In Fine Feather: Q&A with wellness coordinator

May 6, 2015

By Alena Purpero

There are many people who assist in making Whitewater’s campus as healthy of an environment as possible. I got the chance to talk to one of the many people, Wellness Coordinator Whitney Henley. I learned a lot about the time and effort she and other staff invest in UW-Whitewater. Therefore, I’m going to share with you some secrets of a wellness coordinator. From obstacles to achievements, there was a lot to take from my interview with Henley.

Royal Purple: What about promoting health in a college setting, specifically, is the most challenging?

Whitney Henley: Students have the audacity to go off and leave, such as being here for only four years and not knowing where the health center is until year three, and then they graduate. So each year we have a new class of students to work with.

RP: How does [working in community health] differ from promoting health in a college?

Henley: In a lot of ways, there are more similarities than differences between a university setting and just the general population. Here on campus, it’s kind of this captured audience…students who live on campus during the time they are students here, this is kind of their world, their environment.

RP: Are there any resources here on campus that students don’t know of or don’t take advantage of?

Henley: There are so many resources on campus, and I would include that in regards to physical health such as UHCS and Warhawk Fitness. But also some of the mental health and emotional health programs are things that can support students. So even making sure that they are using the resources for tutoring and keeping your grades in check and things like that will keep them from being stressed out. I hear from a lot of students that wish they knew of the walking trail on the north end of campus. I hear from some that they couldn’t find the salad bar in the dining halls until much later on.

RP: What is the simplest change a student can make to live a healthier life?

Henley: Getting good sleep habits, that’s going to impact your mental health, your physical health, how well you do in school.

RP: If you could change one thing about your life as a college student in terms of health, what would it be?

Henley: I would practice more stress management techniques. I would get so stressed out before final exams and before graduation. I could have done a better job of doing stress management, whether that’s yoga or scheduling blocks of time to relax and have fun.

RP: What aspects make UW-W a healthy environment?

Henley: I think that there are a lot of things, in addition to just the UW-W resources, I think the Whitewater community is really healthy. I had a lot of barriers when I was in college. I couldn’t go out at night because it wasn’t safe; it was hard to walk places because everything was really spread out. Here at Whitewater, I think it’s great because we have a park. You can easily walk downtown. We have good access to enhance our physical health.

I don’t know about you, but being on campus for me means access to many resources to maintain a healthy life, all in one community. Not only do you have workout buddies just a few doors down or just around the corner, but we have so many opportunities to do something to enhance our health. From counseling services to two gyms and many more workout outlets, we essentially have the help and sources we need to improve our health right at our fingertips.

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