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Center for Wellness Education and Research: Promoting Wellness with a Touch of Humor

Joe Brown
Editor in Chief

For a campus community that is so aware of wellness, the newly formed Center for Wellness Education and Research provides exactly what they need.

“The Center for Wellness Education and Research is something that will serve the entire college community. What we do is create wellness systems,” Dr. Richard Wood said. “We would like to be viewed by the public as the preeminent source for individualized, practical wellness information.”

Wood is serving as the first-ever director of the center after being appointed the position at the beginning of the semester. The center’s focus is twofold. They are working with the community to research the topics that people are interested in, and also promoting wellness-related research by sponsoring Springfield College students who want to present their scholarly work at outside conventions.

“We’re not going to go out into the community and start telling people, ‘Here’s what you need,’” Wood said. “We’re going out and asking, ‘What do you need?’”

With the increased level of lifestyle-related diseases that are prevalent in the United States today, there are a lot of preventable conditions that are affecting the way people live. Wood and the rest of the center are a source to address those problems and questions of how to live better.

“What we can offer to the world are practical, individualized solutions,” Wood said. “We’re bridging that gap between the information and making it work for the person.”

In essence, the center is not simply a raw, research-centered group. Instead, they are a people-oriented group. The center’s goal is to increase practical research that can make an immediate impact in people’s lives, and then present that information in a manner that makes sense to everyone.

The biggest challenge for Wood as director of the center, along with Assistant Director, Dr. Sara Gregory, is to gain more exposure. Wood believes that the center can eventually have an impact not just within the college and surrounding community, but the broader region and beyond.

Part of gaining increased exposure goes along with the center’s goal of making trips to scholarly conventions possible for Springfield College students. The center helps with the financial burden of attending conventions by sponsoring students with wellness-related work, and the center promotes students’ growth while also increasing wellness research.

“There are not a lot of undergraduate students who are out there presenting scholarly work,” Wood said. “It sets them apart in a job search.”

To further gain exposure, the center will be hosting the event “Diet, Health and the Wisdom of Crowds” on December 12 at 7 p.m. in the Dodge Ballroom. Writer/director of Fat Head and stand-up comedian Tom Naughton will be discussing the importance of crowdsourcing as a source of viable wellness information, which aligns with the center’s mission.

“He focuses on technology, social media and how that affects health care,” Wood said. “Now if that’s not enough, Tom is also a touring stand-up comedian, so he’s really funny. If nothing else, you will be entertained.”

Springfield College students tend to be very conscious of their wellness. Add in a touch of humor, and the event provides something that will be hard to find elsewhere. Be sure to check out the Center for Wellness Education and Research’s event next week for a highly entertaining event. Chances are, you might just learn something new in the process.

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