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Directors

Assistant Managing Director

Ashley Johnson first experienced Light on the Hill as a participant in the June 2021 volunteer day activities and was inspired by the experience to return as often as possible; first as a volunteer trail maintainer and wood chopper and then as a cook. He has gradually and gratefully taken on a broader range of responsibilities but his favorite places are still the woods and the kitchen. He has a strong affinity for the quiet contemplative practices that are facilitated at Light on the Hill and finds it very rewarding to contribute to creating an environment that is conducive to inner work. He has a professional background in engineering and many years experience keeping things running safely in sometimes adverse circumstances. 

Spiritual Director

Husband and wife, Lawrence Muscat and Alice McDowell

The Co-Founders of Light on the Hill are husband and wife, Lawrence Muscat and Alice McDowell. Alice is the Spiritual Director.

Alice McDowell holds a PhD in theology from Fordham University and has taught religious studies at Ithaca College for 18 years. She has trained with energetic healers, humanistic and transpersonal psychologists, Sufi guides, and Christian contemplatives, and has guided people in their personal and spiritual journeys for over 30 years.  She draws upon her diverse training and life experience to help others awaken to their true selves.

Alice has written two books: Hidden Treasure: How to Break Free of Five Patterns that Hide Your True Self and Dance of Light: Christian, Sufi and Zen Wisdom for Today’s Spiritual Seeker.

Alice’s recent interviews:

Lawrence Muscat, an ordained minister, is a student of the Mysteries, both ancient and modern.

Both Alice and Larry serve as members of the Board of Directors.

Board of Directors

Andrea J. Mooney, Chairperson, recently retired as a clinical professor at Cornell Law School, specializing in legal writing and child advocacy.  She continues to practice law as an Attorney for the Child on the trial and appellate levels.  She is an original co-author of Cornell’s “Therapeutic Crisis Intervention” curriculum, which is taught internationally and is now in its seventh edition. 

Andrea has served on many local Boards of Directors, including Family & Children’s Service, the Youth Policy Institute, the Advocacy Center, and Citizens Concerned for Children.  She is a 2016 graduate of the Hidden Treasure Program.

Mike Koplinka-Loehr has directed several upstate NY non-profit organizations, served the Innu of Labrador, Canada for 2 years with his family, and held elected office in Tompkins for 15 years.

He has life-long passions for developing the human potential, human services, community building, and social justice.

He is a 2014 graduate of the Hidden Treasure program, and a member of the Sangha for Hidden Treasures graduates at Light on the Hill.

Josephine Allen is Professor Emerita of Policy Analysis and Management in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She is also Professor Emerita of Social Work in the College of Community and Public Affairs at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York. 

Her scholarly research has emphasized comparative social welfare policy, intergenerational communication concerning reproductive health, empowerment and family support, juvenile justice, and gender inequality. Her service as a member of local community boards includes work with the Human Services Coalition, the United Way, FoodNet, Hospicare, the Greater Ithaca Activities Center, Southside Community Center, and the Community Foundation of Tompkins County.  She has also been a member of the choral group Voices, and is currently both a member of the board and the chorus of the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers.

David A. McCune is a private practice physical therapist specializing in musculoskeletal pain with emphasis on spinal dysfunction. He integrates traditional medical philosophies with spiritual and psychosocial sensibilities to assist his patients in comprehensive healing.

In addition to his clinical practice he is an educator, teaching at the University level as well as presenting widely both within the United States and internationally.

Dave is a 2006 graduate of the Hidden Treasure program, and he has served on the LOH Board of Directors since 2008.

Linda K. Nicholson is a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at Cornell University, in the department of Molecular Biology & Genetics where she currently serves as the department’s Leader of Diversity & Inclusion. Her research focuses on understanding how specific proteins act as molecular switches to regulate the timing of biological events. 

Her current work includes projects on Alzheimer’s disease and lateral root development in rice. Linda is a 2017 graduate of the Hidden Treasure Program.

Julie Schnepel, Ph.D., studied historical musicology at Indiana University and taught for several years at Ithaca College. Since 2002, she has led the U.S. office of RILM, an international music resource. She is responsible for identifying all U.S. publications about music and writing abstracts for them. Viewing this work as a service, she knows how much music scholars depend on this resource for their research.

The Hidden Treasure Program is central to Julie’s life. She is a graduate of the 2006 class, and she has been one of the primary teachers in the program since then. She worked as an administrative assistant for Light on the Hill for several years, and she joined the board in 2016.

Michael J. Sullivan has held executive leadership positions in both local government and not-for-profit organizations, inclusive of long term care, health care and higher education for more than four decades.  He holds a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and an MBA, both from Syracuse University. 

Michael was on the initial Board of Directors at Light on the Hill when it was established as a not-for-profit organization more than thirty years ago and is a member of the Hidden Treasure 2022 class.

Jamie Yaman found Light on the Hill in 2010 during a pivotal moment in his life where he was seeking to deepen his connection with himself, and the divine. It was at Light on the Hill where he found a community of loving teachers and students, and considers this sacred land to be his spiritual home. Jamie is a graduate of University of Massachusetts where he majored in Residential and Commercial Real Estate and was a four year letter winner for the university’s storied lacrosse program. He now serves as the principal broker and owner of Yaman Real Estate in Cortland, and president of D Yaman Properties.

A 2013 graduate and former teacher at the Hidden Treasure program at Light on the Hill, Jamie now enjoys organizing and co-facilitating a men’s weekend workshop, Break Your Chains.