Dr. Vaishali Mamgain (she/her) is the Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Bertha C. Ball Center for Compassion at the University of Southern Maine. Mamgain received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her past economics research has focused on the contributions of (im)migrants and refugees in the Maine economy, including the role of migrant workers in Maine’s blueberry industry. She teaches theoretical economics and classes like Economics and Happiness, the Political Economy of Food, and Practicing Nature, Deepening Compassion.
She is nationally known for her work in contemplative pedagogy, is on the board of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society (CMind) and has been faculty at the Summer Sessions organized by CMind. In her role as Director of the Center for Compassion, and as a core faculty member of the Courage of Care Coalition, she facilitates anti-oppression workshops such as the upcoming Radical Communion series that explores how we can, with all our intersecting identities, build meaningful communities of practice together. She specializes in using somatic and immersive nature practices to undo internalized oppression and the “colonization” of contemplative practices. She did a three-year retreat (2014–17) at Samten Ling Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado, and now lives on an island in Maine where she can be found admiring seaweed, hiking, singing and swimming in the beautiful Maine waters.