Angela Kristine Seng is one of the department of Physiology and Health’s star students here at MIU. She is a talented Maharishi AyurVeda specialist and researcher that is close to graduating and moving on to even greater achievements. As everyone on campus was preparing for some well-deserved time off during winter break I was able to sit down with Angela for a little while to learn more about her experience in the Maharishi AyurVeda Wellness Consultant track and at MIU in general:
What got you interested in going to MIU?
My interest in AyurVeda and meditation led me to an online ad for MIU. I was immediately drawn to the school through the website, but coming to Fairfield for a visitor’s weekend confirmed my desire to pursue a degree here.
As a Maharishi AyurVeda Wellness Consultant track student, which qualities of that program drew you to it?
I actually came to MIU for the Sustainable Living program, which really transformed me over my first year here. I took the TM-Sidhi course half way through my freshman year, which gave me a new perspective on my personal goals and desires. For that reason I decided to switch to Physiology and Health.
I was learning a lot of extremely practical and innovative things in the Sustainable Living department. Undergoing courses in that department evoked a very drastic change of mindset in me. However, when I started talking to people back home about what I was learning, I realized it was a bit outside of their paradigm. The TM-Sidhi program sparked a shift in me, which had me recognize the importance of helping people heal themselves. When we heal ourselves, we reconnect with nature and can relate to it in more compassionate ways. I felt that if I could inspire people to heal in this way, then sustainability would come more naturally to our society.
That is why I switched to learning about AyurVeda – so I could learn how to relate to nature in a new way, in order to inspire others to heal and transform.
Nice. Could you tell me a little about what your primary interests are right now?
My primary interest is in herbal medicine. I did an internship in the fall that had me working with medicinal plants. It was life-changing, and really helped me gain clarity on my passions. Right now I’m looking to pursue a master’s in herbal medicine. If all goes as planned, I’d like to also earn a degree in education, partnered with a PhD. This way I could combine all of my passions – holistic health, sustainable living and herbal medicine to apply them through research and education.
Do you have any favorite classes that you’ve taken in Physiology and Health?
I think my favorite courses have been from these last two blocks. They aren’t your typical Physiology courses. In November I did an internship in Experimental Research with Dr. Sandy Nidich, which inspired a new passion in me for research. The experience has greatly influenced my plans for the future.
This month I’m doing a directed study with Dr. Thimmaiah in the Sustainable Living department. It’s on women’s health and Ayurvedic herbs. I am developing a booklet for distribution to health clinics, which informs clients on women’s health and herbs that support women’s health. The idea is that this booklet will inspire women to connect more deeply with nature – healing and empowering them. Ideally these two courses will be substantial platforms for my post-grad decisions.
Very cool. What was your research internship about?
I was working with two studies that have been done on prison inmates and the effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique. We looked at the effects of TM on inmates with trauma, one women’s study and one men’s study. We saw a significant reduction in trauma and trauma-associated symptoms for both groups. I helped with the data entry and analysis, as well as drafting both papers and getting them formatted for submission. We hope to get accepted for publication by one of our journal submissions soon.
Awesome, sounds like important work. Do you have any post-graduate plans at the moment?
Aside from pursuing higher education, I will be looking to do work within the fields of herbal medicine and holistic health. Filling the gap between graduation and further education with work in a related field would boost my experience level and prep me for deeper success in my graduate degrees.
I have also turned my research internship into a work-study position and hope to continue that work, in some respect, with Dr. Nidich after graduation.
That sounds like a big job for a work study position!
Yeah, it is but it’s not so big when you’re enjoying what you’re doing. When you find things that you are passionate about all the energy to do them comes naturally.
Definitely. Well thanks so much for speaking with me for a little. It was really nice learning more about your experience at MIU and in the Physiology and Health department!
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