For the fourth consecutive year, the Office of Student Life at OSU Institute of Technology has been named a Certified Healthy Department from OSU’s Department of Wellness.
A Certified Healthy Department provides a healthy environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors, thereby supporting the culture for an overall healthier campus. Meeting most or all of the criteria to become Certified Healthy means the department provides an environment to foster healthy lifestyle choices while at work.
Kamie Rash, interim director of Student Life, said it’s always exciting to learn that the department is continuing to meet and exceed those standards.
“Being a Certified Healthy Department shows that we put health and overall wellness as a top focus,” Rash said. “As the saying goes, you’ve got to take care of yourself before you can take care of others, and we are certainly taking care of others in what we do in Student Life.”
Certified Healthy Department was created in 2011 to recognize groups at OSU Stillwater and align with Oklahoma’s Certified Healthy Program. It was expanded to the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Offices in 2014, and to the OSU/A&M system in 2015.
Rash said there’s so much more to wellness internally than what can be seen by an outside viewer, but that staff in Student Life work to provide a healthy environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors that includes prioritizing a healthy work-life balance; providing a tobacco-free environment; and keeping nutrition and hydration a priority through Fresh Fruit Fridays and filtered water stations across campus.
Through Student Life, the campus community can also take advantage of access to an active lifestyle in conjunction with the Well on Target Program through Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Rash said ultimately the campus benefits because of the relationships built between the Student Life staff.
“That relationship fosters a great sense of teamwork, and when you function as a tight-knit team, everyone benefits,” she said. “Students see and hear a clear communication of our department and what we can do for them. Faculty and staff benefit from those same opportunities, and those relationships extend outside of just our department, which makes our campus a better functioning unit overall.”
And Student Life continues working to make additions and changes in order to maintain the distinction of a Certified Healthy Department each year, Rash said.
“We will continue doing the great things we have done to foster that healthy environment but will add use of OSU support services such as Counseling Services for emotional and mental health; as well as look at the opportunity for walking meetings; and finally look to take better care of ourselves so that we may be better suited to take care of others,” she said.