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Ph.D. From Penn Powers Positivity

Michelle Evans-Chase is now a doctor.

She just earned her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania this month. The dissertation of the life-long swimmer and daughter of pioneer swimmer Stewart Evans looked at a mindfulness meditation intervention program for incarcerated youth in the American juvenile justice system.

She is focused on adolescent brain development, but what is most interesting and appropriate for the global open water swimming community is the resultant spin-off from her work.

Many of the foundations for her doctoral activities form the basis and ultimately became part of the Toa o le Tai Ocean Education curriculum and program conducted in American Samoa. She looked at young persons’ hardwired need to take risks and, together with her husband Bruckner Chase, channeled that energy into something positive while interacting in the ocean.

In addition to re-introducing the Samoan youth to their South Pacific culture’s ancestoral connection to the ocean via ocean swimming, paddling, and lifeguarding, Evans-Chase is also pushing moving through marine conservation and protection of the ocean ecosystem by touching them and motivating them through individual action.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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