PAXIS Institute

About Paxis

Our Perspective

PAXIS Institute identifies and connects the best science and wisdom to maximize the peace, productivity, health and happiness of individuals, families, organizations, and communities everywhere.

PAXIS Institute seeks to identify tools and strategies that have both rapid and long-term benefits for all our futures, not just the few or one group over another.

PAXIS Institute searches for ways to improve all our futures, since our individual futures during our lives hinge the actions of people near and far, many of who we will never now.

PAX Institute encourages and supports people of every age, of every walk of life to become an “everyday scientist” of their world—not just a passenger of life. By becoming an “everyday scientist”, then we can each become a conscious creator of the futures we seek for ourselves and the people we love.


Dennis Embry, Ph.D.

Dennis D. Embry, Ph.D. is senior scientist at PAXIS Institute in Tucson and a co-investigator at Johns Hopkins Center for Prevention as well as co-investigator with the Promise Neighborhood Research Consortium, the University of Manitoba, University of South Carolina—overseeing 50 major prevention projects in the US and Canada.  He is a member of the SAMHSA/CSAP experts group, and a nominee for the President’s Advisory Council on Prevention for Health Care Reform. Current publications emphasize achieving sustainable, cost-efficient population-wide prevention effects across physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. He is an emeritus National Research Advisory Council Senior fellow of New Zealand.

He has personally created multiple interventions using both cultural wisdom and leading edge science to prevent multiple problems including ATOD. He is one of the few scientists to demonstrate such prevention scientifically across whole states, communities or countries.

Dr. Embry has engaged in work with First Peoples in New Zealand, the United States and Canada. He uses cultural wisdom and anthropology to inform choices of scientific strategies to better the lives of children, adolescents, families and groups. Many of his projects focus on simple strategies for families. Dr. Embry marries that cultural wisdom with findings from evolutionary sciences, from his association with the National Science Foundation initiative called the EVOS Institute.

Growing up in considerable adversity and evaluated as educably mentally retarded, he uses his experiences to inform his work and tell the story of possibility for prevention for all.


Claire Richardson

School, Community and State Program Director, Lead international Trainer for the PAX Good Behavior Game

Claire is one of the co-authors of the PAX Good Behavior Game™.  She provides frequent workshops and lectures along with Dr. Dennis Embry on children’s brain development, prevention and social policy using low-cost or no-cost practices.  She also gives workshops and presentations on low-cost or no cost ways to prevent the harmful things that are impacting our children.  In addition to her 20+ years of experience in prevention, Claire has extensive experience in parent education and support.  She is accredited in Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) and has been working with Triple P International to expand their work in the United States. 

Claire served as a board member for AVIVA Children’s Services, a non-profit agency providing for the unmet needs of children in foster care.  She was an active member of the Marketing Committee for AVIVA Children’s Services.

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Miriam Willmann

Director of Technology, Tobacco and Alcohol Programs Coordinator

Miriam Willmann has a BA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin -Madison.  Miriam has been with PAXIS since 2005, but worked collaboratively with them for 3 years as Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator for the WI Wins program, a Reward and Reminder™ campaign designed by PAXIS.  She has over ten years experience implementing local and statewide campaigns to stop illegal sales of alcohol and tobacco to underage persons.

Miriam also oversees all technology projects for PAXIS, including but not limited to web design, distance learning and data collection and analysis. She manages the data for clients working on Reward and Reminder™ and the PAX Good Behavior Game.


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Bea Ramirez

Director of Marketing

Bea began her professional life as a classroom teacher at an inner city high school in El Paso, TX followed by a few years teaching Language Arts at the junior high level. From the classroom she segued into financial services where she spent the next 20 years, the last five years of which were spent with UBS. A lucky break (and a good social network) brought her to PAXIS Institute where she has been blessed to be a member of the team for several years.

Bea was born and raised in Santa Clara, NM, a small dusty mining community in southwest New Mexico.  From childhood she knew she was a teacher at heart and when it came time for college there was no doubt what she would study. She graduated with a degree in secondary education from Western New Mexico University in 1974 and moved  to the big city. What she wouldn’t have given to have PAX Good Behavior Game when she was in the classroom!!

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Timothy Heidebrecht

PAX Canada Community & Schools Liaison

Tim has worked with children with autism as well as children with severe behavioral and emotional challenges for over 20 years. His roles have included front-line therapist, classroom support specialist, program supervisor, and treatment coordinator. These roles entailed considerable collaboration with parents, educators, and multidisciplinary teams of professionals and government agencies. Tim has provided consultation services throughout Western Canada and parts of the United States as well as multi-day training workshops and presentations at conferences. After completing a Masters in Public Administration, Tim worked for the Manitoba provincial government, including the Healthy Child Manitoba Office. He is currently involved in coordinating and implementing a multi-year Randomized Control Trial research study involving the PAX Good Behavior Game and the Triple P parenting program in the province of Alberta.

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Jason Fruth, Ph.D.

National Trainer of the PAX Good Behavior Game and Co-Investigator on PAX GBG Research

Dr. Jason Fruth is an Assistant Professor in Wright State University’s College of Education and Human Services and is the Program Director of the Nationally Recognized Intervention Specialist Program. He is also the head of Wright State University’s Office for Educational Research and has published multiple articles on the impact of universal prevention on student outcomes and teacher performance. In addition, Dr. Fruth has infused evidence-based, trauma-informed prevention into the pre-service teacher training for early childhood, middle childhood, and intervention specialists. Dr. Fruth has also produced evidence-based prevention training for medical facilities, detention centers, and the community at large. Currently, Dr. Fruth is working with Ohio and other states on a model for statewide scale-up of universal prevention for all youth.

Erin Roepcke, LMSW

Development Manager

Erin brings a varied background to her work at PAXIS including experience in performance, education, program development, parenting and parent education, integrated health and family therapy. Erin began her college career in vocal performance, but ultimately earned a BS in Family Studies and Human Development and served 2-years with Teach for America in Washington, DC. While her focus since 2003 has been parenting her own and “bonus” children that have entered her life, she also worked to develop and implement community and private programming for children, youth and family.

Prior to officially joining the PAXIS team, Erin worked as a Child and Family Therapist focusing on assessment and treatment of young children who have experienced abuse, neglect or family violence; and providing therapeutic services and supports to children, the adults who care for them. Erin is passionate about making tools and resources accessible to caregivers, including teachers, to help these children heal from their histories and to create safe, Nurturing Environments in homes, schools, and communities for all children.

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Jan Wiebe

National Trainer and Consultant of the PAX Good Behavior Game

Jan Wiebe is a National Trainer and Consultant of the PAX Good Behavior Game. Jan served as the first Pax GBG coach in 1999 when, employed by the Cook County Department of Public Health, she led a team of Prevention Specialists in the implementation of Pax GBG in 300 Chicago-area K-6 classrooms. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She led two Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative projects in the Chicago area, after writing grants to fund them. She has also directed programs in sexuality education, teen dating violence prevention, and community lay health promotion. She writes grants for local government, school districts, universities, non-profit and international organizations, and has obtained over $20 million in funding for her clients. She is the mother of 3 boys and lives in Bluffton, Ohio. She is thrilled that her youngest gets to play Pax Games every day in school.

Anya Senetra

National Trainer and Consultant of the PAX Good Behavior Game

Anya Senetra has worked with PAXIS Institute since 2006 and is a National Trainer and Coach for PAX GBG. Anya is an Independently Licensed Social Worker and Certified School Social Worker.  She has worked in the field of mental health for 23 years. Anya has also been an Adjunct Instructor at Wright State University in the Department of Social Work since 2002.   Anya has been the Program Supervisor for the School-based Mental Health Program of the Greene County ESC in Ohio for the past 16 years.

For the past six years Anya has been conducting PAX GBG workshops, and providing coaching and consultation.  She is currently heading up two federal grants that significantly expand the use of PAX GBG in Greene County Ohio, as well as several community based contracts to expand PAX into three additional counties in southern Ohio. 

Mike Muempfer


Mike Muempfer is a PAX Partner and School Climate Specialist.  He has worked or consulted at over 50 elementary, middle, and high schools in Maryland specializing in PAX Good Behavior Game, PBIS, student/staff engagement, school safety, and school environment.  He has also consulted with schools in Washington DC, Washington, New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Kansas.  He has also worked as a Behavior Management Coach for teachers in Baltimore and a Social Emotional Learning Curriculum Coach while at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.  Mike began his career in education as a classroom teacher in the Baltimore City School District for ten years.  He is a graduate of Penn State University.