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Psychology and Humanistic Studies

Saybook's Donna Nassor appointed as a New York representative of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA)

01/12/2012

Psychology/Social Transformation PhD student Donna Nassor has been appointed as a New York representative of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA), a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) since the 1980s.

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Mind-Body Medicine

Meet Our Community: Lynne Shaner, PhD student in Mind-Body Medicine

01/09/2012

Lynne tudor placeLynne is a full-time mind-body specialist based in Washington, DC. She is director of Praxis: Wellness in Life & Work, a wellness practice specializing in mind-body approaches to life.

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University

Saybrook University to Sponsor Chip Conley "Emotional Equations" Book Signing Events

01/09/2012

San Francisco, CA, January 5, 2012 – Saybrook University announced today that it is sponsoring signing events for Chip Conley’s new book, “Emotional Equations” (January 10, Free Press). In the book, Conley, dynamic entrepreneur and author of the bestselling “Peak”, has developed a new lexicon for an emotionally intelligent age by introducing brilliantly simple formulas to help us explore and articulate something that challenges and connects us all: our emotions. Illustrating how to gain greater perspective and create the perfect equation for any situation, equations like “Joy = Love - Fear” and “Despair = Suffering - Meaning” have been reviewed for mathematical and psychological accuracy by leading experts. Conley shows us how to solve these equations (and how to formulate our own) through life examples and stories of inspiring people and role models who worked them through in their own lives.

 

The three Saybrook University sponsored events will be held in:

·         San Francisco  January 11

·         Los Angeles     January 25

·         New York        February 23

 

In addition to the above events, Chip Conley will be the keynote speaker at Saybrook University’s residential conference on January 14, 2012. This conference brings together faculty and students from Saybrook’s Graduate Colleges of Psychology and Humanistic Studies and Mind-Body Medicine for intensive classes and workshops in multiple disciplines. Chip Conley will also be the keynote speaker at Saybrook University’s LIOS Graduate College (Leadership Institute of Seattle) graduation on June 18, 2012 in Seattle, Washington.

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Psychology and Humanistic Studies

Dr. Jürgen Kremer and Saybrook doctoral candidate Robert Jackson-Paton develop textbook on ethnoautobiography

01/09/2012

JurgenThis past fall, Saybrook's Jürgen Kremer and Robert Jackson-Paton developed and piloted a textbook for use at Sonoma State University (SSU), based on their work in ethnoautobiography . The book contains a glossary, practical activities, and case studies to help students understand ethnoautobiography and use it as an effective research tool.

Robert

Following the success of the pilot version, the book will be submitted for publication next summer and used in additional upcoming courses - both at SSU and the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). The book is titled

Stories of Decolonization, Autobiography, Ethnicity: Unlearning Whiteness and Reclaiming Participatory Senses of Place and Society - An Ethnoautobiographical Workbook

Expanding on a manuscript that was published by Prof. Kremer in 2003, the book considers ethnoautobiography to be a practice of radical presence. A helpful glossary is included, describing central terms used in this book. Rather than call it a glossary, however, Kremer and Jackson-Paton prefer the term “conversation pieces” because these are “reflections intended to stimulate conversation” rather than inflexible and finalized definitions.

Table of Contents and Summary

Introduction

Conversation Pieces

Chapter 1: Who Am I?

The origins and varieties of ethnoautobiography are described, with three ethnoautobiographical stories as examples. Ethnoautobiography is the telling of a decolonizing story which takes an Indigenous sense of “ethno,” including ancestry, history, place (ecology), seasons, and so on.

Activity to begin cultural self-reflection.

Chapter 2: Ethnoautobiography - Why not Autobiography?

This chapter provides more detailed explanations of ethnoautobiography. In so doing, examples from published authors—including Gerald Vizenor, Gloria Anzaldua, Paula Gunn Allen, Leslie Marmon Silko, Helene Cixous, and bell hooks—model elements of ethnoautobiographical narratives.

Activities to research ancestry and to expand on our autobiographies.

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Psychology and Humanistic Studies

A call for Apple to make a conflict-free iPhone

01/06/2012

(Parts of this post originally published by The Guardian, December 30, 2011).

Screen shot 2012-01-06 at 11.20.19 AMWhile increased access to mobile technology in an undisputed advantage for many, the manufacturing process of the phones themselves negatively impacts others. Ironically, the very people targeted for increased mobile connectivity through poverty reduction schemes are also those whose lives are in jeopardy from the mining required to make electronic devices. Mobile phones require rare earth metals that are often extracted by children and slaves in conflict zones. The idea of “blood mobiles” is modeled after the well-known campaign against blood diamonds mined in African war zones and used to perpetuate conflict (Kristof, 2010).

Nathan & Sarkar (2010) shed light on the controversy over coltan, a mineral used in mobile phones (as well as computers and other devices). While coltan only makes up a very small percentage of the raw materials used in mobile phones, it is an essential component. 30% of the world’s supply comes from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where its extraction directly sustains armed violence, child labor and poverty in one of the world’s deadliest conflicts. The coltan industry finances armed rebels and has become a reason for armed conflict between groups vying for control: “An ugly paradox of the 21st century is that some of our elegant symbols of modernity — smartphones, laptops and digital cameras — are built from minerals that seem to be fueling mass slaughter and rape in Congo” (Kristof, 2010, para. 2). As activist Delly Mawazo Sesete - a native of the DRC - explains in a recent article in The Guardian, Apple is "perfectly positioned to be the first company to create a Congo conflict-free phone." Sesete explains:

While conflict began as a war over ethnic tension, land rights and politics, it has increasingly turned to being a war of profit, with various armed groups fighting one another for control of strategic mineral reserves. Near the area where I grew up, there are mines with vast amounts of tungsten, tantalum, tin, and gold – minerals that make most consumer electronics in the world function.

While minerals from the Congo have enriched your life, they have often brought violence, rape and instability to my home country. That's because those armed groups fighting for control of these mineral resources use murder, extortion and mass rape as a deliberate strategy to intimidate and control local populations, which helps them secure control of mines, trading routes and other strategic areas. Living in the Congo, I saw many of these atrocities firsthand. I documented the child slaves who are forced to work in the mines in dangerous conditions. I witnessed the deadly chemicals dumped into the local environment. I saw the use of rape as a weapon. And despite receiving multiple death threats for my work, I've continued to call for peace, development and dignity in Congo's minerals trade.

But the good news is that your favorite electronics don't have to fund mass violence and rape in the Congo, and neither do mine.

That's why I'm asking Apple to make an iPhone made with conflict-free minerals from the Congo by this time next year. Apple has been an industry leader in both supply chain management and making corporate social responsibility a priority. In the past two years, Apple has taken great strides to source minerals responsibly and control their supply chain.

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Alumni Messenger

Call for Submissions for the Upcoming ISSS 2012 Bulletin

01/05/2012
Call for submission of short notes or research reports and other items of interest for the upcoming ISSS 2012 Bulletin to be published in end of January 2012. These submissions will be published in the first section of the Bulletin, highlighting most recent work from the membership of ISSS. Submissions should be no longer than 1500 words (4 pages single spaced). For the bulletin, other items of...

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University

Saybrook Conference Sessions Open To Prospective Students This January

01/04/2012

Join us at an upcoming conference session to engage in an integral part of the Saybrook experience. For 40 years Saybrook University has offered distance education for graduate students. Combining online and residential instruction, our programs foster close contact amongst faculty and learners while offering flexibility. A key component of Saybrook's learning model, residential conference sessions bring faculty and students together, spurring intellectual creativity, collaboration, and mentorship.

Prospective students may attend and observe two sessions at the SFO Westin Hotel in Millbrae, California:

Sunday, January 15, 2012 -- 9:15 am - 12:00 pm PST

Courses and Seminars:
Renewing the Encounter Between the Human Sciences, the Arts, and the Humanities
Introduction to Person-Centered Expressive Arts for Healing and Social Change
Buddhist Pathways to Health
Systems Practice: From Systems Thinking to Systems Being
Generative and Strategic Dialogue: Intro to ORG 7044
Trauma and Transformation: The “Human”

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 -- 9:15 am - 12:00 pm PST

Courses and Seminars:
Trauma and Transformation: Social Dimensions
Intermediate Training and Education in Hypnosis (5620)
Movement, Exercise, and Health
Researching Organizations and their Complexity: Exploring Methods That Support a Systems Approach to Change
City of San Francisco Initiative: A Collaborative Project Opportunity
Creativity and Writing: Beyond the Norm

Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with faculty and Admissions representatives. To learn more and register, please RSVP HERE!

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Psychology and Humanistic Studies

Saybrook Professor George Kent lectures widely on human rights

01/04/2012

GKheadshotThis past September and October, Prof. Kent delivered lectures in five different cities, based primarily on his recent books Ending Hunger Worldwide, and Regulating Infant Formula. His lecture tour began in Norway with an invitation to speak at the University of Oslo's Centre for Development and Environment, with talks entitled “Deepening Poverty and Ill Health with Infant Formula” and “Ending Hunger Worldwide: Changing Perspectives on Food Insecurity." From Oslo, Dr. Kent traveled to the University of Ghent and Belgian Health Ministry; Corvinus University in Budapest, Hungary; Coventry, UK and finally back in the U.S. at the University of Connecticut (Storrs) delivering talks on similar themes: how to remedy social problems related to food security and nutrition.

UNESCO Chair Award

At the University of Connecticut, Prof. Kent received a plaque recognizing his work. It reads:

“UNESCO Chair Award. Presented to George Kent. In recognition of your practical contributions to women’s empowerment and to the expansion of the frontiers of human rights and to fostering global solidarity. UNESCO Chair & Institute of Comparative Human Rights. 12th Annual International Conference on Food Security and Human Rights.”

Upon return to his home in Honolulu, Dr. Kent was invited to speak to the University of Hawaii's Law School, its School of Public Health, and its Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

Currently he is working on a paper called “Rights-Based Disaster Planning,” which will be the basis of talks he has been invited to share this coming February at the East-West Center in Honolulu, and at a conference in March for the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity.

The New Zealand Lactation Consultants Association has requested Prof. Kent lecture in three cities in mid-2012. Additionally, as Co-Convener of the Commission on International Human Rights of the International Peace Research Association, he plans to participate in its meeting in Japan in November 2012. These trips to New Zealand and Japan will be Prof. Kent's 93rd and 94th international trips, representing a lifetime of work dedicated to empowering the most marginalized people.

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Alumni Messenger

Full-time Psychology Faculty Position Open at National University - Bakersfield, CA

01/03/2012
Full-time Psychology Faculty Position—Bakersfield, CA National University, Department of Psychology, invites applications for a one-year Full-Time faculty position in Bakersfield, CA. The position may be renewable subject to budgetary considerations. Responsibilities The faculty member will teach on-site undergraduate graduate and counseling psychology courses. The appointee will...

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Psychology and Humanistic Studies

Corporate commercialism in schools threatens critical thinking

01/01/2012

Partnerships between schools and for-profit companies are a growing trend in cash-strapped school districts but may cause harm to schoolchildren, according to new research by an international team of scholars. The potential damage goes beyond the immediate health threat posed by the school-based marketing to children of soft drinks and other junk foods. Corporate commercializing activities in schools undermine the teaching of critical thinking skills essential to a good education, according to Alex Molnar and co-authors Faith Boninger and Joseph Fogarty.

The report, The Educational Cost of Schoolhouse Commercialism: The Fourteenth Annual Report on Schoolhouse Commercializing Trends: 2010-2011, was released on November 7, 2011 by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The new report on schoolhouse commercializing trends considers how commercializing activities in schools directly and indirectly undermine the quality of the education children receive. Harm is due to the shifting of school time toward activities promoted by commercial sponsors. Such business-sponsored activities in recent years include product demonstrations and contestslike the “ASA School Tour.” The pretext for the tour is to show children that it’s cool to be tobacco-free, but when the Tour arrives at a local high school, classes aresuspended for a mandatory assembly that includes an action sports show and exposure to sponsors’ branding, with on-site promotions and sampling.  When Microsoft sponsored the tour, for example, new Xbox games were a featured attraction.

Finally, a less obvious but significant educational harm associated with school commercialism involves the threat posed to critical thinking. Research shows, Molnar and colleagues write, that critical thinking skills are best fostered in an environment where students are encouraged “to ask questions, to think about their thought processes and thus develop habits of mind that enable them to transfer the critical thinking skills they learn in class to other, unrelated, situations.” Yet, as they point out, “…it is never in a sponsor’s interest for children to learn to identify and evaluate its points of view and biases, to consider alternative points of view, or to generate and consider alternative solutions to problems.” 

“Corporate sponsors want their story to be accepted uncritically,” Molnar says.

The report references the coal industry’s collaboration with children’s book publisher Scholastic Inc.. Scholastic produced materials for the American Coal Foundation’s “The United States of Energy” 4th grade curriculum. Classroom materials in this program were written to emphasize many states’ use and production of coal.

This coal curriculum caught the attention of a coalition of advocacy groups in the spring of 2011 and led to a campaign that culminated in Scholastic’s July decision to halt distribution of the coal-related materials and to reduce its production and promotion of other sponsored content. Yet Scholastic Inschool, the publisher’s marketing arm for corporate clients, has launched numerous in-school marketing campaigns in recent years for companies such as Brita water filters, Disney and Nestlé.

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