Contact: Abigail Fota, College Relations Associate - Media, 610-740-3790


Workshops and Presentations Focus on Health of Body, Mind and Spirit

Allentown, PA (April 26, 2004) - In response to a national epidemic of decreasing health and well-being, Cedar Crest College hosts the 1st Annual Health and Wellness Conference on Thursday, April 29 through Friday, April, 30. The two-day event unites education, research and experience to explore a vision of health and wellness for the future.

The inaugural conference incorporates presentations, workshops and exhibits by students and faculty members - each focusing on an important health-related issue. Workshops will be throughout the day on Friday, April 30 and will explore topics such as deadly diseases, pet therapy, healthy cuisine, religion and body resilience. A complete list of workshops and descriptions is located on the following page.

Along with the workshops, paper sessions will also be conducted throughout the day where faculty and students will share the findings of current research projects. Paper session topics include:
"Overeating: Setting Your Goals for a Healthier Lifestyle"
"Can We Really Map Genes for a Complex Disease"
"Meeting the Challenge of Developing Global Perspective in the Health Care Arena"
"Security of Personal and Medical Data: HIPAA Model or Myth"
"A Synthesis of Nursing Research on the Stress Management of Nursing Students"

The 1st Annual Health and Wellness Conference continues the College's ongoing commitment to providing students and the greater Lehigh Valley with programs that focus on improving the health and wellness of the community. Since its founding in 1867, Cedar Crest has continually created educational programming, activities and special initiatives that focus on changing these unhealthy habits and reversing the national trend.

The public is invited to attend any of the conference events. For more information on the 1st Annual Health and Wellness Conference, please contact the College Relations Office at 610-740-3790.


9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Microbes on the Move: Global Health Issues in the 21st Century
Almost daily, the smallest of organisms find their way into the largest news stories. Letters tainted with anthrax and ricin fill us with dread as ordinary citizens continue to be targeted in terrorist attacks. The spread of the influenza virus seems to be greater now than ever. Are particular strains capable of changing hosts? When will the next pandemic occur? The meat industry struggles to quantify and contain mad cow disease across an ever-expanding global market. Is our food safe? Even the Ebola virus, a concern primarily for remote regions of Africa, continues to find its way into American popular literature and movies. What is it about these organisms that make them so powerful? Why have they so successfully invaded our lives? What new insights have come from recent research, and what ethical concerns have scientists encountered? Participants in this workshop will contemplate these questions and more, as the moderators initiate discussions on the worldwide impact of deadly microbes.

10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Body Listening: How Good is Your Hearing?
Success in accurate evaluation of one's bodily needs is essential to health and wellness. This workshop will consider body listening as defined by Price (1999). Exploration of practical application of this knowledge to one's daily health includes discussion of signals of hunger, thirst, fatigue, and satiety. Basic physiologic pathways will be explored. An experiential approach using self-assessment tools and a brief Zen meditation allows personal reflection. Participants will leave with practical knowledge and resources to evaluate their own skill at body listening and empower them to trust what the body is saying in order to take action.

10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Spa Cuisine Made Simple
" Spa Cuisine Made Simple" will be a one-hour cooking program that will explore the concepts of Spa Cuisine. We will present an array of culinary techniques for vegetable, whole grain and legume preparations that can easily be incorporated into anyone's daily menu plans. Recipes will incorporate ingredients that are available in local markets, yet will reflect the influences and flavors of many diverse cultures.

10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Introduction to Mind, Body and Spirit Paradigm and Applications of an Integrated Approach to Education and Psychology
This workshop will combine theoretical issues and experiential applications for mind, body and spirit development. The presenter is a psychologist and educator who has developed a combination of traditional psychotherapy (over twenty years experience with children, families, and elders) with skill development and application of Tai Chi, Reiki and Shiatsu. The System Developed is called Integrated Psychology where the total person (social, emotional, cognitive, physical, spiritual, financial, and creative expression) is assisted in the process of change. There are applications and implications to professional training of teachers and professionals with the goal of renewal as the optimal outcome.

10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
The Effects of Cats on Human Physiological Reactivity to Stress
This study will explore whether the interactions between a person and a cat causes lower levels of physiological signs of stress in the person. To accomplish this, human-cat interactions will be observed under several conditions using female subjects from an all-women's college. Previous research studies have shown that the presence of a pet lowers stress responses; therefore, the same result is expected to occur in this study. However, this study further explores the interactive components between the person and the pet.

10:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Prayer Ties Project
This workshop will involve the making of fabric bundles or amulets that will hold the wishes, hopes, dreams and prayers of the each participant. The bundles will be made of colorful fabrics that are decorated with beads, imagery and symbols that reflect the interest and the diversity of everyone involved in the project. The finished bundles will be strung together and displayed as a testament of a community coming together to share their dreams, hopes and prayers.

11:00 - 12:00 p.m.
Wellness and the Search for Meaning in the Changing American Religious Landscape
Using a CD Rom, "On Common Ground: World Religions in America," and drawing on the research of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University, the researchers will describe this transformation in the American religious landscape. In particular, they will explore the implications for community well being of such important facilities as the Vraj Hindu Temple in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. As the only authorized temple of Hindu bhakti or devotional sect in India, the Vallabha Sampradaya, this temple maintains a presence that connects wellness with a holistic understanding of mind, spirit and body. Pilgrims routinely consume a special form of food called prasad that has been blessed the resident deity, Sri Nathji. In addition, they observe rigid standards of purity that emanate directly from the Indian tradition. Unlike more secular understandings of wellness, rooted in individualism, this tradition suggests that its followers must surrender the primacy of self to deity, performing seva or service to Krishna.

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
What Is Your Resiliency Quotient for Today? Where Are You In Terms Of Being Resilient?
This workshop will present Grotberg's, 1999-resiliency paradigm of " I have, "I am", and "I can". Participants will be provided the opportunity to assess their resiliency quotient for the day and to experientially try two strategies to enhance their personal resiliency. The development of the resiliency building blocks will be described utilizing Erickson's developmental phases of trust, autonomy, initiative, industry, and identity. Didactic presentation will include the description of the seven resiliencies and how their development influences the individual's personal resilience to life's everyday adversities. The strategies utilized during the experiential section of the workshop will focus on positive energy management rituals and the development of effective interpersonal skills.

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Biology in the News: Stems Cells and Cloning
Since the isolation of human embryonic "stem cells" in 1998, issues surrounding the use of these cells have been discussed in the popular media. This workshop will provide the background information needed to understand what stem cells are, why they may be useful in treating human diseases, and why there is so much controversy over their use. We will also discuss human cloning and how it relates to the stem cell debate. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions about these complex issues and share their own opinions on the debate.

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Faculty Engagement of Students in Health and Wellness Behaviors
Compassion fatigue and burnout are two of the buzzwords that one hears in reference to the many challenges faced by health care professionals. These phenomenon are being examined as potential causes for the decrease in the interest to become a nurse and the subsequent nursing shortage. Nursing faculty recognize that the rigors of the nursing curriculum can also increase one's anxiety and stress levels which can lead to a similar type of burnout. In addition, the non-traditional student population's stressors of trying to balance the family and work responsibilities add to this scenario. Therefore, incorporation of health and wellness behaviors into the curriculum has been identified by the nursing faculty as a necessary component of the nursing program at Cedar Crest College. Caring for the care-giver is emphasized in order to care for others. In addition to the program of studies, which incorporates many health promotion issues, nursing faculty practice the art of their nursing with their students in order to promote their well-being.

3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Piece of Mind (Dance Performance)
This dance composition is a presentation of overcoming internal fears of loneliness, failure, success and confusion. The main female character comes to terms with her fears by facing them through a movement confrontation. This choreographic study was developed through aesthetic experimentation of creating and breaking barriers. The movement was applied to further develop a somatic relationship between the representation of the conscience and the subliminal.

For more information on the 1st Annual Health and Wellness Conference, please contact the College Relations Office at 610-740-3790.

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Abigail Fota
College Relations Associate - Media


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