Carnegie Mellon University

Wellness & Meaning-Making Programs

The Office of Wellness and Meaning-Making Programs is comprised of Wellness Initiatives and Religious and Spiritual Life. Staff in this department work in partnership with campus and community resources to offer a wide array of workshops, personal development opportunities, community-connection events, and services to support students' holistic health.

Our Philosophy

Carnegie Mellon University supports The National Institute for Health’s definition of wellness as an active process of becoming aware of, and making choices toward, a healthy and fulfilling life. It’s a conscious, self-directed and evolving process, meaning you will always be working to create a fulfilling life. It involves identifying and living out our values in everyday practice, while being connected to a supportive community. The absence of illness or disease does not confirm our wellness, nor does any singular milestone or success. In addition, well-being also means holding what’s happening in our broader culture and recognizing the impact and implications it has on us and our community. We cannot be well when our community is not well.

Holistic well-being as a state is similar to our learning; we are never finished and there are always new ways to grow, to understand, and to change.

The process of clarifying our values and developing our understanding of our life’s meaning in the world is an essential part of one’s spiritual life and growth. In common usage, we often assume that spirituality language is reserved for a person’s commitment to, participation in, or struggle with established religious organizations and practices.

However, in the last 20 years, researchers from a national study on Spirituality and Higher Education conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute in California articulated that spirituality includes development of:

  • An active search for meaning, purpose, and/or wisdom;
  • A global worldview open to engagement across spiritual traditions, appreciating a sense of connection across humanity and seeking to understand and charitably interpret others’ cultural and spiritual experiences;
  • Personal value of relational virtues like compassion, kindness, generosity, and forgiveness;
  • An ethic of care for the welfare of others and the world;
  • Participation in constructive or charitable practices which may involve helping friends, neighbors, and the broader community with time, relationship, and resources.

Meet the Team

Harsh Agarwal bio photo

Harsh Agarwal

Program Specialist for Wellness Initiatives
Cohon University Center, 111D
615-955-9163 |Email Harsh

Harsh (he/him) joined CMU as a Program Specialist for the Wellness Initiatives in September 2023. He has a bachelor's of finance from the University of Delhi and a masters of human development studies from Vanderbilt University. He is also a Certified Happiness Coach and a Breathwork Trainer. Prior to joining CMU, he was a program manager with Teach For India, where he trained and coached thirty teachers to provide quality education to more than 500 children in public schools in India. Harsh is passionate about mindfulness, human flourishing, and holistic wellbeing and is committed to collective leadership. Harsh enjoys nature walks, improv comedy, and group meditations.

bio photo of Angie Lusk

Angie Lusk

Director of Wellness & Meaning-Making Programs
Cohon University Center, 111E
412-268-7117 |Email Angie

Angie (she/her) has been working with the CMU community since 2008, supporting the creation of CMU’s Mindfulness Room in 2013 and the pet therapy program in 2014 that showcase the value of collaborating with student leaders to create positive change on campus. With more than 20 years of experience in higher education, she prioritizes work that supports individual and collective positive change, which starts by identifying values and then aligning them to everyday practice. She has a particular interest in growing a mindfulness movement at Carnegie Mellon and in Pittsburgh that cultivates a lens of curiosity, compassion, and connectedness.

Jennifer McCurry bio photo

Jennifer McCurry

Coordinator of Religious and Spiritual Life Initiatives
Cohon University Center, 103
412-268-3559 |Email Jennifer

Jennifer (she/her) became CMU’s coordinator of Religious and Spiritual Life in winter 2024. She has a bachelor of arts from Dartmouth College, a masters of divinity from Duke Divinity School, and a Certificate of Executive Leadership from Princeton Theological Seminary. An ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, she has previously served as the coordinator of spiritual life at Point Park University, an interfaith chaplain in both homeless shelter and hospital contexts, and a pastor in a diverse series of congregations. Jennifer is inspired by mutually-respectful interfaith and cross-cultural relationships and enjoys supporting people on their spiritual journeys. She delights in reading, spending time outdoors, and exploring the world with her family members.