KSAS puts wellness to work

With the new academic year underway, more than 200 KSAS staff, faculty, and student employees come together to explore tools for wellness

On Sept. 26, the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences' Human Resources team kicked off its Put Wellness to Work, KSAS! series in Homewood's Levering Hall.

"It was like walking into a garden," one attendee commented as more than 200 KSAS employees strolled in and out of the Glass Pavilion. Images of flowers surrounded their feet, and plants were everywhere—including the ones attendees planted themselves. The KSAS HR team "seemed to have thought of everything," said another attendee.

Employees could jump on a stationary bike to blend their own smoothies, pot a plant to enhance their workspace, have a physical therapist work out body kinks, learn about the benefits of acupuncture, experience an ergonomic assessment with Hopkins' Safety Environment team, chat with Benefits & Worklife representatives, check out offerings available at Homewood's Ralph S. O'Connor Recreation Center, and enjoy a Mediterranean salad and superfood bowl bar.

"The goal of the event was to offer KSAS employees tools for wellness by bringing together local vendors and internal resources to highlight opportunities our employees may not be aware of and to encourage folks to keep wellness front of mind," said Julie Kuhn Sanchez, KSAS' inaugural employee experience specialist. "The Team Building Fund could not have come at a better time," she said, referring to the university's initiative designed to encourage in-person interaction. "It allowed us to go big."

Added Janna Chavis, director of the KSAS HR team, "KSAS leadership and the HR team have listened to our employees and understand that to meet our strategic goals and better support our employees, we must increase our efforts to offer our staff, faculty, and student employees opportunities to integrate wellness into their everyday lives. We are working on doing this by creating new initiatives, reemphasizing current university benefits and resources, and maintaining partnerships throughout the university."

Chris Celenza, dean of Arts and Sciences, later summed up the experience, saying, "I was delighted to see Krieger staff and faculty together, getting to know each other and thinking about their personal wellness. I hope this will have been the first among many such welcome occasions."