Michael T. Moore Expanding Renewable Energy in Fairfield

Michael T. Moore Expanding Renewable Energy in Fairfield

August 2, 2021 • ISSUE 583

Michael T. Moore
Expanding Renewable Energy in Fairfield

MIU alumnus Michael T. Moore was on his way to becoming a professional pilot, studying at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. The year was 1971, and Michael just learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique. When he heard about the brand new Maharishi International University in Santa Barbara, California, he packed up his bags and transferred. When MIU moved to Fairfield in 1974, Michael relocated as well.

Michael first earned a BA in interdisciplinary studies followed by an MA in higher education administration and an MBA from MIU. He worked in marketing for several Fairfield companies, including Maharishi Ayurveda Products International and USA Global Link.

At a wind installation in northwest Iowa

Michael feels fortunate to be among the first graduates of MIU. “What I got from MIU was a feeling of confidence, that you can do anything if you put your attention on it,” he said.

For the past 15 years, Michael has worked in the area of renewable energy, managing projects and the acquisition of land for both wind and solar installations. He has worked with landowners, land agents, environmental specialists, and engineers in 13 states and two provinces in Canada. He is proud of having saved dozens of family farms by providing them with extra income for the use of their land, and his projects currently light up some 1.5 million homes.

With Anne Walton (left) and Marg Dwyer (right) of the Southeast Iowa Sierra Club, promoting recycling at the Fairfield Farmers Market

Nowadays Michael spends much of his time working with the Southeast Iowa Sierra Club on their various projects to make Fairfield more sustainable. He is heading the chapter’s effort to help Fairfield transition to 100 percent renewable energy. He has been coordinating with MIU and the City of Fairfield and approaching local businesses and organizations for support.

“We are looking at ways to see how the city can be powered by solar energy,” said Michael. “I would like to see that happen in the next four years.”

Michael is also volunteering with the Alumni Association and MIU’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Zhang Gaocheng Computer Science Alumnus and Daoist Master

Zhang Gaocheng Computer Science Alumnus and Daoist Master

July 23, 2021 • ISSUE 582

Zhang Gaocheng
Computer Science Alumnus and Daoist Master

 

Master Zhang Gaocheng is a graduate of MIU’s MS in Computer Science program. He is also a Daoist master, who over the past 20 years has revived the almost extinct Southern Sector of Daoism in China.

Master Zhang was on faculty at Zhejiang University in China in the 1980s when he learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique. In 1986 he learned about MIU’s holistic approach to education and decided to enroll.

“When I arrived at MIU, I was deeply touched by the genuine care and friendliness the MIU leaders, faculty, and staff gave us,” said Master Zhang.

The Tong Bai Gong Palaces

After graduating from MIU, he worked in the US and earned a green card. However, a few years later he returned to China to pursue his new goal. At a sacred Daoist site at Tiantai Mountain in Zhejiang province, he has built a cluster of 12 temples, known as Tong Bai Gong Palaces, and established the first Daoist college in the province. The palaces are among the most visited Daoist places in China.

Over the years, Master Zhang stayed in touch with MIU and in 2012 received a visit from MIU President Bevan Morris.

The college has hundreds of students who grow vegetables on the campus grounds and follow a vegetarian diet. They also perform Daoist ceremonies every day to prevent natural disasters, such as typhoons, which plague the area every year. Master Zhang said that these practices have protected Tiantai county from typhoons over the past 17 years.

With students at the Institute of Dao

“Like Maharishi’s Vedic knowledge, the Daoist practices have produced all of these miracles in the past many decades,” he said. “Maharishi’s Vedic knowledge is the knowledge of Dao.”

These achievements have attracted the attention of environmental organizations and world leaders, and Master Zhang spoke at a 2015 climate summit in Paris and met with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in 2017. In the same year, he became the general secretary elect for the World Federation of Daoism.

Inside one of the palaces

One of the central aspects of Master Zhang’s mission is the protection of the environment. “The Chinese Daoists focused on the unity of human and nature,” he said. “The world is united now, we are united as one to protect our only home, planet Earth.”

For his contribution to the Daoist tradition, to education, and to world peace and harmony, MIU awarded Master Zhang with an honorary doctorate at the 2021 commencement ceremony. In his acceptance speech, Master Zhang invited all MIU alumni and students to stay at his complex for free. “Just mention TM and MIU,” he said.

The Tiantai Mountain

Jenna Doran — Discovering a Passion for the Environment

Jenna Doran — Discovering a Passion for the Environment

July 19 2021 – Issue 581

Jenna Doran —
Discovering a Passion for the Environment

Jenna Doran has been a sign language interpreter in the Moline, Illinois, school district for ten years. Her job involves interpreting for one deaf or hearing-impaired student all day, facilitating communication with teachers, and helping her student integrate with the rest of the class.

Last year Jenna decided to earn a bachelor’s degree online. She had practiced meditation and heard about MIU. She was drawn to the Transcendental Meditation® technique, along with the online degree programs and the short, two-hour drive to Fairfield from her home. Jenna enrolled in August 2019 and is majoring in applied arts and sciences with a minor in sustainable living.

Jenna with her six-year-old student

“Studying at MIU has helped me get to know myself more,” said Jenna. “I have a deeper experience and connection with my students and I am enjoying my job even more.” The practice of the TM® technique plays a large part in her transformation. “I realized how smoothly my work day goes when I practice twice a day.”

Jenna has a special interest in doing environmental work. Last year she began a campaign to encourage the use of washable lunch trays, instead of single-use styrofoam, at her stepson’s high school. She talked to the school board and called 30 similar schools about their practices. Soon the high school returned to using the washable trays.

Interpreting in a 2nd grade classroom in 2019

Jenna is particularly interested in composting. She is currently working with Iowa Waste Exchange to find a way to compost the food waste at the school where she is teaching.

“I think it’s fascinating that everything returns to where it comes from and then continues to help other things grow,” she said. “It’s silly that we throw away things that could go back into the ground, and it also costs money.”

After completing her bachelor’s degree, Jenna plans to enroll in MIU’s MBA in sustainable business.

Jenna growing strawberries in her garden

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.