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Mindful Awareness, Loving Kindness was Focus of Field Period™

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of features on recipients of the Spiritual Exploration Field Period™ Award. A Spiritual Exploration Field Period™ involves work with churches, missions, hospitals, or hospices with an eye toward providing aid to needy individuals and/or groups, in this country or abroad. Funding for the scholarship is provided by an Institutional Renewal Grant from The Rhodes Consultation on the Future of the Church-Related College.

Samantha Layton

Seniors Samantha Layton and Alexandra Fiore have similar goals for their future. They both are psychology majors and plan to earn master’s degrees—Layton in cognitive behavior therapy and Fiore in transpersonal psychology.

To help achieve those goals, each student completed a Field Period™ at Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lake, Colo. Established in 1971, Shambhala Mountain Center provides an opportunity to explore paths of deepened awareness, personal well-being and societal transformation. The center offers indigenous wisdom traditions, body awareness practices, contemplative arts, and mindful living, among others.

Layton, a resident of Painted Post, is a Methodist, which to her “means the decision to respond to God’s grace with intentional commitment and who takes the responsibility for living as a member of the body of Christ and fulfilling God’s purposes.”

But she said that throughout her college studies, she has become introduced and “felt connected” to other religious practices, including the teachings of Buddha.

“I have found myself practicing insight meditation, which has allowed me to become intrigued with mindful awareness,” said Layton. “This exploration has brought me to want to further my knowledge of the mind, body, and spirit through the teachings of Buddha.”

Alex Fiore

So does Fiore. The Brookfield, Conn. resident has “acquired a sense of loving kindness for myself by practicing meditation on my own,” she said. “I have noticed and developed an appreciation for the Buddhist teachings, and this Field Period™ was an opportunity to directly correlate those teachings to with my future career. It also helped me let down all of my guard and find a love and compassion for myself as well as others.”

Layton said that while she believes she is in touch with God, she feels out of touch with herself.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Layton. “[A retreat such as this] was something I imagined taking part in since my exploration into the teachings of Buddha.”

She expected to develop a “depth of realization of Buddha’s path of liberation” during her Field Period™, and Layton believes “this opportunity will continue to benefit me after the completion of my bachelor’s degree,” she said. “My experience at Shambhala Mountain Center will help me with my future clients because I will be able to utilize my experience to help others.”

Fiore, too, intends to use what she learned during her Field Period™ while pursuing her master’s degree and career.

“I wanted to see how self-knowledge and understanding grow as we realize we can live each moment either with inattention, fear and judgment, or with clarity, kindness and wakefulness.

“By cultivating the power of awareness, we discover our path to liberation, inner freedom and a peaceful heart,” said Fiore. “This Field Period™ meant more than anything to me because it was the first step I have taken to broaden my horizons.”

Snapshot of a Graduate: Jayme Peterson

Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the first in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2013.

jayme peterson, criminal justice, degree, 2013, benefit, value, job, keukaJayme Peterson ’13 earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice and was hired by a private probation company, Intervention Inc., in Colorado less than a month after graduation.

According Dr. Janine Bower, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, Peterson received the job offer after completing a semester-long internship this spring with a probation department in the 20th Judicial District, Boulder, Colo. During her time at Keuka, Peterson participated in a number of campus clubs, served as a tutor at Dundee Library and in the Academic Success at Keuka (ASK) office, was a member of the step team, and served on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.

“This is exactly what I wanted to do after graduating college and the experience from my Field Period directly influenced my ability to obtain this job,” said Peterson, adding that she also received a job offer from one Field Period site, but turned it down because the position was partly volunteer.

The Gloversville resident said she most valued the ability to work closely with professors as an active learner and beleived Keuka’s small class sizes led to better discussions and more in-depth analysis of course material. In addition, Keuka’s Field Period program helped her practice how to research and apply for jobs, and develop confidence with professionals in her field, she said.

Conducting a 140-hour annual internship or exploratory study each year was “very valuable,” Peterson said, because it developed work experience prior to graduation and helped her confirm that working as a probation officer “was actually the right career path for me.”

To explore what might be in your future with a Keuka degree, request more information.

Meet New Faculty: Samuel Bateman

Editor’s Note: This is the seventh in a series of profiles of new, full-time faculty who have recently joined the Keuka community.

New to the Keuka faculty this fall in the Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP) is Samuel Bateman, who is teaching classes in managerial accounting, managerial finances and decision-making to students in both the bachelor’s and master’s degree management programs.

The Colorado transplant is completing a transition to full-time academia after spending nearly 30 years in software sales, business development and international sales and marketing. Starting in 2005, Bateman began teaching part-time at North Carolina Wesleyan College and Wake-Forest University. He next taught online and international business courses for Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, as well as some international business classes for the undergraduate program at Walden University, which operates online programs from headquarters in Minnesota.

Bateman, now a Rochester resident, holds two master’s degrees – one in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MBA from North Carolina State University.

“I’ll be able to relate to the ASAP students because I obtained both of my master’s degrees while working full-time,” Bateman said. (more…)