Kevin Rathunde


Kevin Rathunde is a Professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Studies at the University of Utah. His research explores how intrinsically motivated experiences like “flow” (a state of deep absorption), interest, and play impact human development and lifelong learning, and how these experiences can be enhanced by family, school, and natural (outdoor) environments. Dr. Rathunde also brings to the ThroughPlay program his experience and lifelong passion as a musician.


Russ Isabella


Russ Isabella is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Studies at the University of Utah. Much of his research has focused on social and emotional development during infancy and childhood along with relationships between parents and children. Currently, with colleague Kevin Rathunde, Isabella's work focuses on the importance of play for children’s development and lifelong learning.  Dr. Isabella also brings to the ThroughPlay program his vision as a professional photographer.



Conor Provenzano


Conor Provenzano is a photographer, filmmaker and theater projectionist who graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in Film and Media Arts in 2011. Shortly thereafter, he began researching the healing/spiritual implications of concentration, which led to the development of a documentary film, FOCUSED LIFE. Conor is deeply committed to making personal and provocative films that explore themes of internal awareness, human development and self-mastery.

Ashley Anderson


Ashley Anderson is a choreographer based in Salt Lake City who holds degrees in English and Dance from Hollins University as well as an MFA in Dance from Hollins/the American Dance Festival. Alongside the production of her creative work, she directs community programs (“loveDANCEmore”) through her non-profit, “ashley anderson dances.” Ashley is also a teaching artist at many universities, high schools and community centers. She brings to The ThroughPlay project her experience teaching in Early Childhood and K-12 settings through the Pennsylvania Artist Roster, the Tanner Dance Program at the University of Utah, and dancing with her two children, age 4 and 2. 

Chris Howard


Chris Howard is a freelance artist, designer, and filmmaker.  He has worked on film, web, and design projects for Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake International Airport for the 2002 Winter Olympics, KSL, Rocky Anderson, Spy Hop Productions, KRCL, Now international Dance Company, The Human Rights Education Center of Utah, and Novell.  In 2008, he helped produce the feature-length documentary film entitled Natural Family Values.  He has won an Addy Award for his web design work and several Telly Awards for his television work.  Chris is an avid film lover, music devotee, and adorer of video games (especially retro, whimsical, and toy-like sandbox games).  Chris strongly believes in the value of humor, curiosity, and the positive power of play. 

Jamie Gadette


Jamie is a writer, editor, and strategist with a M.A. and B.A. in English from the University of Utah.  She's continually trying to strike the right balance of work, family, and play.  For her, parent-child play with her 2-year-old son involves weekly hikes, visits to public parks, trips to the Marmalade Library, reading, and stacking blocks.  She taps into her own enjoyable concentration by running, swimming, curating music playlists, reading, and long walks with friends.