Endurance in the Face of Uncertainty Health and Wellness Summit

Health and Wellness Services invites you to join the third annual Health & Wellness Summit! This year’s summit is completely virtual and will take place Oct. 6-8. Presentations and the virtual expo are open to all CU Boulder students, staff and faculty. Register by Monday, Oct. 5 to attend.

Register for the Health & Wellness Summit

Here are 9 presentations you won’t want to miss!

Relationship Hacks

COVID-19 and public health guidelines have impacted many of our relationships. Here are 2 presentations to check out if you are curious about building relationships, resolving conflict or finding community during the pandemic and beyond.

Cultivating Compassion and Connection

Presented by Holly Gayley, CU Boulder Religious Studies

Practicing compassion can help us strengthen our sense of connection even while physically distancing. By expanding our hearts and wishing well to ourselves and others, we can alleviate feelings of isolation and burnout. Compassion can also help us break down the barriers for who we ordinarily identify with and extend care to. During this session, Holly will guide participants through a compassion practice and provide time for group discussion.

De-escalating Conflict in 2020

Presented by Colin Johnson, Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution

Join Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution to discuss how increased stressors make our environment ripe for conflict, and explore ways conflict can provide an opportunity for growth and greater understanding when it is well managed. This session will focus on factors that cause conflicts to escalate and provide simple strategies anyone can use to de-escalate conflict scenarios. Colin will also highlight common pitfalls in conflict and things to avoid.

Self-care and Coping

Here are 2 must-see presentations if you are curious about self-care or coping strategies. These presentations will help you learn about COVID-19’s impact on mental health, explore self-care ideas and utilize tools to help you cope.

Mindfulness and Art: Embodied Awareness Through Art Making

Presented by Esther Horowitz and Emily Black, Faculty & Staff Assistance Program and Campus HR

During this presentation participants will be led through mindfulness and art exercises by two counselors from the Faculty & Staff Assistance Program. No art or mindfulness experience is required to participate. Participants are encouraged to have paper and different colors of writing or painting materials.

Creating space for and engaging in self-compassion: A community approach for self-identified Women of Color

Presented by Mirella Flores, Counseling and Psychiatric Services

Self-identified Women of Color may often find themselves doubting their intelligence or questioning their place within higher education systems. The goal of this session is to introduce participants to the practice of self-compassion as a tool for self-preservation, healing and connectivity that can help self-identified Women of Color combat imposter syndrome. This session is intended for self-identified Women of Color and others who want to help combat imposter syndrome, societal pressures and create space for self-identified Women of Color.

Finding Balance

COVID-19 and the uncertainty that accompanies it has created additional stress in many areas of our lives, including finances, work, productivity, childcare and more. Here are 2 must-see presentations to help you find balance in times of uncertainty and stress.

Financial Resilience: Bouncing Back from Financial Hardships

Presented by Carissa Krug, Medical Services

A loss of a job, an unexpected medical bill, or needing a new laptop to work or study from home can have a huge impact on our financial situation. Almost 40% of Americans would not be able to cover a $400 unexpected expense according to a 2019 report from the Federal Reserve. Whether you've had a recent financial setback or want to proactively plan for future expenses, this session will explore ways to recover from financial hardship and prepare for unexpected future expenses. 

Rethinking Productivity, Noticing and Reflecting: Strategies and Tools for Responding to the Changing Landscape of Work

Presented by Steve Voida, Information Science

The post-COVID-19 workplace and classroom will likely look very different from our previous environments. Working and studying from home may continue to be the new normal for many. As the boundary between our family and work lives becomes intertwined, we are faced with new challenges of time management and higher levels of stress. In this presentation we discuss strategies for adapting work to a new reality, with a focus on how observation and critical reflection can help us track, assess and fundamentally rethink the idea of productivity at work.


There will be several keynote speakers at the summit. Check out their presentations.

Tools for Resiliency and De-stressing in the Moment with HeartMath

Presented by Erin Cunningham Ritter, College of Arts and Sciences

Join this workshop to participate in HeartMath® to learn how to destress in the moment or during challenging situations. The evidence-based HeartMath® program has helped people discover practical in-the-moment self-regulation tools to increase resilience in stressful or pressured situations. This one-hour workshop will explain the role emotions play in performance and health. Participants will learn how to utilize the brain/heart connection to regulate heart rhythms to immediately address different emotional states.

The Science of Happiness and Student Well-being During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Presented by June Gruber, Psychology and Neuroscience

This session will explore the science of happiness and well-being, as well as its impact on the emerging mental health crisis during COVID-19. Dr. Gruber will specifically look at the impact on college students and how to pave a resilient pathway looking forward.

Following the Science of Your Heart

Presented by Theresa Hernández, Psychology And Neuroscience

During this session Dr. Hernández will share how her research in traumatic brain injury (TBI) can provide insight into overall health and well-being. Dr. Hernández currently studies how novel interventions for TBI may be effective because of the way they minimize the adverse impacts of stress. The goal of her research is to identify factors that adversely impact the recovery process, as well as therapeutic opportunities to minimize these negative impacts and create better outcomes.

Virtual Expo

In addition to presentations, discussion groups and panels, the Health and Wellness Summit will feature a live virtual expo each day from 3 to 5 p.m. During the expo, participants will be able to interact with various departments to explore self-care and goal-setting strategies, career paths, job and internship preparation, conflict support, healthy eating and more. Registration is not required to attend the expo.

View the full schedule of presentations