The expert advice to answer your most pressing questions. This issue, Amanda Robine, MS, RD, LMNT, Wellness Services and Nutrition Education Coordinator at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, shares on wellness.
As the wellness services and nutrition education coordinator, what does your role consist of?
AR: At campus recreation I am in charge of all wellness and nutrition programming. This includes running cooking classes/demonstrations, our weight management group, one-on-one nutrition consultation, and other events that focus on all elements of wellness. I assist with wellness programming on the university level, including wellness screenings, presentations, workshops and our wellness ambassador program.
What does wellness look like at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
AR: Here at the University of Nebraska, wellness focuses on seven different elements. These elements are emotional, intellectual, spiritual, environmental, social, occupational and physical wellness. We do our best to provide programming at campus recreation and throughout the university to support each different element of wellness. Often our programs touch on many of the elements at once.
What are three lessons you’ve learned over the years when it comes to implementing a successful wellness program?
AR: The first thing I have learned from implementing a wellness program is to keep updated on current research within the field of wellness, and then find a way to market the ideas and plan programs people are interested in and want to attend. For example, do my students want to receive information through flyers in their dorms or are they looking at their Instagram stories for their information?
The second lesson I have learned is having patience. About three years ago our recreation and wellness center opened up a wellness kitchen. In this kitchen we can host cooking classes, cooking demonstrations, private events and academic classes. I was so excited when the kitchen opened in July and planned what I thought were amazing classes all students, faculty and staff would want to attend. When September rolled around and our classes weren’t filling up, I was very disappointed. As I reached out to other campus recreation professionals, they told me to be patient and my audience would come. Boy, were they right! I am glad I had the patience to keep pushing forward.
The third thing I have learned is collaboration is everything. Without the collaboration of campus recreation professionals and other professionals all over campus, I would not be able to implement even half of the programs, services and events we have now.
What is one area you think the industry should concentrate on/improve in when it comes to wellness?
AR: Wellness, as an industry, can encompass so many different things. I would like to see the perception of wellness change from being seemingly all about healthy eating and exercise to really looking at the whole picture.
Any other wellness program advice?
AR: Be open to change. Wellness is ever evolving and as a wellness program, you have to be willing to adjust with the needs of your audience and the increasing research.