Alice Fanari Selected as 2019-2020 Contemplative Research and Social Transformation Graduate Student Fellow

Sept. 5, 2019

 The Center for Compassion Studies, in collaboration with the former Arizona Meditation Research and Interest Group (AMRIG) has developed the Contemplative Research and Social Transformation Award, and selected Alice Fanari, doctoral candidate in Communication, as the first recipient of this award for the 2019-2020 cycle.

 The award is presented to a graduate student at the University of Arizona who demonstrates:

  • Interest in public engagement and social transformation
  • Commitment to research relevant to contemplative practices
  • Commitment to cross-disciplinary service and scholarship at the University of Arizona

Fanari’s project will explore communication savoring as a contemplative pedagogical practice to promote gratitude in the college classroom. Communication savoring is defined as “a deliberate, intentional process of mindfully attending to and deriving pleasure from verbal and nonverbal messages in  current, remembered, or imagined interactions” (Pitts, Kim, Meyerhoffer, & Jiao, 2019, p. 98).

Dr. Maggie Pitts, (associate professor in UA's department of Communication, and associate Dean of the Graduate College) and colleagues found that college students specifically savored ordinary and extraordinary moments of sharing and/or expressing gratitude within the classroom. The project will highlight savoring gratitude’s potential applications as a communicative intervention for graduate students, and promote the mission of the Center of Compassion Studies by encouraging ongoing dialogue and cross- collaboration to develop practices and resources for the University of Arizona. Fanari’s project is anticipated to add to the scholarship in the burgeoning area of positive science, and lead to the development of tools and resources that can support students as they navigate the increasing complexity and potential challenges to students’ mental health during graduate school.

The next cycle of applications for the Contemplative Research and Social Transformation Award will open in Summer 2020. Details will be available through all UA graduate student listservs and on this website