Over the course of the 2021-2022 school year our team of 34 student interns have helped further CSC's mission to promote flourishing in a myriad of ways. From writing articles, to providing important feedback about programming and initiatives; to photographing events and helping with our external communications efforts, and much more. As the 2022 Spring semester came to a close, we celebrated their efforts at a lunch held on Grounds. We also had the chance to chat with student Joy Cuffee, co-president of the CIO, Mind&Body [at] UVA which is supported by CSC. Here are excerpts from our conversation with Joy which highlight her discovery of mindfulness practices while attending UVA as well as her plans after graduation.
Joy is a member of UVA's 2022 graduating class. With a major in Commerce she also was the 2021-2022 co-President of CSC's CIO Mind&Body [at] UVA whose mission is to "foster a higher degree of mindfulness and healthy living in the UVA community, one breath at a time."
Q: Why did you choose to get involved with Mind&Body[at]UVA?
A: I initially did not have much experience with mindfulness, but I had always had an interest to see what it was about and try out some practices. Nia Augustine, former Mind&Body at UVA president [and CSC student intern], was my peer advisor and had mentioned Mind&Body to me in a conversation. From that moment on, I couldn’t wait to get involved and learn more!
Q: What did you enjoy most about working as the Co-president of Mind&Body[at]UVA?
A: As Co-president, I most loved coming up with and organizing events! I’ve always loved event planning, so this gave me a way to strengthen those skills. Also, I really enjoyed collaborating with members of CSC. Being able to meet new people of all different experience levels was always impactful.
Q: What were some of the most memorable events or projects that you organized?
A: I would say there has been one really big stand out event I’ve organized (with the help of many amazing people). That would be the Wintergreen retreat. This was a day-long retreat at Wintergreen Resort with activities such as dance, meditation, yoga, painting, and summer tubing! About 40 students attended, and all relayed that they had a great experience.
Q: What kinds of habits, contemplative skills, practices that you cultivated while being involved with Mind&Body[at]UVA do you think will be most important to carry with you into your new job?
I have learned so much through Mind&Body, but some of the things I know I’ll for sure be carrying with me into my career and other future chapters of my life are meditation, mindful walking, and breathwork. Going into an office 9-5 job, there might be some stressful, chaotic days. I’ll be working in an office that’s very close to the water, so I’m definitely going to take advantage of that on my breaks. I’m already picturing myself taking a mindful walk to the James [River], sitting on one of the benches, and taking some time to meditate and breathe more intentionally.
Pictured in group: l to r: CSC staff member Ellen Graves, Seirrah Kors, Kimberly Vo*, Shirley Chu*, Ben Benson, Joy Cuffee*, Alexis Riddick, CSC staff member Vivian Feggans, Annamaria Costanzo*, CSC staff member Anna Schodowski.
Single photo: Joy Cuffee at the groundbreaking for CSC's Contemplative Commons, Oct 2021.