The top three teams for the University of Connecticut’s first Wellness Case Competition were determined Friday, Tara Watrous, Student Engagement Specialist from Student Health, Counseling and Wellness, said. The winning order will be voted on Friday at the Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference at the Alumni House.
The top three teams, in no particular order, are: “Team Pawsitivity” led by Amy Chen, Natalie Roach and Roddy Taing; “The Sunshine Initiative” led by Mar Amador, Julianne Longman and Sarah Soucy; and “Wellness Points” led by Ajshe Zulfi, Catherine Qiu and Helen Bian.
The Wellness Case Competition is an initiative led by the Operations and Information Management Department from the UConn School of Business and Alcohol and Other Drugs from Student Health and Wellness in which students submit a plan to help improve student well-being at UConn, Watrous said. All UConn students had the opportunity to vote on the top teams.
“We charge students to continue across campus to encourage student well-being,” Watrous said. “(It is) holistic wellbeing, so everything (from) physical, mental, exercising, stress and academic success.”
“Team Pawsitivity’s” idea is traveling de-stress therapy. According to the idea they submitted, they proposed that the UConn’s Wellness’s pet therapy would move around campus periodically for people who do not have the time to walk to the Relaxation Station in Wilson Hall at South Campus.
“Everyone knows college is stressful and everyone knows dogs and meditation are awesome,” the team’s idea said. “Not everyone has the time to travel 30 minutes to (or) from the exact opposite side of campus for UConn Wellness’s super popular pet therapy and bringing the love to everyone would help reduce stress and bring up motivation, especially for the people who really need it.”
“The Sunshine Initiative” created the idea that UConn provides more outdoor space for studying.
“My idea is for UConn to provide spaces outdoors ideal for studying or recreation, whether they be picnic tables by the lakes or more benches near our greens,” the idea said. “I think this will do a great deal for student's mental health, community engagement and academic performance."
“Wellness Points” proposed that UConn creates a program called ‘wellness points’ in which students can go to events and swipe their IDs to get points which can be redeemed for prizes.
“Students can go to events and sign in (or) swipe their UConn IDs to get points for participation such as going to the gym for personal wellness, attending educational lectures or other events that bring students together,” their idea said. “By doing so they can collect points that can be redeemed for prizes that would make students want to participate.”
To get this far, the teams went through three rounds that started with approximately 100 students, Jon Moore, Operations and Information Management Department’s Innovate Coordinator said.
“We got ideas all over the board. (It was) really fascinating,” Moore said. “Some more physical, some mental and some (a) combination of both. I think there were about 100 (or 90) ideas submitted, 30 selected, 15 voted upon (and) filtering down to the best ideas that faculty and staff see and what the students see.”
On Friday, at the Annual Alcohol and Other Drug Conference, the top three teams will present their ideas throughout the afternoon to determine who wins first, second and third prize. The winning team will have the chance to work with Student Health and Wellness to make their idea a reality.
Moore said he thinks even more students will apply next year.
“It is a way to get more involved in the conversation of campus wellness,” Moore said. “What is better than a multi-level competition where they can vote and be heard?”
Students interested in the conference on Friday can register here.
Rachel Philipson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.