Stevens Institute of Technology held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new Student Wellness Center March 11.
[Photo above (l-r): Katelyn Delano, staff therapist; Eric Rose, director of student counseling; Diane Sosa, staff therapist; Marguerite Cunning, director of health services; Ying Xiong, staff psychologist; Gabrielle Guider, health educator and case manager; Miria Giannini, administrative assistant; Vanessa Benitez, medical administrative assistant; Phillip Gehman, director of disability services; Alyssa Lugtu, nurse and Melissa Zarin, assistant director of counseling]
The 7,200 square-foot facility places the university’s student health services, counseling and psychological services and disability services in one area for the first time in modern Stevens history.
In her remarks, Marybeth Murphy, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs, explained that placing all three support services in one location was the culmination of a years-long effort to create a truly student-centric facility.
“We want students to walk into this beautiful, state of the art building knowing that there will be privacy and that they can receive holistic and integrated wellness support and guidance all in one place. “
Promoting student health and wellness under one roof
The new center is housed in the renovated Pond House, a two-story brick building named in honor of Francis Jones Pond, a notable chemistry professor who taught at Stevens in the early 20th century.
The new center creates a one-stop wellness center for students, providing health services on the first floor; counseling and psychological services (CAPS) and disability support services on the second floor; and wellness education programs and services in the lower level.
The building was modernized to meet current accessibility standards and features a ramp and elevator. In addition, the new space addresses a critical need by the Office of Disability Services to provide a space for proctoring exams for students who need testing accommodations.
“Our ability to proctor exams for students has been vastly improved. The disability services area includes a dedicated space with divided consoles so that students who need testing accommodations can take exams right in the wellness center,” explained Sara Klein, assistant vice president for student affairs.
One of the most significant enhancements is having a dedicated space in which to provide wellness education workshops and training sessions, said Klein.
“Besides having a truly modern, updated facility, the newest addition to our wellness offerings in the center is the ability to accommodate a wellness educator, who was hired in November, and a dedicated space where we can offer wellness education and health promotion. That’s something we haven’t had the ability to offer in our prior locations,” she said.
“We’re looking to develop programming to help our students improve their health and well-being,” adds Dean of Students Ken Nilsen. “Programs and workshops will range from sleep and nutrition to mindfulness and stress reduction, and we’ll be able to accommodate programs hosted by student organizations and resident advisors.”
Lucas Gallo, who served as president of the Student Government Association in 2018, described the new wellness center as an important step toward putting student health and wellness at the forefront of Stevens’ progress as a premier, student-centric university.
“I have worked with both students and administrators who are intimately involved with the services in the health center and they have all expressed the great need for new facilities especially as the student population continues to grow. These services are an essential part of student success at Stevens, so I am excited to have access to these new facilities.”
To learn more about health and wellness programs at Stevens, visit our Health & Wellness site.