Wellness Champions

Click here to nominate a Wellness Champion now!

Know someone at the University of Alberta who contributes to a healthy campus community? Tell us who they are - nominate them as a Wellness Champion!

We all know people who make our campuses a better and healthier place - those who make the U of A an amazing place to learn, work, and grow - and the Healthy Campus Unit and Human Resources Services want to celebrate their contributions to the community.

A healthy university is one that aspires towards the creation of a learning environment and organizational culture which enhances the health, well-being, and sustainability of its community, and enables people to achieve their full potential. We all have a role to play in making the University of Alberta a healthier place and it's important to recognize and celebrate the great work members of our campus community do every day.


Wellness Champions 2020

Amanda Spallaci
Amanda has been a dedicated advocate for graduate student wellness. She has helped to provide spaces and support for students whom disclose experiences involving discrimination, harassment and violence on campus. She has supported creating a wellness resource section on the EFS Graduate Student Wellness Centre EFS Graduate Student Wellness Centre websitewhich includes resources for LGBTQ2S+ students and a list of mental health providers who are trained to work with LGBTQ2S+ clients. Her initiatives have further increased the level support and safety for students, faculty and staff on campus. Amanda has been described as “providing a voice for individuals” in a way that is validating and allows them to express their feelings and concerns free of judgement.
Corrine Williams
Corinne has dedicated countless hours of hard work to assisting internationalsStudents at the Augustana Campus with their transition to Canada. Her efforts contribute to students’ adjustment to a new culture and environment by providing them with resources and first-hand exploration of the community (e.g., visiting banks, going to the grocery store, and navigating the transportation system). Corinne’s compassion and care for the students she works with is evident through her work; she goes the extra mile to ensure students have advocacy for their needs while ensuring they have a supportive environment. For example, Corinne advocated for international students to, instead of traveling during the holidays, making sure they had a place to stay in Residence. She also initiatiated her own education into becoming a registered immigration consultant as a way to help increase access to information to students regarding immigration services.
Hassan Nawab
Hassan is a role model for mental health advocacy. He founded Active Minds UAlberta, a mental health awareness and advocacy student group. Active Minds UAlberta as a social movement, has set the stage for community action and has supported an environment for positive change and increased wellness throughout campus. Along those lines, Hassan has contributed to a campus culture that embodies acceptance, healthy conversation, and awareness of student mental health. He has been described by his peers as an “engine for change” and has demonstrated strong leadership in coordinating health services and campus resources. 
Mark and Hutch
Mark and his wonderful dog Hutch have been tirelessly dedicated to providing support to students at the Augustana Campus. They have created a space for rest and relaxation with Hutch in the library and are available to provide mental, social and emotional support to increase wellness on campus. Mark and Hutch have raised awareness of wellness practices and the importance of wellness, inspiring other initiatives on campus. Mark brings Hutch to campus because he sees the tremendous impact Hutch has on the wellbeing of the campus community. His nominator shares that Mark is a delight to work with, noting that Mark will always lend a listening ear to his peers and students, providing support and expertise to help out however he can.
Quinn McLellan
Quinn, a student from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry has supported wellness and wellness initiatives through his involvement in the U of A Medical Students Association. Quinn was VP Wellness, a role that allowed him to lead and advocate for increased awareness of student health and available supports. With the development of a comprehensive curriculum for suicide awarness and prevention in the MD Program, Quinn has left behind a wellness legacy that will impact students for many years. In representing the student voice with enthusiastic passion and determination, he has contributed to the increase in wellness-driven programming for the benefit of students. 
Student Financial Professional Development Working Group
The Student Financial Personal Development Working Group has supported staff team members to engage in self-care practices and personal development strategies. Implementing skills building workshops for their team has prepared them to approach and deliver financial services more effectively. This working group has had a meaningful impact on the staff and has worked to prevent staff burnout by creating environments that support and validate the emotional and mental wellness needs of team members. This group encourages positive self-efficacy practices that contribute to overall wellness, which allows for greater productivity within the team. Through their efforts to take care of one another they also help to inspire other individuals and departments to consider community wellbeing at the forefront.
The Student Calm Room
The Student Calm Room team has provided an innovative contribution to the University of Alberta campus community by curating a space designed solely for non-academic related activities. The activities run by this team encourages students to prioritize stress reduction through non-academic, personal development while on campus. In using evidence-based practices, this team has helped to reduce the stress and anxiety levels of students who access the space, while also motivating and supporting students to engage in and explore self-care practices. An example of a successful implementation of innovation, the Student Calm Room has inspired a cascade of similar projects and initiatives that encourage wellness within our campus community. 
Zuzana Buchanan and Torie Comfort

Zuzana and Torie have worked hard to create a supportive environment for international students within our campus community. Together, they organized the Wellness Week at the Student Engagement Centre through the U of A Faculty of Extension's English Language School. Zuzana and Torie’s efforts not only helped support the students but they have also helped equip staff to better identify and address signs of distress in students.

International students have additional pressure to adjusting to a new culture and environment, which can lead to increases in stress and anxiety. This particular Wellness Week program has provided a supportive environment for these students along with invaluable resources, tools and information to help ease the transition. As well, this event continues to created a positive impact on the mental health of students by providing them with education on nutrition, therapy and mindfulness.

What is a Wellness Champion?

A Wellness Champion makes the campus community a better place. Their efforts positively influence how we experience university life -- through academics, work, and play. A Wellness Champion connects people and helps build supportive environments. They may not even know they're a champion for wellness and this is your opportunity to tell them. All efforts - big and small - contribute to creating a culture of wellness and a healthy university environment at the U of A.

While wellness can be seen more obviously in the health-related initiatives across campus, it can also be found in the everyday spaces and interactions where students, staff, and faculty gather to connect, share, and learn from one another. A supportive listener, a walking group, a favour for a friend, or a team wellness initiative - these are only a few ways wellness can be created. A healthy campus is nurtured through a combination of diverse efforts to improve social, emotional, academic and other factors.


Eligibility & Application Deadline

All University of Alberta students, staff, and faculty are eligible for nomination as individuals, groups, or as a program. For more details, visit the Eligibility and Nomination Information page.

Nominations for the 2021 Wellness Champions will remain open until Friday, January 29, 2021. Nominations open November 2, 2020.

link to UAlberta's Healthy University Strategic Plan