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Building a Better You

Oakland University cares about the health and well-being of all students, faculty, and staff. A well-being collaborative was formed in 2014 to establish goals and objectives as a campus culture of well-being is established. The collaborative includes a wide representation of students and employees from across the university.

Well-being is multidimensional. It includes many components, all of which work together in an individual’s process of improving quality of life and developing an overall sense of personal and individual wellness. The model that Oakland University promotes includes eight aspects: 
  • Get Active/Eat Well
  • Seek Spirituality
  • Manage Money
  • Work Smarter
  • Enhance Your Mind
  • Find Balance
  • Get Involved
  • Practice Sustainability
To evolve the culture of well-being for the OU campus community.

The well-being collaborative strives to streamline resources available to support healthy lifestyle behaviors of OU students, faculty, and staff and promote existing and future campus initiatives that aid in building a culture of health and well-being by connecting people on campus and in the community who provide well-being services.

Well-being staff
Becky Lewis, Assistant Director of Programs
Stephanie Willis, Coordinator of Employee Wellness & Educational Outreach
Julie Proctor, Health Educator & Coordinator of Student Wellness

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Get Active and eat well: physical wellness
Physically well individuals eat well-balanced diets, get plenty of physical activity and exercise, maintain proper weight, get enough sleep, avoid risky behaviors, and restrict their intake of harmful substances. Physical wellness involves taking care of one’s body.

Enhance your mind: intellectual wellness 
Intellectual wellness focuses on opening the mind to new ideas and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interaction and community betterment. Learning new concepts, improving skills and seeking challenges in pursuit of lifelong learning is all part of intellectual wellness.

Find balance: emotional wellness
Emotionally well individuals are able to appropriately express emotions, adjust to change, cope with stress in a healthy way, and enjoy life despite its occasional disappointments and frustrations. Possessing high self-esteem, a sense of humor, and a positive body image also contributes to emotional wellness. Emotionally well individuals are comfortable in seeking support from a mental health professional when needed and gathering information in order to make informed value decisions. 

Seek spirituality: spiritual wellness

Spiritual wellness is establishing peace and harmony in life. The development of congruency between values and actions and the realization of a common purpose that binds creation together contributes to spiritual wellness.

Get involved: social wellness
Social wellness is the ability to relate to and connect with other people in our world. Contributing to social wellness is one’s ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends, and co-workers.

Work smarter: occupational wellness
Occupational wellness is successfully integrating a commitment to one’s occupation into a total lifestyle that is satisfying and rewarding. It includes making use of personal gifts, skills and talents in order to gain purpose, happiness and enrichment in life through work. An occupationally well person enjoys a role that is consistent with his/her beliefs, goals, lifestyle, personality, and values.

Manage money: financial wellness
Financial wellness is a balance of the mental, spiritual and physical aspects of money. It involves working towards balance in how an individual thinks and feels about money. Financially well individuals have an understanding of their financial situation, care for finances so that financial changes can be handled as necessary, and maintain a level of comfort in where money comes from and where it is going.

Practice sustainability: environmental wellness
Environmental wellness is when individuals recognize their own responsibility for the quality of the air, the water, and the land that surrounds us. An environmentally well person appreciates the external environment and understands the role he/she plays in it.

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February 2014 Spotlight

Mark Bertacchi

Department: Skilled Trades - Electrician
Years at OU: 15

While talking with Mark he described the time he decided to get pro-active about his health was around the same time health related issues seemed to keep piling up. He was ready to get healthy and when he saw a postcard while working in the shop at OU for a  wellness fair at the Rec he decided to go. After the fair he noticed Debbie Cavender, our Registered Dietician, at a table with a sign that read "Know your Numbers". Mark decided to sit down with Debbie and begin his journey to better health. As he puts it, he wants to "stay young as long as he can".

Mark participates in many programs at the Rec. He has met with Debbie for Nutrition Consultations and made some major changes to his diet and lifestyle. He enjoys swimming once a week and was involved in the "Maintain Don't Gain" employee wellness program during the winter break. Tonight he is branching out and taking his first yoga class and says he's going to try cycling soon! He has had great progress getting healthy and has even reversed some of his health problems completely!

He explained he finds motivation to stay healthy with support from his daughter, friendly staff at the Rec and through the use of the wellness programs here at OU. His advice for others thinking about getting healthy, "Find what's fun and you'll continue with it!"

Fun fact: Mark loves the water. Outside of working at OU he's a Coastguard Auxillarist, helping to patrol Lake St. Clair in the summer and owns a boat. He also participates in his church programs and is an active member of the Knights of Columbus.

March 2014 Spotlight

Kath Borg

Department: University Library - Executive Secretary for the Dean
Years at OU: 8

Kath first started participating in employee wellness when Shape Up OU was implemented in 2006. Over the years, Kath has become an avid wellness participant, enjoying a variety of programs and events. Some of Kath’s favorite wellness programs include Nutrition Consultations with Debbie, Maintain Don't Gain During the Holidays, Walking Programs, iPause, Restorative Yoga, Lunch & Learns, and RAD. 

Kath says actively participating has allowed her to gain the benefits of a very healthy lifestyle, pay less money towards health insurance, she has more energy to keep up with her grandchildren, and her clothes fit much better! In the next year, Kath’s goal is simple: MAINTAIN! By maintaining her current healthy status, Kath hopes to bike across Michigan with her family, continue her love of hiking, and play with her grandchildren as much as possible.

Fun fact: Kath is working hard toward finishing up her degree in Integrative Studies this December! In addition, Kath also holds an Associate’s degree in ministry and is a youth minister in her free time. Finally, Kath loves to snowshoe in the winter and kayak in the summer!

April 2014 Spotlight

The First Year Advising Center

Department Members: Sara Webb, Yoel Joa, Adam Duberstein, Brittani Hobbs, Amy Jacovetti, Jennifer Janes, Bill Johnson, Derek Moreno, Roberta Rea, Anna Mrdeza, Scott Kokotovich, Adrienne Spitzer, Jonathan Mann, Sarah Bowen, and David Ollie Ray
The First Year Advising Center is one department that stands out at Oakland University when it comes to the importance of health and wellness at work and at home!
Sara Webb, Director of the FYAC, says, “To be the best wecan be in all areas of our life, including work, we need to take time to focus on our overall health and well-being.  It’s important to me that I set an example of work/life balance, take time to rejuvenate, and participate in the resources OU has to offer in these areas. I’m fortunate to work with an extremely dedicated team who sees the benefits of OU’s wellness programs and are excited and willing to participate.”

Some wellness program favorites among the FYAC staff include: 30 Day Challenge, Group X Classes, The 35 Group X Challenge, and Walking Club. In addition to participating in wellness programs, members of the FYAC describe the importance of participating in health and wellness programs.  Improved mood, feeling less fatigued, lower insurance costs, being a healthy role model for their children, improved relationships with family, friends, and co-workers, and being able to be healthy while enjoying treats in moderation were just some of the things mention by the FYAC staff as to why they place a high importance on health and wellness.

Fun Facts about Members of the FYAC: Brittani Hobbs (Communications Coordinator) loves sports cars! She hopes to own a Corvette or Lexus LFA – or both! Jonathan Mann (Office Assistant) is an Adjunt Faculty of Music and Arts at MCC, in addition, he has ran a few marathons, including running 30.30 miles on his 30th birthday! Yoel Joa (Assistant Director) has been married to his wife for 7 years, and come to find out , they were both at the same New Kids on the Block concert when they were 8 years old! Anna Mrdeza (Academic Adviser) is starting a student affairs fashion blog! Amy Jacovetti (Coordinator, Orientation & New Student Programs) has competed in two full marathons, one half marathon, and a sprint triathlon! Roberta Rea (Academic Adviser) used to play Rugby for Grand Valley State University! Adrienne Spitzer (Academic Adviser) completed the 35 Group X Challenge this semester!

July 2014 Spotlight

Ashley Samson

Department: School of Nursing - Event Coordinator
Employed at OU: 8 months

Ashley first heard about wellness programs at OU when she started to receive emails and postcards telling her about available programs.  Running and yoga are some of her favorite activities, so she immediately signed up for those opportunities! Some of the programs Ashley has participated in include: Outdoor Summer Yoga and the Brooksie Way Employee Running Group.  Ashley says she loves to exercise in the morning, and participating in these programs before her workday starts, always puts a positive spin on her day.  She has more energy, focus, and doesn’t feel the effects of sitting at her desk all day.  

One of the biggest impacts wellness programs has had for Ashley can be seen in her pocketbook.  Ashley says, “If I were to calculate how much money I have spent on yoga classes, road races, and gym memberships over the last decade, I would probably be horrified.  Making these programs available to employees at no cost says a lot about the University and its’ commitment to the health of its’ employees, and it’s a real budget-save for me.”   

Fun facts: Ashley is working and training hard to build up her yoga practice in addition to running the Detroit Marathon in October!  Ashley loves trivia, especially about U.S. Presidents; as a child she remembers eating her lunch on a placemat that illustrated all (at the time) 42 Presidents.  Ashley’s goal is to visit all of the Presidential Libraries in her lifetime, especially if one ends up being located in Hawaii so she will have a nice and warm vacation to plan! 

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