Health and wellbeing encompass an ever-changing spectrum within the physical, mental and emotional. It becomes more about grace for myself and can serve as a reminder to sometimes just be.
This initiative builds on strengths at Texas Woman’s. One successful partnership was with TWU Fitness and Recreation during the 2019 AORE Outdoor Campus Challenge. During this national competition, TWU placed first place overall in the following categories:
- First Place Overall National Outdoor Champion among Division 1 Universities
- Overall Health & Wellbeing Champion
- Overall Environmental Champion
- Overall Developing Skills/Personal Growth Champion
- Overall Southwest Champion
As part of this friendly competition, our first ever Wellchella event infused music and art with wellbeing.
Our Wellchella Story
Pioneering Spirit Award
HWI won the Graduate Student Council’s Distinguished Department Award for the 2020 Pioneering Spirit Awards.The initiative was recognized for the on-going support of graduate students through the development of wellbeing resources specific to graduate students, graduate mentoring and professional development opportunities.
Co-Curricular Framework and Wellbeing Survey Development
Academic coursework can receive a Health and Wellbeing Course Designation. To assist interested faculty and staff, an online resource library has been built through TWU Canvas, including lesson plans and online formats. In addition, a health and wellbeing survey has been created based on TWU’s five themes and is available for faculty use.
Pioneer Advantage Health and Wellbeing Distinction Award
Beginning in Fall 2020, through the Division of Student Life, this Distinction Award incentivizes students to engage within the campus community while learning about self-care and wellbeing through the Pioneer Engage platform. In addition, students can track their own personal and professional development using this award program.
Step by step instructions are available here:
While this initiative is part of Texas Woman’s Strategic Plan: Learn to Thrive 2022, health and wellbeing are deeply personal matters. To meet students where they are, an intentional connection through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and You Tube have been developed with a student-led team. In these posts, students are exposed to all theme areas, find valuable resources, and grow their sense of campus community. For example, in Fall 2019, over 2000 votes were cast for the Health and Wellbeing hashtag #PioneerStrong.
Leadership Speaker Series
Through our partnership with the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership, we inspire students with leaders who have pioneered in the areas of health and wellbeing. During Women’s History Month in March 2020, we featured Deun Ivory, art director and photographer, who presented ‘the body: a home for love”, a discussion about creative wellness, visual storytelling, and personal healing, particularly giving voice to the wellness of minority women. We followed this up in March 2021 with a virtual presentation and workshop by Rachel Sumekh, founder and CEO of Swipe Out Hunger, the largest nonprofit dedicated to ending food insecurity on college campuses. In April 2021, Esosa Osagiede, Registered Dietitian, presented a workshop entitled “A Call to Action: Nutrition and Wellness in the Black Community”.
Schweitzer Fellowship Scholars
Two graduate assistants of the Health and Wellbeing Initiative, Paloma Silva and Tamara Starling, were awarded a Schweitzer Fellowship for projects designed to fulfill unmet health and wellbeing needs with the Dallas-Fort Worth communities. This prestigious honor awards graduate and medical students who have created innovative programs serving Dallas-Fort Worth communities.
Faculty and Staff Support
We are committed to offering wellbeing resources and training to our TWU faculty and staff. Virtual monthly certifications in Mental Health First Aid are now available free of charge thanks to a grant-based partnership with Denton County MHMR and the TWU Division of Student Life. Spearheaded by Dr. Linda Louden and Dr. Lisa Grubbs, this program has been overwhelmingly successful, providing training to almost 300 members of the TWU community in less than two years.
In Summer 2020, the Black Faculty Staff Association (TBFSA) and The Health and Wellbeing Initiative collaborated on professional development training for TWU faculty and staff. Sessions were facilitated by TWU alum and President of the Educational Equity Institute, Dr. Ebonyse Mead. The first session focused on developing a shared language when engaging in discourse related to race and racism. The second session addressed racial battle fatigue and the prioritization of self-care for people of color.
Dr. Gage Paine, author of the book Sustaining Leadership: Finding Your Path through Self-Care, provided workshops to faculty and staff in July 2021 emphasizing daily self-care practices as a leadership skill. As she stated, “For leaders, self-care is not a break from your leadership work. It is a way of leading and being a leader.”
Goals for 2021-2022
- Assess graduate student health wellbeing to more intentionally address their needs on all three campuses.
- Develop undergraduate and graduate student support through peer support groups, student mentoring, and student leadership collaborations.
- Continue to build resources, training, and curriculum to better support faculty.
- Build and highlight research opportunities related to health and wellbeing
- Pilot A Nourishing Space, an experiential learning program designed to train future entrepreneurs in nutrition and health education while providing consulting services to TWU students.
Page last updated 9:43 AM, September 3, 2021