The administrative staff members of the Parapsychology Foundation are Garrett’s granddaughter, President and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Parapsychology (IJP), Lisette Coly, Anastasia Damalas, former Professional staff members and now volunteers, Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado, who served as the Chairman of Domestic and International Programs and Associate Editor of the IJP from 2000 through 2008, and Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone, who served as the Director of Publications and Executive Editor of the IJP from 2000 to 2008, Susan MacWilliam, Film Archivist, and Volunteer Natasha Chisdes who worked the 2005 Charlottesville Mediumship conferences and has provided library services both offsite and onsite at the Eileen J. Garrett Library. Although we lost our past-President, Mrs. Eileen Coly, the daughter of Eileen Garrett and the mother of Lisette Coly, not so many months ago, she holds her honored place at the head of our staff and volunteers, and in our hearts.
Click on the following links or scroll down for staff biographies.
Carlos S. Alvarado
Nancy L. Zingrone
Eileen Coly (19162013) served as the President of the Parapsychology Foundation from 1970 through the mid-2000s. In fact Mrs. Coly held the position of PF President longer than did her mother, Eileen J. Garrett, PF’s founder and first President. Mrs. Coly shared Garrett’s vision for the Foundation, which is to formulate a multi-disciplinary international approach to the study of psychic phenomena with an emphasis on scientific methodology and education.
Born and educated in England, Mrs. Coly traveled extensively with Garrett, a world famous psychic and author, working as her assistant. They were separated during World War II, during which Mrs. Coly remained in England, surviving the bombing of London. After the war, Mrs. Coly settled in the United States in 1947 and worked at Creative Age Press and on Tomorrow magazine, both founded by Garrett. During the early years of the Foundation, Mrs. Coly raised her own family and served on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, coming back to work full time at the Foundation in 1966. Mrs. Coly’s husband, Robert Coly, joined the Foundation in 1969 and served as its Administrative Secretary and Treasurer until his retirement in the late 1990s. Although the Foundation was not envisioned as a “family affair” it seemed destined to become one.
Mrs. Coly’s unique past experiences with Garrett and the psychic world, along with her administrative skills and publishing expertise, enabled her to preside over the Foundation’s valuable programs for more than 30 of its 63 years. Mrs. Coly was the proud recipient of the 2001 Parapsychological Association’s Outstanding Career Award “for her generous support and dedication to the science of parapsychology.” A memorial blog was posted to the PFLyceum website on December 23rd, 2013, and contains the text of the reminiscences of Mrs. Coly’s friends and family, as well as of PF Board members. To read this blog click here.
Serving as Vice President of the Parapsychology Foundation since 1978, Lisette Coly is now the President of the Parapsychology Foundation. Granddaughter of the Foundation’s founder, Eileen J. Garrett and daughter of the organization’s past President, the late Eileen Coly, Lisette Coly brings to the task nearly forty years of experience working in many capacities within the organization.
Ms. Coly has acted as International Conference Coordinator as well as used her editorial skills in many of PF’s publications including the International Conference Proceedings series and the Parapsychology Review which was published from 1970 to 1990. Instrumental in the re-dedication of the Foundation during its 50th Anniversary, as Editor-in-Chief she brought back into publication the highly regarded International Journal of Parapsychology as well as the Foundation’s revered publishing imprint, Helix Press. Under her direction the newly inaugurated Parapsychology Foundation LYCEUM, the PF International Affiliate Program, the Psychic Explorers Club, and the Student Affiliate Program were also initiated. On of her most recent accomplishments was the much-heralded conference, “Utrecht II: Charting the Future of Parapsychology,” which was co-hosted by the Johann Borgman Foundation. (For more information on the conference click here.)
While pursuing her BA from New York’s Hunter College as well as completing various business courses, Ms. Coly held various positions at the Parapsychology Foundation. She was privileged to work closely with Eileen J. Garrett, during Garrett’s final years at the Foundation, as well as with Eileen Coly, sharing their vision for the work of the Foundation. Upon graduation from college, she continued to serve her stewardship within the organization, and now as President, has the opportunity to interact with the worlds of science, publishing, and the international scene as she guides and administers the continued work of the Foundation. Ms. Coly is listed in both Who’s Who in American Women and Who’s Who in the World.
ANASTASIA EILEEN DAMALAS is the fourth generation of her family dedicated to maintain the vision of Parapsychology Foundation’s founder, her great grandmother, Eileen J. Garrett. While the organization was not conceived as a family affair she joins her talents in that pursuit as did her grandmother, Eileen Coly, PF’s second President and her mother, Lisette Coly who serves currently as President.
Graduating cum laude with a degree in sociology from Stonybrook University, Anna has long been drawn into the workings of the Foundation while growing up literally and figuratively in and around its library and while assisting at various PF sponsored events. Drawn to the possibility of eventually pursuing an advanced degree in counseling, she has been intrigued by the contents of many of the Foundation’s International Conference Proceedings, most especially “Psi and Clinical Practice” and “Utrecht II: the Future of Parapsychology.” She is eager to assist in the revitalization and re-dedication of the Foundation’s programs.
CARLOS S. ALVARADO
From July 2000 until December 2008, Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado served as the Chairman of Domestic and International Programs for the Parapsychology Foundation, the General Series Editor of the Foundation’s Scholarly Monograph Series and the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Parapsychology. As a volunteer, Dr. Alvarado is still instrumental in the planning of the Foundation’s conventions, forums, courses and lectures. He served as an information officer for library patrons and the press when he was on-site at the Foundation and still serves as a consultant in that regard. He coordinated the Parapsychology Foundation LYCEUM program up until 2008 and still provides support for that program as a volunteer. His current areas of research include the out-of-body experience (OBE) and other such psychic experiences as aura vision and apparitions, among other topics. In addition to blogging for the Parapsychology Foundation, he has also established his own blog, Parapsychology which can be found here.
For many years, Dr. Alvarado has conducted historical research and survey studies in the United States, Scotland and Puerto Rico. He received his BA in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico, an MSc in Parapsychology from John F. Kennedy University in California, an MA in History from Duke University, and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh. His research has been funded by the Parapsychology Foundation (New York City), the Society for Psychical Research (London, England), the Perrott-Warrick Fund (Cambridge, England) and the Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene (Freiburg, Germany), and more recently by the Bial Foundation (Portugal).
Dr. Alvarado was raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He is well-known among scientific parapsychologists in the United States, Europe and Latin America for his more than 200 articles in English and Spanish, published in specialized journals including the Journal of Psychology, Dissociation, Journal of Parapsychology, and the European Journal of Parapsychology, among others. For more than two decades he played an active role in the Parapsychological Association, the international association of scientific and academic parapsychologists, serving several terms on the PA Board of Directors and as President in 1995 and again in 2002-2003. He was the first Latin American to hold that position. Mostly recently he served as the Program Chairperson for the Parapsychological Association Convention held in Durham, North Carolina in 2012.
Dr. Alvarado holds an adjunct appointment at Sofia University as well as a faculty appointment as Assistant Professor of Research in Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. He worked on-site at the Division from the spring of 2003 through May of 2010, following which he was the Scholar in Residence at Atlantic University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Rhine Research Center in Durham, North Carolina as well as a faculty member of the Rhine Education Center until November of 2014, and is currently a Director of Alvarado, Zingrone & Associates, the co-founder and developer of both the Alvarado Zingrone Institute for Research and Education in the virtual world, Second Life, and the new YouTube Channel, Parapsychology Online, and, of course, he still actively volunteers for the Parapsychology Foundation.
NANCY L. ZINGRONE
From July 2000 through December 2008, Nancy L. Zingrone was the Director of Publications and Executive Editor of the International Journal of Parapsychology for the Parapsychology Foundation. She has published more than 30 research articles in a variety of journals in the field and in psychology including the Journal of Parapsychology, the European Journal of Parapsychology, and Imagination, Cognition and Personality. Her work has been funded by Parapsychology Foundation, the Perrott-Warrick Fund, the Society for Psychical Research, the Institut für Grenzegebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene, and more recently, the Bial Foundation. Her primary areas of interest are the history of criticism and response in the English-language scientific and academic literatures, and personality correlates of such psychic experiences as aura vision, out-of body experiences (OBE’s), and apparitions.
Dr. Zingrone has been active in parapsychological research for more than three decades, holding a variety of positions in the field. She was a founding member of the Midwest Psi Research Institute in 1977 in Chicago, its Director of Education until 1980, and its Executive Director until 1982. From 1982 to 1993 she was first a Research Fellow and then a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Parapsychology in Durham, North Carolina, now known as the Rhine Research Center. There she focused on experimental and historical research in parapsychology and directed the first Ganzfeld experiments conducted at that laboratory. She was also an active member of the Parapsychological Association for more than two decades, serving on its Board of Directors at various times, and holding the office of President twice, first in 20012002, and later in 20032004. Most recently, she was the Arrangements Chair of the Parapsychological Association Convention held in Durham, North Carolina in 2012. Dr. Zingrone was the Editor of the Association’s newsletter, PA News, from 1990 to 1999, and an editor of the 1993 proceedings, Research in Parapsychology.
Raised in Woodstock, Illinois, Dr. Zingrone obtained her BA in psychology from Mundelein College in Chicago (now subsumed under Loyola University), and has an MSEd in Community College Education with psychology as a teaching specialty from Northern Illinois University. She did graduate work in history of science at Duke University where she obtained doctoral candidacy before she withdrew to return to psychology and parapsychology. She obtained a PhD in psychology at the University of Edinburgh, primarily under the direction of the late Koestler Professor Robert L. Morris. In addition, Zingrone held an adjunct appointment as an Assistant Professor of Research in Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia from March of 2003 until May of 2010, while establishing and operating a virtual office for the Parapsychology Foundation in Charlottesville from 2003 to 2008. From May of 2010 until January of 2013, she held the position of Director of Academic and Administrative Affairs at Atlantic University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She was also a Visiting Scholar at the Rhine Research Center in Durham, North Carolina, as well as a faculty member of the Rhine Education Center from April of 2013 through November of 2014.
Currently she is an adjunct professor of psychology at Northcentral University, a premium teacher on the social media teaching platform, WizIQ, the co-developer and founder of both the Alvarado Zingrone Institute for Research and Education in the virtual world Second Life, and the new YouTube Channel Parapsychology Online and its companion website. Because of her long-standing interest in education, and more recently in online education, she maintains both her Thinking about Learning blog and her YouTube channel Teaching and Learning Online. She also manages The AZIRE’s Moodle teaching site and, of course, remains an active volunteer for the Parapsychology Foundation.
Appointed in the Fall of 2007, Irish artist and filmmaker Susan MacWilliam is the Parapsychology Foundation’s Film Archivist. The first Visiting Scholar/Artist in Residence at the Eileen J. Garrett Library in the summer of 2007, for over ten years MacWilliam has been developing a body of works that explore ideas about the paranormal, the supernatural and perceptual phenomena. Incorporating research into the fields of parapsychology, psychology, physiology, photography and optical viewing devices, the practice explores ideas about the visible and the invisible; about vision, perception, reality and illusion. Using video, installation and photography the practice involves the investigation of particular individual case histories and myths.
For more than ten years, MacWilliam, who lives in Belfast and is a lecturer in the Fine Art Department, National College of Art and Design, Dublin, has made works about materialization mediums, table tilters, optograms, trance, clairvoyance and x-ray vision. “Dermo Optics” (2006) uses footage shot in the Dermo Optical Perception Laboratory of Madame Duplessis, Paris while “Experiment M” (1999) is based on the case of the Belfast-based table levitator Kathleen Goligher and her researcher Dr. William Jackson Crawford. MacWilliam produces unique works of art that provide a visual entry point into the history of parapsychology.
A member of the Board of Directors of Visual Artists Ireland and of Source Photographic Magazine, MacWilliam has received numerous awards for her video works and installations including awards at EV+A 1999, 2001 and 2005; she was shortlisted for the 1999 IMMA/Glen Dimplex Artists Award, Irish Museum of Modern Art and awarded the Perspective 2003 Award at Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast by Enrique Juncosa, the Director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. In 2001 MacWilliam received a Major Individual Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. She has worked as artist in residence at PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; Carribean Centre for Contemporary Arts, Trinidad; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin and Likovni Salon, Celje, Slovenia.
Her work has been reviewed extensively in such journals as Art Monthly, CIRCA, Source, New York Arts Magazine, The Guardian, The Irish Times and Contemporary Visual Arts. She has exhibited worldwide in solo and group shows: including solo exhibitions at Likovni Salon, Celje, Slovenia; Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin; Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast; Butler Gallery, Kilkenny; Cornerhouse, Manchester; Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick; Context Gallery, Derry and Project Arts Centre, Dublin. Recent group exhibitions include; “Falling,” Jack the Pelican Presents, New York, 2007; “New Art From Northern Ireland,” Katzen Arts Centre, American University, Washington, DC, 2007; “Flash on the Screen,” Basekamp, Philadelphia, 2007; “Smoke and Mirrors,” Mac, Birmingham, 2006; “To Be Continued …/Jatkuu …,” Helsinki Photography Festival, Helsinki, Finland, 2005; “Red White Blue,” Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York, 2005; “Inter,” Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, 2004.
From November 2007 to January 2008, an installation developed from research she did in the summer of 2007 at the Eileen J. Garrett Library was exhibited alongside archival photographs of mediums from the Harry Price Collection in Seeing is Believing at the Photographers’ Gallery, London. A solo exhibition of the same material was also featured at the Gimpel Fils Gallery later in 2008 as well. In the summer of 2011 Susan conducted a research/exhibition tour of the Southeastern U.S., through a residency at the Rhine Research Center in Durham, North Carolina. Among her recent accomplishments are the films Eileen (2008) about the Parapsychology Foundation’s founder, Eileen J. Garrett, and The Only Way to Travel (2008) about the White Star Line and other famous transatlantic passenger liners of the early 20th century, as well as her well-received book, Remote Viewing (2009).
Her current work, An Answer is Expected is on view at the Quad Gallery in Derby, England. For more information check out the “New from Susan MacWilliam” page on the PF Lyceum website by clicking here.
Natasha Chisdes has been volunteering in a variety of capacities since the PF Conference on Mediumship in Charlottesville in 2005. Her conference management skills were put to good use at that successful conference, and she began to take on more tasks, working with Alvarado and Zingrone on the page production and editing of Parapsychology Foundation titles, as well as taking over the cataloging of new books for the Eileen J. Garrett Research Library both on-site and at a distance. She continues to make herself available to the Parapsychology Foundation, most recently running the book table at the Forever Family Foundation in November of 2014.
Chisdes has a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Virginia, was a Research and Coding Specialist at the Division of Perceptual Studies in the Department of Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia from 2007 through January of 2011. She conducted research with Drs. Alvarado and Zingrone on a random and web-based survey project funded by the Bial Foundation, and was a co-author on a paper and several presentations and poster sessions in on-site and online conferences. Prior to that and still, she is a core associate with Alvarado, Zingrone & Associates, and is currently the Marketing Director for Chizfilm.net.
She also has a long history of substantive volunteerism, having been a House Manager for the Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville, Virginia (20092011), as well as serving on the Advisory Board of the Charlottesville Department of Social Services (20092011).