The Washburn University Employee Wellness Program is committed to keeping the healthy people healthy and rewarding individuals who possess the self-leadership skills necessary to maintain their own wellness status. Five employees have recently been nominated and selected for the Washburn Living Well at Washburn award: Jerry Farley, president; Jenna Glover, assistant professor, psychology; Toni Lewis, secretary II, College of Arts and Sciences; Clayton Peters, systems/network administrator, information technology services; and Jeremy Wrangler, assistant director of marketing, sports information.
The nominators wrote the following about each Living Well at Washburn winner:
Farley squeezes fitness into every day and works through the intricacies of running a university while out on a run, proving that both are possible and even complimentary. He strives to become better each day and exudes a passion, professionalism and enthusiasm. Farley encapsulates what it means to be living well. No matter if he is traveling around the world or delivering a speech at Washburn or giving an interview on television, he still maintains the balance of health. He also runs a great distance averaging around eight miles a day.
In addition to his personal interest in running, Farley has been instrumental in the creation of a culture of wellness on campus. He was a catalyst behind the Student Recreation and Wellness Center project as well as the Employee Wellness Program. In his letter to current and future Employee Wellness Program participants Farley states, “Most of us spend almost as much time with our work family as we do with our own family. We are attached to, invested in, and care about each other. Our wish for every member of the Washburn employee family is to be happy and healthy.”
Glover’s has been practicing mindful meditation regularly for five years now. Research is increasingly showing the benefits of mindful meditation on both mental and physical health. Glover teaches her clients mindful meditation and talks about how her practice has changed her life for the better. She also teaches graduate students about using mindful meditation for their own growth and also as a technique they can use with their own clients.
Lewis is an inspiration to all her co-workers in the College of Arts and Sciences. On most days, you will find Lewis swimming at the pool or jogging around campus during her lunch hour. The interest in exercise began when Lewis’ daughter, as a high school freshman, was required to do a certain number of exercises for a school event. At the time, Lewis was 48 years old, a smoker and didn’t have much interest in exercise, but she took this opportunity to exercise along with her daughter and hasn’t stopped. She also no longer smokes. In addition to jogging and swimming, Lewis also belongs to a bike club that keeps her biking many evenings and weekends. Some of her accomplishments include running two marathons, a tin-man triathlon and numerous 5K runs.
Peters’ plays in a wheelchair basketball league for a team called Kansas Wheelhawks. He has competed in wheelchair basketball at the college level and continues to play well into his thirties. While playing for the Kansas Wheelhawks, he has obtained the league Most Valuable Player for 2009, 2010 and the 2011 season (voting for 2012 season is still pending). Peters is directly responsible for his team being named the Midwest Conference Champions from 2009-present. In the Champion Division Final 2011 Rankings, the Kansas Wheelhawks were ranked 12th nationally. He competes in tournaments around the country and against individuals that were members of the 2012 Para-Olympic basketball team. In addition to wheelchair basketball, Peters also plays in a wheelchair softball league in left field. He is active in wheelchair sports year round and can be found working out at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Peters is well liked and is well respected by his peers.
Between May 21, 2012 and April 2013, Wangler has lost more than 80 pounds, improved his cholesterol, blood pressure and overall wellness in spite of an exercise-related stress fracture that kept him from exercising for most of the winter. In May 2012, after watching “Forks Over Knives,” Wangler and his wife, Michaela Saunders, web editor, at Washburn, committed to becoming herbivores for health reasons. Wangler has turned his hobby of cooking into a true passion for his family and many friends. He has educated family members, including his step-father, who is now off of his blood pressure medication, and others. And he has done the work necessary to ensure that he can stick to his diet even when on the road or in the press box with Washburn Athletics.