Category Archives: General Updates

Community Streaming at ACCP on Friday: Neurodiversity Series Talk and Faculty Panel

The next offering in Melissa Chabot’s Neurodiversity Series is taking place this Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Zoom. We’ll host a community streaming in the center (CM 332) for all who might wish to watch together while enjoying some tea and snacks.

We hope you’ll join us! See more about the event below!

Cheri and Paul

The next talk in the Neurodiversity Series will take place Friday, September 23, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Zoom. Please register here for the talk, “Real-World Application of Universal Design: An Overview and Tips for Implementation in the Higher Education Setting.”

We are excited to host Dr. Emily Helft of Landmark College. Dr. Helft works at Landmark College’s Institute for Research and Training as their Assistant Director of Professional Development. She works directly with educators to champion accessibility through education, outreach, and professional development opportunities. While she was born less than 50 miles from the Landmark College campus in Putney, Vermont, she currently calls Richmond, Virginia home.

Universal Design (UD) is a critical aspect of providing an inclusive, accessible educational experience for the richly diverse learners of the modern classroom, particularly as it relates to Executive Functioning (EF) support. This presentation will introduce the concepts of both UD and EF to help educators better understand the foundations behind successful utilization of Universal Design in their courses. Following roughly 45 minutes of content delivery, a Q&A session will be offered to target attendee questions and interests.

Following Dr. Helft’s presentation, we are honored to host a panel of community college educators who will share their experiences with UDL:

  • Kim Grewe, NOVA, instructional designer
  • Naomi Simpson, Laurel Ridge Community College (Warrenton, Va.), communication studies professor
  • Z. Zinter, Holyoke Community College (Mass.), psychology and business professor

Staff and faculty who will be on-campus during the session are invited to view the presentation on “the big screen” at the Annandale Center for Contemplative Practice in CM-332. If you have any questions or comments about the Neurodiversity Series, please contact Melissa Chabot at

ACCP Updates – Upcoming Workshops, Themes for the Semester, and FURNITURE!!!

Hello lovely Nighthawks!

We’ve got a few updates that we would love to blast out to you, so here it is! First…


We have a few seats remaining for the workshop this Friday from 11AM to 2PM – PAUSE. This is the first of our DEI grant supported workshops, and we’re really looking forward to this one. We spent most of the day planning for this, and it’s really shaping up to be a good one. Just click on the PAUSE above to register – as always, lunch provided! And next…

THEMES for Fall

We were reminded once again, as we so often are, of our themes that we’ve adopted for our campus. Pause, Reflect, Discover, and Empathize. As we journey onward through these radical notions, we find it helpful to remember compassion… specifically, compassion for self! If you know someone here at NOVA who might be interested in getting to know what it might be like to approach all of this with a little more compassion, consider talking with them about investigating that together with some trusted friends. Hit the link below to see if this one might be something you or someone here at NOVA you know.

September 9th, 11AM to 2PM, CM332 – Compassion 101


We also were thrilled this morning to find that the ACCP got a bit of an upgrade! The new furniture is here for YOU to enjoy! Walk-in times for ANY AND ALL staff and faculty to come in and enjoy the center (Tea, Snacks, Fast Internet, Windows!) are Monday through Thursday, 1PM to 4PM. Just come on in and say hi, bring some grading if you’d like, have some tea after lunch, or just find some peace and quiet for some moments. The Center is here for YOU!

Peace and love, fellow humans! We hope to see you soon!

P + C

Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting!

Cheri, Diane, and Paul hold the ceremonial scissors togetherOn August 26th we officially opened our doors! Although we’ve been hosting events in CM 332 since mid-fall 2021, August 26th was the official opening of the space that we now call the Annandale Center for Contemplative Practice.

Our Provost, Dr. Diane Mucci did the honors by cutting the ribbon and then many enjoyed contemplating fabulously delicious chocolate cake showcasing the center’s new logo.

We’re so grateful to all of you who were able to come out and share in our celebration.  The doors are open, staff and faculty! Stop on by: this is your center!

Paul and Cheri

Action Shot!

Diane cuts the ribbon while Cheri, Paul, and Jay look on.

The Cake (and Logo!)
Chocolate Cake with ACCP Logo and Yellow Balloons

Commissioning the Coalition – The ACCP is Now Recruiting Changemakers!

Hello beloved community!

The Annandale Center for Contemplative Practice is delighted to announce the formation of a NOVA community of changemakers! Part of the DEI grant that we received includes the opportunity to create a coalition of folks who are interested in doing the supportive work that DEI asks of us. When you get a chance, take a look at the description page by clicking HERE and consider if you would like to join.

This work asks us to work together. This is a way to start. We’d love to work with you!

Paul and Cheri

ACCP Fall Workshop Series Open for Registration!

The Annandale Center for Contemplative Practice is pleased to announce that all of our Fall, 2022 workshops are now listed on Eventbrite and open for registration!

This Fall, we are running two different tracks. One series is offered in support of a NOVA InNOVAtion DEI grant titled, “DEI on the Inside.” The others are part of our Compassion series, and are based on the workshops that we offered last Fall and Spring with some upgrades! Feel free to browse the listings for dates, times, and details.

As always, all participants will receive a complimentary vegetarian boxed lunch, and we’re excited to offer these workshop opportunities to you.

Stay tuned! There’s a bit more to come which will be announced soon! We also hope to see you at the ribbon cutting on Friday at Noon in CM332!

Be well!

Paul and Cheri

Invitation to the ACCP Ribbon Cutting and Lunch and Learn – “Should the “Should” be Removed from Syllabi?”

Hello Annandale Colleagues!

You’re invited to the Annandale Center for Contemplative Practice ribbon cutting!

Join us this Friday, August 26th, from 12PM to 2PM in CM332 for the official grand opening of this staff and faculty-focused center! We’ve worked on getting the center operational all summer, and we’re excited about the programming and events that will be offered this academic year.

WHAT: The Annandale Center for Contemplative Practice Ribbon Cutting and Brown Bag Lunch and Learn

WHERE: The Annandale Center for Contemplative Practice, CM332, NOVA Annandale Campus

WHEN: Friday, August 26th, 12:00PM to 2:00PM

HOW: We’ll start our time with a ribbon cutting! Then we’ll transition our time together into a “lunch and learn” around a hot topic from Campus Convocation: “Should the “should” be Removed from Syllabi?”

Our discussion time will begin at 12:30. Think of this as a “brown bag, round table, interactive seminar style” conversation on the topic of compassionate syllabi. If you were able to attend our presentation at the Annandale Campus Convocation, you might recall how we invited folks to consider, or re-consider, the use of the word, “should” in syllabi – as in, “Students should…” We’re accustomed to some murmuring when we say that in public, so we wanted to give folks the opportunity to come in, hear a bit more, and have a chat about the challenges and affordances that come from exploring this word choice.

Feel free to bring a syllabus or a laptop if you’d like! There will be plenty of opportunities to share thoughts, ideas, and feelings, and we’d love to hear what you have to say!

We’ll provide tea and some light snacks!

See you then!

Drs. Paul Fitzgerald (Biology) and Cheri Lemieux Spiegel (English)

Co-Coordinators of the Annandale Center for Contemplative Practice


  • OPEN HOURS: The ACCP will host open hours for quiet work, contemplation, and tea from 1 pm – 4 pm Monday through Thursday starting August 30th!