Renuka Mohanraj Honored for Research

Renuka Mohanraj Honored for Research

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Professor Ranuka Mohanraj, PhD

MIU Associate Professor Renuka Mohanraj, PhD, has recently been honored as a Fellow of Computer Science Research Council by the Open Association of Research Society for her important research on wireless sensor networks data security.
Her research was published in the Global Journal of Computer Science Technology: E. In this paper she presents an algorithm she designed as a potential solution to the problem of wireless sensor networks security threats in the rapidly expanding field of the Internet of Things (IoT), which are networks of smart devices used by consumers and many industries, such as healthcare, manufacturing, and transportation.

Professor Mohanraj in class

As a result of her research, in December 2020 Professor Mohanraj was invited to give the keynote address at an international virtual conference titled Bridging Innovative Trends in Mathematics, Engineering & Technology.

Professor Mohanraj honored for her advanced studies and outstanding research by being named a Fellow of Computer Science Research Council (FCSRC)

Professor Mohanraj teaches several courses in the Computer Professionals program℠, including the very popular Mobile Device Programming. She dynamically tailors the course based on input from current students and alumni doing Android development. This feedback, along with her enthusiasm for research, keeps the curriculum on the cutting edge. Mobile device programming is a major market, and her class on the subject is highly valued by students because there are so many opportunities for Android programmers.

Professor Mohanraj has been teaching at MIU since 2014. During this time she has had the opportunity to experience many benefits of the Consciousness-Based℠ approach to
education and the practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique.

“TM practice helps to improve my self-confidence level and brings out my inner potential effortlessly,” she says. “I’m more active throughout the day and my mind is clearer, which makes me a better teacher and a more loving person.”

Renuka Mohanraj with her husband Mohanraj V.S. and daughter Vaisnavii (photos by Dileep Krishnamoorthy)

Professor Renuka Mohanraj and her husband Mohanraj V.S. live on the MIU campus with their daughter Vaisnavii. Mr. Mohanraj is the Computer Science Graduation Director, and Vaisnavii is in 11th grade at Maharishi School.

Jessica Matschiner—Producing Uplifting Media

Jessica Matschiner—Producing Uplifting Media

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Jessica Matschiner first enrolled at MIU in 2011, but after a year of studying she returned to Missouri due to family obligations. During the next decade she worked in several positions, including as a nursing assistant and as manager of a 200-unit apartment complex.

MIU student Jessica Matschiner

In 2018 her best friend in Fairfield invited her to an international Transcendental Meditation® retreat for young people in Romania. In spite of numerous difficulties, including Jessica having to quit her job, she made it to the ten-day course in September.

At the international TM retreat in Romania with fellow course participants and local folk dancers

“This course was the first stepping stone in changing my life and helping me understand the value of TM,” said Jessica. Inspired by her experience, she took the TM-Sidhi® course the following year and re-enrolled at MIU.

Her TM® practice has helped Jessica strengthen her faith and improve her outlook on life. “Becoming regular gives me the ability to be an optimist,” said Jessica. “I am still human and have doubts, but they are no longer defeating me. I know how to get through the negative self-talk.”

At the 2019 TM-Sidhi course graduation with new friend Nicole MacPherson

Jessica is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in cinematic arts and new media and also doing a couple of internships with local organizations. In addition, she is residential director of the largest women’s dorm on campus.

“MIU helps me to develop my creative process from the place where I am in life,” she said. “The atmosphere the professors create in the class allows me to produce strategies for my difficulties and use them as opportunities to relate to people and share my experiences.”

Jessica has always enjoyed working with people and wants to enter the fields of life coaching, mentoring, and public speaking. She plans to study communication and mediation and earn a degree in psychology. “My main goal is to be able to help others to live their best selves and to do everything I can to lead by example and practice self-love,” she said. Jessica plans to accomplish her goal by using her media skills to produce encouraging and uplifting content.

 

Zaria Spell—From Family Videos to Documentaries

Zaria Spell—From Family Videos to Documentaries

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Second-year student Zaria Spell has an ambitious plan to write a memoir and produce a documentary on African American heritage, including her own family, before she graduates.

MIU student Zaria Spell

Zaria received her first introduction to filmmaking from her stepfather, who encouraged her to help edit the movies he made about the family’s adventures and vacations. In middle school she made her first solo project, a documentary about the history of the hijab, which made it to the Florida State History Fair.

Celebrating the Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos with Student Activities

Like many students, Zaria discovered MIU on Facebook and, after attending a Visitors Weekend in April 2019, she enrolled in the fall. “The practice of meditation, healthy food, and diverse student body were all features that spoke to me,” she said. “I love having the support of a spiritual environment that has allowed me to blossom and explore my talents.” She feels the class in memoir writing she took with Professor Nynke Passi has been especially instrumental in building her confidence as a writer.

Zaria is pursuing the BFA program in creative writing and a minor in cinematic arts and new media. She enjoys discovering her talents and applying them to her various creative projects. Her long-term goal is to highlight cultural and social issues that do not get adequate attention.

Helping international students practice their English with the English Buddy Club

The practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique has helped Zaria in her self-awareness and creativity. “It’s the easiest meditation I have ever done,” she said. “It’s so incredibly simple and I love that.”

In addition to writing and filmmaking, Zaria enjoys reading, dancing, and singing, and in her free time she dabbles in astrology and other methods of self-exploration. Since last May, she has also served as cultural committee president of the MIU Student Government.

Chad Hays, MD, JD, Pursues MBA in Sustainable Business

Chad Hays, MD, JD, Pursues MBA in Sustainable Business

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When Chad Hays enrolled in MIU’s online Sustainable MBA program this fall, he already had three graduate degrees. He obtained his MD and master’s in public health degrees simultaneously at the University of Illinois while taking a two-year break to also get a law degree at the same school.

MIU student Dr. Chad Hays

All of his education has served him well over the past 15 years, as he worked as an urgent care and emergency room clinician, hospitalist, and primary care physician. He is also experienced in telemedicine and concierge medicine. More recently he has been involved with running a drive-through COVID-19 testing facility and working in an outpatient community clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, where he now lives and practices family medicine.

Chad with his wife Cerrie Gleason, Maharishi School alumna ‘98

Chad had been aware of the Transcendental Meditation® technique and Maharishi’s writings because his wife grew up in Fairfield and attended Maharishi School. He wanted to study business and, after some research and a campus visit, he started MIU’s MBA program. He enjoys the live online classes and meeting students from all over the world.

“It’s been very satisfying to learn more about the TM technique by taking the Science and Technology of Consciousness class along with my business courses and put everything I learn in the context of STC,” said Chad. He also appreciates his TM® practice, which helps him refresh twice a day and stay focused afterwards.

Chad is especially excited about studying entrepreneurship and sustainable business. “People are increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability, and the pandemic has shown what’s not sustainable, and that will be in the forefront of how we move forward as a society,” he said.

After he graduates, he plans to combine the knowledge he gains at MIU with his existing skillset and experience to create a new venture. He envisions introducing sustainability into his practice, consulting locally and globally, and supporting communities by promoting the practice of the TM program.

Candice Rankin—Turning Life into Art

Candice Rankin—Turning Life into Art

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Candice Rankin is a student with an eclectic mix of personal and professional backgrounds she can draw on in the BFA in creative writing program at MIU. She spent ten years pursuing acting in theater, television, and film, mostly in New York City, while attending various drama schools, including The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the oldest acting school in America.

MIU student Candice Rankin

Although she enjoyed performing, she became disillusioned with the business and the tiring lifestyle and moved to rural Florida, where she started a house painting business. Later she moved her business to Los Angeles, where she successfully specialized in faux finish surfaces.

Candice also spent time traveling around the world. She backpacked in India for six months, studied fish in the remote glaciers of Alaska for three months, and hiked 370 miles of the Camino de Santiago, a medieval pilgrimage route from France to northern Spain.

While on a tai chi and kung fu retreat in a Buddhist monastery in China, she shared her journals with her roommate, who suggested she pursue creative writing. When researching writing programs she discovered MIU, liked the block system and the focus on personal development, and applied. “It’s been an incredible three and a half years—I am so glad I did it,” she said.

“MIU has a wonderful group of professors who really don’t inhibit or censor you and allow you to go as deep and vulnerable as you are willing to within yourself. It has been a healing, expressively fulfilling, and creative journey,” said Candice. She has also enjoyed sharing ideas and workshopping her work with fellow students in the writing program.

Candice says that the Transcendental Meditation® technique has facilitated her writing process: “TM supports your overall functioning, patience, and creativity, and allows deeper ideas to come to the surface.”

Her favorite genre is creative non-fiction, and she has been working on a humorous memoir based on her childhood experiences and relationships throughout her life. She is graduating in June 2021 and is in the process of applying to MFA writing programs around the country.

Dr. Robert Boyer Publishes Book on Consciousness and Quantum Theory

Dr. Robert Boyer Publishes Book on Consciousness and Quantum Theory

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Former MIU Professor Robert Boyer’s book on consciousness and quantum theory was recently published by Routledge India. Titled Pointless: The Reality Behind Quantum Theory, the book offers a holistic interpretation of quantum theory, based on recent advances from physics, consciousness studies, and Vedic ScienceSM.

Dr. Robert Boyer

“This book systematically probes deep into the relationship of matter, mind, and consciousness to provide bridging concepts between Maharishi’s re-clarification of ancient Vedic Science and his work with modern science,” said Dr. Boyer.

The cover of Pointless: The Reality Behind Quantum Theory

Robert Boyer earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA, became a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation® technique, and completed a master’s degree in the Science of Creative Intelligence® at Maharishi European Research University in Switzerland. After earning his doctorate in cognitive psychology at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Boyer joined MIU as a full-time faculty member, teaching in the psychology and neuroscience programs. During the past 30 years, he has worked in community mental health and private practice as a psychologist in the southeast Iowa area.

Dr. Boyer has been an avid researcher of Maharishi Vedic ScienceSM and has published numerous journal articles. Pointless is his fourth book exploring the consciousness-mind-matter relationship from the perspectives of modern science and Vedic Science.

His second major field of interest and expertise is communication. “The two things most needed are development of consciousness and development of communication skills,” said Dr. Boyer. “Healthy communication is one of the most important tools for good family and work relationships and a key aspect of mental health counseling that is much needed in today’s world.”

Dr. Boyer has also written three books on a systematic approach to communication, which focus on the relationship between heart and mind, drawing from Maharishi’s translation and commentary on the Bhagavad Gita. He now serves as adjunct faculty and consultant with MIU, teaching classes in communication skills. You can find out more about his work on his website at bridgetounity.com.