Engineering provides wellness opportunities for students, faculty, and staff

Engineering wellness

SUMMARY: The Engineering Department is taking additional initiatives – offering new opportunities to support the well-being of their students, faculty, and staff.

By Meghan Long, CISE student writer

Coined "Wellness Wednesday"— Jacquelyn Nagel, assistant department head of engineering and professor, founded the program. Nagel wants to help others seek balance across the 8 Dimensions of Wellness — increasing happiness and fulfillment in their lives.  Participants can participate in numerous wellness-focused opportunities like a "social LEGO build" and talks on Mental Health by alumni guest speakers.

There are three constant activities, as well as interactive activities based on topical themes. Coloring sheets and markers and a "Let It Go!" board allow people to write down and walk away from frustrations. A mentimeter poll provides live updates on how people feel that day. Snacks are also available to help keep up energy levels throughout the day.

Engineering wellness

"During the height of the pandemic, I started reading more and more about companies helping employees through the crisis by offering stronger mental health and wellness support," Nagel explains. Her reading led her to learn about similar programs on university campuses. "I thought, what can I do to better support our students, so they know that we care and are here to support them? So I learned about the eight dimensions of wellness, and I devised the "Wellness Wednesday" program for Engineering."

Wesley Quill is a senior in Engineering who regularly participates in "Wellness Wednesday". "Taking a break from classes midway through the week has been a great way to take some stress off and help me re-center and focus," he explains. "I am definitely planning on continuing to go to each Wellness Wednesday!"

Adebayo Ogundipe, interim department head of engineering and professor, points to the commonality of stress among individuals—especially in high-stakes learning communities. "This initiative allows us to convey to one another that it is okay to take a break. Take time out, take stock of how we feel, and use creative mediums to express ourselves."

Nagel urges students to take advantage of the new wellness resources provided. "We want people to build skills that can support them long term and engage in interactive activities that are related to the session theme. Make it fun," she says. "People can come and go as they have time—even if it is for 10 minutes between classes.”

Engineering students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate in these sessions every other week in the Maker Space on campus (EnGeo 0208). "Come give yourself a break and learn something about wellness and yourself!" Nagel says.  

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Published: Thursday, November 4, 2021

Last Updated: Thursday, November 4, 2021

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