Katie Farrell Rogers Pursuing Leadership Development

Katie Farrell Rogers Pursuing Leadership Development

December 20, 2021 • ISSUE 602

Katie Farrell Rogers

Pursuing Leadership Development

Katie Farrell Rogers is a registered dietitian, with a specialty in diabetes care and education, who works as a clinical district manager for a medical device company in the Seattle, Washington, area.
 
When her mother died of Alzheimer’s disease, Katie decided to challenge her brain by enrolling in a master’s program. Her sister found MIU’s website and shared it with Katie. While combing through the website, Katie discovered the online MA in Leadership and Workplace Conflict Resolution program and applied.
 
She wanted to enjoy the learning experience and hoped the classes in communication, negotiation, coaching, and mediation would also be useful in her job. She wasn’t disappointed—she has been able to tackle challenges in her personal and professional life using what she has learned.
 
“The program is more than I ever imaged it would be,” she said. “The expectation is that you are going to participate in the class, and it’s not just a professor lecturing. Hearing the experiences of other people helps the material cement into your brain.”
 
She was also pleasantly surprised that she was able to make friends with her classmates. She invited them to a five-day stay at her family’s vacation home on Anderson Island in Washington State, where they hiked, practiced yoga, and meditated together.

With her classmates at her family’s vacation home, from left to right: Meagan Anderson, Katie Snyder, Darcy Wright, Katie Rogers, Jenny O’Laughlin, Asha Bawden

The practice of the Transcendental Meditation® program has helped Katie become more introspective and access deeper levels of her mind. “I get ideas or solutions to problems that have been plaguing me,” she said.
 
Although she was primarily looking for personal development at MIU, the program has inspired her to seek opportunities for leadership development and organizational design within her current company. She began networking with the education branch and will be giving a presentation on unconscious biases at an upcoming leadership development session.
 
In her free time, Katie likes to explore nature in the Pacific Northwest and spend time with her family.

Sunpreet Chohan—Integrating Knowledge with the Self

Sunpreet Chohan—Integrating Knowledge with the Self

December 13, 2021 • ISSUE 601

Sunpreet Chohan

Integrating Knowledge with the Self

MIU student Sunpreet Chohan came to the United States from India as a child with his family, who settled down in Long Island, New York. Sunpreet began a career in banking at the age of 16 and worked his way up from teller to investment banker while earning a bachelor’s degree from Saint John’s University, New York City.
 
Although he spent 15 years in finance, Sunpreet says he didn’t enjoy his profession and often found it stressful. In his free time he had been pursuing the study of Jyotish, Indian astrology, which has been part of his family lineage.
 
When he lost his job due to the the COVID pandemic in 2020, he decided to focus all his attention on the study and practice of Jyotish. One day he saw an ad for MIU on social media and in February 2021 he enrolled in the online MA in Maharishi AyurVeda® and Integrative Medicine Program. Six months later, he became an on-campus student.

With his parents, Manny and Gucci Chohan, and grandparents, Pritam Kaur and Avtar Singh

“Taking the online courses and practicing TM every day sparked something in me,” he said. “I needed to seek the highest first, come to MIU, and enroll in the Maharishi Vedic Science℠ program.”
 
Practicing the Transcendental Meditation® technique has helped Sunpreet discover deeper layers of Jyotish through his experience of higher states of consciousness. “I always knew something was missing,” he said. “You have to establish yourself in the Self before taking action.”
 
One of the reasons Sunpreet came to MIU is to complete the TM-Sidhi® program, which he began in early December. Since he became a student, his parents have also learned the TM® technique. “After all their sacrifices as immigrants, this is the best way I can repay them,” he said.
 
Sunpreet enjoys sharing his knowledge, and his goal is to enhance the knowledge of Jyotish and help raise collective consciousness through the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs, including Yogic Flying®.

Najeeb Najeeb—Robotics and Self-Driving Cars

Najeeb Najeeb—Robotics and Self-Driving Cars

December 6, 2021 • ISSUE 600

Najeeb Najeeb

Robotics and Self-Driving Cars

MIU alumnus Najeeb Najeeb recently rejoined MIU faculty after completing his PhD in robotics and spending two years working on self-driving cars in California.
 
Associate Professor Najeeb earned his undergraduate degree in computer science from the University of Baghdad and worked in software and web development for five years in Iraq.
 
In 2006 he heard about the practical approach of MIU’s ComPro Program from a friend and applied. He began his studies in 2007 and, when he finished his on-campus courses, the Computer Science Department asked him to join as a faculty member.

Celebrating his birthday on campus with fellow students

He found his studies in robotics as much play as work, and in the process he realized he had gained a competitive advantage at MIU. “I was able to get more done than my peers because I got my eight hours of sleep and my TM practice,” he said. “I was more awake in class, which made me more effective.”
 
Professor Najeeb completed his doctorate degree in four years. He wrote his dissertation on a no-prior-knowledge-based algorithm for near optimal wireless power transfer from a drone to an underground sensor, and then implemented and demonstrated his work. The algorithm he wrote has several implementations, one of which enabled an agricultural drone to more efficiently charge the batteries of a sensory network in a drip irrigation system, saving time and energy.

With colleague and mentor, Professor Clyde Ruby

Professor Najeeb completed his doctorate degree in four years. He wrote his dissertation on a no-prior-knowledge-based algorithm for near optimal wireless power transfer from a drone to an underground sensor, and then implemented and demonstrated his work. The algorithm he wrote has several implementations, one of which enabled an agricultural drone to more efficiently charge the batteries of a sensory network in a drip irrigation system, saving time and energy.
 
He wanted to continue working in robotics, and he chose the most exciting area in the field: autonomous vehicles. He accepted a job at the self-driving car company Cruise in San Francisco. “It felt like playing a video game,” he said. “I was able to test the results of the lines of code I wrote.”
 
In 2020 Professor Najeeb accepted an invitation from MIU to return to Fairfield and now teaches courses in web and enterprise applications.

Aliko Foster—Transcending Limitations

Aliko Foster—Transcending Limitations

December 2, 2021 • ISSUE 599

Aliko Foster

Transcending Limitations

MIU student Aliko Foster had a career in information technology until 12 years ago, when an undiagnosed medical condition left him without his memory and ability to speak. During the next several years, Aliko had to relearn how to speak, study, and remember.
 
Not having much memory of his previous life, he decided to explore the new field of sustainable agriculture at Victor Valley College, California, where he lived at the time. A few years later, he spent 18 months traveling the country with an RV, then settled down in Roswell, New Mexico.
 
In 2021 he decided to relocate to the Midwest. When looking for homes on Zillow, he discovered Fairfield and MIU and became intrigued by both. After sufficient research and a brief reconnaissance mission, he and his partner, Catherine, sold their house in New Mexico and bought one in Fairfield.

On the set of his upcoming movie

They arrived in June, and soon Aliko enrolled at MIU. One of the first classes he took was in cinematography, where he discovered an affinity for filmmaking, a medium which allows him to express his creativity and quirky sense of humor. He enjoys creating entertaining and uplifting short movies for social media.
 
Even before arriving in Fairfield, Aliko and Catherine began following an ayurvedic diet, which helped him lose weight and improve his health. Learning the Transcendental Meditation® technique allowed him to change his outlook on life completely.
 
“When you are 58 years old with a memory problem, you don’t look at the future as something positive,” said Aliko. “I felt like I was done, but when I learned the TM technique, the limitations went away and everything became possible. Now I feel like I still have great things to do.”
 
After completing his bachelor’s degree Aliko wants to pursue a master’s degree in consciousness and human potential.

Muhyieddin Al-Tarawneh—Defragmenting the Mind with TM

Muhyieddin Al-Tarawneh—Defragmenting the Mind with TM

November 24, 2021 • ISSUE 598

Muhyieddin Al-Tarawneh

Defragmenting the Mind with TM

Muhyieddin Al-Tarawneh is one of MIU’s newest faculty members in the MS in Computer Science Program, with a PhD in the implementation of machine learning algorithms over permissioned blockchains.
 
Dr. Al-Tarawneh was born in the US while his Jordanian father pursued his PhD degree and worked in the US. Inspired by his father, he had wanted to become a professor since the age of 12. He started coding while in school, and when his family moved to Jordan, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer information systems from Mutah University and Middle East University, Jordan, respectively.

At his PhD graduation at the University of Jordan

For several years he taught computer science courses at various universities in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, then began his PhD at the University of Jordan. Pursuing his doctorate degree as well as having a teaching position and several freelance jobs on the side had caused him to feel overwhelmed with life. He felt the need to defragment his mind. That’s when he heard about MIU and the Transcendental Meditation® program from a friend.
 
He browsed MIU’s website and applied for a teaching position. He arrived in January 2020 and, while teaching courses, he finished his PhD dissertation and has also written several papers.

With his father, Dr. Khaled Altarawneh

Professor Al-Tarawneh was delighted to discover that the TM® technique has helped him defragment his mind, sleep better, enjoy life more, and accomplish more. “Ever since I started practicing the TM technique I feel a self-organization is happening,” he said. “Meditation is like emptying the cache in my mind; it takes out the stress.”
 
He has also embraced MIU’s block system for his life. He gives his full attention to his students while teaching and focuses on his research when he is not teaching.
 
Professor Al-Tarawneh’s interests include machine learning and data science, and he is collaborating on research with various colleagues around the world. In 2020 he received the Wege Faculty Award from MIU.