Living well: Sabbatical taking a break
According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, a sabbatical is defined as "a rest from work, or a hiatus." Dictionary.com defines sabbatical as "an extended period of leave from one's customary work, esp. for rest, or to acquire new skills or training." Many universities and other institutional employers offer a sabbatical leave as an employee benefit. In the strictest sense, a sabbatical lasts a year, however, in the modern sense, one takes a sabbatical typically to take a break from work or to fulfill some goal, such as writing a book or traveling extensively for research.
Those definitions pretty much explain what I will be doing on my sabbatical leave. From late August until late January, I will be "taking a break" from my position as the Leavenworth County Family and Consumer Sciences extension agent for K-State Research and Extension.
During this time I will be working with a colleague to research worksite wellness policies and programs and co-author a draft worksite wellness policy for the K- State Research and Extension system. In this joint project, I will be focusing on the mental/spiritual/social/emotional aspects of total health and wellness, while my colleague focuses on the nutrition and physical activity aspects of wellness.
In examining the definition of the word 'sabbatical,' I found it intriguing that the word has its roots in the word 'Sabbath,' referring to the seventh day of rest after six days of work. That is why many academic institutions, including Kansas State University, offer the opportunity for sabbatical leave after six years of employment.
After nearly 20 years of employment with the Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service, I realized it was time for me to take this professional development step.
I am excited about the project on which I am embarking. Because nutrition and health have always been my main areas of interest, this research project is a natural extension of my passion.
I am intrigued about studying the mental/spiritual/social/emotional components of health and wellness. As a community educator, I look forward to discovering additional ways that I can help others to develop skills to improve their lives and to impact the culture of wellness in our community.
Even though I will be out of the office, our very competent staff at the Leavenworth County Extension Office will be available to assist you with your FCS related questions. Please continue to call our office and our staff will use our extension system resources to help meet your needs.
K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county extension offices, experiment fields, area extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan. For more information, visit the Leavenworth County Extension Office at 500 Eisenhower Road, or call (913) 250-2300.