WE students meditate

Wellness Environment: WE

An incentive based program focused on health promotion, illness prevention and behavioral change. The framework of WE is set-up to provide students with an environment to live and grow where making healthy choices is the norm, not the exception.

Campus-Wide Effort

Led by the determination of leaders at UVM College of Medicine, WE teaches students how behavior, good and bad, affects their brains and bodies. This knowledge, paired with accessible, health promoting resources, creates an environment apt for students to make healthier decisions.

  • Students listen to lecture in HBHB


    To deepen one's understanding of good health, WE students are required to enroll in the 3-credit course COMU 001: Healthy Brains, Healthy Bodies" developed by James Hudziak, M.D. - founder and director of WE, member of the UVM College of Medicine faculty and renowned expert in child and adolescent psychiatry. The course is taught by Dr. Hudziak and other experts, and explores wellbeing from a neuroscience perspective.

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  • WE gives students more incentives to stay active in college
  • Fitness mentors are available for free in the fitness center in the WE residence hall
  • Students create goals and establish an exercise plan to meet them


  • WE communities are built around healthy cooking and eating
  • Students will have exclusive access to Nutrition programs administered by UVM Masters of Science in Dietetics students
  • WE partners with UVM Dining to create accessible and mindful nutrition options for students


  • WE students learn and practice mindfulness in a healthy, judgement-free environment
  • Daily mindfulness classes are available in the residence hall
  • Members utilize mindfulness to decrease stress and anxiety, while increasing productivity and aiding in decision-making


  • Promotes healthy, affirming relationships in a positive, judgment-free environment 
  • Mentors realize the impact that they can have on younger generations
  • Increases interpersonal skills, empathy, and assertiveness
WE Director lectures to students in HBHB

Letter from the Director

Born out of decades of research in genetics, neuroimaging, and the effect of the environmental influences on emotional behavioral health, I proposed a neuroscience inspired, incentive based health promotion behavioral change program to protect and promote the development of college age students’ brains.

In the same way that lifting weights can alter the structure and function of a person’s body, engaging in the four pillars of WE (Mindfulness, Fitness, Nutrition, and Relate), will influence the structure and function of an individual’s brain. Our motto is build a healthy brain and a healthy body will follow.

Jim Hudziak, MD