UMass Dartmouth will host "Building Community II: Knowing the Self and Connecting with Others," a free educational event, Thursday, October 23, 2014, at 5:00 p.m., at UMass Dartmouth's Woodland Commons. Members of the K-16 community are invited to this evening of thoughtful exploration of ways to develop a community of faculty, staff, administrators, students, and parents from local higher education institutions and elementary, middle, and high schools.
Associate Professor Dr. Maureen P. Hall, of UMass Dartmouth's STEM Education and Teacher Development department, is the organizer of this event. The overarching goal of this gathering is to bring together the many stakeholders in education to see how to build community through the intersections between and among mindfulness, diversity, and literacy. Dr. Hall believes that interdisciplinary learning holds the key to transformative education.
Dr. Hall will be joined by two speakers (whose biographies are outlined below). The two speakers and Dr. Hall will be on a panel at the end of the event in order to create an interactive dialogue with participants. Hors d'oeuvres and dessert will be served.
Dr. Aminda O'Hare
Assistant Professor of Psychology, UMass Dartmouth
Dr. O'Hare, who oversees the Cognitive and Affective Psychophysiology and Experimental Science (CAPES) Lab at UMass Dartmouth, will discuss how mindfulness can support community through cognitive development and the development of empathy.
Dr. O'Hare broadly studies the intersection of emotion and cognition using tools of neuroscience. Recently, she has been investigating the moderating effect of mindfulness meditation on emotion-cognition interactions. Dr. O'Hare received training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and uses that experience to conduct Mindfulness Attention Training in her research. Dr. O'Hare received her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 2010.
Dr. Robert P. Waxler
English Professor, UMass Dartmouth
Dr. Waxler, who co-founded the internationally known Changing Lives Through Literature program in 1991, and is the co-founder of the UMass Dartmouth Center for Jewish Culture, will speak on the power of literacy to build a "new neighborhood" and creating community.
Professor Waxler has served as Chairman of the English Department, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dean of Continuing Education. He has authored or co-authored several books, including Changing Lives Through Literature, Finding a Voice, Transforming Literacy, Losing Jonathan, and Courage to Walk. He has recently finished writing a new book, The Risk of Reading, exploring the relationship between linguistic narrative and the contingent experience of everyday life.