MICHAEL IUM is currently a PhD candidate in Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He heard about Maitripa during a visit to Kopan Monastery in Nepal and came to the college with a strong desire to study Buddhism with a community in a way that he could apply to his everyday life. Impressed with the late Dr. Blumenthal and with Yangsi Rinpoche, he had a “good feeling” about the program. 

After graduating with an MA in the spring of 2014, Michael was accepted into the PhD program at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) in the Religious Studies Department. Upon accepting his application, UCSB awarded him the prestigious “Dean’s Fellowship.”

“There’s no way I would have gotten into UCSB without Maitripa. I am very grateful for everyone who has worked to make the vision of Maitripa College a reality.”

2016 UPDATE FROM MICHAEL:  I am in the second year of my MA/PhD program in Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara campus. This year I have had the stimulating opportunity of serving as a teaching assistant for classes on Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, and Gods and Goddesses of India. As an exciting side project, along with two other graduate students at UCSB, I am part of the UCSB Translation Group, currently working to translate a Buddhist sutra for the 84,000 Project.