Institutional Excellence; Office of the President; Student Affairs

From the desk of the CWO: Elevating Well-Being


Anna Fitch Courie in Carillon Garden
Anna Fitch Courie '97 serves as Clemson's Chief Well-Being Officer.
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I sat down to write my June reflection heading into Memorial Day weekend. I am always humbled by those who give themselves in service to others. My husband, Treb, served for 22 years as a JAG Officer in the U.S. Army. As a military family, Memorial Day weekend is especially poignant for us. We’ve lost friends and colleagues over Treb’s 22 years of service. My son’s best friend lost his father. Service and sacrifice often go hand in hand. And as we head into June, I hope you recognize that service and sacrifice are not just a one-day-a-year remembrance, but rather something that shapes all our lives. 

You may be wondering why I share that with you this month. I share a bit of Memorial Day reflection, because this May, we launched the Well-Being Council to advance our goals to support Clemson Elevate with an understanding that staff, student, faculty and community well-being is foundational to the success of our university’s goals. The council is made up of individuals who showed up from a place of service and sacrifice of their time, expertise and passion make Clemson a better place. I want to recognize those individuals, because sometimes, raising your hand to lead change is one of the hardest things to do. 

One of the major tenets of Institutional Excellence is to access and lead change. For me, leading change means entering into sometimes difficult discussions about where we are and where we want to be as an organization. Although those conversations can be difficult, they also can be empowering, as they begin the dialogue on where we want to go. During our discussions at the first council meeting, we discussed expectations for our time together. The resulting themes included:  

  1. Individual perspectives coming together to create a strong whole. 
  1. Personal connection to our mission. 
  1. Concepts of relationship building, community and sense of belonging. 
  1. Investing NOW for the future. 
  1. Ensuring inclusion. 
  1. Thinking about how nature is a healing force. 
  1. Bring back hope and positive energy. 
  1. Innovation and creative interpretations of well-being. 
  1. Interdependence: working together for a common goal. 
  1. Strategic and multidisciplinary collaboration towards health and well-being goals. 

Clearly, this group sees the value of a whole community/whole individual approach to well-being at Clemson. They are committed to collaborating and thinking outside the box. They see the dynamic relationship between person, community, nature, and inclusion related to that sense of thriving. And they are eager. There was so much positive energy in the room. And while the conversation was largely aspirational, they know in June we’ll be getting into the sausage making of wellness to unpack the data, the landscape, the key stakeholders and understand the environment that will shape our strategic priorities. 

With all that said, I want to close with the list of folks who are currently representing our community at the table and send a huge shout of thanks out to them. One member described their feelings after our first get together as “skited,” meaning she felt both scared and excited at the same time. We were digesting a lot and recognize there is a long way to go to get to where we want. If you know any of these individuals, first give them a hug and a message of thanks for their commitment to our institution. Then, don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and dreams for making Clemson better. They will continue to represent our diverse community and help build the roadmap for the future.   

With so much gratitude and thanks,

Denise AndersonAcademic AffairsCollege of Behavioral, Social & Health Sciences Dean’s Office
Kelly BarduskStudent AffairsCampus Recreation
Amit BeinAcademic AffairsHistory & Geography
Jennifer BlydenAcademic AffairsCollege of Science
Tessa ByerAcademic AffairsUniversity Ombudsman
Shelby CarrollAcademic AffairsUniversity Libraries
Marieke ChancellorAcademic AffairsGraduate School Dean’s Office
Chris CoxStudent AffairsCampus Recreation
Holly DuncanMarketing & CommunicationsMarCom Operations
Leasa EvingerStudent AffairsResidential Living
Chris FiocchiStudent AffairsStrategic Initiatives & Assessment
Dave FrockStudent AffairsCampus Recreation
Birma GainorStudent AffairsCounseling & Psychological Services
Kara GeantasioStudentIntern
Jennifer GoreeStudent AffairsHealthy Campus
Robert HalfacreGuestCity of Clemson
Jennifer HallAcademic AffairsCollege of Education Dean’s Office
Kathy HobgoodFinance & OperationsAuxiliary Enterprises
Jennifer HollandAcademic AffairsSociology, Anthropology & Criminal Justice
Natalie HonnenAthleticsAthletic Administration
Jairad HydrickStudent AffairsOffice of Advocacy & Success
Ale KennedyFinance & OperationsOffice of Human Resources
Caitlin KickhamAcademic AffairsClemson Rural Health
Jordy KirrAthleticsAthletic Administration
Amy Lawton-RauhAcademic AffairsOffice of the Provost
Rhonda MatthewsAcademic AffairsClemson Extension: Greenwood County
Stacey MillerAcademic AffairsAnimal & Veterinary Sciences
Greg MullenFinance & OperationsPublic Safety
Winifred NewmanAcademic AffairsSchool of Architecture
Lesslie PekarekStudent AffairsStudent Health Services
Eric PernottoAcademic AffairsHonors College
Kimberly PooleStudent AffairsDean of Students Office
Philip SikesMarketing & CommunicationsStrategic Communications
George SmithStudent AffairsVice President’s Office
Melissa SmithAcademic AffairsElectrical & Computer Engineering
Timothy StanfieldCommunity, Engagement, Belonging & AccessGantt Multicultural Center
Helen SteeleAcademic AffairsWilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business
Patricia WhitenerAcademic AffairsCollege of Agriculture, Forestry & Life Sciences: 4-H Youth Development
Sue WhortonAcademic AffairsOffice of Undergraduate Studies
Nicki WiseAcademic AffairsCollege of Veterinary Medicine Dean’s Office