Saipriya Gowrishankar—From Physician to Professor

Saipriya Gowrishankar—From Physician to Professor

August 8 2022 • ISSUE 634

Saipriya Gowrishankar

From Physician to Professor

Saipriya Gowrishankar grew up in India in a large family of doctors and, from a young age, aspired to become a physician. She attended medical school in India, then worked at a women’s health and fertility clinic in Chennai. Twenty years ago she moved to the United States with her physician husband.
 
In the US she has worked in various hospital systems on clinical trials and research projects and settled down in Cleveland, Ohio. While doing a volunteer project for her spiritual teacher, she was charged with the collection and digitization of Ayurvedic scriptures found all over the world.
 
“I was amazed by all the knowledge I found in my Ayurvedic scriptural research,” said Dr. Gowrishankar. “I realized Ayurveda bridges the gaps in my medical knowledge that I don’t have answers for.”
 
During her research, she also heard about Maharishi’s revival of the role of consciousness in Ayurveda. She learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique in 2018 and enrolled in the online MS in Maharishi AyurVeda® and Integrative Medicine program in 2019.
 
“The first thing that attracted me to MIU was Consciousness-Based education,” said Dr. Gowrishankar. “I fell in love with Transcendental Meditation, and every day my enthusiasm increased.”
 
She left her job to focus on her studies and, in her second year at MIU, was offered a teaching assistant position. Upon her graduation last December, she became a graduate instructor. Dr. Gowrishankar discovered she loved teaching, so she decided to earn a PhD in health and physiology at MIU.
 
Dr. Gowrishankar plans to launch an integrative medicine private practice and collaborate with colleagues at hospitals in the Cleveland area to further her research on Ayurveda. “My friends in integrative medicine are very open to the concepts of Ayurveda,” she said. “I want to bring Ayurveda to the scientific community.”
 
Dr. Gowrishankar has also immersed herself in studying Maharishi Vedic Science℠ and Maharishi Jyotish℠ and looks forward to taking the TM-Sidhi® course.

Ymane Lakhlif—Maharishi Ayurveda Student and Clinic Manager

Ymane Lakhlif—Maharishi Ayurveda Student and Clinic Manager

August 1 2022 • ISSUE 633

Ymane Lakhlif

Maharishi Ayurveda Student and Clinic Manager

MIU student Ymane Lakhlif grew up in New York City and competed in swimming throughout high school and college. She also earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do at the age of nine.
 
Coming from a Moroccan heritage, she has always had an interest in natural health. In college she majored in biology and, after graduating, she combined her interests in sports and health to train as a fitness instructor. She began her career in a fitness club on Wall Street, where she quickly became one of the top trainers and the first woman to rise to a management position there.

With MIU students at the Doshi Center

Four years ago Ymane moved to Los Angeles and continued managing fitness studios. In 2020, when the COVID pandemic hit, all the studios shut down and she was without work. At the same time she developed a digestive health issue, which she was able to resolve with the help of traditional Chinese medicine. This spurred her to research Eastern medicine and eventually pursue a master’s degree in Maharishi AyurVeda® and Integrative Medicine at MIU.
 
“I wanted to continue my education with something substantial, not just a certificate,” said Ymane. “I appreciate the in-depth knowledge we are learning in class and I see myself doing this for a long time.”

During clinical practice with students and MIU faculty members Anita Mishra and Roxanna Medeiros

When she heard about the opening of MIU’s Navin and Pratima Doshi Center for Integrative Medicine in Los Angeles, she was eager to help. For the past year she has worked as operations manager of the clinic, as well as host of a weekly webinar featuring MIU’s faculty and guest experts. In addition, she oversees the renovations of the building along with her husband, who is the building’s manager.
 
The practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique helps Ymane stay calm and focused with her busy schedule as a student and a manager. “Life can be very hectic and TM keeps me grounded,” she said.
 
In her free time, Ymane enjoys working out every day and maintaining a routine that centers on self-care.

Yick Oi Janet Ho—The Dao De Jing in Light of Maharishi Vedic Science

Yick Oi Janet Ho—The Dao De Jing in Light of Maharishi Vedic Science

July 25 2022 • ISSUE 632

Yick Oi Janet Ho

The Dao De Jing in Light of Maharishi Vedic Science

Yick Oi Janet Ho grew up in Hong Kong and has had an interest in language, literature, and Chinese philosophy from a young age. She earned a master’s degree in education and worked as a curriculum developer and coordinator for schools with special-needs students.
 
She learned the TM® and TM®-Sidhi programs in Hong Kong and became interested in studying the science of Maharishi’s technologies. She applied to the MA in Maharishi Vedic Science℠ program and enrolled in 2012. After graduating from the master’s program, she practiced reading the Vedic literature and began the coursework for the PhD program in Maharishi Vedic Science.
 
Dr. Ho then decided to pursue the application of Maharishi Vedic Science to a specific field and enrolled in the MBA program. “The first course I took was with Vicki Alexander Herriott, and I was so impressed by how she incorporated Maharishi Vedic Science into the material,” she said. “So I poured my whole heart into it and I enjoyed it very much.”

With classmates in the Maharishi Vedic Science Department in 2014

Dr. Ho completed her PhD in management, graduating this June with an Outstanding Student Award. In her doctoral dissertation she explored the principles of management in the Dao De Jing in light of Maharishi Vedic Science. Her current research interests include discovering consciousness factors in ancient Chinese philosophies.
 
“I experienced a transformation through Maharishi’s knowledge and technologies and from understanding the Dao De Jing based on Maharishi Vedic Science,” said Dr. Ho. “That transformation was the best gift; it gave me a deep sense of satisfaction.”

Receiving her doctorate in 2022

During the past 10 years Dr. Ho translated the official website of the Transcendental Meditation organization into Chinese and has published over 200 articles in Chinese on spirituality, philosophy, and life management. 
 
Dr. Ho now works as assistant professor of management, administrative director of the College of Business Administration, and director of the BA in Business Administration program for South Africa.

Samuel Bartolome Valiente—Outstanding Computer Science Student

Samuel Bartolome Valiente—Outstanding Computer Science Student

July 11, 2022 • ISSUE 631

Samuel Bartolome Valiente

Outstanding Computer Science Student

MIU graduate Samuel Bartolome Valiente grew up in Spain and learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique at the age of six. His father had encouraged him to apply to MIU, and they visited campus in 2003. In 2018 Samuelfinally applied.
 
Prior to enrolling at MIU, Samuel worked in the family’s retail business for 16 years. He has always enjoyed computers, so he decided to earn a BS in computer science at MIU.
 
“It was a really great program and my professors were amazing,” he said. “They allowed me to take some courses with the graduate students in the ComPro Program. I also felt supported during my stay by the faculty and staff.”

Samuel with Professors Anne Dow and Cathy Gorini and classmate Kidist Zihon

The block system of taking one course at a time was an extremely beneficial aspect of his education at MIU. It allowed him to immerse himself in one subject at a time and improve his retention of the material. He also enjoyed the healthy daily routine. “You are in an environment where it’s easy to practice TM; it’s part of your class.”
 
Samuel graduated this June with an Outstanding Student Award. For the first time in three years, he was able to return to Spain and reunite with his wife and daughter.
 
In July Samuel is returning to campus to complete his one-year Optional Practical Training (OPT) for international students. He is joining the team that maintains the Computer Science Department’s online education platforms. He is excited to return to campus to continue learning and gaining valuable experience, and this time he will be able to bring his family.

Melissa Melchor—Creating Content for Personal Growth

Melissa Melchor—Creating Content for Personal Growth

July 4, 2022 • ISSUE 630

Melissa Melchor

Creating Content for Personal Growth

Melissa Melchor hails from El Paso, Texas, where she had attended a local community college as well as the University of Texas prior to coming to MIU. She didn’t feel connected to what she was learning there and began looking for a university that allowed her to explore her inner growth.
 
She found MIU through an Instagram ad and wanted to experience the lifestyle MIU was offering: regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation® program, healthy living, and a like-minded community.
 
Melissa came to MIU with the dream of becoming an online content creator, and her goal became tangible once she began taking writing and social media marketing classes. She gained both the skills and the self-confidence to achieve her goal.

At the 2022 Graduation Awards Ceremony

“After practicing the TM technique I began to believe in myself,” she said “MIU allows you to focus on your creativity and innate talents and encourages you to prioritize your individual expression and self-reflection. It helped me develop my sense of self and purpose.”
 
While exploring her personal development in the past, Melissa had found support from people sharing their own spiritual journeys on YouTube. This inspired her to create a podcast for her senior project, called “Wake Up to You,” which aims to support her listeners’ emotional and spiritual growth. She began creating her podcast episodes and designed her social media marketing strategy. 
 
“I hope that by sharing my own stories, I can inspire and empower people to do something they are passionate about,” she said. Melissa graduated in June with a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree and received an Outstanding Student Award.

Ash Pachauri, Global Sustainability and Public Health Advocate, Gives Commencement Address

Ash Pachauri, Global Sustainability and Public Health Advocate, Gives Commencement Address

June 27, 2022 • ISSUE 629

Ash Pachauri, Global Sustainability and Public Health Advocate, Gives Commencement Address

MIU graduated its largest class ever, 699 students, at its 45th commencement on June 18th. The class includes on-campus and online students as well as students at MIU’s sister institutions in South Africa and Ethiopia. Graduates come from 55 countries, including 245 from the US, 90 from Ethiopia, 62 from South Africa, 49 from Egypt, and 47 from Mongolia.
 
This year’s commencement speaker was Ash Pachauri, PhD, senior mentor of Protect the Planet (POP), a movement he co-founded with his late father Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, trailblazing climate change researcher. The mission of POP is to organize youth around the world to address the challenges of climate change through training, mentorship, project-based learning, and activism.

Dr. Pachauri giving the commencement address

Dr. Pachauri is a consultant for international organizations and collaborates with educational institutions. He has worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UN, and the CDC and is currently a technical adviser to the World Health Organization on self-care global guidelines.
 
In his commencement address, Dr. Pachauri encouraged students to embrace the values of service, environmental stewardship, compassion, and inclusivity. He emphasized the interconnectedness of all humanity around the world and the importance of adopting new attitudes, values, and behaviors in order to solve the multitude of crises the planet faces.

President Hagelin presenting Dr. Pachauri his honorary degree

“We all live behind a legacy, and what your legacy will be is your choice,” he said. “A legacy is a part and a piece of yourself which you sow in the hearts, the minds, and the eternal souls of those who cross your path physically, virtually, spiritually, and in any way. What you give of yourself is what grows, never goes, and is eternal; it’s never replaced.”

Valedictorian Marie Greive leading the processional at the start of commencement

During the graduation ceremony, MIU awarded Dr. Pachauri an honorary doctoral degree in world peace for his lifelong dedication to serving his fellow human beings and for his goal of creating a healthy, regenerative world for all generations to come. During his stay in Fairfield, Dr. Pachauri also participated in the inauguration of the second phase of the MIU Solar MEG’Array.

Salutatorian Katherine Eid Wild presenting the class gift—a contribution to the renovation of the MIU swimming pool (photos by Ken West)