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2020 Contemplative Practices for Higher Education Conference -   March 5-7, 2020 - The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center - Roanoke, Virginia
2020 Contemplative Practices for Higher Education Conference -   March 5-7, 2020 - The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center - Roanoke, Virginia

About the Conference

About the Conference


graphic depicting a tree with the different branches representing the different contemplative practices - The Tree of Contemplative Practices provides a great summary of the many varied practices covered by the conference. Contemplative practices are reflective processes that help people cultivate an acute awareness of themselves, others, and the world around them. It allows people to be fully present with their experiences, in the moment, cultivating an intimate connection with the topic or content at hand. While diverse, the common core of contemplative practices is useful to cultivate insight, concentration, and reflection on how ideas or concepts have a personal connection. Through the application of contemplative practices, an academic community can be built where all participants are fully present, open to possibility, have space to breathe, and are better able to listen for understanding and act in more meaningful ways.

Conference Structure

The intention of this conference is to create a roadmap to sustainably integrate contemplative practices into our lives: in the classroom, in the research laboratory, in the office, in healthcare, in the arts, and in the workplace. The conference will be organized to examine the foundations of contemplative practice, to share the current practices, and to create a plan for the future development of contemplative practice. Woven throughout the conference will be opportunities for instruction in mind body disciplines as well as times for contemplation.

The conference will begin on Thursday night with a concert with Carrie Newcomer. She weaves contemplative practices into her music. She will also offer a workshop Friday morning.

Friday will open with a choice of contemplative practice sessions. These sessions will be followed by a keynote lecture given by Mitchell Ratner. The bulk of the day will feature lectures and workshops including a workshop by Carrie Newcomer. The day will close with a keynote lecture delivered by Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Plews-Ogan.

Saturday morning will feature a half-day workshop (ticketed separately) by Leslie Booker.

Organizing Committee

Breyette Covington

Erin Hopkins
Assistant Professor of Property Management, Viginia Tech

Matthew F. Komelski
Instructor, Department of Human Development and Family Science, Virginia Tech

Douglas K Lindner
Prof Emeritus, Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech

Bill Macauley
Professor; Director of Composition and Communications in the Disciplines Program, University of Nevada, Reno

Jamie Reygle
Executive Director, InStill Mindfulness SWVA

Stephanie Sebolt
Assistant Professor, College of Education, Mary Baldwin University

Laurie Seidel
Instructor, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Coordinator for Mindfulness Programs, Roanoke City Public Schools

Martha Sullivan
Professor of Practice in Industrial Design, Virginia Tech

Juliet Trail
Founder and Director, Courageous Compassion Connection

Gini Weisz
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Waldron College of Health and Human Services, Radford University

CONTACT: Juliet Trail -

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