The team at Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness represents a range of life experiences, areas of focus, and teaching styles.
Click on names or photos below to learn more about our instructors and support staff.
Co-Founder, Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness
Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Instructor
Carol is the co-founder and owner of Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness and has been teaching the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Course in the Greater Grand Rapids Area since 2008. She brings a wealth of experience and training to her work with individuals and corporations.
Carol earned her certification from the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has completed extensive training in mindfulness, self-compassion, and mindful leadership with some of the most well-respected teachers in these fields.
A certified yoga teacher for more than 19 years, Carol founded Expressions of Grace yoga studio and served as its director from 2003 to 2012. Prior to her current career as instructor and executive director for Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness, Carol spent 20 years in business management.
Carol began her journey into mindfulness more than 35 years ago to help with her own stress and anxiety. She has since become a passionate advocate for mindfulness as an effective means of improving health and well-being. Carol’s classes emphasize safety and self-honoring as she guides students to build resilience and strengthen their mindfulness skills.
April Kaiserlian, LMSW
Co-Founder, Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness
Mindfulness & Self-Compassion Instructor
April Kaiserlian, LMSW
April Kaiserlian is the co-founder of the Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness and has been teaching and practicing mindfulness and self-compassion for over 10 years. April teaches from a place of humor and grace. She offers her wisdom to groups and individuals from her own real-life field-testing of each and every practice. April is a firm believer that any wellness practice you do has to meet you in the struggles of your everyday life, and she always has a story on hand to make her point!
April is also a psychotherapist focused on creative, body-centered therapy. She is a collector of the old and the new, the odd and the normal, and she loves to string ideas together in new and creative ways to inspire you on your journey to becoming more fully human.
April completed her professional mindfulness training and supervision under the direction of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, as well as professional training with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. She is a licensed social worker and received her graduate degree from Grand Valley State University. She has also completed an 18-month certificate program in mindfulness-based psychotherapy with the Hakomi Institute and maintains a private psychotherapy practice offering experiential, emotion-centered therapy.
Lori Schermers, RD
Mindful Eating Instructor
Lori Schermers, RD
Lori Schermers is a registered dietitian and health coach who helps people lead healthier and happier lives by paying attention to their own bodies. She’s an intuitive eater who likes to cook and believes most foods can fit into a healthy pattern of eating. She fiercely believes in the benefits that practicing yoga and mindfulness bring to her own and others' wellness.
As a dietitian dedicated to mindfulness-based intuitive eating, Lori's goal is to help people shift how they relate to food and their body. She seeks to move the conversation from food restriction and self-criticism toward more holistic ideas about wellness—ones that inspire deep and lasting change.
Having recovered from an eating disorder, Lori understands the struggle and obstacles that can get in the way of being well. She brings thoughtfulness and compassion to the table, encouraging people to grow from their own experience to heal their relationship with food and with themselves.
Certified Mindfulness in Schools Instructor
Mindful Parenting Instructor
Youth & Young Adult Mindfulness Instructor
Cheryl is a retired middle school teacher who has been teaching youth mindfulness classes for over eight years and mindful parenting for over five years. Cheryl earned her M.Ed from Grand Valley State University and has taught students of all ages and needs throughout her long career.
When stress and anxiety began to affect the quality of her life, Cheryl took the MBSR course through the Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness. She went on to train and earn certification to teach mindfulness through the Mindfulness in Schools program.
Since then, Cheryl has completed training with Making Friends with Yourself (a teen equivalent to Mindful Self-Compassion for adults), Koru Mindfulness training for college-aged adults, and has participated in countless training sessions.
In teaching mindful parenting, Cheryl hopes to inspire parents to be kind to themselves and to give them some skills to navigate the often difficult journey of parenting. As a parent and now a grandparent, she has seen the benefits of using these skills with her own family.
Cheryl is an avid, lifelong learner and passionately believes that mindfulness will change the world—one person at a time!
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Instructor
A longtime meditator, Katy began incorporating mindfulness when she found the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course. She enjoys merging the practices of mindfulness and meditation to live more vibrantly, open to both the joys and challenges of life.
Katy has an extensive background in sales and business. She currently works for the City of Grand Rapids in the City Clerk’s Office, where she assists with running the City’s elections. She has consistently sought out opportunities where she can make a difference and support causes she believes in, such as working in the office at the Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness, selling products that benefit women’s health, and serving as a 911 Dispatcher for the Grand Rapids Police Department. Katy is also a youth ministry teacher and a board member at her church.
Katy is happy to be sharing the beneficial teachings of MBSR and mindfulness with individuals and her community. She is in the process of completing her professional mindfulness training through the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. As a result, Katy has seen major transformation in her life, realizing increased equanimity and more fulfilling relationships. She has a passion for helping others discover a greater awareness of themselves and is grateful to be able to do this as an instructor with the Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness!
Jeni came to the GR Center for Mindfulness after 15 years in management at a bookstore, during which she earned her B.B.A. from Grand Valley State University. Feeling burned out and overwhelmed with anxiety, she knew it was time to make a dramatic shift in direction, so she pursued Yoga and Mindfulness as critical tools for her path toward healing and self-care. She has completed over 500 hours of Yoga Teacher Training since 2016, and she teaches both privately and publicly in her spare time.
As a passionate student, wife, and mother to three, Jeni is dedicated to using the experiences of her life to gain wisdom and cultivate compassion for herself and others. She is grateful to use her business skills in support of GRCFM’s mission to bring mindfulness and enhanced well-being to the Greater Grand Rapids area, and to continue her personal journey in the company of such loving, authentic community. To her, everything is a teaching, and everyone is her family.
Having struggled with trauma, addiction, and debilitating anxiety, Jeni has deep gratitude for the power of these practices to completely change the trajectory of one’s life. She believes that there is a significant undervaluation of emotional resilience and peace of mind in our fast-paced, over-achieving culture, and she’s excited to be a part of the momentum that is actively working to change that narrative.
Ashley is a graduate of Grand Valley State University with degrees in Creative Writing and Advertising and Public Relations. Weighed down with work-related stress, she took Carol’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class in 2014 after a friend shared how much it had helped her.
Ashley continued with Mindful Self-Compassion the following spring and has made mindfulness and meditation a regular part of her life ever since—beginning again (almost) every day.
Ashley is a member of Justice Choir Grand Rapids and serves on the choir’s leadership committee. She is passionate about sharing the benefits of mindfulness and self-compassion on individual and societal levels and is honored to use her expertise and enthusiasm to expand the Center's impact in West Michigan and beyond.