This month, we profile Crystal Hutchinson, Workplace Wellbeing Strategist for Health, Wellbeing & Benefits at the Vancouver campus.
Tell us about yourself
I was born and raised – and still reside – in East Vancouver. I have completed three degrees (two undergraduate, one graduate) at Simon Fraser University. I have always been extremely passionate about health and wellbeing. I spent the first few years of my professional life as a high school teacher in Vancouver and my teaching experiences really demonstrated to me the critical importance of health and wellbeing in terms of one’s ability to reach their full potential in learning and in life. As a result, I started to pursue other opportunities that combined my interests in education and health promotion.
After obtaining my Masters in Education focused on comprehensive approaches to Health Education, I took on a new role at Simon Fraser University as a Health Promotion Specialist. During my four years at SFU, I was fortunate to be involved in a number of innovative projects. I was part of research team that investigated how teaching practices contribute to psychosocial wellbeing and learning. I developed and led the “Wellbeing through Physical Spaces” project at SFU which focused on enhancing health through the built environment. One of my most memorable experiences was being part of the team that co-hosted the 2015 International Conference for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges and being involved in the development of the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges.
What do you do in HR?
I joined the HR team in July 2017 in the newly created role of Workplace Wellbeing Strategist. In my role, I meet and partner with different faculties, departments and units to provide support in taking strategic, evidence-based action to foster healthy and supportive work environments. Together, we identify strengths, challenges and opportunities for action within the unique context of the faculty, department or unit to support wellbeing within the workplace.
Part of my role also entails increasing awareness of all the fantastic resources provided through HR that are available to support workplace wellbeing by addressing issues such as career transition, change management, and enhancing leadership skills and competencies. One of my favourite things about my role is getting to meet with diverse and wonderful people from across UBC. It is truly inspiring to connect with staff, faculty and those in leadership positions who care deeply about fostering wellbeing within their working and learning environments.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Most of my free time is spent with my husband, dogs, family and friends. I love travelling, running and winter sports. I am also a bit of a thrill seeker. I’ve done zip lining, paragliding, bungee jumping and skydiving, and I would do them all again!
Photo: Cliff Mah Photography