Wellness leaders at BGSU win national awards

BOWLING GREEN, O.—The Wellness Connection at Bowling Green State University collected three top awards at the recent BACCHUS Network General Assembly, the organization’s national conference in Columbus.

Dr. Faith Yingling, Wellness Connection director, and BGSU senior Amanda Lynch, president of the Student Wellness Network, were each among five winners of Outstanding Advisor of the Year and Outstanding Student of the Year awards, respectively.

In addition, a peer education program, “Condom Sense,” was the lone initiative honored in the Successful Fund Raiser category. For $10, BGSU students receive 50 condoms and watch a required educational video on their correct use. With the award came $150 for use on other Student Wellness Network programming.

Yingling has been director of the campus organization—the educational branch of the Student Health Service—since July 2007. She was chosen for the national award based upon student assessments of her character, role model qualities, commitment to students and unique talents she lends to them, and leadership in health and safety. The BACCHUS Network, established in 1975, focuses on comprehensive health and safety initiatives.

Lynch was honored on the basis of similar criteria, including a recommendation from Yingling highlighting her character, plus her length of service to a peer education-affiliated group, depth of leadership involvement, other campus leadership positions and academic success.

“She eats, breathes and sleeps wellness,” said Yingling of the Student Wellness Network president, who is majoring in human development and family studies. “She’s always willing to go above and beyond.”

Lynch, from LaRue, Ohio, helps mentor peer educators, and “her leadership was instrumental” in the merger of three peer education groups this year, Yingling said.

Nearly 100 colleges and universities submitted nominations for the awards presented at the BACCHUS Network conference, which was attended by more than 600 representatives of over 100 institutions.

Announcing a new Wellness Connection program, Yingling added that work has begun on a campus anti-tobacco project funded by a roughly $20,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Health.

###

(Posted December 17, 2008 )