Transforming Higher Education:
Fostering Contemplative Inquiry, Community, and Social Action

The 8th Annual ACMHE Conference
Conference: October 7 – 9, 2016
Pre-Conference Retreat Day: October 7, 2016
Lincoln Campus Center and Student Union, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Community Sustainer Rate: $450 / Regular Rate: $395 / Reduced Rate: $295 / Student Rate: $50
Pre-Conference Retreat Day: Regular Rate: $75 / Student Rate: $15
ACMHE members receive a $50 discount on registration fees for the main conference. Volunteering and Access Grants are also available.

Session at an ACMHE conference
Panel at the 2013 ACMHE Conference

The ACMHE conference is an annual interdisciplinary forum for sharing scholarship, practices, and research on contemplative methods in higher education, with an emphasis on fostering compassionate social change.

The 2016 ACMHE conference will explore questions such as:

  • How do we develop the tools for inner and outer transformation? How do we foster an ability to be more alive, awake, mindful, and engaged with our inner struggles and global collective challenges?
  • How are contemplative methods affecting how we teach, learn, and understand across and in our various disciplines?
  • How are contemplative practices supporting and sustaining communities within and beyond academia that reflect compelling visions of a more just, peaceful, sustainable, and compassionate world?
  • How can contemplative practices affect our understanding of systemic forces that shape institutions of higher education and of society at large?

The ACMHE conference schedule emphasizes concurrent sessions led by scholars, researchers, students, and practitioners that demonstrate and investigate how contemplative practices are being used in higher education to build more just and humane relationships and institutions. These sessions may take the form of research presentations, experiential workshops, contemplative practice sessions, performances, roundtable conversations, panel discussions, or other creative modes of sharing. The conference also features a poster session–a valuable opportunity to connect with colleagues across many disciplines, as well as plenary sessions, breakout groups, and other social settings for interpersonal exchange.

Keynote Address:

Keynote Address:

Ecowomanist Wisdom: Engaging Earth Justice and Contemplative Pedagogies For Such a Time As This

Melanie L. Harris, Associate Professor of Religion, Texas Christian University
Learn More

Guidelines for Proposals

Faculty, staff, students, researchers, and administrators from all sectors of academia are encouraged to submit proposals for parallel sessions, posters, or both. Presenters must be ACMHE members, or must join the ACMHE before the conference date. We seek presenters who model contemplative pedagogy and method in their sessions, and we are particularly interested in proposals emphasizing the specific context in which their work is situated (e.g., academic disciplines, contemplative modes, social identities and demographics, institutional history and location, etc.).

How should I design my parallel session?
We encourage those presenting all types of parallel sessions (interactive, practice, or panel) to model their session(s) on their own practice, modes of teaching, or styles of engagement with faculty, staff, and students. Projectors and other tech/AV equipment will only be available in half of the conference breakout rooms. We invite presenters to employ a variety of teaching and learning practices. Alternatives to fully PowerPoint-dependent presentations are encouraged.

What is the poster session like? Is tech/AV available?
Poster sessions occur simultaneously in a large, shared space. Though tech/AV are not available for poster sessions, past poster presenters have included small, brief interactive elements and handouts in addition to dialogue with attendees to create an engaging experience.

Session Types

60-Minute Interactive Sessions allow opportunities for presenters to share research and methodologies in ways that engage the session participants and model contemplative modes of inquiry. They may feature one or more lead presenters incorporating a variety of interactive methods (dialogue, guided discussion, etc.), and we encourage alternatives to lecture-style presenting. Interactive sessions may also take the form of a roundtable discussion in which the organizer proposes a concept, approach, or issue, and participants are invited to share in an open inquiry. Audio-visual equipment, including digital projector and screen, may be requested.

60-Minute Practice Sessions focus on particular practices and invite participants to experience them as designed or adapted for educational settings, allowing time for discussion. We encourage a full variety of practices from stillness to movement, silence to sound, interpersonal to intrapersonal, etc.

75-Minute Panel Sessions, moderated and organized by a lead presenter, invite multiple panelists to present brief, focused perspectives on a topic and allow time for extended discussion. Audio-visual equipment, including digital projector and screen, may be requested.

Poster Presentations offer an opportunity to speak informally with a large number of colleagues and display some aspects of your work visually on a poster. Each poster presenter will be supplied with an easel and a 3′x4′ poster board. Posters are presented simultaneously in a one-hour session. No audio-visual equipment is available for Poster Presentations.

The parallel session presentation submission period has closed, but we are still accepting poster proposals.

Submit Your Poster Proposal Here

2016 Conference Committee

Kakali Bhattacharya
Kansas State University

Stephanie Briggs
Community College of Baltimore County

Jennifer Cannon
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Michelle Chatman
University of the District of Columbia

James Frank
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Vijay Kanagala
University of Vermont

David Levy
University of Washington

Regina Smith
Naropa University

Paul Wapner
American University

Carin Zinter
Holyoke Community College

2016 Conference Organizers

Maya Elinevsky
Event Coordinator, The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

Jennifer Palmer
Program Manager, The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

2016 Conference Director

Daniel Barbezat
Professor, Economics, Amherst College
Executive Director, The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

Rhonda Magee, at the 2012 ACMHE Conference
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