Christine taking a selfie, smiling, as she rides her bike.

January Wellness Ambassador of the Month | Christine Felkel

Quick Summary

  • "Wellness to me means alignment of one’s mind, body, and spirit to allow an individual to grow and experience life to its fullest potential."

How long have you worked at UC Davis?

In October 2023, I celebrated 8 years with UCD/UCDH.

What does Wellness mean to you?

Wellness to me means alignment of one’s mind, body, and spirit to allow an individual to grow and experience life to its fullest potential.

Why did you become a wellness ambassador?

Over the years I have known many wellness ambassadors and admire their volunteer role and their pursuit for balanced lifestyle.  Before moving into the role, I would actively participate in programming, encouraging colleagues to join me, and shared wellness opportunities with others.  Moving into wellness ambassador has been a natural progression that has given me (and those around me) more resources and community.

How long have you been a wellness ambassador?

In summer 2022, I switched departments which further incorporated wellness and career growth into my life experience.  The wellness ambassador at the time, together with the OCME Team, had developed a mini grant that she was unable to facilitate before leaving UCDH.  I’m honored to be part of the program, facilitating wellness grants, and enjoy meeting monthly to discuss opportunities, challenges and support one another. 

What has been the most rewarding or positive part about your experience thus far?

Executing last year’s mini grant was a positive experience for myself and the OCME.  We participated in a virtual challenge, raised funds and then participated in the Purple Stride walk to support initiatives to fight pancreatic cancer, which many within my team have close family and friends that have been afflicted by this condition.

What are some challenges you face as a wellness ambassador, especially through the pandemic?

During the pandemic I found it challenging to feel balanced and supported in a time of uncertainty.  When returning to the office in a hybrid schedule, I re-instated our walking group in a new format to meet the varying schedules and needs we faced in the new work environment.  The group was extremely important to my wellbeing as it allowed time to actively connect with colleagues in an in-person setting while building community and supporting one another through our individual and collective challenges.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with new wellness ambassadors?

Embrace the community that surrounds you.  Try to participate in programming and invite your department and individuals to join you. There are so many options to get involved and create positive habits within our networks/schedules. If a program doesn't work, don't give up, there are more opportunities to explore.

Staff and Faculty Health and Well-being aims to build an environment that makes the healthier choice the easier one, while providing staff and faculty with the required support to make UC Davis the healthiest community. How do you feel you have contributed to our mission?

I have tried to participate in Health and Well-being programming throughout my career at UCD/UCDH.  From the 30 day plant based diet program, learn at lunches, Walker Tracker Challenges, and being a green commuter with my bicycle.

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I love spending time with my family and friends, participating in local events, being outdoors, riding bikes, and playing pickleball.  September 2023 was my 5th year riding to support the Children's Cancer Research Fund to fight children's cancer, by committing to a riding distance and fundraising goal.  More team members and sponsors are always welcome :)  I hope to see you out and about in the community!

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