What truly excites me here at CNR is the opportunity to offer all of our students, and our faculty and staff at the College, a variety of educational programs to enhance their individual, and our collective wellness; this is a great challenge and truly rewarding.

Adrienne Wald                                
Director of
Wellness Education and Programs
The College of New Rochelle

Tell us a little about yourself, Ms. Wald

I grew up as part of a big family, right here in Westchester and graduated from Rye High School.  I attended Boston University and received my bachelor’s in nursing and then specialized in oncology nursing. Believing that I could have a greater impact on the health care system if I became a leader, I returned to New York for graduate school. My M.B.A. is in health care management, and I spent many years working in health care administration, including health care systems consulting.  I also worked in non-profit management and was the marketing administrator of health education and bone tissue services at the American Red Cross in Greater New York for a number of years. My expertise is health promotion and education, and I am a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). My dissertation is a study of health behaviors and academic performance in a national sample of college students which will complete my doctoral work in health behavior and nursing education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

What are your responsibilities as the Director of Wellness Education and Programs?

My main responsibility is to develop and implement educational programs and to promote a college environment supportive of the development of positive health and wellness behavior. That includes developing and supporting health and wellness policies on campus, making recommendations about campus health and wellness priorities, and developing and delivering health and wellness educational services and programs. The primary focus of all of these is to educate and support our students by creating healthy learning and living environments.

In addition, I advocate for these issues at the state level. I recently was selected by the Society of Public Health Education (SOPHE) to be one of 20 participants nationally to participate in their first-ever State Health Policy Institute.

What are some of the special courses of study that you teach or direct?

The Wellness Education programs offer the opportunity for students to engage in educational opportunities outside the curriculum. This semester we launched the “Wellness Workshop” series which are weekly hour long workshops covering a specific topic in wellness or health. So far we’ve addressed a number of topics including physical activity guidelines, healthy relationships, sleep habits, financial fitness, and environmental wellness, and we have many more interesting topics including nutrition for life, humor, body image, and stress that we are offering during the rest of the spring semester.  

What are some of the advantages for students who attend The College of New Rochelle?

In addition to the strong academic programs and faculty that CNR is known for, our students are encouraged to participate in a wide range of educational experiences. Learning takes place in and outside of the classroom, on all of our campuses and our students greatly benefit from all of these opportunities. I see them grow and develop their unique abilities in so many important ways--academically, in athletics, theatre, student government, and many other areas that contribute to their growth in mind, body, and spirit, and overall well-being.

What is the importance, in your opinion, of your program for students?

The Wellness Education programs at CNR are designed to provide personal growth opportunities and to empower our students with life skills that are developed by engaging in discussion, and by being exposed to information about how health behaviors can impact lives. And, since solid research tells us that health or wellness, quality of life, and academic performance are closely linked, we recognize the importance of making lifestyle or behavior choices that are positive, and we teach our students about making these decisions. Our goal is assisting all of our students in leading healthier lives and engaging them as they become political, social, and economic decision-makers.    

In what ways do you help students adjust to CNR?

Adjusting to college can be a huge challenge, but at CNR there is an unusual amount of support for our students, both traditional and non-traditional students. Understanding that our students are balancing many competing demands and stresses makes it critically important that we create positive, healthy learning environments and that our students are given the opportunity to engage in those wellness issues that are of concern campus-wide, and that affect student well-being and academic progress.

What are some of the “new” events that you have planned for late spring/summer/fall?

As I mentioned, this spring we launched the weekly Wellness Workshops. In addition, we’ve started a new student–driven initiative called the Wellness Coaches Program. We are piloting it with four traditional-age students on the Main Campus this spring, and they will continue on in the fall after being trained by me. This program is designed to offer selected students the opportunity to assist in identifying wellness needs and concerns, coordinating wellness activities, and serving as a liaison between students and myself.

What do you like best about your job?

What truly excites me here at CNR is the opportunity to offer all of our students, as well as our faculty and staff at the College a variety of educational programs to enhance their individual and collective wellness; this is a great challenge and truly rewarding.

My position affords a great opportunity for me to contribute in numerous ways, which is exactly what I love. I greatly enjoy so many things: working with the students is certainly one of the best parts for me, but I also have been so impressed by the entire faculty, staff, and true sense community at CNR. I have worked at other excellent organizations over the past 30 years but I find CNR to be quite exceptional.

Besides your role in Wellness Education, how are you involved in the College and the community?

This year was my third season coaching the Blue Angel Cross Country team at CNR. Coaching the CNR team has been a great experience. I have been so impressed with the student athletes at CNR. It is a privilege to help students develop their athletic talent and a great challenge to build a successful team.

Our student athletes have a tremendous challenge juggling their academic demands and also making time for practices and competitions; and, some of them also hold part-time jobs! It is a huge commitment and takes discipline and determination. Most rewarding is watching the team support and encourage each other in practices and at competitions; the bonds and friendships that are formed among teammates are quite special. The lessons learned in practice and in meets are part of our student athlete’s education.


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