A Note from President Hamilton

In spite of the great minds and robust scholarship emanating from the world’s esteemed institutions of higher learning and medical practice, sadly we have yet to find an effective treatment for one of the mightiest physical and emotional trials many of us face.

Finals week.

Those of us in the academy—particularly students and faculty—often have significant work hurdles to clear before we can even begin to fantasize about winter break and cozy nights spent gathered with family and friends (which can bring a different kind of stress!). Modern life—in particular city life—can have us stretched quite thin, and we owe it to our health and to our sanity to find some time to relax.

Personally speaking, I wind down by taking long walks with Jennie around the streets of Manhattan. It gives us both the opportunity to talk while also getting some fresh air and exercise. (My slightly less healthy way of relaxing generally involves walking to the couch to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers, which I assure you also has its stresses—especially this season.)

But beyond sports and city streets, NYU offers so many resources for health and wellness. Our Student Health Center, in addition to providing a wide range of medical services, has recently introduced a new wellness app to enable students to easily connect with mental health resources. In addition, campus-based organizations like Mindful NYU offer a range of free classes and technological solutions to help manage stress through meditation, yoga, and similar practices.

Sometimes, particularly when it comes to prioritizing wellness, people need reminding. That’s why I’m so gratified to see students and administrators at individual schools—including Tisch, Tandon, Steinhardt, the College of Global Public Health, and the Silver School of Social Work—setting up relaxation days and quiet corners or providing therapeutic activities, snacks, and sometimes just a space to lie down on a bean bag.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Academically speaking, wellness is at the heart of our mission across so many of our schools and departments, and we Violets can take pride in the wide-ranging and innovative ways in which our faculty and alumni are diagnosing, treating, and preventing illness in all its forms (just some of their stories are below). I know this inspires my own research and, given NYU’s scope and breadth, I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that NYU is most assuredly making the world a healthier place for future generations.

Wishing you all the best of luck at term’s end and a happy, restful, and healthy holiday season. And to our students—good luck on those finals!


It would seem students are a little too good at hiding their stress, according to a recent study by students and faculty in the Department of Psychology. It found that while roommates can be effective in monitoring each other’s mental health, they typically underestimate the level of stress their fellow roommates are under.

Since my own research has a link to Parkinson’s disease, I was particularly intrigued by the current joint research project between Steinhardt and the Fresco Institute at the School of Medicine examining the positive effects of arts-based treatments for Parkinson’s and movement disorders.

Nurse practitioners from the Rory Meyers College of Nursing are critical to our medical services here at NYU, both at the Student Health Center and at NYU Langone Ambulatory Care West Side. Beyond NYU, nearly 200,000 nurse practitioners nationwide are relied upon to fill the shortage in primary care service.

Adam Alter

I think we can all agree that our addiction to technology quite often gets in the way of our ability to relax and be in the present moment. NYU Stern professor Adam Alter tracks the rise of behavioral addiction and explains why so many of today’s products are irresistible.

We all know good nutrition is the cornerstone to healthy living. Faculty and students from Steinhardt’s Department of Nutrition and Food Studies are teaming up with the City’s Economic Development Corporation to provide educational nutrition programming on the Lower East Side.

At the College of Global Public Health, students are leading wellness outreach to the homeless. Two groups—NYU Nutrition Without Borders and NYU GPH Community Preparedness + Response—recently collected food, health, and wellness items and prepared Nutrition and Preparedness Sacks, or NAP Sacks, for more than 200 people in need.

Reducing the risk of unwanted pregnancy and contracting STDs might be achieved through more effective conversations between fathers and sons, according to a study by social work professor Vincent Guilamo-Ramos. His work focuses on disadvantaged adolescents of color and is conducted in the South Bronx.

NYU has made green-building renovations a priority, committing up to $4 million annually to ensure new and renovated buildings at NYU will be, at a minimum, LEED Silver–certified. Beyond reducing our carbon footprint, green buildings will also enhance our overall well-being and cognitive function, according to a study conducted at Harvard University.

Andy Hamilton interacting with Tisch ITP student project

How could anybody feel anything but energized at the annual Tisch ITP/IMA Winter Show? This year marked the last ever Winter Show at 721 Broadway, as next year both programs will be in their new permanent home at 370 Jay Street in downtown Brooklyn.

Finally, I’d like to thank all our generous employees who have made contributions to the NYU Combined Campaign, which supports local charities like the Bowery Mission. If you’d like to give and you haven’t yet, there’s still time to make a donation by visiting the Community Fund website.