Feature Articles

Combatting Terrorism Starts in School: Saybrook Professor's research finds that devout and secular Muslim teanagers both want to live in a pluralistic world


After the tragic “Charlie Hebdo” shootings in France, people across the world are wondering whether societies can peacefully live with devoutly religious minorities in their midst.

Dr. Benina Gould has been studying just that question for the last several years, recently conducting studies of Internet use among teenagers at conservative Muslim schools in Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world.  Also surveyed were the attitudes towards religious diversity among high schoolers in America, Pakistan, and Germany.

Despite tragic cases of terrorism, the good news is the studies showed that the majority of Muslim students, even the most devout ones, want a pluralistic society.  And, although there is no easy answer to combat terrorism, Dr. Gould strongly believes that increased education and awareness, and spreading these encouraging findings can make a difference.  While horrific acts of violence can easily command our attention, the data clearly shows that they are not representative of an entirely population. That’s why her research, which examines the stereotype that 'madrassas' are the breeding grounds of fundamentalism, is of great significance.

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Deadline for 2015 Rollo May Scholarship announced


Saybrook is proud to announce the application information for the upcomming 2015 Rollo May Scholarship award, a $5000 scholarship provided through the generosity of university donors.

The Rollo May scholarship is given to a Saybrook student whose graduate work explicitly applies and extends the existential-humanistic contributions of Rollo May.  Such student work may include scholarship in the areas of personality theory, psychotherapy, art and literature, cultural criticism, existential encounters, or other topics which the student clearly connects to the Rollo May tradition.

All Saybrook students are encouraged to apply.  The application deadline is January 31, 2015.

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Support a New Documentary about the Life and Work of Stanley Krippner


Saybrook University is proud to announce that it is sponsoring a film on the life and work of its most noted professor, Dr. Stanley Krippner.

As a professor and lecturer, Stanley has inspired and mentored new generations of explorers in wide ranging fields.  He is perhaps unparalleled in his work in the study of consciousness, one of science’s last frontiers.

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Saybrook alum's new book tells the world: You Are Not Irrelevant


While studying for his psychology PhD at Saybrook University, New York City accountant Eric Kreuter learned that almost anyone can turn their life around.

Kreuter worked with Rex, a former medical student whose life had taken a turn: at 59, Rex was receiving food stamps and living with his mother. But after only four months of weekly clinical work with Kreuter, Rex was able to turn his life around for the better, and is now employed and helping to support his family.

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Cynthia Fitzgerald takes over as Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Services


Cyndy Fitzgerald, formerly dean of LIOS Graduate College, took over as Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Services at the beginning of November. Originally from Sacramento, California, she received her PhD in Applied Behavioral Science/Higher Education Leadership from Azusa Pacific University in 2007. We sat down with Cyndy for a few questions about her new role at Saybrook.

You took over as Dean of Enrollment Management & Student Services at the beginning of November. How is this position different than your previous one?

The scope of this role is extremely broad in terms of serving the students, staff, faculty, and alumni of the University beyond what was involved in my role as Dean of LIOS Graduate College of Saybrook University. With this expansion comes a significantly greater workload that includes far more travel, meeting time, and effort to care for and coordinate resource staff in their efforts to support students and to develop systems with clear policies and procedures in compliance with federal regulations. An additional component and challenge involves striving to assess and develop best practices to improve communication, and where appropriate, cross-train staff, in the midst of the restructuring and multiple adjustments and impact of those changes.

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It’s Easier for Families to Make Money Than it is to Keep it

Dennis Jaffe

Many families earn money through businesses and even get rich – but it generally doesn’t last. Only a third of family businesses survive being transferred from one generation to another: less than 10 percent survive a second generational transition.

By contrast, a new report by Saybrook University faculty member Dennis Jaffe indicates that the most successful multi-generational families in the world also follow best practices on wealth management, the maintenance of personal relationships, and the development of a next-generation of leaders.

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“What does America want an education to do?”

Saybrook President Mark Schulman

The real crisis in American education has nothing to do with test scores: it is the fact that America has no clear sense of what “an education” ought to accomplish.

That’s according to Mark Schulman, a noted expert on progressive education. Schulman is the President o fSaybrook University in San Francisco and the past president of Goddard College in Vermont and Antioch University Southern California, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

“(L)et’s say the reformers get what they want,” Schulman wrote in a recent column on the Huffington Post. “Even if we get test scores to go up, are we any closer to where we want to be? And where is that exactly?”

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How Muslim Youth Use the Internet

Benina Gould

A new study shows that freedom of expression online is compatible with Islam – or at least that’s what Muslim teenagers think.

Benina Gould, a faculty member at Saybrook University, recently completed a study of the internet habits of Muslim youth in Indonesia – the world’s largest Muslim country. The study includes both “conservative” Muslims who would be described as “fundamentalists” in the West, and “modern” Muslim teenagers, who would be described as “progressive.” It’s published in the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences vol 29, Spring 2012 number 2.

Students surveyed were from 16-19 years old and attended three private pesantrens (Islamic boarding schools), three Islamic madrasahs and one secular school.

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Kirk Schneider to Give Keynote Address at Conference on Existential Psychology in Eastern Europe

Kirk Schneider

Saybrook University alumnus and faculty member Kirk Schneider’s place as a leading voice in existential psychology has been affirmed repeatedly by American academic organizations including the American Psychological Association.

This month, as he delivers the keynote address to the 7th annual conference of the East European Association for Existential Therapy, Schneider will receive international recognition as well.

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“Rethinking Madness”: Saybrook Alumni's New Book Presents Strong Evidence That Schizophrenia and Psychosis Are Best Treated Through Therapy

Rethinking Madness

Americans suffering from schizophrenia and psychosis have among the lowest rates of recovery in the world. American medicine also emphasizes medication for these conditions more than most.

Is that a coincidence?

A new book by Saybrook psychology alumnus Paris Williams presents compelling evidence that many mental illnesses we have come to regard as biological problems – brain chemistry gone awry – are in fact psychological issues: desperate attempts by the psyche to preserve a sense of identity or convey crucial messages.

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