Dr. Daniel Barbezat will serve as a Humana Visiting Professor at Centre College and will speak on the place and practice of contemplation in enriching educational experience, coupled with the transformative power of intentionality and presence. The convocation will take place in Weisiger Theatre on Oct. 19 at 8 p.m.
Barbezat’s talk will connect a variety of disciplinary interests across business and economics, social justice and welfare, and personal health and well-being.
“Daniel is one of the most committed and genuine teachers I have ever met,” Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychology Aaron Godlaski said. “His enthusiasm is infectious and his heart is wide open.”
Godlaski’s interactions with Barbezat and other members of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education is in part what motivated the formation of the Centre Contemplative Studies Initiative in 2012.
Barbezat is the executive director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and a professor of economics at Amherst College. He has also been a visiting professor at Northwestern University and Yale University and has taught a summer program at Harvard University. In 2004 he won the J. T. Hughes Prize for Excellence in Teaching Economic History from the Economic History Association.
Over the past decade, Barbezat has become interested in how self-awareness and introspection can be used in post-secondary education, economic decision-making and creating and sustaining well-being. With the support of a Contemplative Practice Fellowship in 2008, he has developed courses that integrate contemplative exercises developed to enable students to gain deeper understanding and insight into their economic behavior and interpersonal dealings.
He uses contemplative approaches to help awaken students to the link between well-being and consumption and how government policies and economic conditions impact well-being—vital information that students and members of the Centre community can learn during the convocation.
“Daniel is a magnetic speaker and makes a powerful case regarding the need for students—and all persons—to cultivate a sense of interiority and compassion in a rapidly evolving and globalized world,” Godlaski said.
There will also be an open Q&A forum on contemplative practice and pedagogy that will take place on Tues., Oct. 20, at 11:30 a.m. in the Grissom Reading Room of Grace Doherty Library.
by Elise L. Murrell
Oct. 19, 2015