SPCS Professor Challenges Students to Reflect on Empathy and Compassion
Karen Cunningham, associate professor with the Center for Applied Conflict Management (now the School of Peace and Conflict Studies) at Kent State University, was recently asked by YES! Magazine to write an article for their online issue on a creative assignment she gave to her Applied Conflict Management students.
The article, “Practicing Awareness: A Living Memorial to Four Slain Kent State Students”, describes Cunningham’s unique assignment and its successful outcomes.
In the spring of 2013, Kent State Professor Karen Cunningham used the YES! Magazine article "What Can Change When We Learn to See Each Other," to challenge students to practice empathy and compassion in their everyday lives, and then write about their experiences. The results, for both Professor Cunningham and her students, were life-changing.
“It was heartwarming to see so many students genuinely connected with the people they acknowledged, and how they saw these people not just as human beings, but as people with important stories to share,” Cunningham said. “This spring, I’ve reinstituted the awareness practice. It’s my hope that practicing awareness and mindfulness will give my students greater insights into how each of them has the ability to help make the world a better place.”