Donation to fund Integrative Wellness Center
William and Mary received a gift to support the health and well being of students across campus with a $1.5 million commitment for the new Integrative Wellness Center that will put several student health care services under one roof.
Alumni Bee McLeod and Goody Tyler — the benefactors of the gift — have been longtime supporters of the university and believe that efforts underway to improve wellness on campus are essential, university officials said.
The gift provides funding for the construction and interior space of the center, as well as critical support for new programs. The center is expected to open in fall 2017, university officials said Tuesday.
In addition to counseling services and traditional medicines, the new center will include treatments such as massage, acupuncture, biofeedback, neurofeedback, multiple forms of yoga, meditation and expressive therapies.
"The health and safety of students are top priorities for the university — and for us — and we hope that our gift can help make the center one of the best wellness facilities in the nation," said McLeod. "We fully support plans to house all important aspects of health promotion and treatment under one roof and our investments in this area show our commitment to helping make this a reality."
School leads in study abroad numbers
For the third year in a row, William and Mary has the highest percentage of undergraduates studying abroad compared to any other public university nationwide, according to a report released Monday by the Institute of International Education.
In the 2013-2014 academic year, by IIE criteria, 709 William and Mary undergraduate students (46.1 percent) had studied abroad, up from 674 (or 45.8 percent) in the previous year.
The university is a leader in global education even when compared with private universities, ranking 18th in the report's list of top 40 doctorate-granting institutions, both public and private, moving up from 20th in 2012-2013, university officials said. The only other Commonwealth school listed in the top 40 of doctorate institutions was the University of Virginia, coming in at 31st this year with 38.4 percent.
"Everyone at William and Mary should be tremendously proud of our continuing number one ranking for study abroad participation among public universities," said Stephen E. Hanson, vice provost for international affairs and director of the Reves Center for International Studies.
Bone marrow drive returns
The William and Mary Sadler Center will host the 25th annual Bukzin Bone Marrow Drive on Wednesday in Tidewater rooms A and B, university officials said Monday.
It is one of the most successful outreach programs in the country, university officials said. The university's involvement in seeking bone-marrow donors began in 1991 as a way to find a potential match for a professor on campus. It intensified when 1994 graduate Jay Bukzin began searching for a match for his brother, Alan, university officials said.
Since then, William and Mary's bone-marrow program has been a model for colleges and universities across the nation, according to the university.
In 2011, William and Mary was presented with the National Marrow Donor Program Collegiate Award – the only school to be honored. Last year, Tribe football kicker John Carpenter was found to be a match and missed a couple of games in order to have his marrow harvested.
Project helps students find places to reflect, decompress
A project at William & Mary is hoping to help students find peaceful places on campus and in the Williamsburg community as part of their health care treatment plans.
Established this summer in Dorothy Ibes' Parks Research Lab, the Greater Williamsburg Area Park Prescriptions Program, provides local health care providers with the tools and training to prescribe their patients time in local parks to promote physical and mental health.
The Williamsburg project is part of an international Parks Rx movement and was funded with a grant from the Committee on Sustainability, with additional support from the Environmental Science & Policy program, Charles Center and Center for Geospatial Analysis, university officials said.
"We have visited and thoroughly surveyed over 40 parks within a 20-mile radius of the College for possible activities, amenities, environment, trails and accessibility," said Ibes, a lecturer in the Environmental Science & Policy Program and the Center for Geospatial Analysis. "Every aspect of this project, from the search tool design to the park variables surveyed, is rooted in decades of scientific research on the relationship between parks and health, and proven methods for promoting healthy behaviors."
Park Rx is designed to facilitate what the Parks Lab coins the "Mental Health Trifecta" – greenspace, physical activity and socialization – to amplify the benefits of getting outside, said Ibes.
"Spending even five to 10 minutes in an outdoor greenspace – for example the sundial, Sunken Garden or terrace – has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety and attention disorders while enhancing concentration, mood and overall well-being," said Ibes.
"My hope is that the Park Rx program, either directly or indirectly, will encourage patients and the broader community to spend just a little more time outdoors and less time in front of screens."
Compiled by Education Reporter Michele Canty, who can be reached at (757) 345-2341.