2013 Student Wellness Retreat
Organized and presented by the Office of Collegewide Student Services, the first SUNY Empire State College Student Wellness Retreat was a part of the college’s overall efforts to address student health and wellness.
Benita Zahn, WNYT/NewsChannel 13 anchor and health reporter, host and co-producer of “HealthLINK,” which airs Thursday nights on WMHT, provided the keynote address. Zahn discussed the roles joy and happiness play in personal well-being.
More than 225 students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests attended the event held earlier this month at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Albany. The health fair portion of the retreat held Saturday, May 18, was open to the public.
“Student feedback about the retreat has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Pat Myers, director of collegewide student services. “The experiential and education workshops combined with the health fair provided a comprehensive experience for students. Students were able to take the time to learn how to better take care of themselves and connect that with academic success. But the most powerful experience was the ability for students from across the college to connect with each other, share common experiences and create a sense of community.”
Left to right: CDL student Maureen Hunley-Barnes, her sister Pamela Dixon, Steve Van Tassell, guest of CDL student Veronica VanGordon at the Health and Wellness Fair. Hunley-Barnes and Dixon first met Van Tassell and VanGordon at the retreat and have become friends.
Center for Distance Learning student Maureen Hunley-Barnes and her sister, Pamela Dixon, both from Buffalo, met fellow CDL student Veronica VanGordon and her guest, Steve Van Tassell, who live in nearby Binghamton, for the first time at the wellness fair. The group spent much of the retreat together and have “friended” each other online, exchanged contact information and, as they are happy to say, have become good friends.
Sandra Barkevich, at left, editor of The Student Connection and current student at the Center for Distance Learning, interviews CDL student Margie De Jesus. De Jesus, a former member of the NYPD, traveled 19 hours by train from Wisconsin to attend the event.
Margie De Jesus, a former officer with the NYPD and current student at the college’s Center for Distance Learning, took a 19-hour train ride with her daughter from her current home in Wisconsin. De Jesus spoke with Sandra Barkevich, a fellow CDL student and editor of The Student Connection, for an upcoming article.
De Jesus shared that her daughter had inspired her to make the trip by expressing concerns to De Jesus about her stress and anxiety surrounding going back to college and that her mother needed to relax.
The programs and activities were designed to address the needs of adults as they manage their physical, mental and emotional health during their time at the college.
Harry Van Arsdale Jr. School for Graduate Studies students and IBEW Local 3 apprentices Volodymry Sulyk, left, and Danny Ferreyra attended the Health and Wellness Retreat.
Research has shown that adult students leave college for a variety of reasons, but one of the most significant is for personal and family health issues.
Student Wellness Retreat sessions included:
- Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others
- Managing Your Time: No Easy Task
- Moving Your Body: Making Physical Fitness a Part of Your Life
- Getting Financially Fit
- Diabetes Prevention
- Building Resiliency to Trauma: What Can You Do?
- Take a Deep Breath: Understanding and Managing Stress
- Office Ergonomics
- CPR Demonstration with AED Unit
- Financial Literacy and Identity Theft Protection
- Good Nutrition: The Basics
Niagara Frontier Center students Maria Tripi, at left, and Jamal Arabaty attended the Health and Wellness Retreat.
The health fair featured the following activities:
- nutrition awareness station: Eating for Energy
- bone density screening for osteoporosis
- skin damage screening
- paraffin hand treatment
- visual acuity screening
- caricature artist
- biometric screening