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UC Riverside

Business and Administrative Services

April 2018

Healthy Campus Initiative Subgroups Logo

Elevating Health and Well-Being at UCR

UCR's Healthy Campus Initiative

The Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI) is an integrated and comprehensive approach to elevating the health and well-being of our campus community and is part of the larger systemwide Healthy Campus Network supported by President Napolitano. Sponsored by School of Medicine Dean Deborah Deas and BAS Vice Chancellor Ron Coley, and led by Co-Chairs, Julie Chobdee, wellness program coordinator with Human Resources, and Dr. Ann Cheney, assistant professor with the School of Medicine's Center for Healthy Communities, the mission of HCI is to create a healthy campus culture and environment through collaboration with campus community partners on policies, programs, services, and initiatives that address all dimensions of wellness along with innovative engagement strategies, making UCR a university of choice.

"What I love about the Healthy Campus Initiative, is that it works for everyone because it focuses on issues that every person deals with," said Lauren Green, administrative assistant in Transportation and Parking Services and lead for the HCI Built Environment subcommittee. "The Initiative touches on all aspects of being healthy, from dealing with substance abuse, to managing stress, to learning how to meal prep on a budget. It literally has something for everyone, and who doesn’t want to be healthier?"

"UCR’s Healthy Campus Initiative has formed partnerships with staff, faculty, students and the surrounding community to develop, implement, and institutionalize policies and environments essential for sustainable behavior change, making the healthy choice the easy choice," explained Chobdee. 

"I am excited about this initiative because it really truly, for the first time, brings the idea of a work/family balance to the forefront.  When people are healthy, they perform their jobs to the best of their ability.  By alleviating stress, providing education and opportunity, and allowing conversations to be started about how we can take better care of our faculty and staff, we can ensure that our workforce is strong and committed to UCR," said Green.

HCI members are working on many exciting ideas and programs. "We are committed to making UCR and the rest of the UC system a healthy, thriving community," Green said. HCI priority and subcommittee focus areas include:

  • Healthy Eating and Nutrition
  • Physical Activity
  • Mental Health
  • Built Environment
  • Substance Use and Addiction
  • Preventive Health
  • Marketing/Communications
  • Metrics
  • Culture Change
If you haven't already, you can become a part of the wellness movement on campus and get involved with UCR’s Healthy Campus Initiative. Join a subcommittee, take part in Healthy Campus activities, be a role model for health, and find ways to make UCR a healthier campus! To find out more about HCI and how to get involved, contact Co-Chair Julie Chobdee by email at

Exciting Events, Initiatives, and Resources

Nicole Vargas, SOM Student Interns, Karen Fiorenza

Healthier for You and the Planet - Seeds of Change

The Seeds of Change philosophy at UCR is based on a program called Menus of Change created through a collaborative effort between the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America. "Our program is based on their evidenced based research and recommendations," said Karen Fiorenza, registered dietitian nutritionist, certified health education specialist, and nutrition education coordinator with UCR Dining, Hospitality & Retail Services.

Seeds of Change promotes the use of fresh produce, lean protein, whole grains and heart-healthy unsaturated oils, while limiting the consumption of highly processed foods, refined grains, sugar, sodium/salt, and saturated fat. Seeds of Change initiatives focus on providing our campus community with education around choosing nutritious, sustainable, and socially responsible food items from campus markets and restaurants. Chefs in Dining Services create delicious menus and food offerings incorporating these concepts. A new Seeds of Change catering menu is coming soon, and Fiorenza is currently working to transform space in Scotty's Convenience Store at the HUB into a Seeds of Change Corner offering healthy snack options. The space will include a promotional wall highlighting featured items as well as fresh produce, recipes, and nutritional tidbits. The corner will also feature artwork representing the Seeds of Change principles designed and painted on the walls by UCR student artists. Interns from UCR's School of Medicine are helping to design the space.

Among the many exciting projects and programs that Seeds of Change has developed, including the Blended Burger project, ongoing Reduced Sugary Beverage campaign, and new R'Daily Grind nut butter program, a pilot program called Connect the Dots has been successfully implemented at Glen Mor Market Savor restaurant. Connect the Dots ties together 5 of the most emphasized Seeds of Change principles: 
  • Think Produce First
  • Make Whole, Intact Grains the New Norm
  • Choose Healthier Oils
  • Buy Fresh & Local (Sourced within a 500 mile radius)
  • Move Legumes & Nuts to the Center of the Plate

Each of the 5 principles has been assigned a color coded dot which is displayed on menus and food item labels with explanations on why the food is a healthier choice. The Seeds of Change logo is also displayed next to the items. You can use this legend to make healthy selections today.Seeds of Change Logo "If you see the Seeds of Change logo, you know the offering is healthier for you and the planet," said Fiorenza. "The logo represents delicious, nutritious, sustainable, and socially responsible dining."

Dining Services has updated their restaurant menus and menu boards to display the Seeds of Change logo. You can also find the menus online at as well as a Guide to Vegetarian & Vegan Dining Options

UCR Dining Services and Seeds of Change also work collaboratively with the Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI) and Global Food Initiative (GFI). Fiorenza serves as co-chair on the HCI Healthy Eating and Nutrition subcommittee, co-chair on the GFI advisory committee, and is a member of the Basic Needs Working Group and Sustainable Food Services Working Group. For more information or to get involved, access the Seeds of Change website or email


Woman meditating sitting on the grass in the sunshine

Recharging Your Mind and Body

The Benefits of  Meditation
According to the Mayo Clinic, "meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being."

Associate Vice Chancellor Georgianne Carlson, was first introduced to the practice of meditation through a free online program offered by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra. "When I was younger, I didn't feel stress in my body the way I do now," Carlson said, "meditation gives you a peaceful centered feeling." She added that, "because of meditation, I am able to work through life events much better, including major life events like illness and the loss of a parent." Carlson now practices transcendental meditation (TM), a form of meditation where a personally assigned mantra, such as a word, sound or phrase is silently repeated, and has experienced an amazing transformation in her ability to focus on the present and relieve stress. Carlson practices TM by meditating for 20 minutes every morning and evening. "I never thought I'd be able to squeeze out that amount of time," she said, "but I'm willing to start my day earlier because of the incredible benefits I receive. I am able to retain more of what I read, hear, and see, am able to relieve stress in the moment, and worry less about the "what ifs" of life."  For additional information on research studies and the practice of TM, please visit For even more information on the specific benefits of TM, Carlson recommends reading the book, Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation by Norman E. Rosenthal, MD.

StressFree UCR: Combating Stress with Mindfulness - An Opportunity to Participate in a Research Study
At a March 28 Information Session provided to campus staff, Dr. Kate Sweeny, associate professor of psychology, defined mindfulness as "a focus on the present moment rather than the past or future, paired with nonjudgmental acceptance of one’s thoughts and feelings." Sweeny discussed a new research project designed to study the effects of mindfulness on stress. The study will be conducted over a two month period and 300 staff members from UCR are needed to participate. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about mindfulness and add well-being tools to your personal toolbox, as well as serve a higher purpose. 
For more information about the StressFree UCR study and eligibility requirements, please email Dr. Sweeny at ksweeny@ucr.eduIt is important to note that in order to participate in the study, you must not already be practicing meditation.

Additional Free Meditation Resources

The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center offers free guided meditations online at UCLA Mindful Meditations 

Reference: The Mayo Clinic. Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress


Chef Burke Reeves wearing Gold Medal

WOW! Executive Chef Burke Reeves Brings Home the Gold!

On March 20, Dining Services' Executive Chef Burke Reeves participated in a Culinary Challenge at the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) annual Pacific & Continental Regional Conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah. Reeves competed against 15 Chefs before 6 Chef Judges in a 60 minute contest to prepare four portions of an original entrée that included Rhode Island Littleneck clams, whole squid, and oysters. Entrées were presented to a tasting panel of 4 Chef judges. Contestants were judged on organization, cooking skills and culinary technique, and taste, which also included points for presentation.

In his first ever culinary competition, Reeves was awarded the ACF Gold Medal for his delicious creation of Littleneck Clams in a Matcha Green Tea Miso Broth infused with hickory smoke, combined with Sweet Thai Chili Ponzu Oyster Shooters served chilled over pink salt crystals.  Reeves' dish also included Spicy Squid, Kombu, Togarashi Fried Egg and Vegetable Sauté served warm. "Being extremely well organized is key," Reeves said. "I also credit and am grateful for the coaching and advice I received from Culinary Manager Chef Charles Johnson, and encouragement and support from Executive Director David Henry." 

Reeves graduated from the California School of Culinary Arts Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena and was inspired to become a Chef by his grandmother, Susan Burke, "whose passion for good food and cooking, still inspires me today," said Reeves. Reeves grew up assisting his grandmother in the kitchen as she prepared meals using recipes from Chefs Julia Child and Alice Waters. Reeves' culinary experience and influence also includes over a year spent traveling abroad in Florence, Italy.

Reeves will be representing UC Riverside and the Pacific Region competing for the National Gold Medal against other regional winners at the National Culinary Competition in Providence, Rhode Island in July. This is the first time that UC Riverside has won a regional conference culinary competition, placing our campus on the national stage. "I love cooking, I love being a Chef, and I love working at UCR," Reeves said. "It is quite an honor to have my work judged by highly credentialed and esteemed Chefs and I am excited for the opportunity to compete again." 

Congratulations Chef Reeves! Your BAS family will be pulling for you at the national competition!


Vice Chancellor’s Message

Ron Coley

Dear BAS Colleagues,

Our newsletter this month focuses on our organizational commitment to excellence through health and well-being. I couldn't be more pleased that so many BAS members are participating in special initiatives dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of our campus community. While our focus in BAS is on our service to others, it is import to remember to make a commitment to personal well-being in order to be the best we can be at any given time. It is through this frame that I share with you my personal strategy and approach.

Just like our BAS organizational strategy for excellence focuses on four components, people, processes, resources, and clients -- all grounded in integrity, the same perspectives can apply to our individual lives so that we are able to serve our higher mission. The personal strategy/guiding principles that I recommend can also be summed up in four components: rest, exercise, diet, and spiritual or REDS. I have found this strategy to be easy to remember and immediately responsive to analysis. Let me explain.

Regardless of how we are feeling at any given time, if we reflect back on what we have done in regards to the REDS components in the last 24 - 48 hours, we can determine the reason why we are feeling the way we do. In order to change the way we feel, we simply need to change the actions we take for that factor. For example, if you are not feeling alert, maybe you've not had enough sleep and the change needed is to get more Rest; if you are feeling lethargic and lacking energy, maybe you've not had enough Exercise; if you are experiencing indigestion, high blood pressure, or stomach upset, you need only look back at what you consumed (Diet); and, if you are not feeling centered, you can look back from a Spiritual standpoint - whatever that means to you. To feel better, we need to attend to the four components. If we commit ourselves to focusing on our personal health and well-being, we will find ourselves doing better, feeling better, more resilient, and able to be our best selves in any situation.

I hope that you find the REDS information useful. As always, I welcome and invite your comments, ideas, and feedback. Please send your suggestions to

Thank you for your continued commitment to excellence.

Best regards,

Ron T. Coley
Vice Chancellor
Business and Administrative Services


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University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-1012

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