In response to the enormous pressures faced by faculty and staff, a coalition of offices from around campus are working together to bring the CoJourn Program to UMass. This 12-week peer-to-peer support program is running in parallel to similar programs running for students.
The CoJourn model was developed by Molly Keehnand Karl Henricksen. Participants work with a partner and commit to 30-minutes of focused support and encouragement. Participants are given some tools and training and then each person sets a series of goals for themselves and your partner’s job is to support you in your goals. People have used the program to focus on things like wellness, managing anxiety, connecting with others or tackling procrastination.
Previous pilot programs have received rave reviews from participants, including from the current coaches for CoJourn@UMass. Wendy Varner, the director of Faculty Development wrote “I have had a trusted CoJourn partner during the past few months and our weekly conversations have been grounding and truly helpful during this unsettling time. People find they really enjoy connecting with their partner as well as the chance to focus on what’s important to them.
Margaret Arsenault, director of Workplace Learning and Development said “I found that having a partner helped me keep on track with my intentions, and the added bonus was having someone to celebrate my small successes with.” And Corey Albert Griffin, director of the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program said “I chose my sister as a partner and it felt great to have an additional reason to connect with her and share what was going on with me.”
An info session with Molly Keehn will happen on Zoom on Thursday, Nov. 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. A link to the info session will be provided to those who register for the program and a recording of the meeting will be sent to those unable to attend. UMass Cojourn Coaches will stay in touch with participants, offering help as needed as well as optional check-in meetings.
CoJourn@UMass is free for staff and faculty and is sponsored by Faculty and Staff Assistance Program; Office of Faculty Development; Workplace Learning & Development; andCampus Life and Wellbeing Collaborative.