John Collins

John Collins

  • Assistant Professor of Maharishi Vedic Science
  • Instructor in Sustainable Living
  • John Collins has taught at the Maharishi University of Management for eight years


  • B.Sc., Bristol University (England)
  • MA, Maharishi University of Management

John Collins’ career began in the Hong Kong government, writing policy in the fields of marine, agriculture, fisheries, and United Nations. He then founded/directed a development and construction company that built houses, apartments, and community and office buildings which included many eco features — such as high-spec insulation, passive solar, and rammed earth.

John was also engaged in politics and national campaigning on GMOs and waste management issues and served as an elected local councilor in the U.K.

He has a joint honors degree from Bristol University, England, in Philosophy and Economics and a Masters in Maharishi Vedic Science from Maharishi University of Management.

John joined the Sustainable Living faculty in 2008 and has developed a range of courses on the relationship of consciousness to social change, policy and governance to create a fully sustainable society.

“My core interest is in the utility of Maharishi Vedic Science for Sustainability. Consciousness is a central element of Maharishi Vedic Science, including ‘enlightenment’ or higher states of consciousness. Are these states relevant to creating greater sustainability? My first research, conducted with Dr. Fred Travis, was presented to the World Association for Vedic Education. It explored what human traits – experiences of transcendental consciousness, beliefs, ethical values, transpersonal experiences with nature – drive pro-sustainable behaviors.”

Jesse Dann

  • Adjunct Professor of Sustainable Living


  • BA, Dartmouth College
  • MS, Michigan Technological University
  • PhD, Washington University

Jesse is an Earth Scientist and photographer, who sees sustainability through the lens of interacting human and natural systems.

He started his career with mining exploration companies, spent five years living and working in South Africa, conducted post-doctoral research at MIT, and has taught Earth science, oceanography, environmental geology, and writing courses with themes of sustainability and climate change at Wellesley College and Boston University.

His favorite courses have field trips that engage students in doing science, appreciating natural design, and developing their observational and 4-D visualization skills.

Recently, he served as an educational consultant for an eco-tourism and conservation company in southern Africa and toured Iceland and Nicaragua for geothermal plants and wind farms embedded in active volcanic landscapes.

Dina El Chammas

Dina El Chammas

  • Assistant Professor of Sustainable Living
  • Dina has taught at the Maharishi University of Management for six years


Dina El Chammas has been working in the field of sustainability, environmental engineering and sustainable watershed management since the year 2000. She holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s of Engineering from the American University of Beirut.

Her expertise includes working at the Environmental and Water Resource Engineering department at the American University of Beirut performing research related to industrial waste management, water and wastewater treatment processes, wastewater reclamation practices, development of natural resources within an economically sustainable framework, and the use of alternative fuels. She then worked as an environmental engineer in the Gulf and Caspian regions on projects in Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Georgia and Azerbaijan. Her work entailed the preparation and implementation of environmental management plans, reinstatement and landscape management plans, pollution prevention plans, waste management plans and water and wastewater management plans.

She was heavily involved in the preparation of Environmental Impact Statements for large construction sites, including performing field baseline studies and data modeling and assessment. She has experience with EPA, EU and WHO Environmental Legislation & Regulations. In her role as environmental team leader for an engineering contractor with over 2000 employees and sites in North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf and Caspian regions she built an Environmental Management System that got the company ISO 14001 certified.

She is a certified environmental auditor by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and is certified by the Iowa Stormwater Education Program (ISWEP) to design and implement urban green infrastructure within the state of Iowa.

Dina also established and successfully ran the first legal entity to offer the Transcendental Meditation program in the Gulf Region and has been teaching, developing sustainability curriculum, and mentoring students since 2010. She is a strong proponent of problem based, service oriented learning. In her classes students apply their knowledge by contributing to current, locally based projects, both urban and agricultural in nature. Students work closely with experts in the field from the private, public and NGO sectors. She has used this approach to great success in her watershed management courses in which students heavily participated in the process of applying for a 2 million dollar grant for the implementation of Green Infrastructure in Fairfield. The City later on received this grant and the students were congratulated by the city for their contribution.

She is a strong advocate of women in STEM and strongly encourages women and girls to excel in the sciences and to gain technical proficiency as a way to promote and encourage change in the world.


El Chammas Gass D. (in progress). Immerse in Your Watershed: Problem Based, Service Learning for Undergraduate Sustainability Education. The Journal of Sustainability Education. Prescott, Arizona.

Chammas, D. 2003. Potentiality of Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse in the Lebanon. A Case Study. Masters Thesis, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon. Beneficiary of the 2001-2002 Ibrahim Abd El Al Master Thesis Assistantship.


American University of Beirut Research Fund granted by the American University of Beirut for furthering research work on Master’s thesis.

Ibrahim Abd El Aal Masters Theses Assistantship award granted for Master’s thesis.

Devon Almond

Devon Almond

  • Academic Director, MUM Hawaii Program
  • Assistant Professor, MUM Hawaii Program
  • Dr. Devon Almond has taught at the Maharishi University of Management for six months


Dr. Devon Almond is fascinated by leading-edge higher education and transformative community development in small towns. Devon’s teaching and learning territory emphasizes human development, education, communication, and community development with a particular focus in rural and remote contexts. Research interests in rural community colleges and American tribal colleges allowed him to travel to over 400 college campuses across North America. His most recent research involves articulating the concrete characteristics and subtle qualities found across hundreds of American college towns. Devon’s professional background is grounded in work with indigenous communities in Northern Canada.

He has worked in professional, academic, and consulting capacities with several rural and remote-serving colleges and universities– from the Yukon, across Western Canada, and United States. In addition to serving as Assistant Professor (Sustainable Living) and Academic Director (Hawaii Semester) for undergraduate students at MUM, Devon is an Academic Content Expert (Higher Education / Rural Communities) for graduate students at Grand Canyon University in Arizona. Dr. Almond utilizes integral theory to cultivate evolutionary mindsets, cultures, and systems in small towns.

Dr. Appachanda Thimmaiah

Dr. Appachanda Thimmaiah

  • Associate Professor of Sustainable Living
  • Regenerative Organic Agriculture Expert
  • Dr. Thimmaiah has taught at the Maharishi University of Management for three years


Dr. Thimmaiah is an expert in climate smart agriculture promoting low-carbon green approaches for rural development. Through constant innovation and research, he has developed many low-cost farming solutions utilizing natural resources which are benefiting thousands of farmers in different countries. He holds degrees from:

  • BSc (Ag)., University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Dharwad, India
  • MSc (Agriculture) Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi
  • PhD Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi

Globally he has played a leading role in the development, coordination, implementation of strategies, programs and policies addressing the issues of food security, climate smart sustainable agriculture, rural poverty reduction, sustainable development, and Gross National Happiness(GNH).

He has advised various international organizations, agri-business corporations, governments and NGO’s in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Italy, Holland, and Costa Rica.

In Bhutan he developed the National Organic Standards of Bhutan, zero-cost certification systems, training manuals, strategies and other documents to empower poor farmers and facilitate the nation to be 100% organic and carbon neutral.

Dr. Thimmaiah is also a Board Director of Demeter Association Inc. of US.