UA Students Present White Paper at National Conference

The Division of Student Life at The University of Alabama works diligently to foster the health and wellness of students at the Capstone. Student Life also strives to provide students with opportunities to develop professionally, socially, and academically. One of the many ways both of these goals are served is the Student Advisory Council on Wellness.

Purpose of the Advisory Council

The Student Advisory Council on Wellness works alongside Dr. Ruperto “Toti” Perez, the Associate Vice President of Health and Well-Being at UA. These students meet each week and advise Dr. Perez on the needs of students they see in their respective areas of campus, and they work together to create positive social change in overall wellness on campus. Not only that, but they also publish an annual white paper that is presented to UA administration.

Presenting at NASPA

Ciara and Anika with Dr. Perez and a staff memberThis January, two student members of the council, Ciara Callicott and Anika Ames, had an extraordinary opportunity to present the results of one of these white papers, entitled Exploring the Psychological and Social Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Students at The University of Alabama on a national scale at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Strategies conference in Boston, MA. They shared specific student health and wellbeing data collected utilizing the Alabama Model.

The Alabama Model of measuring student wellness is based on short two-question surveys sent daily to a pool of students. These questions focus on a variety of topics in the realm of student health and wellness and give Student Life administrators a constant gauge on how students at the UniversityCiara and Anika with a cityscape in the background are doing.

Ciara and Anika had the privilege of being the only student presenters at the NASPA conference. “This was my first national conference. It was an extreme honor to be one of the only student presenters, and I’m thankful for the opportunity,” said Ciara.

The Student Advisory Council on Wellness is a truly unique model for student research and engagement with administration that not many institutions have. “NASPA was a cool opportunity to brag on what we provide at UA for students to have direct positive impact on the wellness of our campus. Not many undergraduate students have that kind of leadership opportunity,” shared Anika.

Apply to Join the Advisory Council

If you are interested in opportunities like this, applications to join the Student Advisory Council on Wellness for the 2022-2023 are currently open and will close Feb. 26. Contact Dr. Ruperto Perez with any questions about the process.