Nancy D. Young
Vice President for Student Affairs
Self-care connects everything in life: career, interactions and one’s personal life. Is this something you are doing well or is this a goal? What are your secrets if you are succeeding and what are you goals if this is a focus area where you want to learn from others?
Like many, my workload increased during COVID while at home care for aging parents simultaneously required increased attention. Taking breaks from the screen to create meaningful moments with family throughout the day was key to finding balance during the past two years. Even 30 minutes in the garden between meetings or a quick break outside on campus can immediately relieve any stress I’m feeling. While I continue to strive for better self-care, my secret – if there is one – is reminding myself that as a leader people watch what you do more than what you say. If I genuinely want my staff to practice self-care, they need to see me do it. I remind myself that I need to practice what I preach and suddenly self-care feels like a responsibility to others as well as to myself.
Why is community service critical to your career and your personal leadership journey?
I grew up in a family that was actively engaged in our community. I can’t remember a time in my life that I wasn’t accompanying my mother or father as they raised money for youth, organized community events, or actively involved us in politics. So community service doesn’t feel ‘critical’ to my career or leadership, it’s simply a deeply held value and a critical part of my identity. Human beings are driven to connect and being in community with others to improve our shared space is simply a core piece of who I am.