Plans are in the Works for a World Wellness Center at Brookdale


Heather O’Donnell, Staff Writer

Would you like a sanctuary on campus where you can decompress after a stressful day and learn about environmental sustainability? The Global Citizenship Project (GCP), led by Brookdale English Professor Kelsey Maki, has been working in conjunction with Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) and many others on campus to make that possible in the near future with a World Wellness Center.

Unlike other environmental and wellness centers that exist on campuses nationwide, Brookdale’s center will focus on addressing both mental health and climate change/environmental issues in one location due to the connection between the two issues.

English Professor Jim Cody conceived the idea of this project and shared it with the GCP, who further developed the idea of an environmental education center to make it more globally-focused. Under the guidance of English Professor Kelsey Maki, the current chair of GCP, the following mission statement was created: “Brookdale’s World Wellness Center will serve students, employees, and the community by offering a safe and inclusive space that centralizes activities related to environmental education, preservation, social justice, and personal well-being while honoring our connections to ourselves, all living things, and the planet.”

PTK has been integral in promoting the idea. Grace Maniace, the PTK Vice President of Communications, Membership, and Fellowship, said, “Our Honors in Action Project surrounds sustainability, and we held a lot of events this past fall to not only bring awareness but to give students opportunities for sustainable action.”

“We worked with Jim Cody on getting students to sign petitions stating that they believed an environmental wellness center will be beneficial to their time here at Brookdale,” said Maniace. “This environmental wellness center will be huge in promoting not only an environmentally conscious student community but an educated one.”

All Brookdale students and faculty members are welcome to get involved in the establishment of the center. According to Maki, there are four teams they can become part of, which are listed below and have distinct goals.

The interior design team aims to design an energy-efficient interior space that is made of recycled materials. The design plans for the downstairs space to address mental health and the upstairs space to address environmental education. It is in the hopes that the center can include a space for green technology, a room for workshops, lectures and events and a yoga and meditation room.

The exterior design team aims to design the exterior space, while at the same time implementing habitat restoration and greening projects on campus grounds.

The funding, publicity and partnerships team aims to brainstorm ideas for community partnerships and help the center raise enough money to offer opportunities for student scholarships related to wellness. This team also aims to brainstorm ways it can increase public awareness of its devotion to the environment and wellness.

The advocacy and social justice team aims to brainstorm ideas for civic engagement and advocacy and create an action plan that helps promote global and personal wellness. Some issues this team will concentrate on include xenophobia, environmental racism, climate change, and mental illness.

The World Wellness Center aims to fuse environmental awareness and stress alleviation to create an enriching experience at Brookdale for students and faculty members alike.

If you would like to obtain more information about the center or get involved in its creation, you can contact Maki at [email protected]
or Cody at [email protected].
You can also read the January 2020 GCP Newsletter that can be accessed on Brookdale’s website through this link: