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Dean Kevin Hallock, Carmen Meixell, Joyce Leonard and Travis Virgadamo learn how to cut up an onion.

Well-being Fair teaches skills, highlights Cornell resources

Working hard and being well go hand in hand, says Kevin F. Hallock, dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. To promote that idea, the college held its first Well-being Fair on Jan. 11 in the Park Atrium at the School of Hotel Administration.

The fair offered a culinary demonstration by Erin Harner and Debbie Gatch from the Cornell Wellness Program, and participants attended consultations on exercise, nutrition and financial planning, as well as seminars on office ergonomics, career development and stress reduction.

Staff gather information on Cornell benefits.

“One of my goals is to make our college a place where faculty, staff and students clamor to get here and no one wants to leave,” said Hallock. “Wellness and well-being are important for all of us – students, staff and faculty.”

The Well-being Fair highlighted some of the many resources available at Cornell to enhance physical and mental well-being; occupational and financial security; healthy cultures and environments; and positive relationships. Staff members from Cornell’s benefits, worklife, recreation and wellness offices, colleague network groups and the Cornell University Library were on hand to answer questions.

“The fair covers many different areas of wellness,” said Cynthia Saunders-Cheatham, assistant dean of career management at the SC Johnson College, who said she picked up quite a bit of information that she will share with others.

Rick Roper, training program manager for Facilities Management, representing the Veterans Colleague Network Group, was impressed with the “creative ways that units look to engage with staff” in an informal setting. “The staff are knowledgeable and the information relevant,” he said.

“It is wonderful that the college gave us this opportunity in support of wellness initiatives, and it feels good to share this experience with our co-workers,” said Kassy Crawford, SC Johnson College technology process analyst.

Rick Kuhar, human resources senior director at the SC Johnson College, said the fair was a positive way to bring together the college’s three schools – the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, the School of Hotel Administration, and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Fair participants learn the benefits of knitting.

Kuhar noted that it’s also important to expose the college’s students to the evolving trends they are likely encounter in the workplace. “Many progressive businesses have moved from stressing physical wellness to promoting other dimensions of well-being within the workplace,” he said.

The fair grew from recommendations by the college’s well-being task force to use the results of a staff survey administered in December 2017 to advance a workplace culture of well-being for the college of business.

Those recommendations included collegewide awareness and clear communication from leadership of the importance of well-being; building-specific activities to make programming accessible to all college staff, regardless of their work location, job type and physical abilities; and the accountability of both staff and supervisors in promoting and advancing well-being.

The task force also recommended an opt-in e-campaign; the expansion of orientation, leadership and management training to include well-being; and the inclusion of well-being as a topic of discussion for performance dialogues and development plans. The task force organized the Well-being Fair to officially kick off this collegewide well-being initiative.


Media Contact

Gillian Smith