Council hears about 'wellbeing' initiative

Members of the Professional and Scientific Council heard from Stephanie Downs at their May 8 meeting. Downs was hired as ISU's first wellness coordinator this spring and told the council she is on a "discovery tour" of the university during her first few months.

"What I'm hoping to do now is to get out and meet as many people, departments and services as I can. To really find out what you want, what you're looking for -- what is the culture, what's happing, what are some of your wants and some of your wishes," Downs said.

She plans to develop a three- to five-year plan in late July and August.

"I use 'wellbeing' instead of 'wellness,'" Downs said. "Most people end up with the jogging and broccoli concept. What I want to do is start to think about wellbeing -- as far as a well organization and engaged employees -- and move it to a bigger picture. You can program, program, program, but if your culture isn't supporting it, no one can go to your programs anyway and people can't embrace that."

Downs introduced five perspectives of wellbeing: Career, social/emotional, financial, physical and community.

"This is the framework I want to set, to have the conversations to learn more about what you want," Downs said.


Fifteen council members who won their seats in the general elections were introduced. They begin their terms in June. Council members also elected their 2014-15 officers:

  • Kate Goudy-Haht (program coordinator in human development and family studies), secretary
  • Clayton Johnson (academic adviser in the College of Design), vice president for university community relations
  • Lisa Rodgers (program coordinator in the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory), vice president for university budget and planning
  • Katie Davidson (program assistant in the College of Veterinary Medicine), vice president for equity and inclusion

Council president Steve Mayberry (environmental specialist in environmental health and safety) will hand over the gavel to Amy Tehan (program coordinator in the Ames Lab) at the June 4 meeting. Tera Lawson (program coordinator in the School of Education) will begin her term as president-elect.