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Inaugural Campus Wellness Award Recipients

The Campus Wellness Awards were created to provide opportunities for departments to develop health and wellness related initiatives in partnership with Be Well.  The initiatives must align with one or more of the Be Well focus areas: Move More, Eat Better, and Cut out Tobacco.  Sustainable projects and departments which include matching funds in their proposed projects are highly encouraged. Award recipients will work with Be Well staff to implement the proposed projects, as we strive to make the University of Tennessee a healthier place.

Be Well, the Wellness Advisory Committee, and the Center for Health Education and Wellness are excited to announce the recipients of the inaugural Campus Wellness Awards. Many great proposals were submitted and reviewed by the committee. The five proposals selected included sustainable initiatives and showed high levels of commitment for a healthier campus from the departments. The selected proposals represented the following departments: Center for Career Development, Child and Family Studies Department, Early Learning Center, Nutrition Department, and the Student Health Center. Overall, the combined investment to improve the health and wellness of our campus through this initiatives by Be Well and the partnering departments has reached nearly $14,000.

Be Well and the Wellness Advisory Committee are excited to support your wellness efforts on campus.


We are MissionFit! The career center staff is excited to make healthier choices and to get moving! We chose to focus on the areas of movement and nutrition for our primary targets. We are invested in the Be Well initiatives and our hope is to create a group of wellness warriors.  Our first focus is to fuel our bodies with good nutrition and we are planning to bring in a nutrition expert to lead our staff in preparing healthy meals and on the go options. Our second focus will be to get fit and we plan on participating in a 5k together as a team. We will also break down the 12 weeks of our challenge and give the staff one “wellness” challenge a week to use as a goal.  We are excited to see our staff work together to become MissionFit!


CHILD AND FAMILY STUDIES • Sally Hunter • Megan Dempsey

Following the announcement of the Campus Wellness Award, our department formed a wellness team and designed a three-part wellness plan. The plan begins with a fun kick-off month, then we work to add health and wellness best practices into daily lives, followed by setting long-term health and wellness goals. During the kick-off month, we will have “Meal Plan Mondays” (with healthy snacks available in the department’s main office for CFS faculty, staff, and graduate students, as well as handouts and social media posts about healthy meal preparation); “Wellness Wednesdays” (with a relaxing tea bar in the main office, and handouts/ social media posts about stress relief); and “Fitness Fridays” (with a “hydration station” of fruit-infused waters in the main office, and fitness classes–open to the community–offered in our building). CFS faculty, staff, and graduate students will track their progress in each of the three areas, and there will be prizes for those who participate the most during the kick-off month. After the initial month, we hope to keep a focus on wellness in the department by keeping visual reminders around the building (like colorful footprints taped to the floor in our building, showing us a 1-minute walking trail, a 3-minute walking trail, and a 5-minute walking trail) and by posting regularly on social media about healthy foods, stress relief, and fitness.



The Early Learning Center (ELC) has made it a priority to provide opportunities for staff to pursue wellness during the work day. This will begin by forming wellness groups that are divided according interest areas. Each group will have a leader who will be check in with the group members as they set their individual goals, provide encouragement, and track progress. Additionally, the ELC will provide 2 bicycles for staff to use as an alternative commute option between the two ELC office locations.  Walking routes will also be provided for staff to use for walking meetings. Additional resources will be given to the staff to assist them in making their journey to a healthier lifestyle a success.


NUTRITION DEPARTMENT • Elizabeth Anderson Steeves • Jay Whelan

The USDA defines a food desert as an area void of fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthful whole foods, often due to lack of healthy food providers. The Jessie Harris Building is a food desert. Not only is it lacking fresh, healthier food and beverage items, it has no foods or beverages available to purchase at all.  We are working to address this issue by bringing a healthier food environment to the faculty, staff, and students who work and learn in Jessie Harris by converting a 330 square foot room into the “Be Well Oasis”. The funding provided by the Be Well awards program will be combined with funding provided by Departmental and College-level sources to acquire healthy snack and beverage vending machines, a water fountain / water bottle filling station, table, chairs, and wall mounted display racks for health education materials. This space would provide faculty, staff and students in the Jessie Harris Building with an inviting, health-promoting space that makes the goal of ‘eating better’ an easy choice.


STUDENT HEALTH CENTER •  Janie Chambers • Darrell Brackett

At the UT Student Health Center, we are about more than just helping our students when they are sick.  We believe a healthy lifestyle leads to a healthy body and mind, and take every chance we get to promote healthy lifestyle habits.  One of the foundations of healthy living is staying well hydrated with fresh, clean water.  We plan to use our award funding to assist with the purchase of a filtered water fountain that is designed to fill water bottles for our students and staff.  This fountain will be centrally located close to our main waiting room and will be available to anyone.  We encourage all students to carry a water bottle, drink regularly to stay well hydrated, and use our fountain whenever you are in our building.