Alex Haley, MS, JD, MBA

Assistant Professor, Integrative Health and Wellbeing Research Program


Office Phone
Office Address

Mayo C592
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Mailing Address

Center for Spirituality & Healing
University of Minnesota
420 Delaware Street, SE, MMC 505
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States


JD, University of Minnesota

MBA, University of Minnesota

MS, Cognitive Science, University of Minnesota

BA, Carleton College

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Alex Haley is an assistant professor and the mindfulness program lead at the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality & Healing where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, assists with clinical research and helps support mindfulness programming for public, non-profit and for-profit organizations.

His areas of study include mindfulness, embodiment, behavior change and designing online / virtual reality learning environments. Alex is a graduate student in the Cognitive Science PhD program at the University of Minnesota and a member of the Interactive Visualization Lab.

Alex completed a four-year training program through the Insight Meditation Society, Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the Insight Retreat Center under the guidance of his mentors Joseph Goldstein and Guy Armstrong. He has also been trained by the Center for Mindfulness, the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, and the Coaches Training Institute. 

Alex has studied and practiced meditation for more than 15 years, including many months of intensive retreat practice, and worked for start-ups, mid-sized companies and large multinationals both domestically and internationally in legal and business roles. He is also a founding member of the Mindfulness for Students network and leads residential retreats around the country.

Alex completed extensive Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher training through the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts, founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn. He received his MBSR Teacher Certification designation from Brown University’s Mindfulness Center and is included on the Center’s Registry of Certified MBSR Teachers, representing an international community of teachers and leaders in the field of MBSR and mindfulness.


Research Summary/Interests

  • Applied mindfulness within business and legal settings
  • Somatic experiencing
  • Technology and wellbeing
  • Online learning
  • Mindfulness for educators and students

Research Funding Grants

Partners for Pain & Wellbeing Equity: A Randomized Trial of Community Supported Complementary and Integrative Health Self Management for Back Pain (1R61AT012309-01 Evans/Leininger) -- National Institutes of Health Center for Complementary & Integrative Health

Mindful Movement for Physical Activity and Wellbeing in Older Adults: A Community Based Randomized Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Study (4R33AT0009110, Evans) -- National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health

Spinal Manipulation and Patient Self-Management to Prevent Back Pain Chronicity -- PACBACK (4UG3AT008769, Bronfort) -- National Institutes of Health Center for Complementary & Integrative Health

Testing Two Scalable, Veteran-Centric Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Pragmatic, Multisite Trial (NH170001, Burgess) – National Institutes of Health & Department of Veterans Affairs Pain Management Collaboratory – Role: Co-Investigator

VR for Health: Patient-Specific Virtual Reality Environments for Mindfulness-Based Healing (Internal Funding, Keefe) – University of Minnesota IEM Exploratory Grant – Role: Co-Investigator


Schroeder, D., Korsakov, F., Jolton, J., Keefe, F. J., Haley, A., & Keefe, D. F. (2013). Creating widely accessible spatial interfaces: mobile vr for managing persistent pain. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 33(3), 82-89.

Wacker, D., & Haley, A. (in press). Cinematic Virtual Reality for Anxiety Management in Mechanically Ventilated Patients: A Feasibility and Pilot Study. Acute and Critical Care.

Kennedy, D., Haley, A., & Evans, R (in press). Design of a Mindfulness-based Intervention to Support Teachers’ Emotional Regulation Behaviors. Current Psychology.

Burgess, D.J., Evans, R., Allen, K.D., Bangerter, A., Bronfort, G., Cross, L.J., Ferguson, J.E., Haley, A., Hagel Campbell, E.M., Mahaffey, M.R. and Matthias, M.S. (2020). Learning to Apply Mindfulness to Pain (LAMP): Design for a pragmatic clinical trial of two mindfulness-based interventions for chronic pain. Pain Medicine, 21(Supplement_2), S29-S36.