Kerri Scott, a graduate of UVU’s public health degree, became the new director of Wellness Programs this semester. Having come to UVU as a nontraditional student with a passion for public health, Scott shared that the wellness programs offered on campus were life-changing for her.
“As a student, I did attend [a wellness program] … [and] went through the coaching program with an intern, and I loved it. It really changed the way I felt about my ability to be able to accept my body and then put more focus on making healthy choices rather than putting all the weight on how I looked or trying to weigh a certain amount,” Scott explained. “So that was pretty life-changing for me.”
Scott further explained that having experienced wellness programs firsthand, she decided to intern part-time as a Wellness Specialist following her graduation. Eventually, the Programs Manager position opened up, and Scott worked in that capacity for four-and-a-half years before becoming the Programs Director this semester.
“I didn’t know exactly where I wanted to work, but it has been interesting for me to see [my journey] … come full circle,” Scott shared. “It was really fun to be able to stay at the same school that I had graduated from, and be able to work with students, and … [be able] to start offering wellness coaching, too. So it was interesting to see that come full circle: from me starting off being a student receiving coaching, to now being able to provide that coaching service and help students.”
When asked about plans for the future of Wellness Programs, Scott hinted that an expanded “nap room” may be coming to campus in the future. “There seems to be this need for students to have a place to take a nap,” Scott shared. “So that is something that I really want to be able to bring to our department: to have a space on campus that has a nap station…”
Scott also mentioned that the Utah County Health Department provided a financial grant to UVU’s Wellness Programs “that is based on marijuana, vaping, and substance abuse prevention on campus.” Scott explained that as a result of this grant, UVU Wellness Programs is planning on “purchasing addiction recovery mindfulness workbooks that are geared towards addiction recovery and offering those to students who need them.”
When asked about any advice she had for students, Scott stated that she wished more students knew about the wellness services available on campus. Scott also mentioned that the same problem was present when she was a student at UVU: “I wish I would have known more about the programs,” she explained.
Despite this, however, Scott was also optimistic about the recent developments in Wellness Programs attendance. “Our numbers have risen so high,” Scott enthused. “With our massage chairs and our stress reduction room,… we have seen a big rise in how many students are actually coming into our office every day. So that’s great, more than I have seen in my entire time being here,” she stated.
Scott recommended that in keeping with this growth, more students should sign up for the coaching programs available on campus, as well as other available wellness programs.