Virtual Kira Team - The Kira Institute
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Virtual Kira Team

Maxine Anderson MD/Maxine Walden is the current chair of the Kira Team. She also runs a long-running Dream Workshop in the Kira Café. Maxine is an adult and child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, and a Clinical Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington.She is a Training and Supervising Analyst in several training facilities in North America as well as being active in several local, national and international psychoanalytic organizations. In addition she writes and speaks on many psychoanalytic subjects, including her current interests in the wisdom of the dream and how our narcissistic pre-occupations encumber our wider learning. At home in Seattle she maintains an active practice, as well as speaking and teaching schedule.

Donald Beetham/Adams Dubrovna: Donald Beetham manages the half million images of the Visual Resources Collection of the Department of Art History at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Beetham was trained as an architectural historian and librarian; he has far ranging art historical interests honed by 30 years of working with images. As Adams Dubrovna, he runs the Kira Art History Workshop, subtitled Sacred Art in a Virtual World, and is curator of the Sacred Art Museum. He is also active in Play as Being. Dubrovna's first task in Second Life was to seek ways the virtual world might be used to illustrate the teaching of art history. At Kira he found the opportunities in the virtual world go way beyond a narrow disciplinary approach, even to exploring the very nature of who we are from a variety of viewpoints.

Storm Hunt/Storm Nordwind: Virtual Worlds Coordinator 

Storm plans, designs and implements much of the project's virtual spaces, creating landscape architectures, and constructing project buildings for which he draws upon his 30 years of experience in Design and Development in the IT industry. Storm also supports the Kira Faculty in creating and coordinating optimal learning platforms for workshops, lectures, and conferences. He has five years experience in commercial teaching environments and two years of experience teaching in distance learning environments. 

Piet Hut/Pema Pera: Executive Director of Virtual Kira 

Piet oversees the Kira Team in the coordination all of Kira's current initiatives. In his research he is exploring novel new methods for research and education in virtual worlds under the Kira Institute umbrella. He is currently Professor of Astrophysics and Interdisciplinary Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, NJ, where he has been on the faculty since 1985. He is also Head of the Program for Interdisciplinary Studies, a new program at IAS that he founded in 2002. 

Eiko Ikegami/Kiremimi Tigerpaw: Kira Japan Representative

Eiko represent Kira Japan and provides oversight for its initiatives. She is currently Professor and Chair of the Sociology Department at the New School for Social Research in New York.  Her research focuses on the question of how non-European societies construct their own versions of modernity without following the route taken by the West.  Born and raised in Japan, she came to the US on a Fulbright Fellowship, and received a Ph.D in Sociology at Harvard in 1989. Ikegami also holds fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, the Center for Scholars and Writers of the New York Public Library, and the University of Kyoto.  She was also an Associate Professor at Yale. She is the author of Taming of the Samurai (Harvard University Press), and her recent book, Bonds of Civility (Cambridge University Press) received five book awards in various fields such as: the John W. Hall Book Award from the Association for Asian Studies, the Best Book Award in Cultural Sociology, and the Distinguished Contribution Book Award in Political Sociology from the American Sociological Association. In SL, she is known as Kiremimi Tigerpaw.

Yuko Wada/Almond Andel: Kira Japan Executive Coordinator 

Yuko is responsible for all coordination activities for Kira Japan including: managing the Kira Japan Team, promoting the Virtual Kira Institute and the use of SL for education to Japanese audiences, organizing speakers for the Kira Japan evening, and executing fundraising campaigns in Japan. Yuko is a writer and translator based in Tokyo, Japan. She received a B.A. in Sociology from Hiroshima Shudo University in 1982 and an M.A. in International Relations from Boston University in 1992. Prior to becoming a writer and Kira Japan Coordinator, Yuko was a WEFA Management Executive for DataStream (now Thompson Financial.) She participated in the 2000 and 2001 Kira summer schools. 

Phil Youngblood: Kira Publicity. Phil (Vic Michalak in Second Life) promotes Kira activities to the SL Science and Education (S&E) community and represents Kira at their events.  He assists in procuring speakers and participants for events and exhibitions from among SL’s S&E Community, in organizing promotional events, and in hosting Kira Café Happy Hours. He is also involved in helping to develop Kira’s Science Park.  In First Life, Phil teaches full time and heads the Computer Information Systems department at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. He is a retired Navy Officer and did research in plant pathology and biochemistry before that, including some research in exobiology at NASA as a student.  He has visited 53 countries and has lived in Japan and 29 cities in 10 U.S. states.

Steven Tainer/Stim Morane: Kira Campus Science in
Context Program Director
Steven is responsible for devising and running programs on the Kira Campus exploring "science in context.” His work in the virtual world of Qwaq was sponsored by the Fetzer Institute. Originally trained in academia as a philosopher of science, he has studied Eastern contemplative philosophies for thirty-nine years. He is currently on the faculty of the Institute for World Religions and the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery. Steven is also a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton. Working on behalf of his teachers, Steven has written or edited many books on Buddhism and Taoism (including Dragon's Play, and Time, Space, Knowledge), and is the Editor of WoK (

Some of the other currently active members include:

Cavino Rabeni: Wikimaster

Wol Euler: Play as Being Autorecording Coordinator

Panda Kidd: Kira Japan General Program Director

Gilles Kuhn: Philosophy Seminar Organizer 

Scathack Rhiadra: Play as Being Log Chaser and Googlegroup Notices

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