UNC’s Wellness Champions program joins with the Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Culture of Health to foster a greater culture of well-being throughout Gillings and Carolina. The Gillings Culture of Health, formally established in 2015 by Dean Rimer and Penny Slade-Sawyer, former senior consultant at our North Carolina Institute for Public Health, encourages all Gillings students, faculty, and staff to engage in activities and take advantage of resources that support the overall well-being of the entire Gillings community.

Our staff Wellness Co-Champions are supported by a team, open to students, faculty, and staff from across Gillings to conduct a variety of wellness programs and activities that meet the needs of faculty, staff and students.

Read OHR’s Shout Out to Rhoda and former co-champion Deshana.

Want to join our committee? Contact cultureofhealth@unc.edu


Wellness Champions Committee Members

Rhoda Cerny

Rhoda Cerny
Co-Champion Wellness Champions
Environmental Sciences & Engineering, Culture of Health

Wellness Tip
Creating a refuge at home by de-cluttering, and combining plants, other elements of nature, and things that inspire us, can mean all the difference to our mental health and well-being.

Favorite Wellness Quotes
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

“A joyful life is an individual creation that cannot be copied from a recipe.”
― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What I’m Reading or Listening To:
“SoulSpace, Transform your Home, Transform your Life – Creating a Home that is Free of clutter, Full of Beauty and Designed by You” (by Xorin Balbes)

“Art &Fear:Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking” (Bayles and Orlond)

Best kept secrets of the Greek Islands (Diana Farr Louis)

“Chocolat” (Joanne Harris)


Melissa Walter, MPH, RDN, LDN
Co-Champion Wellness Champions
Nutrition

Melissa Walter
Co-Champion Wellness Champions
Nutrition

Wellness Tip
Breathe. It is the cheapest and easiest thing we can do to improve our health and wellbeing! Set timers throughout the day reminding you to stop and take a few deep breaths, and see if you notice the improvement in your focus, sense of calm, digestion, aches and pains, etc.

Favorite Wellness Quote
“A house is a home when it comforts the soul.”
― Phillip Moffitt

What I’m Reading or Listening To:
“Principles of Bonsai Design (DeGroot)
Wine and War (Kladstrup)
NPR Life Kit (podcast)
Buddhist Bootcamp (podcast)


Kira Jones

Kira Jones
Environmental Sciences & Engineering

Wellness Tip
Setting what sometimes seem like “pathetic goals,” like walking 15 minutes just one day a week, can be a tool to help you get over the first hurdle of where to start with getting into exercise.

Favorite Wellness Quote
““Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone”

What I’m Reading or Listening To:
Bright-sided, by Barbara Ehrenreich
The Book of Joy, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Carlton Abrams
The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown


Maija Leff

Maija Leff

Maija Leff
Health Behavior


Julie McManus

Julie McManus
Facilities

Wellness Tip
Getting locally grown produce delivered every week has motivated me (most of the time) to eat more vegetables and cook more often.

Favorite Wellness Quote
“Self-love is the best medicine.”
― Unknown

What I’m Reading or Listening To: