KILLEEN, Texas — The university was recently named one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, based on a survey of nearly 200 colleges and universities in a special insert of The Chronicle of Higher Education. At a time when so many things have been so uncertain, wellness efforts at A&M Central Texas play a big role in keeping staff there and satisfied.

A&M Central Texas offers a number of graduate degree programs and also welcomes students who have started, but never finished their undergraduate degree.

As the Assistant Director for Campus Recreation, Jeremy Abshire is in charge of recreation for students at A&M Central Texas. His team recently built a hammock grove on campus for students to enjoy between classes. Abshire knows all about work and life balance and wellness. He has worked at the university for almost four years. 

"One of my favorite things about working here is the opportunity to be involved in something that's being built from the ground up right, so a lot of the recreation programs that we've done since I've been here are the first time anything like that's been offered here,” Abshire explained.  

Tina Flores-Nevarez is a part of cultivating this environment for employees. She and the human resources team recently hosted a coloring day event to give staff a chance to relax. 

“We value wellness because we value our employees,” Flores-Nevarez said. "The wellness program also helps us with retention, retaining our employees. It's a valuable benefit that a lot of other employers aren't always promoting or utilizing and so here it's part of our culture.

It is a culture worth keeping up with so campus leaders like Abshire can give back to students.

"We try to give people an opportunity to increase their physical health, increase their social engagement and their social wellness along with their mental health,” Abshire.