Institute Team

Ovidiu Brazdau –  Research Director

Hello! I am a psychologist and an entrepreneur with a teal perspective. Since 2005, my research is focused on developing the Consciousness Quotient Inventory (CQ-i) and introducing the conscious experience as a research variable in psychological assessment. This process took some years, while trying to ascertain a way to identify and scientifically measure the so-called “conscious skills”. The first version of the CQ-i was developed through 14 studies on a population of 6,800 individuals. It was first released in 2008, and presented next year at the Toward a Science of Consciousness conference. Since then, it has been updated many times in order to become a very reliable and valid assessment instrument.

Psychology of Becoming Conscious started as a theoretical framework for the CQ-i, but in time it evolved on its own path, beyond the topics included in the CQ-i. I see it as a collection of insights about human evolution and the awakening journeys.

In 2016 I decided to quit my formal academic career at the Ecological University in Bucharest, after 14 years of teaching research methodology and other topics. I am also an entheogenic explorer and I try to keep my mind simple and multidimensional, at the same time. It’s been quite a challenge to understand what’s going on in me after the connections with ayahuasca and changa, but now I consider them to be allies for surfing the fundamental information structures of the universal wave, here on Earth. As a result of these experiences, expressing the music through authentic moving became quite an important part of my life, now I enjoy dancing and flowing at psy festivals, and interacting with other movers in the contact improvisation jam sessions.

Keith Fiveson – Executive Director, Conscious Organizational Design

KEITH_FIVESONKeith Fiveson is an innovative and seasoned Global Customer Contact Engagement executive, with 20+ years spent creating strong brands and exceptional customer experience. Keith has extensive telecommunications experience, leading and motivating teams, outsourcing partnerships, vendors and knowledge systems, including multichannel voice, chat, data/digital and social channels. An analytic advocate for the voice of the customer (VOC), Keith has led call center solution teams at MCI, BT, AT&T and the pioneering $1 billion global venture, Concert, where he developed end-to-end, multinational contact center solutions for Fortune 1000 clients. As Managing Director of a technology (dot.com) start-up CosmoCom, he played an essential role in migrating its cloud IP/ SIP based technology into British Telecom’s NGCC global platform.

In 2001 Keith founded IT Enabled Services Alliance, Inc., or ITESA, a global contact center/BPO social customer care consultancy. Advising on on-shore, near-shore and offshore outsourcing, expansion optimization of employee/customer/community/social contact. Keith has worked with a variety of clients, including Fortune 500 companies such as AT&T, BT, CUNA, Apple, Etisalat, McGraw-Hill, Time Warner, General Electric, Autism Speaks, Groupo Carso and many more. A recognized thought leader in an evolving industry, for the past four years, Keith has co-chaired the Global Contact Forum, a global trade event, attended by over 1,800 industry professionals. He has been a frequent keynote, moderator and panelist in India, China, Mexico, Egypt, Turkey, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, United States, Canada, Panama and many other locations  He connects with people, is personal, funny and has a lot of energy to give.  He is also sensitive to audiences and gets them engaged with questions, games and experiential elements​.

Keith has been on a consciousness raising journey during his life.  In the corporate sector, in his personal life.  He is a two time cancer survivor,  that asks the tough questions, around values, vision, principles, why, where, how, faith, hope, inspiration.  As a yoga practitioner, meditator and interfaith minister, he is service focused and helps others who are in need of perspective, guidance and direction.

Cristian Opariuc – Psychometrics Research Coordinator

opariuc2Hi! I am a fan of psychometrics since 1997. Right after completing the military service, I worked as chief psychologist in gendarmerie, until 2001. During this period, in addition to psychological assessment and counseling to staff, I was preoccupied with building a comprehensive computerized psychological evaluation methodology and the about the issue of optimizing communication in organizations. In 2001, I worked as research assistant at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University “Al. I. Cuza”, Iasi, Romania. The onset of activity was achieved by direct participation in building Research Base with Multiple Users in Experimental and Applied Psychology. The main tasks were the development and coordination of faculty research projects, focusing on resource management and data analysis. I also held courses and seminars on “Applied informatics in psychology”, “Computerized data analysis” and “Psychological Assessment”.

Since 2007, I teach at Ovidius University in Constanta, a nice town near Black Sea. In recent years, I have been concerned about organizations and communication management issues in organizations, for which I have developed a series of computer tools, based on an original conception, designed to optimize decision-making and psychological assessment. In addition, my doctoral thesis aims at the same area of interest, focusing on the psychological evaluation models, based on item response theory.

Other professional activities have consisted of studies and research on organizational climate in a cable company (RDS-RCS Iasi) and the Constanta County Council, translation and adaptation of organizational diagnostic tools (with Filaret Sintion from the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences), writing scientific books on data analysis, research methodology and psycho-diagnosis, on my own or in collaboration with scientists from Romania. I also work at developing a psychological assessment software for human resource management.

Sona Ahuja – Senior Researcher

SonaAhujaHello! I am from Gujarat, India originally, born and brought up there and now live in Dayalbagh, Agra, India. I am a teacher-educator and a researcher of consciousness studies.  As part of my academic interest, I prepare prospective teachers for conscious education since a decade. I teach mathematics education, educational psychology and educational technology in university. I enjoy interacting with student-teachers. I have visited different teacher education departments in my country and abroad to integrate the best practices in teacher education.

Teacher education being multidisciplinary, my research areas vary from non-verbal communication to conscious pedagogical practices.  I have contributed chapters in e-books like ‘Reducing Complexity in Strategic Policy Design Process for Universalization of Primary Education System in India’, ‘Role of Non-verbal Communication in Improving Quality of Teaching & Learning’, ‘Effect of Non-Verbal Communication on Classroom Management’.

I started my journey of research in consciousness studies through Centre for Consciousness Studies, Dayalbagh Educational Institute (CCS-DEI), India. I attended various workshops and conferences in this area. While looking for psychological measurement of consciousness, I came across CQ-i. I had a rigorous discussion over this topic in the ‘Basic Course on Neuro-Sciences and Cognitive Sciences’ organized by CCS-DEI. Though initially researchers at the centre were cynical to accept CQ-i, but presently, numerous researches are conducted in India relating consciousness with other factors using CQ-i. I have conducted various experimental studies at CCS-DEI, Agra and presented the results at ‘Toward a Science of Consciousness’ conference series held annually. CQ-i has given me new perspective in studying consciousness and conducting research in this area. Using CQ-i, I wish to continue seeking answers to unexplored research questions in science of consciousness.

Valita Jones – Research Associate

ValitaJonesI was born in Muskegon Heights, Michigan on January 3, 1964. I am the oldest of seven children. I have three adult children, two sons and a daughter. I am also the proud grandmother of two grandsons. I am social scientist, trained and experienced working within diverse and demanding environments including educational, administrative, and community. I hold an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, an M.A. in Postsecondary Educational Leadership and BA degrees in both Psychology and Africana Studies. Additionally, I have several certificates in Management and Leadership, Community College Teaching, both from San Diego State University, and a certificate from the University of Oklahoma, College of Continuing Education, and Institute on Crisis of Young Black Males. While in my doctoral program, I developed a new leadership framework, that is focused what I call Conscious Leadership. Conscious leadership is grounded in being purposeful and intentional, incorporates the sociocultural knowledge of reciprocity, allows for shared accountability and responsibility and is highly functional within organizations, which are networked and interconnected. I believe leadership is a natural state of being, however it must be shared and built on reciprocity. I think we have to begin re-educating and re-teaching what it looks like to be a conscious human being, therefore a conscious leader.

I regard myself as highly knowledgeable about the functionality of higher education systems and organizations. I have worked in community colleges, private and public university, which has provided me with the opportunity to gain valuable insight, while shaping me as a conscious systems thinker. As an adjunct professor I have taught courses in the following areas: Cultural Competency, Educational Leadership in a Diversity Society, Introduction to Psychology and Cooperative Work Experience. I have an extensive background in qualitative research, leadership, student affairs and human development and functioning. I believe consciousness is universal, however sometimes its best explained from a familiar worldview, one that may be grounded in cultural ways of being and traditions. I enjoy facilitating the human development process for people, especially from a conscious cultural lens/paradigm. My formal self-imposed title/role is Sakhu Sheti. This is an ancient Kemetic (Egyptian) term meaning one who is an illuminator of the soul/ healer.

Currently, I work as the Program Manager for STEM Education Initiative at UCSD’s Center for Investigation of Health and Education Disparities (CIHED). However, I consider myself a cultural custodian and spiritual librarian. I believe it is my “purpose” to assist human beings in awakening and becoming conscious. I want to do that through a process of education, research, and coaching, so that we create a different world that is purposeful. My primary goal is fulfill my “purpose” and practice being a universal citizen of the world, who is focused on being a practitioner of enlightenment, using the message of oneness, vibrational love, awareness and consciousness. Using the principles of balance (Maat)… truth… justice… order… love… harmony… peace… reciprocity, thereby growing a more conscious and informed world citizen!

Sadhna Sharma – Research Associate

Sadhna_SharmaI was born at Agra, India and my bringing up was done in different states of India. I am a Senior Research Fellow (SRF) from Dayalbagh Educational Institute in Agra. Apart from CQ, my research interests include: consciousness based education and contemplative pedagogy. I have a science background and I am masters (M.Sc.) in chemistry. It was during that period when I realised that education needs something more than the mechanical methods and trends which were being used in modern education system. As a result I had my Master’s degree in education (M.Ed.) which helped me to explore the practices prevalent in the field of education. I discovered that it was educational psychology and particularly the field of consciousness, which can help in the development of learner centred approaches in teaching.  I have completed my doctoral research in the field of contemplative pedagogy. The research involved exploration and testing of the techniques and methods for adolescents which can be employed in mainstream classroom to evolve conscious learners. For this purpose, my interest developed in the readings and practices of Yoga and meditation, consciousness, Quantum psychology, Indian Psychology and Philosophy.

During my Ph.D. research I also tried to explore how much adolescents understand and comprehend the CQ-i. The research paper based on the study is entitled as ‘Consciousness Quotient Inventory administration on adolescents: difficulty level assessment’. Some of the other research papers upon which I have worked includes : “Consciousness Quotient as a predictor of executive functioning”, “Blend of phenomenology and scientific approaches in yoga and meditation researches” and “Leadership Approach in relation to level of consciousness: a correlational analysis”.

Presently, all my endeavours are aimed at development of a component in curriculum which can help the learners in the realization of the witnessing awareness or the conscious being.