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Vol. 18, #15, May 7, 2003
Copyright 2003, Maharishi University of Management


Media Turns Out for National Yogic Flying Competition

Eco-Fair to Teach Use of Alternative Energy Sources

Dr. Travis Gains Recognition among Researchers

New Findings on Meditation and School Behavior

Vicki Alexander to Head Management Department

New Website Offers Videos of Maharishi Gandharva Veda Music

Freshmen Lead Spring Golf Season

Enrollment Center Offers New Online Services

Student Production of Our Town Opens Friday at Spayde

School Alum Receives Honors

School Photography Students Win Seven National Awards

School Students Win 11 Awards at Art Competition

Media Turns Out for National Yogic Flying Competition

Recently the University hosted the 2003 United States Yogic Flying Competition in the Golden Domes with a good turnout by the media. In addition to The Des Moines Register and other major Iowa newspapers, five television stations attended.

See news reports at

This was the first University competition since the 1996 Silver Jubilee Celebration.

Craig Pearson, University executive vice-president, addressed the audience attending the competition, saying that "Our approach to peace may seem new, but it has a 25-year track record, has been used successfully in all parts of the world, and has nearly 50 scientific studies validating its effectiveness. It is powerful, safe, noninvasive, and nonpolitical, and it produces immediate results."

For the first time, the competition featured three divisions of Yogic Flyers: Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment and Maharishi University of Management, where many students incorporate the practice of Yogic Flying into their daily routine, and a third division of adult Yogic Flyers.

The competition included four events: 25-meter dash, 25-meter hurdles, long jump, and high jump. In each division a first-, second-, and third-place medal was awarded for each event.

Two University students were overall winners in the men's competition, with Patrick Kennedy winning the hurdles in a time of 16.52 seconds and Michael Koren taking the 25-meter dash with a time of 14.25 seconds. And two participants in the adult division were also overall winners, with David Sinton leaping 65 inches to take the long jump and Martin Davy winning the high jump with a 30-inch hop.

"Yogic Flying competitions are highly evolutionary--the experience is completely fulfilling and exhilarating, moving through wholeness with no restrictions," said Rod Falk, registrar at Maharishi School and gold medal winner in the adult 25-meter dash and bronze medal winner in adult long jump and high jump, and world champion Yogic Flyer in competitions held in India and The Hague, Netherlands.

In the women's competition Yukiko Tashiro won three gold medals in the adult division: hurdles with a time of 18.32 seconds, the 25-meter dash with a time of 16.61 seconds, and the high jump with a hop of 18 inches. Monica DeAngelis won gold in the long jump for the Maharishi School/Ideal Girls School team with a jump of 49 inches.

After the ladies' events, one competitor said, "It was the most blissful experience multiplied by infinity."

"The Yogic Flying competition is a fun way to demonstrate Maharishi's technology for world peace," said Richard Neate, dean of students. "In the recent war, governments were spending $1 billion dollars a day losing lives. For a fraction of that we can create world peace. We need to get the word out."


Eco-Fair to Teach Use of Alternative Energy Sources

A solar-powered bicycle, cars that run on sesame oil, homes heated by the sun--these topics and many more will teach people how to avoid using fossil fuels as part of this year's Eco-Fair, May 23-26.

"We have an amazing lineup of speakers who are eager to teach people how to live in a way that doesn't plunder or damage the environment," said organizer Marielle Savard. "These are people who are living what they talk about. Many live completely 'off-the-grid.'"

The speakers include Lonnie Gamble, who has been living in a solar- and wind-powered straw bale home for 10 years. He will discuss "radical strategies for living wisely and well without fossil fuels." Participants will learn how they can obtain energy, water, food, and shelter in ways that are sustainable and how they can turn waste products into resources.

In addition, John Freeberg, a developer of Abundance EcoVillage near Fairfield, will give a presentation on solar heating and natural cooling. Dan Isbell from Vinton, Iowa, will describe his home that uses photovoltaics, wind generation, small-scale hydro, wood heat, solar hot water, and solar cooking. And John Root, an energy consultant for Muscatine Power and Water, will also cover wind and solar power, including the use of photovoltaics.

While solar power is more commonly used for heating, it can also be used to power transportation vehicles. David Osterberg, associate professor of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa, will show how his solar-powered bicycle works.

Not to be outdone, Michael Havelka will show two cars fueled mostly with sesame oil. He will discuss the fabrication and use of biodiesel fuel.

Finally, the use of natural energy sources will be expanded to the municipal level by Kent Boyum, Ph.D. M.B.A., director of the Maharishi Vedic City Rebuild Program, and Maharishi Vedic City Mayor Robert Wynne.



Dr. Travis Gains Recognition among Researchers

Fred Travis, director of the University's EEG lab, is being asked by many academic journals to evaluate the merit of scientific papers--an indication that he is now recognized as a leader in brain research.

Dr. Travis said that a main task of scientific journals is to decide the quality of research, and they rely on acknowledged experts to make these judgments. Because Dr. Travis has now published widely and in top journals over a number of years, he is increasingly being asked to review articles for psychology journals.

These include Biological Psychology and Psychophysiology, two top journals in the field that have published Dr. Travis's research in the past. Other journals that have relied on Dr. Travis's expertise in recent years are Brain Research, Psychology Bulletin, Psychiatry Research: Neural Imaging, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Informatica, Physiology and Behavior, and Alternative Therapy in Health and Medicine.

He said that publishing in journals helps them become familiar with his expertise. In those instances in which he hasn't had prior contact with the journals, he suspects they simply do a search in a science database on the Internet to determine who has published extensively on a given topic. And he thinks that in some instances, they may have first encountered his research as a result of the publicity of the University's PR office.

"Science is a consensual process," said Dr. Travis, who is dean of the Graduate College. "Researchers donate their time to do this. The common goal is to understand natural processes, and it's fun to be part of that."

Dr. Travis said that seeing the work of other researchers also gives him an opportunity to appreciate the high quality of the research at Maharishi University of Management.


New Findings on Meditation and School Behavior

School students who practice the Transcendental Meditation® technique show a significant improvement in their behavior in school, according to a new study by Vernon Barnes, 1996 graduate of the Ph.D. program in physiology.

Dr. Barnes has been principal investigator on a randomized clinical trial for the last four years examining the impact of the Transcendental Meditation program in preventing high blood pressure in African-American youth. Part of his research has been to examine data from school records.

Findings showed that the group practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique had significant decreases in absenteeism, suspensions, and rule infractions. These results were published in the peer-reviewed journal Health and Quality of Life Outcomes.

Dr. Barnes feels that negative school behaviors remain a major problem in the U.S. and that Transcendental Meditation could help reverse this. He said that this study extends previous findings and is important because rather than using self-reported data, it incorporates a randomized, controlled design and uses documented school records.

"This is the first time the Transcendental Meditation technique has been formally studied in a public high school setting," Dr. Barnes said. "We are grateful to the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health for over $1.5 million in grant support."

"This research publication comes at a good time, as we are currently submitting charter school applications in several states," said Dr. Richard Beall, national director of the Consciousness-Based Education Association. "It is always important to be able to emphasize the scientific research supporting the use of the Transcendental Meditation technique, and this work is foremost in that regard."

Forty-five inner-city African-American high school students were assigned to either Transcendental Meditation or health education control groups. The Transcendental Meditation group engaged in 15-minute group meditation sessions at school each day for four months.

Overall, Dr. Barnes's school-based study has recruited over 150 high school students with high normal blood pressure. The first results of this study were published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research and show a beneficial impact of the Transcendental Meditation program upon blood pressure and cardiovascular functioning.


Vicki Alexander to Head Management Department

Longtime faculty member Vicki Alexander, J.D., was recently named chairperson of the management department, replacing Dennis Heaton, who was recently named dean of distance education.

Ms. Alexander has a law degree as well as an L.L.M., an advanced degree beyond the J.D. that specializes in tax law. She has taught courses in the areas of business law and taxation for the past 20 years and has also held various administrative positions.

"I want to focus on the students and their desires," Ms. Alexander said. "And I want to continue the tradition of the management department being one of the largest and strongest departments." A major emphasis will be recruiting and retention.

Ms. Alexander takes the helm at a time when the department is moving toward developing a "green" M.B.A.--an emphasis on business practices and entrepreneurial ventures that are in harmony with the environment.

"This is the wave of the future," Ms. Alexander said. "And these are the kinds of businesses we want to grow."

She said that this angle would be useful to traditional students, since this is an area of dynamic growth, while also appealing to new students who have an interest in creating a better world. This green track will be in addition to the entrepreneurship track. Other tracks, such as human resource management, will be taught if there are sufficient numbers of students.

She said the green M.B.A. will integrate well with the new sustainable living program and the University's increasing emphasis on developing a green master plan for campus.

Ms. Alexander noted that there will be a large Ph.D. class in the fall, with many applicants from around the world. "I'm very excited about the Ph.D. program," she said. "It gives the whole department an added depth. Having Ph.D. students encourages the faculty to think deeply, and it brings in additional teachers with excellent backgrounds."

She said that the angle of the Ph.D. will also be green.


New Website Offers Videos of Maharishi Gandharva Veda Music

Dozens of streaming video and audio segments highlight a new website put online by the University's Institute of Maharishi Gandharva Veda(SM) music to promote the music program among students and prospective students.

"Maharishi Gandharva Veda music is the science and art of bliss," says Isabelle Matzkin, director of the Institute and the developer of the site.

Ms. Matzkin said that one goal of the site was to go beyond general information and to present specific knowledge along with lots of examples. For example, in the Sample Lesson section, Ms. Matzkin gives an at-a-glance picture of the eight time periods of day, the qualities associated with each, and an audio sample, either sitar or flute, of the music appropriate for each period.

The site's streaming videos offer sample performances, an explanation by University Founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, student testimonials, and more.

The dozens of music samples, many in RealAudio format, represent some of the world's greatest musicians, Ms. Matzkin said, such as Pandit Debu Chadhuri.

Also unique to the site is a section on the health benefits, with information on preliminary studies that have been done showing the powerful and immediate healing effects of the music.

Other information offered includes upcoming performances, recordings, and the various instruments. There are also a number of streaming video testimonials by students, who themselves produced the videos as a class project.


Freshmen Lead Spring Golf Season

Freshmen Evan Huggins, Sarah Sica, and Aubrey Deans led the way during the spring round of golf tournaments for the University team. They were joined by graduate students Ted Hirsch and Bill Graff.

Aubrey Deans had an 8th-place and an 11th-place finish, which is excellent for this level of competition, said coach Richard Neate.

"Aubrey averaged a 79 in the tournaments," Mr. Neate said. "He is one of the premier players in the Midwest."

Sarah Sica finished second in a women's tournament. In addition, she played in the men's tournaments. According to one of her teammates, Ms. Sica is one of the best lady golfers in the five-state area.

First-year student Evan Huggins also helped. His scores counted toward the team's total in each tournament, Mr. Neate said.

"In the team's six years of intercollegiate golf, we have played nearly 100 different teams," Mr. Neate said. "Our University's name is all over the Midwest. The players really enjoy representing the University and its goals. Every player is focused, kind, friendly, and eager to talk about the University."


Enrollment Center Offers New Online Services

Both students and faculty can now access a number of Enrollment Center services via the Internet.

These new services include a schedule of classes, classrooms for the present block, graduation applications, requests for transfer credit evaluation, transcript and records requests, the academic calendar, and a directory of services.

"Our goal is to have an online Enrollment Center," said Diane Sanny, registrar. "This is just the beginning. We are moving toward interactive services that will enable students to register online, fill out financial aid forms, and access grades."

She said that because so many of the future services that they will be offering contain confidential information, they are in the process of installing the necessary firewalls to make the system secure.

Michael French, graduation director, said that students are already taking advantage of the new online services. "I can e-mail students to remind them to turn in their graduation application by a deadline, then they can fill out the form online in three minutes and return it on time. It's great."

Ms. Sanny said that there has been the need and the desire to offer these services online for some time. She credited Kathy Jaffey and Mr. French with spearheading the project.

The online enrollment information is available at


Student Production of Our Town Opens Friday at Spayde

The classic American play Our Town, by Thornton Wilder, will open in Spayde Theater on Friday, May 9.

Produced by the University's theater program, Our Town is one of the most popular plays in the history of the American stage. "Mr. Wilder has transmuted the simple events of a human life into universal reverie," stated a review in the New York Times. "He has given it a profound, strange, unworldly significance--brimming over with compassion . . . a hauntingly beautiful play." And the Chicago News stated, "Unconventional, intriguing. An absorbing experience in playgoing."

The story of Our Town revolves around the lives of the citizens of Grover's Corner, New Hampshire, at the turn of last century. We are drawn into the quiet and simple world of two families, and in particular, we come to appreciate the incalculable value of living, loving, and even dying through the eyes of Emily Webb, a sweet "all-American" girl.

"What a marvelous play," says Kent Sugg, who is directing. "It is unique--reminding us that in every second of life, in each of our most mundane activities, the infinite value of the divine is available to us. All we need do is wake up and appreciate each other and ourselves. The play encourages us to recall our unity. What could be more worthwhile than that?"

Our Town opens Friday, May 9, and runs Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m. in Spayde Theater through the month of May. Tickets are available at Somebody Cares and the University Bookstore: $8 general admission and $6 for Maharishi University of Management students and employees. For more information call 469-5861.


School Alum Receives Honors

Pascal Openshaw, a 1999 Maharishi School graduate, has been awarded the 2003 Iowa Governor's Cup, presented once a year to the leading Army cadet at each state university with a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack will personally present the award this month.

Mr. Openshaw is a senior at Iowa State University and will graduate with honors next month with a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering and a minor in military science.

Mr. Openshaw was also awarded a $1,000 cash scholarship by the United States Automobile Association, an award given to only 29 graduating cadets nationally, for having "demonstrated an exceptional leadership example and achieved academic excellence during their tenure with ROTC."

Mr. Openshaw credits his education at Maharishi School and the Transcendental Meditation technique for his success. "I got a great head start with the education I received at Maharishi School, and TM has definitely given me an edge in everything I do," he said.

Mr. Openshaw will join the Federal Cyber Service this fall, a group of information technology specialists who ensure the protection of the United States Government information infrastructure.


School Photography Students Win Seven National Awards

Maharishi School students recently won seven awards at the Texas A&M University Third Floor Photographic Society 21st Annual High School Shootout.

The seven award-winning photos were chosen from among 2,081 prints entered from 29 high schools throughout the country.

The winners are Joy Joy Small, grade 12, second place in First Year/color; and Sundari Bales, Grade 10, honorable mention in First Year/color. In the category First Year black and white, Katie Greenfield, grade 12, earned third place and honorable mention, and Kate Vigmostad, grade 12, also earned honorable mention.

In the category Portrait/People, honorable mention went to Aaron Hirshberg, grade 12. And Jordan Narducci, grade 12, earned honorable mention in Open/Color.

"We are impressed by the level of composition and concepts involved in the imagery," said the judges in their comments on the work.

The Maharishi Upper School photography teacher is Carolyn Waksman.


School Students Win 11 Awards at Art Competition

Maharishi Upper School students entered 15 works and came away with 11 awards at the recent Southeast Iowa Superconference Art Show at Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant.

At the event the Superconference provided workshops for the students from 25 schools and ended the day with a gallery walk of the show. "It was a fabulous opportunity to see the work from the other schools," said Carolyn Waksman, Upper School photography teacher.

The winning students are Lynn Harvey, grade 12, first place, and Taylor Butterfield, Grade 10, second place in Acromatic Drawing; Joy Joy Small, grade 12, first place in sculpture; Hilary Nelson, grade 12, first place in Pen and Ink; Sundari Bales, Grade 10, first place in Color Photography; Katie Greenfield, grade 12, second place in Black and White Photography; Joy Joy Small, grade 12, third place in Black and White Multiple Image; Aaron Hirshberg, grade 12, fourth place in Sepia Toned-Ortho Film Portrait Lighted; Willy Blackmore, grade 12, first place in Mixed Media; and Camie Bargerstock, grade 11, second place in Mixed Media Photography.

Greg Thatcher is the Upper School art teacher.


®Transcendental Meditation, Consciousness-Based, Maharishi Jyotish, Maharishi Gandharva Veda, Consciousness-Based Education Association, Ideal Girls School, Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment, and Maharishi University of Management are registered or common law trademarks licensed to Maharishi Vedic Education Development Corporation and are used under sublicense or with permission.

The Review is published approximately twice a month during the academic year. Send comments to Jim Karpen at