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Advisory Board


Mindful Leadership Basu


Our Story

         The Mindful CSUSM story begins in 2013 when one founding member, Dr. Fritz Kreisler, a trained Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) instructor and faculty member from Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS), offered an MBSR course for the campus community. That summer, three other founding members, Dr Jennifer Jeffries, Dr. Marie Thomas and Dr. Ranjeeta Basu attended a summer program offered by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society (CMind) located in Florence, Massachusetts. This week-long residential workshop focused on the incorporation of mindfulness and contemplative pedagogy into teaching. These practices include but are not limited to breath practices, body scan, mindful reading, listening and writing and loving kindness practices to name a few. It was a life-changing experience; the three of us returned to campus convinced that contemplative practices could help create a learning environment where we felt a deep sense of connectedness to ourselves, to our students, to each other, and to the larger regional and global community. In short, we returned with a commitment to create a contemplative community on our campus.  Not only did we begin integrating contemplative practices into our own courses but all four of us also began offering workshops to students, faculty, staff, and administrators on contemplative practices. The response was overwhelming. Our sessions were always full, and the feedback provided evidence that people on our campus and those at neighboring community colleges saw the value of these practices.

         In the next two years we offered two Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) funded by the Faculty Center around the theme of integrating contemplative pedagogy into the classroom. The FLCs helped us to lay the foundation for community with our students through the pedagogical approaches we learned about, practiced together, and ultimately brought into our classrooms. Students from a wide variety of disciplines have been exposed to this innovative pedagogy because members of the FLCs came from departments across the University.  Contemplative pedagogies have now been used on our campus (and, in many cases, continue to be used) in courses as diverse as computer science, social work, psychology, kinesiology, sociology, education, linguistics, economics, business management, global studies, child development, human development, nursing, dance, music, software engineering and communication with both graduate and undergraduate students. In addition to the classroom, contemplative practices are also being used across the campus from student health and counseling and student leadership services to staff professional development in finance and administrative services and housing. These practices include stress reduction practices, mindful communication and compassion practices, focused attention practices to name a few.

         The desire to create a contemplative and compassionate community among faculty, staff and students allowed us to make the transition from individual practice to a communal one. In 2017 we established the Mindful CSUSM initiative under the auspices of the Office of Inclusive Excellence. Mindfulness practices can foster the ability to: communicate with compassion, listen to each other even when it is painful to do so, and allow us to speak our truth without fear. Using mindfulness practices, our contemplative and compassionate community provided spaces where we as a campus were able to talk about issues such as sexual harassment, racial tension, elections, mass shootings, and the COVID pandemic. Over the next three semesters we worked with several Senior Experience teams from the College of Business Administration to develop a mission and vision statement, a five-year plan and a website and outreach plan. These teams also helped us develop our logo. To sum up, our goal is to provide support to all members of the campus community through contemplative practices, pedagogy, and research that foster deep learning, reduced stress, increased capacity for compassionate listening, and increased well-being.

Publications by Faculty on the Advisory Board

(* Denotes advisor mentoring role with undergraduate or graduate supervised writing or research)

Ahlers, J., Basu, R., Pillai, R., Redela, P.,Thomas, M. &  Weigt, J. (forthcoming 2023) Using Faculty Learning Communities to Create a Contemplative Community on Campus: A Multidisciplinary Project. In Expanding the Vision of FLCs in Higher Education: Emerging Opportunities for Faculty to Support and Engage with Each Other edited by Kristin Rainville, David Title & Cynthia Desrochers. Information Age Publishing.

Basu, R. (July 2023). A Compassionate Approach to Gender and Development: From Local Stories to Global Visions, Cognella Publishers.

Basu R., Ahlers J., Thomas J., Thomas M., Weigt J. (2019) Working toward beloved community: Contemplative practice and social justice in one public university, Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, 6(1), published by Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.

Berry, D. R., *Hoerr, J. P., *Cesko, S., *Alayoubi, A., *Carpio, K., *Zirzow, H., *Walters, W., *Scram, G., *Rodriguez, K., & *Beaver, V. (2020) Does mindfulness training without explicit ethics-based instruction promote prosocial behaviors? A meta-analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 46(8), 1247-1269.

Berry, D. R., Cairo, A. H., Goodman, R. J., Quaglia, J. T., Green, J. D., & Brown, K. W. (2018).  Mindfulness increases prosocial responses toward ostracized strangers through empathic concern. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147(1), 93-112.

Randerson A. & Pillai R. (2020) Management Education in Turbulent Times: Mindfulness in the Classroom, in The Routledge Companion to Mindfulness at Work, edited by Satinder K. Dhiman.

Stuhr, P. T., Ahlers, J. C., Jeffries, J., & Thomas, J. T. (2018). Mindfulness from A to Z: Concepts, practices, resources, and tips for health and physical educators. California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance e-Journal, 4(2), 25-37.

Stuhr, P. T., & Thomas, M. D. (2017). Conceptualizing mindfulness for health and physical educators. California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance e-Journal, 3(3), 13-21.

Stuhr, P.T., & Sutherland (2018). An exploration of mindfulness in adventure-based learning. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 89: sup 1, A-156 & 157. DOI:  10.1080/02701367.2018.1450043

*Vicente, S., & Stuhr, P. T. (in press). Mindful yoga: Strategies for implementing yoga and mindfulness in physical education. Strategies: A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators, xx(x), x-x.

Presentations by Faculty on the Advisory Board

Basu, R. (February 2023) Impact of Mindfulness Practices on Compassion in College Students poster presented at the Annual conference of the International Society for Contemplative Research (ISCR).

Basu, R., Pillai, R. (March 2022) Towards Creating A More Compassionate and Just Institution Of Higher Learning: A Mindfulness Approach presented at the Western Academy of Management (WAM) 2022 conference.

Basu, R. (November 2021) Can Mindfulness Practices Impact Student Wellbeing and Compassion? presented at the 13th annual conference of the Association of Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (ACMHE), Resourcing, Reconnection, and Reemergence: Centering Contemplative Practices in our Work and in our Healing.

Basu, R., Randerson, A., Thomas, J. (October 2017) Building A Sustainable Contemplative Community: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach presented at the 9th annual conference of the Association of Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (ACMHE), Radicalizing Contemplative Education: Compassion, Intersectionality, and Justice in Challenging Times

Basu, R., Bufferd S., Pillai R., Thomas, J. (October 2016) Achieving Student Success through Contemplative Pedagogical Practices: A Multidisciplinary Project presented at the CSU Teaching and Learning conference, San Jose, CA.

Basu, R., Bufferd S., Pillai R., Thomas, J. (November 2016) Achieving Student Success through Contemplative Pedagogical Practices: A Multidisciplinary Project. Peer-reviewed poster presentation at the International Symposium for Contemplative Studies (ISCS) conference by the Mind & Life Institute, San Diego, CA.

Basu, R. & Imara, M. (October 2015) Bridging the Divide: Labor markets, cultural work, and contemplative pedagogy. presented at the 7th Annual Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education conference in Washington DC.

Berry, D. R., (Chair), & Kiken, L. (Co-Chair) (May 2018). Mindfulness and its training promote positive interpersonal outcomes. Symposium presented at the 30th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Redela, P. & Basu, R. (2021, August) Bringing Contemplative Pedagogy to Campus through the Faculty Learning Community. Workshop led for Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.

Stoddard Holmes, M. & McMullin, J. (2019, October) Practicing Self-Care: A Workshop in Mindful Drawing, Reading, and Writing. Workshop led at the CSU Institute for Palliative Care National Symposium for Academic Palliative Care Education and Research. 

Stoddard Holmes, M. Thomas, J., Thomas, M. (2017, September) Cultivating Compassion in Palliative Care. Workshop led at the CSU Institute for Palliative Care National Symposium for Academic Palliative Care Education and Research.

Stoddard Holmes, M. (2016, October) This Breath, This Word, This Patient, This Moment: Mindful Reflection In Health Humanities Practice. Presented at Signs and Symptoms Medical Narratives Conference, University of California, Riverside.

Stuhr, P. T. & Sutherland, S. (2018, March) An exploration of mindfulness in adventure-based learning. Peer-reviewed research consortium poster presented at the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America) Convention, Nashville, TN.