SENDAS Mindfulness Team

Dori DiPietro LCSW, CEAP, E-RYT500, MBSR

Dori DiPietro

Dori is faculty at Mesa Community College, director of the MCC Social Work Program and a psychotherapist in private practice specializing in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. She is a long-time practitioner and teacher of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, earning the highest recognition, E-RYT500, through Yoga Alliance, and is a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) qualified teacher through the Center for Mindfulness UMass Memorial Health, founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Dori has experienced mindfulness practices to be transformational and healing in her own life and thus created and teaches SWU250, Mindfulness for Stress Management, regarded by students as a life-changing class.  Through the Maricopa Center for Learning and Innovation she created and teaches Mindfulness Part 1-Stress Management and Mindfulness Part II- Contemplative Pedagogy and hosted the annual state-wide Contemplating Holistic Teaching and Learning dialogue day for faculty professional growth for many years.

As a Maricopa Institute for Learning Research Fellow 2017, Dori explored the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACE) in our MCC student population as they relate to present levels of stress and successful outcomes in college.  The overarching goal of her continued research is to determine best practices for faculty teaching and efforts to retain community college students using holistic contemplative practices.  Teaching and serving those who teach and serve others is her area of passion and expertise.

Nicole Bruno MSW

Nicole Bruno

Nicole is a new adjunct faculty member in the MCC Social Work Program and MCC campus adjunct representative. She is also involved in community prevention programs and serves on the Board of Directors for Kaity’s Way – a nonprofit organization which educates on the effects of teen dating violence and promotes healthy relationships in the community to prevent teen dating violence. 

Nicole is a dedicated yoga teacher devoted to serving and honoring students in their yoga practice by offering gentle and relaxing styles of yoga to the community to enhance self-care and wellness. She provides a mindful and holistic approach to wellness. She is specialized in Gentle/Restorative Yoga, Yoga for PTSD, 12-Step Yoga for Addiction Recovery and Yoga Nidra. She completed her yoga teacher training at the Southwest Institute for Healing Arts in Tempe, AZ and Child Light Yoga basic level training for Kids Yoga, Infant and Toddler Yoga. Nicole has a degree in Psychology and Social Work from Arizona State University and likes to travel, ice skate and sing karaoke in her spare time.

Gail Herndon

Gail Herndon has been in the fitness industry for over 35 years and coordinates group fitness and employee wellness at MCC.  She has a 500-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) currently teaching employee yoga and formerly taught a variety of group fitness and yoga credit classes as a fitness floor instructor for MCC.  She is a forever student and loves continuing education in yoga and Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga. “Life is full of distractions and I feel grounded when I am connected to the present moment.”

Noelle Moreland MSW, MA

Noelle Moreland

Noelle Moreland is currently an academic advisor for STEM and General Advising. She has a Bachelor’s of Art in Psychology and Master’s of Art in Sociology from ASU and Master’s in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. Noelle has been working in higher education since 2011, starting as an advisor for a program that focused on first generation, low-income and other “at-risk” students at Northern Virginia Community College. While there, she taught a Student Success class that included aspects of Mindfulness and Mindset. Mindset has been a part of her practice in student services as well as an instructor in various social science classes. Noelle is dedicated to providing equitable services to students and bringing aspects of DEI into advising.

Debbie Holexa

Debbie Holexa

Debbie Holexa has been a member of the MCC faculty community since 2005.  She is one of the original developers of the college’s dental hygiene program and previous program director.  In addition to being a registered dental hygienist she is a certified mindfulness mediation facilitator and teacher – certified at the professional level by the International Mindfulness Teachers Association and a certified HeartMath Resilience® teacher. She continues to teach Mindfulness for Stress Management at Mesa Community College and to various business, healthcare, and community organizations in the valley.