Tyler Wilfley–Teaching and Studying Agriculture at MUM

Tyler Wilfley–Teaching and Studying Agriculture at MUM

MUM student Tyler Wilfley

Walking through the MUM Student Farm with farm manager Kris Johnson

In Thailand with community leaders who helped develop a one-acre permaculture farm

With local Thai men tracking through the jungle for elephants

Tyler Wilfley is a philosophy graduate of Illinois State University who spent four years in the rainforest of Thailand working for a nonprofit organization in sustainable development. He led projects in regenerative agriculture, fresh water systems, community development, and elephant conservation.

When Tyler returned to the US in 2018, he was looking for a university where he could study regenerative agriculture. MUM’s Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program stood out for its comprehensive, hands-on approach. He came to a visitors weekend in September and registered the following Monday.

Based on his experience in leadership and regenerative agriculture, Tyler was offered the position of assistant manager at the MUM Student Farm. In addition, he teaches a course on permaculture once a year while pursuing the part-time MBA program in sustainable business.

“A lot of my work was tied to the idea of social sustainability and how to propagate positive change in communities instead of creating dependency,” said Tyler. “That led me to the environmental sustainability aspect of regenerative agriculture, and the MBA in sustainable business brings it all together—if you don’t know how to run a farm and turn profit to be self-sufficient, you cannot do it.”

Tyler enjoys the supportive atmosphere of MUM and having mentors such as Professor Steve McLaskey, with a lifetime of experience in organic farming, and farm manager Kris Johnson, a fourth-generation Iowa farmer. Tyler is also excited about helping the program grow.

The practice of the Transcendental Meditation® program has helped Tyler become more centered and balanced. “It’s definitely helped reorient how I see things and how I respond to them, especially emotionally,” he said. “I noticed during the first few months that I was juggling a lot of things but I wasn’t stressed out about it. The clarity also helped me become more efficient.”

Computer science students during the 2019 November registration  MS in Computer Science 2nd Largest in Country

Computer science students during the 2019 November registration MS in Computer Science 2nd Largest in Country

Computer science students during the 2019 November registration

Graduating students sharing their experience with new students during the annual ice cream social

Students in class

Members of the 2019 graduating class

According to data just released by the US National Center for Education Statistics, Maharishi University of Management has risen to the number 2 spot nationally among US postsecondary education institutions for the number of master’s degrees in computer science awarded in the 2017-18 academic year (the most recent year for which data is available).

The data comes from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) report submitted to the government each year by all US colleges and universities. Some 230 institutions awarded a computer science master’s degree in 2017-18. In 2016-17, MUM was ranked number 5 nationally in this category.

Holding the number 1 spot was the University of Southern California, with 872 graduates. MUM’s total number of MS in computer science grads that year was 389. This was followed by the University of Central Missouri, 352; Columbia University in New York, 343; and the University of Illinois at Springfield, 338.

The Computer Professionals Program in its current form began in 1996 with 14 students. Since then the program has been growing gradually. Students study on campus for eight to nine months full time, and they spend the remaining time of their enrollment working as practicum students in paid positions at US companies. The money students earn during their practicum allows them to pay their tuition, room, and board. As a result of this format, MUM has attracted high quality international applicants from close to 100 countries so far. At least 98 percent of students are able to find practicum positions in the US.

By the end of the current academic year, June 2020, more than 3,000 students will have graduated with the MS in computer science degree from Maharishi University of Management. With four entries each year, new student enrollment is expected to reach 400 during the current academic year. The Computer Professionals Program is MUM’s largest department with its own recruiting, admissions, academics, placement, and administrative structures.

Ashia Fredeen–Using the Power of Storytelling to Evoke Emotions

Ashia Fredeen–Using the Power of Storytelling to Evoke Emotions

Ashia Fredeen (photo by Haley Spitzfaden)

Ashia on the set of Heroes of Fairfield with (left to right) Jason Strong, director of photography; Tray Good, actor; and Dick DeAngelis, director (photo by Werner Elmker)

With Chad Starling at the Iowa Motion Picture Awards holding the award of achievement for Words of Art

Working in the MUM sound studio

MUM student Ashia Fredeen grew up in British Columbia, Canada, and studied theater at Concordia University in Montreal. Although she grew up practicing the Transcendental Meditation® technique and had known about MUM most of her life, she hadn’t known about MUM’s Media and Communications Program. When she found out in 2017, she applied.

After taking her first film class, she fell in love with the medium. “It was challenging and very rewarding, and I really enjoyed how film connects with people’s emotions,” she said.

Ashia had only been in Fairfield for two months when she volunteered to help Dick DeAngelis on his second movie of the Fairfield History Series. Ashia worked after school serving as first assistant director for the entire length of the production (nine months).

During her second year Ashia started making her own short films, including a documentary short about local artist Chad Starling, called Words of Art, which won an award of achievement at the 2019 Iowa Motion Picture Association Awards.

Ashia is now working on her senior project, which is a documentary about an ayurvedic doctor. Her experience working on the Fairfield History Series has given her confidence to make her own documentaries. She has also gained a lot from MUM’s block system, which allows her to concentrate on developing and mastering essential cinematic skills.

“The elements of consciousness that my teachers bring into my film classes are also really profound,” she said. “We do learn the technical aspects of the craft, but we also talk about how creativity can be subtle, and how through the TM® and TM-Sidhi® programs we are able to connect with ourselves more deeply, and through that we are able to express ourselves more deeply and connect with our audience.”

Ashia’s dream is to tell stories that uplift people and elicit an emotional response, whether through documentaries or fiction.

Andrew Voskov–Small Business Owner Featured in Amazon Video

Andrew Voskov–Small Business Owner Featured in Amazon Video

MUM alumnus Andrew Voskov

With his products at Everybody’s Whole Foods

With former employees

Andrew Voskov’s company was one of three Fairfield businesses recently featured in a video produced by Amazon showcasing small business owners. Andrew was selected because he has a long history with Amazon, having joined in 2011.

Andrew earned an MBA with an emphasis on entrepreneurship from MUM in 2004. He also studied Maharishi AyurVeda® and received a bachelor’s degree in Maharishi Vedic ScienceSM. Andrew had always wanted to run his own business, and his interest in marketing and health led to the development of several health food products, which he started selling in 2006.

His first product was an ayurvedic coffee substitute, followed by herbal teas, spice mixes, and ghee. In addition to Amazon, his products are sold at Everybody’s Whole Foods in Fairfield and on his website, Tasty Superfoods.

Andrew credits MUM for helping him discover his career goals. “MUM is really good at nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit,” he said. “Having the ability to connect with yourself through the Transcendental Meditation technique is really an entrepreneurial pursuit. Entrepreneurship is becoming self-sufficient. My education gave me the clarity to have a direction.”

In today’s competitive and rapidly changing markets, Andrew has learned the importance of innovation and new product development for continued growth and survival. He is currently building a new business with a line of health food products for the expanding ketogenic diet niche.

Creating businesses and inventing products are two of the things Andrew enjoys doing most. His long-term goal is to keep developing new brands, make them successful, and then sell them to investors.

As a serial entrepreneur, he is constantly under pressure to monitor current trends, emerging marketplaces, and fluctuations of supply and demand. “TM is a powerful way of reducing the stress and worry of running a business and getting the mind to focus on what you need for the next level of success,” he said. “It’s an essential tool.”