A challenge for integration in education is the joining of past experience with the innovative spirit of the present. Universities should be a prime venue for such imaginative and integrative work, where a true stimulus in the direction of new insights, and creations, is given to the minds and hearts of those who are part of its community.

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What don’t you know about what you know? I invite my students interested in writing out of their own experiences to explore that question. Is there any value to the state, the nation, the world in an academic environment in which students are encouraged to ask that question again and again?

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Values such as compassion, social justice, and the search for truth, which animate and give purpose to the lives of students, faculty, and staff, are honored and strengthened by an integrative education. But to be truly integrative, such an education must go beyond a ”values curriculum“ to create a comprehensive learning environment that reflects a holistic vision of humanity, giving attention to every dimension of the human self.

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IUP’s new Mindfulness Living Community shows how broad student services can connect curricular and extracurricular activities, creating a richer and more engaging educational environment.

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In a final exam last May, nearly half of the 279 students in a Harvard government class were suspected of cheating. This is not just a “Harvard” problem; rather, this is emblematic of a crisis throughout post-secondary education. Many have lost sight of our fundamental mission to create environments for students to discover what is most meaningful to them and to provide the information and tools for them to live out their vision.

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In “Obesity: Chasing an Elusive Epidemic,” Daniel Callahan calls for an “edgier” strategy to reduce obesity levels in the United States. I felt compelled to respond to Callahan’s article because the policies he is advocating are not in line with what I believe is his vision for a healthier and happier population.

In order to guide any action, we first need a clear vision: a place to start from that answers questions such as, “What are we doing this for?” and “What is really guiding us?” Because any action that runs counter to this deeply-held vision will cause suffering to ourselves and others, even if it appears to lead to our desired outcome.

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