Phuong Nguyen—Making an App for a Niche Market

Phuong Nguyen—Making an App for a Niche Market

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MIU student Phuong Nguyen

MIU student Phuong Nguyen was among the five finalists who pitched their business ideas to a panel of entrepreneur judges during MIU’s second Changemakers Shark Tank-like event in June. Phuong’s idea for a nail salon management app was awarded second place.

With her twin sister Hang and aunts at Tan Son Nhat airport in Vietnam prior to flying to the US

Phuong grew up in a small town in the south of Vietnam. When her brother brought home a computer one day, Phuong became interested in programming. She started learning about programming in sixth grade and studied computer science at university.

She joined MIU’s Computer Professionals Program in early 2020, drawn by the program’s offer of affordable initial payment, paid internship experience in the US, and one course at a time curriculum.

Visiting Silicon Valley before coming to MIU

Phuong has also learned to appreciate the Transcendental Meditation® technique. “Before I applied, I thought that meditation was a religious practice,” she said. “Little did I know that meditation has nothing to do with religion. It helps me manage stress and I am more positive and happy. I am able to think more clearly and be more productive with my time.”

Learning how to do acrylic nails at her friend’s nail salon

Prior to arriving at MIU, Phuong visited some Vietnamese friends in California who own nail salons. She observed how they ran their businesses and realized they were managing their operations manually. She decided to develop an app that can serve the unique needs of these businesses. Seventy percent of nail salons around the globe are operated by Vietnamese, but Phuong is making her application available in English as well for other users.

She is currently having her app tested by some of her friends before launching the product and plans to devote a portion of her profits to start a foundation for the education of Vietnamese students in need.

In her free time, Phuong likes to improve her English and make videos for her Vietnamese friends about her life in the US while teaching them English phrases she has learned.

Hagen Rainbow—Promoting Maharishi Ayurveda Around the World

Hagen Rainbow—Promoting Maharishi Ayurveda Around the World

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Transcendental Meditation®, TM®, TM-Sidhi®, Maharishi International University® Maharishi AyurVeda, and Maharishi Vedic Science are protected trademarks and are used in the U.S. under license or with permission.

MIU alumnus Hagen Rainbow

MIU alumnus Hagen Rainbow received his first degree from MIU in 2011—a major in media and communications and a minor in business. He worked as a videographer for the David Lynch Foundation and as internet marketing and social media manager for the Maharishi Foundation. In 2013 he became a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation® technique and taught the TM® technique to 200 students in Los Angeles schools.

With Father Gabriel Mejía (founder of Fundación Hogares Claret) and Jenna De Freitas in Medellín, Colombia

Around that time Hagen developed a desire to expand his knowledge of Maharishi’s technologies for healing the mind and the body. He completed his pre-medical courses at the University of Iowa and then enrolled at American University of Integrated Sciences in Barbados, which had a partnership program with MIU integrating Maharishi AyurVedaSM with a medical degree. In 2019 he earned his MS in Maharishi AyurVeda and integrative medicine from MIU.

Teaching Ayurveda at Hogares Claret in Medellin, Colombia

Next he spent five months at the Ayurveda Integral Health Sadhana Center of Fundación Hogares Claret in Medellín, Colombia, managing the Ayurveda clinic and giving consultations. Over the past year, Hagen has been working with Nepal Maharishi Vedic Foundation on various projects.

“Maharishi’s approach to Ayurveda is unique, as it focuses on consciousness,” said Hagen. “My goal is to help bring Maharishi’s knowledge to the world. I have a vision to create affordable Maharishi RejuvenationSM program clinics that incorporate the high standards of Maharishi AyurVeda that people have come to trust.”

With the team at Nepal Maharishi Vedic Foundation

Currently Hagen is leading an initiative for the construction of a Maharishi AyurVeda Center in Pokhara, Nepal, near the Annapurna Mountains in the Himalayas. He is also managing Global Family Farms, which creates economic opportunities for rural farmers in Nepal through ethical, organic agriculture and supports the Maharishi Vedic Pandit schools in Nepal. In addition, he is involved with the recruitment and training of Maharishi Vaidyas in India and Nepal.

 

Dominique Ragland—Pursuing an Ayurvedic Lifestyle and Practice

Dominique Ragland—Pursuing an Ayurvedic Lifestyle and Practice

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MIU alumna Dominique Ragland began exploring natural medicine at 17, when she was experiencing digestive issues. First she started reading books about homeopathy, herbal medicine, Chinese medicine, and Ayurveda. Then she became a massage therapist and joined an online course on Ayurveda.

MIU alumna Dominique Ragland

While attending Sacramento City College in California, she worked as a panchakarma massage technician at an ayurvedic clinic and also spent six weeks in Kerala, India, studying Ayurveda. In 2017 Dominique came to MIU at the recommendation of her colleagues who had attended the university.

Upon arriving she welcomed the curriculum, which allowed her to follow an ayurvedic lifestyle and daily routine. “I liked that you could incorporate everything you are learning in your waking life so that you can be successful,” she said. “You can read about what you are supposed to do, but having the firsthand experience is priceless to see what it can do for you.”

Doing wall art for MIU Mushroom Club

 

She also found the TM® technique beneficial and learned the TM-Sidhi® program. “TM is a really good technology for busy minds,” said Dominique. “It gave me the support and structure I needed to move past the mental chatter and experience what stillness was.”

Dominique graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Ayurveda wellness and integrative health, and for her senior project she designed an ayurvedic travel kit that included spices, herbal tea, aromatherapy, and massage oil. In the future, she hopes to develop this idea into a business.

Photo

Dominique making herbalized oils at the Ayurveda Integral Health Sadhana Center in Medellín, Colombia, where she did an internship for Father Mejia’s Fundación Hogares Claret

She is currently pursuing a doctor of chiropractic degree at Life Chiropractic College West in California, where she is also treasurer of the university’s chapter of Student American Black Chiropractic Association (SABCA).

She wants to combine her education in Ayurveda and her experience in bodywork and open her own clinic.

Emily Torres—Promoting Equity for All Students

Emily Torres—Promoting Equity for All Students

Emily Torres speaking at the 2020 MIU Graduation Awards Ceremony

In the Science and Technology of Consciousness class with Professors John Collins and Joe Holland

At the July 2019 TM-Sidhi Course graduation (photo by Jim Davis)

Emily Torres is one of MIU’s most recent graduates of 2020, with a bachelor’s degree in applied arts and sciences and an Outstanding Student Award.

Emily was studying psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when her counselor introduced her to the Transcendental Meditation® technique. After learning the TM® technique, she immediately felt a shift in consciousness. She attended a Visitors Weekend in May and enrolled in August 2018.

In North Carolina, Emily had a job taking care of young people on the autism spectrum. At MIU, she assisted a fellow student with cerebral palsy who is confined to a wheelchair. In addition, she was residential advisor in the women’s dorm, where she focused on creating safe and inclusive events to the diverse international student body.

As a member of a minority who has experienced prejudice and discrimination in school, Emily is sensitive to the needs of young people coming from different backgrounds. She wrote her senior thesis on multicultural education, researching systems that make all young people feel included, regardless of disability, race, or culture. She described the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation technique in helping students with self-awareness.

“TM helped me become more self-aware,” she said. “I was able to take more responsibility for the things that I was perpetuating and recognize how I internalized some of the prejudices of my environment.”

Emily wants to continue her research on finding innovative methods to address these issues of equity for students and the role of the TM® technique as part of a solution. She is now enrolled in MIU’s new master’s degree program in leadership and conflict resolution. She also plans to become a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique.

New Book on How to Create a World-Class Brain

New Book on How to Create a World-Class Brain

The cover of World-Class Brain

Levels of brain integration in 4 groups. This figure shows the Brain Integration Scale scores of average performers; individuals with short-term TM practice (7 years); world-class athletes, managers, and musicians; and individuals with long-term TM practice (24 years)

Harald S. Harung, PhD

Fred Travis, PhD

In a new book, titled World-Class Brain: the Edge that Helps Peak Performers Succeed and How You Can Develop It, authors Harald S. Harung, PhD, and Fred Travis, PhD, combine decades of their research to reveal the relationship of brain integration to peak performance.

Using the examples of athletes, musicians, and top-level managers, the book shows how these high-performing individuals are different from others, not due to their education, work experience, or age, but as a result of their more integrated brain functioning. Their brains work in a more coherent, relaxed, and efficient way and they enjoy greater levels of happiness, more peak experiences, and a more highly developed moral sensitivity.

“It is gratifying to see how the peak performers vividly illustrate the great significance of development of consciousness for high performance and high quality of life,” said Dr. Harung.

The secret to peak performance is integrated brain functioning, which can be measured by EEG. The research has shown that the brains of high performers are more coherent; different parts of the brain can collaborate better.

The authors also present ways to achieve higher brain integration. The regular, long-term practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique leads to the highest level of brain integration. One can also contribute to increasing brain coherence by getting adequate sleep, exercising, playing music, and engaging in visual arts.

“The take-home from this book is that anyone can become world-class in their area,” said Dr. Travis. “Yes, you need to develop the skills needed in your field, but the primary factor for top performance across all domains is the level of brain development. This you have control over by embracing Transcendental Meditation and the other technologies that Maharishi has brought to the world.”

Fred Travis has been Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at MIU since 1990. His work has focused on brain development from birth to adulthood, higher states of consciousness, and the effects of meditation experiences on the brain.

Harald S. Harung is an interdisciplinary researcher with a focus on peak performance and leadership, and is himself a high performer in lecturing, writing, and the sport of orienteering. At Oslo Metropolitan University in Norway, he has for many years been teaching leadership, ethics, and peak performance to classes of up to 500 students.

David Samuel—Growing Through Supporting Others

David Samuel—Growing Through Supporting Others

MIU graduate David Samuel

With professor William Graff and classmates in an auditing class

At a Christmas celebration with classmates and program administrator Karen Slowick

David Samuel came to MIU from India, where he began his career as a data analyst. He developed a passion for finance and accounting and has worked as a financial analyst in multiple sectors, including manufacturing, information technology, and the service industry.

He had always wanted to pursue an MBA in a different country, but his many commitments intervened. Then, after working for over 15 years, he finally made the decision. He heard about MIU from a friend who visited campus and decided to enroll in the Accounting MBA program in 2017.

He liked the friendly campus and the smoke- and alcohol-free environment. But he was most impressed with the structure of the program: eight months of classes followed by an 18-month practicum with a US company.

David had concerns that meditation would take a lot of effort, but when he learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique he realized how easy the practice was. He said he has been learning to recognize and understand his inner value as a result of his practice. “TM helps me to know what I should be doing and move forward,” he said. “Whatever I do, it helps me do it better.”

While still attending classes, his professors placed him in an internship position with Fairfield’s Ideal Energy. Soon after he started there, the company decided to retain him for his practicum and obtain a work visa for him. David is now working as operations support manager preparing budgets and forecasts, analyzing financial performance, and helping the leadership with strategic growth.

“Launching my career in the US by working for a small company where I can add a lot of value is a good starting point,” he said. “I want to grow where I can help.”

David graduated during the 2020 commencement and received the Outstanding Student Award in the MBA Accounting track.