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NECC PROFILE: Elizabeth Casanave

Submitted by on March 1, 2016 – 4:54 pm
NECC philosophy professor Elizabeth Casanave

NECC philosophy professor Elizabeth Casanave

Lizzie Casanave is always smiling. So it’s no surprise that her philosophy courses include a workshop titled “The Science of Happiness.” She encourages her students to look at happiness through the lens of positive psychology. Lizzie’s teaching style includes exploring the importance of self-knowledge and an understanding that true happiness is attained through changing how one thinks. She asks her students to envision the kind of world in which they want to live and imagine their role in creating that world. Now that’s something to smile about.

Home: Arlington

Profession: Adjunct Professor and Study Abroad Short-Course Coordinator

Hobbies: Yoga, running, walking her dog, reading, and painting

Last book read: “Ethics: A History of Moral Thought,” by Peter Kreeft

Quote: “A person experiences life as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from this self-imposed prison, and through compassion, to find the reality of Oneness.”

Albert Einstein

Why I do what I do: I am driven, in part, by a desire to live a meaningful life. I love to teach because I find such a sense of purpose in inspiring students to use critical and creative thinking to improve their thought processes, the quality of their lives, and subsequently, the pressing issues of the world … I know that to live authentically requires being a positive force for change. I believe through teaching individuals to think and to foster sustainable motivation, we can (as Gandhi puts it) “be the change we wish to see in the world.”