June 24, 2020
The Importance of Purpose and Meaning

Purpose well-being: At a fundamental level, we all need something to do and ideally, something to look forward to when we wake up every day. Finding your purpose, identifying and pursuing things that bring meaning, motivation, and joy to your life is essential to your well-being.

During the pandemic many individuals have had the opportunity to re-evaluate their purpose in life. Some of these situations have occurred due to the loss of a job or the reality of a frozen job market, or due to the sickness or loss of loved ones. Others on the other hand may have seen this unique time in history present new and exciting engagement opportunities. Whether it's supporting and participating in social justice work, contributing to creating safe reopening plans, volunteering to serve those less fortunate, or just valuing newfound time spent with significant others or family members - these are all meaningful opportunities that leave us feeling fulfilled.

Sometimes we overthink purpose as a larger than life term, but simple hobbies, communities, affiliations, and interests can all be factors of your purpose and identity. Well-being, grounded in purpose can include any of the following: being a marathon runner, book club member, activist, volunteer, parent, caretaker, advocate, gardener, or more. These roles can also provide a community where you can share in not only your interests, but be supporters of each other's well-being through mutual experiences.

A purpose driven life is fueled by living authentically to our personal core values. When we use those as the compass to decision making and time/effort spent, we can reflect on the value we feel for ourselves as well as how we serve others. During our lives our purpose may change based on planned and unplanned transition, triumphs, and tragedies. In order to be resilient, making plans to evaluate what drives you can bring feelings of hope, joy, and fulfillment throughout your lifetime.

We would love for you to share a story of your "purpose" or how it has changed throughout your life or what goals and transitions you are actively considering now.

Be well,
In case you missed it, the "We Are Not Ok: Injustice, Action, and Healing Series" videos are available with the last episode discussing "Where do we go from here?"

Many individuals may be thinking how can I be a better ally, advocate, or active anti-racists. Our Black community has endured a significant emotional and mental strain. We hope our colleagues and students take moments of rest, find moments of joy, have trusted support systems, and be willing to celebrate the work being done. Take the action you need, whether it is participating in the Monday, 6/29 @ 1 p.m. A Space to Heal Series: Racial Healing During Unrest Dialogue Series, listening to Brené Brown with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist, or enroll in the upcoming virtual Foundations of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificates. Systemic change is a marathon and our community will learn, grow, and transform to be the model of higher education institutions.

Each of you have an opportunity to elect or reelect political leaders that will listen and enact positive societal progress in the upcoming New Jersey primaries on July 7 as well as the November Presidential Election . Elect individuals that support your values and viewpoints.

Rowan University, through its #RowanVotes   initiative, is now a part of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge , a national competition to register, educate and mobilize student voters regardless of your political affiliation. Student incentives are available for your involvement. If you are interested in hosting an event, volunteering, or for more information click here .
Wednesday, June 24 @ 7 p.m.
Register via Battlefy

The 5v5 Valorant Tournament is open to all current Rowan students (including RCSJ campuses & RCBC), current faculty/staff, incoming students enrolled for Fall 2020, and alumni. Participants may register as a team or register as a free agent and be placed on a team. Winning teams will receive Intramural Champion T-shirts! 
Monday, June 29 @ 1 p.m.
Register via Proflink - must be logged in to university account

Students and employees can share thoughts, feelings, and reactions as we continue addressing the challenging times we are in. These gatherings are intended to support discussions that include and are not limited to COVID-19, xenophobia, killing of unarmed black people, protests/rebellion, institutional responses to these and other events and their impact on our Rowan community. 
Tuesday, June 30 @ 5:30 p.m.
Hosted via Webex

This interactive workshop will teach participants the strategies and skills needed for preparing and engaging in a Virtual Interview in today's job market. 
Thursday, June 25 @ 8 p.m.
Register via Bravous Esports

Players must register via the provided link and have access to the game, a Switch console with Nintendo Online membership, and Discord account on their own. All currently registered Rowan students are welcome to join! Win Rowan Bucks with $50 for first and $25 for second.
Monday, June 29 @ 3 p.m.

Join pet therapy for a fun way to connect with friends, get to meet new people, and to meet each others' pets (even if they are not certified therapy dogs). There will be some of the  Shreiber Family Pet Therapy Program  certified therapy dogs and handlers on as well.

Think of it as a "Virtual Paws for a Break." Follow the program on social media @RowanPetTherapy. Registration is required.
Wednesday, July 1 @ 5:30 p.m.
Hosted via Webex

The career opportunities landscape has changed due to Covid-19. Join the Office of Career Advancement in adapting job search strategies virtual workshop, which is available for students and alumni.
Other Events:
Virtual Group Fitness: ProfStrong - Thursdays @ 11:30 a.m. - Registration required
Chill n Chat - Fridays @ 11 a.m. - Email HCI@rowan.edu for the link
Virtual Group Fitness: Yoga for All - Fridays @ 12:30 p.m. - Registration required

The pain felt by Black communities  after three recent tragedies  is all too familiar. Each time these incidents happen, many of us are left wondering what we can do to support our African-American friends beyond anguished online posts -- and in real, meaningful ways. Being an ally  - a person who is not a member of a particular marginalized group but seeks to help end the oppression of those in the marginalized group -- is a constant process. Allyship can mean different things to different people, and it can be tough to know where to start. READ MORE.

If you had asked me what I thought of online therapy sessions before the coronavirus pandemic, I would have said, trying my best not to sound dismissive, “Well, I’m sure they can be helpful in certain ways - but I wouldn’t call them therapy.” What I meant was that online therapy seemed to go against the core of what I do as a therapist, which is to be present, literally and figuratively, with my patients. It’s not just the words people say or even the visual cues that therapists notice in person - the foot that shakes, the quivering lower lip, the eyes narrowing in anger. Beyond hearing and seeing, there’s the energy in the room, the being together in a shared space with no distractions, the mutual carrying of silences in the few feet between therapist and patient - all of which contribute to the patient’s experience of “feeling felt.” Read more.
Shifting a culture takes efforts from early adopters willing to transform their practices with the hopes of positive change. The Rowan Thrive committee appreciates these individuals for integrating the well-being initiative and dimensions into their practices.
Dr. Kara Ieva

Dr. Ieva continues to be an advocate for well-being and diversity,equity, and inclusion in her role as an Associate Professor in the Counseling in Educational Settings. Dr. Ieva has supported the university well-being initiative by promoting a graduate student internship for Rowan Thrive, serving on the What Does Mental Health Mean to You? Virtual Panel , and advocating "Promoting Wellness and Self-Care in Educational and Professional Settings" course into the Rowan Core/General Education for all undergraduate students. Additionally she has proposed Certificates in Supporting Mental Health and Social Emotional Development as stand-alone certificates and professional development for all educators.
Did you know that Coursera offers free educational opportunities through top universities and organizations worldwide? Check out some of these purposeful and meaningful courses that you can take at your own pace.

Strive to Thrive is a newsletter for the Rowan University community. Visit rowan.edu/thrive or contact rowanthrive@rowan.edu for more information.