Judith Simmer-Brown Named Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies at Naropa University

Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies Judith Simmer-BrownBOULDER, Colo. (June 3, 2013)--Naropa University is pleased to announce that Dr. Judith Simmer-Brown, Naropa professor of religious studies since 1978, has been named Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies. According to Naropa University President Charles Lief, the new appointment "will have a lasting impact on [Naropa's] longterm success as a contemplative education leader."

"I'm delighted to support contemplative education," reflects Simmer-Brown, "both in the larger worlds of academia and contemplative practice, and within the Naropa community. I can't imagine anything I would rather do, and I am so honored to have been given this new position. I hope I can secure Naropa's heritage for the future in this important way." Beginning in fall 2013, Simmer-Brown will become an advisor in shaping Naropa's curriculum, providing expertise in contemplative education and helping it to thrive more fully in a nonsectarian, Buddhist-inspired context. "Time and resources to support faculty...is at the heart of the new position," says Lief. "Professor Simmer-Brown's new appointment will ensure a coherent and thoughtful foundation to Naropa's evolving contemplative pedagogy."

Judith Simmer-Brown, PhD, has been a professor of religious studies at Naropa University since 1978. She has practiced Tibetan Buddhism for more than forty years and is an Acharya senior dharma teacher of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, founder of Naropa University. Simmer-Brown serves on the steering committee of the American Academy of Religion's Contemplative Studies Group. A prominent Buddhist scholar, she also lectures and writes on Tibetan and American Buddhism, women and Buddhism, interreligious dialogue, and contemplative education. Her published works are Dakini's Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism (Shambhala) and, with Fran Grace, an edited collection of articles Meditation in the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies (Religious Studies Series, State University of New York Press, 2010).

Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Naropa University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education. This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students to know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. The university comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology, and religious studies.