NIRSA members continue to develop, contribute to, and lead integrated and sustainable approaches towards building cultures of wellbeing within their campus communities. The importance of these efforts – on everything from student success to the campus’ broader community impact – can hardly be overstated.

NIRSA 2018 will feature the standalone panel, “Building a Culture of Health & Wellbeing: Moving from Vision to Action” on Monday, March 5 from 3:30pm-4:30pm.

Last year’s conference featured the first standalone panel on this topic; its discussion focused on the what of wellbeing and the why behind recreation’s work in this area.

This year’s panel will look to take the next step in that discussion; it will examine how to translate the vision and strategy of campus-wide wellbeing to recreation’s professional and student staff. This year’s panelists include:

  • Alison Cross, Director of Recreational Sports, Virginia Tech
  • Caroline Dotts, Associate Director – Healthy Lifestyle Programs, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Marc Pope, Director of Recreation, Simon Fraser University
  • Ben Strunk, Assistant Director, Sports Programs, NC State University

In addition to discussing challenges that were overcome and tips for success, presenters will provide specific examples that have worked for their departments and campuses. This will give attendees – at all levels of involvement in wellbeing work – concrete takeaways from the session, which they can bring back to their campuses.

Universidad Tecmilenio

NIRSA is very excited to have two representatives from Universidad Tecmilenio in Monterrey, Mexico join us at this session. Universidad Tecmilenio is pioneering a student learning model grounded in positive psychology. Since 2002, the university has been working to create a community of wellbeing where all members are stewards of its success.

After the panel discussion, Tecmilenio will present on its university model and the philosophy of forming an entire institution around positive psychology, as well as its effectiveness in empowering students to develop their own life purpose and to take charge of their own learning.

In addition to learning about this unique and exciting higher education model, having Tecmilenio join our NIRSA family in Denver allows members the chance to expand their networks, share more about the recreation profession and their own campuses, learn from other higher education and cultural models, and, of course, live our NIRSA values.

Pre-reading resources

Looking for material to help prepare and inform you for this panel and the many other wellbeing-related sessions being offered at NIRSA 2018?

The Association has been actively engaged in this work; it is essential to the future of higher education to create opportunities and provide joint leadership and direction on building cultures of wellbeing.

One of these opportunities was this past October’s NIRSA and NASPA thought leadership summit on wellbeing. An outcome of that meeting was an agreed upon summary that outlined preliminary strategies and principles pertinent to creating a culture of wellbeing on campus.

That full summary can be found in the library of NIRSA’s Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice and would make great pre-reading for NIRSA 2018.

  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships Erin O’Sullivan.
Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at | NIRSA Profile

Erin O'Sullivan is currently the Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at NIRSA.