September/October 2023 Well-Being Newsletter

Greetings St. Olaf Staff and Faculty,

As we begin another academic year, the Staff and Faculty Well-Being Committee invites you to check out the Well-Being Website to learn more about the Well-Being Mission and Pillars of Well-Being. This year our bi-monthly newsletter will be included in “This Week,” the weekly campuswide newsletter for all St. Olaf employees. The newsletters will also be housed on our website. In the newsletter you will find monthly awareness information, seminars/webinar opportunities, resources on campus, and other events that will support your holistic, healthy self. It is our hope that there will be something of value to you throughout the year.

Who We Are…

  • Natalie Berg-Wall, Library
  • Marina Edlund, Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment; Equity and Inclusion
  • Michelle Fredrickson, Oslo International Summer School
  • Cindy Herda, Health Services
  • Kristin Kivell, College Ministry – chair
  • Jessica Smisek, Human Resources – ex-officio
  • Judy Tegtmeyer, Recreation

Want to Join Us? We are looking for 2-3 more Staff or Faculty employees to join our committee and be a voice for the greater community. We meet once a month. Contact committee chair Kristin Kivell if you are interested or would like more information.

2022–23 Recap

  • November Gratitude Challenge
  • Highlighted on-campus and HR benefit resources: Happy Lites, STORP, Natural Lands, TIAA, Learn 2 Live, and more!
  • January BINGO + prizes
  • Staff and Faculty Lunch Talk on Resilience
  • Spring Flower Walks – hosted by Natural Lands staff
  • Provided resources for topics related to the six Well-Being Pillars


Back to school is a great time to dedicate time to ensuring your retirement plan is optimal.  TIAA can help you understand areas of improvement and easy actions to take to achieve peace of mind. Attached is the September Live Webinar flyer with a live link to register for one or all of the webinars. You can also visit for future opportunities.

Faculty/Staff Carpooling

The Environmental Sustainability Committee, Human Resources, and the Parking Office have designated select priority carpool parking spots in faculty/staff parking lots. Priority carpool parking spots are designated for faculty/staff members participating in a registered carpool. Faculty/staff must register their carpool to participate.
In addition to financial and environmental benefits, there are so many wellness benefits to carpooling. It can help:

  • Improve mental health! Carpooling is a great way to lower stress, whether by talking through a difficult day or sharing the challenges of winter commuting!
  • Make connections with colleagues! This is a great way to get to know staff and faculty who aren’t in your office or department, especially coming out of the pandemic, when opportunities for socializing have diminished.

Save the Date

October 4 and 5 — St. Olaf Campus Vaccine Clinic. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.

Mental Health Resources

September-Suicide Awareness/October-Depression Awareness
We have gathered some resources for you to assist a family member, friend, student, or yourself during a time of depression or crisis situation.

St. Olaf Counseling Center Director Jenna Wieden has provided the following links and a PDF that she has created to use personally or support someone else.

Laura Turek, MPH, is a new staff member in the St. Olaf Wellness Center . Laura will support the implementation of a SAMHSA Mental Health Awareness and Training grant for the next three years. The Mental Health Peer Educator Team (all of whom are certified in Mental Health First Aid) is newly formed and will be offering presentations and peer support opportunities for students on campus this year.

  • If you feel like a student would benefit from Peer Support, you can direct them to the Wellness Center.
  • If you are concerned about a student, please use your campus-wide resources found here on the Get Help page of the St. Olaf website (which includes crisis, early intervention, and mental health management resources that are available).
  • If you have a group of faculty, staff, or students who are interested in a Mental Health First Aid training, reach out to Laura.
  • Have ideas about how to integrate mental health awareness or training into your area of campus? Please reach out to create new opportunities around this topic!