Juliet Trail, PhD, is the Special Assistant to Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for the Contemplative Sciences Center (CSC). In this role, she oversees CSC instruction of academic and co-curricular classes, retreats, events and programs, as well as efforts related to student flourishing in the residential domain.
Juliet teaches contemplative courses, such as “Mindfulness & Compassion: Living Fully Personally & Professionally” (NUIP/RELB 3030) and "The Art & Science of Human Flourishing" (RELG 1400). She also manages center research on higher education topics. Finally, she has a particular focus on faculty engagement programs designed to connect faculty and classrooms with contemplative and reflective pedagogies. Activities of the CSC Education Division thus constitute a wide variety of efforts that span the 11 schools of UVA and involve research, learning and practice, and that seek to positively impact undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, staff and faculty, as well as the broader world beyond the UVA grounds.
Juliet holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the UVA Curry School of Education. Her dissertation, “Network Enablers: An Exploratory Study of High Goal-Enabling Professionals in Higher Education,” investigated the behaviors, skills and perspectives of these “NE” professionals using socio-emotional intelligence, organizational network analysis, and emergent themes to develop a grounded theory about the NE disposition (read more here). She also holds an M.A. in Vocal Performance & Pedagogy from New Mexico State University (2002). She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Music (Piano Performance) from Guilford College (1996).
Juliet previously designed and taught “Everyday Shamanism: Towards Walking in Harmony and Balance,” a course merging principles of art therapy with reflective approaches from traditional Native American Medicine Wheel teachings, with co-creator Kim Yarbray. She has taught this eight-week class in Virginia, North Carolina and New Mexico. Juliet trained in Rites of Passage work involving Vision Quests following the Lakota Sioux Tradition, completing this training in 1999. Today she continues to walk a path of integration of the arts, sciences, and contemplative traditions. She is a long-time practitioner of yoga and Pilates, and still an active musician in the Charlottesville community.
Prior to joining CSC in October of 2016, Juliet served as the Director of Assessment and Special Assistant to the Dean of Arts & Sciences (A&S) from 2012-2016. In this role, she helped to develop and launch the Directors of Diversity & Inclusion initiative, involving the creation of a new faculty leadership role across the more than thirty departments and major programs of A&S. She also served as Research Assistant Faculty and director of K-12 outreach programming for the Center for Diversity in Engineering at UVA’s School of Engineering & Applied Science (2010-2012; 2004-05) and as Dean’s Office Special Assistant in the UVA School of Medicine (2005-2010), where she focused on faculty development and leadership programming, strategic planning, team and collaboration facilitation, and administrative operations.