Wellness Symposium

Piece of Mind 2015

Event Flyer

UC Irvine is pleased to announce its second production of an innovative collaboration between the Division of Student Affairs and the Claire Trevor School of the Arts’ Drama Department.

Inspired in 2013 by 32nd District of California Congresswoman Grace Napolitano’s dedication to increasing awareness of mental health issues, the collaboration features drama students depicting the stories of community volunteers who have been affected by mental illness through performance art pieces. Volunteers are interviewed about their direct and/or indirect experiences with mental illness; the student actors then conduct related research and create monologues or scenes inspired by the stories the volunteers have shared. After the performance, a diverse panel reflect on the performances and discusses local resources available to address mental illness.

2015 Panelists:

  • Beth Krom, Council Member, City of Irvine
  • Virginia Mann, Professor, UCI Cognitive Sciences department
  • Robert Moeller, Professor, UCI History department
  • Steve Pitman, President, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Orange County

For the Drama Department students, this project is designed to help them think creatively and critically about their own identities as individuals and artists, and how they fit into the larger picture of American society. The actors are encouraged to partner with a volunteer very different from themselves so that they may challenge themselves artistically. For the volunteers, we hope that the opportunity to tell their story of managing mental illness allows them to feel heard, and drop the veil of silence and shame that often accompanies these issues.

Audience members are once again invited to explore issues around stigma and “invisible” mental health challenges affecting people within their own communities. Our intention is to use the medium of theater not only to entertain, but to educate about the diverse experiences of mental illness, and provide information about treatment options and pathways to hope.

Piece of Mind: Performances Addressing Mental Illness & Its Stigma

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Speaker: House Presentative Grace Napolitano

Piece of Mind addresses mental illness and its stigma through performance pieces created by Department of Drama students, based on their interviews with UCI community members affected by mental illness.

House Representative Grace Napolitano, 32nd District of California, is very passionate about reducing mental illness stigma, especially preventative measures among adolescents, and her legislative work includes efforts to increase mental health support for students with her Mental Health in Schools Act.

The drama performances are followed by remarks by Representative Napolitano and a panel consisting of Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Thomas Parham, Department of History professor Robert Moeller, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Orange County chapter president, Steve Pitman.

New University, May 20, 2014
Piece of Mind: Destigmatizing Mental Health

Videos: Trailer (6 minutes) | Short (5 minutes) | Long (12 minutes)

Character: The Ultimate Survival Tool
Event Flyer

Speaker: Ethan Zohn

"Professional soccer player and reality television celebrity Ethan Zohn shares how after winning $1 million on 2002’s Survivor: Africa he decided to invest his winnings in something much bigger than himself, a non-profit organization he helped to create called Grassroot Soccer, which promotes HIV and AIDS prevention education to Africa’s youth."

New University, February 19, 2013
The Survivor: Ethan Zohn

Black Male Student Success in College Symposium

Event Flyer

Black Male Student Success in Higher Education Report Keynote

Speaker: Shaun Harper, Ph.D.

Toward Institutional Responsibility for Black Male Student Success and Development Panel

Darnell Cole, Ph.D., University of Southern California
Frank Harris III, Ph.D., San Diego State University
Tyrone Howard, Ph.D., UCLA
More information:
Dr. Harper's Report »

Is Your Career Calling?
Speaker: Paula McGee

2005 Wellness Papers (PDF)

New University, March 8, 2004
Wellness Symposium Offers Piece of Mind

Honor Thy Children, One Family's Journey to Wholeness
Speakers: Alexander & Jane Nakatani

2005 Wellness Papers (PDF)

Creating a Community of Wellness
Fall 2000

Wellness and Excellence: Educating the Whole Student
Speaker: Yolanda Moses, Ph.D.

Contributing Factors to High Level Wellness and Quality of Life
Speaker: Jo Ann Cannon

Prescription for a Healthy Nation
Speaker: David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., U.S. Surgeon General

2002 Wellness Papers (PDF)

Moving toward Optimal Community Wellness

Speaker: Britt Rios-Ellis

2002 Wellness Papers (PDF)