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Stephen Dolle Bio


The DiaCeph Story
Drum Circle Facilitation
Music "Evening Solstace"

Stephen Dolle is a neuroscientist & drum circle facilitator, and founder and CEO of Dolle Communications. Stephen provides a variety of drum circle facilitation services, and conducts his own research into new applications in drumming. He provides neuroscience consults to patients/families affected by hydrocephalus. He is past inventor of the DiaCeph Test, a novel method of using software in monitoring the disorder, hydrocephalus. He attempted to produce DiaCeph as a PDA app back between 1997 and 2002, and was founder & CEO of Diaceph Inc. Today, he enjoys speaking on drumming for the brain, on living with hydrocephalus, on innovation, assistive technology, and cognitive accessibility. Stephen has recently published to host additional information on his speaking. And he maintains an active presence on LinkedIn.


He founded Dolle Communications to offer marketing and science related communications, skills he honed with his earlier CNI company over 10 years and skills he picked up during development of his neurological monitoring device, the DiaCeph Test. The DiaCeph invention came as a result of challenges he faced in living with a CNS brain shunt for hydrocephalus, which occurred after a 1992 brain injury. From 1992 to 1998, Stephen pursued research with CNS shunt devices, hydrocephalus, and key areas of the neurosciences, and in 1996, authored a key petition with the Food & Drug Administration that led to the 1999 STAMP Conference in Wash., D.C. He then formed DiaCeph Inc., becoming its CEO in charge of most aspects of the company. Though hailed as a pioneer and visionary, he was unable to obtain funding to bring it to market. Today, DiaCeph could be an app for a mobile phone, something Stephen would like to see happen. CNS shunt malfunction remains the No. 1 neurosurgical issue in children.


Stephen's entry into percussion began in 2004 with an African djembe drum he bought for music jam sessions. He began taking lessons and workshops, and eventually drum circle facilitation with Arthur Hull. He saw how drumming aided his recovery, and began to apply his music therapy, music & brain research, and sensory integration methods to drumming, stumbling upon numerous discoveries. By 2008, he began marketing drumming & keynote ideas to area organizations, and attracted a following of fans and clients. He wrote about his developments on his web site, Facebook page, and numerous other web sites.


Prior to his 1992 brain injury, he worked as a nuclear medicine technologist and a marketing & management consultant and fundraiser.  As a technologist in 1982, he started his own imaging company, Certified Nuclear Imaging (CNI), and operated it until the time of his brain injury in 1992, taking time out to perform in film and theatre, and pursue management consulting and fundraising projects. His final fundraising project was the 1992 Great American Race, and led to an offer by the Segerstrom’s to launch the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Costa Mesa by the Orange County Performing Arts Center. But, after undergoing several surgeries between 1992 and 1993 and deteriorating to the level of 7th grade, he was not able to carry this out. He plans were to focus on sports & entertainment.


In Stephen's first job out of school, he opened up a nuclear medicine department at the Terre Haute Regional Hospital in Indiana, running it for a year. He later moved to Orange County, California in 1978 and worked at Hoag Memorial Hospital until 1982. While at Hoag and struggling with a neuromuscular disorder, he developed a new mind-body technique that enabled him to overcome a lifelong allergy to aspirin, and serendipitously, his neuromuscular disorder. Soon, he became able to “read” illness in many of his cancer, heart disease, and chronically ill patients. In 16 years of patient care work in nuclear medicine, Stephen worked up some 15,000 patients, providing intuitive reads in perhaps one-third of these. Today, a lot of his free-form Afro-Cuban percussion work, discoveries in drumming, invention of his DiaCeph Test, and facilitation of drum circles is due in part to intuitive work.


Stephen’s music experience began at age 6 with piano, and led to vocal study and touring with a Cincinnati voice company at age 10 (1965). His most noteworthy performance was his “Red River Valley” solo on stage at the Dayton Opera House in 1966. Years later, he performed in the play, “Music Man,” at the Laguna Playhouse. Between 1987-89, he held bit parts in film, and performed vocally in several recitals. Today, he mostly performs as a percussionist in drums circles, with his all drummer band, Phat Rhythm Section, and with a few area artists.


Stephen was married from 1980 to 1985, and has one son. From about 1987 to 1996, he coached and assisted on some 20 little league baseball and soccer teams, which provided an opportunity to explore methods of teaching, managing, and motivating children. He also worked with some kids with developmental and learning disabilities. In the mid-1980s, he became active in fundraising for youth programs, arts programs, an area hospital, and the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce. He later established a field sponsorship program for the Foothill Hill School baseball program, while still recovering from his brain injury and hydrocephalus.


His formal education consist of an A. S. from the University of Cincinnati, a B. S. from the University of Phoenix, and he has studied music, film, and theatre at UCLA, South Coast Repertory, Orange Coast College, and private schools in Orange County and Los Angeles. His initial mind/body and mindfulness study began in 1973 while attending the University of Cincinnati for pre-med, and this continued into the 1980s, and no doubt helped him through his efforts with hydrocephalus, CNS shunt devices, FDA regulatory policy, cognition, sensory integration, assistive technology, music and the brain, and more. He completed Arthur Hull’s Drum Circle Facilitation training in 2005.


Stephen is a past board member of the National Hydrocephalus Foundation, past member of the Orange County Bar Association, past member of Toastmasters, Foothill High School Baseball foundation, Hoag Hospital fundraising committees, Costa Mesa Chamber and Arts on the Green, and Life Science Industry Council (LINC). He is known by those close to him as  "MacGyver" or "The Professor," and more recently as "Professor Mac."

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