Student Wellness
Student Wellness

Mission, Values & Vision


  • Create a campus culture of wellness and academic success so all students can “Innovate at Iowa State”.


  • Student Wellness enhances the holistic health, wellbeing, and safety for all students through implementing prevention and health promotion strategies that support academic success, promote student development, and achieve health equity.


How Student Wellness achieves our mission and supports Iowa State University’s Strategic Plan

  • Student Wellness uses a settings-based, public health approach to:
    • Reorient the campus community to prioritize and promote wellbeing in all systems, practices, services, and policies that enhance student success and holistic development
    • Mobilize campus and community members to strengthen community action for health
    • Create a supportive campus environment towards health, inclusion, and belonging
    • Develop and enhance personal skills that support health and reduce harm


Focus of Student Wellness

  • Student Wellness plans, implements, and evaluates health promotion and prevention strategies that focus on health and wellness issues that directly affect student success, higher learning, and personal development such as Power-based personal violence, suicide, mental health, substance use, body image and disordered eating, sexual health, and more.


Why Wellness Matters

  • Research shows that student health and wellbeing is inextricably linked to academic success, retention, and persistence to graduation.
  • Students who are not physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially well are more likely to leave the institution, have poor academic performance, and engage in risky behaviors that can affect them legally, socially, and personally.



Under the direction of Director, Student Wellness Mark Rowe-Barth and Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Martino Harmon, Student Wellness at Iowa State University launched on February 24, 2017 with a ribbon cutting ceremony in Friley Hall.  Student Wellness became part of the Student Health and Wellness unit, joining the Thielen Student Health Center, Recreation Services, and Student Counseling Services.  Student Wellness was established to provide leadership on campus in supporting holistic wellbeing of students and implementing critical health promotion and prevention strategies in key areas like power-based personal violence, substance use, mental health, nutrition, body image, and more that affect academic success. 



Student Wellness uses a Settings Approach and works to create a health promoting university.  Settings approach to health promotion considers all the interacting parts that make up a system and implements interventions at all levels (individual, relational, campus, community, policy) to reduce risk factors and harm that affect student success and overall wellbeing.

These are some guiding frameworks that Student Wellness uses in our day to day work

Settings Based Approach:

Health Promoting University: 

Okanagan Charter: 

Ottawa Charter: 


Our values are reflected in Iowa State University’s Principles of Community.

Respect: We seek to foster an open-minded understanding among individuals, organizations and groups. We support this understanding through outreach, increasing opportunities for collaboration, formal education programs and strategies for resolving disagreement.

Purpose: We are encouraged to be engaged in the university community. Thus, we strive to build a genuine community that promotes the advancement of knowledge, cooperation and leadership.

Cooperation: We recognize that the mission of the university is enhanced when we work together to achieve the goals of the university. Therefore, we value each member of the Iowa State University community for his or her insights and efforts, collective and individual, to enhance the quality of campus life.

Richness of Diversity: We recognize and cherish the richness of diversity in our university experience. Furthermore, we strive to increase the diversity of ideas, cultures and experiences throughout the university community.

Freedom from discrimination: We recognize that we must strive to overcome historical and divisive biases in our society. Therefore, we commit ourselves to create and maintain a community in which all students, staff, faculty and administrators can work together in an atmosphere free from discrimination, and to respond appropriately to all acts of discrimination.

Honest and respectful expression of ideas: We affirm the right to and the importance of a free exchange of ideas at Iowa State University within the bounds of courtesy, sensitivity and respect. We work together to promote awareness of various ideas through education and constructive strategies to consider and engage in honest disagreements.