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Flourish Emory

Strive to make flourishing a primary part of everything that we do.

Flourish Emory (FE) aims to redefine the conventional meaning of student success, fully embrace wellness on a complete continuum from languishing to flourishing, and thereby influence Emory culture.   Through a continual process that engages multiple community partners, Flourish Emory strives to evolve Emory’s campus culture to perpetually create conditions that make every student “more optimistic, happy and satisfied” (p.204, Csikszentmihalyi, 2009).”  Essentially, the FE believes that student success goes beyond academic achievement or attainment of career goals and enters the realm of living a purposeful, meaningful and eudemonic life.  FE envisions Emory as an “enabler of wellbeing.”  According to Helliwell (2011) institutions that enable well-being should embrace the following values: 

1)  Process matters. How something is done matters even more to wellbeing than does what is actually done. 

2)  Benevolence is its own reward, but working together to do good things for others is a super-charged form of benevolence. 

3)  People routinely under-estimate the extent to which others can be trusted, leading to declines in social engagement and weakening of social norms. 

4)  Individuals and institutions could improve wellbeing by building positive outcomes rather than merely repairing damage and avoiding risks. 

5)  Shared engagement trumps top-down.

Strategically, this does not mean ignoring an illness model of health, but rather, building upon the positive qualities of both individuals and the Emory community.  This calls for the seamless integration of primary, secondary and tertiary strategies. 

FE has already successfully engaged multiple community partners in an ongoing discussion about student wellness.  The result of these discussions include the creation of a steering team that reports to the University Senate, the development of student leadership positions (e.g. HCI Representative on the Student Leadership Roundtable), and several exciting initiatives.

In totality, these programs will cover languishing, moderately healthy and flourishing students and cultivate both individual and community eudemonia.


Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2009). The promise of positive psychology. Psychological topics18(2), 203-211.

Helliwell, J. F. (2011). Institutions as enablers of wellbeing: The Singapore prison case study. International Journal of Wellbeing1(2), 255-265.

Healthy Campus Initiatives

Student Groups

 B +

 “B+” is committed to providing an environment in which undergraduate students can flourish. We are determined to create change and allow students to reach their best potential, not simply by removing they 'symptoms' but by allowing them to fulfill their goals, be healthy, happy, have enough support and so on in order to flourish. Through our events and workshops we will help students to deveop skills in order to help cope with stress, lead happier lives and reach their full potential!

 Contact:  Eva Kassel

 Second Nature

 We want Second Nature to help the Emory community implement health promoting habits into their daily routines, thus making living a healthy life "second nature".  Healthy habits are important now because they affect the projection of our future (and current!) health state. Our events will for the most part be in conjunction with other health groups on campus. They will focus on one dimension of health and will focus on teaching the attendees the importance of this aspect of health and how to promote it in their daily routines. 

 Contact:  Ellen Chiang

 Sexual Health Advocacy Group

Mission: To promote positive sexuality at Emory University.

                 Rationale: to promote includes substrategies such as educate, discuss, encourage, market, etc.

 Vision: 100% of Emory students will display knowledge, attitudes and beliefs that promote positive and healthy sexuality.

 Contact: Emily Dixon


 The Good Life Lecture Series (co-sponsored by Vision to Action and the Center for Ethics)

 Coming Spring 2014

 The Good Life lecture seeks to facilitate a meaningful exchange of ideas on how to lead the “good life,” based on Socrates concept of Eudaemonia. We aim to attract speakers whose experiences and knowledge provide distinctive and challenging understandings on how to lead such a life. Our goal in doing so is that an audience, comprised primarily of students, can benefit from their wisdom as they move forward constructing their own personal version of the good life.

Contact: Hugh Green

Happiness Boot Camp

Next Happiness Boot Camp will in January 2014 for students who signed up.

In 2011, Emory University conducted the National College Health Assessment by the American College Health Association. This allowed us to assess students on a wide range of health behaviors and concerns. From these findings, we found concerning mental health issues among the participating students. Within the prior 12 months of students taking the assessment, 42% felt things were hopeless, 86.6% felt overwhelmed by all that they had to do, 29.3% felt so depressed that it was difficult to function, and 4.1% seriously considered suicide (Emory NCHA Data, 2011). These findings were not exclusive to Emory University’s campus. Within the prior 12 months of students across the country taking the assessment, 45.2% felt things were hopeless, 86.1% felt overwhelmed by all that they had to do, 30.3% felt so depressed that it was difficult to function, and 6.6% seriously considered suicide (National NCHA Data, 2011). 

Flourish Emory saw a much-needed focus on helping students flourish at Emory University’s academically rigorous environment. This sparked the creation of Happiness Boot Camp (HBC), a three-month program geared towards routinizing eudaimonic practices for students so that they can become more resilient towards the various stressors they may face at Emory University.

Utilizing HBC to improve Emory University students’ well-being is crucial for their future success. According to Lyubormirsky, King, and Diener (2005), happier individuals are more successful in multiple aspects of life, including having better chances at securing a job, more superior productivity, more resilience, less burnout, and better relationships. The continuation of HBC would allow the program to affect more students across campus in the hopes that the mental health of students will improve by the next National College Health Assessment. And due to the large percentage of languishing students throughout the nation, similar positive psychology based programs should be nationally utilized as well. 


Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., & Diener, E. (2005). The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?. Psychological Bulletin,131(6), 803-855.

To RSVP Contact:  Caleb Peng

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