Staff Bios

Felix is a co-founder and co-director of Rē. His professional background is in rural community development, political organizing, service-learning in higher education, university teaching, community university partnerships, monitoring & evaluation, and participatory research and facilitation. Felix completed his PhD in International Development Studies at the Institute of Development Studies in 2011. He also holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. From 2011-2012, he served as Acting Assistant Dean of Students at the University of the South. In 2014, he served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research at the Future Generations Graduate School. Felix has research, teaching and facilitation experience in the US, Canada, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Central America, South Asia and East Asia.
Felix M. Bivens
Ashlei is a is a co-founder and co-director of Rē. Ashlei’s background is in art & design, conservation, community development, permaculture, regenerative agriculture and sustainable food systems. She completed her MA in Applied Community-Based Conservation at Future Generations University in 2014, where she was a Peace Corps Coverdell Scholar. She also holds a BA in Studio Art-Ceramics & Education from the University of New Hampshire, a degree in Interior Design from Wentworth Institute of Technology, and a Teacher Certification from the Bulgarian Ministry of Education. From 2010-2012, Ashlei was a Peace Corps volunteer based Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, where she focused on educational development, teachers' leadership and women's empowerment activities. Ashlei has teaching, facilitation and research experience in the US, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and South Asia. In addition to her mother tongue of English, Ashlei is proficient in Italian, Bulgarian and Spanish.
Ashlei Laing
Adar is the Executive Assistant at Rē. Her background is in research, sustainability, and community engagement. Adar completed her BS in Marine Biology at Northeastern University in 2019 with minors in Environmental Studies, Global Social Entrepreneurship, and Sustainable Business Practices. Passionate about science literacy and communication, she is currently pursuing a MA in Science Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Adar has research experience in the US, Western Europe, Central America, South America and South Asia. In addition to English, she is fluent in Spanish, Science, and proficient in French.
Adar Laia Thau
Executive Assistant
Stephen L. Garrett is the Communications Consultant at Rē. He began his filmmaking career in Madagascar as a third year Peace Corps environment volunteer in 2007. This work led him to produce work for various organizations across the US and in 17 countries for clients such as the Ford Foundation, USAID, and the US Institute of Peace. Stephen has a self-designed BA in Conservation Studies from the University of the South. Stephen documents and communicates about Rē's work throughout the world. 

Stephen L. Garrett
Communications Consultant
Watson leads the development of Rē's virtual reality (VR)-supported learning platforms. Watson is a self-taught virtual reality developer, having spent the first years of his professional life as a cultural anthropologist conducting ethnography on violence, participatory design research on sanitation, and documenting underground Hip Hop culture across Central America. As a member of the Fulbright Association, the International Development Innovation Network, and the Community Development Society, Watson's research and development proclivities have been tuned towards the common purposes of empowerment and liberation. His interest in virtual reality draws from nearly a decade of experience facilitating, teaching, and promoting STEAM learning in schools, community centers, and museums. He is currently pursuing a masters degree in human computer interaction with a primary research interest based in growing virtual reality literacy across various sectors of society, asking, "how might existing communities of practice co-create virtual environments suited to their own unique needs?"  
Watson Hartsoe
VR-Supported Learning Architect
Anthony is a community development intern at Rē. He recently completed his BA in Politics at the University of the South with a minor in Environmental Studies. While there, his research engaged with the ecological and gendered impacts of neoliberal development on indigenous communities in Latin America and their land-based activism. His interests lay at the nexus of international development, human rights, and environmental justice.
Anthony DiPreta

Course Facilitators

Maya Galimidi is studying for an MA in Ecology and Spirituality at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. She took a double major in Public Relations and Management of Performing Arts at Istanbul Bilgi University. After graduating, Maya worked in London, New York City, Istanbul, and the Negev Desert. For the last 15 years, she has designed and produced international conferences for the Wall Street Capital Markets, Healthcare, Human Resources, Marketing, Digitalisation, Copper and Government sectors; worked with politicians such as George W. Bush and Collin Powell. She obtained her Permaculture Design Certificate at Kibbutz Lotan, becoming an International Ambassador for the Global Ecovillage Network. She worked as the Global Business Developer for Kibbutz Lotan Center for Creative Ecology. Her teaching experience about ecology and purpose, connecting with nature, observing the relationship between people and nature-inspired her to establish Empower with Nature, a trans-disciplinary platform to teach others.
Maya Galimidi
Founder - Empower With Nature