Aalok Prakash Shrivastava Outstanding Student in MBA

Aalok Prakash Shrivastava Outstanding Student in MBA

July 12 2021 – Issue 580

Aalok Prakash Shrivastava

Outstanding Student in MBA

Aalok Prakash Shrivastava grew up in New Delhi, India, surrounded by his extended family of parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle, and cousins, who all practice the Transcendental Meditation® technique. From an early age, he knew someday he wanted to attend MIU, just like his cousin Ram and sister Amrita have.

Aalok earned a bachelor of technology in electrical engineering from Vellore Institute of Technology, India, and worked in the solar energy industry for a year. His interest in sustainability and desire to attend MIU led him to enroll in the MBA in Sustainable Business Program in 2018.

With classmates and Professor Ayako Huang

“Within a week of starting my MBA, I realized that Consciousness-Based education was more fulfilling than my previous education,” said Aalok. He enjoyed the small classroom size, the interactive learning experience, and the detailed feedback from his professors.

Aalok’s second goal was to complete the Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training Course, which he was able to incorporate into his study schedule and finish in February 2020. After the course he returned to India and co-taught a ten-week course, including the TM® technique, at MIT-World Peace University in Pune.

With his parents and two sisters at a Diwali holiday celebration in Fairfield

He finished his MBA courses in December 2020, and at the June 2021 commencement ceremony he received the Outstanding Student Award from the Business department. He is currently enrolled in the MA in Consciousness and Human Potential program.

“The experience of Consciousness-Based education, the Fairfield community, and being able to participate in group TM program all inspired me to stay,” he said.

After completing the master’s program, Aalok would like to earn a PhD in Maharishi Vedic Science℠ from MIU and participate in teaching the Vedic knowledge and the TM technique.

Dr. Yolanda Lewis-Ragland Delivers Commencement Address

Dr. Yolanda Lewis-Ragland Delivers Commencement Address

July 6, 2021 – Issue 579

Dr. Yolanda Lewis-Ragland Delivers Commencement Address

On June 19th Maharishi University of Management held its 44th commencement. Around 600 students from 49 countries graduated this year, including 78 students from the Maharishi Invincibility Institute, MIU’s sister institution in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The commencement ceremony this year fell on Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the abolition of slavery in the US. Commencement speaker Dr. Yolanda Lewis-Ragland expressed her belief that the recent declaration of Juneteenth as a national holiday is a beginning of true emancipation and can set the country free from a mindset that focuses on division. She also acknowledged the role of Consciousness-Based℠ education in developing the potential of every individual.

Graduates walking on stage to receive their diplomas

“Transcendental Meditation gives us a new definition of emancipation,” said Dr. Ragland-Lewis. “It helps us rid ourselves of the limitations of our minds, the shackles placed on us from childhood traumas, rejections in society, from toxic ideologies and relationships. With TM, we break free from those shackles and embrace our creativity, our ability to learn, and fully participate in this world.”

Dr. Lewis-Ragland is an MD, board certified in both pediatrics and obesity medicine, who has lived and practiced in the most impoverished and traumatized communities of Washington, DC. She has created the Dr. Yolanda Cares Foundation, an organization that focuses on reducing health disparities in vulnerable communities. She also works as a wellness coach combating obesity and is the author of three books.

Dr. Lewis-Ragland serves on the board of directors of the David Lynch Foundation and is a strong advocate of the Transcendental Meditation® program. She has received numerous recognitions for working to improve the quality of health and promote health equity. For her service to global health, MIU awarded Dr. Lewis-Ragland an honorary doctor of science degree.

Dr. Lewis-Ragland receiving her honorary degree from MIU Provost Scott Herriot and Dean of Faculty Victoria Alexander Herriot

MIU presented three additional honorary PhD degrees this year. Rena Boone received a doctor of education degree for her lifetime service to Consciousness-Based education and teaching the TM® technique. Ms. Boone taught at Maharishi School for 25 years and is currently the David Lynch Foundation’s regional director for the Washington, DC, area.

Master Zhang Gaocheng speaking from China

Jeffrey Abramson, who served as chair of MIU’s Board of Trustees for the past 12 years, received an honorary doctorate of world peace. Mr. Abramson is co-owner of The Tower Companies, an award-winning leader in green building. He has supported MIU and numerous educational and peace-creating projects around the world. He is also founding trustee of the David Lynch Foundation and the creator of the Rona and Jeffrey Abramson Center for Peace, dedicated to preventing conflict and fostering peace in war-torn regions.

Trustee Jeffrey Abramson, accepting his honorary doctorate

Watch the replay of the commencement ceremony here.

Valedictorian Jessica Mauro delivering part of her address as a song she wrote, with friend Breyonna Delanie

Salutatorian Anne Dietrich presenting the class gift (photos by Jim Davis)

Simone Cabizuca — Learning to Enjoy Stillness

Simone Cabizuca — Learning to Enjoy Stillness

June 28, 2021 – Issue 578

Simone Cabizuca
Learning to Enjoy Stillness

MIU alumna Simone Cabizuca hails from Belo Horizonte, the capital city of southeastern Brazil’s Minas Gerais state. Simone earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and worked as a teacher of English as a Second Language for 30 years, teaching professionals and working with corporations.

For most of her life Simone experienced anxiety and frustration when she wasn’t constantly busy. In 2016 she felt she needed to switch gears, so she began taking online courses on meditation and other wellness modalities. In 2017 she attended an introductory lecture about the Transcendental Meditation® technique, and she knew instantly she wanted to learn it.

“In the first few months I had amazing experiences,” she said. “I felt I was at home inside myself. I didn’t need to go anywhere to search for things. It was incredible and I wanted to go deeper.”


With her daughter, Bruna

She soon learned about MIU and decided to apply. She joined the on-campus master’s program in consciousness and human potential in 2019 and enrolled her 14-year-old daughter at Maharishi School. After six months, she had to return to Brazil due to a family health emergency, so she continued her studies online.

For the last two years, Simone has also been involved with her father’s coffee-growing business, helping to market and sell their line of specialty coffee. In addition, she organized online seminars on Vedic knowledge by MIU faculty for her local community, viewed by hundreds of people.

With classmates and Professor Tom Egenes

Simone graduated this June, receiving the Outstanding Student Award from the Department of Maharishi Vedic Science℠. “One of the main things about this program is that it changed my perception about life, myself, and my relationships,” said Simone. “I feel calmer, more patient, happier, and more joyful. It’s fun being myself.”

Simone has also enjoyed making friends and appreciated the support of the faculty. She feels that finishing her degree online allowed her to integrate the knowledge with her experience more easily. When her daughter finishes high school in two years, Simone plans to apply for the PhD program in Maharishi Vedic Science.

Christi Nickey — From Chef to Farmer

Christi Nickey — From Chef to Farmer

June 19, 2021 – Issue 577

Christi Nickey

From Chef to Farmer

MIU student Christi Nickey grew up in a small farming community in Indiana, where her grandparents and parents farmed the same land. When she was in high school her family moved to Florida, where she attended culinary school and worked as a chef in Palm Beach County.

When a series of hurricanes struck the Florida coast in 2003 and 2004, Christi and her parents decided to move to safer and more sustainable grounds. They bought a farm in South Carolina, where Christi worked while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in animal science at Clemson University.

After graduating, she moved to Colorado Springs to work as a chef. When the COVID pandemic hit last March, Christi and her partner, who is also a chef, both lost their jobs.

Working as a chef in Florida

Christi decided to return to school and study organic, sustainable agriculture. She looked for programs online and found MIU’s Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program. After visiting and taking an online course last spring, they moved to Fairfield and she enrolled at MIU.

Christi enjoys the hands-on experience of the program and the safe, friendly atmosphere of Fairfield, which reminds her of her hometown. Christi says learning the Transcendental Meditation® technique was the right next step to take, along with returning to farming.

Tending the goats on the family farm

“I feel more confident now that I am making the right decisions,” she said. “When you are on the right path, you know it. Practicing TM has increased that feeling of being on the right path, and making good choices is easier.”

While attending school and raising her three children, Christi also took a staff position with the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT) as farm and food coordinator for Fairfield. As part of a new SILT campaign called Circle Our Cities, she is working to protect land for sustainable food production on local farms around Fairfield during this year, with the ultimate goal of surrounding ten Iowa cities with ten permanent food farms in ten years. “I am passionate about farmers, protecting land and biodiversity, and making great food,” she said.

After graduation, Christi would like to stay around Fairfield and start a permaculture-style farm.

New Maharishi AyurVeda Clinic Opens in Los Angeles

New Maharishi AyurVeda Clinic Opens in Los Angeles

June 15, 2021 – Issue 576

New Maharishi AyurVeda Clinic Opens in Los Angeles

On May 14, the Day of Lasting Achievements in the Vedic calendar, MIU inaugurated the Navin and Pratima Doshi Center for Integrative Medicine in West Los Angeles, California. The clinic is located in an 11,000-square-foot building donated by philanthropists and LA residents Navin and Pratima Doshi.

Mr. Doshi, reading a poem he wrote, at the evening celebration with President Hagelin

Navin Doshi grew up in Mumbai and moved to the US in 1958. He earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Harbor, and worked as an aerospace engineer for over two decades. He has received NASA awards and US patents.

Later he started a business with the help of his wife, Pratima, and also invested in real estate and financial instruments. He has been involved in philanthropic work, mostly in the field of education. In 2019 he received a honorary doctorate from MIU for being a leading proponent of India’s Vedic heritage and its role in the modern world.

Manali (granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Doshi) and MIU alumna Tara De Santis singing Mr. Doshi’s poem

The teaching and research facility is an extension of MIU and will provide health consultations to the public. The clinic’s supervisor is John Zamarra, MD, a cardiologist and clinical professor of physiology and health at MIU. The resident Maharishi AyurVeda expert is Vaidya Manohar Palakurthi. Patients visiting the health center will receive evaluation and recommendations from both a western physician and an ayurvedic expert.

Manali, granddaughter of the Doshis; Tara De Santis, MIU alumna; Mrs. Doshi; Mr. Doshi; Christopher Key Chapple, Doshi professor of Indic and comparative theology at Loyola Marymount University; MIU President John Hagelin; Deepak Shimkhada, professor of Hindu studies at Claremont Lincoln University; Louise Allison, director of Orange County TM center; Michael Busch, development officer Global Peace Initiative

The center will also give opportunities for MIU students to participate in patient consultations for their clinical training in the MS in Maharishi AyurVeda and Integrative Medicine Program. MIU’s program is one of only two accredited master’s programs in Ayurveda in the United States, and it is the largest, with 350 graduate students and 250 undergraduate students.

On the evening of May 14, MIU President John Hagelin invited local community leaders for a celebration in honor of the Doshis at the Sanatan Dharma Temple and Cultural Center in Norwalk, California.

Watch a replay of the inaugural broadcast by MIU here.

Navin Doshi receiving an honorary doctorate degree from President John Hagelin in 2019

Raul Calderon — A Comprehensive Approach to Student Well-Being

Raul Calderon — A Comprehensive Approach to Student Well-Being

June 4, 2021 – Issue 575

Dr. Raul Calderon Jr.

A Comprehensive Approach to Student Well-Being

MIU alumnus Raul Calderon Jr., PhD, was recently appointed as executive advisor to the International Organization of Health, Sports, and Kinesiology (IOHSK).

Raul Calderon’s career as a physical educator, health researcher, and sports and exercise professional began 40 years ago when he first arrived at MIU. He had competed in sports like basketball, soccer, and track and field since third grade, so he chose a bachelor’s degree in education and physical education, graduating in 1982. He then pursued an MA in exercise and sports science at the University of Iowa, and an MS and a PhD at MIU in health psychology.


Leading a four-week MIU leadership and adventure sports course on Maui, Hawaii, 2009

“My overall desire has always been to help students grow,” said Dr. Calderon. “MIU gave me a broad, comprehensive point of view and I continued to build on that. I am using that model of Consciousness-Based education and higher states of consciousness and study how different techniques can develop the mind/body connection, reduce stress, and lead to a healthier, happier, and longer life.”

At a canyoning adventure in the mountains of Ecuador, 2015

Dr. Calderon was an assistant professor at MIU between 2005 and 2012 in the Departments of Education and Exercise and Sports Science. He directed the MIU rock-climbing club and ran leadership and adventure sports trips with Professor Ken Daley.

For the the last seven years, Dr. Calderon has been teaching and researching at universities in South Korea, Vietnam, India, and Thailand. He has also spoken at numerous conferences on the psychological well-being and health of Asian students and the psychology of sports performance and has published the results of his research in scientific journals.

Giving a presentation on enhancing sport performance through development of mind and brain at Burapha University, Thailand, 2019

Dr. Calderon is currently on a sabbatical, visiting universities in Central America to offer his expertise and promote the IOHSK. He also plans to continue his research in Central and South America on the connections of health behaviors to psychological well-being.

Physical exercise and the practice of the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® programs are both integral parts of his daily routine. “It’s important to me to practice what I teach and be a role model for my students,” Dr. Calderon said.

At Kasetsart University, Thailand, Senior Students Research Project Presentations, where Dr. Calderon’s research group was presented with the best poster presentation award, 2020