Art of Attention

What is attention and do we have a choice in how we direct it? Do our thoughts, culture, beliefs and worldview influence our reality? How do I construct self, meaning, and purpose? Can our attitudes and how we direct our attention improve our well-being and create a better world? This course explores the mysteries and manifestations of attention through phenomenological research, discussions, and readings from interdisciplinary perspectives on self, science, culture, and philosophy. Students will engage in contemplative inquiry based in mindfulness practices that explore self-awareness, positivity, and inner knowing. An examination of worldviews and assumptions that create our sense of purpose and influence our actions within our community and the world will culminate in the student's articulation of an integrative synthesis.

Course Details
Course Number: 
Section Number(s) and Day/Times Taught: 
174: TR 9:30am-10:45am
179: TR 11:00am-12:15pm
182: TR 12:30pm-1:45pm
Fall 2024

Elaine Gray

Dr. Gray considers herself an Interdisciplinarian whose academic interests range from contemplative pedagogy, consciousness studies, spiritual intelligence, and the wisdom arts. She received her Ph.D. in Integral Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies and her Masters in liberal studies from Rollins College. She completed the Leadership and Higher Education program at Appalachian State and remains ABD for her second doctorate.  Dr. Gray received the 2010 Brantz Award for Outstanding Teaching in First Year Seminar. She is an affiliated faculty member with the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, Graduate Education studies, and the First Year Seminar Program.  Dr. Gray began teaching student success courses at Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida. Her extensive experience teaching first-year students created an opportunity for her to write a student success book which would blend her academic background in transformative adult learning theory and emotional intelligence. Pearson published her book entitled Conscious Choices – A Model for Self-Directed  Learning;. Her textbook focuses on self-awareness, critical thinking, and self-reflection as methods for becoming a successful lifelong learner. Her classroom teaching styles and pedagogies include journaling, discussion, self-assessment, mini-lectures, student presentations and active reading. Dr. Gray believes students benefit from meaningful classroom dialogue and knowledge construction in collaborative groups. Her emphasis on building community, integrating mindfulness and self-awareness, collaboration and problem solving are the foundations of her teaching philosophy.  Dr. Gray's life interests include playing guitar, reading, golf, and enjoying time with her animals.