by Emily J. Johnson, 2021–22 intern for the assistant vice chancellor of Student Life, Master of Public Health, ’22
Wellness Wednesdays is a recurring semester-long program designed to provide unique and engaging opportunities for students to maintain or improve their wellness. The vision of this program is to leave a lasting impact on the campus community with clear improvements of the health and well-being of students. Over the course of this school year, events ranged from virtual workshops with the Student Counseling Center to active events with RecSports. Many of our campus partners, like the Center for Financial Wellness, tabled along Pedestrian Walkway or in Hodges Library as well.
As an intern with Jill Zambito, assistant vice chancellor for Student Life, I was given the opportunity to explore ways to evaluate and elevate this initiative for next semester. We are collecting satisfaction and improvement data via an online survey, which will directly impact how the program moves forward in the coming year. I am excited to see how Wellness Wednesdays will evolve as a result of the findings! I was also given the opportunity to collaborate on the Fresh Check Day event in March and the May the Fourth Be with You event at the end of spring 2022. Both were exciting, wellness-focused events with interactive activities, giveaways, and food. Where there is food, there are students! I remember the thrill of free food when I was an undergraduate student, but it’s quite impactful when one gets to be on the giving end! Something that I think was particularly impactful for me as an intern, and now a successful Master of Public Health graduate, was how interdisciplinary health and wellness can be. Even in its relative infancy, Wellness Wednesdays has positioned itself as an initiative that can bring together a myriad of campus experts and provide educational opportunities and resources.
Sometimes wellness is seen as only relevant when considering physical and mental health, yet partners like the Office of Sustainability, Office of the Dean of Students, Center for Health Education and Wellness, Center for Financial Wellness, Student Counseling Center, and RecSports (to name a few) demonstrate that embedded within the foundation of work with the campus community, we must prioritize all dimensions of wellness (i.e., emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental, financial, occupational, and social). Truly, with a little creativity, we can see how every entity across campus can come together and impact a student’s health and wellness.