Kaley Pillinger grew up in New York City, which instilled in her a respect for diversity of thought and a love for bagels. She first joined on Alice Maher's project as a high school junior and was immediately enthralled by Volkan's theories of interpersonal connection--she was a high school debater, after all, and understanding the psychology of interaction is half of the activity. Now that she knows his principles, she can't stop seeing them everywhere.
Currently, she is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. At Yale, she is a member of the Yale Debate Association (old habits die hard), writes for the Yale Politic, and is the City Engagement Coordinator for the Yale College Democrats.
Sydney Allard is a native New Yorker with a passion for learning about culture and connection. She encountered Dr. Vamik Volkan’s work in high school through Dr. Alice Maher and was intrigued by the idea of applying psychoanalytic theories to interpersonal interactions as they pertained to cross-cultural communications. That idea guided her through her work with Alice, during which she collected narratives from New Yorkers with very different experiences and values, despite their physical proximity.
For the next four years, Sydney has traded in the bustling city to live in the (very) small town of Hanover, New Hampshire. At Dartmouth, she is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Human-Centered Design. She’s also trying to learn as many languages as she can! Outside of the classroom, Sydney writes for The Dartmouth, works with local startups, is a Great Issues Scholar, and spends time in the snow with her friends.
Alice Lombardo Maher, M.D. is an American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in New York City. She is a graduate of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education Affiliated with NYU School of Medicine. She is Founder and Director of Changing our Consciousness, a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of emotional literacy and dialogue across ideological divides. COC's education project, Emotional Imprint, is developing a K-12 curriculum as a new language for understanding and responding to the emotional communications of others. Divides.org emerged from that effort. Dr. Maher also co-created The Hot Stove Project, dedicated to greater social integration of people who think, feel, or behave outside of expected norms. Her book, Catalysis: A Recipe to Slow Down or Abort Humankind's Leap to War, will be released in the spring of 2018.
Bernice Arricale, MS, is a teacher who worked for many years in the elementary public schools of East Harlem. She taught special needs students, focusing on those with learning challenges. She became a staff developer for the district and later a literacy coach for an award-winning elementary school in the area. She has presented at educational conferences and also taught reading and writing in the graduate program in special education at Hunter College. She is currently enjoying a busy retirement in NYC with her husband, son and daughter-in-law, all also in education. Her grandson, Carson, is happily educating them all. Alice is her cherished, life-long best friend.
Nina Potischman grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She became a part of Alice Maher's project as a senior, inspired by the goal of making Volkan's work more accessible through the use of narratives and visual art. Nina currently studies English and Art at Pomona College. She illustrates and writes comics for The Student Life (the Claremont College Student Newspaper), and animates informational videos for VBI Classroom, a resource that aims to make debate more accessible.