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.”
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
Education Specialist (CHES). My dissertation is a study of health
academic performance in a national sample of college students which
my doctoral work in health behavior and nursing education at Teachers
What are your responsibilities as the
Director of Wellness Education and Programs?
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?
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
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
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
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.