Sunday, November 11

November 11 2018 – Sunday’s Schedule of Events

Sessions take place at McNulty Hall  Science & Technology Center at Seton Hall University — 

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Noon | System Overload – Don’t let your Tech rule you

We will take a break from technology, using technology. We will explore how and why our smart tools have such a strong hold over us, and how we can insert mindfulness into our use of digital media. Bring your phone, but you might just be tempted to leave it after

  • Ruth Tsuria earned her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University Department of Communication. Her research investigates the intersection of digital media, religion, and feminism (see below) with a focus on developing theoretical tools to understand online discourse and interrogate the relationship between technology and society. She has received several awards, such as the “Emerging Scholar” award and the STAR Award, a dissertation writing fellowship from the College of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University.

1pm | Magic, Leadership and Transcendence

There are moments in our lives when everything is perfect. You know, when you’re sitting on the beach or at the top of a mountain and time stands still. Or sometimes when you’re in flow, painting, building something, biking on a flat country road in autumn or just perfectly and silently carving your skis down a freshly powdered slope. And then, a moment later, the world comes crashing back in all it’s chaos and cacophony and unpleasantness and confusion. Our minds get gripped by competing thoughts, worries, aspirations and needs. In some ways it’s even more depressing to lose that beautiful moment. But is there a way to hold on to that earlier blissful experience and still show up for life powerfully? We’re going to find out.

  • Juan Rios has experience in both the non-profit and government sectors and is presently the Clinical Director of a multiservice specialty practice and serves as a clinical consultant to community mental health agencies.  His research interests are the following: Clinical phenomenological field narratives and self-reflexivity, Chinese philosophy on modern philanthropy, mindfulness intervention with immigrant and first generation children, and cultural intersection among men and masculinity. He has presented nationally and internationally at various Social Work conferences regarding the above and extremely passionate about this profession and equally as passionate about educating the future leaders of this field on deconstructing oppressive social systems.
  • Dr. Anthony Nicotera is an educator, licensed social worker, and executive manager and leader. He serves as Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work, teaching courses in social justice, nonviolent peacemaking, and multi-faith leadership.He also practices clinically at Mental Health Counseling and Wellness and directs foundation relations at Rutgers. He spent six years as a Jesuit, where he completed the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, a thirty-day silent retreat, and worked internationally with  Mother Teresa, and domestically in prisons, hospice facilities, inner-city parishes and schools, and legal and social service centers. He serves on the National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR). He has also worked with FOR members, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn, helping promote a culture of peace and nonviolence for the children of the world, and helping produce the award-winning mindfulness film The 5 Powers, a mixed media documentary about Thich Nhat Hanh and his relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  His Teaching Note, “Circle of Insight: A Paradigm and Pedagogy for Liberation Social Justice Social Work Education,” was recently published by the Journal of Social Work Education (JSWE). His multimedia project Circle of Insight is a resource for social work educators and all interested in social justice pedagogy and practice.  Connect with Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyNicotera, and
  • Jim Vagias has been performing magic for over 50 years. Jim has performed in over a dozen countries, on four continents, and several times on national T.V. He recently was invited to perform at the National Theater in Washington, D.C.  When not performing magic, Jim is the Producing Artistic Director of the American Theater Group, the professional theater company in residence at South Orange Performing Art Center (SOPAC)

 2pm | Privacy vs Censorship vs Technology

An interdisciplinary panel discussion on privacy through the lens of technology with a focus on censorship. China’s censorship is innovative; America’s freedom of speech debates continue to rage on – Technology isn’t always what we hope it is.

  • Andre Preoteasa moderator; Seth Wainer is the Former CIO of Newark, New Jersey’s largest city. He’ll be presenting the view of policy and how it affects people
    Adrian Acevido is Sargent in the South Orange (NJ) Police. He’ll be presenting the view of law enforcement’s need to access private information to protect the public. Avthar Sewrathan, lead developer of Afari, a decentralized social media platform, will be discussing the need for social media that cannot be censored. Annoymous Hacker will discuss how privacy makes data theft difficult.

3pm | The Merry Metaverse — Communal Well-being in Immersive Reality

The future of humanity resides as much in digital, algorithmic and virtual environments as in the physical.  Data representing our identities exists in this immersive reality today but remain invisible to most, inaccessible by design.  Global values regarding our defining-data are framed by a quest for “artificial intelligence” pitting speed and growth against planet and purpose.  “Extended Intelligence” reframes this paradigm with three central tenets.  Systems Thinking prioritizes participant design, marrying the collective wisdom of humans and environment in unison.  Intentional Identity supports living to the values we digitally define.  Enlightened Indicators recreate the Commons in immersive environments to shift definitions of worth from market control to communal wellbeing.

Privacy is evolving in these future environments.  Instead of framing values about our identity and actions by saying, “What have we got to hide?” we can rather ask, “What is ours to reveal?”  By putting people at the center of their data and identity in the metaverse, we can communally create positive worlds prioritizing each other with intention and joy. Welcome to the merry metaverse.

4pm | Tools of Hope

Anti-Depressants are limited by physiological focus, but prayer and mindfulness is a suggested mechanism that brings human beings into a unique state of oneness. Dr. Johnson suggests how centering/meditative prayer and similar practices like mindfulness-based cognitive therapy can be useful therapeutic interventions for Depression.

  • Kirk Johnson teaches courses in Bioethics, Global Issues, Philosophy and Religion. His primary areas of specialization are medicine and religion, race and medicine, health disparities and the physician-patient relationship. He is a member of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, and The New York Academy of Medicine. He serves as a member of the Atlantic Health Systems Bioethics Committee, former Assistant Director of the Medical Humanities program at Drew University and fellow emeritus of The American Heart Association’s Multicultural Initiatives Leadership Fellowship Program. Dr. Johnson has published articles in the Journal of Religion and Health, Companion to Health Humanities and contributions in numerous books. His recent book “Medical Stigmata: Race, Medicine, and the Pursuit of Theological Liberation” is available in print and ebook formats and can found at .

5pm | Mindfulness in our Community – SHU students and local residents discuss what comes NEXT

  • Dr. Peter Savastano teaches at Seton Hall University in both Anthropology and Religion and also teaches courses having to do with religion, sexuality, gender and race; ritual, consciousness studies, folklore and mythology, human rights and social justice, and contemplative life and interspirituality inspired by the lives of Thomas Merton, Dom Bede Griffiths and Henri Le Saux (Swami Abhishiktananda).   Dr. Savastano also studies the relationship between altered states of consciousness and religion in western and eastern religious traditions. Dr. Savastano has devoted many years to the study of Liberation Theology, Queer Theology, Feminist Theology, Post-Colonial Theology and Process Theology. Dr. Savastano explores heightened or mystical states of consciousness in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and shamanism. He is a practitioner of meditation for over 40 years with an interest in diverse contemplative practices as a pedagogical tool.
  • David Harris is a retired Lowenstein Sandler partner where he held several positions, including Chair of the Litigation Dept. He attended Rutgers Law School in Newark in the evening while working as an instructor in the Open Admissions Program at Brooklyn College.  Currently, he is on the boards of the SOMA Community Coalition on Race, SOMA Action, Donald Payne Global Foundation, and the Blanton-Peale Foundation.
  • Frank McGehee, Deputy Mayor, Maplewood;  Mr. McGehee and his family have been residents of Maplewood since 2013. Originally from the Hyde Park section of Chicago, Illinois, Frank graduated from the University of Notre Dame and received his MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Business. He has an extensive business career as an analytical marketer managing the strategic and day-to-day logistics of marketing teams and their budgets for companies such as Harrahs Entertainment, Eastern Mountain Sports, and TIDAL.  Currently, Frank serves as CRM Director for DraftKings Sportsbook.
  • Monika Soto is a current undergraduate at Seton Hall University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Political Science. On campus she serves as the President of the United Greek Council and President of the Psi Pi Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. She is passionate about advocating for the marginalized students on campus and aspires to pursue a Juris Doctorate in Family Law in hopes to continue speaking up for the underrepresented groups of people throughout the community.

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