MIU Changemakers Launch Podcast

MIU Changemakers Launch Podcast

The MIU podcast team, from left to right: Michael Sternfeld, Paul Morehead Jr., Jeremy Erdman, Jessica Mauro, Zack Bourque, and Virginia Lagunas

The poster for the first episode

Dr. Harry Grammer, the guest of the first show

A team of MIU students created a new podcast with the goal of spreading the word about MIU and highlighting powerful and significant changemakers across the globe. Called Mighty Fine Changemakers, the podcast plans to explore topics such as self-development, transformation of consciousness, and human evolution, featuring interviews with changemaking visionaries, inspiring artists, and brilliant thought leaders.

The show’s first guest was Dr. Harry Grammer, a nationwide activist and educator. He founded the community-based organization New Earth in 2004 and is helping to reform the justice system in Los Angeles County, California. In 2018 he was selected as one of 20 inaugural Obama Foundation Fellows from over 20,000 applicants in 191 countries.

New Earth runs education and counseling programs in detention centers, probation detention camps, and group homes, as well as the John Muir Charter School in partnership with YouthBuild USA. New Earth’s programs have reduced recidivism rates from 69 percent to 5 percent for full participants. Dr. Grammer’s interview was titled “Standing in Your Soul Truth.”

“One of the most impactful areas Dr. Grammer touched on was how you don’t wake up and say, ‘oh, there’s truth,’” said Paul Morehead Jr., “and how it takes a commitment to the discovery of an inner journey and sifting through layers of those stories within us.”

The idea for the podcast came from student Melanie Telego during an Open Space brainstorming event in March. As the COVID-19 lockdown hit the country, the timeliness of the podcast became apparent.

“We have plenty of ideas for future topics and guests,” said Jessica Mauro. “Whether it be topics of self-transformation and understanding trauma, sustainability and eco-friendly projects, the transformation of the prison and judicial systems, we all share the same passion for transforming ourselves as well as the world around us, and therefore seek out those guests who share that same value, no matter what field of work they apply it to.”

The podcast team includes students Jessica Mauro, Jeremy Erdman, Virginia Lagunas, Zack Bourque, along with adjunct faculty member Paul Morehead Jr., and MIU Changmakers liaison Michael Sternfeld.

The Mighty Fine Changemakers Podcast is available in iTunes, Spotify, and on MIU’s YouTube Channel, and is a collaboration with the David Lynch Foundation. Watch the episode with Dr. Grammer here.

Gareth Wallace—The Entrepreneurial Manager

Gareth Wallace—The Entrepreneurial Manager

MIU alumnus Peter Gareth Wallace

The Wallace family in India (from left to right: Gareth, Lila, Keith, Samantha, and Ted)

Gareth with his daughter, Tiana

MIU alumnus Peter Gareth Wallace recently began a new position at Aeron Lifestyle Technologies as manager of business development at their Fairfield headquarters.

Gareth received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from MIU and later his PhD in business management. During his studies, he spent several years in Europe researching his PhD dissertation as well as working with his father, Robert Keith Wallace, and brother, Ted Wallace, on various projects for Maharishi’s international organization.

He then worked for Maharishi Ayurveda Products International as director of project management, and oversaw the launch of a new brand of aromatherapy and cosmetic products for the German company Ayus.

Over the past five years Gareth has worked with several Fairfield-based companies. He helped increase sales for Overland Sheepskin as e-commerce operations manager, managed factory operations for Heavenly Organics, and oversaw marketing and e-commerce for Amrita Aromatherapy.

Gareth is interested in entrepreneurship, and he was able to gain experience in many areas of business while working for start-ups as well as small and midsize companies.

“There are a lot of areas of business I enjoy, including business operations, e-commerce, and marketing,” said Gareth. “I like working in a team and collaborating. It’s also nice to work for companies that add value to people’s lives.”

Gareth is also a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation® technique and taught the TM® technique in Guyana and Suriname for the David Lynch Foundation. His long-term practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi® programs has helped him in his managerial roles.

“When you work long hours as a business developer, meditation is critical,” he said. “It’s been a very useful technique to be more rested and help with the stress and pressure of being in business.”

In his current role, Gareth is looking forward to helping the company grow, working with their private label customers, and meeting the challenge of navigating the uncertainties of retail markets during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Molly Duff Receives Full Scholarship for MFA Program

Molly Duff Receives Full Scholarship for MFA Program

MIU graduate Molly Duff

Working in the studio at MIU

Untitled by Molly Duff

Untitled by Molly Duff

MIU student Molly Duff finished her MA in Studio Art in December and will be attending the MFA program at the University of Southern Florida, Tampa, in the fall. Molly will receive a full scholarship, a paid teaching assistantship, and a stipend for the entire length of the program.

Molly studied printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After getting her undergraduate degree in 2016, she completed a 200-hour yoga teacher certification program in Costa Rica. That was her first exposure to Vedic science and Ayurveda, and when she saw an ad for MIU, she became curious.

In 2018 she decided to return to school, and MIU’s MA in Studio Art appealed to her. During a Visitors Weekend she met students and faculty and was impressed by the success of previous graduates securing MFA scholarships at prestigious graduate schools.

“The program was fantastic,” she said. “The faculty members are incredibly knowledgeable about art history, as well as the contemporary art world. They do a good job of catering to each individual student and making sure they are exposed to artists that relate to their work.”

Molly was grateful for having her own private studio space, as well as being able to build a portfolio and prepare for her MFA application. She enjoyed the integration of the Transcendental Meditation® technique into the daily routine, which helped her become regular with her practice. “Transcendental Meditation is a beautiful tool for any artist,” said Molly. “It clears your mind and allows you to drop into a creative space.”

In the future Molly would like to teach art and incorporate the philosophy of yoga and the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. “Having TM incorporated into the curriculum offers a lot of growth, especially in the creative field,” she said. “It helps with trusting your intuition and being able to freely explore without inhibitions to find something new that works in creating this artistic language for yourself.”

While staying at home in Michigan during the summer, Molly is leading a yoga teacher certification training for some of the staff and faculty members at MIU.

Heather Carlisle—Integrating Health and Personal Development

Heather Carlisle—Integrating Health and Personal Development

MIU undergraduate Heather Carlisle

With members of the January 2019 TM-Sidhi course (back row center)

With her coworkers from SmartStyle (back row center)

Heather Carlisle is a licensed cosmetologist and massage therapist from Algona, Iowa, with 24 years of experience. Although she lives only four hours away from Fairfield, she had never heard of MIU until ads for the university started showing up on her Facebook feed. She had wanted to get her bachelor’s degree and she found MIU intriguing. She came to a Visitors Weekend in July 2018 and registered two weeks later.

Heather was interested in Maharishi AyurVeda® and decided to create an individualized major, which she called integrated health and personal development. She wanted to incorporate the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® programs into her degree because she really enjoyed attending the group practice on campus.

For her senior project, she completed two months of full-time research in consciousness, systematically documenting the effects of sleep and diet on her meditation. “It was the most wonderful and healing experience that I could ever have,” said Heather. “It was life-changing. I believe that now, in this chaotic world, having a tool to center yourself can shift your entire life experience.”

Heather has completed her courses and is graduating this summer. She has returned to work at a SmartStyle hair salon in Spencer, Iowa, where she was recently promoted to territory manager. She wants to use the knowledge she gained through her degree to develop and empower the employees of the three salons she oversees. “I would like to be able to keep my stylists healthy, and my goal is to bring my boss to MIU,” she said.

While she cannot give health recommendations in the salon, she often shares her own experiences of Ayurveda and MIU with her clients and co-workers. In her massage practice, she is now using the pulse reading technique to assess her clients’ well-being.

Jessica Mauro—Integrating Creativity and Wellness

Jessica Mauro—Integrating Creativity and Wellness

Jessica Mauro

Interviewing Mar Michelle Häusler at the third ChangeMakers event in June 2019 (photo by Werner Elmker)

With fellow student Angel Thordsen and ChangeMaker liaison Michael Sternfeld, attending the Women of Vision Conference in New York City

With the MIU ChangeMakers team

MIU student Jessica Mauro has a wide range of interests, including medicine as well as the visual and performing arts. While studying graphic design and 3D animation at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, she saw an ad for MIU. She was drawn to the university’s Consciousness-BasedSM approach, the integration of the Transcendental Meditation® program in the curriculum, and the focus on the individual student and her learning process.

“I didn’t feel like my goals were attainable by getting a degree from another college,” she said. “Here you can develop yourself and focus on what you want to gain out of the knowledge.”

Jessica is working towards a major in Ayurveda wellness and integrative health and a minor in Maharishi Vedic ScienceSM. Her desire is to facilitate people’s healing through an integrative process of mind/body medicine and empower them to work towards their health goals. In order to do that, she wants to study spiritual counseling after graduating next summer.

As her work-study assignment, Jessica has been involved with the ChangeMakers initiative, helping to organize and host events, design posters, and work on marketing. As a musician and performer, she enjoys producing events, working with fellow students, and being inspired by the guest speakers. Last December she was one of two students rewarded for their contributions with an all-expenses-paid trip to the Women of Vision event produced by the David Lynch Foundation in New York City.

Jessica has always been working on self-development, and finds that both her personal growth and academic performance have been accelerated since coming to MIU. “Consciousness-Based education and TM help me integrate the knowledge I learn in class so I can be proficient with it in the long run,” she said.

In the future, Jessica wants to integrate her creative and artistic pursuits into her career and be able to work as an entrepreneur in all of her professions.