Campus Spotlight: Student Wellness and Health Promotion

Keeping Students Healthy

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Photo and caption courtesy of Dr. Gemma Skuraton: A picture of one of Student Wellness and Health Promotion’s graduate assistants (Keisha Lockhart) at a booth for the events Fresh Check Day that takes place in the spring.

Rebecca Munday, Managing Editor

This week’s Campus Spotlight features Student Wellness and Health Promotion (SWHP) with information provided by Dr. Gemma Skuraton, the Director of Student Wellness and Health Promotion, and Jordan Bordeaux, a Wellness Ambassador and graduate assistant for the Office of Student Wellness and Health Promotion. 

“The Office of Student Wellness & Health Promotion seeks to create an environment in which all students can thrive. We strive to foster a culture of wellness that champions an environment focused on the whole person, whole educational experience and whole institution resulting in shared responsibility for the entire campus,” Skuraton said. 

Student Wellness and Health Promotion offers programs that focus on the topics including but not limited to emotional and physical well-being, sexual/reproductive health, interpersonal violence and alcohol and other drugs. 

Photo and caption courtesy of Dr. Gemma Skuraton: The pledge to stand against sexual assault with a Dietetic Intern which students signed to practice bystander intervention, believe survivors, obtain consent to end sexual violence at GS.

“Although we work closely with the Counseling Center, we are not licensed mental health professionals. We are Certified and Trained Community Health Educators. We work on the preventive side of well-being. We provide education and skill based training that supports healthy or positive behavior change,” Skuraton said. 

According to Skuraton, students who engage in Student Wellness and Health Promotion programs, such as It’s On Us Week and wellness coaching, can learn about all different types of well-being and that knowledge helps them become better students.

The Office of Student Wellness and Health Promotion are also a clinical rotation for the Dietetic Internship program, a non-degree post-baccalaureate graduate program, which lasts 12 months and has concentrations in either community or school nutrition. 

Michelle Martin, the Associate Director of Student Wellness and Health Promotion, oversees the Wellness Ambassadors program. 

Photo and caption courtesy of Dr. Gemma Skuraton. Wellness Ambassadors handing out goodies after Beach Please Safe Spring Break event at the RAC. Giveaways included condoms, bystander intervention, crisis information and education, sunscreen and more.

“We’re a group of unified students that focus on health and wellness and advocacy,” Bordeaux said of the Wellness Ambassador program. Being a wellness ambassador not only connects students with a group of supportive individuals, but it will look great on applications, according to Bordeaux. 

Additionally, students can be a wellness champion for their individual student organizations, departments, or campus groups through the Office of Student Wellness and Health Promotion. 

According to Student Wellness and Health Promotion’s university web page, these wellness champions “integrate health and wellbeing into student organizations, respective groups and/or departments, in order to help Student Wellness & Health Promotion create an environment where all students can thrive.” 

Because of the pandemic, most operations led by Student Wellness and Health Promotion moved to virtual and online formats. 

SWHP has utilized Zoom, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to continue to interact with the student body,” Skuraton said. She says some projects such as the Peer Body Project and Wellness Coaching, are more successful now that they have moved online.

The Wellness Ambassadors are also utilizing social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but they are most active on Instagram. Since the start of the pandemic, they started hosting events on IGTV, Instagram live. They still table occasionally but instead of hand-outs, they use QR codes. 

Every semester, the Wellness Ambassadors are required to collectively come up with one original program as well as help out with one existing program. Some notable programs they are involved with this semester include It’s On Us Week, The Peer Body Project, and their virtual mental health program. 

As their original project this semester, the Wellness Ambassadors started a blog, which can be found on their Instagram and their website.

Students who want to become a wellness ambassador should go to the information page of their webpage and the application link will be at the bottom or click on the link in their Instagram bio. 

Students who would like to learn more about the Office of Student Wellness and Health Promotion should email them at [email protected], visit their website or find them on social media @gsswhp.