11th Annual ACMHE Conference

November 7-10, 2019 | UMass Amherst Campus Center | Amherst, MA

Last updated: August 27, 2019

Thursday, November 7

9:00 am – 12:00 pm Pre-Conference Retreat, Part 1
UMass Campus Center Room 174-76
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch
UMass Campus Center Room 174-76
1:00 – 4:00 pm Pre-Conference Retreat, Part 2
UMass Campus Center Room 174-76 followed by small group break-outs

Friday, November 8

9:00 – 9:30 am Arrival, Check-in & On-Site Registration
Coffee, tea, and snacks available
CCA (Campus Center Auditorium)
9:30 am – 10:00 am Conference Opening
with remarks from UMass and CMind representatives
10:00 – 10:30 am Break
10:30 – 11:45 am

Parallel Session I
Breakout Rooms on 1st, 8th & 9th Floors of the Campus Center

Parallel Session I

Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Not Just Students: Teaching and Research Faculty Living with Short and Long-Term Mental Health Issues

Universities are paying more and more attention to student mental health, but there is not yet a parallel conversation about mental health issues among university and college faculty and instructors. Depression, anxiety, and other issues remain highly stigmatized, and universities either lack a commitment or the capacity to change how we think about and respond. Drawing on my own struggles with depression and anxiety, I offer this workshop as an opportunity to create a safe and welcoming space for us to speak about this often hidden part of our lives, and to consider together ways we can makes these conversations possible at our own institutions.

Elise Chenier

Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Roundtable

Contemplative Reading as Radical Wellbeing

“Reading,” for many people, is merely a way to “get information.” This panel explores contemplative reading as a counter-practice to such instrumentalist tendencies. Panelists will describe three contexts to probe the fashioning of the self that contemplative reading crafts. What does it look like to read contemplatively for Ph.D coursework, exams, and dissertation projects? As teachers, how might lectio divina improve our capacity to be present with students’ transformative experiences as we read course assessments? As a personal practice, how can such reading engage the metaphors of decolonization and reinhabitation of the self? Each presenter identifies contemplative reading as an act of radical wellbeing that supports the student, teacher, and individual-in/as-community. Through facilitated conversation, all present in the room will have an opportunity to share experiences so we may expand our understanding of this powerful personal practice.

Karolyn Kinane, Beck Tench, Laurel Tien, David Greenwood

Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Holding space for students’ pain while addressing our own healing in an oppressive system

Existing in an oppressive structure results in pain and trauma that can affect our students’ and our own mental and physical health. Yet, in an educational setting, we tend to stay in our “heads” and focused on the “academic” aspect of oppression, rather than exploring the ways the system hurts us personally. This workshop will attempt to bring us out of our academic space and into our bodies to dialogue about the challenges we face working towards the liberation of ourselves and our students. Can we build consciousness, address the healing of ourselves and our students, and balance the multiple responsibilities in the institutional role of professor/counselor/administrator/etc.? We will spend time sharing, dialoguing, and unpacking this difficult conflict in community.

Gabrielle Cuesta

Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Fostering Belonging and Intercultural Engagement Through Contemplative Practices

In this session we will explore the contemplative practices we incorporated in a joint workshop series dedicated to supporting an inclusive community on our campus. Entitled “Fostering Belonging” and open to faculty, staff, and students, this series was co-developed by the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research, the Center for Intercultural Engagement, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, and the LGBTQA+ Resource Center. Our goals were to explore factors that can affect an environment of mutual respect, interrogate biases and their impact on learning, and develop skills for supporting an inclusive learning community. In order to meaningfully engage our diverse participants in reflection and critical dialogue around issues of social identity, positionality, and culture, we incorporated mindfulness, contemplative, and dialogical practices as means for developing and modeling educators’ self-awareness and capacity for valuing differences among learners and ways of learning.

Alexia Ferracuti, Karin Firoza

Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Roundtable

Women of Color explore solidarity as praxis for building capacity

Women of Color (WOC) student affairs administrators and faculty are invited to engage in a workshop that explores the meaning of the term solidarity and the unique ways in which solidarity can be used as a strategy to build capacity, professional networks, and career advancement in the work place. Though WOC have similar yet varying experiences with their intersecting identities, this workshop will create space for WOC to (1) explore their intersecting identities and other salient identities, (2) learn the different ways WOC experience their working environments, and (3) name the ways they want support from WOC who seek to be in solidarity with them.

Paige Gardner, Naseeb Bhangal

Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Daily Wellness Practices for Educators from the Science of Ayurveda

“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” – anonymous

As educators, we aspire to spread the light of knowledge, but when we become depleted, our effectiveness dims. Therefore, it is imperative that we embrace self-care to enhance our ability to positively impact others. Inspired by Ayurveda’s Daily Routine, or dinacharya, this workshop will provide an interactive experience with practices including hydration, oral cleansing, self-massage, simple body and breath exercises, meditation, and guidelines for a nutritious start to the day. (Samples and supplies provided for the first 20 participants.)

Lisa Garner Santa

Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Engaging With Our Feelings About Climate Disruption: Loss, Anger, Injustice

The workshop will explore how we can honor our feelings of loss & anger at the extinctions & social injustices wrought by massive climate disruption. We will begin by sharing practices that allow us to connect to our embodied experiences of the natural world, & through this embodiment connect our health & wholeness with that of the planet. We will invite participants to express appreciation & gratitude for earth, sea, forests, & mountains, as they create a healing circle that allows them to bear witness to their feelings about the unraveling of the natural environment. We will then invite participants to change perspective by looking back on the present from the perspective of 100 years into the future. Finally, we will discuss strategies to overcome the paralyzing melancholia that inhibits our conversations & actions about losing Earth. As a historian & as an economist, we offer disparate (yet related) ways to approach these topics, & invite other participants to share insights from their own disciplines.

David Glassberg, Vaishali Mamgain

Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Time and Radical Well-Being: Integrating Temporal Self-Care, Mutual Care, and World-Care

Time is a fundamental dimension of well-being, and the various forms of “hurry sickness” and “time poverty” in today’s world are manifestations of individual and collective mindlessness and malaise. “Free time” (Greek: schole) is the core of the ancient idea of liberal education and the root of the modern word “school,” but the lives of students, faculty, and staff in colleges are more and more affected by the experience of time as “time pressure”—a pressure that we suffer from, but that we also inflict upon ourselves and on each other. At a larger social level, time is as inequitably distributed between races, classes, and genders as is money; at a global level, climate change shows the devastating effects of endangering the long-term future for short-term financial gain. This workshop will explore ways to cultivate contemplative and activist alternatives to the dominant temporal regimes in the academy and beyond: how can we befriend and liberate time to care for ourselves, for each other, and for the world?

Ferdinand Von Muench

11:45 – 12:00 pm Transition Break
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch Buffet (included with registration)
1:00 – 2:00 pm Poster Session
Posters to be set up before or during lunch, and may be left on display until 4pm.
2:00 – 2:15 pm Break with coffee/tea
2:15 – 3:30 pm

Parallel Session II
Breakout Rooms on 8th & 9th Floors of the Campus Center

Parallel Session II

Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Roundtable

Dreaming into Being: Building Heartful Communities on Campus

How we come together is as important as that we come together. Aptly, Contemplative Community in Higher Education: a Toolkit encourages educators to “move our academic institutions and spaces toward integrity: aligning stated values and goals with the actual practices, attitudes, and atmospheres that define the lived and living experience of an institution and its individuals.” The UMass Amherst Contemplative Pedagogy Working Group (CPWG) acknowledges participants’ humanity by valuing authenticity, messiness, passionate engagement, divergent perspectives, discomfort, and compassion. In this way, the CPWG makes room for our multiple identities, our true evolving selves, to emerge from shielded protection. Group members will share reflections, stories and artifacts from the CPWG — how the group evolved, what continues bringing us together, what it means to co-create an authentic contemplative community in higher education, and what more we would like to dream into being.

Brian Baldi, Jennifer Cannon, Gayatri Guhanarayan, Maria Rios

Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Roundtable

Using Contemplative Practices to Assist Educators in Creating Spaces of Healing, Compassion, and Academic Inquiry for Black Men

Over the last twenty years the higher education environment has seen a shift in the diversity of students coming to college campuses. Specifically, these spaces have become more diverse with students from various ethnic, socioeconomic, political, sexual, and social backgrounds. By neglecting to engage and understand the lived experiences of black men faculty run the risk of making them feel excluded, which could result in negative health and educational outcomes. This session will discuss how faculty can incorporate contemplative practices and theory into their classrooms to create just, equitable, and inclusive campus environments.

Marlon Blake, Steven Thurston Oliver, Lenwood Hayman

Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Roundtable

Contemplative Practices as Organic Community Organizing

Students at Florida International University, the nation’s largest four-year Hispanic Serving Institution, face chronic duress from living in an age of precarity. Recognizing this health crisis, and inspired by Lisa Napora’s call for systems-based institutionalization of contemplative practices, an interdisciplinary group of faculty is taking a “community organizing” approach to building institutional support. We have established a monthly workshop series where revolving facilitators practice and discuss contemplative pedagogies they have used. In a related weekly “contemplative practices laboratory,” facilitators share practices to support our own wellbeing and to consider what might be used in courses. Through these inclusive spaces, allies in other departments have emerged as “organizers” who can promote “buy in” among department colleagues.

Paul Feigenbaum, Ileana Hernandez, Mike Creeden

Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Roundtable

Creating a Culture of Mindfulness and Contemplative Inquiry

Pratt Institute’s Mindfulness Initiatives in Student Affairs (MISA) committee is a story about campus culture shift. We will share and offer practices, discuss how campus culture changes through mindfulness and contemplative practices, and how many voices can create a road map for culture change. Our committee brings together 10 departments in the division of Student Affairs to learn mindfulness and contemplative practices and integrate practice and theory throughout the university. This work includes personal practice training, meetings and dialogue, certifications in group facilitation, and commitment to awareness and inquiry. In its third year, MISA will include an all staff training, faculty training, and contemplative pedagogy dialogues with the CTL. Attention was given to principles of organizational change and how contemplative inquiry can guide change efforts at all different levels of the institution has led to the acceptance of this culture shift from this grassroots effort.

Sam Harvey, Rhonda Schaller, Esmilda Abreu

Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Panel

Contemplative Reading: Pedagogy & Practice

This panel demonstrates how contemplative reading disrupts the habits and demands of digital culture while cultivating habits of mind that foster focus and insight in classroom contexts. Panelists will explore the roles of pleasure, creativity, playfulness, and experimentation in designing and implementing contemplative reading assignments and activities. While embedded in different contexts, panelists employ contemplative reading to similar ends, including developing ethical sensibility, listening to the voices of the imagined, and cultivating generosity towards the unknown. During the facilitated discussion, we hope to learn from all attendees how classroom reading practices may transform habits and behaviors beyond those walls to promote a more just society. Panelists will distribute detailed assignments and activities for all attendees.

Karolyn Kinane, Caroline Wilkins, Kevin Healey, Jody Greene

Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Emotional Intelligence as Radical Well-Being: Yes! for Student & Staff Alike

As emotions drive learning, relationships, decision-making, overall health and creativity, a multilevel approach to emotional intelligence for staff and student alike is a form of radical well-being. Such an approach coupled with contemplative practices offers a means of sustaining ourselves through institutional and societal challenges. Taking a radical deep-dive into the competencies embedded in emotional intelligence allows us to learn how to use the power of emotions and mindful behaviors to create a strengthened sense of well-being, and more effective and inclusive learning environments. Such a praxis of care envelops people and engages them in multiple ways to foster sustainable and compassionate campuses. Teaching radical well-being examination and approach is needed for all who struggle with anxiety or isolation due to their perceived expectations of campus life and ways of being or for those underdeveloped in terms of their self-esteem, confidence, judgement and emotional regulation.

Ife Lenard, Ericka Echavarria

Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Circle, Play and Mindfulness: Fostering a culture of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

This workshop will enhance the knowledge and skills of participants to integrate Indigenous Circles, play-based and mindful participatory approaches to support institutional change in higher education through building a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion. In particular, we will focus on integrated process that nurture compassion and care for one-self and others within higher education. At Simon Fraser University, these integrated processes have contributed to supporting: course design; Indigenous ways of knowing; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; and responding to sexual harm.

Brenda Morrison  

Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

A Well-being Exploration into Identity, Context & Self-Care

When Audre Lorde stated, “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare,” her verity and audacity sent a shockwave through all of us who read, learned, or listened to this quote. Lorde spoke particularly from her experience as a black woman, feminist, lesbian, poet, and mother… but how might we all hold these words up to the light, to study their truth and power for us at this present moment of history? This session will be a highly introspective and experiential journey into our layers of identity and context: as individuals, within our institutions and identity groups. We’ll weave meditation, writing, & partnered deep listening, to think about our own positionality and to inquire into how our own self-care might become a conscious, radical act for cultivating resilience and readying us to serve the world. We’ll conclude with full group sharing and discussion. Women and men from all backgrounds, races, and ethnicities are welcomed to attend.

Juliet Trail

3:30 – 4:00 pm Break with coffee, tea, and light snacks
4:00 – 5:00 pm

Parallel Session III
Breakout Rooms on 8th & 9th Floors of the Campus Center

Parallel Session III

Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

Bringing Mindful Curiosity and Curious Mindfulness to Education

We aim to bring nuance to the language and practices of curiosity and mindfulness in education. We suggest that, although these concepts have much to offer, they can also be problematic if applied uncritically. For example, the unqualified endorsement of curiosity fails to account for the ways in which questions are themselves the product of social values and political investments. However natural and well-meaning, some questions have the power to entrench racist, sexist, and ableist assumptions about ideal knowers and ways of knowing. Likewise, mindfulness in the classroom can feel trite and stilted when practiced on command. It can also model problematic appropriation—with predominantly white, economically and socially privileged, Western teachers acting as authorities of centuries old indigenous and non-Western practices. Here, then, we aim to discover and offer a framework for critically challenging and enriching the concepts of curiosity and mindfulness within the context of education.

Asia Ferrin, Perry Zurn

Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

Self-Care as a Temporary Fix for Institutional Problems

This session will explore the idea that self-care is a Band-Aid, or a temporary fix for institutional problems. While it is important to take care of oneself, the current self-care culture may reveal how our institutions are failing to take care of us. Burnout, empathy fatigue, and activism fatigue are common among higher education faculty and staff. These issues intersect with privilege such that diverse faculty and staff are overworked and underpaid, engaging in the invisible labor of supporting minority students and meeting institutional needs for diverse representation. When employees are stressed and lacking support, mindfulness is often proposed as a solution to the problem instead of systemic change. Participants will be invited to share their experiences with the current self-care culture. Participants will brainstorm solutions that seek to address institutional barriers so that we can move beyond a quick fix.

Mel Lafferty

Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

The Perennial Turn in Ag and Culture–Contemplative and Community-Connected Learning and Doing

We present our contemplative and community-connected course, The Perennial Turn in Ag and Culture, part of the New Perennials Project (NPP). Inspired by The Land Institute’s work developing a natural systems agriculture, NPP investigates education and community engagement to promote foundational change in human consciousness and ways of being, for repair of human and planetary health. Readings, discussions and contemplative practices introduce multiple perspectives and ways of knowing. Community-connected learning helps us generate understanding of frameworks, strategies and challenges of change organizations in education, creative and healing arts, food systems and faith communities. The course inspires deep questioning from ontological/epistemological levels to methods utilized in community action. We explore Western science, multiple philosophies and numerous pathways of knowledge-development. Each session incorporates contemplative movement plus connection and awareness with/of the more-than-human world.

Marc Lapin, Bill Vitek, Nadine Canter Barnicle

Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

Student Writing Vulnerabilities and Contemplative Practices

This proposal understands “writing vulnerability”—that constant state of struggle between managing the demands of everyday life with those of the writing process—as endemic to all writing and suggests that contemplative practices are one way to resist this precarity and promote political, personal, and academic well-being. Students come to our classes with material vulnerabilities precipitated by lack of economic resources, with political vulnerabilities if they belong to an immigrant community or identify as people of color, or with psychic vulnerabilities from years of being told they were not “college material”—to name only a few. While meditation, timed writing, deep listening and the like will not erase these precarities, they can offer students a way to acknowledge them, explore their impacts, and effectively respond. By addressing this struggle directly, the presentation offers an approach to contemplative pedagogical practices that begins to account for writing’s many vulnerabilities.

Tara Pauliny

Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

Asking the Right Questions: Stumbling Through Contemplative Pedagogies in Research

This session is based on a research project in which suburban US middle school teachers in a rapidly diversifying predominantly white and Christian community are introduced to contemplative pedagogies and practices to explore a sense of self and to grapple with issues of race, religion, and identity. These teachers are not “early adopters” of contemplative pedagogies and practices, and we found they moved back-and-forth between engaging in avoidance strategies and critique and criticism of the contemplative readings, practices, and activities to circumvent difficult discussions around identities. We provide insight into what this means for working and engaging with individuals who are not predisposed to contemplative work. We share how we worked through understanding why the teachers sidestepped important conversations and turned it into an opportunity to ask the right kinds of questions to sustain our well-being while deeply explore issues related to justice, inclusion, and respectful dialogue and actions.

Jeremy Price, Kari Carr, Josh Manlove, Khadijah Siddeeq

Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

Talking White Fragility at a Predominantly White Institution

What happens when diversity trainings and seminars are seen as opportunities to “beat up on the white guy” and create barriers rather than bridges? Two employees at a community college looked to change the delivery of diversity conversations to limit the defensiveness one may experience when discussing topics such as white privilege and biases. By introducing the topic of White Fragility, the presenters went back to the basics and challenged their participants to reflect rather than focus on self-justification or become defensive. In this session, the two presenters of the White Fragility training will walk through workshops given at their community college. In addition to delivering the content, they will also discuss feedback received and struggles faced after delivering the workshop in the classrooms and professional development opportunities on campus. The goal of this presentation is to provide participants with beneficial tools and steps to deliver similar training on their own campuses.

Joe Scrima, Deena Ata

Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

Contemplative Pedagogies Integrating Personal and Societal Transformations to Sustainability

Can contemplative pedagogies help us extend care to all beings, develop competencies in systems thinking, and build equitable systems for human-Earth flourishing? In this session, participants are asked to share their experiences and insights on how to use contemplative pedagogies to address global sustainability challenges. We begin by introducing the A Mindset for the Anthropocene (AMA) project, which conducts research, connects change agents, and develops curricula for integrating personal, social, and ecological transformations towards sustainability. We will then briefly present a contemplative curriculum that the AMA project is co-developing with the Courage of Care Coalition. Afterwards, we invite participants to collectively share their expertise and knowledge on how to design and implement contemplative pedagogies for human-Earth flourishing. Dialogue will be guided around the question: “How can we integrate psycho-spiritual and societal transformations toward sustainability?”

Zack Walsh, Brook D. Lavelle

Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

Teaching Upstream with Contemplative Practices in the Trauma and Adult Learning Context: A Recent Study in Massachusetts

This session will introduce findings from the Teaching Upstream Study: research that used feminist, qualitative, grounded-theory methods to explore adult educators’ perspectives on trauma-informed teaching in Massachusetts. Completed in 2017-2018, the study examined the social/pedagogical processes by which trauma-informed teaching takes place directly through the lens of educators working in adult learning and higher education settings. In this session, we will cover the results of the study, which revealed several contemplative practices as key strategies for resilience-oriented pedagogy, anti-racist activism, and resistance towards the influences of neoliberal policies in education. As we take a deeper look at the trauma and adult learning context, we will explore contemplative practices used by adult educators in Massachusetts to teach upstream against deprivation, discrimination, and structural barriers – and discuss critical take-away’s useful for those who support adult learners.

Emily Wilson

5:00 – 5:30 pm Break with coffee and tea
5:30 – 6:30 pm Keynote
Dr. Jasmine Syedullah
Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, Vassar College

Saturday, November 9

9:00 – 9:15 am Practice and Framing of the Day
9:15 – 9:30 am Transition Break with coffee, tea, and light snacks
CCA Foyer
9:30 – 10:45 am Parallel Session IV
Breakout Rooms on 8th & 9th Floors of the Campus Center

Parallel Session IV

Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Letting Go of Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are main causes of disability in our world today. They impact our campuses and communities, and affect all of us at one time or another. In troubled times we feel besieged with negative emotions that rob us of the clarity and resilience we need to implement the changes we want to see in our world. Drawing from scientific research, Taoist and Buddhist teachings and many years of experience, I will share with you powerful insights and techniques to let go of anxiety and depression, and to work with challenges as sources of inner strength and healing. These practices can be effectively cultivated in the classroom and beyond.

Amelia Barili

Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Roundtable

Centered in Blackness: Offerings from The 2019 Black Mindfulness Summit

In this roundtable session, we share images and insights gleaned from the inaugural convening of the Black Mindfulness Summit in March 2019, a gathering of diverse Black contemplative practitioners. Scholars, artists, healers, and community members gathered to reflect, sing, draw, laugh, dance, pray, and acknowledge our collective pain and wisdom. In the face of continued racial tension on college campuses, where Black bodies are policed and Black intellectual legitimacy is questioned, there exists a need for authentic healing and restorative spaces for those of us committed to doing anti-racist work. Together we considered how mindfulness and diverse contemplative approaches foster healing from racial trauma experienced in the academy. While contemplative practices connect us to the broader human condition, there is a time and place for contemplative spaces that honor our diversity and complexity, while simultaneously grounding us to have an impact within and beyond our communities.

Michelle Chatman, Steven Oliver Thurston

Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Not a Class But Life: Religious Diversity in the Classroom

In her final reflection, a student in my class on poetry and spirituality wrote, “UNC Asheville is a wonderful campus, but it can be a little bit hostile towards people who openly express their faith (in anything).” Faculty, too, may also sense an unspoken disapproval of religious or spiritual practice and consequently choose to keep that part of their lives private while on campus. Are there appropriate ways to be more inclusive of our whole selves–students, faculty, and staff–including the religious or spiritual parts of our experiences at public colleges and universities? What about in our CMind community? Are there ways to honor and learn from a wide variety of religious and spiritual perspectives represented by our members? Based on my class “The Heart and the Matter: Poetry and Spirituality,” and a year-long faculty-staff learning community on Faith in Art, this practice workshop will give us an opportunity to explore these questions together.

Richard Chess

Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Trauma-Sensitive Resiliency Practices: A Toolkit for Well-Being

This workshop describes the cultivation of well-being through a toolkit of research-based strategies utilized across a continuum of programming at The New Mexico Suicide Intervention Project. A primary objective is to offer how we, in our work at the intersections of suicide prevention, trauma stewardship, and social justice, manage to stay joyful, regulated,connected, present, and resilient. As a facility of higher education, the center trains intern therapist graduate students in social work and counseling. The training program, which is part of the center’s prevention and intervention programming, integrates contemplative practices into its clinical model to enhance healing, therapeutic presence, and resiliency for both clients and clinicians alike. This workshop shares how we manage our own capacity for our compassionate values to be actionable and sustainable while offering participants insight into enhancing their own well-being and increased longevity in the service of individual and collective social justice.

Erin Doerwald

Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Healing Our Collective and Individual Identities : Pedagogical Practices for Making A Class Come Alive in Body and Mind

Recognizing that increasing number of students are suffering from mental distress, as well as an overall cultural disembodiment that links directly to our social and environmental crises, this workshop offers hands on pedagogical practices aimed at ‘healing our collective and individual identities’. A sociology professor and three of her former students will share their insights and classroom activities gathered and adapted from a social theory course they all participated in this past spring semester. Each will lead a particular activity and then invite the audience to reflect on its effectiveness, potential applications for other courses and possible ways to further develop the activity to maximize its efficacy. Special attention will be paid to how the activities address, unpack and possibly promote healing for the socially constructed, yet highly embodied, identities of race, gender and class, as well as our relationships with the ‘natural world’.

Phoebe Godfrey, Jamiah Bennett, Sara Defazio, Pamela Patrick

Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Critical Service Learning: Self Awareness and Compassion In Academia

An exploration of team teaching in a first year Residential Academic Service-Learning Course. In this interactive session we will explore our multiple social identities through vulnerability exercises. Together we will investigate how to build a bridge of compassionate understanding between “who we are and who they are.” By modeling a bridge of openness, and exploration of the underlying issues of inequality, educators will learn how to integrate the diversity present in the classroom into a contemplative pedagogy.

Students in our academic program utilize the group classroom experiences with their engagement in community organizations for learning. Our students participate in exploration of self to understand how their social identities relate to the community organizations that they serve. Self-exploration is fundamental in understanding issues of social justice, power, privilege and oppression. Beyond individual development, students examine the prevailing systems governing the community organizations.

Terrell James, Katja Hahn D’Errico

Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

The Mandala of Social Change: An embodied practice for collective contemplative resistance

Last year I presented on the four roles of social change in a framework of living systems theory (David Stroh) and adrienne marie brown’s Emergent Strategy. This year I would like to actually run the exercise that I presented about with the addition of mandala principle (Judith Simmer-Brown). The mandala practice walks people through an embodied contemplative journey that integrates a standing meditation practice with a spectrogram exercise making out each person’s relationship to social change (the four roles) as well as their positionality to power. The center of the mandala is the locus of power and the edge are the margins farthest away from power. The mandala practice is something we can take home and utilize in social justice communities and classrooms to have an embodied collective experience of our organizing and resistance.

Holly Roach Knight

Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

“Decolonization” and the “Indigenizing” of the Academy: Sweat Lodge Ceremony as Contemplative Practice

The concepts of “Indigenization” and “decolonization” are buzzing through Canadian Universities in the aftermath of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) report, though the concepts are far from new. The TRC and its 94 recommendations was a multi-year process to address the intergenerational suffering and cultural loss of residential school survivors from Indigenous communities throughout Canada. As a consequence, universities and colleges have begun to institute some of the recommendations on multiple levels. Though positive in many regards, the process for deep rooted understanding and healing is not well understood, and for many Indigenous peoples the efforts are a repeat of earlier attempts. In this presentation, I will introduce methods my co-teacher, a Mi’kmaw archaeologist, and I developed within course which culminated in building and participating in a sweat lodge ceremony on the university grounds during which we experienced the teachings on “prayer” and creating community.

Trudy Sable

10:45 – 11:00 am Transition Break with coffee/tea
11:00 – 12:00 pm Parallel Session V
Breakout Rooms on 8th & 9th Floors of the Campus Center

Parallel Session V

Parallel Session V (Sat) | 60-Minute Presentation

Neuroscience, Mindfulness, and Inclusive Pedagogy

An estimated 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives. When thinking of students impacted by trauma, the focus is often on younger students; however trauma and its effects can impact students of all ages including those in our classrooms and university service areas. This session will examine the neuroscience behind the Fight, Flight, and Freeze phenomena and learn to use mindfulness tools and several inclusive pedagogy strategies to better engage and support students.

Amer F. Ahmed, Mayra Padilla

Parallel Session V (Sat) | 60-Minute Presentation

Creating learning environments that fit the needs of “emerging” students

Challenges beyond academics, such as lower income, no sense of belonging, and a lack of cultural capital make underprepared, underrepresented, and first-generation college students some of the most at-risk students in college. Still, academic preparation has been the focus of much research regarding these cohorts of students. “Equally important, however, are the psychological–social barriers and lack of institutional support.”

So what if, instead of looking at these students’ academic risks, we looked at their social and emotional barriers? What if, instead of calling them at-risk, we called them emerging? This session will describe the design, and implementation of an academic support program based on intrusive-advising geared towards at-risk students. This program uses trauma-informed, contemplative practices to help first-generation students improve their self-knowledge, critical thinking, and community engagement—which in turn improves academic engagement and retention.

Ralph Godbolt, Shannon Musgrove, Aurora Bonner

Parallel Session V (Sat) | 60-Minute Presentation

Critically reflective learning communities

In this session we will explore how critically reflective pedagogy and ways of knowing can impact levels of engagement and build a classroom that fosters growth and caring at its heart. Caring for ourselves and each other requires us to cultivate resilience and deepen our capacity for difficult conversations and compassion in the classroom and in our communities as we work for justice. This presentation will offer knowledge of critically reflective theory and define what communities of caring can look like and embody in the academy. In seeking to teach and learn from a place of knowing our deep connection with each other, we can find greater healing and understanding in our work. And, maybe even guide us in the creation of systems that are more joy-filled and caring infused. We will also explore contemplative practices that can ground us in this work.

Stacy Husebo  

Parallel Session V (Sat) | 60-Minute Presentation

Bridging Personal Acts of Resistance and Collective Uprising through Ecopoetics

This presentation/performance offers one way of creating culturally-appropriate and culturally-responsive learning environments for climate justice education, environments that respect and value multiple needs, diverse ways of knowing and being while inspiring the individual action and collective uprising needed in this critical moment since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report put us on alert that we have less than 12 years to avert climate catastrophe. The presentation will be structured around my multi-year project, “1000 Gifts of Decolonial Love”, a community performance and epic instructional video poem that weaves together instructions for folding paper cranes, the story of Sadako, Hiroshima victim whose paper cranes came to symbolize peace; a story of “climate colonialism” and the endangerment of cranes in Taiwan; and contemporary liberation struggles of Indigenous resurgence and M4BL. The workshop integrates ecopoetics, paperfolding as contemplative activism, and story circle.

Ju-Pong Lin

Parallel Session V (Sat) | 60-Minute Presentation

Practice Makes Progress: Engaging Mindfulness with Elementary School Students

I will present an overview of my own personal and professional journey with mindfulness, followed by a presentation outlining a year-long mindfulness project I participated in with a diverse group of fifth-graders attending a Boston Public School. I will highlight particular practices we engaged in that illuminate the necessity of bringing mindful practices into all types of education settings. In addition, I will discuss the ways in which mindfulness practices can be an entry point into addressing uncomfortable emotions associated with various forms of bias.

Alice McIntyre

Parallel Session V (Sat) | 60-Minute Presentation

Contemplative Pedagogy Improves Classroom Discourse

This presentation offers principles and practices of yoga to improve classroom equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The session begins with centering through mantra, pranayama, and mudra (chant, breath control, and gesture, respectively) to set intent and to control the vital energy.

In opening the question of equitable classroom discourse, participants reflect on how they hold contemplative, inclusive learning spaces and personal talk patterns.

Next, the presentation illustrates linguistic features of classroom talk dominance and how it can quash diversity and inclusion. It asks participants to share their perspectives on resolving problems of classroom talk in order to increase equity.

Following, the presentation offers suggestions to improve the discourse that frames classes by engaging ideals of pratipaksha bhavana (mindfulness of opposites) and sattva (positivity and peacefulness). Participants share ideas from their own classrooms.

The session closes with reflection, centering, and mantra.

A.M. Moretti  

Parallel Session V (Sat) | 60-Minute Presentation

Leading with Compassion: Bringing Radical Wellness to the Virginia Military Institute

In this interactive session, we will explore the challenges of implementing a mindfulness-based meditation ‘fitness’ (MBFT) program at a small, southern, military college in Virginia. Virginia Military Institute’s (VMI’s) mission of producing citizen-soldiers in a liberal-arts framework interweaves two oppositional pressures cadets maneuver daily: military duties and academic scholarship. Our goal is to embed the MBFT program in this relatively insular and traditional learning environment, and then to expand it to the entire VMI community. MBFT will be the means to creating a just, connected, and compassionate community. We envision a program through which our cadets, faculty, staff, hourly-employees, and administration engage with each other, and with the larger world. In this session, we seek the collective wisdom of the ACMHE community to better understand the constraints and synergies of designing this program. We hope this exchange will also yield ideas that strengthen and sustain participants’ programs.

Holly Richardson, Tinni Sen

12:00 – 1:00 pm Buffet Lunch (included with registration)
1:00 – 2:00 pm Poster Session II
Posters should be set up before or during lunch, and may be displayed until 4pm.
2:00 – 2:15 pm Transition Break with coffee/tea
2:15 – 3:30 pm Parallel Session VI
Breakout Rooms on 8th & 9th Floors of the Campus Center

Parallel Session VI

Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Roundtable

Seeding Mindfulness: Growing Contemplative Community and Cultivating Well-being Across Campus

Well-being belongs everywhere; it does not begin or end in any one unit of campus life – whether classroom, office, or dorm. This session explores the collaborative creation of dispersed contemplative campus practices and the capacity of a decentralized approach to bust silos, foster well-being, and create meaningful connection across departments and units. Co-presenters are participants in the Hollins Contemplative Collective, a diverse team of faculty, staff, and administrators who meet regularly for mindfulness practice and reflection. Whether teaching or fundraising; career counseling or developing diversity and inclusion initiatives; in the dance studio, library, or chapel: participants reflect on their contemplative initiatives as contributions to the interconnectedness of campus life. Attendees will be guided in reflection on their own locations in campus communities, and gain resources to collaboratively sow seeds of well-being that take root across campus.

LeeRay Costa, Jenny Call, Karen Cardozo, Courtney Chenette

Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Resonating Whiteness: Revealing Its Power and Denial Through Contemplative Practice

Through amnesia, denial, systemic racism, and suppression of “other,” Academia reinforces the underlying power of white superiority.

White privilege and fragility evolved from colonization, eradication, expropriation, enslavement, and legislation. Normalized and protected by our mental frameworks, denial and amnesia facilitate “comfortably numb” and disembodied white-identity.

Performance artists at the intersection of academia, wellness, and community with narratives of legacy and rememory are wayfinding paths to cognition, acceptance, apology, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Immersion in spoken word and movement, workshop participants use contemplative practices for reflection and white-identity awareness.

Participants will co-create resonating whiteness by connecting body with mind in a shared space that is a challenge to open awareness.

A facilitated reflective discussion of a contemplative practice for application in higher education will illuminate the implicit power structure of social control.

CL Dukes, Raeann G. LeBlanc

Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Roundtable

Contemplative Reading: Community-Engagement & Social Justice

This panel will introduce the practices of “Shared Reading,” Lectio Divina, and those drawn from the Jewish traditions PaRDeS, (P’shat, Remez, D’rash, Sod). Presenters will demonstrate how such practices generate micro ethical and political worlds in which participants experience not only individual insights but also relational possibilities of respect, cooperation, and justice. Presenters will describe how such practices open space for analyses of systemic oppression and the development of compassionate understanding that leads to action. The initial discussion will address the contexts of Service Learning, Community Engagement, and secular classrooms, but we may expand these contexts through the facilitated conversation where all participants may share perspectives and ask questions.

Karolyn Kinane, Donald McCown, Jeremy Price, Patricia Owen-Smith

Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Reigniting your true north: Passion and courage for resiliency

Today’s academic community is experiencing unprecedented levels of rapidly evolving challenges while navigating volatile politics, social changes, and increasing expectations. The result is often an atmosphere of stress and frustration in which faculty and administrators can easily feel under attack, overwhelmed, and exhausted. Staying true to oneself and one’s personal passion can be important to feeling sustained within the changing higher education landscape. This interactive workshop will guide participants in developing their own road map for reigniting their sense of purpose and rediscovering the inner courage they need to carry on and move forward. When considering self-care in today’s climate, faculty and administrators must explore ways of maintaining their “true north” in the face of ongoing turbulence. As participants reconnect with themselves, they will also connect with sustainable options – such as openness, dialogue, and vulnerability – for supporting inclusive campus communities.

Rob Kramer, Robin Sansing

Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Yah-khah-dha Dhih-ní-a: The mind fully awake and observing

In October 2016, for the first time we found an Arabic word for mindfulness at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane. Since then, we conducted mindfulness workshops, retreats and de-stress days during exams. However, in Fall 2018, I offered a 3-credit mindfulness course to foster well-being in the classroom, outside of workshops and yoga classes. This was a first course on mindfulness in a Moroccan university, with activities such as in-class guided meditation, daily personal practice, retreat, weekly embroidery and gardening classes, weekly critical reflective journal writing, workshops on art and theater, and exploring literature on mindfulness.

In this workshop, I aim to give a glimpse into the journey of 17 undergraduate students in a 3-credit elective on mindfulness. We will practice a guided meditation, critical reflective journal, play with art, look at student project (videos, photos, journal, paper) and aim to experience the collective journey of the class.

Smita Kumar  

Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Joy as Resistance: Exploring Play as Contemplative Practice

While a workshop on play might seem counterintuitive in our current sociopolitical times, perhaps now, more than ever, we need to stay grounded in our capacities for joy. This session offers an opportunity to explore play as a pathway into embodied contemplative practice. Through games and exercises drawn from Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed repertoire, we will explore the ways that playfulness might inspire our sense of connection with self and community, how shared laughter might create healing communal space, and how joy might serve as a powerful act of resistance. This play-full workshop will offer us an opportunity to deepen our sense of care—for self and others, to re-remember our own resilience, and to recharge our contemplative batteries for the work ahead. The activities we will engage will be gentle, invitational, and designed to be accessible for all abilities and levels of experience.

Kerr Mesner

Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Recognizing & Cultivating Wholeness as a Practice of Radical Self Care

Wholeness is a capacity that is present within each human being. Cultivating wholeness requires engagement in multiple ways of knowing, particularly that of the deep imagination. From a state of wholeness all projective illusions fall away and a state of presence and compassionate regard emanates one’s whole being. Wholeness practices renew one’s connection particular ways of knowing and relating and can lead us to our most authentic ways of being in the world. The cultivation of the capacity for wholeness in higher education as a practice of radical self-care is essential in transforming learning environments that will support deeper inner development as an educational aim. In such an environment, educators become guides for their learners to discover golden threads of their unique purpose to contribute something of true beauty and significance in the world. This interactive workshop will introduce and explore wholeness practices for application in higher education settings.

Jennifer Obbard

Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Moving Beyond Burnout: Developing Resilient Relationships to Learning

As acclaimed choreographer Liz Lerman notes, “Resistance is information.” In academic settings, contemplative practices can offer doorways into the information and insights that lie behind forms of resistance that often impede learning (including anger, shame, blame, boredom, frustration, burnout, lack of motivation, self pity) and facilitate both individual and group resilience. This workshop explores ways to recognize the wisdom behind experiences of resistance—in ourselves and our students. Contemplative practices that engage both movement and stillness can facilitate learning and responding to needs rather than falling into distraction, shame, blame, or avoidance behaviors. Through contemplative dance exercises and reflective writing practices, we will explore methods for being with and moving beyond both physical and metaphorical forms of resistance (no previous dance experience is necessary) as well as discuss the applications of these methods across disciplines.

Candice Salyers

3:30 – 4:00 pm Break with coffee, tea, and light snacks
4:00 – 5:15 pm Parallel Session VII
Breakout Rooms on 8th & 9th Floors of the Campus Center

Parallel Session VII

Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Modeling Wholeness, Humanness, & Humility in Law School – Movement, Art, & Journaling

We are three full-time law teachers. Two of us are also meditation teachers, and we are all involved in the small but growing movement to bring various mindfulness practices to legal education. Our ultimate goal is to help students bring their whole selves to the practice of law.

Legal workplaces have become even more stressful, high-paced, and competitive than ever before. These conditions create added stress and anxiety, and detrimentally affect the mental health and well-being of law students and lawyers.

Like many professions, law is also a highly cerebral field. Legal training focuses almost entirely on developing thinking skills rather than focusing on feeling, moving, or being. This one-sided approach to education and life can leave law students and lawyers feeling disconnected from essential parts of themselves, which can in turn can make it difficult for lawyers to connect with clients and act as stewards in society.

Gary Cazalet, Heidi K. Brown, Nathalie Martin

Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Roundtable

Implementing “Learning Sustainable Well-Being” Classes on Campuses

This roundtable will discuss how to help academic institutions understand the need for, and implement, well-being classes. In my 24 years as a professor (and a recent researcher of mindfulness and well-being), I have seen a steady incline in student anxiety and depression. In response to this, in 2014, I started teaching well-being courses on campus, which have been quite successful. To move forward, and scale up, my students and I started a grass-roots initiative at UCSD, called “Learning Sustainable Well-Being”, which takes a “preventive” mental health approach. The ultimate goal is to implement a mandatory 1-unit well-being class for students (using a variety of wisdoms, practices and methods), taught by professors (who will need to learn well-being themselves!). This roundtable will discuss the questions and obstacles that arise when working with universities to implement a comprehensive system of guidance so that students can flourish both academically and personally.

Karen Dobkins, Taylor Bondi

Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Mindfulness in Public Education: Embodied Whiteness as Decolonizing Praxis

While studies reveal the benefits of mindfulness in education, implementing such programming authentically and equitably within our capitalist white supremacist patriarchal system remains an obstacle. In this workshop I focus on mindfulness in contemporary education, research, and teacher education. I draw on my experience teaching mindfulness in New York City public schools and my 7th grade English class in Holyoke, Massachusetts to show that the tradition of mindfulness develops necessary skills of inquiry, imagination, human connection, and critical thinking. The analysis of my findings shows how mindfulness promotes a positive learning environment, alleviates management challenges, and develops higher order thinking in students. I argue that mindfulness, when presented from an ecological and decolonizing perspective, is a radical political act of resistance promoting richer relationships. I conclude by welcoming and facilitating a group discussion on the future of mindfulness in higher education.

Lulu Ekiert

Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Embodied Learning: Connected Interiority in the Classroom

This workshop describes the cultivation of well-being through a toolkit of research-based strategies utilized across a continuum of programming at The New Mexico Suicide Intervention Project. A primary objective is to offer how we, in our work at the intersections of suicide prevention, trauma stewardship, and social justice,manage to stay joyful,regulated,connected,present,and resilient. As a facility of higher education, the center trains intern therapist graduate students in social work and counseling. The training program,which is part of the center’s prevention and intervention programming,integrates contemplative practices into its clinical model to enhance healing,therapeutic presence,and resiliency for both clients and clinicians alike. This workshop shares how we manage our own capacity for our compassionate values to be actionable and sustainable while offering participants insight into enhancing their own well-being and increased longevity in the service of individual and collective social justice.

Melissa Hammerle

Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

The Courageous Path of Collective Liberation: A Compassion-based Approach to Social Justice Education

Courage of Care launched in order to provide a community for educators, activists, leaders, healers, parents and others to develop the skills necessary to realise a more compassionate, just world. We designed a model that integrates relational contemplative training, critical pedagogy and systems thinking to support sustainable personal and social transformation. Our model helps us learn to: 1) LOVE in more sustainable and compassionate ways; 2) SEE that which inhibits our capacity to connect in just, equitable ways; 3) HEAL from collective forms of trauma and oppression; 4) ENVISION more caring and just worlds; and 5) ACT to realise and sustain our shared visions. In addition to providing workshops and retreats, we developed a university level course and have consulted with several University Centres interested in compassionate systems change. This workshop will offer participants an introduction to the core theory and practice of the model with opportunity for critical engagement.

Brook Lavelle

Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Dwelling Together Between Queasy Worlds: Toward Sacred Citizenship

As liberal multiculturalism crumbles and critiques become increasingly weaponized, new scholarly frameworks are needed for working with fear and difference as we muck our way toward expanded alliances and webs of care. How are we to think, speak, and create, when disengaging from terms of “self” bound within settler colonialism and racialized capitalism? I am interested in border spaces inhabited when one detaches, either by choice or force, from illusions of wholeness, cohesive identity, progress, and the American Dream. What possibilities exist in-between self/not-self, embodiment/disembodiment, language and being? This experiential workshop will explore these questions through storytelling, writing, and embodied contemplative practices with the intent to build what M. Jacqui Alexander calls, “sacred citizenship,” or beloved communities of difference.

Kirsten Mundt

Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Dealing with feelings – Global threats and contemplative tools

Often university students feel isolated and lonely with their existential thoughts. Hence, there is a strong need to develop collective ways of sharing emotions concerning questions related with the meaning of the studies. We claim that if there isn’t real dialogue between people, students will not be able to face local or global scale threats without a risk of burning out or becoming too cynical to act.

Climate anxiety groups have become successful in connecting the mindfulness-based tools as well as ways of fostering self-compassion with the real context. In the workshop, the participants can experience the practises of the climate anxiety workshop and test how the contemplative, dialogical methods help to sustain through societal changes and global challenges. Practises promote self-care and skills for compassionate dialogue.

Including discussion about how the kind of methods can be integrated into teaching and spread the mindset to build compassionate academic community.

Merita Petäjä, Sanni Saarimäki

Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Using Collective Poetry Collage to Teach Healing Justice

This workshop is inspired by a Master’s-level social work course, Community Building, where the group focuses on self-care and healing justice as critical for social workers in training. Healing justice is a framework and set of practices that attends to oppression, trauma, and stress by decolonizing institutions and culture while creating opportunities for personal and inter-personal healing. It is concerned with the whole self, including the body, mind, heart, spirit, nature, and community. Through study of adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy, a new voice in transformative justice, the workshop will begin with meditation followed by check-ins about real struggles in our social justice work and lives. In this context, we will read some of Brown’s work aloud and everyone is supported in writing a poem using one of her lines as a prompt. Through a collective and embodied process, we will use our individual poems to create a collective poetry collage.

Loretta Pyles

5:15 – 6:00 Reception with Cash Bar
6:00 – 8:00 Evening Programming TBA


Sunday, November 10

9:00 – 9:30 am Contemplative Practice
9:30 – 11:30 am Member Forum and Networking Opportunity with Buffet Breakfast
11:30 am Next Steps & Conference Closing
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