Dispatch 89: Announcing Saybrook U's New Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Devin Byrd

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I want to once again thank the search committee as well as all of our trustees, faculty, staff, and students who participated in reviewing two incredibly talented candidates. I am pleased to announce that Devin Byrd, Ph.D. has accepted our offer of employment and will begin with Saybrook University beginning February 18, 2019. He brings an enthusiasm for the position and a deep passion for the mission of Saybrook. His background in Clinical Psychology along with his wealth of experience from accreditation to program development to academic quality initiatives make him an excellent choice as we move Saybrook forward.

Dr. Byrd is a Clinical Psychologist and currently serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for South University, Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dean for College of Health Professions. His responsibilities include oversight for programs offered across eleven campuses, one learning site (Orlando, FL), and the online division. In his role as Dean, his responsibilities include ensuring the academic integrity for all academic programs, oversight for programmatic accreditation, development of five-year financial projections (Pro-Formas) and market analyses for proposed programs, managing curricular/policy adjustments, and approving system-wide hires within the College.  

Dr. Byrd graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and from Virginia Tech with MS and PhD degrees in Clinical Psychology. During his graduate studies, he completed his pre-doctoral internship at Brown University where he served as the Intern Representative for the Child track and completed rotations at the VA PTSD clinic, Bradley School, Child/Adolescent Inpatient facility, and the Child/Adolescent Anxiety Disorders clinic. Prior to joining South University in 2006, he served as a professor and researcher at the University of South Carolina Aiken in the Department of Psychology. His research interests include the biopsychosocial examination of depression and anxiety and children, adolescents, and young adults. 

His current community involvement includes serving on the Board of Directors for the Riverview Health and Rehabilitation Center, the Richmond Hill Soccer Club, Richmond Hill High School Softball team (Vice President) and the Richmond Hill High School Club Girls Lacrosse team (Vice President). His personal interests include spending time with his family and friends, traveling, boating, golf, and home projects. 

Dispatch 88: My Journey Into Mindfulness

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Given the new year is upon us, I thought I would share (again) one of my writings from 2018. Indeed, my time at Saybrook University has transformed me in many ways including my journey into mindfulness. Below is a snippet from the article I wrote for our digital magazine “UnBound” with a link at the end to the full essay. I hope you enjoy!

Over the last few years, the theory and practice of mindfulness has been catching on with individuals and has increasingly worked its way into greater consciousness across various sectors from telecommunications to technology and from healthcare to higher education.

My own journey into mindfulness as well as meditation began when I arrived at Saybrook University in 2014. Initially a skeptic (some would say due to my “Midwestern sensibilities”), I at first struggled to understand the benefits of mind-body practices that seemed grounded in more California/West Coast “woo.” However, I eventually found myself on a journey seeking greater exposure to the science of mindfulness, along with deeper immersion into its practice.

As a result, I have found a renewed way of being in the world that permeates my personal and professional life. The journey is far from complete but one that I have found has had tremendous benefits. Moreover, I have discovered what many alumni, students, and faculty alike attest: Saybrook has transformed them from the inside out.

Here is the story of my journey into mindfulness.

Read the rest by going to https://www.saybrook.edu/unbound/nathan-long-mindfulness-journey/

Dispatch 84: Attributes for 2019

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As I think back to my meditation yesterday, my guide's wisdom for the new year makes abundant sense: rather than make resolutions, we should instead think about and actualize those attributes that we want to further cultivate in ourselves. Indeed, this changes the paradigm of resolution-making from simple goals to a thinking and visioning holistically about one's self.

What are those attributes I want to more fully develop for 2019? We have a close friend, George, who embodies many of these attributes. He expresses joy, wonder, love, kindness, courage and creativity in ways that inspire many. Of the attributes listed below, these are ones I want to further enhance so as to live a richer, more fuller life.

Joyfulness: Living life joyfully - even in times of difficulty - is so key to getting the most out of it. Joy in times of happiness or in times of sorrow is all about living fully each day, recognizing the beauty, yes even the complexity, that life brings.

Wonder: Connected to joy, living life with a sense of wonder is so important. We become jaded as we age, as we work, even as we play. I want to rekindle that sense of awe and wonder about all of life's quirks. From nature to the beauty of family to the nature of the work I do, bringing a sense of wonder everyday will - in my estimation - only add more joy.

Loving Kindness: Yes, there is the squishy kind of loving kindness. And in fact, I want to cultivate even more love, more kindness, more compassion. I want to express loving kindness in ways that further elevate those around me from family and friends to work colleagues. This also means treating myself with greater kindness and love, inclusive of self-care.

Being Present: In a world that is constantly swirling with activity, I continue my mindfulness journey to be more present, more engaged in each moment, each action.

Healthy Mind and Body: A healthy mind and body are vital to living life fully. Daily exercise, eating healthfully (as well as mindfully), consistently reading, writing everyday (journaling, fiction, and research), and taking better care of basic health needs are all part of this important attribute.

Courage: Whether leading or following or just daily living, enhancing courage as an attribute for me is all about trying those things which may be foreign or uncomfortable, even frightening; being willing to step out and try things outside my comfort zone, failing (and learning from failure); knowing when to let go and move on; calling out truth; and continuing to hold steady in the face of adversity.

Creativity: I love, love this word in all its beauty and scope. For me, cultivating creativity comes out best through creation of new endeavors, making music, and writing.

Onward to a great 2019!

Dispatch 81: Simone's 19th Birthday - A Bay Area Celebration

We spent a wonderful day with Simone Long at the #OaklandZoo, followed by dinner at the North Beach Restaurant, and a walk through China Town. I have to give North Beach Restaurant credit: the service was outstanding along with his attentiveness to Simone. Really wonderful. China Town has its own allure, which was the perfect cap to a perfect day out with family!

Good times!!

Hello, World!

Dispatch 80: 365 Day Blogging Challenge

Beginning today, my goal is to blog at least once per day over the course of 2019. Along with improving my writing and social media presence, I also want to focus on posting more substantive personal updates as well as professional observations that will (hopefully) provide valuable insights on leadership, higher education, scholarship and research.

Let’s see how this goes!

Dispatch 79: SU Student Receives U.S. Bank Donation to Support Vets through Guitars-4-Vets Program

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Recently, US Bank presented Saybrook University student and veteran, Richard Hutchinson, with a $10,000 donation supporting the Guitars-4-Vets program.  With this money the organization, based in Cincinnati, should be able to support 50-75 veterans.

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Guitars for Vets (G4V) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit national organization whose mission is to enhance the lives of veterans with PTSD by providing free guitar instructions to such veterans.  The purpose is to promote positive social interaction, provide an avenue for self-expression, build focus and confidence, and create bonds of fellowship with other like-minded veterans. Veterans learn guitar skills along the way. Cincinnati is the 7th chapter in the program, stating in 2012.  G4V currently have 97 chapters and have placed over 4,000 guitars to veterans. 

The Cincinnati chapter is the only chapter that has a regularly performing student and graduate group!

Congratulations to G4V Cincy Chapter and thank you to U.S. Bank for supporting this important project advancing positive social change for our veterans.

About Richard (in his own words):

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I am a PhD candidate in Organizational Systems in the College of Social Sciences. Dr Chuck Piazza is the committee chair. My research is examining how nonprofit organizations are designed to meet immediate community concerns and not designed to do something different.  Societies change, the needs of different sectors of societies change, and I believe that by understanding how the systems are organized, through a lens of humanistic anthropology one can drive the necessary innovation by re-aligning and discovering new resources and new stakeholders.

I received a BS in Natural Sciences and a MA in Anthropology from the University of Cincinnati. My Master’s research examined ancient water and environmental management systems at the pre- Classic Mayan site of La Milpa in northwest Belize. I worked for over 20 years at the Kettering Institute of Environmental Health at UC before moving on as a consultant for local and international organizations.

I am an US Army veteran, having served over 18 years on active duty, National Guard, and Army Reserve with tours in Western and Eastern Europe, Southwest Asia, and Central America.  As a disabled veteran, I mentor veterans in Hamilton County, Ohio’s Veteran Treatment Court and am a life member of the Disabled American Veterans.

Currently I am the coordinator for the Cincinnati VA Medical Center’s chapter of the national nonprofit Guitars for Vets (www.guitarsforvets.org). The program provides free guitar instruction to veterans with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. Since our inception in 2007, our program has graduated over 4000 veterans.

Dispatch 78: Saybrook Professor Emeritus Dr. Amedeo Giorgi Releases New Book

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Amedeo Giorgi, PhD, professor emeritus at Saybrook University, recently had a new book published by University Professors Press: Reflections on Certain Qualitative and Phenomenological Psychological Methods. Dr. Giorgi began developing his approach to phenomenological psychology at Duquesne University before moving to Saybrook, where he taught for nearly 30-years before retiring. He is widely recognized as of the most influential scholars on Husserl and phenomenological psychology. His new book clarifies the differences between influential qualitative and phenomenological methods, and provides an important illustration of the descriptive phenomenological method that he developed.

For more information, please visit the University Professors Press website.

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Dispatch 77: Announcing 2018-19 Saybrook U Global Grant Recipients

Dear Saybrook Community:

 In support of Saybrook University’s goal to empower students to create a better world, we are delighted to announce our grant recipients of Saybrook University’s 2018-2019 Global Grants!

Saybrook Global Grants, formerly known as Faculty Internationalization Grants, allow for creativity and innovation from proposers within the confines of strategic objectives. This year’s Global Grant applicants embody the grant objectives through their initiative and commitment to engaging globally:

  • Dr. Bonnie Settlage –Humanistic and Clinical Psychology. Dr. Settlage will play an integral role in launching a partnership with the American University in Cairo by exploring potential opportunities to create exchange or pathway programs between our two institutions.

  • Dr. Donald Moss – Mind Body Medicine. Dr. Moss will participate in Saybrook partner institution Krems University’s “Health Week” with the goal of deepening our long-standing relationship with Krems University and to initiate the development of customized program in partnership with Krems University to launch in 2019.

  • Dr. Darlene Viggiano – Mind Body Medicine. Dr. Viggiano is awarded a Global Customized Program Development grant to develop a program for international students to visit the US to explore a specialized area of psychology in the U.S. Dr. Vigianno will explore a collaboration between students in Guangzhou, China and Saybrook University to build out a certificate program in hypnosis.

Please join me in congratulating this year’s Global Grant recipients and applaud their efforts to advance Saybrook University’s global footprint!

Dispatch 76: Saybrook U Integrative Nutrition Webinars: Mark Your Calendars!

Open to the public and also for interested prospective students, please mark your calendars for two major presentations provided by Saybrook University’s Integrative Functional Nutrition Department Chair, Jeannemarie Beiseigel (October 28, 2018) and faculty member, Lori Taylor (November 13, 2018). Information is directly below…

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IBS – Are FODMAPs to Blame?  This presentation discusses the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the challenges of managing this condition.  It will explain what FODMAPs are, where they are found in the diet, how they can contribute to symptoms of IBS, and how FODMAPs restriction may be a tool to help manage IBS symptoms.

Speaker: Jeannemarie Beiseigel, PhD, RD

Sunday, October 28, 2-3:30 pm PT (5-6:30 pm ET)

GoTo Meeting: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/549087133

Dial-In: United States (Toll Free): 1 866 899 4679 | United States: +1 (571) 317-3116 - Access Code: 549-087-133

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Ketones, Ketogenic Diets, and Intermittent Fasting: This presentation explains what ketones are and how, when, and why the body makes them.  It will discuss the potential benefits of ketones, strategies used to increase ketone production, and the pros and cons of these approaches.

Speaker: Lori Taylor, MA/MS, RD

Tuesday, November 13, 5-6:30 on PT (8-9:30 pm ET)

GTM: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/830338293

Dial-In: United States (Toll Free): 1 866 899 4679 | United States: +1 (571) 317-3116 | Access Code: 830-338-293

Dispatch 75: Town Hall Updates

Dear Saybrook University Colleagues,

Thank you for attending Friday’s scheduled Town Hall event. I’m proud to work each day in an institution dedicated to open dialog and respect for one another’s perspectives. During the event, we identified several key areas of focus going forward that we hope you’ll find useful as we head into the future.

  • Communications Portal

    • We are putting together a central portal for communications with our community, which will include an archive of previous updates, FAQs, and other resource documents. Our hope is that this will enable each of you to have access to information to stay up-to-date. This will be available early next week and we will send an email out to all with that information.

    • Early next week, we will also be posting notes from today’s Town Hall as well as an FAQ related to other key points.

  • Ongoing Town Hall Events for the Community

    • We will begin holding open Town Hall meetings, with focus on particular topics of need/interest to ensure we’re in ongoing dialog and keeping our channels of communication open. We will begin scheduling these early next week. The entire community’s attendance is welcomed and encouraged.

  • Community Meeting at the January Residential Conference

    • We will hold a two-hour meeting at the January Residential Conference as a means to provide face-to-face opportunities for engagement and dialog.

Over the course of our dialog today, there were several questions pertaining to TCS Education System. In order to provide additional information related to TCS, I am including a link to the System’s viewbook here. While this doesn’t answer all questions, it is a very clear overview of what TCS is and some of the tangible benefits we have as a result of our partnership.

Lastly, I want to reiterate that if there are any questions or concerns that I or my team can support you in, please email me at presidentsoffice@saybrook.edu

Thank you for being a vital part of our Saybrook community.

Sincerely,

Nathan Long, President
Saybrook University

Dispatch 74: Announcing the 2018 Alan Watts Scholarship Award Winner

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The faculty and administration are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Alan Watts Scholarship: Myhisha Webb. Myhisha was selected based on the merits of her written submission to the faculty committee. We are proud and honored that Mr. Watts's incredible legacy continues as a result of this scholarship supporting innovative scholarship at Saybrook University.

Alan Watts made an indelible imprint on the formation of many  Saybrook faculty and students, especially his scholarship on Eastern and Western religion and philosophy (of particular note are two of his works: "The Way of Zen and "Psychotherapy East and West"). 

For more information on Mr. Watts, please go here

Congratulations, Myhisha! 

Dispatch 73: Announcing Saybrook University's Dr. Leonard Shlain Scholarship Award Winners

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The faculty and administration are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Leonard Shlain Scholarship awards: Bernice Mitchell and Taylor Williams. These individuals were selected based on the merits of their written submissions to the faculty committee and Shlain family. We are proud and honored that Dr. Shlain's legacy continues as a result of this generous gift further supporting students and scholars of Saybrook University. Moreover, we are grateful to the Shlain family for their continued desire in supporting this important scholarship.

Congratulations students!

 For more information on Dr. Shlain, former Saybrook trustee and supporter, please go here.  

Dispatch 72: Announcing the Winners of the Rollo May Scholarship

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The faculty and administration are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Rollo May Scholarship awards. The following individuals were selected based on the merits of their written submissions to the faculty committee overseeing the Rollo May Scholarship criteria. We are proud to steward Dr. May's legacy and honored that he provided a sizeable gift that continues to support students and scholars. Congratulations! 

  • Samuel Faeder
  • Dominique Walmsley
  • Anthony Williams
  • Rachel Porias

An existential-humanistic psychologist and philosopher, Dr. May was both a founder of and faculty member at Saybrook University. For short bios on Dr. May, visit here or here.