Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

Working Together for Well-being. Your Student Life for the week of 2/16/20 (Undergrad)

  • Kathleen Hatch Kathleen Hatch

Ohio State can be a national leader in health and well-being for students and the community by harnessing the resources and talents on campus. That is the idea behind a recent summit meeting of leaders from Student Life and Buckeye Wellness, who gathered for a transformative discussion to brainstorm ideas and possible collaborations. Those of us who attended are in agreement that a focused and shared vision by all invested stakeholders is needed to make a true impact on students and the community.

Also joining the Health and Wellbeing Thought Leadership Summit were representatives of the American College Health Association to provide a national perspective.

Convened by the Office of Student Life, we noted the vast amount of talent at Ohio State, and based our discussion on the premise that tapping into that wide and deep potential would produce tangible progress in the area of health and wellbeing on campus. The summit focused on brainstorming ideas and possible collaborations to harness the talent at Ohio State.

The work of the summit is being encouraged by Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, APRN-CNP, University Chief Wellness Officer and Dean, College of Nursing, and Vice President for Student Life Melissa Shivers, PhD.

The group focused on a series of objectives:

•       Foster enduring relationships critical to achieving a well campus and community.

•       Gain a deeper understanding of the social determinants which impede the realization of this vision.

•       Cultivate and validate a short list of opportunities on which we can gain momentum and build toward vision.

•       Map existing global assets to leverage for incubating and implementing new ideas.

We identified a number of stakeholders, including students but also encompassing families, Pre-K through 12 institutions and employees. We brainstormed barriers and challenges to each group achieving wellbeing, as well as long-term goals to improve the wellbeing of each group.

I came away energized at the prospect of collaborating and relying on the expertise of a wide variety of people to make a significant impact on the campus and the community at large. Ultimately, the goal would be to create a culture where healthy behavior is normative, improving student success and engagement through health and wellbeing, positioning The Ohio State University as a leader in this area. This could result in longer lifespans and a generation of global citizens compelled to be intentional in their approach to wellbeing.

It is important that we promote all aspects of health and wellbeing. This is the start of a long term, visionary discussion that can result in ideas that truly make a difference.


Kathleen Hatch

Executive Director
Student Life Recreational Sports


















Dave Isaacs