Nicole Winning—Finding Joy in Life

Nicole Winning—Finding Joy in Life

MUM alumna Nicole Winning


Working at the Bethesda TM Center in 2014


With fellow students at a TM retreat on the Mother Divine campus


Doing performance art at her solo show called “Un Govern Able Spaces” in Gallery 244 at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

MUM alumna Nicole Winning is currently pursuing an MFA degree at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and exhibiting her art around the country. During the past year, her work has been included in 20 shows in 12 states, including two solo exhibits.

Nicole’s days are jam-packed with working in the art studio and pursuing two part-time jobs. Nevertheless, she always finds time to practice the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® programs twice a day, which keep her recharged. “My daily TM practice is the only way I feel I can accomplish as much as I do without burning out,” she says.

Nicole earned her undergraduate degree in art from the University of Mary Washington in her hometown of Fredericksburg, Virginia. She is also a certified Hatha Yoga teacher, having taught yoga at retreat centers in the U.S. and abroad.

She learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique in 2014 and soon after was offered a job as administrator of the Transcendental Meditation Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Listening to the variety of guest speakers coming to the Center from Fairfield, Nicole became increasingly interested in Yogic Flying® and Maharishi Vedic ScienceSM, and nine months later she enrolled at MUM.

During her two years at MUM, Nicole completed the MA in Maharishi Vedic Science program, learned the TM-Sidhi technique, participated in monthly weekend TM retreats, and joined the Invincible America program for three months.

“I have found the most fulfillment at MUM,” said Nicole. “Through these practices, I gained the ability to have access to inner peace and stability and finer levels of awareness of my emotions and my thoughts. I continually see manifestations of greater joy in my life as well.”

After completing her MFA degree, Nicole hopes to pursue a holistic-based career and lifestyle, where the practice of the TM technique, her artistic expression, and bodywork practices seamlessly integrate.

Felix Lluberes

Felix Lluberes

  • Awards: Distinguished Entrepreneur Award, Forty Under Forty, Inc. 500
  • Home: Naples, Florida
  • From: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Job: President of Location Based Services, RacoWireless
  • Specialty: Software Development
  • MIU Degree: BS, Computer Science, 1994

“There is very little I have today that I could not trace back to my education at MIU,” says Felix Lluberes, founder and CEO of Position Logic.

During some of the financially toughest times in recent history — the economic downturn that began in 2008 — Felix was busy accomplishing something that even in good times few entrepreneurs can manage: building up a small business that would be named to the prestigious Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies in the U.S.

Felix and his wife Andrea, whom he met while studying at MIU.

A computer science bachelors graduate from MIU, Felix started Position Logic in his home before expanding it to more than 42 employees in four U.S. states and two countries. In 2014, this high achiever won the Distinguished Entrepreneur Award from the Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University, and was named to the Gulfshore Business “Forty Under Forty,” celebrating successful young business leaders in Florida. Felix lives in Naples, Florida with his wife Andrea and their three children, Bianka, Romulo, and Felix.

Early Roots

Felix Lluberes grew up in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, raised by parents whose education did not exceed 8th grade. He attended the local Maharishi High School, located just three blocks from his home, where he learned the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique at age 12.

He grew to love meditation and Maharishi’s teachings. In 8th grade he decided that he wanted to attend Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa after graduating from high school. However, his family’s financial limitations made that seem like a far-flung dream. “I thought that if I applied myself for five or six years, I might get a scholarship,” says Felix. In the spring of 1989 he received word from MIU: he’d won a full tuition scholarship. Felix arrived in Fairfield in August 1989.

Not yet proficient in English, he enrolled in an ESL program before embarking on his degree work. His first moments on campus felt like a dream come true. “Just being able to see the Domes, see the campus, it was amazing,” recalls Felix. “I started to meet the students. That was the beginning of an unbelievable family, unbelievable friends who became lifetime assets.”

Success at MIU

Felix’s three children Felix, Bianka and Romulo

He chose computer science as a major and earned his BS degree in 1994. He landed his first job at a Fairfield company and then relocated to Kansas for a position developing security frameworks. After working a few more jobs in software development, his breakthrough came in 2003 when he created a platform for asset management and GPS tracking.

Based on that technology, Felix founded his company, Position Logic, which within six years earned the Inc. 500 distinction. “In our Naples office alone, where I spend most of my time, we have 42 employees representing 19 different nationalities,” says Felix. “It’s an international family, just like at MIU. It’s something I’m very proud of.”

Mentoring at MIU

Felix attributes much of his career success to what he learned and experienced at MIU. “The faculty there mentor you,” he says. “You get the sense they really care about the students. You can easily approach individuals who sit higher up. They are so accessible, so open, so able to help you. And they do so in a very kind manner.” At MIU, he says he learned to look at things from a deeper level.

“I can see from a different point of view than most people,” he says. “I can relate just about everything back to nature. That’s important.” Felix credits MIU for helping him gain a business advantage, and sees the practice of TM as enabling him to function better. “I call it true clarity,” he explains. “TM plays a critical role in anything I set out to do. It gives me that center, that peace that is necessary to do the right thing at the right time. “I am so lucky to have had this education and experience,” he says. “It has been such a blessing throughout my life.”

Amy Spitzfaden

Amy Spitzfaden

Amy Spitzfaden

I got the idea for my novel in December 2011,” says Amy Spitzfaden, 23, who earned a literature degree from MUM the following year. “The first sentence came to me, and that’s what got me started. The protagonist feels she’s ‘missing’ someone but doesn’t remember who it is. I liked that concept, though I didn’t develop it at first.”

The story did gel over time. A key moment in what would become Amy’s first novel, Untold – winner of the Inkfingerz award 2013 – took place during a storytelling class given by MUM Media & Communications instructor Cullen Thomas.

“For homework we had to write a certain number of pages each night,” says Amy. “So I decided to start into the story. What was really helpful was that Cullen asked all these leading questions, like ‘Where is this missing feeling coming from? What happens then? What does the scenery look like?’ I thought about it all, and saw mountains and forests and trees, and before I knew it the book was starting to happen.”

Amy found much-needed support and writerly tools in MUM’s literature department, which prepared her to work through a full-length novel. Professor Nynke Passi “was amazing at teaching technique and giving guidance,” Amy says. “It’s such a respectful community. In a lot of writing classes you can get the feeling of competition. At MUM, everybody is so happy to listen to everybody else’s writing. I loved that.”

Amy’s book tour for Untold included a stop in Fairfield, Iowa, home of MUM, for readings as well as a radio interview on KRUU on the show Writers’ Voices. You can listen to the show here.

Currently Amy works in marketing at Publishers Single Copy Sales Service (PCSC), a consulting company based in Peterborough, New Hampshire. The company’s focus is on magazine publishing, sales, and distribution. Amy manages social media, works in promotion and offers client support.

In 2013 Amy married Ravi Both, whom she met when both were students at MUM. Ravi, a native of Holland, works as a web developer and SEO expert, also at PSCS.

  • MUM Degree: BA, Literature & Creative Writing, 2012
  • Winner: Inkfingerz Award for Fiction, 2013
  • Debut Novel: Untold (1st World Publishing, 2012)
  • Job: Marketing Assistant/Social Networking Expert at PSCS Consulting