Creating a Contemplative Culture at Community Colleges: Leadership and Classroom Practices

Creating a Contemplative Culture at Community Colleges: Leadership and Classroom Practices

A conversation with Jon Brammer and Pearl Ratunil

Originally broadcast March 2, 2017, 1:00-2:00pm EST

Free and open to the public, with a $20 suggested donation. You may make a donation here:

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There are unique resource challenges that shape the environment of contemplative advocates who work in community colleges. Since community colleges are often smaller campuses that are part of a larger state-funded system, it may not be appropriate to assess the “success” of contemplative initiatives at a community college by the same standards used private baccalaureate institutions. Community colleges face the global and political challenges of our time in an immediate way, raising a core question that we will explore in this webinar: How can faculty and administrators at community colleges face the swiftly changing environment with compassion?

In this webinar, Pearl Ratunil and Jon Brammer explore what an “initiative” can be at a two-year college where resources are scarce, the audience for contemplative pedagogy sparse, and the need for contemplative approaches great. Pearl Ratunil, Chair, Academy for Teaching Excellence, Harper College, will invite discussion on how to bring contemplative practice to administrative culture, while Jon Brammer, Humanities instructor at Three Rivers Community College will discuss how flexible contemplative practices can be applied to classroom instruction.

This webinar will help you:
1) Generate ideas for integrating contemplative approaches in your day-to-day academic and administrative work appropriate to your campus context.
2) Clarify practical choices you can make in designing contemplative curricula and other initiatives on your campus.
3) Frame ways of assessing contemplative initiatives that fit your particular educational context.

About the Presenters

Jon BrammerJon Brammer has been at Three Rivers Community College in SE Connecticut since 2002 where he teaches courses in writing, ethics, religious studies, and the relationship between science and religion. He has master’s degrees in English language and linguistics and religious studies.

Presently, Jon is in a doctoral program at Lesley University where he is focusing on contemplative pedagogy in higher education. His dissertation will focus on methods for re-designing traditional curricula to include contemplative foundations.

Jon’s background with contemplative practices is varied; he has studied aikido in the United States and Japan and practiced various styles of yoga. He is also an active meditator and alternates between zazen and MBSR techniques during any given week. He is also currently training to be a Koru Mindfulness instructor.

Jon has been involved been a member of the ACMHE community since 2012.

Pearl RatunilPearl Ratunil is an Associate Professor of English and Chair of the Academy for Teaching Excellence at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, a community college outside of Chicago.

Her M.A. and Ph.D. in English are from the University of Illinois at Chicago where she specialized in medieval English literature and African American Studies and researched pre-modern race in European hagiography. Her B.A. in Literature is from Antioch College in Ohio. Her publications have focused on issues of race and ethnicity in medieval European Literature, and she has served as editor of a special issue of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching titled Teaching the Middle Ages at Minority-Serving Colleges and Universities. Her other interests include the development and practice of contemplative pedagogy which blends research on mindfulness and neuroscience with teaching.

About ACMHE Webinars

The Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (ACMHE) is an initiative of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. The ACMHE’s free webinars allow you to view a live presentation online; you can listen to the presenter over your computer speakers, headphones, or VOIP headset, or by dialing in to the audio with your phone. Questions and comments may be submitted to the presenters during the webinar.

To register, simply submit the registration form and instructions for connecting will be emailed to you automatically.

We record our webinars and post them for public viewing on contemplativemind.orgafter the original airdate.

If you have any questions, please email

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