I am delighted to share this conversation with Mays Imad.
Mays serves as a Professor of Genetics, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Pima Community College and is the founding coordinator of the Teaching and Learning Center. Her current research focuses on stress, self-awareness, advocacy, and classroom community. Through her teaching and research, Mays seeks to provide students with transformative opportunities which are grounded in the aesthetics of learning, truth-seeking, and self-realization.
In this interview Mays talks about her own journey from a humanities undergraduate to a STEM postgraduate and how her research developed through her deep love of teaching.
She talks about the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ stress and how, when it is overwhelmed, the brain can become hijacked by emotions which hinder the capacity to process information as the focus is on survival.
She identifies how the experience of the pandemic has caused many people to slow down cognitively and how it is important to attend to activating our natural ‘reward network’ in order to calm the nervous system and allow information to pass to the cortex.
Mays references John O Donohue’s discussion of cultivating a landscape of interiority. You can access a recording with him here: https://onbeing.org/programs/john-odonohue-the-inner-landscape-of-beauty-aug2017/
Mays closes with an invitation to cultivate a sense of wonder through engaging with creativity and beauty.