Stephen Jenkins has been devoted to study abroad ever since undergraduate programs in India and China transformed his mind, empowered his career, and instigated a lifelong love of travel. He is deeply gratified to help that joyful magic happen for others, and has worked for programs in India, Tibet, Japan, Nepal, Israel, Thailand, and Sri Lanka and chaired statewide committees that govern study abroad for the California State Universities.
He is particularly excited about the idea of teaching on travel as a religious practice to students that are themselves traveling not just to discover the world, but to discover themselves. The Asian religious traditions that are his specialty are concerned with the nature of reality and self-conception in ways that robustly complement the power of study abroad to challenge our worldview and self-image. He values the extended contact a teacher has with students on study abroad, which allows him to take teaching to a deeper level, and help students digest life-changing experiences. The extra contact can build life-long connections with students, and because study abroad is a key to success, that connection allows him the pleasure of supporting students throughout their future as they apply for grants, jobs and graduate programs.
He was trained at Harvard and is Professor Emeritus of Religion at Humboldt State. His research is focused on Buddhist concepts of compassion, their philosophical grounding, and ethical implications. More recently, he has focused on the roots of Pure Land Buddhism in India, traditions that resonate deeply with Christianity and Hindu Bhakti. As a nationally rated chess player, he is hoping there will be some players on board or those who might like to learn.