Sherrie Greenfield Exploring Creativity Through Film

Sherrie Greenfield Exploring Creativity Through Film

May 3, 2021 – Issue 570

Sherrie Greenfield

Exploring Creativity Through Film

MIU student Sherrie Greenfield

MIU student Sherrie Greenfield grew up in a family that has practiced the Transcendental Meditation® technique, and she truly began to appreciate her TM® practice when she was doing sports in high school. “I was always tired, and when I started practicing TM regularly I felt the biggest shift in my performance in sports and school,” she said.

Sherrie heard about MIU when she was looking for a college and came to a Visitors Weekend. Although she decided to enroll at MIU, she also wanted to experience a traditional college, so she attended Portland State University for a semester before joining MIU.

“There is a different feeling at MIU versus any other college,” she said. “The connections you have with people, the depth of the conversations—people aren’t on the surface.”

Working with a classmate at MIU

Sherrie had enjoyed editing videos of her sporting events in high school and decided to major in cinematic arts and new media at MIU. After taking her first class in cinematography, she knew she had made the right choice.

She likes discovering the outdoors with her camera and exploring her creativity by editing the footage she has filmed. Her favorite aspect of filmmaking is editing, and she already has a paid internship doing just that.

Sherrie also appreciates the freedom her classes offer for creating her own projects, as well as the courses that emulate the atmosphere of an actual movie set. “Working in a team, with each person having a role, showed us what it was like to be on set, and I got to see how it all came together,” she said.

Sherrie is graduating next year and is currently completing courses online from her home in Portland, Oregon.

Tam Van Vo Acquiring Hard and Soft Skills at MIU

Tam Van Vo Acquiring Hard and Soft Skills at MIU

April 29, 2021 • ISSUE 569

Tam Van Vo

Acquiring Hard and Soft Skills at MIU

 

MIU student Tam Van Vo

MIU student Tam Van Vo earned his master’s degree in computer science from the University of Science in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and received a scholarship for a PhD program in information and communication at the Toyota Technological Institute in Japan. He has worked for multiple companies in Singapore and Vietnam as a data scientist and machine learning engineer. He also had an academic career teaching at Nanyang Technology University in Singapore and his alma mater in Vietnam.

Tam wanted to advance his education by studying abroad and heard about MIU from a friend. He liked the practical focus of the ComPro curriculum, and financial aid made it possible for him to apply.

Visiting Chicago with his family

“My doctoral education focused on research and theoretical problems,” said Tam. “The computer science master’s program at MIU is more practical and helps me improve my skills and gain knowledge in cutting-edge technologies such as big data, micro services, and machine learning.”

Tam also appreciated the course on Leadership for Technical Managers by Jim Bagnola because it helped him improve his soft skills, which are also necessary for finding success in the job market.

The practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique has been an equally important aspect of the curriculum for Tam. “I really enjoy this effortless meditation technique,” he said. “It helps me grow my brain and enjoy a stress-free life.”

With fellow computer science students in Fairfield (Tam in back row, center)

Tam recently began his curricular practical training as a backend software engineer for Walmart, hired by Flexton Inc. He is currently contributing remotely from Iowa and expects to relocate to California later this year.

In his free time Tam enjoys traveling with his family, and hopes to visit as many states as he can while in the United States.

Faqir Khan

Faqir Khan

April 19, 2021 • ISSUE 568

Faqir Khan

Staying Agile in the Rapidly Changing Business Environment

MIU student Faqir Khan

Faqir Khan earned his undergraduate degree in computer science from the University of Lahore, Pakistan, and has continued to pursue his education in project management and IT through international certifications. He began to specialize in the project management methodology Agile, and when he wasn’t able to pay for a course he offered his work as payment. He became the youngest certified Agile coach in Pakistan and consulted with many companies internationally.

“I am passionate about gaining the latest knowledge and trends in technology,” he said. “I am a risk taker and I am excited to do new things.” Faqir realized that his specialized skills made him more valuable to clients, and he wanted to help others achieve the same. In 2019 he started a nonprofit company to train others how to be adaptable in highly competitive business environments. “I faced the same challenges when I started, so I am doing this for free,” he said.

Conducting a team productivity training session in Pakistan

After the COVID-19 epidemic hit and companies in Pakistan were downsizing, he switched to coaching people in resume writing and interviewing. Using his networking skills, he has helped over 2,000 people find jobs in the IT sector with firms outside Pakistan. He is especially proud of assisting many women, who face more hurdles in the job market.

When one of his friends planned to apply to MIU and came to him for encouragement, Faqir decided to support him by applying as well, and they both enrolled in February 2021. Faqir is pursuing an MBA in SAP Enterprise Resource Planning and business analytics.

Receiving a gold medal from the University of Lahore for graduating first in his class

Faqir appreciates Consciousness-Based℠ education and the depth of Maharishi’s knowledge. As an advocate of continuous self-improvement, he has already experienced significant changes as a result of his regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique. “I see myself as a different person,” he said. “I have more focus, and even though I am very busy, I don’t feel any pressure.”

Faqir is currently working on a research article on the impact of digital transformation on organizational sustainability and believes MIU is uniquely positioned to take the lead in this area and consult for other institutions.

Kristina Vitale

Kristina Vitale

April 15, 2021 • ISSUE 567

Kristina Vitale

Facing Fears and Breaking Boundaries

Kristina Vitale

While pursuing an MBA in sustainable business at MIU, Kristina Vitale has also gained practical experience in sustainable technologies. She has built a solar water heater from recycled materials during a sustainable energy practicum class, spent a summer month in New Mexico building houses from recycled materials with the Earthship Academy, and has lived in an off-grid cabin in the woods of Fairfield.

Kristina is a native of St. Louis, with a bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Kristina says she was a shy student with a speech impediment who rarely participated in class. About eight years ago, she embarked on a personal development journey to face her fears and move outside her comfort zone.

Kristina building a solar water heater at MIU

She learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique, moved to Austin, Texas, and started a wellness company that specialized in coaching individuals and businesses in seeking higher self-awareness and empowerment. Through her workshops and events she helped over 500 clients.

One of the ways Kristina stretched her own boundaries was through traveling to countries like India, Morocco, and Japan. It was during those trips that she became increasingly aware of the impact of environmental pollution and decided to shift her career to sustainability. At the recommendation of her TM® teacher, Michael Blitz, she came to a Visitors Weekend in 2019 and enrolled in the MBA program in February 2020.

Traveling in India

“TM was a huge part of overcoming my fears,” she said. “When I took my first class at MIU, I sat in the first row and raised my hand all the time, and I had never done that before.”

Kristina also finds that studying at MIU helps her balance her studies, career, and personal life. “Consciousness-Based education helps you connect the dots and synthesize what you are thinking and how you are expressing it,” she said. “The way the teachers weave consciousness into every single class is so creative and has changed my personal life and how I balance it with my career.”

Kristina is currently doing sustainability consulting for a construction company, and her goal is to help businesses move towards identifying their environmental impact and implement sustainable solutions.

Carolyna Doucette

Carolyna Doucette

April 12, 2021 • ISSUE 566

Carolyna Doucette

A Passion for Environmental Conservation

MIU student Carolyna Doucette

MIU sustainable living student Carolyna Doucette just completed an internship with the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, working on a native species conservation project to protect the islands’ endangered blue iguana.

Carolyna grew up in Grand Cayman and Houston, Texas, and environmental conservation has been a part of most of her life. Three years ago she became a certified coral reef restoration diver, and she has been volunteering with the Department of the Environment to contain and identify new areas of the spread of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease in Grand Cayman.

 

Working on the MIU Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program Farm

Carolyna studied cosmetology at Aveda while attending community college. Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to start a mobile aesthetic cosmetics business, which she sold three years later. She wanted to pursue a career aligned with her passion to save the environment. She found several universities that interested her; however, when she attended a Visitors Weekend, she felt a sense of belonging in Fairfield and chose MIU.

The practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique has added an experience of calmness to Carolyna’s life that she didn’t have before. “I feel equipped to handle life’s turbulence with ease, and I am grateful for the simplicity and accessibility of TM,” she said.

Scuba diving in Grand Cayman

Carolyna is graduating this June and is currently working on her senior project, which aims to increase recycling streams on campus. “My vision is to turn MIU into the very first zero waste university,” she said. “Tackling waste on a larger scale can make a big impact and change people’s perception about what trash really is and how to manage it as a conscious consumer.” With the help of recycling company TerraCycle, she plans to install recycling bins for materials not collected by local waste management, such as art supplies, chewing gum, and certain plastic items.

Carolyna is also part of MIU Student Government. In her first year she took turns serving as vice-president and then campus sustainability representative, and this year she is student body president. She enjoys being in leadership roles and educating others about living a more eco-conscious life.