Almar Meijles Builds Vāstu Housing in Indonesia

Almar Meijles Builds Vāstu Housing in Indonesia

MIU Alumnus Almar Meijles

New Maharishi Vāstu house on the Purusha campus in West Java

The tropical garden of the new campus

MIU alumnus Almar Meijles recently completed the construction of a small Maharishi Vāstu® campus in Indonesia for the NextGen PurushaSM program, which caters to young men who want to dedicate their time to research in consciousness and studying Maharishi’s knowledge.

Almar and fellow students came up with the idea of building small affordable Vāstu housing during a class in entrepreneurship offered by MIU’s Concept to Market Institute. In subsequent classes he developed a business plan and consulted mentors and potential investors in the community. He graduated in 2017 and had to return to his home country of the Netherlands before being able to implement his plan.

Soon he headed to Indonesia, where his real-estate-developer brother offered to work with Almar on a project in Jakarta. Eager to get some experience, Almar helped develop a small residential compound just outside the city.

His next opportunity came when his family decided to repurpose a property they owned in the mountainous region of West Java. Almar took on the challenge after carefully investigating his options. “The creative entrepreneurship program really taught me how to do proper market research and see what the possibilities are,” he said.

This time, Almar was ready for a project that would implement the principles of Maharishi Vāstu design as well as sustainable construction. After learning that the Maharishi PurushaSM program was looking for a new campus, he contacted a Vāstu architect. Three weeks later they broke ground on the family property and completed the construction of three new buildings within seven months.

“Things came together so quickly,” said Almar. “It was the support of nature. Being more attuned to my innermost self, which is connected to everything else, made the whole process smoother. That’s the biggest benefit I have gotten from the TM and TM-Sidhi programs.”

The one-acre campus includes 16 single rooms, a dining hall, a meditation hall, and a garden with hundreds of tropical fruit trees and a variety of organic vegetables.

ComPro Students Express Appreciation for MIU

ComPro Students Express Appreciation for MIU

Students in a computer science class

Computer science graduates from Eritrea at the 2019 graduation

ComPro students and graduates after the 2019 commencement ceremony

The Computer Science department recently surveyed its graduating students about their experience at MIU and they have expressed appreciation and gratitude. Many students praised the quality of education and the relevance of the subjects taught in the program.

“It was a wonderful experience doing the Master’s in Computer Science at MIU. The curriculum is the latest and the faculty is highly experienced. Everything at MIU made me feel at home. It was a good decision to do my master’s there.”

“The program provides courses that help you to thrive in the professional world. The courses are taught by experienced professors who have gained experience in the IT industry.”

Students were also appreciative of the incorporation of the Transcendental Meditation® technique in the curriculum and the personal growth they have experienced as a result of it.

“The habit of practicing Transcendental Meditation helps a lot to improve personal and professional life. So my overall experience of the MSCS program has been amazing.”

“MIU helped me in many ways to develop myself spiritually and intellectually. Even though I was very hesitant to get an education from a Consciousness-Based university, I think I have made one of the best decisions of my life. Not only have I fulfilled my career desires, I have also fulfilled that missing part in me by developing my spiritual side.”

Another area of fulfillment for students is the international student community and the caring staff and faculty.

“Thanks for providing a great career growth and advancement opportunity with no discrimination to race or country of origin.”

“I am also forever thankful for the opportunities to meet so many wonderful, nice, and kind friends here. It all started with MIU and this beautiful country which connected us as one.”

“I am very grateful to the admission officers, faculty, coordinators, coaches, and many other staff who were professional, supportive, friendly, open, and attentive from enrollment till graduation.”

“Thank you, MIU, for being a second home and a family.”

The Computer Professionals Program has been running for over 23 years and is the 2nd largest Master’s in Computer Science Program in the US. Over 3,000 students have graduated from 100 countries and found internships at top US companies, including many Fortune 500 companies.

Edgar Endo Creates First Detailed COVID-19 Map for Brazil

Edgar Endo Creates First Detailed COVID-19 Map for Brazil

Computer science student Edgar Endo

Edgar’s interactive map of Brazil’s COVID-19 cases

In the Science and Technology of Consciousness class with Professor Will Richards

In the Enterprise Architecture class with Professor Payman Salek

Edgar Endo is a student in MIU’s Master’s in Computer Science Program, who recently created a Web page that tracks coronavirus cases in his home country of Brazil.

Edgar is from the town of Itapeva in southern Brazil. He earned a bachelor’s degree in information technology and worked as a teacher in a regional vocational school for computer technicians. Last year he found MIU on Facebook and became interested in the Computer Science Program. He tracked down Brazilian MIU alumni and, after talking to them, joined the program last August.

After completing his last class in modern web applications, he was looking for an area where he could apply what he had learned about creating single-page applications. He noticed that there wasn’t a city-by-city breakdown of COVID-19 cases in Brazil on the Internet.

“Brazil is a huge country and nobody was showing any local data,” said Edgar. “I wanted to present the data so anyone could view it on a cell phone or computer.”

After finding the source of the data, he visualized the information by creating a real-time interactive map. He shared his web page on Facebook and the number of daily visitors is continually increasing. “This is going to help a lot of people in Brazil to get fresh data from all states in one place,” he said. “I’m feeling grateful to MIU to be able to be this useful in this moment.”

Edgar has enjoyed his time at MIU, especially the opportunity to work with people from all around the world. He has also found the practice of the Transcendental Meditation® program useful in helping him relax and focus his mind. “When I am tired at work, I can stop and do my TM practice and go back to work with more energy,” he said.

Edgar has completed his on-campus coursework and is now looking for a paid internship position in the US while finishing the rest of his degree online.

Elizavet Carranza—Nurturing the Writer Within

Elizavet Carranza—Nurturing the Writer Within

Elizavet Carranza

With her father and two sisters during an MIU Visitors Weekend in 2019

Learning to play games with the English Buddy Club

Elizavet Carranza was born in Mexico and grew up in a small town on the Colorado plains. In her senior year of high school she stumbled upon MIU on the Internet. She came to a Visitors Weekend, and she was so excited about attending that she brought her father and two sisters to a subsequent Visitors Weekend.

“It was nothing I ever imagined,” said Elizavet. “I liked the organic vegetarian food, Consciousness-Based education, one course per block, meditation. I thought this school knew what education was about.”

Elizavet planned on majoring in business, but an English composition class sparked a desire to take up writing. She had always been interested in writing and communication but never imagined life as an author. Now she is pursuing a major in creative and professional writing and a minor in cinematic arts and new media.

“Transcendental Meditation is the reason why I feel so confident in my writing now,” she said. “Before I came here, I based my decisions on surface things. But through practicing TM, I’ve felt more and more myself, and writing just kept coming back to me.”

Elizavet has always enjoyed participating in her community. In high school she was the Colorado state officer of public relations for the youth organization Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. When she arrived at MIU last August, she immediately joined the English Buddy Club and later became president. Since she joined, the club’s attendance has increased ten-fold. Elizavet also likes doing public relations, so her next goal is to join MIU Student Government as communications coordinator. In addition, she has been hosting events during Visitors Weekends.

Elizavet has no shortage of subjects to write about, including stories of her upbringing and strong family connections. She enjoys exploring various genres and feeling inspired by her classes. “Everything is in your grasp as long as you have the intention,” she said

Sophia Blitz—Software Developer and Competitive Ballroom Dancer

Sophia Blitz—Software Developer and Competitive Ballroom Dancer

MIU graduate student Sophia Blitz

With her dance partner Dillon Hanson at the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships 2016, where they took 3rd place in the Amateur Adult Gold Smooth category

In the MIU classroom with fellow students

Sophia Blitz is studying full time in MIU’s new Master’s in Software Development Program. Meanwhile, she is also teaching math at Maharishi School part time and giving dance lessons around the community.

Sophia grew up in Fairfield and, after graduating from Maharishi School, earned a BS in industrial engineering with a minor in computer science from the University of Iowa. Then she worked as a software developer in Madison, Wisconsin.

While studying at the University of Iowa, Sophia joined the Hawkeye Ballroom Dance Company and traveled and competed around the country. She continued dancing after graduation, and in 2016 she decided to focus on her competitive dancing. She and her dance partner moved to Fairfield and both began teaching math part time at Maharishi School. They dedicated their time outside the classroom to practicing their dance routines and competing in regional and national championships.

During this time, Sophia began to analyze the dynamics of partner dancing in terms of leading and following. She realized that the leadership and communication skills present in dancing are transferable to other social interactions. She said that her experience with Consciousness-BasedSM education and learning the universal principles of the Science of Creative Intelligence established a habit of thinking that later helped in her discoveries in dance.

“This process of recognizing patterns and relating them to ideas, or even disciplines, is the foundational skill that allowed me to start this entire process,” said Sophia. “I looked for underlying principles that govern dancing, and in recognizing them I noticed that they are also true in other areas of my life.”

Sophia is currently teaching several weekly dance classes, where she is using the principles she has discovered to eventually develop a curriculum that she can take into a tech and corporate environment. “My desire is to take partner dancing in a loose form as a platform for developing conversations around body language, consent, communication, and respect,” she said.

Sophia is graduating in August and hopes to find a job as a software developer and continue to refine her dance-inspired leadership program.

Lilia Kingbird–Supporting Native Youth

Lilia Kingbird–Supporting Native Youth

MIU student Lilia Kingbird

With her mother and fellow MIU student Winona Tahdooahnippah

With her mother and siblings Ioleta and Lincoln Kingbird

Lilia Kingbird is a descendant of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe Native Americans of Minnesota and the great Comanche Nation of Oklahoma. Although she attended public school, she grew up around the Circle of Nations boarding school for tribal children in Wahpeton, North Dakota, where her parents worked as teachers.

In 2017 she saw a video of Jim Carrey’s MIU commencement speech and looked up the university at her mother’s encouragement. Although she was nervous about the idea of going to college, she liked the curriculum and enrolled in January 2018. Her mother also enrolled at the same time, starting the online MBA Program.

“I had no excuses at that point; there was no reason for me not to go to school,” she said. “The block system, the vegetarian meals, meditation, those were all the things I really needed in my life at the time because I was struggling and didn’t know where to go.”

Lilia found the Transcendental Meditation® technique helpful for dealing with previous trauma and mental health issues. “TM helped a lot with my anxiety,” she said.

After spending a year on campus, Lilia is now taking her classes online while living in Wisconsin near a Chippewa tribal community. Last fall she won an essay contest sponsored by MIU ChangeMakers answering the question: How would you apply your unique gifts to transform the world?

Lilia described that, from a young age, she helped her father teach singing and developed a talent for telling stories and entertaining. But growing up around unstable families, she had witnessed and experienced addiction. Seeing children on tribal lands and reservations not having access to the same care and support as other communities receive, she became inspired to help these youth. She began speaking publicly about her challenges and how she overcame them. At MIU, she is pursuing an individualized major and plans to get a graduate degree in social work and drug and alcohol counseling.