Austin College’s Cunningham Lectures/Marsupial Mindfulness series continues Tuesday, October 22, with Dr. Melani Massey of the Brain Performance Institute presenting “Optimize Brain Performance, Stress, and Mindfulness” from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Hoxie Thompson Auditorium of Sherman Hall. The session is free and open to the public.
A clinical social worker and mindfulness instructor, Massey joined the institute to expand its mindfulness offering. As a clinician, she worked in the field of child, adolescent, and adult mental health and psychiatry.
“Decades of research show that meditation has countless effects on your brain health and performance,” she said. “In this session, I will discuss some of the latest science behind mindfulness meditation and how mindfulness is trained. Find out what is behind the recent burst in popularity of mindfulness and its growth from a practice of the eclectic few to a mainstream health and life balance-enabling practice adopted by celebrities, athletes, corporate executives, and the U.S. Army and Marines, and police forces.”
The 2019-2020, the Cunningham Lectures offer a series of interactive sessions themed around “Contemplative Mindfulness.” The sessions are designed to expose the community to the emerging field of contemplative studies in higher education, according to organizer Dr. Ivette Vargas-O’Bryan, Austin College professor of religious studies.
Dr. John McGinn of Austin College’s Music Department will present “Creative Musical Mindfulness: ‘Becoming’ the Composer” on October 29 at 4:30 p.m. in Craig Hall, Room 206.
Mr. and Mrs. Shem Cunningham of Wichita Falls made a gift to Austin College to establish the Cunningham Lectures so that the Austin College community might benefit from the visits of distinguished speakers. Mr. Cunningham was a 1920 graduate of Austin College. The current series is co-sponsored by the College’s Live Well program.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 50 percent of students identifying as persons of color. The residential student body of approximately 1,300 students and more than 100 expert faculty members allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. This year, the campus recognizes 100 years of co-education and has had several opportunities to recognize the history of women and accomplishments of current alumnae. Austin College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.