SON Interim Director Ann Marchewka Reflects on Teaching and Well-being

SON Interim Director Ann Marchewka Reflects on Teaching and Well-being

By Interim Director Ann Marchewka, PhD, RN, School of Nursing

Ann Marchewka and studentAsked about why I came to Norwich University, I’d simply say for new experience. Hospitals have been my world and with that a focus on the problem of strength, resilience and the restorative capacity of patients being largely ignored within the context of current medical and reimbursement models.

Working with students has allowed me to shift my focus from disease to the vital forces that sustain and build on health and well-being, providing an opportunity to read, explore the nature of health, and integrate experience where I saw first-hand communities thrive in the midst of overwhelming hardship.

Courses including Health Economics & Policy and Health Promotion provide me with an opportunity to explore cultural belief models and lifestyle effects on health. I’ve been impressed with how the fields of epigenetics, psychoneuroimmunology, quantum physics, even metaphysics support the view that our state of health is largely driven by awareness, perception, and dare I say, conscious choice?

More importantly, my work with students has opened new understanding. I marvel at their engagement and capacity to adapt, learn, and tackle the complexities of this environment. Students tell me that most challenging is the stress that can dominate their lives. Essential, they say, is the guidance faculty provide to meet and transform this stress into a space for learning. In more ways than one, they’ve become my teachers.