Transforming Higher Education:
Fostering Contemplative Inquiry, Community, and Social Action

The 8th Annual ACMHE Conference

October 7 – 9, 2016

Student Union Building and Lincoln Campus Center,
University of Massachusetts Amherst

View/Download the Conference Program (.pdf)

Session at an ACMHE conference
Panel at the 2013 ACMHE Conference

The ACMHE conference is an annual interdisciplinary forum for sharing scholarship, practices, and research on contemplative methods in higher education, with an emphasis on fostering compassionate social change.

The 2016 ACMHE conference will explore questions such as:

  • How do we develop the tools for inner and outer transformation? How do we foster an ability to be more alive, awake, mindful, and engaged with our inner struggles and global collective challenges?
  • How are contemplative methods affecting how we teach, learn, and understand across and in our various disciplines?
  • How are contemplative practices supporting and sustaining communities within and beyond academia that reflect compelling visions of a more just, peaceful, sustainable, and compassionate world?
  • How can contemplative practices affect our understanding of systemic forces that shape institutions of higher education and of society at large?

The ACMHE conference schedule emphasizes concurrent sessions led by scholars, researchers, students, and practitioners that demonstrate and investigate how contemplative practices are being used in higher education to build more just and humane relationships and institutions. These sessions may take the form of research presentations, experiential workshops, contemplative practice sessions, performances, roundtable conversations, panel discussions, or other creative modes of sharing. The conference also features a poster session–a valuable opportunity to connect with colleagues across many disciplines, as well as plenary sessions, breakout groups, and other social settings for interpersonal exchange.

Keynote Address:

Keynote Address:

Ecowomanist Wisdom: Engaging Earth Justice and Contemplative Pedagogies For Such a Time As This

Melanie L. Harris, Associate Professor of Religion, Texas Christian University
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Session Types

60-Minute Interactive Sessions allow opportunities for presenters to share research and methodologies in ways that engage the session participants and model contemplative modes of inquiry. They may feature one or more lead presenters incorporating a variety of interactive methods (dialogue, guided discussion, etc.), and we encourage alternatives to lecture-style presenting. Interactive sessions may also take the form of a roundtable discussion in which the organizer proposes a concept, approach, or issue, and participants are invited to share in an open inquiry. Audio-visual equipment, including digital projector and screen, may be requested.

60-Minute Practice Sessions focus on particular practices and invite participants to experience them as designed or adapted for educational settings, allowing time for discussion. We encourage a full variety of practices from stillness to movement, silence to sound, interpersonal to intrapersonal, etc.

75-Minute Panel Sessions, moderated and organized by a lead presenter, invite multiple panelists to present brief, focused perspectives on a topic and allow time for extended discussion. Audio-visual equipment, including digital projector and screen, may be requested.

Poster Presentations offer an opportunity to speak informally with a large number of colleagues and display some aspects of your work visually on a poster. Each poster presenter will be supplied with an easel and a 3′x4′ poster board. Posters are presented simultaneously in a one-hour session. No audio-visual equipment is available for Poster Presentations.

2016 Conference Committee

Kakali Bhattacharya
Kansas State University

Stephanie Briggs
Community College of Baltimore County

Jennifer Cannon
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Michelle Chatman
University of the District of Columbia

James Frank
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Vijay Kanagala
University of Vermont

David Levy
University of Washington

Regina Smith
Naropa University

Paul Wapner
American University

Carin Zinter
Holyoke Community College

2016 Conference Organizer

Maya Elinevsky
Event Coordinator, The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

2016 Conference Director

Daniel Barbezat
Professor, Economics, Amherst College
Executive Director, The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

Rhonda Magee, at the 2012 ACMHE Conference