The director of health promotions and wellness at Dartmouth, Melissa Miner is committed to making a difference. Dartmouth Now caught up with her a few days before the birth of her second child, a son.
Job title: Director, Health Promotion and Wellness Programs.
How long at Dartmouth: Since September 2011.
What path brought you to your field?
I grew up with great family role models and learned the value of taking care of my health through the sports I played. The discipline of sport was key, too. I was a peer health educator in college, and studied with a professor who became a mentor and really ignited my interest in health promotion as a career. A graduate program in health communication cemented my commitment to a field that aims to improve the quality of people’s lives.
What's at the heart of your role at Dartmouth?
A passion for wanting to make a difference—small or large—in the lives of our employees and their families. And it’s not about prescribing how this happens, but serving as a facilitator for change through the work we do on behalf of our employees and their families.
What's your favorite part of working here?
That’s easy. The people. As this community knows, Dartmouth is a very special place. My family and I have been overwhelmed (in a good way) by the kindness, thoughtfulness, and welcoming spirit that are so much a part of Dartmouth. It’s the people I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with these past few years who make me excited about coming to work every day.
What surprises you about Dartmouth as you’ve gotten to know the place?
How surprisingly spread out Dartmouth is! Through our work we’ve had a chance to engage with employees across Hanover, Lebanon, and really all across the U.S. and abroad—as a result, you realize just how big Dartmouth’s footprint is. This is fun and challenging at the same time as we aim to provide an inclusive Wellness program that offers something for everyone, regardless of location.
After hours: What energizes, intrigues, keeps you busy away from work?
My family. I am incredibly supported by my husband and endlessly entertained by my young daughter. I’ve also discovered tennis, and although I enjoy singles the best, I am trying to learn doubles. Pointers are definitely welcome! And photography: The Upper Valley provides a phenomenal backdrop.
Photos by Eli Burakian ’00.