Beth Giebus-Chavez & Melissa Franklin, Innovation Faculty Developers, Spring 2015

Creating a Mindful CNM Community

“Mindfulness isn’t difficult. What’s hard is remembering to do it,” says author and speaker Sharon Salzberg. Many faculty members have already been introduced to mindfulness and its effects on learning and stress. However, mindfulness as a “theoretical” subject is interesting, but not particularly helpful. The benefits of mindfulness are only experienced through practice. But who has time to practice?

Across the country, dozens of colleges and universities are promoting “mindful communities” in an effort to improve the overall quality of campus life and to make “mindfulness” an integral part of learning and teaching. Here at CNM, Melissa Franklin (MSE-Biology) and Beth Giebus-Chavez (SAGE-English/ESOL)--along with a dedicated group of faculty, staff, and students--are hoping to create a “Mindful CNM Community.” As part of CTL’s Innovative Faculty Developer Award for spring 2015, Melissa and Beth will be spearheading the following projects:

  • An online 8-week mindfulness course (a faculty learning circle) geared specifically for CNM faculty and staff. This “pilot” course will be available through Blackboard (CNM Learn) and those interested will register through employee training.  The tentative dates of the course will be February 2-March 29. The course will involve interactive features (discussions, blogs, and journals), and audio/video components. A certificate of completion will be provided at the end.  The purpose of this 8-week course is
      • to familiarize CNM faculty and staff with the basic 8-week mindfulness course—a sequence of techniques that has been proven to reduce stress and enhance cognitive and affective skills;
      • to provide a forum for faculty and staff to share ways in which mindfulness can be applied to their own fields of expertise;  
      • to disseminate these ideas, techniques, and insights to our students and the larger CNM community.
  • Beginning February 9th, Melissa and Beth will facilitate weekly meetings and workshops for the CNM community, including:
      • Mindfulness and the Brain
      • Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation
      • Mindfulness in Addiction Recovery
      • Mindful Movement
  • Melissa and Beth also will be collaborating with CNM’s Achievement Coaches course in the hope of connecting mindfulness practices to affective learning objectives in order to increase student retention and academic improvement.

Please join us in envisioning a “Mindful CNM Community”! For more information, contact Beth Giebus-Chavez ( and Melissa Franklin (, or check out our CNM web page for an ongoing list of events: