While serving on the Student Life Visiting Committee, Ricardo Jenez ’86 saw the need for a campus-wide approach to prioritizing student wellbeing at MIT. He and his wife, Sara, are now acting to address that need with a gift to the Student Wellbeing Initiatives Fund, which helped to launch the new Office of Student Wellbeing in the Division of Student Life.
A framework to guide growth. The couple’s gift is supporting development of the Wellbeing Pathway, a framework that will guide students in caring for their minds and bodies, fostering meaningful relationships, and clarifying their purpose at MIT and beyond. Programs for new students will be supplemented with peer support training for sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students as well as resources to engage faculty in practices that prioritize mental and physical health in academics. The result, Ricardo hopes, will be that students “become better professionals and better people, and better able to contribute to society.”
Prioritizing student wellness. “We hope these programs become part and parcel of MIT and its culture,” says Sara, “and become a model for other schools.” In the interest of spreading these practices, the new Jenez Wellbeing Graduate Student Internship brings a graduate student from another institution to MIT each year to develop and deliver student wellness programs, benefiting both institutions. “MIT sets the standard in educational excellence,” says Ricardo. “Where MIT leads, other institutions follow. We hope that with MIT’s leadership, effective student wellness programs will spread throughout higher education.”
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