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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-- 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 MUM and the David Lynch Foundation (DLF).


Learn how key habits—sleep, exercise, diet and meditation—can help you neutralize the effects of college stress.

Highlighting a university that is reversing this trend by placing stress-busting meditation at the core of its curriculum.

The statistics are sobering. Three out of four students report feeling stressed. 39% of college freshman report symptoms of anxiety or depression. And there has been a 30% rise in mental health support requests.

With Special Guest, Filmmaker & Global Disruptor, David LynchClosing Q & A (Via Skype)

In a desire to create a college environment that nourishes growth, the David Lynch Foundation (DLF) and Maharishi University of Management (MUM) are presenting a major conference to offer disruptive solutions– “Is College Bad For Your Brain?”– on Friday, February 8 on the MUM campus, followed by its global webcast on Wednesday, February 13. A powerful panel of thought-leaders—neuroscientists, educators, psychologists and students–will convene to explore the epidemic of stress that is overwhelming students and what we can all do about it.

Disruptors Transforming the World for Good Panelists: Medical & Keynote


Dr. Hassan Tetteh MD, MBA, FACH


Dr. Hassan Tetteh MD, MBA, FACH, was the Command Surgeon for National Defense University and is currently a thoracic and cardiac surgeon with Howard University Hospital and MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He also serves as the Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO) for the US Navy. Dr. Tetteh was recently honored as a Hero of Medicine and listed as one of the Most Influential Black Doctors by Savoy Magazine in 2017.

Dr. Tetteh will speak on how meditation can create more resilient students by reducing substance abuse, anxiety and depression while improving cognitive function, behavior, and performance.


William R. Stixrud, Ph.D.


William R. Stixrud, Ph.D., is a clinical neuropsychologist; as well as Adjunct Professor Children’s National Medical Center and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, George Washington School of Medicine. A major contributor to scientific articles, including works on the benefits of Transcendental Meditation, Dr. Stixrud recently authored an article on stress and its effect on college students in the New York Times.

Dr. Stixrud will speak on the epidemic of stress facing college students today and explore developmental strategies that can transform learning outcomes in a positive direction through proper diet, exercise, sleep and the use of Transcendental Meditation (TM ).


Dr. Gregory Gruener, MD, MBA


Dr. Gregory Gruener, MD, MBA is a neurologist, professor and Associate Chair of Neurology, affiliated with Loyola University Medical Center and Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center. Dr. Gruener is also Assoc. Dean of Medical Education and has been guiding the elective at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine entitled Physician Wellness through the Transcendental Meditation Technique.


Carla Brown EdD


Carla Brown EdD, has a doctorate from Harvard Graduate School of Education and is now Adjunct Professor of Medical Education at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, where she co-leads their cutting-edge Physician Wellness program.

Drs. Gruener and Brown will speak on the benefits being experienced in overall wellness by medical students at the first major medical school in the country to offer TM as an elective to help students manage stress.


Fred Travis, Ph.D


Fred Travis, Ph.D, is a neuroscientist who heads the Brain, Consciousness & Cognition Center at MUM. The author of 83 papers and book chapters over the last 30 years, Dr. Travis' research has explored child development and ADHD, Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, brain patterns in higher states of consciousness, and most recently, the brain signatures of world-class performers profiled in his book, Excellence Through Mind-Brain Development: The Secrets of World-Class Performers.

Dr. Travis will conduct a live EEG demonstration at the event, contrasting stressed and meditating brains, with commentary on its significance in mind-brain development.

Panelists: Educators & Students


Dave Zobeck


David Zobeck is a Vietnam-era Air Force veteran with an MA in Counseling Psychology. He has worked extensively with veterans diagnosed with PTSD during his distinguished 28-year career in the Criminal Justice System. Mr. Zobeck is now completing his eighth year as the Director of the TM Program at Norwich University, the nation’s oldest private military university. During that time, he has supervised the teaching of TM to more than 1000 students, staff, and military personnel.

Mr. Zobeck will speak on the striking TM research results showing performance benefits at Norwich, as well as his personal insights from working closely with college students in the high pressure setting of a top military academy.


Vicki Alexander, JD, LL.M


Vicki Alexander, JD, LL.M, has a background in taxation law but shifted her focus to educational psychology when she co-founded with her late husband, Skip Alexander, the Institute for Research on Consciousness and Human Development. She is currently the Dean of Faculty and Chairman of the Department of Management at Maharishi University of Management.


Steve Langerud


Steve Langerud, a seasoned educator, coach and workplace culture consultant, has worked as Dean of Experiential Education at Grinnell College, and Director of Professional and Career Development at DePauw University. As a college counselor and coach over the past 30 years, Mr. Langerud has counseled over 15,000 students to become more resilient, better adapted and more fully integrated into life.


Craig Pearson, PhD


Craig Pearson, PhD is VP of Academic Affairs at Maharishi University and the author of the book The Supreme Awakening: Experiences of Enlightenment Throughout Time — and How You Can Cultivate Them. Mr. Pearson speaks around the US and internationally on the topic of human development and higher states of consciousness.

And featuring a panel of MUM Students

Chris Baluja

Chevonne Height

Kirby Shields

Emily Mauntel

Kent Kachejian

Maharishi University of Management (MUM), a private university in Fairfield, Iowa, features a “Consciousness-Based Education” system that includes the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Its key features include the total study immersion of the one-course-at time block system, self-discovery and self-development as core principles, and a progressive and inclusive campus culture. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers degree programs in art, business, education, communications, mathematical science, literature, physiology & health, Vedic Science and sustainable living.

The David Lynch Foundation (DLF) is a global charitable organization with offices in New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles and Fairfield, Iowa. It was founded by film director and Transcendental Meditation (TM) practitioner David Lynch in 2005 to develop and implement scientifically proven stress-reducing modalities for at-risk populations, including inner city students, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, American Indians, the homeless and incarcerated adults. The DLF also funds research to assess the effects of the program on academic performance, ADHD and other learning disorders, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, cardiovascular disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and diabetes.

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