Scholar-practitioner Rita M. Gross is internationally known for her innovative thinking about Buddhism and gender, as well as Buddhist approaches to other contemporary issues. She began to study Buddhism in 1965 as a graduate student. Early in her career as a professor, in 1973, she decided to become a Buddhist practitioner in the Shambhala tradition. Throughout her long career, she has continued to bring together academic and dharmic perspectives in her work as a professor, author, and dharma student and teacher. She is the author of many books and articles, the most influential of which is Buddhism After Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism. Her most recent book is A Garland of Feminist Reflections: Forty Years of Religious Exploration. She has taught widely in the Shambhala mandala, including teaching a course on "Buddhist View" at the 1999 seminary. In 2005, she was appointed as lopön by Her Eminence Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche. Currently Rita is teaching a multi-year course "Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners" at the Lotus Garden shedra. Lopön Rita holds a Ph. D. is from the University of Chicago in the History of Religions and for many years she was Professor of Comparative Studies in Religion at the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire.