AU receives Healthy Workplace Award

Deborah Sullivan receives Healthy Workplace Award from the HBCO

Ashland University

Deborah Sullivan receives Healthy Workplace Award from the HBCO


AU has received its first Healthy Workplace Award from the Healthy Business Council of Ohio (HBCO) for providing and encouraging healthy practices to its employees and faculty.

Deborah Sullivan, the AU Director of Campus Wellness, will be traveling to the Nationwide Conference Center of Columbus in Lewis Center, Ohio to receive the award.

Sullivan was hired to her position in 2016 and served as a faculty member for 32 years prior.

“We collect health-related data … biometrics in which employees can take blood tests to determine glucose, cholesterol, BMI, etc. There are other things we offer to employees such as an on-site fitness center and health-related wellness programs.,” Sullivan said.

AU received “Bronze” of the three levels of awards (bronze, silver, and gold).

Sullivan said that the Bronze level was an honor in itself. “Not everybody makes it the first year they apply and we were really thrilled to receive that,” she said. “We’ll keep striving to improve and eventually we’ll get to gold.”

AU plans to make certain changes and additions to increase the chances of being awarded a higher level in the future.

“One of the things we’re working on is a lactation room, although we’re going to call ours the ‘Nursing Mother’s Room.’ This will accommodate women who are breastfeeding, whether for nursing or to store milk for later … it’ll be another box we can check and another positive thing that might lift us to the next level.”

Although the award is based on employee wellbeing, Dr. Sullivan and AU also provide health programs and initiatives for students on-campus such as the campus “Wellness Challenge.”

“The challenge asks students to ‘Rest well, move well, and nourish well,’ and post pictures of the three online with the hashtag #WellnessChallenge to win prizes,” said Sullivan.

Freshman exercise science major Byron Mayo thinks that the challenge is a great idea.

“The more you exercise and eat well the more active your brain is. It’s a good thing that AU emphasizes that but the challenge needs to be promoted better so more people know about it.”

Mayo continued by explaining the AU’s healthy campus habits.

“There’s for the most part always something healthy at the dining hall and the food’s good. The recreation center is a great place to stay active and there’s a bunch of different activities to do … there’s always some sort of program or event on campus promoting healthy eating or exercise.”

For more information on AU’s healthy habits, visit