Greg and Joni met in the spring of 2010 and quickly found they had similar ideas on and love for the philosophies of art, education and the humanities. They decided to turn that connection into joint action by developing various educational programs including an honors English/history course taught at Merit Academy in Springville, Utah, the online Vigilance education classes for students from kindergarten to high school, and the Vigilance Media online project which helps students (and adults) find resources and materials that create a culture of inspiration.
We hope that this website will help individuals and groups get together with the intent to watch, talk about, read, experience and share stuff that’s amazing and worthwhile. We hope to get many participating in sharing things they have found profound and life-changing. Don’t hesitate to contact us with suggestions, comments or questions. We love to hear from those who are striving to bring the habit of greatness into life.
Joni Newman is an avid reader, writer, photographer, traveler, teacher and actress. Raised in the midwest, she also has a great fondness for rolling fields, thunderstorms, and fireflies – and a great dislike for humidity. Joni received her BA in English Education from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and has been teaching in Utah Valley for the last two years. Most recently she has been team teaching a humanities class with Greg in Springville at Merit Academy. While at BYU she attended the England and Literature study abroad which involved hiking more than two hundred miles across the English countryside and writing about the experience. Following this trip, Joni won a creative writing scholarship for the essay she wrote about the experience. When she is not writing or teaching, Joni loves to act in local productions and has been involved in theater for the last fifteen years, most recently as Marian Paroo in The Music Man. She enjoys taking her excitement for performance, writing, and seeing the world into her classroom.
Gregory Duffin loves looking for and enjoying the profound creations in the world in many disciplines: movies, music, dance, literature, art, theatre — all of it. He studied music at Brigham Young University and the University of Arizona where he gained expert skills in choral and orchestra conducting, music writing, aesthetic philosophy and humanities history. He is an established composer writing music that has been performed all over the country including in LDS General Conferences and other world-wide broadcasts and has won various awards including commissions from the International Barlow competition and the St. Petersburg, Russia world music festival. He’s performed as a guest conductor with the Arizona Symphony Orchestra. He loves performing as a musician and as a actor in musical theatre. His love of the power of the arts and history has inspired him to build education programs that inspire connection to greatness.