Friday, March 16, 2012

Faculty Profile: Ushasi Thompson

Ushasi Thompson
Students come to higher education seeking knowledge from teachers and books, but often find that true understanding comes from within themselves. With massage therapy faculty member Ushasi Thompson, they meet a teacher with a keen sense of both the outer and inner sources of wisdom.

Ms. Thompson teaches pathology, neurology, anatomy and physiology, and has a passion for making these subjects relevant. “The sciences can seem especially difficult for some people,” she said. “I try to unravel complicated material in a step-by-step way so it is accessible instead of a mystery. I love the light bulb moments that occur when a student ‘gets it’, especially when they didn’t think they could.”
Focusing on Student Support
As Director of Academic Support Services for the Massage Therapy Program, Ms. Thompson also leads seminars in study skills and learning styles, connects students to peer tutors, and is available on a one-on-one basis to talk to students when they need help. In addition to being a licensed massage therapist, she also holds a master’s degree in theological and pastoral studies. Her background in education, counseling and massage all inform her work as a teacher and advisor.

“Twenty years experience in practicing meditation as part of a formal and disciplined meditation path, combined with the sense of focus developed by being a bodyworker, helps me to be present for people in distress,” she said. Her expertise in the sciences as well as her meditative discipline, are evident in the classroom and provide an optimal environment for learning. “I aim to facilitate a culture of respect and openness towards students in the classroom. I believe that the more inner work I do for myself, the more open and compassionate environment I can foster for others.”

Inspired teachers, along with academic support, can help students persist in their education despite obstacles, often with results that can transform their lives.

If life has problems,
Even so,
Light has solutions.
- Sri Chinmoy