Dear Center Friends-
This issue of
reveals the many ways our senior scientists and scholars, staff, students, and affiliates contribute to human flourishing -- both inside and outside the classroom. I’m grateful for the small and profound ways they bring our center’s mission to life every day, whether they are going the extra mile to ensure a high-quality learning experience for our students or uncovering new discoveries in their research labs.
This also is the time of year when we often find ourselves reflecting on our own well-being and celebrating the goodness in our lives. It might mean shining a light on
those who bring us joy and fulfillment, whether it’s around the Thanksgiving table, an entry in a gratitude journal, a toast at the New Year, or an unspoken remembrance. At a moment in history when our nation feels most divided, our social connections with others couldn’t be more important, yet I hear many commenting on an erosion of relationships over intense political differences in their lives.
The research is clear about the positive impact social connections have on our well-being. For example, leading scholars found that the social bonds we experience in our lives are
major drivers of joy
. You’ll hear from the recipients of our
Elena Prien Student Well-Being Scholarships
on how important their relationships with mentors are to their overall well-being. Many students commented that those relationships were more valuable to them than the financial award they receive from the scholarship.
As we transition to a New Year and contemplate what matters
to us, I hope we’ll put ‘each other’ at the top of our lists. I wish you well and much joy in 2019 and beyond.