The Pruitt Center for Mindfulness and Well-Being
Photo provided by the Pruitt Center
By Alexie Pryd
Community members, staff, and students at the University of Wisconsin-Superior who find themselves interested in learning mindfulness, stress management, and various forms of yoga could find a forever home right on the UWS campus.
The Pruitt Center for Mindfulness and Well-Being, located on the third floor of Swenson Hall in room 3117, is a gathering hub that provides mindfulness and well-being resources, learning projects, and personal/professional development activities.
The Center, named after Becky and Doug Pruitt, has a mission to promote and enhance the science and practice of mindfulness and well-being for students, faculty/staff, and the greater community. The Pruitt Center team consisting of Randy Barker, the Director for Health, Counseling, and Well-Being, and Lori Tuominen, the Program Manager, work to do everything in their power to advocate for the Center’s mission.
“We try to create a space that anyone that will walk into it will feel a sense of peace, acceptance, and warmth,” said Barker. “We work to provide as many opportunities to learn, practice, and reflect on these teachable, learnable skills. Integrating this into the curriculum, providing workshops and training, or anything that we can do to spread the word, the information, or the science is what we do as much as possible.”
The staff at the Pruitt Center also believes that the best way to work on mindfulness is to experience it. “We believe strongly in offering an experiential learning situation for people. It’s one thing to learn about something, but it’s something else to experience it. I think mindfulness has to be experienced in order for it to make an impact.” said Tuominen.
According to Barker and Tuominen, the Pruitt Center works as a proactive preventative organization that teaches skills essential for people to flourish. “We look at our counseling services as reactive responsive services, which are vital, but we also feel that being proactive and preventative is also vital. That’s really what the Pruitt Center’s focused on. Teaching people how to swim before they’re drowning,” said Barker.
The Pruitt Center encourages students, staff, and the local community to learn to be mindful. The Center aims to improve relationships, manage stress and adversity, develop a range of interests and strengths, and establish a sense of meaning and purpose in each person’s life and career. “We want people to feel that we care about their entire whole person,” said Tuominen. “The Pruitt Center is in place so that people feel like they don’t have to be in crisis to get care or to feel cared for.”