Choate House on the Pace Pleasantville campus

Motivational Stories

What I Appreciate about My Colleagues

We’re celebrating Employee Appreciation at Pace University during the month of March!

Samantha Bancroft

I appreciate that my colleagues are team players. I always feel like they have my back and are willing to help with anything. We have a great team at the simulation lab!

Madia Bestman

I recently graduated from Pace University in May of 2020, now I have the pleasure of being a staff member. I appreciate my colleagues because they genuinely want me to become the best person I can be. Their willingness to help, teach, and mentor me is truly a blessing and I consider my colleagues as family.

Vincent Birkenmeyer

I appreciate that my colleagues are always trying to improve their practices to help students have the best experience at Pace.

Richard Chen

I just started at Pace a little over a month ago and I appreciate that all my colleagues have been incredibly welcoming and supportive.

Mariesa S. Cruz-Tillery

I appreciate the fact that they are truly invested in getting to know me, as a person. I have a very supportive manager who understands the benefits of a work-life balance and supports me as a professional, as a woman, as a wife, as a mother.

Nurys Lebron

I work with an amazing team. My colleagues have been supportive, empathetic, and uplifting during my time at Pace. Life has been tough on all of us, especially in the last 2-3 years and having these amazing colleagues have made it more tolerable. I feel very lucky to be part of our advising office.

John Machado

I've been in the field of mental health and chemical dependence for about 26 years. It's so refreshing to work at the Mental Health Counseling Center here in Pace. I appreciate all staff, trainees and external staff making my day a pleasure to come to work. Everyone is very pleasant, helpful, encouraging, accommodating and all-around good folks.

Johnni Medina

I’m new to Pace and everyone in my department has been helpful and friendly. Not only do I appreciate the work and expertise they bring to their jobs, but I am also so thankful they have shown an interest in me as a person, and they really do seem to care. It’s been the easiest transition to a new job I’ve ever experienced and it’s definitely because of their kindness.

Sarit Orlofsky

Having some of my colleagues on my team makes a big difference especially as a new faculty at Pace. They are willing to help me succeed and are pleasant to be around. I very much appreciate their positive attitude.

Melissa Schilio

They are always lending a helping hand when needed and together we get things done. They help me develop professional skills that I may not have developed if not working with them. My colleagues are not only hard working, but are great listeners and help push me out of my comfort zone when needed especially if I have to take on a new project. I also enjoy the different perspectives my colleagues bring to the table.

Barbara Streany

I appreciate my colleagues because they are always there for me on a personal and professional level. They make me feel comfortable to be able to lean on them if needed as an extended family.

What are you most optimistic about for 2022?

Renee Brown-Cheng

One thing I am optimistic about is I have entered a Transformation Challenge at my gym. The challenge begins at the end of January and goes for 8 weeks, until the end of March.

I often fall off the wagon with keeping up with my fitness goals when my work schedule gets very demanding with conversion events and I am excited to join a challenge that will help keep me motivated to make time for exercise, even when my life gets very busy.

Lori Kanner

I am optimistic that in 2022 we will encourage more people to have a mindset to see things from various perspectives creating a more empathetic, compassionate society. Creating a mindset of kindness and positivity that extends to all so that people can look at situations with a glass half full mindset!

Irina Kats

I am optimistic that I will stay in shape and continue to walk at least 50k steps each week; the world will make progress in dealing with the COVID pandemic; Pace University will continue to be innovative with in-person as well as hybrid and on-line classes in new, strategic fields of study; and traveling once again!

Jessica Kiebler

I am optimistic that we will continue to progress through this pandemic and return toward a life where it's safe for people to be together again. Not a return to normal because we are redefining what that is but at least a world where my kids can have play dates with less anxiety. Where we can go on vacations again. Where students can return to the classroom with less stress. I am holding hope for it each day because I want my kids to have a better world than the last two years. And we need to do it together.

Susan Maxam

I’m most optimistic about the impact our “change agent” students will make this semester and beyond! We have more and more students (and they are growing by leaps and bounds each year!) who are committed to making a difference in the world through Pace’s many student activism programs. They are such an inspiration!!

Ellen Morris

I am most optimistic about living what Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” With time I have become acutely aware of how much energy living in the past of “what if” and “why not” and it is drudgery. I am hopeful for the start of a new year. I am optimistic about embracing living in the moment. I prepare a wellness journey and strive for good physical and mental health. I have made appointments already to assure I follow through. I have been physically lazy and must start a more active role in fitness for healthier years ahead. I also want to develop hobbies and create time for that. I have let myself avoid socializing secondary to Covid and it is time now to reconnect without fear.

Erin Mysogland

I am optimistic about travel plans with family and friends as well as daily opportunities to learn from our fabulous students!

Morgan Theze

I am optimistic that I will get to see my family and friends more often than I have in the previous few years and that I can feel confident getting involved in group activities and hobbies around New York City.

Xianwen (Wen) Xi

I am most optimistic in 2022 about my self-care journey. My one word for 2022 is "pause" and I think it will help me slow down more and prioritize myself and my own health.

The Impact of HR's Health and Wellness Programs Weekly Email

Vincent Birkenmeyer

I think one of my favorite parts about the information from the Health and Wellness programs emails have been the articles. I appreciate that the topics are important ones and that there has been an incentive to read them and report back on specific information. They are topics I would love to read in general and the incentive helps push me to prioritize it and think critically! I regularly pass them along to friends/family outside of Pace as well.

John Blackwell

The Health and Wellness programs have helped me keep tracking on my goals for weight loss and being active. During Covid times, many organized group activities have been canceled and so it has been a bit difficult to be active in the things I would normally do. The extra motivation from the gift cards was appreciated.

Carly Corbett-Frank

The health and wellness programs have helped keep me on track of my step goals. With weekly check ins, the Get Moving contest has made me motivated to get in daily walks. When working from home, it can be hard to get outside, but this contest has reminded me of the importance of exercise and fresh air! Also encourages my roommates who will accompany me and allow us to step away for our electronic devices for a bit.

Brian Evans

I definitely benefited from stress reduction and mental health. I enjoy receiving these each week.

Lizzie Garcia

The Health and Wellness programs have helped me learn new ways to mitigate stress and better manage work-life balance. I appreciate the variety of articles and webinars shared, and the weekly step challenge reminds me to take time away from a screen and get fresh air each day

Qian Hua Ge

The weekly Health and Wellness email is something I look forward to every Tuesday. I appreciate HR's effort in keeping us healthy both physically and financially. I enjoy reading the articles with tips. The reminder in this email serves extra motivation for me to join the Zoom classes.

Kyomi Gregory

It has provided a constant reminder to me to continue to work on my health. I utilize the weekly emails as a reminder to keep moving, meditating, and focusing on my health. It’s so important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and learn new tips weekly on how to develop healthy habits.

Gabriella Lester

I am a new employee at Pace and just started this week. It was extremely encouraging to see these emails waiting in my inbox on the first day. It makes me feel excited and supported by my new work community and really helped to show me I made the right choice taking a position here at Pace! I am thankful I will be receiving these emails to get useful information to help me on my wellness journey. Thank you for the work you are doing.

John Machado

Receiving weekly emails from the Health and Wellness Program is an excellent reminder to continue to look to the future and see the bright side of the day. I moved to New York and began working for Pace at the beginning of October. Due to unforeseen conditions related to the health of the husband and older dog, my husband will not travel to New York until February 2022 from California. 

Interestingly, your emails reminded me to stay strong and look at the many blessings we have in our lives. My dog Valentino has been with us for fourteen years and had the life of a prince with a lot of love and the best of care. Being away from him as he is now much older with major health issues has been very difficult.

Today I know I must focus on all the loving memories we shared and always know we can only do our best in this lifetime.

Susan Maxam

I love, look forward to, and am grateful for, these newsletters as they provide key information; seminar/webinar/class offerings; fun facts; AND motivation to promote our mental and physical health!! I also enjoy reaching out to the contest winners each week to congratulate them, so in a very real sense that’s community building!

Morganne Muniz-Lundin

The weekly information from Health and Wellness specifically that I appreciated the most was the one with the article about gratitude a few weeks ago. I have actually started journaling every morning and it has created a space of reflection that I didn’t have before. Getting my thoughts out on paper before I start the day allows me to have a more focused and less stressful day. I enjoy the weekly offerings/contest as well because it gives me something to look forward to every week and a goal to be more active specifically with making sure to take breaks during the day to walk/get some steps in. Thank you Pace Health and Wellness for the thoughtful programs!

Valerie Palacio

I look forward to the weekly Health and Wellness emails. I have started to really rely on using deep breathing techniques when I am feeling stressed ,nervous or overwhelmed. I has truly made a difference in how I handle a variety of situations. I recently had a medical procedure done on my face which involved being numbed but awake and I used a deep breathing meditation to get through it. It helped tremendously. I also love the nutritional advice and guidance provided in the emails!

Jonah Safris

Since the beginning of the weekly Wellness emails, I have been relying on these updates/reminders to inform me about the various programs that are being offered at Pace. I count on these emails to let me know about scheduling changes for the athletics programs which help keep me active. I am particularly a fan of the yoga and kickboxing classes. There are also online courses through TIAA and Cigna that are announced through the Health and Wellness emails. It has been very useful to learn about financial and health lifestyle programs. I have learned many tips that I have been able to implement in my daily routine.

Robert Wiener

Sometimes it just takes a “nudge” to be the catalyst for improved health/wellness. Especially this year, the exhortation to Get Moving! got me moving even after hip replacement.

William Zimmerman

There is nothing selfish about self-care! The information and offerings have enabled me to increase my awareness in this regard. I have implemented effective practices for nutrition, exercise and rest that I plan to maintain throughout and after the pandemic.

How Giving Helped My Physical or Mental Health

Heather Crognale

A co-worker of my husband recently suffered a devastating loss due to a fire in her apartment. We contributed funds to help her and her family get whatever they needed and we also donated gently used clothes to her and her children. Knowing that our gently used items were going to a friend in need made us both feel good. I like knowing that I can help someone in their time of need and hopefully ease some of their burden.

Brian Evans

I find that giving has helped give me a mental state of satisfaction and generally has improved happiness and reduced stress. I'm sure there are physical health benefits definitely related to the stress part. However, much of it has been mental health for me.

Grace Griffin

Thanksgiving. The very name of the holiday is descriptive about giving and feeling thankful for it. Trying to make a difference in someone’s life is good. Giving time and money can have a positive impact on someone else and myself.

Volunteering helped me feel good because I was able to help seniors get to their medical appointments easily. I volunteer for an organization called F.I.S.H. It stands for Friends In Service Helping. It may sound corny, but kindness is contagious. That is a good feeling.

Nasreen Hussain

During the pandemic in December 2020 I launched an online bake shop on Instagram, through which I donate a portion of proceeds to a different local charity every month. Sharing sweetness through my baked goods is one thing that helped me through the pandemic. It kept me busy and loved hearing from customers telling me how much they loved my goodies. In addition, whenever I would post a new charity to help – whether it was based around animals or children or refugees, I felt a sense of purpose and also connected with followers in new ways. Some customers really appreciated when I would donate to animal shelters while others were so happy to see me help fund music education. Each time I saw someone connect with a cause I felt the stress of the pandemic take a back seat and felt happier.

Jessica Kiebler

When I was finished breastfeeding my son in 2018, I had over 200 ounces of frozen milk stocked up. Instead of throwing it away, I contacted a local milk bank and went through the process to donate it. It is so rewarding knowing that premature babies and moms with birth complications were able to use my donation to make their start of life easier and healthier makes me feel great. I enjoy telling people that it’s a possibility because many don’t know it’s something you can do and I hope it inspires others to do it. I’m currently breastfeeding & pumping again and am motivated to create another stash so I can give again!

Susan Maxam

For Christmas, instead of presents, our family gives “gifts of kindness” in honor of the person they are exchanging gifts with. So for instance, my daughter loves rescue animals so I may spend a day volunteering at a local animal shelter for her gift. My son works with children with disabilities so I might organize a small fundraiser for a free soccer program he runs for the children he works with. Such acts of kindness go a long way in not only making my family (and me!) feel good but also in supporting causes my family and friends feel passionate about.

Laurice D. Nemetz

For me giving expands our sense of happiness. This is the idea of “sympathetic joy” or Bodhichitta which is taking pleasure in others’ happiness that can help us be happier too.

Sarit Orlofsky

I am part of a local group that collects donation of clothing, kids games and miscellaneous household items from members in my local community and distribute it to families in need that also reside in our community ( due to financial strain / need specific items that were lost in the few recent floods we had for example / need food before a holiday)

Doing so give me positive feelings and it also gives me a sense of purpose and reward to connect with people in my community.

Jonah Safris

Last year I sponsored a family for a holiday toy drive. This involved buying and donating several toys and gifts that were on a list of requested items. Even though I didn't know the family that I was sponsoring, it made me very happy and satisfied to know that I was making their holiday season a little brighter. Just picturing the smiles on their faces as they opened the gifts made me feel good. They say it is better to give than to receive and the feeling of knowing that I was able to spread holiday cheer was better than any gift that I could receive.

Jayme Taylor

A few years back, I volunteered for an organization called the Achilles Foundation. This organization teamed sighted people with blind or visually impaired people as running buddies. I would guide visually impaired athletes as they ran and trained for races. This was extremely rewarding emotionally but also physically because it helped me get into better physical shape but also gave me emotional satisfaction, many laughs and good times, lower stress, and special friendships.

Wen Xi

For me, giving helps show others around me that I appreciate them and that I am thinking about them. It makes me feel like I am a part of their lives and invested in them as a person. It has also helped me get out of the rut of scrolling on social media mindlessly and instead I am more deliberate in what I am searching online when I am buying a gift for someone and it also encourages me to get out of my house and go actively shop/browse for a gift for someone, which helps get me moving!