Director’s Blog

Take a Moment for Wellness

by | Jun 21, 2022 | Director's Blog

School’s out, and for me this summer means a moment to step back and just be. I tend to focus on my productivity as a measure of my worthiness, but oh man did the pandemic blow that idea all to bits. I may have to say it in the mirror ten times every morning, but I am worthy when I rest. So I’ll be visiting family, reading stacks of books with a cocktail in hand, and maybe just staring at the wall if that’s what I feel like. Carpe diem!

Beyond my own need for a moment of wellness, it became painfully obvious over the last two years that we are all struggling. So I’m excited to share how DTEI is looking to help in this area. We recently secured funding for a brand new position – a Pedagogical Wellness Specialist. The focus of this position is twofold. One is to support faculty and graduate students in incorporating wellness into their courses – this could be anything from policies to mindfulness to specific practices such as contemplative pedagogy. The second focus is to support the wellness of faculty and graduate students – this could be anything from meditation sessions to advocacy to trauma-informed leadership. This a unique position in the world of teaching centers, and I’m excited to see how UCI can lead the way in this area. And I’m excited to learn from all of you how to shape this position to the needs of faculty and graduate students. We’re in the midst of hiring right now so I’ll be sure to announce when this person is here and ready to get started!

As part of my summer of rest and relaxation, I’ll be taking a brief break from blogging. Not to worry, I’ll be back in September with, hopefully, less whining and more insightful wisdom. Or it might just be more whiny wisdom. Regardless, I really have enjoyed writing these, so I’ll be brainstorming for the next year of topics. Cheers all, I hope you too can take a break and regroup from one of the wildest academic rides we’ve ever been on!

In other news…

What I’m currently reading: I recently finished Trust by Hernan Diaz and really enjoyed it. Set in 1930s New York, the novel is actually a story of financial success told four different ways: a novel, a draft, a memoir, and a journal. With each telling the real story gets both muddier and clearer. So which version do you trust?

FYI – if you enjoy my book recs, you can see them all on goodreads –

Songs from my introvert playlist: When I’m feeling unsure or nervous before a presentation, this song, Classic, always does the trick. So put it on, look in the mirror, lower your fabulous sunglasses and tell yourself, “Baby, you’re so classic.”

Andrea Aebersold

Andrea Aebersold

Director, Faculty Instructional Development

Andrea Aebersold is the Director of Faculty Instructional Development at University of California, Irvine. She earned a PhD in English and was an associate professor of teaching before coming to UCI. She specializes in active learning, evidence-based teaching, and reading mountains of books.