Dylan MacDonald—Pursuing Enlightened Leadership

Dylan MacDonald—Pursuing Enlightened Leadership

April 25, 2022 • ISSUE 620

Dylan MacDonald

Pursuing Enlightened Leadership

MIU student Dylan MacDonald was working on a banana farm in Australia when he learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique. Now he is one of four recipients of the new Enlightened Leadership Program scholarship.
Dylan grew up in the United States, had a troubled youth, and lacked direction. But then he began reading religious texts and practicing meditation. The more he learned, the more he wanted to follow a spiritual path. Looking for a fresh start, he moved to Australia. He had heard about the TM technique before, and when he learned it two years ago he knew he had arrived at the end of his quest. “I realized that I wanted to teach TM and help others,” he said.

Working on a banana farm in Australia

Soon he changed jobs and started working with the disabled and the elderly. He spent all of his free time volunteering for the Australian TM® organization, helping to organize courses and retreats. Last summer he heard about the Enlightened Leadership Program at MIU. Although higher education was not on his mind, he felt compelled to pursue it. He applied, got accepted, and a few weeks later arrived on campus.
“It’s been amazing,” he said. “For the first time in my life, I feel fulfilled by my education and the knowledge I am learning.” Dylan in majoring in a new track, Enlightened Leadership, which aims to train students for leadership roles in the TM organization by offering courses in Maharishi Vedic Science℠, management, and business.

With friends during the TM-Sidhi course

Last winter Dylan also completed the TM®-Sidhi program and has enjoyed attending the group practice in the Golden Domes. In his free time Dylan studies Mandarin and wants to be able to teach the TM technique in both English and Mandarin.

Kendra Morrison — Finding Inspiration in Community

Kendra Morrison — Finding Inspiration in Community

April 18, 2022 • ISSUE 619

Kendra Morrison

Finding Inspiration in Community

MIU film student Kendra Morrison grew up in Daytona, Florida. Her interest in photography developed early in childhood and manifested in making home movies with her siblings. In her senior year of high school she decided to become a filmmaker. She has studied cinematography on her own and learned graphic design through an internship.
When she saw an ad for MIU, she became intrigued by the film department and the Transcendental Meditation® program. She joined the online Cinematic Arts and New Media program in the summer of 2020 and moved to campus six months later.

Acting as the talent in the Film Equipment Mastery class

“It’s great to have all the resources, time, and people to work with on your projects,” she said. “Everything we need is available to make a movie.” Kendra has already made several experimental short films, including a music video.
Kendra enjoys trying her hand at various other forms of media, including graphic design and digital music production. She also loves collaborating with classmates and people from the Fairfield creative community. “I like doing film because I want to empower people and build communities,” she said.

Getting ready to shoot a short film last summer

The Transcendental Meditation technique has helped Kendra find inner peace and balance in life. “TM helps me remember that everything is all right, and it keeps my head clear so I am more open to inspiration.”
Kendra is now focusing on practicing her screenwriting skills while working on several story ideas in various genres, such as Western, television, and mockumentary. She gathers inspiration from the people she meets, as well as from her family history. “I like to develop characters first and let the action emerge from the characters,” she said. Kendra also wants to make more music videos with local artists and return to her childhood hobby of songwriting.

Chris Kein — Passion for Learning and Mentoring

Chris Kein — Passion for Learning and Mentoring

April 11, 2022 • ISSUE 618

Chris Kein

Passion for Learning and Mentoring

MIU alumnus Chris Kein is the director of Information Systems and Technology at AITACS, an international IT service company, where he oversees business development, delivery, and new product development. His job involves traveling in North America in search of new projects, clients, and talent.
A native of Singapore, Chris earned his MBA from the University of Missouri and started his first IT company in 1997. Since then he has worked for various IT companies in a variety of leadership roles in the US and Southeast Asia.
Among Chris’s passions are lifelong learning and self-improvement, and he strives to stay up to date in his field by taking courses and earning new certifications. In 2008 he decided to get his second MBA to “upgrade his skillset.”

With his colleagues at AITACS

As a result of his interest in personal development he had known about Maharishi and the Transcendental Meditation® technique, so he decided to enroll in MIU’s MBA in Accounting Program. He learned the TM® and TM-Sidhi® programs and enjoyed his stay in Fairfield.
“When you are getting older, you experience more pressure in life,” he said. “I notice how TM reduces stress and anxiety and improves relationships with co-workers. It has also increased my job satisfaction, performance, and productivity.”

Planting a tree with the prime minister of Singapore

Chris is also passionate about training and mentoring young graduates. Over his career he has recruited dozens of people out of college and helped them integrate into their work environment and grow their careers. He has continued to nurture his relationships with his mentees as they moved up to more senior positions.
“I try to learn from other people, and I get great ideas from young people from different cultures,” he said. “It improves what I am doing.”
Chris believes in living a contented life and creating a positive impact not only for himself but for others.

Patrick Gillam — Effective Communication through Personal Transformation

Patrick Gillam — Effective Communication through Personal Transformation

April 4, 2022 • ISSUE 617

Patrick Gillam

Effective Communication through Personal Transformation

MIU alumnus Patrick Gillam calls himself a “message guide” and specializes in marketing and copywriting for software companies.
Patrick grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa. After his freshman year at the University of Iowa, Patrick learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique, and his life took a radical turn for the better. He determined to become a teacher of the TM® technique and then transfer to MIU.
“I chose MIU because I wanted to contribute to an institution that would have long-term impact on the welfare of the nation and the world,” he said. Patrick earned a BA in business in 1981 and then went on to obtain an MA in journalism with an emphasis in advertising copywriting from the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he also taught the TM technique.
Patrick began his career at a small ad agency in Saint Louis. He then moved to New Hampshire and worked for several ad agencies as well as a software company. He has developed marketing campaigns for a variety of industries in every media, ranging from brochures to television.

Patrick (left) and friend John Paul Small ’80 (right) hiking in Mount Monadnock, Dublin, New Hampshire, 2019

Now he runs his own copywriting consultancy, focusing on business-to-business marketing. He has built his life around personal transformation and strives to support clients who aim to transform their fields. He feels that his education at MIU has prepared him well for a constantly changing and ever-evolving industry.
“The only way an educational institution can help its students is to teach them how to grow, learn, and adapt,” said Patrick, “and for that purpose, MIU has been supremely successful.”
Patrick’s work practice revolves around the idea of responding to invitations. “If someone asks something of me, it opens up channels, and the knowledge and creativity flow,” he said.
In his free time Patrick serves on the board of a local Waldorf school and enjoys walking the New England countryside with his dog and friends.