Polina Mischenko

Post-Doctoral Research Associate; Compassionate Schools Program Director


  • University of Virginia, Ph.D., 2020
  • Harvard University, M.Ed., 2012
  • Boston University, B.S.B.A., 2009

Polina P. Mischenko, Ph.D., is the Director of the Compassionate Schools Project (CSP) in Charlottesville and Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Curry School of Education. During the past five years, she has facilitated mindfulness-based programs for teachers and students in Charlottesville and Albemarle. Under the mentorship of Dr. Tish Jennings, Dr. Mischenko became a CARE facilitator and promoted teacher well-being by leading programs that infuse mindfulness, meditation, yoga-based postures, and self-care practices. Through her dissertation work, she has qualitatively studied and published work on teachers' embodiment of mindfulness while teaching and the challenges of integrating mindfulness and yoga practices in elementary schools. She is currently applying her research to her work at Johnson Elementary School, as they work together to adapt and deliver the Compassionate Schools Project curriculum, Flourish!.

Additionally, Dr. Mischenko has studied and practiced yoga since 2012 and has been teaching since 2015. In 2015, she travelled to India to complete an intensive five-month yoga teacher training program under Sharat Arora, a long-time disciple of BKS Iyengar. Dr. Mischenko appreciates the emphasis on mindfulness and alignment that is present in the Iyengar tradition and loves to use movement in her work to promote participants' understanding of their mind, body awareness and joy in self-discovery.