School News

Maharishi School Welcomes New Members of the Board of Directors

The 2014-2015 school year for Maharishi School begins not only with new students but also with four new members of the school’s Board of Directors, the school’s governing body. Three of the new directors, Anna Bruen, Ben E. Kaplan, and Sarah C. Vigmostad, are also graduates of Maharishi School.

Anna Bruen

Anna Bruen’s background in sustainable agriculture and in planning sustainable communities complements Maharishi School’s mission of generating “an influence of peace and harmony for the community.” She is no stranger to Fairfield, having also received a Bachelor of Science degree from Maharishi University of Management in Sustainable Living, where she received the Permaculture Design Certificate in 2005 and the Sustainable Living Department Award in 2008. Ms. Bruen’s education includes a Master of Science degree in Community and Regional Planning and a Master of Science degree in Sustainable Agriculture from Iowa State University.

Ms. Bruen has been active in Fairfield local business and sustainable living projects over the last ten years. She is a committee member of the City of Fairfield’s Green Commission; a board member of the Women, Food, and Agriculture Network; and a co-founder of the Young Professionals Network of Fairfield. Ms. Bruen was the Hometown Rewards Project Coordinator for Fairfield, Iowa State University, and Alliant Energy from 2011-2013. The program’s achievements during these years were significant. The program resulted in an overall 8.5% reduction in citywide energy use, saving more than $1 million in utility bills.

Currently Project Coordinator for the Fairfield Economic Development Association, Ms. Bruen is involved in developing a housing incentive strategy for the City of Fairfield, in partnership with a City Housing Task Force, and has instigated and facilitated the creation of the Jefferson County Energy Rewards Program.

Randolph Carter

As a professional educator, Randolph Carter’s experience in leadership and change provides insight and innovation to Maharishi School’s Consciousness-Based programs. Mr. Carter is the director of the Eastern Educational Resource Collaborative (East Ed), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. East Ed provides equity services to schools, colleges, universities and community-based organizations. He is also a senior associate and director of the Midwest Education Collaborative in Chicago.

His clients include Chicago Public Schools, Evanston Township Schools, The District of Columbia Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools, Arlington County Public Schools, Texas Public Schools, Waldorf Schools, Sidwell Friends School, and over 100 independent and public and charter schools.

Mr. Carter is a Fellow in the Harvard University School Leadership Program, Graduate School of Education, where he received a Masters Degree in Education with a school leadership qualification. He is a doctoral student in the School of Education Leadership and Change at Fielding University.

He was a middle school reading specialist, a school administrator and a national association staff member. Mr. Carter has also served on numerous school boards.

Mr. Carter is a board member of Fielding Graduate University, and the Institute for Community Enrichment. He is a member of the Education Committee of the New Press. His publications include peer-reviewed articles and book reviews published in national journals.

Ben E. Kaplan

Ben E. Kaplan’s talents and dynamism as a successful businessman are qualities that will enrich Maharishi School’s future programs. Mr. Kaplan is the president of Imagine Nation/Books Are Fun, which is the largest display marketing company in the world. He was the Chief Operations Officer and Executive Director prior to his current position.

Mr. Kaplan’s education includes attending Maharishi University of Management and the University of Iowa’s Tippie School of Business, where he graduated with high honors with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, also earning an Entrepreneurial Certificate. He is currently a member of the Colorado chapter of YPO (the Young Presidents’ Organization), which connects young chief executives around a shared mission of improving leadership through education and idea exchange.

Business is Mr. Kaplan’s focus and forte. He has envisioned, organized, and developed companies from the ground up. In his various roles in company structure, Mr. Kaplan has written business, marketing, and recruiting plans; raised startup capital; and has led the acquisition of companies key to corporate business success. He has established operational process and procedures, staffed and trained employees to fill essential organizational roles, led recruiting efforts, and generated millions in revenue.

Sarah C. Vigmostad

Sarah C. Vigmostad will bring to Maharishi School the scientist’s intellect. From the University of Iowa, she has earned a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering (2007), an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering (2003), and in 2001 a Bachelor of Science degree in the same area. Dr. Vigmostad is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Iowa, where she has taught since 2008.

Dr. Vigmostad not only teaches; she is also active in scientific and medical research. Her research area is computational biomechanics, focusing on developing and applying computational methodologies for the study of disease formation and progression, improving disease treatment options and prosthetic device designs, and identifying biomechanics-related risk factors for diseases. Her research in these areas has been published in professional journals and books.

Dr. Vigmostad has been a speaker, organizer, and instructor in workshops and seminars. She was a facilitator for a Learning through Games workshop this summer at the University of Iowa. She has lectured as an invited speaker at Penn State University, the University of Ohio, the University of Pittsburgh, and for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Dr. Vigmostad has organized and led several Flipping the Classroom workshops at the University of Iowa--and also one for the Maharishi School faculty in 2013.

Dr. Vigmostad has received numerous awards and honors. Her awards include the James L. Murray Award (2014), given to one UI tenure-track faculty member for demonstrating outstanding rapport with students and creating an exemplary classroom atmosphere; she also received in 2013 the University of Iowa College of Engineering Outstanding Teacher Award. As a student, her awards included first place for the US National Congress on Computational Mechanics Ph.D. Student Competition, Biotechnology Division in 2007.

With the addition of our four new Board members--Anna Bruen, Randolph Carter, Ben E. Kaplan, and Sarah C. Vigmostad--a powerful wealth of intelligence, experience, wisdom, and energy has been added to our school’s governing body. Maharishi School extends a heartfelt welcome to all. 

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