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Alumna Kaffia Jones promoted to Brigadier General

10/13/2011

Saybrook is pleased to announce that psychology alumna Colonel Kaffia Jones was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General on Sept. 10. 

The ceremony was held it Atlanta, Georgia, and attended by Brigadier General Jones’ immediate family, officers of the General corps, and enlisted servicemen and women.  Saybrook Faculty member Eugene Taylor was also in attendance. 

The ceremony was conducted by Major General Stuart M. Dyer, Commanding General of the 335th Signal Command (Theater), based in East Point, Georgia, where Colonel Jones served as Chief of Staff for two years.

Immediately following the ceremony, Brigadier General Jones left for a posting in the Middle East.  The 3200 Soldiers and civilians in her command build, operate, maintain, and defend the military computer network in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf.

As a Saybrook student, then Colonel Jones produced what Taylor called “an outstanding dissertation” entitled “Expatriate Warrior:  the experiences of World War II American veterans of African descent,” under faculty members Theopia Jackson, Zonya Johnson, and Charles Canaday. 

Jones earned her PhD in Psychology, graduating in 2010.

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Biscayne Institutes named among best in world for recovery from traumatic brain injury

10/06/2011

Photograph of Marie DiCowdenRecently The Biscayne Institutes of Health & Living, founded and directed by Saybrook Mind-Body Medicine faculty member Marie DiCowden, was named one of 16 best practices for community integration of individuals with brain injury out of 253 surveyed world wide by the Univeristy of Toronto for an upcomming publication.

The Biscayne Institute of Health & Living cares for hundreds of people, from young children to the elderly: it offers the community wellness programs, health education, integrative primary care programs, and rehabilitation; it has a school on premises to serve special needs children and youth so that their school and health care treatments are integrated at the same site; and they train graduate level health care providers from many disciplines in health care and integrative medicine.

"The idea is that we have a center where people don't just come when they're sick, but that provides for the needs of themselves, and their family, at all times," DiCowden says. "It's integrated into the school and the medical programs, and we have a number of activities that extend beyond physical or mental issues into health issue broadly."

Biscayne has also recently received the Florida State Surgeon General's Award Health  Innovation, Prevention and Management Award.

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The culture of Kodak: It's hard not to fall when you're on top of the world

10/04/2011

Early film Kodak is an iconic company – almost synonymous with film and photography. 

It may soon become synonymous with major collapse as well:   the epitome of a once invincible company that couldn’t keep up. 

In the wake of predictions that Kodak may file for bankruptcy, economists will likely go over the company’s business decisions for years to come.  But over at the Rethinking Complexity blog, Dennis Rebelo asks:  what if Kodak’s problems were cultural? 

Kodak reached a pinnacle where it could afford to be insular – and did.  “By sequestering itself, the organization created the anti-culture of success,” Rebelo writes. “The culture it carved out disabled "fresh," innovative thinking. Product development, for example, requires market engagement. Kodak didn't even attend the Consumer Electronic Show (or CES) until 2004—amazing evidence of their lack of consumer orientation.”

To prosper at the top, he suggests, companies and individuals must move from striving for security to finding value in creation and innovation for its own sake – a process Abraham Maslow called “Theory Z.”

It’s a fascinating essay.  Read it here

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Louis Hoffman named President Elect of the Society for Humanistic Psychology

10/03/2011

Dr. Louis Hoffman, a member of Saybrook University's psychology faculty, has been named President-Elect of the Society for Humanistic Psychology. 

He began the role in August of this year, and will become President of the society in August, 2012. 

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Learn about the global peace movement

09/27/2011

Peace Movements Worldwide vol3a Saybrook University is pleased to co-sponsor “Taking Stock of Peace:  Inspiration from Peace Movements Worldwide,” featuring presentations from some of the leading academics studying peace in our time.

Peace Movements Worldwide is the largest scholarly examination of the global peace movement in history.  This three volume anthology, co-edited by Saybrook faculty member Marc Pilisuk, is a comprehensive exploration of peace movements across cultures and times, focusing on successful strategies for implementing local and global change.

Taking Stock of Peace” will feature presentations from the following contributors to Peace Movements Worldwide:  Daniel Ellsberg, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Stephen Zunes, Kavita Ramdas, Mitch Hall, Cynthia Boaz, Peter Phillips, Mickey Huff, Cris Toffolo, Donald Rothberg, Angel Ryono, and Melissa Anderson-Hinn.

"Taking Stock of Peace" will be held Sunday, October 30th at Berkeley Society of Friends (2151 Vine St. in Berkeley, CA) from 2:30-6:30pm.

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You are not a job

09/26/2011

KUKA_Industrial_Robots_IR Futurists like Jaron Lanier have been warning us that the same thing that happened to assembly line workers in the 20th century is going to happen to knowledge workers in the 21st:  machines will come in to do the jobs faster and cheaper. 

Of course, in the 20th century it was robots – while in the 21st century it will be software, but the impact will still be the same.  This week in Slate, Farhad Manjoo is reporting from the front lines of software automation … and he says he’s terrified by what these programs can do.

Most people are focused on the economic questions this raises:  how will millions of people earn a living? 

Over at The New Existentialists, however, they're asking a different question:  what will a culture where self-esteem and social standing comes from work do if work becomes the province of machines?

Read more

(Photo by Mixabest under a Creative Commons license)

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Catch "Connected's" premiere - and discuss what it means to be human in a digital age

09/11/2011

During Saybrook’s Fall 2011 Residential Conference, we were thrilled to be able to offer interested students a sneak peak at Tiffany Shlain’s upcoming documentary “Connected” – an examination of human life in a digital age.

Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive – and now “Connected” is making its public debut for Bay Area audiences this Friday.

“Connected” is a film that speaks to one of the central questions that Saybrook addresses every day:  what does it mean to be human in the 21st century?  Shlain – who is a founder of both the Webby awards and The National Day of Unplugging – asks how we have changed the way we relate to the technology we use every day, and how that technology has changed us. 

Shlain’s love/hate relationship with technology serves as the springboard for a thrilling exploration of modern life…and our interconnected future. Equal parts documentary and memoir, the film unfolds during a year in which technology and science literally become a matter of life and death for the director. As Shlain’s father battles brain cancer and she confronts a high-risk pregnancy, her very understanding of connection is challenged at every turn. Using a brilliant mix of animation, archival footage, and home movies, Shlain reveals the surprising ties that link us not only to the people we love but also to the world at large. A personal film with universal relevance, Connected explores how, after centuries of declaring our independence, it may be time for us to declare our interdependence instead.

Connected will be premiering at San Francisco’s Landmark Embarcadero Theater on Friday, Sept. 16, at 7:20 – and Tiffany Shlain will be available to answer questions after the show.

Shlain will also be attending screenings in Mill Valley at the Sequoia Theater (Saturday, 9/17, 7 p.m. show), and The Berkeley Shattuck 10 Theater (Sunday, 9/18, afternoon show)

For more information visit http://connectedthefilm.com

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Tell us your RC experience!

08/26/2011

Logo-saybrook-seal This week hundreds of Saybrook students, many new, will be coming to San Francisco for the fall Residential Conference – connecting with faculty, attending intensive workshops, and going to classes.

The connections that get made, the community that is formed, and the experiences they have are life changing.  Here are a few we’ve been told about:

"Saybrook rattled me to a core," said psychology alumna Monica Dixon, "and I loved every minute of it. It was the very thing I was seeking ---- a different way of operating. I began to question everything, and that has never stopped. I'm just asking bigger questions now."

"I'm always so impressed by the things that people are doing," says psychology and social transformation student Gianina Pellegrini. "At other schools people have jobs that are just getting them by, and then I go to Saybrook conferences, and I sit with other students who are on peace committees around the world and have done all this amazing work in different countries, and I'm so impressed, and I'm really motivated: I always think, this is what it's all about."

"Saybrook was the first time that I could really pursue anything that I was really passionate about pursuing,” said Human Science student Nick Rorbers. “I look at the Residential Conferences like they're a vacation."

Now, what’s your experience?  Use the comments section below to tell us about your fall 2011 Residential Conference experience.  Good, bad, or just plain interesting, we want to know. 

Leave a note below!

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"To thine own self be true" is a creative manifesto

08/26/2011

The courage to create What does it mean to be authentic?  What standard do you go by?  What external standard can there possibly be, if authenticity is being true to the inner self?  How do you know?

Christina Roberts has some answers.  Her Saybrook dissertation was a study of creative older individuals, and she found a clear link between their creative work and their sense of having lived an authentic life. 

It may be, she suggests, that living authentically is itself a creative act.

She writes about her finding at The New Existentialists.  It's a must read.

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Organizations repeat themselves (over and over)

08/25/2011

Ever notice that your workplace has patterns?

Of course you have - every organization does.  In fact, understanding the "systems archetypes" of an organization -- common and usually reoccurring patterns of behavior -- can be a key to curing organizational dysfunction.

Each archetype has its own distinct storyline, and being able to change that storyline is a key leadership skill.

At the Rethinking Complexity blog, Saybrook Organizational Systems PhD student Jorge Taborga has gone over the research involving systems archetypes, listing some common types and explaining how to manage them -- even plan for them.

It's worth taking a look.

 

 

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