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Organizational Excellence

Poole Community Practicing Self-Care

Shining a light on the importance of mental health, the Poole community is sharing their methods of self-care.

Richard Warr leads yoga

Poole faculty, staff and students can feel the stress of the workplace, classroom and everyday life throughout the academic year. Shining a light on the importance of mental health, the Poole community is sharing their methods of self-care.

Brian taking a walk with his puppy Simba

Brian Clark, Executive Director of Development and External Relations

Since joining Poole College almost three years ago, Brian Clark utilizes NC State’s beautiful campus to go on walks to relieve workplace stress. Outside of Nelson Hall, Clark finds solace in walking his new puppy, cooking, playing golf and listening to music.

Doug pictured in the Poole IT Service Desk in Nelson Hall

Doug Rowe, Human Resource Specialist

Doug Rowe believes in vocalizing your stressors as harboring issues can cause them to build and boil over. Being able to talk about mental health is incredibly important to Rowe who recommends the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FASAP) at NC State as a resource.

“I also have a stress ball that I squeeze with all of my rage and fury and yet it comes back as soft and fluffy as it was before,” said Rowe. “A great reminder that nothing is permanent.”

Jennifer taking a trail ride with her horse

Jennifer Dirienzo, Lecturer in Accounting 

Jennifer Dirienzo likes to unwind by leaving her phone behind and taking a trail ride with her horse through the woods. Dirienzo picked horseback riding back up in her thirties after taking a break after high school.

“I met a friend when I was learning to scuba dive and she had horses and invited me to ride with her,” said Dirienzo. “I had my own horse within a year and participated in eventing, fox hunting and trail riding. I no longer compete but have three horses on my farm and still trail ride.”

Ruthie (left) with her friends at an NC State football game

Ruthie Brock, junior, business administration

Ruthie Brock, a junior majoring in business administration with a concentration in marketing, likes to wind down by reading before bed. She finds reading a good book calms her mind and allows her to sleep better.

“I also attend as many NC State sporting events as I can,” said Brock. “Although they can be stressful, they create a positive distraction for a few hours where I can spend with my friends.” 

Darshana posing after a mountain trail hike

Darshana Juvale, Instructional Designer

As one of Poole’s newest staff members, Darshana Juvale has discovered the benefits of the Campus Wellness and Recreation Center that offers group fitness classes. She also takes advantage of the facility for running and yoga. 

Off-campus, Juvale practices mindfulness and explores new gyms, national parks and trails.

Rob taking a selfie while skiing

Rob Handfield, Executive Director of Supply Chain Resource Cooperative and Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management

After networking with colleagues for 23 years at NC State, Rob Handfield enjoys being able to catch up with faculty and staff across campus. Exercise is key to mental health for Handfield as he takes a long walk each morning. Handfield also loves skiing, jogging, hiking and swimming as forms of exercise.

Richard leading a yoga class during Fall Wellness Week at Poole

Richard Warr, Associate Dean for Faculty and Research

Poole College’s resident yoga instructor, Richard Warr, holds weekly yoga sessions for faculty and staff to unwind during the work day. Warr also led sessions for students during the fall Wellness Week. 

Additionally, Warr likes meditation, enjoying the fresh air, birding and playing the acoustic guitar as methods of relaxation.

Angler tries his luck fishing along the shoreline of Cape Lookout.

Justin Ratliff, sophomore, business administration

Poole College sophomore Justin Ratliff relieves his stress at the NC State Wellness and Recreation Center through weight lifting. For relaxation, Ratliff enjoys a good trip to the beach for fishing. He also found that many clubs and activities on campus are good outlets for students.

Sarah (top right) working with Habitat for Humanity

Sarah Khan, Teaching Associate Professor of Information Technology and Business Analytics

Sarah Khan begins her day with a set morning routine that includes deep prayer and time for planning which has helped her since the beginning of COVID-19. The pandemic led her to volunteer for community projects which she has found to have a positive impact on her mental health. 

“I think factors contributing to stress and anxiety originate from multiple aspects of life,” said Khan. “To keep functioning properly, I make a conscious effort to keep my ‘bad’ stress and resulting anxiety levels in check. I do that through daily reflection, deep prayer and cutting down coffee.”

One of Eileen’s handmade quilts

Eileen Taylor, Professor of Accounting

Eileen Taylor practices self-care through meditation, yoga, listening to music and working on homemade quilts.

Carson’s first Burn Bootcamp class in Cary in August

Carson Shanahan, Marketing and Communications Manager

Carson Shanahan considers herself lucky to live right on the Cary Greenway and takes at least one walk a day to clear her mind. Shanahan has also been riding horses since she was five years old and enjoys spending time at the barn. Her true stress reliever is going to Burn Bootcamp and spending 45 minutes exercising in a supportive community.

One of Maggie’s beloved dogs

Maggie Merry, Assistant Dean of Finance and Administration

To destress, Maggie Merry plays with her dogs and plays board games and video games as well as daily yoga. She is a big fan of exploring campus and meeting new people along the way.

“I try my hardest to let things go and not ruminate on them,” said Merry. “I do my best every day and acknowledge that sometimes it won’t be perfect. I try to focus on what went well rather than what didn’t go well.”

Allison’s dog, Daisy, on a walk at the beach

Allison Anthony, Associate Director of the Master of Management Program 

Allison Anthony is a participant in Richard Warr’s weekly yoga sessions from either her on-campus office or at home. She discovered her love of yoga during the pandemic after searching for different workouts on YouTube. 

Anthony walks her dog, Daisy, twice a day – once in the morning to center herself and once in the afternoon to relieve any stress of the day. 

“It allows for social interaction, as we often run into other neighbors out walking,” said Anthony. “On the weekends, if the weather is nice we sometimes meet family or friends for long walks or hikes at various parks around Raleigh.”

Maria and her son, Ivan, reading a book together

Maria Potepalova, Director of Marketing

Maria Potepalova finds a daily routine of reading children’s books to her son, Ivan, a therapeutic activity. They read all kinds of books – about other kids and families, animals and nature, emotions, cars and trucks – but the all-time favorite is about Frankie and his library trip.

“My son has developed a love for reading books since he was a newborn, which became our daily routine. No matter how my workday went, I know that reading books will bring me peace of mind and comfort. Ivan also asks me to switch languages (we’re a bilingual family and speak Russian at home), and I have to do on-the-go translation, which helps my brain work differently.”