning in 2014, she is pursuing a second career as a psychotherapist, as well as teaching classes in ecospirituality.


Molly Dwyer (PhD, 2002) is a writer and college teacher. Her award winning novel, Requiem for the Author of Frankenstein, inspired the National Women's Political Caucus to honor her for "Writing Women Back into History." Molly is the founding president of Writers of the Mendocino Coast and teaches courses in Critical Thinking at Mendocino College in Ukiah, California.


Theodore Richards (MA. 2008) is the author of Handprints on the Womb, a collection of poetry; Cosmosophia, recipient of the Independent Publisher Awards Gold Medal; the novel The Crucifixion, recipient of the USA Book Award; Creatively Maladjusted: The Wisdom Education Movement Manifesto; and his most recent novel The Conversions. He is the founder and director of The Chicago Wisdom Project, a nonprofit foundation for empowering our youth to transform our world through creativity, to become creators rather than consumers of culture-in a word, to become mythmakers.


Elizabeth Miller (MA 2011) is Director of Communications and Development for the Pseads Institute. She has been teaching cosmology and consciousness programs at Bay Area schools and organizations, while also developing and re-visioning institutional measures of evaluation and assessment for universities in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Matthew Davis (PhD, 2015) is the Executive Director of the Pseads Institute, in addition to designing and teaching programs in cosmology for schools and universities in Oakland and Marin County. The Pseads Institute is an educational nonprofit.

John Wilkinson (PhD, 2005) is pursuing the life of a planetary educator. During the Arab Spring, he was training teachers in Bahrain. Following that, he introduced students to the central issues of sustainable development around the planet by traveling with them via ship through the world's oceans. At the present time, he is core faculty in Science and Sustainability at Wing Wei College in Shanghai.

Karen Chen (PhD, 2012) began her life before PCC as an aspiring astronomer-turned-sociologist when she discovered a knack for asking larger existential questions that could not be answered by a mainstream science education. After volunteering and working in a variety of organizational roles, she decided to forego a sense of logic and follow her inspirations-which led her to PCC. She embarked upon a voyage informed by a yearning to cultivate her highest potential as a full human being. She gleaned insights from new sciences, ancient wisdom traditions, ecofeminism, inner personal work, and new friends. PCC provided some of her greatest moments in her personal and career growth, and she now integrates what she has learned into various other projects including community work, organizing major international music festivals, and working at the forefront of ecological movements to transform our planet and our world.

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