College of Health Sciences, Sustainability Center Win Joint Award

Featherbone Communiversity Founder Gus Whalen was keynote speaker at the event.
Featherbone Communiversity Founder Gus Whalen was keynote speaker at the event.

The Jan. 29 annual conference of the Celebrate Healthy North Georgia group, organized by the District 2 Public Health Administration, offered a rich selection of workshops. Health and community focused presentations were followed by a keynote address from Gus Whalen, founder of the Featherbone Communiversity, home of Brenau East.

The College of Health Sciences Dean Gale Starich, and the Brenau Sustainability Center Director Rudi Kiefer were honored with a joint award for service and accomplishments in Health and Wellness education. The work of College of Education Dean Sandy Leslie was also honored.

“The RISE program, Real Interactive Summer-learning Experience, was one of the key items leading to this award,” said Starich. “It resulted from collaboration between the Colleges of Health Sciences, Education, Business & Mass Communication, and the Sustainability Center. “There was also the Aug. 12, 2014 Healthcare Reform Seminar, again a collaboration between two of Brenau’s Colleges and the Sustainability Office.”

“We’ve had an extraordinary year of working together to promote healthy living on and off campus,” Kiefer said. “An effort of this size could only come about with many people sharing their time and expertise. Drs. Starich, Leslie, Lightfoot, Erickson, Miller, Vice President Lammers and many others contributed significantly to all these projects.”

Apart from the RISE program and community workshops, on-campus offerings included the founding of the Brenau University Garden Society for healthy nutrition, a speaker series titled “Sense and Sustainability” featuring topics such as music and wellness, urban landscaping, and more. The Gateway Domestic Violence Center headed by Jessica Butler (formerly Jessica Murphy while working at the Brenau Public Relations Office) has also been a frequent partner and donation recipient in collaborations with Brenau.

“We’re proud of the award from Celebrate Healthy North Georgia,” said Starich. “It shows that we’re going in the right direction toward making the Brenau campus, the community, and hopefully all of Georgia the healthiest possible place to live.” More information about CHNG can be found at www.celebratehealthynorthgeorgia.org