Engelhard Project for Connecting Life & Learning

    Bringing Wellness into the Classroom

    The Engelhard Project represents an innovative experiment in integrating student wellness issues into academic contexts.

    Using a curriculum infusion approach, Engelhard faculty from a variety of disciplines link course content with wellness topics through readings, discussions led by campus health professionals, and reflective writing.

    Georgetown University professors and administrators describe the goals of the Engelhard Project and how Engelhard courses emphasize “cura personalis,” or care for the entire person.

    Student Experience

    Engelhard: The Student Experience

    The courses that I’m going to most remember are my Engelhard courses, and the faculty I’m going to stay in touch with are those professors who taught those classes. For me, the reason those courses were different was because I didn’t feel that I was necessarily just getting a degree, but that I was getting a Georgetown education.

    Sarah Jones, student

    Case Study 1

    Maria Donoghue // Mood Disorders

    Maria Donoghue

    Engelhard Faculty Fellow Maria Donoghue (Biology), who has infused wellness issues into the content of both her advanced and general-education biology courses, has incorporated discussions led by campus professionals on infectious disease, addiction, and mood disorders. The mood disorders unit proved particularly important to students’ personal lives, Donoghue said.

    “It brought up so many questions about the biology, and it turns out that many, many students have either had a mood problem themselves or have a family member or a friend who has struggled with one. By talking about the biology of a mood disorder in class, it sends a message to students that this is a problem like any other problem... you demystify it.”

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    Case Study 2

    Jim Sandefur // Math Modeling

    Jim Sandefur

    Engelhard Faculty Fellow Jim Sandefur (Mathematics) has experimented with using math modeling to explain the effects of eating disorders, gambling, and the elimination of alcohol from the body. He explains that “the Engelhard Project fit right into what I have always wanted to do. For my math modeling class, for years I had been looking for engaging models that were important to the students, models where they could see math as it affected their lives.”

    Sandefur has consistently noticed that his students not only understand the math better, but they also enjoy it more. By showing students concrete ways they could apply the math skills they learned, he extended the course’s reach beyond the classroom.

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    Project Partners

    The initial phase of the Engelhard Project (2005-2011) has been partially funded by the Charles Engelhard Foundation of New York, through the national Bringing Theory to Practice Project in partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

    Launch the full Engelhard Website.