Wellness isn’t a state of being as much as it is a journey, and this summer marks another important milestone in TMCC’s journey in improving the health and wellness opportunities for our students, faculty, and staff. From the new Athletics Program, increased opportunities to engage in a fitness routine (through a class or by purchasing a membership to the TMCC Fitness Center), education about making healthy food choices and opportunities to explore creativity and calm, TMCC is quickly becoming a mecca of wellness-oriented activities and practices meant to benefit everyone in our community.
The Classified Symposium—along with all the other positive developments on campus—are intended as supports to answer two important questions:
- How can a person who is fully engaged in higher education (as a student or as a professional) lead a healthy, balanced life?
- How can you take part in a wellness-oriented community without losing sight of your academic and professional goals?
Through special events, targeted support services, and unique programming, TMCC offers an array of workable solutions to those questions so that you can be healthy in mind and body.
A long-time TMCC tradition, the Classified Symposium is a week-long training for TMCC Classified staff during the summer months that follows a theme. Although this year’s event borrows many motifs from the famous film Wizard of Oz, health and wellness is another (obvious) thread that is woven into the six-day event that promises, according to the event brochure “...to explore some life-lessons that may be used daily to help us find a more meaningful connection to ourselves and others.”
Workshops that invite staff to work on improving mind and body will include a presentation by Molly Sheridan, ultra-endurance athlete, motivational speaker and author of Running Past Midnight, who will deliver a fun and uplifting presentation that offers tips and tricks for keeping up with your health and fitness. TMCC Culinary Arts Instructor Chef Craig Rodrigue will offer a seminar on adding more plant-based foods to your diet. Wellness Committee Chair Cameron Tuttle has organized a wellness-Bingo activity to inspire physical and creative activities on campus (such as walking your dog to the soccer field, for example.) Athletic Director Dr. Tina Ruff and Head Soccer Coach Nick Arbelaez will lead a session on mindful eating in addition to a daily morning walk (led by Ruff) or run (led by Arbelaez) around the TMCC par course.
Additional workshops will explore the benefits of journaling, creative activities (rock painting and knitting), yoga and how to save a life utilizing CPR techniques.
“We are working to weave wellness into everything we do,” said Ruff. “The Wellness Committee and the Fitness Center team collaborated with Cathy Brewster and the Professional Development department on this event, working to provide a variety of fitness-oriented activities, which includes a walk to get yourself up and moving first thing in the morning.”
Creating a Wellness Community
Weaving wellness into all aspects of our campus community is no small feat and has required the work of several departments and services. The Wellness Committee—chaired by Cameron Tuttle of the Counseling Center—meets frequently in the academic year to develop activities to engage students and staff in pursuit of their best well-being. Last year, wellness was featured in several student and staff events, including the Welcome Back Field day last fall, which included hula hooping, tug ‘o war, a bounce house and several interactive games like a giant Jenga and Connect-4 set. Wellness Week, held in the spring, also brought the on-campus Fitness Center, the Athletics department, the Student Government Association, and the Wellness Committee together in an event that featured a holistic—and fun—approach to health and wellness.
The result of this renewed focus on wellness for both students and staff has been encouraging. According to Ruff, memberships at the Dr. Maria C. Sheeran Fitness Center have doubled in the past year. Wellness Weeks, Employee Wellness Challenges and an increased number of Physical Education (PEX) class offerings are evidence of this new work.
“We want wellness to seep into everything we do—and we want our students and staff to be well,” said Ruff. “We want to offer services that can impact a person—whether they are a student or a staff—holistically.”
By no means exhaustive, the following represents supports that can help students and staff to stay on track with their wellness goals—whether that is a specific weight, the number of hours you are able to sleep at night, or your overall satisfaction with life.
- The TMCC Counseling Center is open Monday- Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Students can come in or make an appointment or drop-in. “The Counseling Center is also available for faculty and staff,” said Tuttle. “If you need advice on how to handle a situation, we can be a resource for you.”
- Take 5 with the TMCC Counseling Center. This weekly event is open to students, faculty, and staff who need, literally, to take five minutes out of their day to refocus themselves. The weekly event, currently offered at the Dandini and Redfield campuses, offers relaxing activities (like making a lizard lanyard, playing with play-doh) and counselors who are available to listen. Through the summer, Take 5 happens on Wednesdays 12 - 1 p.m. for summer bridge lunch. During the academic semester, the event happens on Tuesdays 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.
- Meditation or Quiet Room. If you crave quiet and solitude, we have just the spot for you. Located in the DISCO (RDMT 114), the meditation room is a place that you can reserve for yourself if you need a little time alone.
- Fitness Center. If physical fitness is a part of your wellness regimen, the TMCC Fitness Center (and new Health Sports Complex) will be just the place to you. Blast away your stress in a cardio session on the treadmill or power-lift yourself to sanity: build your heart muscle (or just build muscle) or increase your flexibility with this great on-campus resource that can help you meet your physical fitness goals.
The new Sports Complex, when it opens in January of 2020, will augment all of this, Ruff projects.
By the end of the month, student-athletes will become another part of our on-campus community, bringing many positive changes to our campus culture. “Athletics will offer a different dynamic to campus,” said Head Coach Nick Arbelaez. “Having student-athletes here will be a motivating factor to get fit and get moving.” From the colorful uniforms to the focused attention on balancing the mental demands of classes with the physical demands of training, the reminder to “get moving” will literally people the campus hallways.
Our student-athletes will arrive on campus July 28th to begin their orientation to the TMCC Code of Athletic and Academic Excellence. This two-day training will be followed by 15 days of double-day training to prepare the athletes for the kickoff event. (Be sure to follow TMCC’s social media channels for exciting updates, and be prepared to watch live streaming video of our games.)
360-degrees of Health and Wellness
No matter if you are a student or staff, TMCC has several resources on campus to keep you happy, healthy, fit and… in the best possible shape so that you can pursue your professional goals, whether that’s completing an 8–5 workday or crossing the graduation stage. Granted, we can’t guarantee your journey won’t contain its share of challenges; but we can promise that there will be support—and plenty of ways to keep yourself healthy—along the way.
For more information about the upcoming Classified Symposium, contact the Office of Professional Development at 775-674-7965.