Wellness Champions are individuals, groups, and/or departments that currently embody the Okanagan Charter through their everyday work. These stories celebrate individuals that support wellness in our learning, working, and living environment.

Do you know someone who is going above and beyond to support the wellbeing of students, staff, or faculty? Please tell us about their story.


featured wellness champion

Chronic Disease club is creating safe spaces, connections, and awareness

Chronic Disease Club logoStarting a club at the very beginnings of a global pandemic was a daunting task, but for Ashley Kruchka and Samantha Morin, it was important. As students living with chronic disease, creating the UW Chronic Disease Club was the culmination of years of advocacy for themselves and their unique journeys at the University. Morin and Kruchka wanted to create a place for other students with Chronic disease to come together in both support but also awareness raising of both the different paths students have to take, as well as the supports available. “I wanted to do something,” said Samantha. “I wanted to meet other people who were going through the same thing. I wanted to feel less alone.”

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W3+ a ‘positively charged’ space for Waterloo womxn and nonbinary folks

w3+ logoLike an atom that has lost an electron, a positively charged W3+ strives to create space for its members against the negativity of all forms of oppression.

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past wellness champions

Building support for women and non-binary students in computer science

women in computer scienceThey have been working very purposefully for over a dozen years to positively impact belonging, and ultimately the wellness, of female and non-binary Computer Science students. We interviewed Rae Samuel, the Outreach Coordinator for WiCS to learn more about the work they’re doing.

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 Promoting wellness through active living…even while remote!

Nathaneal Go Warriors GoHowever you choose to move, the most important part is that you do! We spoke with Robbyn Hesch, Donna Rheams and Adam Steeves from the Department of Athletics and Recreation about the importance of active living and the wellness initiatives they’re leading.

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The benefits of connecting with others: Belonging matters

Professor talking to a studentAn individual’s wellbeing and sense of belonging are closely related. When we talk about belonging, it is often described as feeling like an important member of a group or community. Without this feeling of belonging, individuals can start to feel socially isolated or lonely, which affects overall wellbeing.

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Teaching to make an impact

Group of friendsThe importance of health and wellness in the classroom is something Cealan Wang works hard to achieve. Wang, recipient of the Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student (2019), knows that creating a healthy and engaging learning environment goes beyond simply giving information.

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The importance of community in the workplace

Planting WorkshopWith the demands of work, creating and maintaining a resilient community within the workplace can be a challenge.

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Professor creates thriving classrooms with student-focused teaching practices

ClassroomDr. Kelly Anthony consistently receives praise from students for teaching methods.

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Engineering staff member develops yoga program for University of Waterloo staff

Yoga ClassKathy Becker, an engineering staff member, secured funding from the Staff Excellence Fund to promote wellness amongst staff through yoga program.

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Handmade with love provides gifts to graduate students taking parental leave

Knit HatsUniversity of Waterloo Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) staff knit for graduate students on parental leave to let students know they are supported beyond their academic life.

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Move your mind program breaks down barriers to physical activity

Program run by Athletics and Recreation helps students experience the physical, emotional, mental and cognitive benefits of exercise.

 

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Students create religiously relevant supports for students

University of Waterloo students' drive to find support for Muslim students leads to creation of two Muslim chaplain positions.

 

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Feeding the wellness of international students

Breakfast BuffetUniversity of Waterloo Information Systems Specialist develops breakfast club to encourage social connections.

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Moments of mindfulness during lectures

Paper with Mindfulness Calligraphy University of Waterloo lecturer incorporates mindfulness practices into class structure.

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