Yale College Voices Episode 07, Season 01 Transcription

Wellness Pathways Explored: Navigating Life and Health at Yale College – A Conversation with Corinne Coia and Vanessa Blas 

00:00:00:03 - 00:00:42:06 

Darice 

Welcome, everyone, to our latest episode of College Voices. Here today, I have Corinne Coia, who's the director of Yale College Wellness Programs and Vanessa Blas. Her pronouns are she/her/ella. Vanessa is a Woodbridge fellow for the Good Life Center. So welcome today! Thank you for coming. I'm so happy to have you here. I'm just going to read your bios and then we'll just get right to our conversation. 

 

00:00:43:06 - 00:01:19:22 

Darice 

Corinne Coia is the director of Yale College Wellness Programs. Corinne provides oversight and leadership for the Good Life Center and the Yale College Community Care Program. She loves working with students through a holistic lens to help support them through their unique life challenges. She has experience working with members of the LGBTQ+ community and has extensive experience working with topics such as stress management, mindfulness, sleep, body image, and athletic specific issues. 

 

00:01:19:25 - 00:01:41:07 

Darice 

Corinne earned her master's in social work and a bachelor's in kinesiology from the University of New Hampshire, where she was a member and captain of the women's basketball team. Corinne currently resides in New Haven with her wife (Elizabeth), their daughter, and two dogs. Corinne enjoys hiking, home renovations, painting, and photography. I can't wait to talk to you about that. 

 

00:01:42:10 - 00:02:28:15 

Darice 

Vanessa Blas is the Woodbridge Fellow for the Good Life Center. During the current academic year, 2023-2024. Vanessa graduated from Yale College in 2022, congratulations! With a bachelor's in anthropology and recently received a master's in public health at the Yale School of Public Health. Her work as a student focused on advancing health equity in various communities, particularly in the areas of mental health among adolescents in American Samoa and black maternal health in Waterbury, Connecticut. 

 

00:02:28:17 - 00:02:42:05 

Darice 

She is also passionate about promoting wellness on campus through community building and strengthening, as she was a chief aid and graduate affiliate for her undergraduate residential college, Timothy Dwight. 

 

00:02:42:08 - 00:03:13:15 

Darice 

Vanessa also enjoys cooking, running around New Haven, reading new books, binge watching countless sitcoms, spending time with her family, and their new dog, Freya. So welcome to you both. Thank you both for coming here today. So, as you know, I just love to get to know staff. It's so funny that you've been with Yale college for quite some time, but we haven't crossed paths ever. 

 

00:03:14:19 - 00:03:43:15 

Darice 

I always bring that up in the podcast because as you know, our recent staff meeting in September, we talked about our DIB survey that we ran earlier this year. Some of the comments from the survey were really interesting. Like a lot of folks expressed feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially during the pandemic. 

 

00:03:44:17 - 00:04:09:00 

Darice 

Now that we have lots of staff who are fully remote or hybrid, it's really difficult to try to connect. You have to really make an effort now to connect with folks, whereas before we'd see each other on campus, lots of meetings in person, in the elevator, or the break room, that kind of thing. 

 

00:04:10:02 - 00:04:27:20 

Darice 

You know, now we just don't get to see each other as often. So it's really hard to get to know new staff, especially for folks who have been here for a while. You just you can't see people anymore except for Zoom. It's I don't know, for me, it's not the same. Right? 

 

00:04:28:23 - 00:04:42:10 

Darice 

Yeah, I'd love just to start off, if you could tell me a little bit about what brought you to Yale and your current roles? Anything else you'd like to share about your background, so we could start off with Corinne? 

 

00:04:43:25 - 00:05:03:24 

Corinne 

Thanks so much for having us too. I guess my path to Yale has been a little bit longer. I'm so excited to be here. I absolutely love, living in Connecticut in this area. I can't say I thought I would be living in Connecticut when I was younger. It's always been the state over from Rhode Island, which is where I'm from, but really was always just kind of like a drive through. 

 

00:05:04:26 - 00:05:22:08 

Corinne 

I actually did play in college, I played basketball and we did play at Yale and I had no recollection of it. Over the pandemic when I was hired, you wouldn't come on campus for an interview and I didn't realize it was in a city. When I showed up on my first day, I was like, oh, wow, I got myself into a city. 

 

00:05:23:08 - 00:05:40:25 

Corinne 

As someone who does not love the city, but I love New Haven, it’s been wonderful. I guess my path has been a little bit longer. I always tell the story to students who I'm working with that you can go into college, think you're going to do one thing, and then you end up doing something completely different. 

 

00:05:41:25 - 00:05:58:16 

Corinne 

When I entered college, I thought I wanted to be a math professor. I went in with a math major, I also was playing basketball at the time playing Division 1 athletics is really intense. I remember being in classes being like, I don't know if this is what I want to do. 

 

00:05:59:17 - 00:06:20:12 

Corinne 

I remember sitting in my first year and being like this doesn't really seem to be doing it for me. I ended up transferring to University of New Hampshire and when I transferred, math wasn't really an option thank God. I went and did kinesiology because I had thought, okay, maybe I actually want to coach, I want to play professionally. 

 

00:06:21:12 - 00:06:28:26 

Corinne 

This feels interesting to do something with sports. Then I think through a lot of other circumstances, I started getting more interested in just mental health in general. As a college athlete, I had lots of injuries. I had probably like four knee surgeries and back surgery during my time. What happens when you play college athletics is that your coach can ask you back. 

 

00:06:29:03 - 00:07:03:21 

Corinne 

It's called a redshirt year. You get extra years of eligibility. In my circumstance had six years of eligibility, which was rare at the time. Now, with the pandemic, it's actually pretty common. You have to go through extra, like the NCAA has to say it's okay. I had all these extra years. I was like, what do I do now? 

 

00:07:04:22 - 00:07:24:14 

Corinne 

I feel like I should get my masters, but I have no idea what I want to do. Again, I tell people this as I giggle but the MSW, which is master's in social work. I don't have to take the GRE; I don't like taking tests. I think maybe this would help me coach. I got into the MSW program there while I was playing, which is a lot. 

 

00:07:25:16 - 00:07:28:06 

Corinne 

I remember my first class, I was like wait, I could do like mental health work. This is pretty cool. 

 

00:07:29:01 - 00:07:46:00 

Corinne 

At the time, I was really kind of seeing a lot of my teammates. I was a captain at this point, seeing them struggle. I spent a lot of time in the training room, which is where you like rehab all your injuries. I was like, wait, does everyone realize how bad mental health can be for student athletes? Like really seeing people struggling? 

 

00:07:47:00 - 00:08:07:05 

Corinne 

I was like, who's kind of dealing with all of this? It was just circumstances of being in the MSW program, doing clinical placements. I made all of mine, so they were about athletics. I can talk more about that if you want. That's totally how I got into this and really loved it. 

 

00:08:08:06 - 00:08:14:19 

Corinne 

I think I got into math because it was very like, okay, this happens and that happens. When you think about mental health, it's not like that. 

 

00:08:15:21 - 00:08:17:00 

Darice 

There’s no equation, right? 

 

00:08:18:02 - 00:08:36:02 

Corinne 

Totally, it’s not like, okay, if we do this, then this happens. I like helping people. I liked being involved. That's ultimately like how I got into this and haven’t really looked back. I've been in the mental health field for quite some time now doing various things, but I'm really happy that all of that stuff happened. 

 

00:08:37:02 - 00:08:41:03 

Corinne 

I say to students, just figure it out, right? Try some stuff out. You'll land where you need to be. I landed where I needed to be. 

 

00:08:42:07 - 00:08:44:15 

Darice 

Oh, that's awesome. Thank you for sharing that.  

 

 

00:08:31:25 - 00:09:01:06 

Vanessa 

I feel like my journey to Yale started as a student. Prior to that, I was born and raised in New Jersey until about 13. My family then relocated to Connecticut. I also did not envision me in Connecticut. 

 

 

00:09:02:08 - 00:09:26:00 

Vanessa 

Then it happened. Yale was not on my radar at all until like a friend said we should tour the school. It was my junior year of high school, and I was like, no way. Then I saw the campus and I fell in love. The moment, I still have it in my camera, the first picture I took of Beinecke Plaza, the library and I said I want to be here. 

 

00:09:09:02 - 00:09:40:17 

Vanessa 

Then I applied and then I got in-it was a no brainer. It was close to family my parents were related to. They liked that to hear that. It felt natural to be here. I was so excited, but the adjustment was quite tough. 

 

00:09:41:17 - 00:9:55:16 

Vanessa 

My first year of college brought to light like the importance of like wellness and mental health. I think it's also somewhat full circle that the launching of the Good Life Center happened the first year I started college as well.  

 

00:9:55:08 - 00:10:15:29 

Vanessa 

I was in TG, which is like right across from Silliman. I actually spent a lot of my time there and supplement in the Good Life Center. I was realizing how important it is to prioritize wellness because I feel like a lot of college students, especially during the first years, think they just need to get through the week. Doing that every week isn’t the healthiest mindset to have. 

 

00:10:16:24 - 00:10:37:23 

Vanessa 

It's an adjustment period and such. That was honestly having that physical space to remind me to be present was so helpful, especially as I was taking classes. When I first started college, I said I'm going to be a neuroscience major and pre-med. I'd watched so much Gray's Anatomy. I was obsessed. 

 

00:10:37:23 - 00:10:39:01 

Darice 

One of my favorites. 

 

00:10:39:04 - 00:10:43:27 

Vanessa 

Then I was like, I'm not a huge fan of neuroscience. 

 

00:10:43:29 - 00:10:44:05 

Darice 

Really? 

 

00:10:44:08 - 00:11:07:27 

Vanessa 

I took it my spring semester. My first year I took a global health course and realized this is kind of what I love about like medicine. I liked learning more about the stories behind what a person's health is and how they conceptualize health. How their environment, surroundings, and social support systems promote that. 

 

00:11:08:28 - 00:11:28:02 

Vanessa 

After that class, I thought, what other classes are like that? I found out after having read a book by Paul Farmer in that class and thought, he's a medical anthropologist. He gets to learn about people stories for a living, help, and care for people. That is exactly what I want to do. 

 

00:11:28:04 - 00:11:54:16 

Vanessa 

In high school, I was part of a club called Peer Counseling, where you could basically help like new students coming to high school. We would support and feel well adjusted. I came from a small town in Connecticut, and I found out, ever since high school, I just really love talking to people. I felt like that's my way of just like caring and listening. 

 

00:11:55:18 - 00:12:02:10 

Vanessa 

It was a no brainer to pursue anthropology. Then I joined a public health lab my sophomore year that focused on adolescent mental health. Personally, stemming from my own personal experiences, realizing the transition from high school to college is so difficult. It’s needed in order to have that support to make sure that everyone feels like they can make that transition. 

 

00:12:02:10 - 00:12:52:05 

Vanessa 

It can happen, but it's important to have like a good social support system. I was just actually just talking about this to Corinne. This past weekend and I had just reunited with my first-year suitemates who I'm super close with. I said it's so important to have that pivotal support system that I believe Yale has been doing well to make sure that students can feel supported, especially during that first semester. Then the adolescent mental health came naturally for the public health lab that I was in. 

 

 

00:12:52:05 - 00:12:37:17 

Vanessa 

 

00:12:37:17 - 00:13:11:08 

Vanessa 

I thought, that's a cool pilot project. I wanted to join in especially because in American Samoa they weren't quite sure about how to like to elucidate or know more about the status of mental health among that population community. It was like more of a community address need. We need to find out what's going on and I thought it was amazing. 

 

00:13:12:08 - 00:13:31:21 

Vanessa 

In my opinion, that should be public health, research is like working with the community, right? It's an exchange and learning more from them too. They learn from us and it’s just a conversation, right? So yeah, that's essentially what happened, and then the pandemic occurred, which was crazy. 

 

00:13:31:22 - 00:13:32:21 

Darice 

Yes. 

 

00:13:33:24 - 00:14:02:25 

Vanessa 

That was my sophomore year of college. That was a very tough time for everyone. Particularly just trying to juggle like academics and just with life. I was very fortunate to have such a supportive family during that time because I had gone home, but then realizing I still love Yale. It was so exciting to be back, be with friends, and such. I thought, I kind of want to stay more time at Yale. 

 

00:14:03:17 - 00:14:22:22 

Vanessa 

Then, I found out about the five-year B.A. MPH program at Yale. Your senior year of college, you start your first year of grad school at the school public health, then you stay one year after you graduate with your BA, so I thought, let me apply to this. I had a lot of public health experience in terms of like clinical experience. 

 

00:14:23:24 - 00:15:10:03 

Vanessa 

In my first year of college, I had volunteered at a student led medical clinic called Haven at Yale. I was an interpreter. I'm Latina, so it was a great way of like using my voice to amplify others and learning so much more from the patients that I interacted with. Through those experiences of volunteering at that clinic, I had realized I really loved the intersection of advancing health equity by learning about others and just caring for others. It was again a no brainer just to apply to the five-year program-got in and was able to do it. Then again, I wanted to say another year. 

  

00:15:11:10 - 00:15:12:23 

Darice 

Yeah, right. 

 

00:15:13:27 - 00:15:23:08 

Vanessa 

The Good Life Center is like had helped me so much and again, it felt very full circle to also contribute. They had helped me a lot during my undergrad experience, so I wanted to do that for others. 

 

00:15:23:14 - 00:15:58:05 

Darice 

That's an amazing story. I love that, like you said, full circle. Something that helped you through a difficult time that everyone went through. I can't even imagine trying to get through school during the pandemic. I have a 20-year-old, and so I know it was it was a really difficult time. That the isolation where it was immediate. I have a 20-year-old and a ten-year-old. I had to pick them up from school and that was it. 

 

00:16:00:00 - 00:15:07:11 

Darice 

That was a tough time. Yeah, and I love it. It's like you couldn't get away, you know. 

 

00:15:08:10 - 00:16:39:28 

Darice 

That is so awesome. It speaks to how much great work, which I'd love for you to talk more about the Good Life Center as well. About how much great work you're doing, and you know the importance of having that support system here for students and that's amazing. Thank you for sharing that. 

 

00:16:40:01 - 00:16:39:15 

Darice 

That's a great story. Yeah, if you could tell me a little bit more about your work and I know Corinne, you mentioned the Good Life Center, but also the Yale College Community Care Program. If you could tell us a little bit more about that. 

 

00:16:39:15 - 00:17:15:02 

Corinne 

Yeah, absolutely. Maybe I'll start with what we call it. The YC3 program, I'll start there. That's originally what I was hired for. It was a new program when I started about three years ago. It's a Yale College program that provides short term therapy appointments as well as wellness skill building appointments is what we call them. 

 

00:17:16:05 - 00:17:45:21 

Corinne 

I started as part of the first four that was hired, and our team is ten. So, it's quite big now and it's just been wonderful to see that program grow. We always talk about how the program is so pivotal for the experience of your college students because we talk about what we've talked about. College is made up of transformative years for a lot of folks and you really kind of discover more about yourself, your challenges the first time. 

 

00:17:45:24 - 00:18:00:07 

Corinne 

Such as you're failing for the first time. Our program really is designed to help students’ kind of work through some of those things and build those life skills for after college. We always talk about this. If you go through a breakup, just failed your first test, or you're not sleeping well, our program is there to provide those appointments. 

 

00:18:01:07 - 00:18:21:22 

Corinne 

We always say you can meet with anybody within 48 hours, might not be the person you want to meet with. Usually, we have same day availability, and we do a few things. We do have our clinicians who do more of that processing, kind of helping them through in a therapeutic environment. Usually, all these sessions are 4 to 6 times, but students always come back. 

 

00:18:22:24 - 00:18:51:21 

Corinne 

Then our wellness specialists on the other side, they do a lot of this skill building that has been really missing in the college mental health area, particularly therapy. It’s so helpful, but those life skills around sleep time management, stress relationships, there's really a skill-based component that a therapist can provide. We are finding more and more now that we're getting quite busy on that half of the program because if you're not sleeping or having an issue with your roommate, there's some support there for you. 

 

00:18:52:23 - 00:19:14:18 

Corinne 

The program just exploded over the last few years with appointments and programing. I think we've had about like 5000 one-on-one appointments in the three years we've been here. That is like continuously building the program. We did not start with ten. It's just been wonderful to see a university invest in something like that and to have the program be so highly utilized. 

 

00:19:15:18 - 00:19:31:29 

Corinne 

I must give a shout out to our staff; they are the most incredible people ever. We've hired a wonderful group of folks who I think meet students where they're at, help provide, if you need to talk about what's going on at home, we got you. If you need to talk about what's happening in a class, we got you as well. 

 

00:19:32:01 - 00:19:52:12 

Corinne 

It’s just been wonderful to work with those folks. It does not feel like a job whatsoever. We partnered closely with the Good Life Center, and I think that's where my position kind of came from by marrying these two with some degree. The Good Life center in our eyes is really the student wellbeing facing center on campus and YC3 does a lot of their programing and workshops with it. 

 

00:19:54:14 - 00:20:11:11 

Corinne 

They're separate still, but even the Good Life Center over the last few years that's even exploited post pandemic of providing spaces for students to rest and reset. I think there's so much in this, college culture, Yale culture around, not resting and staying up all night. Gosh, I don't know how people do that. 

 

00:20:11:17 - 00:20:13:06 

Darice 

I remember those days.  

 

00:20:14:09 - 00:20:16:11 

Corinne 

I would never go back to those days. 

 

00:20:16:14 - 00:20:18:23 

Darice 

I don't know how I did it, but yeah. 

 

00:20:18:25 - 00:20:44:24 

Corinne 

It's been great to provide spaces for students. We also are expanding into other places. We just opened a satellite space over at the Divinity School. We're in talks with a lot of other graduate and professional schools. It's been great just to expand both programs because mental health is fortunately and unfortunately, it's a big thing that happens for students. 

 

00:20:45:24 - 00:20:57:18 

Corinne 

It's been great. I feel lucky every day to do this work because our student body is incredible. Yeah, I don't know Vanessa what would you add? You do a lot of the day to day with the Good Life Center 

 

00:20:58:18 - 00:21:22:00 

Darice 

Yeah, I think you summed it up perfectly! It's just having that physical space. We talk about a lot. I feel like we're always running back and forth to different spaces. I remember as both an undergraduate and graduate student thinking I need to find a nice space to study.  

 

00:21:22:17 - 00:21:23:27 

Darice 

Yeah. 

 

00:21:24:28 - 00:21:38:11 

Vanessa 

Then one of our spaces in the Good Life Center is like the offline oasis. It's a tech free space and I know sometimes the students don't like it when I tell them. I say hey, like this is a tech free space. It always feels like it reminds them that not everything has to be on your phone. 

 

00:21:38:17 - 00:21:57:15 

Vanessa 

You don't have to be on your phone constantly, always checking like the email inbox, and what's happening. It’s nice to just unplug for a bit. Everything's grounded in evidence-based science, right? There are benefits, health benefits to just recharging a bit and taking that time to like focus on yourself. Having to not constantly think about what I'm going to be doing like the next couple of minutes helps. 

 

00:21:58:17 - 00:22:11:23 

Vanessa 

What's been great about the Good Life Center is just promoting that mission. The importance of it is also this will extend beyond college, right? It's like life skills that you want. It's great to do it early. 

 

00:21:11:23 - 00:21:14:08 

Darice 

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Once you make it a habit. 

 

00:21:14:14 - 00:21:15:23 

Vanessa 

Yeah, it's a foundation. 

 

00:21:16:23 - 00:22:56:08 

Darice 

Yeah, exactly. That is amazing and I would love to hear more. I want to hear more about how you bring in your personal experiences into it or whatever you'd like to share, into your work. Corinne let’s start off with you. You mentioned, you're a captain of the women's basketball team and I'm curious how that kind of tied in, because I'm sure that maybe some of your experience with athletics and seeing athletes who were struggling with mental health as well. 

 

00:22:57:08 - 00:23:05:25 

Darice 

I'm curious if that influences or if you could share how that influences your approach to wellness programs, especially when it comes to athletics? 

 

00:23:06:26 - 00:23:27:10 

Corinne 

Yeah, that's a good question. I joke I was a college athlete, but I'm the least competitive person now. My wife and I played together in college and she's very competitive. We always joke and even on the team that like, it's funny that I was a college athlete, but I would say it's really informed a lot of how I work with both one-on-one with students and kind of doing this programing. 

 

00:23:27:13 - 00:23:49:08 

Corinne 

I think originally early on in my career, I practiced for many years. I practiced as a therapist, I helped create an athlete specific eating disorder treatment program for a college, an athlete college, and Olympic athletes. Doing that one-on-one work made me really think about this big picture stuff, thinking about camp, seeing a lot of the same folks repeatedly. 

 

00:23:50:11 - 00:24:05:11 

Corinne 

Wow wouldn't have been great if we had done some prevention stuff before to get them a little bit earlier when it wasn't as bad. Maybe we can just make it part of their day to day. So that's really where that shift came for me from doing the one-on-one clinical to more big picture things. 

 

00:24:06:14 - 00:24:29:28 

Corinne 

Before Yale, I was at a different university doing more of that stuff with athletes. I often say that there’s so much research that shows that student athletes have lower help seeking behaviors than non-athletes. I always like as we're developing programs, I think about how we get the athletes in the door, and I see that jokingly because how do we get all students in the door. Especially our marginalized students who haven't had access. 

 

00:24:30:00 - 00:24:47:28 

Corinne 

How do we get students who don't know that they need to come in? I really use that lens with working with students around like how do we make this appealing to them and how do we help them see the need? I think often, as an athlete, you're in practice 3 hours a day, then you have like treatment for all your injuries, and you get to go to class. 

 

00:24:48:28 - 00:25:07:26 

Corinne 

That doesn't leave a lot of other time to do things. A lot of our Yale students, to me, really function like all of them. Division 1 athletes in the sense they have all their clubs, they have acapella, they have all their prep, and all their classes. We have to really think about how we get them in the door and how do we make this a priority. 

 

00:25:08:26 - 00:25:24:01 

Corinne 

A lot of the stuff I do with students in general is really thinking about this as like a life skill, right? If you're going to study all those hours and try to stay up late, which please don’t do. How are we going to help your sleep and how are we going to help that stuff become long term memory? 

 

00:25:25:01 - 00:25:40:21 

Corinne 

The angle we always use for example for sleep. Like if you're doing other studying, let's educate you a little bit around like how sleep can be beneficial for you to retain this information. Let's talk about that conflict you had with a roommate, right? 

 

00:25:21:21 - 00:25:56:04 

Corinne 

Like learning those skills is probably going to help you in a job to deal with someone difficult that you might not have the skills to deal with. It's always kind of disguising it, but also making it accessible for students and being an athlete really taught me that. 

 

00:25:57:07 - 00:26:06:25 

Corinne 

I think to what Vanessa was talking about as well as that community around you. For me my team in college, those people are my family, and I'm married my wife was on the team. 

 

00:26:07:25 - 00:26:08:20 

Darice 

Oh, really? Yeah. 

 

00:26:09:23 - 00:26:27:17 

Corinne 

Yeah, we started dating after we were captains together. I share that with people because, you know, it's hilarious. My college teammates became my family. Our captain at the time when I was a first year, she married us. The rest of our teammates, they're still part of our life still. 

 

00:26:28:17 - 00:26:43:25 

Corinne 

I always use that lens of like, we're humans were built for connection and how can we be our best selves for the people around us? I think our students are so well-intended and they want to help everyone. Often time we talk about, how do you take care of yourself as well? It's a lot of things. 

 

00:26:44:25 - 00:27:02:10 

Corinne 

I think being an athlete that prioritizes things and get things done it's wonderful to just talk to students. I like to share these things too, like when it's appropriate. It helps also, you know, students see us as people on our YC3 bio you can read all about each one of us. 

 

00:27:02:15 - 00:27:04:28 

Corinne 

I have a lot of students who come see me because I have two dogs. 

 

00:27:05:00 - 00:27:06:18 

Darice 

That's awesome. 

 

00:27:06:18 - 00:27:19:12 

Corinne 

People come to see me because I'm a member of the LGBTQ community, right? I have a lot of athletes, right? You want to see yourself represented in the staff. I think our staff is wonderful, being in different pockets, having different areas of interest.  

 

00:27:19:14 - 00:27:35:20 

Darice 

Yeah, I love that. It's so true because when I think back to my college years, there was no real program like this for students. Like you said, having a program for all students, students feeling comfortable enough to go and use this resource is amazing. Then, you have students who are maybe uncomfortable or maybe, whatever environment they grew up in. 

 

00:27:35:22 - 00:28:27:00 

Darice 

Some folks feel kind of weird, it’s like therapy has this stigma or at least, as I was growing up, therapy had sort of a stigma attached to it. It's a shame that, you’re under all this pressure. Due of this stigma, you’re too shy to reach out for help, especially, when it's a point where as opposed to it being advanced into a critical stage, that maybe there could have been something that could have been done early on. 

 

00:28:28:03 - 00:29:07:22 

Darice 

That's amazing. I'm curious, Vanessa, if you could tell me a little bit about your educational background and how it shaped your experience with or your perspective with health, wellness, and things like that. I'm curious how it influenced your work. You mentioned working communities. I saw your eyes light up when you talked about being able to be a voice for those who maybe couldn't communicate. If you could tell me a little bit more about that. 

 

 

00:29:08:14 - 00:29:30:24 

Vanessa 

It's funny, you were also mentioning the stigma. My thesis for both undergrad and my graduate thesis was on mental health stigmatization. I'm a very huge advocate on minimizing that stigma and promoting, especially at the Good Life Center work. Just showing wellness, is all encompassing, right? It doesn't have to be just one thing. 

 

00:29:31:27 - 00:29:48:23 

Vanessa 

Such as oh seeing a therapist, I must see them, that would be great if you want to see a therapist, but there's also other options. That's what the amazing thing about the Good Life Center, I think is for some students. It might be the first time that you're like encountering what wellness might mean to you or what wellness even is right on the broader scope. 

 

00:29:49:26 - 00:30:26:04 

Vanessa 

So just finding out what that might entail is like the Good Life Center has so much varied programs, like yoga we do with collaboration. We see collaboration with YC3 on sleep science, nutrition, and stuff where we work with a registered dietitian from Yale hospitality who has this workshop. So just showing there's different facets within wellness. That's something with my educational background was just showing that there's so many like varied perspectives that we should incorporate. To make sure everyone’s voices are being met, heard, and what they might be looking for can be met. 

 

00:30:27:04 - 00:31:01:20 

Vanessa 

To be able to contribute to that we're working with different communities. Just personally, like as a Latina, just witnessing and especially as my time working as an interpreter. Seeing the very unfortunate large health disparities within historically marginalized communities and recognizing that as someone who's bilingual is important. Having a passion for health, I can help, bridge the gap to make sure that the health care is more accessible for others, for families, friends and those in the broader community. 

 

00:31:02:20 - 00:31:29:09 

Vanessa 

Like that is a dream of mine, a vision that I would love to spire to accomplish in the future. I just think that's to make someone else's life just a bit less stressful. It’s doing something that I would love to achieve. It’s so fulfilling to help others and when I'm working with my student interns, stuff like I try to do to make them feel better is give them snacks throughout the day or give them swag. 

 

00:31:29:09 - 00:32:04:25 

Vanessa 

They love Good Life Center swag and just giving them time to also just talk and decompress a bit. Just seeing shoulders, just relax a bit is such a nice feeling at least for like a few seconds in the day. I know you all are busy, but just have a take a few moments to yourself and reflect. Thinking about oh this one thing made me happy, grateful for, and it’s been fulfilling to do these past few months. Something I learned as I interpreted for the clinic. 

 

00:32:05:25 - 00:32:34:15 

Vanessa 

I did like a public health internship as part of my program, where I worked with a local nonprofit in Waterbury, called Waterbury Bridge to success. It was a black maternal health initiative to help promote black maternal health. It’s a very serious issue in this country, unfortunately. So just increasing awareness about it and seeing how we can drive policy change about that and the importance of that again, amplifying other people's voices. 

 

00:32:35:15 - 00:32:45:22 

Vanessa 

Recognizing my positionally as an ally. I’m not a black woman so I have to find out, what are the needs and how can we help amplify that. How can we make sure their voices are being heard right and not just that but how do we advance beyond that?  

 

00:32:50:22 - 00:33:17:09 

Vanessa 

We have the one foot in the door, but let's kick down to door, right? Via the table, let's get change enacted. That was through the years of volunteering and doing social justice work, just recognizing it's more than just amplifying the voices. By enacting change so that they don't need to rely on others to amplify their voices in the first place. 

 

00:33:18:09 - 00:33:45:25 

Vanessa 

So that they can address this, voice their needs, and have the problem addressed immediately. I think that's something that I have always been passionate about. I feel like the public health program was perfect for that because public health, your sensor equity right? That's the end goal. That's the mission. If you want to advance health for like all communities, you must focus on equity and diversity. 

 

00:33:46:09 - 00:34:27:22 

Darice 

Absolutely. That's perfect for our topic today. It’s not that we didn’t have a topic for today, but just revolving around diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. It's important. Just as you’re speaking, I am even for myself, I think back to in moments while I was in college or even, when I had my kids, having someone to help advocate for you and let you know. For example, these are your rights or things that everyone should get when they're going through this kind of situation. 

 

00:34:28:26 - 00:34:57:10 

Darice 

It's true, a lot of people in different communities, they don't always know what those things are. It really helps to have someone they could go to, number one, just to talk it through and figure out what do I do in this situation? It's so important going back to, like you said, the stigmas that are attached to wellness and I was guilty of it in college. 

 

00:34:58:10 - 00:35:26:19 

Darice 

I had some nightery study sessions and things like that. When I look back, I have no idea, how I got through the day. It's like this weird assumption that you're in college, you should be sleepless, juggle all of activities, have a job, all these things, all while having all these expectations. 

 

00:35:27:19 - 00:35:55:23 

Darice 

It's so important, just to take time out and to slow down a bit. It's even a challenge for me. I mentioned to a friend what I was doing over the week- I love photography, by the way. Occasionally I do some photography sessions and things like that. A friend of mine said but do you enjoy it? Well, you know, I said, yeah. 

 

00:35:55:23 - 00:35:57:21 

Corinne 

That's a good friend. 

 

00:35:59:25 - 00:36:37:18 

Darice 

It has its moments. I said there are certain reasons I do it and I kind of took a step back from it because it was infringing on my weekends with my kids. I really started realizing I need time to just disconnect, be with the kids, go to the pumpkin patch, and all that kind of stuff. 

 

00:36:38:10 - 00:37:07:01 

Darice 

It's so important. Even going back to what you said, understanding how there's a domino effect with sleep, mental health, and how you interact with people. I have a whole story on that because I went through a phase after I had my younger son where I wasn't sleeping. Then once I realized I had a sleep apnea. All these things that once I got all of that under control and it was like I could do all this other stuff. 

 

00:37:08:05 - 00:37:19:08 

Corinne 

One day we kind of advertised to students that we have this magic fix that helps you focus better and retain your information. Yes, you'll feel better. What is it? Well, it's sleep! 

 

00:37:20:12 - 00:38:00:21 

Darice 

Yeah, it totally has a domino effect. Once I started focusing on that it just seemed like other things kind of fell into place. I mean, not perfectly, but it helps. I am totally onboard with that, I totally agree. I'm curious, Karina, I wanted to ask you about like maybe some of the most common challenges you've seen students experience in addition to sleep? Yeah. If you could talk to us a little bit about that and just how the two programs address those issues, even though we kind of covered a little bit of it. 

 

00:38:01:24 - 00:38:20:23 

Corinne 

I would say like the main ones would be stress in general, the ability to manage all the competing demands, stress with stuff back home, and relationships. I would say stress is a big bucket, but I would also say relationships with folks like whether that's roommates, whether that's romantic, or whether that's friendship. 

 

00:38:21:23 - 00:38:38:21 

Corinne 

That's becoming increasingly something that we're seeing more of. It’s just an interesting thing, that relationships are always part of our life. Coming out of the pandemic, having to socialize more, the social energy, and all those pieces. I would say particularly I see and maybe my bio, but it’s lot of sleep stuff. 

 

00:38:40:21 - 00:38:56:19 

Corinne 

There are times of the year where it becomes more relevant and less relevant. Right now, it's everyone's starting to get sick because immune systems are down. They want to figure out better ways. I've had students ask me, so I only have 4 hours of sleep, so how do I maximize that? That's such a great question! Let's figure it out. 

 

00:38:56:16 - 00:39:17:28 

Corinne 

I would say stress, relationships, and me personally sleep. Developing your identity in college, figuring out like what you want to do. Right now, we're seeing those three, but it's always like at the end of the year, it's like career stuff, internships, and what am I going to do? 

 

00:39:18:01 - 00:39:43:05 

Corinne 

One of the aspects that is great about the program is that we try to yes, we have our one-on-one appointments in YC3, but we try to do a lot of programing to meet some of the other needs that maybe we're not seeing. We had three group therapies, one that happened this semester. One was for FGLI students, one was a black student support group and another one that’s listed on our website. 

 

00:39:44:19 - 00:39:46:04 

Darice 

Check out the website if you'd like to know. 

 

00:39:46:07 - 00:40:06:12 

Corinne 

We also run a lot of workshops to try to get out all those things as well as doing some informational graphics for our students that they can get in other places. We're starting to do a little bit of consulting with teaching fellows and trying to get in the classroom a little bit to manage some of that stress. 

 

00:40:07:14 - 00:40:24:21 

Corinne 

At the Good Life Center too a lot of what we try to do is knowing when things are going to get more stressful. We try to really provide more breaks for students. We just sit asleep and ask why my brain is on still. We just did a wildness Wednesday around sleep where we did Sleep consults with students. 

 

00:40:25:23 - 00:40:40:20 

Corinne 

Every single slot was taken in ten minutes, everyone came, which was great. We try to do things in unique ways. If you don't have time, do a 30-minute session or come to a 45-minute program, but come to a ten minute sleep consult. Many students responded after I'm like, this was so great, I'm sleeping better. 

 

00:40:41:20 - 00:40:59:04 

Corinne 

We tried to every year meet the needs because pre-pandemic, post-pandemic is so different with what students want. At the Good Life Center, we try to do a lot of like passive programing for students or if you're going to come use our nap room, maybe you're going to learn a little bit about the science so that you can apply it. I think it's a little bit of everything. 

 

00:40:59:07 - 00:41:07:29 

Darice 

That is awesome. Thank you. So now maybe we can shift and talk about fun stuff, right? 

 

00:41:07:29 - 00:41:08:00 

Corinne 

Yeah. 

 

00:41:08:02 - 00:41:12:06 

Darice 

Not that that's not fun. I shouldn't call it that. 

 

00:41:12:09 - 00:41:14:05 

Corinne 

Other life stuff. 

 

00:41:58:07 - 00:41:40:04 

Darice 

It is fun to help people, right? It's a nice feeling, rewarding, and it is amazing work. You get to do that every day. You help people every single day. You have these long-term effects on their lives that's been a common theme throughout the other episodes. 

 

00:41:40:04 - 00:42:20:25 

Darice 

Your impact, even if it's a few minutes and you just talked about having 10 minutes. Your impact could be a lifelong impact that someone just remembers a conversation that they had. Okay, I'll try this tip, or I'll try this method or whatever. That's amazing and it's just important to remember that as we all interact with each other, that just a few minutes can have such a long-lasting effect and realizing how important that few minutes can be. 

 

00:42:20:27 - 00:42:42:17 

Darice 

So yeah, so let's talk about fun stuff. Vanessa, you mentioned that, you know, you enjoy running around New Haven. I wanted to hear more about one favorite spot in New Haven and then your favorite sitcom. I'd love to hear more about that. 

 

00:42:43:21 - 00:42:46:23 

Vanessa 

My favorite sitcoms are always changing. 

 

00:42:46:09 - 00:42:47:01 

Darice 

Always changing really? 

 

00:42:49:07 - 00:42:51:20 

Corinne 

Vanessa's very into pop culture. 

 

00:42:53:16 - 00:42:57:12 

Vanessa 

I’m a consumer of pop culture anything, entertainment wise. 

 

00:42:58:11 - 00:42:58:16 

Darice 

Nice, nice. 

 

00:42:59:02 - 00:43:18:15 

Vanessa 

Including couple news, I always love learning about what happened, what's happening in celebrity couples. With the running trail, I love running. I love the Farmington Hills Trail because it's so flat. I used to run in high school, so I still have horrible shin splints. I do love a flat course 

 

00:43:19:07 - 00:43:23:10 

Darice 

Yes, and I did the same, I did cross country. 

 

00:43:23:26 - 00:43:29:27 

Vanessa 

I did cross country as well, all four years in high school. 

 

00:43:30:07 - 00:43:44:14 

Darice 

I only did cross country because I wanted to be on the track team. At the time they for whatever reason of my high school, they did not have the track team. They were like, oh, just do cross country. I'm like, I'm a sprinter, I'm not a long-distance runner.  

 

00:43:45:13 - 00:44:03:15 

Vanessa 

Oh, my coach always wanted me to do track. The opposite loops, I think I go insane.  Luckily, where I lived, it was Brookfield, Connecticut. There were lots of trails, right behind our high school are the woods. It was nice to just to be able to run that. 

 

00:44:03:17 - 00:44:04:03 

Darice 

Yeah. 

 

00:44:05:06 - 00:44:31:08 

Vanessa 

Trying to get back into it. I was just in New York City this past weekend, saw the New York City marathon which is just so inspiring. I do find for running trails the Farmington one I do a lot. Then I always find myself always just going back to East Rock and I've moved to different parts of New Haven these past few years, it’s such a calming feeling. Whenever I'm stressed, I just go there really, and I feel so much better. 

 

00:44:31:23 - 00:45:18:01 

Vanessa 

For sitcom, I feel like one that always makes me feel warm and I always watch is called The Good Place. I'm also doing my first watch of Seinfeld actually. I realize why people now quote it. I think that's currently my favorite one to watch. Just interesting perspective to see before my time. People communicated with each other. Being offered a phone, no one has a text message? This is all could have been avoided if you just sent a text. Oh wait, that's not a thing. That's currently my favorite. 

 

00:45:18:28 - 00:45:35:29 

Darice 

Isn't that interesting when you think back? Obviously, I work in I.T. and so I was in the interesting phase where I remember what it was like before texting and me even having email. When I started college, that was like brand new. 

 

00:45:37:18 - 00:46:21:26 

Darice 

I remember I worked in the computer lab in college, and I ran across to our bulletin board systems. I'm probably dating myself for all the I.T. people out there. I literally felt like, what's going on? I'm talking to someone across the world. It was such a strange new world, because like you said a friend and I were talking about how did we how did we connect if we had to meet somewhere? It was always that you had to make plans and stick to them, show up on time, have a map. 

 

00:46:22:18 - 00:46:23:21 

Corinne 

I remember. What was it MapQuest? 

 

00:46:24:21 - 00:46:25:21 

Darice 

Yes. Yes. 

 

00:46:26:21 - 00:47:08:13 

Darice 

Exactly. There was time me and my son traveled like pirates. You had to print a map in advance and God forbid, you took a wrong turn. You could be off in Neverland forever. It's so interesting. The reason I asked about sitcoms is I was curious about you. I know you help students with coping methods and just how do you how do you bring that home? Like, what do you what do you use to sort of get through the day or take peaceful moments and detach. 

 

00:47:11:27 - 00:47:15:24 

Vanessa 

Watching sitcoms, yeah. I was about to mention, Abbot Elementary is also one of my favorites. 

 

00:47:16:15 - 00:47:17:08 

Darice 

Oh, yes. I watch that show.  

 

00:47:18:08 - 00:47:27:18 

Vanessa 

Honestly when I need to laugh. It's so funny and like the students like on that show, they’re so cute. It just it makes me feel so much better. 

 

00:47:28:23 - 00:47:30:14 

Darice 

It does. That one's a good one. 

 

00:47:30:17 - 00:47:32:17 

Vanessa 

I think other than that- I watching cooking stuff. I've gotten into it a lot more. 

 

00:47:32:18 - 00:47:36:17 

Corinne 

Oh yes, you’re a chef in the kitchen. 

 

00:47:36:19 - 00:48:00:13 

Vanessa 

I think that's been a great way remind myself of home. I’ve cooked a lot more Peruvian meals as opposed to Puerto Rican ones. It's a great way to just connect with myself and share with others. Sometimes I like to ask a few of my friends if they want leftovers? It's a nice way to connect and strength my community. 

 

00:48:01:13 - 00:48:03:25 

Darice 

That is true. 

 

00:48:03:28 - 00:48:18:24 

Vanessa 

I also indulge a bit more into creative arts like crocheting. I believe that's the thing everyone picks up after college. Something I’m slowly working on is a patchwork cardigan. Maybe it'll be done by next year. 

 

00:48:26:13 - 00:48:51:01 

Vanessa 

At the Good Life Center, we're trying to do more arts and wellness things. Doing an expressive arts workshop this fall. I thought I should tap into my own creative things because I find it's also nice and relaxing. I like listening to an audiobook and like painting. Slowly I’m putting up canvases. I was interior decorating, so it's been nice to tap into that side. I feel like I haven't really tapped into it lately. 

 

00:48:52:20 - 00:49:29:05 

Darice 

That's awesome. Going back to the photography thing, that's one of the reasons why I was doing it. I got pleasure from it. It sounds strange, but I would detach from other things just to focus on photography. Once it started becoming, it started feeling like a job. That's when I said, I might take a step back a little bit because I don't want it to feel like it's another thing or task I must do. Anytime I feel anxiety or pressure that when I stop liking it. 

 

00:49:30:19 - 00:49:50:16 

Darice 

Although I do like it, just not in this realm, not for the money or things like that. That's great to hear. Caryn, what about you? What do you do to detach or focus on your wellness?  

 

00:49:51:19 - 00:49:56:02 

Corinne 

Probably 11 months ago, I would have said something different. I just had a daughter and she's alive and well. Right now, it’s being present with her. She's starting to walk, so my wife and I are just chasing her all the time. I would say right now that is my main. It's lovely when you come home you know. She's just there and she loves us and then she doesn't want us, but then she does. 

 

00:49:56:10 - 00:51:02:02 

Corinne 

I would say right now that is the best surprise that I wasn't expecting. When she goes to bed when I have some free time, I am really interested in interior design. In another life I probably would have done that. I get to do it with the Good Life Center which is great designing those spaces. Even this weekend I was thinking about little projects around the house such as getting some wallpaper to do something, thinking about paint colors. That is how I get my creativity out as well. I used to paint before the baby, but right now let's just do some home stuff. I would say painting has been something previously, but for me, like I'm so excited for the December break that we all get for a week while baby is in day care, and I get to do some projects. I have those set up. 

 

00:51:03:03 - 00:51:55:03 

Corinne 

I also really like taking pictures as well. It’s something that I got into in college when I got injured. I really noticed I needed hobbies in my life. It can't just be basketball, which was the healthiest thing for me. I say that to a lot of athletes I work with, but I got really into photography in and have stayed with it. Right now, my camera is just like my daughter. I have a few landscapes in there, but it's something I enjoy doing that helps me kind of have a balance with all of that.  I meditate when I can. I used to be better about it, but I'm finding the best way to do it. Whether to start my day doing it, even if it's like 2 minutes of breathing before the baby gets up or before the day starts. I find that those days feel a little bit more centered for me. I try to fit in where I can. We all must do that. 

 

00:51:55:29 - 00:52:33:06 

Darice 

Yeah and so true. I have two sons and my younger son's ten. As crazy as it sounds, I used to get up super early just so I could have 30 minutes. Yeah, I just wanted 30 minutes. I wanted coffee and may look at some emails. If I didn't have that time in the morning, the whole day just kind of felt bumpy because I just didn't have time to zone in on myself. 

 

00:52:34:11 - 00:52:38:19 

Corinne 

Morning routines are so underrated. I even said that to my students, and they say, I just get up and just go to class. 

 

00:52:38:19 - 00:52:39:19 

Darice 

I never understood that. 

 

00:52:40:19 - 00:52:52:17 

Corinne 

Yeah. Now I'm like, anything I can do too beforehand. I believe everyone on our team feels that way as well. That coffee and quiet in the morning is prescribed. We tell everybody to do it. You start your day off on a better note. 

 

00:52:53:08 - 00:53:32:14 

Darice 

Yeah, you really do. Even in the evening, I need that wine downtime. Like you said, especially with a baby, it's like, whoa. Like when my kids are younger, it was like they were in bed- finally. Then you're tiptoeing around, the whole routine. Don’t move, you're frozen, but it is important. We forget sometimes because you get into this cycle, and sometimes I must remind myself to tone it down a little bit or take a moment. I used to have, and I still do have an issue with saying no. 

 

00:53:33:24 - 00:54:02:18 

Darice 

If I know I can do it, if it's something I know I can do, but just don’t have the room on my plate- which is so hard. It's so hard for me to say no. It's still a challenge for me. I still juggle it a little bit, but I am slowly getting better. I'm curious, do you have students who sort of have that same issue? Like they just want to be involved in everything and they're just not taking time for themselves? 

 

00:54:03:26 - 00:54:32:09 

Vanessa 

I’m guilty of it, being a student, right? Especially at Yale, I feel like as a college student, you want to do everything. You also want to pursue interest that you might not have been able to explore in high school. Then you’re like, let me do this right now. I always think about the extra-curricular fair. So many student organizations and everyone's like, do this right? Then you think, I'm just a first year, they have experience, I have to say yes. It seems like they're doing all right. 

 

00:54:32:29 - 00:54:33:09 

Darice 

Yeah. 

 

00:54:34:09 - 00:54:50:29 

Vanessa 

It’s nice to have us be a reminder, right? Hey, set time for yourself. How to focus on helping others, doing things for others, do extracurriculars, or whatever, if you don't focus on yourself? 

 

00:54:50:29 - 00:54:51:05 

Darice 

Yeah, it's so true. 

 

00:54:51:06 - 00:55:13:17 

Corinne 

We often try to help them come back to their values of like what the driving force behind is doing this. We often find that students have goals like I need this to be able to get a job after college. Okay, that's important and I find with all the students I work with at the things that are connected so closely to their values that they want to do are the things that they want to make time for, right? 

 

00:55:14:17 - 00:55:47:14 

Corinne 

Sometimes it's a little bit of that the values, discernment that we do with them. Sometimes it's a little bit of what can you actually do knowing that part of graduating is going to your classes, having energy to do that, getting your homework done, and making connections. We try to pull it back a little bit, but I think even all of us are really the victim of saying yes to everything you want to do everything, be everything. I always say no is the nicest thing you can do to somebody because it helps you make time for something that you care about and be fully there when you're doing it. 

 

00:55:48:05 - 00:56:31:17 

Darice 

Exactly so important. I find that if I if you say yes to everything, then you're not. You can only divide yourself so much. If you're giving 10% here and 10% there, and then it becomes are you truly getting that full 100% of me or are you just getting a fraction? I try to be mindful of that because then if I'm not effective at whatever it is that I'm doing, even if I think it's something that I can just do easily. Again, if I'm not truly being effective, then it means I really need to say no because I just don't have the room on the plate. I can't believe we're all already close to our hour. 

 

00:56:33:26 - 00:57:05:04 

Darice 

If we could shift a little bit again, the original reason behind the podcast was to highlight staff and all the things that we do to contribute to Yale college. Any outside projects that you may be working on that that you'd like to share with us? I'm curious if there are you know special projects or interests that are not necessarily Yale related, but that you'd like to share with the listeners? 

 

00:57:07:22 - 00:57:51:21 

Corinne 

I was going to say right now, my major project keeping my 11-month-old alive. A few years ago, I would have had a lot Although I meet with all students now and do all this, the athlete world is still somewhere I have my foot in. Right now, I'm part of the co-chair of the College Sports Committee for the National Alliance of Social Workers in Sport. During the pandemic, we were all underwater doing things. Again, it’s still something I have my foot in. I'm just talking to my colleagues at other places, seeing kind of what's going on in the athlete world. Sometimes they will do drop-in workshops with teams. It doesn't happen as much right now because, again, I'm wrangling that 11-month-old, so hopefully in a few years. 

 

00:57:51:24 - 00:58:18:27 

Corinne 

That's an important part of me as well as a person since my roots have been in athletics and that's a population I care so much about. Given all things that athletes go through and the stigma that's so real for them. I try to keep my foot in that door. It's not as great as it used to be, but that's something that I'm still interested in, whether it's just communicating with folks or doing projects together. Again, right now, just keeping that baby alive. 

 

00:58:19:21 - 00:58:33:07 

Darice 

Yes, I get it. Yeah, children, they suck the life out of you. Yeah, right. They really do. Like I said, I have a 20-year-old and a ten-year-old and I'm just like man what was I thinking.  

 

00:58:34:07 - 00:58:52:17 

Corinne 

You don't want to miss it too. I find right now; this year has been a big year for me. Realigning my values or before I would like work, work, work, work. Now, I'm in this new role and I'm trying to make my boundaries because as someone who's director of two programs if I'm doing things at 9 p.m. that doesn't send the message. 

 

00:58:52:17 - 00:59:16:26 

Corinne 

Its tuff, for me when 5:00 happens I try to be good about signing off, whether I’m wrangling the baby at the same time. For me this year has been where I think years past to that point earlier, I would've had these ten projects and I'm doing this talk and this. Now, it's okay to say no, there's nothing wrong with that either. Right now, that's my focus. I'm happily saying it’s just life. 

 

 

 

00:59:17:14 - 01:00:04:13 

Darice 

Yeah, and that's great. It's important because for parents, sometimes there's that sort of weird guilt. I'm raising this human being, it's important. Sometimes, work must come second. In certain moments and being comfortable enough to say- I'll give you a perfect example. Scheduling studio time. Some of the folks involved who work the magic behind the scenes of the set a boundary. 

 

01:00:05:04 - 01:00:55:24 

Darice 

I have these other things going on with childcare or my duties as a parent and I must address them. We must work the scheduling around that. I understand that because it's like you have to focus on that kind of thing and be there for your child. I get it, then at the same time our environment has to be receptive to that and understanding. It's so true because even for me coming to Yale, having that work life balance, and the ability to say look, I have duties as a parent. 

 

01:00:56:00 - 01:01:18:08 

Darice 

The stress level decreasing helps because then you're really getting the best of me, once I can make sure that my child is cared for, and all the things revolved around that. Then I can truly do my job and do it well. It's so important, it’s a big project raising a human. 

 

01:01:18:20 - 01:01:37:10 

Corinne 

I say to our staff as well, have all the babies you want to, take the time that you need, and use your vacation. Particularly in this field, like it's easy to get burnt out. I have my own guilt as a parent when I can't do things or when I have to take a sick day because my little one's home with me. 

 

01:01:38:10 - 01:02:04:23 

Corinne 

With our staff, it's just been incredible that everyone's says to take the time. I'm going to take a mental health day. We’re fortunate because we work in this field and also, I don't think I've been in other places where it's been as okay which is part of it. We have to remind ourselves too, sometimes I say to Vanessa, are you taking a vacation days? When is your vacation happening? I think that's important for all of us because this work is wonderful, and it can be really challenging. 

 

01:02:05:07 - 01:02:10:08 

Darice 

Yes, I can imagine. Do you do you want to share as well Vanessa? 

01:02:10:21 - 01:02:58:21 

Vanessa 

My current project is not fun. I'm planning to apply to medical school in the future. I'm currently studying for the MCAT. Which is a grueling long exam, so I have to start studying for that. Well, I've been studying like slowly but surely, so I feel like that's been occupying most of my time. This past weekend, because I've been running more frequently now and had a few friends who ran the marathon. Maybe that's my next project. I'll start small or do a half marathon, let’s see if I can reach that. That's going to be a fun project just running on the side, not doing it like super stringently. Also, we'll see after MCAT, that's something in my future. 

 

01:02:59:01 - 01:04:12:08 

Darice 

That is amazing. Yeah, best wishes on your run. Even going back to the running, when I talked about the whole sleep thing and the domino effect. I had my younger son, ballooned during 

that time, and the lack of sleep, it was just a cycle. It was like affecting my health. Then once we figured all that stuff out and then I started going to the gym and I worked with a trainer. It's things that I never intended to do, right? My trainer wanted me to do a 5k I'm said no I don't. I did it in high school and I don't want to do it again. Thank you, but no thank you. I went with it and it was funny because the first one, long story short my dad had passed away that year and I said this was for my dad. It was hard but the auxiliary portion of finishing was amazing. 

 

01:04:13:23 - 01:05:01:10 

Darice 

Then I said, think I'll do another one the same year so. I thought to myself, I think I can do this. I never thought I'd return to running ever after because I had shin splints and all that stuff. I was kind of nervous about doing it. Then I did the second one and it was funny because I was doing it, I didn't train, but I prepared and everything. I told myself I could do this, and it felt pretty good, you know? Coming through the finish line. You have to share with the staff when you do this. You said it so I'm going to be looking for it. 

 

01:05:02:19 - 01:05:06:23 

Vanessa 

I was telling my friends land they said you should do it so it so yeah. 

 

01:05:06:25 - 01:05:08:28 

Darice 

Awesome, she's committing to it. 

 

01:05:09:02 - 01:05:46:11 

Darice 

I love that. Please keep us posted. Running did so much for me, the mental wellness just transformed me because when women have postpartum, and again even that for someone’s to even say that might have been an issue due to the stigma around it. Unfortunately, it happens more frequently than you realize. I'll be honest, I didn’t even know. 

 

01:05:47:16 - 01:06:10:29 

Darice 

I just figured, oh, I'm sleepy, I have a baby, I have work and you have all these things going on. Again, you don't realize that cycle, your lack of sleep, and all these things that are happening. Movement, exercise, it really has an amazing effect on the whole thing. 

 

01:06:11:29 - 01:07:02:18 

Darice 

I can't say that enough and I know we're over our time. I wanted to hear a bit more from you, we know that you help students, right? Do you see areas where, you mentioned kind of creating a safe space for your staff to need time, you have to take time to focus on yourself or just take a day off. Sometimes, I just take days off to veg. If I just want to sit on the couch with the remote and that's it for the day. I'm curious, where do you see some opportunities for things to change in terms of staff and how we address wellness and mental health? 

 

01:07:03:04 - 01:07:13:24 

Darice 

Are there things that you think could maybe change slightly in terms of how it's addressed, whether it's in your department or the university as a whole? 

 

01:07:14:26 - 01:07:32:12