Mindful USC

Message to USC Faculty, Staff, and Students

From: Charles F. Zukoski, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs; Varun Soni, Vice Provost for Campus Wellness and Crisis Intervention and Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life

Over the course of the last year, many of us have struggled with the profound mental, emotional, and spiritual health challenges caused by the global pandemic. Indeed, even though our university is an inspiring place to teach and learn, it can be difficult to be fully present and engaged during these uniquely difficult and depleting times.

As a way of empowering our university community toward well-being and resilience, we are pleased to offer Mindful USC – a university-wide mindfulness initiative focused on positive health outcomes and learning experiences, especially in terms of stress reduction, workplace happiness, emotional intelligence, and artistic expression. Research studies have shown that mindfulness practices help us to be aware of ourselves in ways that increase attentiveness in the classroom, deepen the quality of teaching and learning, encourage creativity and innovation, and improve our ability to collaborate effectively.

Accordingly, Mindful USC offers free online mindfulness courses for students, faculty, and staff. Last semester alone, nearly 2,000 members of our university community enrolled in a mindfulness course. The overwhelming majority of participants reported significant improvements in terms of addressing stress and anxiety, and in developing more meaningful interpersonal relationships.

This semester, we will offer two sessions of each of the following popular courses: Mindfulness LabMindful CreativityMindful WritingMindful ParentingMindful Listening, and Mindful Self-Compassion. We are also pleased to offer a new mindfulness course for the LGBTQA+ community as well as three additional courses on well-being: Click! (cultivating healthy friendships and relationships), Sleep (developing healthy sleeping habits and perspectives), and Happiness (examining the causes and conditions that lead to personal happiness). Additionally, we are excited to continue our new initiative, Yoga USC, which offers free online yoga classes and other yoga opportunities for our university community. Please note that the first session for Mindful USC courses starts on January 25th and the second session begins on March 1st.

If you are interested in taking any of these free courses online, please visit the Mindful USC website as enrollment is open now. We also encourage you to download our free  Mindful USC app , which offers guided meditations and other mindfulness resources. For more information about Mindful USC, please contact mindful@usc.edu.

cc: Office of the President
Academic Deans
President’s Senior Leadership Team
Provost’s Leadership Team
Academic Senate
Staff Assembly
GSG President
USG President