1. There are unique resource challenges that shape the environment of contemplative advocates who work in community colleges. Since community colleges are often smaller campuses that are part of a larger state-funded system, it may not be appropriate to assess the “success” of contemplative initiatives at a community college by the same standards used private baccalaureate institutions. Community colleges face the global and political challenges of our time in an immediate way, raising a core question that we will explore in this webinar: How can faculty and administrators at community colleges face the swiftly changing environment with compassion?
    In this webinar, Pearl Ratunil and Jon Brammer explore what an “initiative” can be at a two-year college where resources are scarce, the audience for contemplative pedagogy sparse, and the need for contemplative approaches great. Pearl Ratunil, Chair, Academy for Teaching Excellence, Harper College, will invite discussion on how to bring contemplative practice to administrative culture, while Jon Brammer, Humanities instructor at Three Rivers Community College will discuss how flexible contemplative practices can be applied to classroom instruction.
    This webinar will help you:
    1) Generate ideas for integrating contemplative approaches in your day-to-day academic and administrative work appropriate to your campus context.
    2) Clarify practical choices you can make in designing contemplative curricula and other initiatives on your campus.
    3) Frame ways of assessing contemplative initiatives that fit your particular educational context.

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  2. This presentation underscores the importance of contemplative practices for students of color at a private Roman Catholic University in San Diego, California. This presentation describes the significance of having students encounter and engage the largest collection of outdoor murals in the country, known as Chicano Park, located in the community of Logan Heights in San Diego, California. The mural art represented in the park embodies the deep and rich history of resistance and identity tied to the community, and serves as a basis for knowledge and contemplative reflection for students of color, enabling them to explore and affirm their identities through autoethnographic reflections evoked by the art and its teaching and message.

    About the Presenter
    Dr. Alberto Lopez Pulido is Professor and founding Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of San Diego. Alberto’s scholarship recognizes the value of contemplative practices within an ethnic studies pedagogy to empower the stories and lives of students of color in higher education, along with the knowledge and truths that arise from students’ communities of origin. He presents and publishes on this critical topic. Alberto’s work has been featured in Laura Rendón’s work on Sentipensante scholarship and pedagogy. He is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker, with his directorial debut of “Everything Comes From the Streets,” a history of Lowriding in San Diego, California and the borderlands. He is currently working on a book and related articles that examine the evolution of community knowledge and expressions as a form of preservation and resistance in the history of Chicano Park in the historic barrio of Logan Heights. Alberto's presentation today will feature the important murals of Chicano Park and the significance of student engagement with and reflection on the art, its message, and its teachings.

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  3. A webinar with Aaron Godlaski
    Originally Broadcast March 29, 2016, 2:00-3:00pm EST

    How best do we connect the pedagogy of contemplative practices with the scholarship of contemplative studies? Should we treat research and practice as dichotomy, or dialectic? In the interest of coming to a fuller understanding of how this affects the way we conduct ourselves and engage with one another as a community of practitioner-scholars, this webinar will explore two areas: the science of contemplative practice and the practice of contemplative science.

    Using my own successes and failures (with perhaps a greater focus on failures) in conducting research on contemplative practice and pedagogy, I hope to illustrate some of the important considerations and potential pitfalls of conducting this research at a small liberal arts institution. I also hope to illustrate that the field of contemplative studies is in a unique philosophical position to approach failure in research as being equally valid and informative as success. Thirdly, I will present recent research on the science of contemplation that aims to better organize how we describe these complex and deeply personal practices. My purpose here is to offer some new manners of speaking about contemplative practice that can both expand our understanding and capacity to conduct scholarship and research as well as serve as skillful means for communicating with our colleagues and administrators in the interest of connecting with and affecting our campus communities.

    Aaron Godlaski, PhD serves as Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychology at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. Dr. Godlaski completed his graduate training in Clinical Psychology at the University of Kentucky, where he studied alcohol-related aggression, and focused on mindfulness-based and existential-integrative approaches to treatment. He completed his clinical residency at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, specializing in Clinical Health Psychology, before coming to his current position at Centre College.
    Dr. Godlaski’s research focuses on component processes and outcomes of contemplative practice and the role of these processes in the promotion of well-being. While his research studies focus on a variety of health outcomes, he is most interested in effects on the cardiac system (heart rate variability and cardiac impedance) as indicators of central nervous system change. His current research projects include assessment of a controlled intervention designed to promote gratitude and the subsequent behavioral and physiological effects of that intervention, as well as a study on the differential physiological signatures of discrete positive emotions.

    As the director of the Centre Contemplative Studies Initiative, Dr. Godlaski, along with a group of four other Centre faculty are working to bring contemplative pedagogical practices to both curricular and extracurricular activities. The initiative has spawned several contemplative practice and reading groups, a student club, and a recent southern regional workshop on contemplative teaching.

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  4. A webinar with Stephanie Briggs
    Assistant Professor of English, Community College of Baltimore County
    Originally broadcast on March 25, 2015, 2:00-3:00pm ET

    Be. Still. Move: Creative Contemplative Movement employs movement, storytelling, and art to discover students’ embodied knowledge towards developing a connection to personal body/mind insights and the internalization of new knowledge, leading to open awareness and acceptance of academic and educational obstacles.

    Please note that this webinar has an interactive component. Participants are asked to bring with them colored pencils, crayons, or markers and one piece of 5×7 card stock paper.

    Stephanie Briggs is an Assistant Professor of English at the Community College of Baltimore County in Baltimore, Maryland, where she teaches Developmental English and English Composition I classes. In addition to English classes, for the past 15 years she’s taught and assisted in the long-term development of the college’s History of Hip Hop course. She is a graduate of the New School and New York University in New York City. Her program, “Be. Still. Move: Creative Contemplative Movement,” was developed using the teachings and various practices of a number of mindfulness practitioners. In 2006, Stephanie began exploring the use of movement and mindfulness in the college classroom after studying multi-disciplinary mindfulness practices, movement and vocalization with director/choreographer Meredith Monk. She also took Mudra Theater classes with Elaine Yuen, teacher and student of Chogyam Trungpa. She recently studied the research-to-performance methodology developed by teacher/poet Sekou Sundiata, and use his of storytelling and creative writing to create social engagement around social justice issues developed through his “America Project.” In addition, Stephanie studied combining arts, play, and mindfulness practice with Thich Nhat Hanh ordained Buddhist nun, Sister Jewel.

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  5. In this webinar, Carolyn Jacobs and Mirabai Bush will engage in a dialogue about their experiences teaching students in Smith College’s Contemplative Clinical Practice Advanced Certificate Program. Carolyn and Mirabai will discuss common challenges that arise during the integration of contemplative practices into college courses, including: handling difficult emotions or thoughts that students experience during practices, choosing and designing practices which complement the course material, and creating a safe and welcoming space for students from a variety of religious and cultural backgrounds. They will also explore some of the cognitive, social, and emotional benefits of using contemplative methods in the classroom.

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ACMHE Webinars

Center for Contemplative Mind Plus

Our webinars are free, live presentations featuring innovators in contemplative higher education. Learn more about our upcoming webinars at acmhe.org/webinars.

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