In June, NIRSA presented at the 3rd annual Congreso Internacional de Asuntos Estudiantiles hosted by NASPA-Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) in conjunction with the 8th Foro Internacional de Asuntos Estudiantiles (FIDAE) on the campus of Tecnologico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. This year’s conference was focused on “Bienestar y Salud Estudiantil” (Student Health and Wellbeing).
Since the 2017 inaugural NASPA-LAC conference in Bogota, Colombia, NIRSA has maintained relationships with colleagues in Latin America and—as a result—has brought additional learning opportunities to our membership. In addition to presenting at and attending this year’s NASPA-LAC Conference, NIRSA representatives were able to continue building a relationship with Universidad Tecmilenio by visiting the campus and seeing firsthand how wellbeing has been integrated into all aspects of the institution.
Global relationships and best practices
NIRSA members Victoria Lopez-Herrera, Senior Associate Director at the University of Texas at San Antonio and Annual Director on the NIRSA Board of Directors, and Sineyda Ortiz, Assistant Director of Fitness at the University of Texas at Arlington, co-presented a session titled “La Integración del Bienestar en la Cultura del Campus” (“The Integration of Wellbeing in Campus Culture”) alongside Guadalupe (Lupita) del Carmen Aguila Alfaro of the Universidad Tecmilenio.
Victoria and Sineyda provided an overview of NIRSA, its role as a leader in integrative wellbeing, and discussed existing partnerships across higher education. They shared the work of the Health and Wellbeing Task Force along with examples of campuses who are already integrating wellbeing into their cultures.
Lupita introduced and expanded on the Universidad Tecmilenio’s “Ecosystem of Happiness and Wellbeing.” The areas are meant to aid students in finding their purpose in life as they strive for higher levels of wellbeing and positivity. She also shared how the areas are integrated into the community through initiatives like Semana de la Felicidad (Happiness Week) and mindfulness activities at the start of every class.
NIRSA Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships Erin O’Sullivan concluded the presentation by sharing our hope to continue learning from each other on an international scale. She also extended an invitation to attend the 2020 NIRSA Annual Conference to all attendees.