Ukrainian Couple finds personal and professional fulfillment at MIU and beyond

Meet happily married ComPro graduates Julia (MS’17) and Eugene Rohozhnikov (MS’17) from Ukraine: an inspiring, dynamic, energetic duo dedicated to lifelong learning, friendships, adventure, and joy in living.

We spoke with them recently to find out how they came to study at MIU, to take a look back at their time as students in the ComPro program, and to see what they’ve been up to lately.

Here’s a summary of our conversation:

ComPro News: How did you first hear about the ComPro program, and what motivated you to apply?

Julia: My cousin Kate joined ComPro when I was about to graduate from high school in Lviv, Ukraine. Kate’s stories of MIU inspired me to pursue a bachelor’s in Software Engineering. I applied to MIU right after graduating. A very pleasant interview with ComPro’s Craig Shaw during my application process made me realize I truly belonged at MIU and that it was a great place to pursue my Master’s Degree in Computer Science.

Eugene: I met Julia at college a year before she was admitted to MIU. She struck me as a highly goal-driven and ambitious person. While she was studying in the U.S. she told me all about the MIU atmosphere, quality of education, environment, and diversity. This motivated me to work towards getting into MIU myself.

 

Recently Julia and Eugene visited Julia’s cousin Kate near Seattle, Washington where Kate is currently a Senior Software Development Engineer at Microsoft. Kate is also a ComPro graduate and first inspired Julia to attend MIU.

 

ComPro News: What did you like most about being a student at MIU?

Julia: ComPro is a life changer! The courses are tightly related to real-world professional work requirements, and the professors are very knowledgeable and helpful. Also, the Career Strategies workshop at the end of the on-campus courses is amazing. The Computer Science Career Center professionals taught us to prepare the best resume, to effectively define and communicate our skills and experience, and to excel at interviews by repeatedly practicing the interview process.

Eugene: I enjoyed being a part of the diversity and inclusion at MIU. We had the pleasure of studying with people from all around the world—all colors, all races, and all ages. If not for MIU, we might never have had the opportunity to truly be a part of the “melting pot” of cultures and traditions!

Our everyday life was very fulfilling. Classes were challenging, with interesting exercises and research. We often worked in teams, sharing creative thought processes and getting great results.

 

ComPro News: As you know, Transcendental Meditation (TM) is an important part of the curriculum at MIU. What effect did TM practice have on your education and daily life?

Julia: As students, TM helped us get the most out of our education and maintain a stable study-life balance. We did TM twice a day. This helped us recharge after hours of continuous studying while reducing stress and anxiety levels.

Eugene: We’re grateful to our TM teachers, both in the U.S. and Ukraine, for giving us this valuable tool that helps us keep a healthy state of body and mind in our daily lives.

 

ComPro News: What are some fond memories you have of your time on campus? 

Julia: MIU feels like family. We have such warm and pleasant memories of thinking back about our MIU life. From my first day on campus, I felt like I belonged. Upon arrival in Iowa I was picked up by MIU staff from the bus station, then brought to campus, and welcomed by ComPro staff. They all smiled and hugged, shared stories, checked on me, and my trip. This was one of the most memorable days of my life in the United States!

Eugene: Coming back for graduation with Julia and my mom was a very special experience. We were so warmly welcomed, and my mother felt right at home even without understanding a single word of English. We had a delightful time celebrating, playing games during the ComPro graduation picnic, and driving around the dear, charming city of Fairfield.

 

Eugene’s mother Volodymyra came to graduation and presented Julia and Eugene with traditional Ukrainian clothing (shown wearing here) as an engagement gift.

 

ComPro News: Do you stay in contact with any of the friends you made at MIU?

Julia: MIU is a place where the “best friend” word combination gets its true meaning. For instance, my classmate Sa’ed Al Qannas and his family are currently our neighbors across the street. We’ve been through many things together: weddings, the birth of their children, many birthday parties, and numerous life events. We’re friends for life!

Eugene: The MIU network is very strong and we keep our bond all across the world. Whenever we travel, we visit dear MIU friends. They open their house, prepare delicious traditional meals, and we spend hours chatting about life, and reminiscing. One of my classmates, Boldkhuu Dandarvanchig. from Mongolia, is officially part of our family now. He was the best man at our wedding and his signature is on our marriage certificate.

 

Boldkhuu, Julia and Eugene at graduation

 

ComPro News: What have you been doing at work?

Julia: For the last seven years my professional experience has involved managing people, working closely with customers, and getting to know the best talents from all around the world as a Lead Quality Assurance Engineer and Product Owner. I’m also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), and Professional Scrum Master (PSM1).

Eugene: I’m working as a Senior Software Engineer. I started working as a Junior Developer and climbed up the ladder to be a go-to person on one of the crucial modules in our system. Seeing that thousands of people are using the product I’m helping to build motivates me to improve myself.

 

ComPro News: What inspires you about the work you’re doing?

Eugene: From early childhood, I’ve loved to learn new things, and Information Technology is constantly evolving. Adding to my professional toolkit and researching new trends in technology not only makes me a better professional but brings me joy. As Confucius said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

Julia: I love working on improving my skills and knowledge as well as helping my team advance in their career and professional growth. I’m a people person — I love working with clients on understanding their needs, getting my team on the same page, and delivering the best solutions possible.

 

ComPro News: Julia, congratulations on getting your PMP certification! Tell us how Eugene supported you during that time.

Julia: I’m blessed to have had a lot of academic experience in my life, and as a result, I’ve taken all kinds of exams. Preparing for certification exams is much more intensive than preparing for academic exams! No wonder professional certifications are recognized as a substantial achievement all over the world.

Apart from the educational prep, the PMP was a family project. I isolated myself from anything other than necessities: food, working out, working, and studying. Even though Eugene and I work remotely and spend an entire day in the same place, we barely saw each other. No movie nights, no board games, or meeting friends. I’m beyond grateful for Eugene’s support. We did it together, and are stronger than ever!

 

Celebrating completion of PMP certification

Celebrating completion of PMP certification

 

ComPro News: We know that you love to travel. What’s the next big adventure you’re planning?

Julia: We’re planning to visit our dear family in Ukraine. It’s been eight years since I’ve seen my family in person. We’re waiting for everyone, especially my sweet 92-year-old grandmother, to be vaccinated, and we can’t wait to finally be able to hug!

 

Julia with her mom, dad, grandma and sisters the last time they were together in 2013. Soon they’ll be together again, creating more memories!

Julia with her mom, dad, grandma and sisters the last time they were together in 2013. Soon they’ll be together again, creating more memories!

 

ComPro News: We are looking forward to seeing Julia and Eugene when they return to MIU in September for our Grand Golden Jubilee. We’ll be celebrating MIU’s 50th anniversary and the ComPro program’s 25th anniversary.

Stay fit and healthy with exercise, sports and TM at MIU

Enhance your study with our amazing range of recreation options: 

We are frequently asked if we have sports and recreation facilities. The answer is a resounding “yes!” In fact, our campus is home to one of the largest indoor university sports/recreation facilities in the state of Iowa: the Grace Ananda Recreation Center.

“Our 60,000 square-foot Recreation Center includes four tennis courts, eight pickleball courts, two badminton courts, two spots for table tennis, two basketball courts, a volleyball court, an area for indoor soccer, a weight room, a dance room, a 35-foot rock climbing wall, cardio equipment and a walking track,” said Dustin Matthews, Director of the Exercise and Sport Science department.

“We also have a variety of fitness classes offered by local professionals including tennis lessons, archery lessons, workout classes, dance and aerobics classes, and more. Students can utilize the facility for free year-round to help supplement a healthy daily routine.” (Please note: some activities and equipment are temporarily unavailable due to COVID restrictions.)

Grace Ananda Recreation Center (with trainer Amie Saine)

 

Recreation Center exercise equipment

 

Comments from students

“The MIU rec center is a wonderful place to be,” said Ukrainian ComPro graduate Julia Rohozhnikova. “During my first day, I explored campus and found the recreation center. I fell in love with this place. Throughout my MIU stay (9 months) I would come to the center 5-7 times a week to take group fitness classes, workout in the weights room, or play tennis.

“Every time I left the rec center for the day, I felt motivated to do more! Being active while studying helped me focus more, be in good health, and make smart and bold decisions.”

ComPro student Raja Raza (from Pakistan) appreciates being able to balance his studies with regular exercise, and has been participating in a variety of activities in the Recreation Center:

“I play a lot and enjoy a lot there,” said Raja. “I play soccer with my friends, and am learning to play tennis. I’m very impressed with the sports facilities and equipment!”

Outdoor equipment and facilities

The Exercise and Sport Science department offers a variety of recreational equipment to students at no cost, including bicycles, volleyball equipment, racquets, balls, kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, sail boats and windsurfing gear. During winter months students can borrow skis, sleds, ice skates and more.

 

Volleyball is an international favorite

 

Our outdoor swimming pool is especially popular for cooling off, sunbathing and socializing during warm weather.

Campus pool

 

The outdoor Punj Tennis Center is a campus landmark where students learn to play tennis, enjoy friendly competition and watch local tournaments.

The soccer field (football pitch) is located near the men’s residence halls and is popular for pickup matches and friendly competitions between students from different countries or different dormitory buildings.

 

Bonnefield Lake at Waterworks Park

Bonnefield Lake at Waterworks Park is within walking distance of campus and is an ideal spot for picnics, barbecues, swimming, playing on the sand beach or walking around the lake. This is where the Computer Science department holds the annual summer picnic for students, graduates, faculty, staff and families on the day after graduation.

 

Computer Science department picnic at Waterworks Park

 

Ask any outdoor enthusiast what they love about living here, and they’re likely to tell you about the 16-mile Fairfield Loop Trail. This scenic trail winds around lakes, through meadows, woodlands, native prairies and parks.

“The trails at Waterworks Park provide one of the best places I’ve seen in Fairfield for a walk. You get to meet local people and network with them,” said Ethiopian ComPro student Abyalew Ambaneh. “I like to go for early morning runs around the lake when the weather is fine. The park is a great place to study and have quiet time while enjoying the nice views.”

Taking a walk on/near campus

Fairfield Loop Trail is adjacent to the campus. Photo by Werner Elmker

 

Central campus offers a scenic walkway for year-round exercise

 

ComPro students happy being at MIU

“MIU offers a rich range of year-round possibilities to be physically active,” said Ken Daley, Professor Emeritus of the Exercise and Sport Science department. “Over the years we have focused on providing quality recreation and fitness opportunities rather than a concentration on competitive sports. This assures that all students have a first class experience no matter what their background or physical abilities are.”

Transcendental Meditation uniquely improves student health and well-being

Additional benefits for MIU students come from regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique. Numerous published studies show that TM, practiced by all students, faculty and staff at MIU, naturally develops improved health, better academic performance, and increased happiness.

MIU professor wins industry award for research on wireless security

Professor honored for “Internet of Things” data security research: 

Prof. Renuka Mohanraj was recently honored for her advanced studies and outstanding research by being named a Fellow of the Computer Science Research Council (FCSRC)

Dr. Renuka Mohanraj, Associate Professor in the Computer Professionals program at Maharishi International University, has recently been honored as a Fellow of the Computer Science Research Council (FCSRC) for her important research on wireless sensor networks (WSN) data security.

Her research was published in the Global Journal of Computer Science Technology: E. In this paper she presents an algorithm she designed as a potential solution to the problem of wireless sensor networks security threats in the rapidly expanding field of the Internet of Things (IoT).

As a result of her research, in December 2020 she was also invited to give the keynote address at an International virtual conference on ‘Bridging Innovative Trends in Mathematics, Engineering & Technology.’ The subject of her address was ‘Internet of Things for Android.’

A Teacher who never stops learning

Professor Renuka teaches several courses in the Computer Professionals programSM, including the very popular Mobile Device Programming (MDP). When she’s not teaching, she enjoys expanding her knowledge in many fields of interest, including mobile ad hoc networks, wireless sensor networks, secure data and QoS routing, and current favorite, IoT.

She explains why she’s so inspired to keep learning about IoT: “In sensor networks, IoT plays a vital role and gives me the motivation to grab the knowledge. I designed the MDP course in MIU’s ComPro program using Android. This course creates an interest to learn how to use IoT for Android devices.”

Renuka dynamically tailors the MDP course based on input from current students and alumni doing Android development. This feedback, along with her enthusiasm for research, keeps the curriculum on the cutting edge. Mobile device programming is a major market, and her class on the subject is highly valued by students, because there are so many opportunities for Android programmers.

So, what’s it like to be in Professor Renuka’s mobile programming class?

MIU professor Renuku wins industry award

Renuka Mohanraj, PhD, FCSRC

“Students in this class enjoy doing their homework assignments because of real time applications,” she says. “They gain practical knowledge, and start developing an app from the third week of the course.”

 

Here are some quotes from a recent anonymous student survey:

“This class helped me realize how much mobile application development has advanced. My experience was with Java, but with the full support and dedication of our professor, I was able to grasp an excellent knowledge in the design and programming of Android applications. The course was extremely well presented, the coding demonstrations were very helpful, and I was able to create Android applications on my own.”

 “I had no previous experience with mobile development but Professor Renuka Mohanraj’s class changed my perspective about Android application development in particular. The knowledge I gained about mobile applications is really a stepping stone for me.”

 “I had not yet experienced a class with Professor Renuka, but she was spot on on everything, from providing well-detailed sessions to following up on us to make sure everyone was with her. I am happy to have added knowledge from a different line of technology, and from a perfect tutor.”

 

Why she loves teaching at MIU

“I am so satisfied and very happy to be a part of the MIU community,” Renuka says. “Co-workers are so kind-natured and supportive, the students are wonderful, management is excellent, and it’s such a peaceful, and stress-free environment.”

She has been teaching at MIU since 2014. During this time she’s had the opportunity to experience many benefits of the Consciousness-Based approach to education and the practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique (TM).

“TM practice helps to improve my self confidence level and brings out my inner potential effortlessly,” she says. “I’m more active throughout the day and my mind is clearer, which makes me a better teacher and a more loving person.”

Dr. Renuka Mohanraj with her husband Mohanraj and daughter Vaisnavii

Enjoying life in Fairfield 

Professor Renuka and her husband Mohanraj live on the MIU campus in Fairfield, Iowa with their daughter Vaisnavii. Mr. Mohanraj is the Computer Science Graduation Director, and Vaisnavii is in 11th grade at Maharishi School.

“Living in Fairfield for the past seven years has been a great experience,” she says. “It’s a wonderful place to live a healthy and peaceful life. We enjoy the noise free, pollution free, green environment. Being part of the happy, welcoming community has been wonderful. I’m looking forward to spending more time in a place like Fairfield!”

 

There are so many ways to learn programming. Why join ComPro?

“Our program teaches the world’s leading software technologies,” says Dr. Renuka. “Our Consciousness-Based approach produces developers in high demand by the IT industry, and provides students with the most natural and scientifically validated technology for developing their own well-being—the TM technique. So the MSCS at MIU is the unique way to learn cutting-edge software technology, and also to learn how to live a blissful life.”

Computer Career Strategies Workshop Empowers Students

Record number of students placed in paid U.S. CPT internships in November:

It’s an exciting time for the Computer Professionals program (ComProSM) at Maharishi International University. In November 2020, we had a record number of students hired for paid curricular practical training (CPT) internships, and the trend continues.

This is especially remarkable given the Covid-19 pandemic, and clearly indicates the resilience of the IT industry combined with a high demand for the professional skills of our ComPro students.

“These record numbers represent an active IT market that connects to our students who are uniquely well prepared for their CPT job search and interviewing,” says Jim Garrett, Director of Computer Science Career Development.

 

Uniquely prepared? How so?

Well, they’ve just completed the Career Strategies Workshop.

This three-week workshop takes place after two semesters of academic courses on-campus, and before the CPT internship. It is led by the expert coaches of our career center. A hands-on approach is used to develop the full spectrum of skills necessary for professional success. Students receive a wide array of resources to help them comfortably adapt to U.S. work culture.

 

Even during the pandemic, the career workshop is resulting in record internship hiring.

 

“Our goal is to empower students to be self-sufficient in their search and interaction with recruiters and companies,” says Jim Garrett. “Completing this workshop not only improves student confidence, but more importantly, their level of professionalism. Technical skills aren’t enough to get hired for an internship. Students must present themselves professionally. They must engage. They have to see how to fit into the company, into their team. All these things may be subjective, but can be taught. We have proven strategies to do that.”

Workshop Topics include:

  • Finding an ideal curricular practical training (CPT) internship
  • Understanding ethical, legal, and social expectations in American business culture
  • Preparing a professional resume and cover letter
  • Identifying your marketable skills
  • Learning a formula for successful interviewing
  • Practicing coding challenges and technical responses
  • Networking for CPT placement success
  • Working with recruiting agencies and company recruiters
  • Connecting your skills to the job description
  • Using job boards and sites
  • Relocating to your internship city
  • Overview of practical training options and government regulations

 

Everything needed for the transition to a successful career

The ComPro program sets students up for success in a very holistic way: Academically, by developing high-demand technical skills; personally, with an ideal routine that includes daily practice of the scientifically validated Transcendental Meditation® technique, and professionally, with our Career Strategies Workshop.

“A data-driven approach is used to pinpoint areas of opportunity for students, then help them refine their skills and strategy to yield the best results: obtaining their CPT position,” says Sheri Shulmier, Co-Director of Computer Science Career Development. “Students are given step-by-step building blocks for a very natural learning journey. We alternate teaching, practicing and mastering the skills that will empower students for the rest of their lives.”

 

Become empowered for professional success

 

Unique Advantages

After finishing the Career Strategies Workshop, ComPro students are much better prepared for the interviewing process than the average CPT job seeker:

“When I saw what practices Amazon recommends to their interview candidates, to my surprise and delight, it’s exactly the skills we teach!” says Jim Garrett. “By the time students complete our workshop they’ve achieved a level of professionalism and competency most job seekers don’t have.”

Jim goes on to relate a recent conversation with a recruiter from Texas: “I was calling for a student reference, and we started talking about the ComPro program. The recruiter said, ‘You know Jim, I’ve got to tell you, your students interview better than people who have lived here their entire lives.’ ”

Another distinctive ComPro program advantage is that Transcendental Meditation (TM) is part of our curriculum. Students gain tangible benefits from their TM practice, including clearer thinking and the ability to remain calm under pressure. This is beneficial not only during a job interview, but also in a face-paced workplace. Scientific studies show that practicing TM leads to improved grades, enhanced work performance, and increased job satisfaction.

 

Ongoing Support

Our career center is recognized for the far-reaching support given to students. The Career Strategies Workshop goes above and beyond what most universities offer.

“After students complete their on-campus studies, several teams continue to support them,” says Sheri Shulmier. “The career center coaches are instrumental in preparing them for job search, but the support doesn’t end there. The operations team sees them through the hiring process, and the optional practical training (OPT) and distance education teams continue to offer support long after the students leave campus and start their internships.”

Promising young Mongolian programmers will soon have unique opportunities in America and elsewhere

Shagai Nyamdorj is taking what he learned in MIU’s ComPro MSCS program, and giving back to his home country of Mongolia by teaching middle and high school students the skills they need to kickstart a future career in IT.

“For the last three years, we have built our Nest Academy. Now we have more than one hundred kids learning coding and UX design,” says Shagai. “Our mission is to coach 10K young talents to become world class software engineers. Once we have perfected the plan and the setup, we hope to expand to other countries as well.”

By 2022, Nest Academy’s partner company, Nest Solutions, will start matching these talented young developers from Mongolia with startup companies in the U.S. and other nations to create the team necessary for a startup to thrive and grow into a well-established success. First they will focus on startups in Mongolia, and then expand operations to include projects in the U.S., Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia.

Shagai knows well from personal experience that good ideas alone are not enough to make a startup into a successful company:

“It’s vital to have a good team and good leadership–it’s very obvious that all the tech giants open their offices in big cities with good talent pools. And with most of the successful companies, there is a good team with more than 100 engineers with good leadership that can turn any simple idea into a successful venture,” Shagai points out.

 

Young Nest Academy students busy learning Javascript

Young Nest Academy students busy learning Javascript

 

When Shagai first applied for the ComPro program in 2011, he submitted an essay with his application that said, “My main goal for increasing my knowledge base is to make a difference in the lives of others.”

This is a goal he still holds to this day.

“I want to teach our young generation to improve their lives, pursue their dreams and make a difference in our country and the world,” says Shagai.

He has found his education at MIU to be the perfect bridge to achieving this goal.

The full time, paid Curricular Practical Training aspect of the ComPro program has been especially valuable for Shagai, because it allowed him to gain real-world experience with a U.S. company while continuing to take computer science classes via distance education.

After completing his on-campus studies, Shagai was hired for an internship at well-known financial services company Shazam, and later worked as a senior software engineer at Amazon before starting his own company.

 

Nest Academy design students busy focusing Accessibility Standards

Mongolian design students focusing on Accessibility Standards

 

How did he hear about the ComPro program?

“In 2010, I was fortunate that I had a chance to work with top talents in Mongolia, and one of my co-workers decided to apply to MIU. For me it was a great chance to challenge myself to pursue my MSCS in the United States as well. I had never seen such a good program in the U.S. I had researched similar programs, but realized MIU is far more valuable compared to other programs,” Shagai says.

In October 2011, he left his friends, family and career in Mongolia, and set off for America. He arrived on the campus of MIU, a few hours’ drive from Chicago, to find a very welcoming environment:

“The MIU campus and town of Fairfield, Iowa is such a pleasant and convenient place, and everyone at the school and in the community are so friendly,” he says.

 

Transcendental Meditation

Shagai quickly settled into his new routine at MIU, which included regular practice of the benefit-rich Transcendental Meditation® technique (TM). TM is the cornerstone of the Consciousness-based education at MIU, where all students practice TM as part of the curriculum.

It soon became clear to Shagai that TM was having a positive effect:

“TM improves my sleep quality and makes me calmer in stressful situations. I think it also helps us become more joyful and happy,” he says.

 

Nest Academy founder, Shagai Nyamdorj plans to train10K software engineers

“Our mission is to coach 10K young talents to become world class software engineers.”

Bringing IT Success into the Classroom

Popular Professor Shares Years of Enterprise Architecture Success

When Payman Salek came to the US from Iran in 2000 and joined the Computer Professionals (ComPro) program at Maharishi International University, he never expected that years later he’d be back to teach on the same campus he found so enriching as a student.

After graduation, Payman worked in many different professional roles. He soon discovered a passion for web app development, and went on to work as a senior Java developer, designer, architect and team leader, developing Enterprise Applications.

“I worked for a number of big companies like Principal Financial GroupVanguardBank of AmericaAlly Bank, and Uline,” says Payman. “During this time I was exposed to many different kinds of technology, software development techniques and tools, and saw how things are done at a large scale enterprise application level.”

Professor Salek enjoys bringing his real-world expertise into the classroom, teaching Enterprise Architecture to prepare students for success in the international IT industry.

Students appreciate his simple explanations of complex concepts

ComPro graduate Mohamed Samy is one of many students who values the experience he had in Professor Salek’s Enterprise Architecture class. Mohamed had already been working as an architect for 15 years before taking the class, but even so, was highly impressed by how much he learned:

 

“Professor Salek brings great knowledge and industry expertise to his students, and has the ability to tailor the curriculum to the students’ learning ability as well as to explain very complex concepts in a way everyone can understand,” says Mohamed. “I was amazed at his deep conceptual knowledge coupled with the ability to explain this knowledge and keep the whole class motivated. We loved every moment of the course, and even asked him to give us extra lectures that were not directly part of the course.”

 

Professor Payman Salek

10 Million People use his Software Every Day

Inspired by the ability of IT to touch the lives of millions

One thing Payman finds so fulfilling about being a software developer (and also teaching future generations of developers) is the fact that a single software application has the potential to touch and improve the lives of millions.

“Bank of America receives 10 million logins a day. So, a piece of online banking software that I wrote is commonly used by 10 million people per day, every single day!

 

How to stay balanced in an ever-changing IT landscape?

Payman is a natural problem-solver, and because software development is all about problem-solving, he finds it to be a perfect match.

“It’s not just problem-solving, it’s problem-solving along with all the challenges of an exponentially exploding IT industry,” he points out. “That’s one thing I love about IT—there’s so much creativity and innovation.

“I consider myself fairly senior in this area, and even for me it can be overwhelming. To stay relevant you have to be up-to-date on constantly evolving technology. How can you deal with so much information, so much variety? How can you have direction and not get lost in the middle of it all?”

 

The Transcendental Meditation® technique is essential for success

Payman was fortunate to learn about and begin Transcendental Meditation (TM) when he was only 18 years old in Iran. He has found the natural, effortless and scientifically validated TM technique to be a highly effective tool for self-development and has noticed extensive benefits in his years of practice.

 

“TM has led me to many helpful life habits like exercising and doing yoga. A lot of the professional success I’ve experienced is due to Transcendental Meditation. The main benefit is enhanced ability to focus during activity. When I meditate, I get more accomplished. On the rare days I don’t get to meditate, it’s not the same. After all this time I know it’s not a random thing, it’s a pattern I’ve seen every single time.

 

“A number of my supervisors have commented that they admire my ability to maintain the big picture while focusing on the details. This is one benefit we emphasize to MIU students about the value of regular twice-daily TM practice.”

The ComPro program has unique value for Computer Professionals

This one-of-a-kind program prepares students for success in many ways: It provides the latest advanced computer science knowledge, and a significant advantage through practice of the TM technique. Students learn more effectively, and develop themselves from within on a very profound level.

“To be competitive in the world of IT you need to have a strong foundation, and a way to stay grounded in a very fast-paced industry,” says Professor Salek.

 

“Studying software development is a super-heavy mental activity. If you want to run a marathon you need to warm up and train for it. Just like we exercise our body to stay in good shape, to be mentally healthy, we should also develop our mental capabilities.Transcendental Meditation is a great tool for this, and it’s been proven to aid our ability to absorb knowledge quickly, and retain it for a longer period of time.”

 

What else makes MIU so unique?

“MIU offers a very international, diverse, safe and friendly environment,” says Professor Salek. “When you go to a different country, it’s not easy: you leave your friends, family, and a lot of familiar things behind. Change is difficult for everyone. Coming to MIU and studying in such a peaceful, stress-free environment is a very enriching experience. Students come here from all over the world and are immediately accepted with open arms.”

Find out more by watching our videos and reading our blogs.

Payman Biking Iowa trails

Biking Iowa trails

 

 

Making MIU Safe During COVID

MIU Creates safe, rich, full campus experience during pandemic: 

MIU President John Hagelin has personally headed up our COVID Task Force over the last six months, successfully creating a model situation that other universities might find exemplary.

According to Dr. Hagelin, “We continue to observe all government regulations and CDC recommendations, social distancing, and all other precautions that are deemed necessary and advisable, and require compliance by all of our students, staff and faculty.

“We strive to provide the richest, fullest, and safest on-campus college experience possible. With the continued cooperation of all members of our University community we are confident that we can maintain our exceptional record.”

COVID-19 testing is done on all students when they arrive on campus

COVID-19 testing is done on all students when they arrive on campus

Keeping Our Campus Community Healthy and Safe

Here are the steps we have taken so far in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These points all aim at minimizing contact with anyone who may have been exposed to the virus and preventing the introduction of COVID-19 into our community.

We are constantly monitoring the situation and will relax these policies when it is safe to do so.

Airport pickup  Have created COVID-safe airport transportation system for picking up arriving students

Travel restriction  Campus-wide travel ban recommended outside our county

Testing–Employees  Some monitored daily

Testing–Students  On arrival and one week later

Masks  Given to all students, faculty and staff, with requirements where and when to wear

Online teaching  All classes are taught in classrooms with option to also have 2-way live video conferencing

On-campus dining  Many safety steps taken: hand washing stations (see photo 1 below), body temperature monitoring scanners (see photo 2 below), distancing, masks during food pickup, separate dining for current vs. new arrivals, only open to MIU personnel

Food shopping  We pick up requested snacks and other items at Walmart and sell back to students on campus at cost

Library access  Access closed, but students can request and pickup materials at library window

Recreation Center  Access closed, but have set up “Virtual Rec Center” with online fitness, dance, yoga classes, to stay fit

Campus events  Live events canceled or online, with other virtual events

Online student activities  Online activities for students

Doing business remotely  Encourage students to do university business by phone or email

COVID pledge  All community members asked to sign pledge to follow mask, hand-washing, social distancing and large group avoidance guidelines

Self-care education  Educate students in self-care; proper sleep, meditation, hand washing, etc.

Staying home if unwell

Food delivery  Have system for delivering food to those who are not well

Isolation and quarantine facilities  Have set up four residential facilities as quarantine housing units if needed

Auxiliary facilities  Offering auxiliary hospital facilities on campus if local hospital gets overwhelmed

Visiting Fairfield  Requesting those off campus not to visit campus for now

Outdoor entertainment  Have safely offered outdoor movie night on weekends. Students wear masks and sit two meters apart

“I am proud of the tireless, dedicated work of our faculty and administrators and community leaders over these past few months, and the spirit of concern and cooperation displayed by everyone in our campus community.” —John Hagelin, President, Maharishi International University

For details visit https://www.miu.edu/coronavirus

More information at virusinfo@miu.edu

 

Students safely enjoy movies in the park on pleasant weekend evening--masks and distancing mandatory!

Students safely enjoy movies in the park on pleasant weekend evening–masks and distancing mandatory!

 

Hand-washing stations used before entering building for dining.

Hand-washing stations used before entering building for dining.

 

Body temperature monitoring scanners used for each diner.

Body temperature monitoring scanners used for each diner.

We look forward to the time when we can return to normal education and campus living, but until then, we welcome new students to our well adapted university.

Note: Only one student has tested COVID positive. This person isolated on campus and has recovered.

MIU ComPro degree is her passport to the world

Last year, Wimonrat Sangthong traveled around the world for five months. Here she is in Red Square in Moscow, Russia. St. Basil's Cathedral is in background.

Wimonrat Sangthong works hard and plays harder. She tries not to waste time.

When not working as a software engineer at a Seattle, Washington company, if the weather allows, you will find this playful, energetic, fun-loving, and self-sufficient young woman traveling, playing outdoors, and hiking in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest (USA).

Wimonrat perched on top of Mt. Pilchuck in Washington State (USA).

Here she is perched on top of Mount Pilchuck in Washington State (USA).

“For me, being outdoors complements my work very well. Every time I come back from the mountains, I am more creative, thinking more clearly and better able to focus on whatever comes next,” said Wimonrat Sangthong (MS, 2016).

The beauty of nature always motivates her. Being in nature makes her happier, kinder, and stronger.

Seeing the World

Last year, before the Covid-19 pandemic, while in-between programming jobs, she traveled to more than 20 countries around the world for about five months. “It was one of the best memories of my life, ever. I got to meet many nice people along my journey, learn a lot about cultural differences, and try many new foods. Travelling truly broadens my mind and widens my horizons. It teaches me to be more understanding, more flexible, more adaptive.”

 

Wimonrat's amusing sketch of herself travelling the world.

 

Wimonrat visited the Matterhorn in Switzerland.

In Zermatt, Switzerland, Wimonrat “played” with the Matterhorn.

 

Wimonrat posing with a camel in Mongolia.

 

Shoshone Falls in Idaho (USA)

 

Wimonrat's photo of beautiful Australian seaside.

 

Wimonrat selfie in Mexico City, Mexico.

 

Learning about MIU and Coming to the USA

About three months after graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Thailand, Wimonrat received an email about our very unique and affordable Computer Professionals Master’s degree program (ComPro) in the USA at Maharishi International University. Her interest in coming to MIU to earn a Master of Science in Computer Science degree grew over time.

She comes from a family of six in central Thailand, not far from Bangkok. Her parents and three siblings are happy living in their home country, but she believes in being free to choose what is best for herself, as long as it doesn’t negatively affect others.

After much research on MIU and ComPro, she applied and decided to join the program in February 2013.

 

Wimonrat with a few of her many friends at Maharishi International University.

Wimonrat made new friends from many nations at MIU.

Wimonrat says, “MIU is a very friendly and understanding community. I met so many good friends there, and all the professors and staff were always there to help and guide you to stay on the right track.”

“The opportunity that they offer to people who live outside the USA is very valuable. The program is designed specifically for non-US citizens. I wouldn’t have been able to afford to come to study and work there otherwise. You might find another school that offers a similar program, but none are as good as MIU in preparing students for success.”

Transcendental Meditation

One of the most unique and valuable aspects of MIU education is that everyone learns and regularly practices the simple, natural, and scientifically validated Transcendental Meditation® technique (TM).

According to Wimonrat, “TM helps me calm my mind and body. It reduces stress and helps me stay positive and be happy.”

“Studying at MIU was one of the best decisions I have made in my life.”

 

Wimonrat doing her software engineering job from home.

Like many other software developers, Wimonrat works from home.

MIU is the Home of Consciousness-Based Education

Maharishi International University is the Home of Consciousness-Based Education

So, what is Consciousness-Based education?

In 1971, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi founded Maharishi International University (renamed Maharishi University of Management in 1993-2019), and developed Consciousness-Based℠ education (CBE) to provide what has been missing in education.

What Has Been Missing in Education

Knowledge is the result of knower and known coming together through the process of knowing.

The process of education always involves three aspects: the knower—the student; the known—that which is to be learned; and the processes of knowing—that which connects knower to known— sense perceptions, mind, intellect, intuition, aided by a teacher in formal education. In fact, you can identify these components in every experience; regardless of age or occupation. There is always a subject (you), some object of your attention, and some process of knowing that connects you to that object.

Traditionally, education has focused primarily on the known: the world is divided into disciplines, sequences of courses and lessons, focused on the objective information you are expected to master. Think about how you are evaluated: by test results, grade point averages, SAT scores.

What is missing? Education has lacked an equally systematic way of developing the knower—the student—developing their full creative potential so that their processes of knowing are functioning more and more effectively, for greater clarity of perception, innovative thinking, deepest insights, inner happiness and fulfillment.

Knowledge of the knower in their unbounded capacity has been missing from education. This is because educators did not know how to do this. Fortunately, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi brought to the educational process a simple, reliable, universal technology for day-by-day development of the best in every student.

The technology—the Transcendental Meditation® technique and advanced programs—achieve this by profoundly improving the functioning of the nervous system, giving deep rest and dissolving stress in body and mind, and at the same time stimulating increasing use of the whole brain.

As a result, students start functioning at the optimal level for doing anything, which is the state of relaxed, wide-awake alertness. In short, they are developing their consciousness to achieve their highest goals.

Consciousness-Based education offers a systematic technology—the Transcendental Meditation® technique—to dissolve stress and optimize brain functioning, to fully develop the knower, and thereby optimize the process of knowing or learning.

Consciousness-Based education is based on this technology to dissolve stress and optimize brain functioning, to increasingly develop the knower, and thereby optimize the process of knowing and the usefulness of the known.

In the last 50 years, hundreds of scientific research studies have documented the benefits of this technology for mind, body, behavior, and—with large groups practicing—in society as a whole, reducing negative trends, and improving positive trends.

You may recall moments when you felt wide awake, more alert and conscious than usual, moments people call “peak experiences.” Without a systematic means to develop consciousness, these treasured times are left to chance. The TM technique is a way to develop and stabilize these holistic, fully wakeful experiences, enhancing your inner quality of life, so learning and life is easier, more enjoyable, more relevant, as well as more dynamically progressive.

Consciousness-Based education also includes a comprehensive understanding of consciousness: its development, range and potential; its source and goal. In this system of education, you will come to know yourself better than you had dreamed possible.

An Integrated, Consciousness-Based Curriculum

Modern science, with its objective approach, has yielded vast information about specific aspects of life—from nuclear energy to genetic engineering—but it does not integrate or connect the parts of life into a whole. Subjects are separate from each other and often do not seem to connect to you as a person. Brilliant scientists can split atoms and dissect DNA but they sometimes seem cut off from the ethical consideration of these actions.

At MIU you will learn all about the field of consciousness and how every discipline and every aspect of creation arises out of consciousness—that same basic field of consciousness that you experience twice daily in Transcendental Meditation. With this, you start to feel at home with everything and everyone.

When we practice Transcendental Meditation we enliven the entire brain and develop latent brain potential. We access the full value of consciousness, the basis of every experience and every aspect of life. And group practice of TM and its advanced techniques enhances its effects for us individually and for the whole environment.

Through the study of the Science and Technology of Consciousness for Computer Professionals, the first course in our Master’s in Computer Science program, we appreciate both approaches to gaining knowledge: objective and subjective, outer and inner—with the goal of living total knowledge: full understanding of diversity on the ground of inner unified wholeness.

Daily group TM practice helps our Computer Science students reduce stress, improve academic performance, and better prepare for more successful professional careers.

Daily group Transcendental Meditation practice helps our Computer Science students reduce stress, improve academic performance, and better prepare for more successful professional careers.

Scientific Research on Consciousness-Based Education
Computer Professionals Program at Maharishi University of Management

Billionaire Graduate Awarded Honorary Doctorate

Yingwu Zhong Receiving MIU Doctorate in Shanghai, China.
Yingwu Zhong Received MIU Doctorate in Shanghai, China

One of the highlights of the 2020 MIU graduation ceremony on-campus in Fairfield, Iowa, was the awarding of the honorary “Doctor of Computer Science—Honoris Causa” degree (via Zoom) to 2010 Computer Professionals Program graduate, Yingwu (Andy) Zhong in China.

Soon after completing his MS in computer science, Andy (CEO) and co-founder Yitao Guan (CTO) started their own game business, FunPlus in San Francisco. Within a few short years, FunPlus has become one of the most significant companies in the entire global gaming industry, generating $1 billion in revenue.

According to Dr. Zhong, “2020 is the 10th anniversary of FunPlus. Our office moved five times to increase capacity and co-workers are collaborating from offices and homes from 20 countries. Millions of players worldwide enjoy games like Family FarmFamily Farm SeasideGuns of GloryKing of AvalonState of Survival, to name a few.  And even more watch esports team FunPlus Phoenix (FPX) (2019 League of Legends World Champions!) playing against other world leading teams.”

In 2019, team FunPlus Phoenix (FPX) won the League of Legends World Championship.
FunPlus is a major supporter of international esports team gaming competition. In 2019, team FunPlus Phoenix (FPX) won the League of Legends World Championship.

Quotes from Doctoral Diploma

“MIU has honored Yingwu for his dedication to creating joy and fun in the world. His steady focus and perseverance in bringing challenging and wholesome entertainment to more than 5 million people is noble and inspiring.

“In his company, people are the priority. He cultures employees to be successful in activity while enlivening the inner core, where dreams begin.

“Surely, the root of Dr. Zhong’s powerful influence lies in his inner being. His success reflects something special emanating from his heart. His influence has been and will continue to be great, and for the greater good.

“He is respected as a visionary, a resilient leader, a practical scientist, and as a joyful and reliable human being. MIU honors him for his commitment to be the best at what he does.

“As his “Mother University,” MIU thanks Yingwu Zhong for his superior choices, high goals, kindness and friendliness, his outreach to all humanity, and innate goodness. Yingwu Zhong is among the best sons and daughters of our University.”

It is a great joy to award this highest honor to Dr. Yingwu Zhong:

Video: Doctor of Computer Science--Honoris Causa awarded by MIU to Yingwu Zhong

Doctor of Computer Science—Honoris Causa presented to Yingwu Zhong

Watch the Degree Presentation Video

Dr. Zhong’s Appreciation to MIU

“Arriving at MIU in 2007 was the beginning of a new adventure. I started eating organic vegetables… Practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) healed my body and soul, and with time passing by, I have experienced and have a deeper understanding of how profoundly the impact of MIU experience has shaped my life.

“TM is a very powerful tool, and gradually became a part of myself as I practiced more. It helped me stay focused and live in the present. It also gave me the ability and energy to inquire deeply and guide my curiosity to explore.”

“People call me a visionary leader, and I know it is the philosophy of living in the present and following the purity of heart that has fulfilled me with great optimism, resilience and grace.”

FunPlus CEO is passionate to create one of the top three interactive entertainment companies in the world.

FunPlus CEO is passionate to create one of the top three interactive entertainment companies in the world.

Advice to MIU 2020 graduates

Yingwu Zhong shares his wisdom and inner experiences for successful living:

  1. Please stick to your dreams. Hold them tight, and fight hard.
  2. Live in the present. Only focus on most important things, because most of the things bothering you right now, will not be as important in one day, one week, one month, one year.
  3. Talent comes a long way, but perseverance brings long-term results.
  4. Embrace uncertainty and nourish a growth mindset. It’s really OK not to have all the answers and screw up things at times, as long as you recover quickly.
  5. Practice meditation and do morning prayer. The internal source of intelligence is far more powerful than external drive or ego when facing challenges.
  6. Eat well, eat healthy, be kind, be generous. Have empathy for human beings, earth and the world, the universe. Build resilient communities. If the world is going to get better, it is because of you.

MIU’s Vice President of Asia Expansion, Yunxiang Zhu says, “Zhong Yingwu is respected as a great visionary, a resilient leader, and a practical scientist who brings fun and happiness to millions of people all over the world. We are extremely proud of him and his honorary doctorate degree is very well deserved.”