Arthur Zajonc Lectures on Contemplative Education

This lecture series is made possible through the generous support of the Fetzer Institute,
an anonymous foundation, and individual donors.

The Arthur Zajonc Lecture Series on Contemplative Education presents an annual lecture on contemplative pedagogy, epistemology, and learning.  The Series honors Arthur Zajonc’s groundbreaking work in the field as a distinguished thought leader and committed teacher by enabling eminent scholars and educators to share their insights and experience in integrating contemplative practices and perspectives into higher education across the disciplines.  The Series continues Arthur’s work in building the education needed for a society based on compassion, inclusion, care for each other and the earth, and respect for the interconnection of all life.




The 3rd Arthur Zajonc Lecture on Contemplative Education

Radical Love as a Public Health Initiative

A Lecture by Lenwood Hayman
Associate Professor of Community Health
Morgan State University

Delivered Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Smith College Campus Center


Lenwood HaymanAs a teacher, Dr. Lenwood Hayman works to inspire social-justice-minded scholars to ask questions on the health issues situated in the communities from which they come. His research focuses on addressing the social, psychological, structural, and environmental influences of emotional arousal in under-privileged and marginalized populations. With stress reduction at the center of his scholarship platform, the 3 legs of support each focus on the influence of stress on 1) the eating behaviors of individuals from low-income families; 2) negative mental health outcomes in African American men; and 3) academic achievement in first generation and non-traditional college students. By engaging various stress-reducing methodologies (e.g., mindfulness and other contemplative practices), Lenwood uses this 3-legged agenda to support positive mental and physical health outcomes amongst the aforementioned groups. Being born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Lenwood became interested in social justice activism as a teenager, and focused his time not spent on his studies and lettering in varsity sports as a voice for upward mobility and positive growth for marginalized peoples. Although Lenwood has been primarily restricted to lending his voice to speaking on behalf of the marginalized through his research, he uses his training in mindfulness and contemplative practices to create safe spaces for engaging in meaningful dialog between the well-resourced and the under-resourced. For the last 5 years, Lenwood was an Assistant Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education in the Department of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Michigan – Flint. Lenwood is excited to be transitioning into a new position as Associate Professor of Public Health in the School of Community Health and Policy at his alma mater, Morgan State University, in the Fall of 2019.



The 2nd Arthur Zajonc Lecture on Contemplative Education

If the Beautiful See Themselves, They Will Love Themselves: Contemplative Practice and Cultural Healing

A Lecture by Veta Goler
Associate Professor and Chair of Dance Performance & Choreography
Co-Director of the Teaching Resource and Research Center
Spelman College

Delivered Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Smith College Campus Center


Photo by Miriam PhieldsVeta Goler holds an MFA in dance and a PhD in African-American studies. She began her career as a modern dance artist and has performed, choreographed and taught dance nationally and internationally. Later, as a dance historian she focused her research on contemporary African-American modern dance artists, particularly women choreographers. In more recent years, her research interests have expanded to include the intersection of dance and spirituality in popular culture and to explorations of spirituality and contemplative practices in education and the workplace. She has published her research in dance and culture journals and anthologies and has presented at national and international conferences.

As a longtime meditator, she is committed to helping others discover the ways contemplative practices can enrich their lives. She has facilitated retreats and workshops for personal and professional renewal at colleges, universities, K-12 schools and retreat sites throughout the country. She also incorporates contemplative practices in her classes, in her work with faculty, and in the guided meditation sessions leads for Spelman students, faculty and staff. As a Courage of Care Coalition faculty member, Goler develops courses and workshops that employ contemplative practices in service of social justice. She is also a national Circle of Trust® facilitator, and many of the retreats and workshops she leads are based in the work of education innovator Parker J. Palmer, who has written extensively on the value of living an “undivided life,” in which one’s work is in harmony with one’s values.



The Inaugural Lecture

Across the Divides: A Pedagogy of Love


A Lecture by Paul Wapner
Professor in the School for International Service, American University

Delivered Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Smith College Campus Center



Paul WapnerProfessor Paul Wapner’s research focuses on global environmental politics, environmental thought, transnational environmental activism, and environmental ethics. He is particularly concerned with understanding how societies can live through this historical moment of environmental intensification in ways that enhance human dignity, compassion, and justice, and come to respect and nurture the more-than-human world. His books include: Environmental Activism and World Civic Politics, Principled World Politics: The Challenge of Normative International Relations, Living Through the End of Nature: The Future of American Environmentalism, Global Environmental Politics: From Person to Planet (co-edited with Simon Nicholson), and, most recently, Reimagining Climate Change. (co-edited with Hilal Elver). He is currently writing a book titled, Is Wildness Over? Wapner leads workshops for professors that explore the interface between contemplative practice and environmental engagement. He serves on the board of trustees of the Lama Foundation and on the board of directors of Re-volv, a group that puts solar panels on the roofs of nonprofit organizations.


2019 Lecture Series Committee

Carrie Bergman, Associate Director at CMind, joined the organization in 2000 as a Program Assistant. She first met Arthur in 2004, when he served as CMind’s Academic Program Director, and worked with him on many projects including building the ACMHE, Summer Sessions on Contemplative Curriculum Development, and annual ACMHE conferences.

Mirabai Bush, the Senior Fellow and founding Director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, worked closely with Arthur Zajonc for many years to develop pioneering programming about contemplative practices and higher education. They have also co-led many retreats and events for educators.

Oliver Hill is a Professor of Psychology at Virginia State University and a current member of the Board at CMind.  He first met Arthur in 1999 when he was a CMind Fellow, and has also worked with him on the Board and at the annual ACMHE conferences.

Carolyn Jacobs is former Dean of the Smith College School for social work, past Chair of the Board for CMind, and past board member for the Mind & Life Institute. She writes, “I met Arthur in the mid 80s at a Five College continuous faculty discussion on new epistemologies. The range of disciplines represented in our gathering nurtured the development of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education. My belief in the importance of the Association’s work and the wonderful space it provides for scholarship, research and creative pedagogy led me to accept the invitation by Arthur and others to chair The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. When Arthur became president of Mind and Life, he asked me to join the board. I said yes to joining this lecture committee to honor him and the many ways he stimulates contemplative inquiry.”

Paula Sager met Arthur in 2003 as he was co-founding and directing the Barfield School graduate program. He subsequently became one of her research advisors and her thesis mentor. Paula joined the The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society Board in 2011, when Arthur was executive director. She served as a board member until 2017 and continues to serve CMind as a committee member of the Arthur Zajonc Lecture Series.

Paul Wapner is Professor of Global Environmental Politics in the School of International Service at American University.  He has been associated with CMind since 2000, when he received a Contemplative Practice Fellowship Award. He has worked closely with Arthur through a 3-year, Fetzer Institute program on mentoring in higher education.