Building Strength for the Road Ahead

The UWRL endeavors to bring the UW community into connection with one another through programming that normalizes the wide-ranging experiences of hardship, failures, and setbacks our community members face through the cultivation of kindness, compassion, and gratitude toward each other and ourselves.

The Big Picture

Responsible, compassionate global citizens ready to face and respond to challenges. Learn more

This Venn diagram serves as conceptual framework for the Resilience Lab’s work. Two circles overlap to show the union between sets. The following words are written across and down the circles to indicate connections between core concepts: 
•      Mindfulness
•      Encourage Innovation
•      Adaptive Coping Strategies after Failure
•      Self-kindness
•      Vulnerability
•      Positive Emotions
•      Compassion
•      Resilience
•      Common Humanity
•      Growth Mindset
•      Sense of Purpose
•      Emotional Intelligence
•      Healthy Connections
•      Self-Awareness
•      Social  Emotional Skills
•      Stress Management 
Emphasis is placed on Compassion, Resilience, and Vulnerability, through a slightly larger font size, since these are the primary initiatives driving research and programming for the Lab. All terms are hyperlinked and defined in a glossary in the Engage section of the website.

In the News

Announcing Resilience and Compassion Initiatives Seed Grants Recipients

The University of Washington Resilience Lab recently awarded 16 grants to UW projects designed to cultivate kindness, compassion and gratitude; to engage hardships, setbacks and failures with compassion and vulnerability; to foster connectedness, belonging and community; and to embrace both common humanity and diversity within the human experience. Students, staff and faculty from all three campuses — including administrative and academic units — applied for seed grants to fund research, workshops, retreats, activities, faculty-invited speakers and other events tailored for students, faculty and staff in support of these aims. The Resilience Lab awarded a total of $25,000 to the individuals and groups. This base amount was increased by 41% through matching funds from the associated schools, colleges and departments. The combined support raises the total value of these awards to more than $35,500.

The range of proposals demonstrate the need and collective interest to realize resilience- and compassion-building work. In all, students, faculty and staff submitted 44 proposals from 29 different departments across all three UW campuses. From that group, 16 grants were made to fund the ideas of faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students representing 13 departments from all three UW campuses. Funded projects are intended to benefit the broad UW community.

“The creative ideas people had to build connection and support well-being was just inspiring,” said Anne Browning, director of the Resilience Lab. Projects range from alleviating burnout among medical residents, a resilience and compassion podcast series, a wellness challenge and much more, all with the intent of creating more compassionate and resilient communities.

For their project, “What Compassion Looks Like: Journaling for Self-Kindness,” School of Medicine associate professors Jennifer Best and Jennifer Zumsteg said, “We hope to break down Health Sciences silos, foster vulnerability and combat isolation in clinical practice and education; cultivate peer communities; and curate stories of self-compassion to sustain our community.”

A list of funded projects and the project leads is below. For more information about the projects, visit the UW Resilience Lab’s website. Funding for these seed grants is provided by the Maritz Foundation.

Funded projects and project leads are:

Building Compassion and Promoting Burnout Recovery Through Resident Team Reflection
Project lead: Anthony Back, Professor — School of Medicine, Oncology, Seattle

CARE Training to Prevent Burnout and Improve Well-Being at the Center for Equity and Inclusion
Project lead: Jane Compson, Associate Professor, Politics — Philosophy and Public Affairs, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Tacoma

Changing the Culture of the University: Beginning Within
Project lead: Kelly Edwards, Associate Dean — Student and Postdoctoral Affairs in the Graduate School; Professor — Department of Bioethics and Humanities, School of Medicine, Seattle

Cultivating Compassion and Resilience Through Mindful Inquiry
Project lead: Anil Coumar, Clinical Assistant Professor — Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, Seattle

Engaging Students in Creating Inclusive, Welcoming and Connected Learning Environments
Project lead: Sujata Pradhan, Associate Professor — Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine, Seattle

Knit for Nice
Project lead: Alyssa Taylor, Senior Lecturer — Bioengineering, College of Engineering and School of Medicine, Seattle

Map of Restorative Spaces on UW Seattle's Campus
Project lead: Beck Tench, Ph.D. student — The Information School

The Resiliency Collective
Project lead: Marissa Jackson, Master of Public Health student — School of Public Health

A Pilot Study of Search Inside Yourself for UW Faculty and Staff
Project lead: Anthony Back, Professor — School of Medicine, Oncology, Seattle

Resilience and Compassion Podcast Series
Project lead: Gregory Heller, Adviser, Senior Associate Director, MBA Career Management — Foster School of Business, Seattle

Self Care is Revolutionary
Project lead: Alice Pederson, Lecturer — School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Bothell

Starting the Year off Right: Cultivating Community in the Epidemiology Department
Project lead: Jen Balkus, Assistant Professor — Department of Epidemiology, School of Medicine, Seattle

Trauma Informed Yoga
Project lead: Brittany Bowhall, Student Advocate for Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, Stalking, and Harassment — Health and Wellness, Division of Student Life, Seattle

What Compassion Looks Like: Journaling for Self -Kindness
Project lead: Jennifer Best, Associate Professor — General Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, and Jennifer Zumsteg, Assistant Professor, General Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Seattle

The Whole U Summer Wellness Challenge
Project lead: Lauren Updyke, Assistant Director — The Whole U, Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma

About the UW Resilience Lab
The Resilience Lab promotes resilience development while normalizing failure and acknowledging the wide range of hardships our community members have faced and continue to face. As a laboratory space, the Resilience Lab tries new and creative methods for rethinking the UW experience in and out of the classroom.





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Featuring The Whole U, Raising the Bar

The Whole U received one of the UW Resilience Lab seed grants to help support their Raise the Bar “Summer Wellness Challenge,” which kicked off July 9 and runs through the end of August. Raise the Bar empowers departments and teams across all UW campuses and medical centers to create a healthier community through five main focus areas: being active, eating well, managing stress, cultivating kindness and compassion, and building community. Learn more about the challenge and how to join here.

“Fostering community is the foundation from which The Whole U operates and cultivating kindness and compassion has always been at the core of what we do,” said Lauren Updyke, assistant director of The Whole U. “The summer wellness Challenge is a unique program that not only has a far reach, but which also creates impact.”

The Resilience Lab grant helps support The Whole U in bringing the UW community a range of events and wellness content this summer, including:

The Whole U will also be producing and publishing Weekly Audio Meditations by UW experts that will help listeners find a sense of calm and inner strength to center them as they work and live. Each week’s meditation session will focus on a new topic, including: gratitude, compassion, meaning, and purpose.

Listen to the first—a breath awareness meditation with Dr. Tabitha Kirkland—here.

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