We are building a home for interdisciplinary research-practice partnerships to promote the wellness of young people and the systems and adults who support them. We want to hear from you and stay connected!
Young people thrive when they are supported by the caring relationships and inner resources required for a lifetime of wellness. Families, educators, and communities can nurture the development of children and youth when they too are supported in their own wellness and in their efforts to teach and care with strength and expertise. This work is essential in today’s increasingly complicated and challenging world.
We address pressing problems in the lives of children and youth, starting as early as possible in development and continuing through college. Key areas of interest include the study of mindfulness, compassion, belonging, and agency. Research programs also address disparities in mental health, wellness, and education associated with gender, race, ethnicity, linguistic diversity, geography, income, and other structural and systemic inequities.
We develop interdisciplinary research-practice partnerships where researchers, families, teachers, young people, and community members work together as equal partners. We co-design and study transformative practices, programs, and policies that foster wellness among children and youth, families and caregivers, and educators.
Our founding team brings faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education—Professors Sona Dimidjian, Ben Kirshner, Yuko Munakata, Erik WIllcutt, and Dean Katherine Schultz—who work closely with community partners and school districts. We look forward to expanding faculty engagement and community connections as we grow this work and strengthen our impact.
“I want all children and young people to know--I’m okay, I’m not alone, and I can access the help I need.”
– Colorado Philanthropist Dr. Patricia Crown, who has established the Renée Crown Wellness Institute in honor of her mother’s lifelong dedication to serving others
“Mental health and wellness are increasingly a critical topic in K-12 classrooms and college campuses across the country. It’s imperative that we collectively create solutions to promote wellness. The Renée Crown Wellness Institute will conduct groundbreaking research relevant to wellness, starting as early as possible in development and continuing through college.”
– Chancellor Dr. Philip P. DiStefano, University of Colorado Boulder
“The Renée Crown Wellness Institute is an interdisciplinary home for scientists, scholars and practitioners from diverse disciplines and across sectors. By working across traditional boundaries on our campus and with community partners, we can co-create and study programs to help children, young people, families and educators thrive throughout their lives.”
– Institute Director Dr. Sona Dimidjian
Dean Katherine Schultz, Professors Ben Kirshner, Sona Dimidjian, Erik Willcutt, & Yuko Munakata
"We are really excited to expand our partnership with the University of Colorado through the Wellness Institute. Both of our organizations are aligned in our missions and goals and committed to supporting social and emotional wellness for our schools, families, and communities."
– Superintendent Rob Stein, Roaring Fork School District
“Co-creating new approaches to prioritizing the wellness of family, school and community are needed for a thriving future. The core of this work is the social and emotional foundation of every child and every adult. It will be our great honor to continue to collaborate with the Renée Crown Wellness Institute in broadening this work into the future.”
– Interim Executive Director Elaine Grossman, Valley Settlement
“Our collaboration and partnership is a powerful way to have a collective impact and will bring us closer to achieve the wellbeing of our community.”
– Directors Elena Aranda & Jorge De Santiago, El Centro AMISTAD
"We are proud partners of the University of Colorado Boulder, a leader in research of social-emotional wellness and learning. BVSD also couldn’t be more pleased to see this important work continue at the Renée Crown Wellness Institute. We have no doubt that the breakthroughs developed at the Renée Crown Wellness Institute will have a profound impact on the community we all have the honor to serve."
– Superintendent Dr. Rob Anderson, Boulder Valley School District
“We are completely under-resourced in every aspect of mental health service in Colorado, and we simply cannot afford to maintain the status quo. This Institute is how you move the needle.”
– Institute Advisory Board Member and Founder of the CU Collegiate Recovery Center, Daniel Conroy
“The Renée Crown Wellness Institute responds to the urgent need for collective impact- for youth, families, practitioners and researchers to collaboratively create and sustain transformative programs, practices, and environments in which all children and youth can thrive.” – Institute Associate Director Dr. Julia Cantrick Zigarelli
Institute Associate Director Dr. Julia C. Zigarelli, Institute Director Dr. Sona Dimidjian and Director of Participatory Research Dr. Leah Peña Teeters