Chevonne Height—Student Government President

Chevonne Height—Student Government President

MUM Student Body President Chevonne Height

With fellow participants on the
TM-Sidhi course

With classmates during the Hawaiian Laboratory for Deep Sustainability & Transformative Leadership course

Chevonne Height, MUM Student Government president, was one of 100 undergraduate students to attend the recent Forté Women of Color College Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. The purpose of the conference was to empower women of color, and she was selected based in part on an essay she wrote.

Chevonne grew up in Chicago and for four years suffered from depression. After conquering her depression, she decided to get involved in student activities as a way to facilitate her social interactions. She founded student government in her high school and served for three years in various positions, culminating in the role of president her senior year.

Her experience with depression also made her passionate about combating social and emotional disorders. She created an annual peace day event at her school to protest the violence in Chicago and raise awareness about depression, anxiety, and PTSD among students.

When looking for a college, Chevonne wanted to focus on her personal growth, so when she saw an ad for MUM on Facebook, she applied. During her first semester, she completed the TM®-Sidhi program and plans to become a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation® program.

“I enjoy practicing TM,” she said. “It changed my interactions with others because it allowed me to be more open and more social.” She also said the Transcendental Meditation technique significantly improved her scoliosis.

Chevonne is creating an individualized major focusing on the social dynamics of consciousness as well as on the Vedic approach to mental health. With Student Government, she is working on several proposals for initiatives, including a five-acre habitat for bees and other pollinators near the new MUM solar array north of campus.

After graduating, Chevonne plans to write and speak about social, emotional, and behavioral disorders as catalysts for spiritual growth and open a chain of community centers to support people with these disorders.

Top Industry Professionals Join MUM Board of Trustees

Top Industry Professionals Join MUM Board of Trustees

Scott Gould


Michael Heinrich


Steve Langerud


Ken Daley
(photos by Ken West)

A former government official, a top tech consultant, and an expert on career development have recently joined MUM’s Board of Trustees.

The new members include Scott Gould, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration, who has also held top positions in the Department of Commerce and the Department of Treasury. His extensive business experience includes being a vice president at IBM. He is currently CEO of Mountain Lake Associates, a technology enabled medical services firm.

Dr. Gould hopes to apply the strategic and financial skills he developed during his career as a management consultant and business owner to the challenge of growing the university. As a 26-year veteran of the Navy Reserves, he also expects to serve as a resource for students contemplating public service in the military, as well as in federal, state, or local government.

Educated at Stanford, Harvard, and the University of California, Berkeley, Michael Heinrich started his career in technical product management and engineering at Microsoft and at SAP, the world leader in providing software for businesses. He has also worked for Bain & Co, providing consulting for Fortune 500 companies, and for Bridgewater Associates, a leading hedge fund. Most recently he’s been involved with several startups, including being founder and CEO of Oh My Green, which offers affordable, tasty, and nutritious foods for companies such as Google and Lyft.

Steve Langerud is a workplace culture consultant who works with people developing their career, professional, and organizational strategy. He is regularly cited for his expertise by the media, including MarketWatch, NPR, Christian Science Monitor, and The New York Times.

Mr. Langerud has held leadership roles at Grinnell College, the University of Iowa, and DePauw University. More recently, he was with MUM for five years as deputy director of global development, acting dean of admissions, and senior adviser to the university.

In addition to these new trustees, faculty member Ken Daleywas voted onto the board by the faculty to serve an ex-officio, one-year appointment. He has headed the Department of Exercise and Sport Science for over 30 years.

Mr. Daley has directed a two-year, $100,000 wellness grant received by the Jefferson County Wellness Action Coalition, served as president of the Iowa Association for Health, Physical Education, and Dance, and served as the executive director of that organization for six years.

“It is heartening to see such extraordinary talent, experience, and dynamism added to the Board of Trustees of Maharishi University of Management,” said MUM president Dr. John Hagelin. “MUM is in a phase of explosive growth, and will benefit greatly from fresh perspectives and world-class guidance from the board.”

Board chair Jeffrey Abramson said MUM will be adding more trustees over the next year or two, including alumni and members of the Fairfield community, with a goal of reflecting the great diversity of the global reach of MUM.

Jesse Bryant—Applying Vedic Knowledge to Agriculture

Jesse Bryant—Applying Vedic Knowledge to Agriculture

MUM student Jesse Bryant


Working on the construction of the community building at Bhrugu Aranya ecovillage in Poland


With members of the ecovillage and Professor Thimmaiah

MUM student Jesse Bryant hails from the small town of McPherson, Kansas, where he grew up helping in the family vegetable garden and working summer jobs on surrounding farms. After finishing high school, Jesse served in the US Army for five years.

In 2014 Jesse’s father persuaded the whole family to learn the Transcendental Meditation® technique. Jesse noticed several immediate benefits. “TM helped me sleep better and helped me concentrate,” he said. “It made me calmer and made it easier to see things the way they are without interjecting my own feelings and thoughts.” Inspired by his experience, Jesse wanted to learn more about the TM® technique, so he applied to MUM. During his first semester, he completed the TM-Sidhi® program.

Following his interest in organic farming, Jesse majored in sustainable living. In addition to studying organic agriculture, he took classes in renewable energy and natural building. During an MUM break, he also attended a straw bale building workshop in Oklahoma.

His favorite experience was learning about traditional Indian recipes for organic compost, soil fertilizer, and pest repellents from Dr. Thimmaiah, professor of regenerative agriculture. Jesse became intrigued with the application of Vedic knowledge to agriculture, and spent his free time in the library combing through texts of the Vedic literature.

On the recommendation of Professor Thimmaiah, Jesse did a four-week internship in the Bhrugu Aranya ecovillage in Poland, where residents practice the Vedic custom of Agnihotra fire ceremony to purify the atmosphere and enhance the soil with the ashes from the fire. In addition to working in the garden and greenhouse, Jesse helped with the construction of a building made with straw and clay. “I think that the internship served my studies very well, and it may indeed be the perfect ending note to my degree in sustainable living,” he said.

Kenichi Suzuki—Applying Maharishi’s Knowledge to the Political Sphere

Kenichi Suzuki—Applying Maharishi’s Knowledge to the Political Sphere

Kenichi Suzuki (right) with former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama


Working with Margaret Thatcher


Giving a talk at the 2018 ICAPP in Tehran


With son Seiji and wife Tokomo

MUM alumnus Kenichi Suzuki serves as the assistant general manager of the Communication Department of the Democratic Party for the People in Japan. He recently published an article in The Diplomat, an international current affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific region. His article highlights how South Korea’s National Security Advisor played a key role in the recent North Korea summits.

Kenichi developed an interest in politics as a teenager, and pursued it with the conviction that politics is a means to creating an ideal government that positively affects people’s lives in the direction of improved health, happiness, and prosperity. He came to MIU to study government in the light of Maharishi’s knowledge and to follow a healthy lifestyle, including the practice of the Transcendental Meditation®technique. He graduated with a BA in government in 1994.

During his time at MIU he interned with Iowa’s US Senator Chuck Grassley and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. In 1996 he obtained an MA in sociology from the University of Essex.

For more than 20 years he has been devoted to establishing a two-party democratic political system in Japan and has worked for numerous political leaders, including former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. Kenichi says he strives to follow Maharishi’s advice and maintain “purity of heart” and use his career as a vehicle of service to follow his dharma.

In recent years, he has been involved with the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), which Kenichi describes as “Asia’s largest political forum, and a place where political leaders can speak freely about issues toward its ultimate goal of an Asian community.”

Kenichi appreciates the network of people he developed through MUM and how they helped him in his career. He is also grateful for how the TM® technique supports his everyday life. “TM helps to bring me confidence in my mind,” he said. “This, in turn, enables me to keep trying new things and yet keeps me calm in the midst of such activity. This is because my consciousness can experience the unified field of natural law through TM.”

Kenichi’s wife Tomoko, an MUM alumna with a BA in psychology, helps him in his political work, and their 12-year-old son Seiji enjoys discussing politics.

Zara Colazio — Promoting a Comprehensive System of Health Education

Zara Colazio — Promoting a Comprehensive System of Health Education

MUM alumna Zara Colazio giving her presentation at the 2018 Senior Project Honors Competition
(photo by Ken West)


Co-teaching a self-defense class at MUM


Zara in the microbiology class lab

Zara Colazio came to MUM in the fall of 2016 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science within two years. She studied Maharishi AyurVedaSM and wrote her senior project on the positive effect of Ayurveda on menstrual health, which became the winner at the 2018 Senior Project Honors Competition.

Zara has always had a passion for health and an interest in the human body. Growing up in the mountains of Colorado, she enjoyed hiking and participated in competitive horseback trail riding, swimming, soccer, lacrosse, track and field, powerlifting, and other sports.

She wanted to become a naturopathic doctor, so she started taking college level classes in high school. By the time she graduated from high school, she had earned two associate degrees through the Colorado Early Colleges program.

In her senior year, she started looking for a college with a holistic approach to education and found MUM. She learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique, attended a Visitors Weekend and, upon meeting the hosts, the students, and the faculty, Zara knew she wanted to study at MUM.

After learning the TM® technique she noticed an immediate increase in her ability to manage her academic load. At MUM she experienced a leap in personal growth. “Practicing the TM technique as part of the curriculum was the biggest thing I got out of the school and the amount of inner change that I gained from it,” she said.

During her time at MUM, Zara’s interest in health grew into a broader system of health education that includes physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, and sex education. As part of her senior project on women’s health, she taught health education classes at Maharishi School and discovered that the School shares her interest in a comprehensive system of health education. She was hired to help implement a new health curriculum and to teach middle school math, as well as middle school and high school P.E.

In her free time Zara enjoys exercising and competing in sports, such as Jiu Jitsu and pickleball. In the future, she wants to earn a PhD in gender studies and human sexuality.