Lani Aulicino’s Case Study Wins International Award

Lani Aulicino’s Case Study Wins International Award

MUM alumna Lani Aulicino


With Professor Dennis Heaton (left) and Jim Schaefer, president of Soil Technologies (right)


With her parents, Dr. Richard and Sweeta Aulicino, at the MUM graduation

A case study written last fall by MBA student Lani Aulicino in a course on Managing Change for Sustainability has won an international award.

She was one of 17 winners of Flourish Prizes out of 503 submissions to AIM2Flourish, a United Nations-supported global learning initiative in which students write about positive business innovations. The competition is based around 17 sustainable development goals identified by the UN, with one winner related to each goal.

Lani’s case study was related to goal #15, Life on Land, and described the work and mission of Fairfield’s Soil Technologies Corporation, which uses the intelligence of microorganisms to provide sustainable eco-agricultural alternatives to chemical inputs.

She wrote the case study titled Applied Biological Wisdom: Regenerative Agricultural Solutions,” in a class taught by Dennis Heaton, as part of MUM’s MBA in Sustainable Business.

“I chose Soil Tech because I saw an opportunity to shed some light on a business I feel is providing positive alternative solutions to otherwise unintentionally harmful practices, right here in our small, rural community of Fairfield,” Lani said. “I’m glad it won, because I’m sure there are a lot of individuals and companies who could benefit from their work.”

Lani received her BA in business administration from MUM in 2012 along with an Outstanding Student Award. Prior to transferring to MUM, she served as 2nd chair of the Green Committee at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, by building gardens and educating the community about GMOs.

She has a passion for all areas of sustainability and has taken numerous sustainable living classes at MUM. She also worked as event coordinator for the Department of Sustainable Living in 2011.

Lani currently works as legacy giving officer at MUM’s Development Office. In addition, she serves on the board of Fairfield’s Sustainable Living Coalition and has recently completed an eight-month leadership program with the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Leslee Goldstein Publishes Study on Empowering Disadvantaged Mothers in Uganda

Leslee Goldstein Publishes Study on Empowering Disadvantaged Mothers in Uganda

MUM alumna Leslee Goldstein, PhD


With her Ugandan research team: Brenda Nakalembe, founder and executive director of United Women’s Platform for Empowerment and Development (UWOPED); Haawa Najjuma, UWOPED co-director; Leslee Goldstein; Alena Goldstein (MUM alumna 2015); Judith Nassali, national director of AWAGO


Mothers practicing the TM technique


Ugandan mothers serving as research subjects

MUM alumna Leslee Goldstein, PhD just had her study published in Health Care for Women International on how the Transcendental Meditation® technique can empower single, disadvantaged mothers in Uganda.

Dr. Goldstein decided to focus her Maharishi Vedic ScienceSMdoctoral study on women in Africa for two reasons. She had always enjoyed working with women, and there had been no studies done on this population.

Within 48 hours of her decision, she heard about the need for a researcher in Uganda to conduct a study on 81 women. Two months later she was in Uganda working with the African Women and Girls Organization for Total Knowledge (AWAGO).

Of the 81 women, 41 learned the TM® technique, and the rest served as the control group. After practicing the TM technique twice a day for three months, the study participants improved their ability to cope with difficult life challenges. Although Dr. Goldstein graduated in 2014, her study didn’t end. She and her team followed up with additional questionnaires after eight months and then again in three years.

The long-term results indicated that the women enjoyed improved health, better relationships with others, and increased employment rates. “That’s what has made the study so powerful, that the participants were still regular with their TM practice and getting benefits,” said Dr. Goldstein.

Dr. Goldstein is now on the advisory board of AWAGO and coordinates special projects. Her current focus is to help implement a community business model, possibly organic agriculture, so the women could live together peacefully and generate income to take care of their children.

Dr. Goldstein was a member of the graduating class of MIU in 1977 and since then has earned two master’s degrees and a PhD from MUM. She has also worked in various positions at MUM. She hopes to conduct further research on the effect of the TM technique on women. “I have real affinity towards working with women, especially in Africa,” she said. “I feel a kindred connection with these women and the culture.”

Co-authors of the study were Drs. Sanford Nidich, Rachel Goodman, and David Goodman. This research was supported by funding from the Rona and Jeffrey Abramson Foundation, and Dr. Rick and Jean Mofsen.

Watch a short video about Leslee’s research here.

Nicole Winning—Finding Joy in Life

Nicole Winning—Finding Joy in Life

MUM alumna Nicole Winning


Working at the Bethesda TM Center in 2014


With fellow students at a TM retreat on the Mother Divine campus


Doing performance art at her solo show called “Un Govern Able Spaces” in Gallery 244 at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

MUM alumna Nicole Winning is currently pursuing an MFA degree at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and exhibiting her art around the country. During the past year, her work has been included in 20 shows in 12 states, including two solo exhibits.

Nicole’s days are jam-packed with working in the art studio and pursuing two part-time jobs. Nevertheless, she always finds time to practice the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® programs twice a day, which keep her recharged. “My daily TM practice is the only way I feel I can accomplish as much as I do without burning out,” she says.

Nicole earned her undergraduate degree in art from the University of Mary Washington in her hometown of Fredericksburg, Virginia. She is also a certified Hatha Yoga teacher, having taught yoga at retreat centers in the U.S. and abroad.

She learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique in 2014 and soon after was offered a job as administrator of the Transcendental Meditation Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Listening to the variety of guest speakers coming to the Center from Fairfield, Nicole became increasingly interested in Yogic Flying® and Maharishi Vedic ScienceSM, and nine months later she enrolled at MUM.

During her two years at MUM, Nicole completed the MA in Maharishi Vedic Science program, learned the TM-Sidhi technique, participated in monthly weekend TM retreats, and joined the Invincible America program for three months.

“I have found the most fulfillment at MUM,” said Nicole. “Through these practices, I gained the ability to have access to inner peace and stability and finer levels of awareness of my emotions and my thoughts. I continually see manifestations of greater joy in my life as well.”

After completing her MFA degree, Nicole hopes to pursue a holistic-based career and lifestyle, where the practice of the TM technique, her artistic expression, and bodywork practices seamlessly integrate.

Hemanth Kumar Reddy Mukka—From Agrochemicals to Organic Farming

Hemanth Kumar Reddy Mukka—From Agrochemicals to Organic Farming

MUM student Hemanth Kumar Reddy Mukka


With fellow students in the regenerative organic agriculture course


In the MUM student greenhouse with Farm Managers Kristofor Johnson and Steve McLaskey (left) and fellow students


Studying soil samples in a soil science class

Hemanth Kumar Reddy Mukka worked in the agrochemical industry in India for seven years, selling fertilizers and pesticides to farmers. Now he is a student in MUM’s Regenerative Organic Agriculture Certificate Program. When asked about what inspired him to give up his job and come halfway around the world to study organic agriculture, he said:

“Every time I talked to farmers, they just worried about pests and sprayed what we gave them without knowing about its effect on the environment. They needed to survive and they didn’t have a choice. I didn’t have any alternatives to offer them.”

Hemanth earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and an MBA and pursued a job in agriculture because he wanted to help farmers. But he realized it was time to offer more sustainable solutions. “We need to protect our environment, our soil, and our living organisms,” he said. “If conventional farming continues the way it’s going, we may not have any resources left for the next generation.”

Hemanth was able to enroll at MUM with the help of a full scholarship from the Sarojini Damodaran Foundation, established by Mr. and Mrs. Shibulal. Mr. S.D. Shibulal is one of the co-founders of the global IT giant Infosys. The Foundation offers assistance for higher education and organic farming and collaborates with the Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program (ROAP) at MUM by offering ten full scholarships to economically challenged students from India.

Now that he is learning about biological pest control and soil regeneration, Hemanth feels he is gaining the knowledge and skills necessary for starting his own organic farm when he returns to India.

“Hemanth is an intelligent student performing well in the class,” said Professor Appachanda Thimmaiah, head of ROAP. “He is keen on understanding regenerative organic agriculture concepts and practices. The nine-month certificate course will be a great learning experience for him to inspire the conventional farmers in India to transition into regenerative farming practices.”

Hemanth enjoys the hands-on, practical nature of the program and the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation®technique. “After practicing for a month, I already have more energy and focus,” he said. “Transcendental Meditation is very good for staying effective the whole day.”

Even though starting an organic farm is challenging, the increasing trends and growing government support towards sustainable agriculture in India keep Hemanth optimistic. “It’s not about the money,” he says, “it’s about saving the planet.”

Pondpat Tohsanguanpun–The Importance of Building a Team

Pondpat Tohsanguanpun–The Importance of Building a Team

MBA student Pondpat Tohsanguanpun


With her family at the Bangkok airport before leaving for Fairfield


With fellow MBA students

Pondpat Tohsanguanpun chose MUM’s MBA for Accounting Professionals Program because her goal was to gain work experience in the U.S. Pondpat earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Thammasat University in Thailand and worked for Ernst & Young Thailand for three years as a senior auditor. When she learned about MUM from a family friend, she decided to apply.

Pondpat says she enjoys studying at MUM for several reasons. She appreciates the diversity of international students and the practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique. “TM helps me develop relationships with people,” she said. “I am happier than ever before. I have grown so much as a person.”

In the accounting program, she has learned that business is not all about the bottom line, and sustainable businesses need to foster collaboration among all their departments. One of her most fulfilling MBA experiences was her participation in the Capstone online business simulation, where her team finished in the 99th percentile.

“I learned how to work in a team, encourage and empower team members, and make them accountable,” she said. “If you invest in people, they will give favorable results in return.”

She also had a chance to practice her payroll skills during a five-month internship with Vanguard Resource Group in Fairfield. After finishing her on-campus studies, Pondpat hopes to find a paid internship in auditing.

“Pondpat has consistently impressed me with her solid technical skills, focused friendly interpersonal manner, and alert and happy personality,” said Professor Andrew Bargerstock, chair of the Accounting Department. “I am very confident that she will achieve great things in her life.”

Pondpat sees the future of accounting moving towards increased computerization, so her long-term goal is to specialize in integrated financial management software such as the SAP enterprise resource planning software, which is one of the Accounting MBA specializations at MUM.