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Who We Are
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Bill Magee, Ph.D.

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William Magee, Ph.D. University of Virginia, founded the Dharma Farm. For many years, Bill was Vice President of the UMA Institute for Tibetan Studies. He was an Associate Professor at Dharma Drum Buddhist College in Jinshan, Taiwan. Bill also taught Classical Tibetan at Maitripa College.

Among his many publications are The Nature of Things: Emptiness and Essence in the Geluk World, and with Elizabeth Napper Fluent Tibetan: A Proficiency-Oriented Learning System for Novice and Intermediate Tibetan. Dr. Magee also published four volumes translating sections of Jam-yang-shay-pa's Great Exposition of the Interpretable and the Definitive. These translations are available free of charge at the UMA Institute for Tibetan Studies.

Bill passed away on February 20, 2023. His tireless work with students and on translations is an inspiration to all of us.

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Craig Preston, J.D.


Craig Preston, J.D. University of Virginia. Craig received his Tibetan training from Jeffrey Hopkins, Elizabeth Napper, and Joe B. Wilson at the University of Virginia from 1978-1982. He received a J.D. degree from the University of Virginia in 1985. Craig practiced law on the Eastern Shore of Virginia as a public defender until 1993.

Craig began teaching Classical Tibetan at the Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies in Ithaca, New York. From 2007 to 2010 Craig was a Research Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at the University at Buffalo and with Rebecca Redwood French, Ph.D., J.D. translated Tibetan law codes. As time has permitted, Craig has taught Classical Tibetan intensives in New York, New Mexico, California, and for six years at Maitripa College.

He is the author of How to Read Classical Tibetan, Vol. I & II, and co-author with UVA classmate Daniel Cozort of Buddhist Philosophy: Losang Gonchok's Short Commentary to Jamyang Shayba's Root Text on Tenets. Since 2010, Craig has worked with Jeffrey Hopkins on many volumes at the UMA Institute. Craig's Getting into Emptiness. Jam-yang-shay-pa’s Great Exposition of the Middle: Chapter Six, Introduction -- Meaning of “The Manifest,” Vessels, Nāgārjuna’s Lives, and Sameness and other volumes are available for free download at the UMA Institute for Tibetan Studies. Craig is Director of The Dharma Farm and Chair of the Tibetan Department.

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Jules Levinson, Ph.D.


Jules Levinson graduated from Princeton University in 1975 and soon thereafter began studying at the University of Virginia under the guidance of Dr. Jeffrey Hopkins and the eminent Tibetan scholars invited by the University’s Center for South Asian Studies.
In 1994 Levinson received a doctoral degree in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. His previous publications include Essential Practice, a translation of lectures given by Thrangu Rinpoche on Kamalashīla’s Stages of Meditation in the Middle Way School, and a contribution to Moon of Wisdom in which he translated Karmapa Mikyö Dorje’s commentary on Chandrakīrti’s refutation of the Mind-Only School in the latter’s Supplement to (Nāgārjuna’s) “Fundamental Treatise on the Middle Called ‘Wisdom.’” For many years, he has served as an oral translator for Thrangu Rinpoche, Khen Rinpoche Tsül-trim-gya-tso, and several of the younger teachers whom they educated.
At present, he lives in Boulder, Colorado, where he works for the UMA Institute for Tibetan Studies and occasionally teaches seminars at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Paul Hackett, Ph.D.


Paul Hackett, Ph.D. Columbia University. Paul Hackett specializes in canonical Buddhist philosophy and Tibetan culture, as well as their influence on contemporary alternative religion in America. He is active in the field of applied computational linguistics and serves as the chair of the Tibetan Information Technology Panel for the International Association for Tibetan Studies. He previously taught Classical Tibetan language at Columbia and Yale universities.  Paul is the author of Theos Bernard, the White Lama: Tibet, Yoga, and American Religious Life; A Tibetan Verb Lexicon; and Learning Classical Tibetan: a Reader for Translating Buddhist Texts. Paul is Chair of the Sanskrit Department.

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Jessica Perry, J.D.

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Faculty on leave

Jessica Perry, J.D. Lewis & Clark. Jessica Perry holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Oregon and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Lewis & Clark Law School.  Her long practice in tai ji led her to seek adventures in classical languages, and her lifetime love of grammar sealed the deal when she was introduced to Joe Wilson's system of classifying verbs. She has compiled several pamphlets of paradigms illustrating Wilson’s system. Like Craig Preston, she is a recovering defense attorney. Her legal training provides extra structure to her approach to Tibetan. Jessica is Dean of Students at the Dharma Farm and also teaches beginning Tibetan with Bill Magee at Maitripa. College.

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Shahar Tene


Faculty on leave

Shahar Tene, M.Sc. in Physics and M.A. in Philosophy, London University. Shahar Tene has spent several years studying philosophy and debate full-time with various Geshes, and is a registered teacher of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. A graduate of the Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo Translator Program, he teaches Colloquial Tibetan for Translators.

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