Jagruti Solanki Receives National CPA Award

Jagruti Solanki Receives National CPA Award

MUM alumna Jagruti Solanki


Jagruti receiving the 2018 Business Development Winner award from Aprio


With her fellow AICPA award recipient Samantha Bowling

MUM alumna Jagruti Solanki received the 2018 Innovative Practitioner Award from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and CPA.com for her role as a pioneer in blockchain accounting at the CPA-led business advisory firm Aprio.

“Since Aprio began working with its first blockchain client over five years ago, Jagruti stepped up and dove deep into the accounting nuances, developing best practices for our blockchain clients,” said Mitchell Kopelman, partner-in-charge of the Technology & Blockchain Practice at Aprio. In recognition of her leadership, Jagruti was promoted to partner on January 1, 2019.

Jagruti was born in India and grew up in Oman. She earned a graduate degree in financial management from the Indira Gandhi National Open University, and joined MUM’s Accounting Professionals MBA in 2006. “Being on the MUM campus was the best eight months of my life,” she said. The practical nature of the program, the stress-free learning environment, and meeting lifelong friends, including her husband, contributed to her positive experience.

Jagruti began her curricular practical training with Aprio in Atlanta, Georgia, and has worked there for the past 11 years. She started to specialize in the accounting and audit of blockchain and cryptocurrency five years ago, when there was no documentation or training available yet. Jagruti taught herself and, along with her team, developed best practices relating to blockchain accounting, audit, tax, regulatory, valuation, and cyber risk considerations. Today she speaks at blockchain conferences across the U.S.

What she enjoys most about working with technology companies are the learning opportunities that come with dealing with a constantly evolving field. She finds her practice of the TM® technique useful for coping with the stress resulting from the high demands of her job.

“The TM technique is the biggest asset we have gained at MUM,” she said. “It has helped me understand the importance of proper work-life balance — that sometimes you need to take a step back and slow down. That’s what TM does for me.”

Jagruti is proud of receiving the AICPA award as a non-native woman in a male-dominant industry. She is also eager to support fellow MUM alumni and has helped place an MBA student at Aprio.

Shiana Tea—From Software Engineer to MBA

Shiana Tea—From Software Engineer to MBA

Shiana Tea, MUM alumna of ’17, in her office at Dresser-Rand/Siemens


With a coworker at the Houston Rodeo Run, an annual benefit race


At a Siemens conference

MUM alumna Shiana Tea graduated from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education) in Mexico with a BE in electronic systems engineering and an MS in automation and control engineering. In 2012 she was offered a software engineering position at Houston-based Dresser-Rand, an engineering and manufacturing company now owned by Siemens.

Shiana had practiced Zen meditation and Qigong and, in 2014, she was introduced to the Transcendental Meditation®technique by a friend. “It was something completely different from other things I have tried before,” she said. “It is really simple and effortless.” Shiana enjoyed her TM® practice and when she decided to study management in 2015, she checked out MUM’s Online MBA in Sustainable Business.

Having been promoted to a leadership position, Shiana wanted to cultivate her managerial skills. She chose MUM because it was ranking high as one of the most valued online MBA programs. She also liked the curriculum that offers a well-rounded education taking into consideration the social, environmental, and human aspects of business management. “The professors were not only good subject matter experts in their respective fields, but they had a holistic approach which made a big difference,” she said.

The managerial skills Shiana gained during her MBA complemented her previous technology-oriented education. She had no previous experience in finance, so she has greatly benefited from the theory and case studies in class, which now enable her to manage a budget.

Shiana was promoted twice in six years and is now an engineering manager, overseeing a team of 27 people. Last year she was selected to participate in a one-year leadership training at Siemens as one of their top talents. In the future, she plans to further improve her leadership skills to motivate people and help them grow.

New Study on TM and PTSD Published in The Lancet Psychiatry

New Study on TM and PTSD Published in The Lancet Psychiatry

PTSD affects 10 to 20 percent of veterans


The graph shows improvement in overall PTSD symptoms and depression for each treatment group. The findings indicated significant reductions in PTSD symptoms and depression for the TM group compared to health exposure; and ‘non-inferiority’ between TM and prolonged exposure, indicating that TM was comparable to prolonged exposure in reducing PTSD symptoms and depression. (see larger view)


Findings indicated that 61 percent of the veterans assigned to learn and practice the TM technique experienced clinically meaningful improvement in PTSD symptoms, compared to 42 percent with prolonged exposure therapy, and 32 percent with health education. Clinically meaningful improvement is defined as a reduction of 10 or more points on the CAPS PTSD scale. (see larger view)


Sanford Nidich, EdD, director of the Center for Social-Emotional Health and Consciousness at Maharishi University of Management Research Institute

Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who practiced the Transcendental Meditation® technique showed significant reductions in PTSD symptoms comparable to veterans who utilized a gold standard prolonged exposure therapy, according to a new study published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal. Both Transcendental Meditation and exposure therapy treatments were significantly more effective than the PTSD health education control group.

Major news outlets around the world covered the findings. The Associated Press (AP) story was picked up by The New York TimesThe Washington Post, NBC News, and ABC News.

The randomized controlled trial assigned a total of 203 veterans at the VA San Diego Healthcare System to prolonged exposure, Transcendental Meditation, or health education control groups. Each treatment provided 12 sessions over 12 weeks, with daily home practice. The objective of the study was to compare TM to prolonged exposure in a non-inferiority clinical trial, and to compare both to an attention control of health education.

Findings indicated that 61 percent of the veterans assigned to Transcendental Meditation experienced clinically meaningful improvement in PTSD symptoms, compared to 42 percent with prolonged exposure and 32 percent with health education. Results further indicated significant reductions in depression and mood disturbance and improved quality of life for TM® compared to health education controls.

“PTSD is a complex and difficult-to-treat disorder that affects 10 to 20 percent of veterans,” said Sanford Nidich, EdD, director of the Center for Social-Emotional Health and Consciousness at Maharishi University of Management Research Institute and the study’s principal investigator. “This trial provides evidence that Transcendental Meditation, a non-trauma-focused therapy, is a viable option for decreasing PTSD symptoms in veterans. The availability of an additional evidence-based PTSD therapy will benefit patients both by offering them a greater range of first-line treatment options and by serving as an alternative treatment strategy for those not responding to exposure-based PTSD therapy.”

The Department of Defense, US Army Medical Research, sponsored the study for $2.4 million. The VA San Diego Healthcare System, The University of California San Diego School of Medicine, Georgetown University Medical School, and Maharishi University of Management Research Institute collaborated on the trial. Other MUM coauthors included Maxwell Rainforth, Robert Schneider, John Salerno, and Carolyn Gaylord-King.

Jessica Hernandez—Growing and Making Medicinal Foods

Jessica Hernandez—Growing and Making Medicinal Foods

MUM alumna Jessica Hernandez


Adding wood chips to the manure spreader to make organic compost using the MUM cafeteria food waste


Using a “persuader” to pound out air pockets in a straw bale wall at the MUM sustainable living shed


Meeting a calf on a farm during a class visit

MUM alumna Jessica Hernandez recently completed her studies at MUM and published her senior project paper on the medicinal uses of 10 Iowa herbs in the International Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Jessica came to MUM from San Antonio, Texas, because she was drawn to learning the Transcendental Meditation®technique and liked the idea of studying one subject at a time with MUM’s block system. She appreciated the integration of the TM® technique into the daily routine. “It’s very valuable to sit in silence with other people,” she said. “It is powerful because it gives the physiology and the mind the chance to settle down and alleviate some of the stress.”

As a teenager, Jessica developed a passion for growing healthy food and cooking, so she decided to study sustainable living at MUM. “My favorite part was the hands-on experience because it’s so engaging and interactive that you don’t forget what you have learned, and it makes you want to learn more,” she said.

To get sufficient practice in organic farming, Jessica did internships at the MUM Student Farms greenhouse and a local business called Earth Wisdom. She also took a break from school to manage an almond orchard, work at a fermented food business, and take culinary classes at a community college in California.

For her senior project, she researched the benefits of 10 common culinary herbs, including basil, chamomile, lavender, and mint. Her paper describes the history and origin of each plant as well as their medicinal uses and lists the advantages of cultivating these herbs in Iowa.

Jessica feels confident about the knowledge and skills she gained at MUM and is excited to build her own food business based on her experience in organic agriculture, culinary arts, and the healing properties of foods.