Kendra Morrison — Finding Inspiration in Community

Kendra Morrison — Finding Inspiration in Community

April 18, 2022 • ISSUE 619

Kendra Morrison

Finding Inspiration in Community

MIU film student Kendra Morrison grew up in Daytona, Florida. Her interest in photography developed early in childhood and manifested in making home movies with her siblings. In her senior year of high school she decided to become a filmmaker. She has studied cinematography on her own and learned graphic design through an internship.
 
When she saw an ad for MIU, she became intrigued by the film department and the Transcendental Meditation® program. She joined the online Cinematic Arts and New Media program in the summer of 2020 and moved to campus six months later.

Acting as the talent in the Film Equipment Mastery class

“It’s great to have all the resources, time, and people to work with on your projects,” she said. “Everything we need is available to make a movie.” Kendra has already made several experimental short films, including a music video.
 
Kendra enjoys trying her hand at various other forms of media, including graphic design and digital music production. She also loves collaborating with classmates and people from the Fairfield creative community. “I like doing film because I want to empower people and build communities,” she said.

Getting ready to shoot a short film last summer

The Transcendental Meditation technique has helped Kendra find inner peace and balance in life. “TM helps me remember that everything is all right, and it keeps my head clear so I am more open to inspiration.”
 
Kendra is now focusing on practicing her screenwriting skills while working on several story ideas in various genres, such as Western, television, and mockumentary. She gathers inspiration from the people she meets, as well as from her family history. “I like to develop characters first and let the action emerge from the characters,” she said. Kendra also wants to make more music videos with local artists and return to her childhood hobby of songwriting.

Chris Kein — Passion for Learning and Mentoring

Chris Kein — Passion for Learning and Mentoring

April 11, 2022 • ISSUE 618

Chris Kein

Passion for Learning and Mentoring

MIU alumnus Chris Kein is the director of Information Systems and Technology at AITACS, an international IT service company, where he oversees business development, delivery, and new product development. His job involves traveling in North America in search of new projects, clients, and talent.
 
A native of Singapore, Chris earned his MBA from the University of Missouri and started his first IT company in 1997. Since then he has worked for various IT companies in a variety of leadership roles in the US and Southeast Asia.
 
Among Chris’s passions are lifelong learning and self-improvement, and he strives to stay up to date in his field by taking courses and earning new certifications. In 2008 he decided to get his second MBA to “upgrade his skillset.”

With his colleagues at AITACS

As a result of his interest in personal development he had known about Maharishi and the Transcendental Meditation® technique, so he decided to enroll in MIU’s MBA in Accounting Program. He learned the TM® and TM-Sidhi® programs and enjoyed his stay in Fairfield.
 
“When you are getting older, you experience more pressure in life,” he said. “I notice how TM reduces stress and anxiety and improves relationships with co-workers. It has also increased my job satisfaction, performance, and productivity.”

Planting a tree with the prime minister of Singapore

Chris is also passionate about training and mentoring young graduates. Over his career he has recruited dozens of people out of college and helped them integrate into their work environment and grow their careers. He has continued to nurture his relationships with his mentees as they moved up to more senior positions.
 
“I try to learn from other people, and I get great ideas from young people from different cultures,” he said. “It improves what I am doing.”
 
Chris believes in living a contented life and creating a positive impact not only for himself but for others.

Patrick Gillam — Effective Communication through Personal Transformation

Patrick Gillam — Effective Communication through Personal Transformation

April 4, 2022 • ISSUE 617

Patrick Gillam

Effective Communication through Personal Transformation

MIU alumnus Patrick Gillam calls himself a “message guide” and specializes in marketing and copywriting for software companies.
 
Patrick grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa. After his freshman year at the University of Iowa, Patrick learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique, and his life took a radical turn for the better. He determined to become a teacher of the TM® technique and then transfer to MIU.
 
“I chose MIU because I wanted to contribute to an institution that would have long-term impact on the welfare of the nation and the world,” he said. Patrick earned a BA in business in 1981 and then went on to obtain an MA in journalism with an emphasis in advertising copywriting from the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he also taught the TM technique.
 
Patrick began his career at a small ad agency in Saint Louis. He then moved to New Hampshire and worked for several ad agencies as well as a software company. He has developed marketing campaigns for a variety of industries in every media, ranging from brochures to television.

Patrick (left) and friend John Paul Small ’80 (right) hiking in Mount Monadnock, Dublin, New Hampshire, 2019

Now he runs his own copywriting consultancy, focusing on business-to-business marketing. He has built his life around personal transformation and strives to support clients who aim to transform their fields. He feels that his education at MIU has prepared him well for a constantly changing and ever-evolving industry.
 
“The only way an educational institution can help its students is to teach them how to grow, learn, and adapt,” said Patrick, “and for that purpose, MIU has been supremely successful.”
 
Patrick’s work practice revolves around the idea of responding to invitations. “If someone asks something of me, it opens up channels, and the knowledge and creativity flow,” he said.
 
In his free time Patrick serves on the board of a local Waldorf school and enjoys walking the New England countryside with his dog and friends.

Kaili Rose — Documenting the Heroes of Live Music

Kaili Rose — Documenting the Heroes of Live Music

March 28, 2022 • ISSUE 616

Kaili Rose

Documenting the Heroes of Live Music

Kaili Rose is a student in MIU’s online Cinematic Arts and New Media Program who is working on a documentary series about the music industry and the challenges artists face on their way to success.
 
Although Kaili studied science in college, her passion lay in writing for the college paper and taking photos of musicians at concerts. Several years later she made photojournalism her career and has been traveling to music festivals to photograph and write about musicians. She has also worked as chief marketing officer for Top Shelf Music magazine.

Kaili working on her documentary

As live music events disappeared at the onset of the pandemic, Kaili decided to focus on her wellness. She had been exploring meditation and saw Jim Carrey’s 2014 MIU commencement speech, which inspired her to “mindfully pursue her passion for filmmaking.” Soon she found MIU’s online film program and enrolled.
 
Last summer Kaili made her first documentary short about two regional music festivals in Canada and the behind-the-scenes efforts that made them happen. The film has been officially selected by fifteen film festivals and received a best director award from the Vesuvius International Film Fest. Kaili is now developing the project into a series of short episodes, discussing unique perspectives and topics in the music industry with a diverse panel of artists and industry professionals.

The poster for her film “Love: Music”

In addition to gaining skills in her classes, Kaili received support and encouragement from the faculty. “The program has been amazing in helping me organize my career and understand how to make things happen,” she said.
 
The Transcendental Meditation® technique has helped her stay grounded and find calm in the storm. “Just the depth of inspiration that surfaces from this process really works,” said Kaili. “It’s helping me find common streams and meaning through everything I am trying to build into film.”

A scene from the documentary

Kaili wants to continue telling the stories of artists and will be releasing three episodes of her series this year.

Dileep Krishnamoorthy — Promoting ComPro Through Photography

Dileep Krishnamoorthy — Promoting ComPro Through Photography

March 21, 2022 • ISSUE 615

Dileep Krishnamoorthy

Promoting ComPro Through Photography

MIU alumnus Dileep Krishnamoorthy grew up in a village in Tamil Nadu, India. After earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Sree Sakthi Engineering College in Tamil Nadu, he wanted to find a job and continue studying to improve himself.
 
He heard about MIU from his uncle who worked closely with Maharishi for decades. The MBA program appealed to him, as it allowed him to have an internship position at MIU while studying. Dileep enrolled in 2014 and began his internship in the ComPro Department as assistant network administrator.

Dileep with the ComPro Admissions team in 2021

Dileep felt at home on campus, especially after he connected with ComPro faculty member Renuka Mohanraj and her family, who came from the same area Dileep did and welcomed him into their home.
 
After graduating from the three-year MBA program, Dileep enrolled in the part-time MA in Consciousness and Human Potential Program. At the same time, he began working with the ComPro marketing team. During his time at MIU he developed an interest in photography and filmmaking and started making videos to promote the department under the guidance of his supervisor, Craig Shaw.

Making a promo video for ComPro with administrative director Elaine Guthrie

Dileep says that through his MBA courses he improved his communication skills, personal financial practices, and even his eating habits. In 2015 he won second place in a mediation tournament hosted by the University of Wisconsin.

The MIU mediation team with mediation coach Professor Vicki Alexander Herriott at the University of Wisconsin in 2015

“Consciousness-Based education not only provided me with the knowledge of business and the human physiology, but also gave me a better understanding of my life in general,” he said. “I have developed a sense of connection with people around me, and a feeling that we all are one and the same.”
 
Dileep has returned to India and now works remotely doing Internet marketing, photo and video editing, and covering the previously unstaffed and highly popular ComPro website daytime live chat for his time zone, which has resulted in an increase in online applications.

One of Dileep’s photos taken in Fairfield

Roberto Elee Torres — The Art of Daily Ritu

Roberto Elee Torres — The Art of Daily Ritu

March 14, 2022 • ISSUE 614

Roberto Elee Torres

The Art of Daily Ritual

Roberto Elee Torres is a student in MIU’s low-residency MFA program and works as the administrator for the art department. Fairfield residents have seen Elee showcase his designs at the EcoJam fashion shows, perform with some of the local dance and theater groups, and sell his pastries at the farmers market.
 
Elee grew up in Mexico and was living in the Midwest when he heard about MIU from a student friend. Elee was impressed with his friend’s increased sense of fulfillment and positive attitude and decided to apply to MIU. Although Elee always enjoyed making art, he didn’t know how to become an artist. So when he enrolled at MIU in 2007, he took courses in Maharishi AyurVeda℠ and sustainable living.

Wearing his costume design at the 2017 EcoJam fashion show

“I kept getting feedback from everyone around me that my way of expression was artistic, and that made me curious,” he said. “I took some classes at the art department and never left; I found myself there.” Outside school he thrived in the local performing and art scenes.
 
Elee has also benefited from his practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique and found it helpful in reducing his anxiety. “TM offers me a chance to reset myself during the day and come out more refreshed,” he said.

Sculpture by Elee

Sculpture by Elee

Last fall he joined the new low-residency MFA program which allows him to focus on making artwork while still working for the department. “It’s helpful to be in the MFA program because I can bounce things off other artists, and the environment is very conducive to creativity and artistic refinement,” said Elee.
 
Elee loves working with recycled materials and is focusing on creating mixed media sculptures. He is interested in exploring the domestic environment and how everyday activities and rituals can create happiness and fulfillment.