How an epidemic of stress is overwhelming students — and what you can do about it
This special event — Is College Bad for your Brain? — explores the epidemic of stress overwhelming college students and what you can do about it. It highlights a university that puts stress-busting meditation at the core of its curriculum. This is the second event in the ChangeMaking Series, hosted by MIU and the David Lynch Foundation (DLF).
If you were unable to attend the ChangeMakers event on campus in February, now you can view videos of highlights, individual speakers, and the full webcast.
Is college bad for your brain?
Watch this short highlight video capturing the essence of this event, while exploring MIU’s innovative approach to dealing with college stress.
Individual talks (not in chronological conference order)
Heart to heart with a heart surgeon – Dr. Hassan Tetteh
A conversation with renowned heart transplant surgeon, Dr. Hassan Tetteh, exploring his personal story of discovering “the healer within” as well as how to transform the effects of stress on the heart in order to lead a more happy, effective and healthy life. His favorite John Steinbeck quote captures his vision: “A sad soul can kill you quicker than a germ”; and he adds that “Identifying the goals, beliefs and human connections that enrich our souls can be just as essential to healthy living as any medical treatment”.
The crazy clown suit of stress – David Lynch
Global Disruptor David Lynch takes us on a tour-de-force Q & A session with students exploring donut holes, creativity and transcending, how to run with great ideas, and especially how to take off this “crazy clown suit of stress” and keep it off for good. A deep dive into the world of David Lynch and his vision for a more enlightened future for higher education!
Who you gonna call? Stress busters! – Michael Sternfeld
Setting the stage, producer Michael Sternfeld gives an overview on the epidemic of stress affecting college students and explores how this challenge creates an opportunity for changemakers to step forward to make a difference by transforming the situation for good.
Getting back in your “right mind” – William R. Stixrud
Neuropsychologist William Stixrud, who’s been working on the front lines for over 30 years helping students cope, offers key insights on how to get students back in their “right mind”. Having a “right mind” is based upon a healthy brain– one with a healthy stress response that produces low stress hormones. This conversation explores how students can sculpt a healthy brain and lifestyle through exercise, sufficient sleep, and especially a solid meditation practice.
Meditating students get in the groove – MIU Student Panel
MIU student leaders explore and discuss how they cope with stress, covering such topics as: listening to yourself, working with stress rather than against it, creating a safe environment for growth, and how to break out of an either/or mentality to develop an inclusive lifestyle in which you can take good care of yourself and get the job done at the same time.
What’s going on between your ears? – Dr. Fred Travis, Ph.D
Gain a glimpse into the inner workings of your mind as neuroscientist Fred Travis conducts a live EEG demonstration on MIU student Chevonne Height. You’ll learn about the differences between a stressed and unstressed brain and how meditation can be a powerful transformative tool to create a healthier, more effective style of brain functioning and peak performance.
Falling into a total support environment – Steve Langerud
Experiential education expert Steve Langerud distills the essence of his experience coaching and counseling more than 15,000 students in this conversation. The art of listening to students, breaking the cycle of stress, and the challenge of maintaining positive behaviors are the key topics explored. Mr. Langerud also describes the fundamental shift he experienced coming to work at MIU, where he found himself surrounded by people who supported each other in making healthy lifestyle choices.
Consciousness-Based education. What’s that? – MIU Faculty Panel
Consciousness-Based Education is a great experiment that is enjoying boundary-breaking results. Real higher learning unfolds when the students’ inner capacity for learning becomes the foundation to gain outer knowledge. Join educators Craig Pearson, Vicki Alexander Herriott and Leslie Doyle in a conversation exploring how true learning begins within, the benefits being experienced by those who approach learning in this way such as increased IQ and ego development, and how a university based on these principles has created a like-minded community that supports growth and fosters a sense of belonging.
Oxymoron: unpressured medical students – Drs. Gruener and Carla Brown
When it comes to a stressful learning environment, the extreme challenges of medical school are well-known. Medical wellness pioneers, Dr. Gregory Gruener and Carla Brown have developed an alternative–the first major medical school in the country to offer Transcendental Meditation (TM) as an elective to help students manage stress. You’ll hear how medical students, trained to look at things in an evidence-based way, responded to the program and the surprising successes they found along the way.
Boot camp meditation de-stressor – Dave Zobeck
Imagine the regular challenges of being a first-year student in college. Now combine that with the rigors of military boot camp training. That is the pressure-cooker environment at Norwich University–the oldest military academy in the country. Air Force veteran Dave Zobeck shares his insights and experiences teaching TM to cadets at Norwich and the striking peace-creating results that are unfolding in this program.