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Thursday, January 5, 2017

COE Professor Presents at UNESCO, Lands New Fellowship

Dr. Marilee Bresciani presenting in India
Her new fellowship will focus on how to prevent violent extremism.

The fellowship is the result of a presentation that Dr. Marilee Bresciani Ludvik recently gave on the same topic at a United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) conference in New Delhi, India.


“The topic I presented used my research to illustrate how violent extremism may be prevented by cultivating awareness of emotions and strategies to manage emotion responses so that experiencing difficult emotions don't turn into destructive behavior,” said Bresciani Ludvik, a professor in the College of Education’s Department of Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education.

Bresciani presented her research on violence extremism at the UNESCO’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Conference. UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations and was created in 1945, with the mission to build the defenses of peace in the minds of men.

“I was pretty nervous and extremely honored.  And I was pleasantly surprised by how positive the presentation was received,” added Bresciani Ludvik, who has worked at San Diego State University for over 10 years and is also a certified meditation and yoga instructor.

Violent extremism is described as “the beliefs and actions of people who support or use violence to achieve ideological, religious or political goals.”

Bresciani’s research, which she will complete in the spring semester, will try to determine how destructive emotions could result in violent extremism. Her research could be used in the development of UNESCO curriculum for 8th graders that could prevent violent extremism through education.

“Research indicates that destructive emotions can first be detected as bodily sensations when they exist as difficult or unwelcome emotions,” Bresciani Ludvik wrote in her fellowship proposal. “This proposal hypothesizes that we can intentionally cultivate awareness of emotions in the body, and their correlation with thoughts, beliefs, values, and behaviors in order to foster emotional awareness and emotional regulation, thus preventing their leading to destruction.”