New director committed to well-being of campus community
May 29, 2020
By Noah Rappahahn and Sophia McKenzie
Health and Wellness Services (HWS) at CSU Monterey Bay — the Campus Health Center, the Personal Growth and Counseling Center, and Student Disability Resources — strives to help members of the CSUMB community achieve and maintain physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness.
Ana Hernandez became the new senior director of HWS in October 2019. She brought 10 years of experience as an administrator in the health and wellness industry. Most recently she served as the senior director of behavioral health services at Aldea Children & Family Services in Napa and Solano counties. Hernandez was also an adjunct professor in the College of Business at Montana State University. She holds a master’s degree in organizational development from the University of San Francisco and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UC Berkeley.
Why were you attracted to this position at CSU Monterey Bay? What makes you a great fit for this community?
The position was an optimal opportunity to integrate my behavioral health professional experience in higher education with my personal commitment to healthy living practices. I started my academic career 25 years ago as a first-generation college student. I navigated many new experiences and faced challenges that have gratefully provided me knowledge and enthusiasm for lifelong learning to instill in the next generation. I believe CSUMB is the perfect partner to fulfill my drive to promote ripple effects of healthy living across its campus community.
What sparked your interest in a career in health and wellness?
I was fortunate to have an active upbringing with space to roam and homegrown foods in the backyard. I maintained a deep appreciation for the land and the value of balanced intakes into college, where I was introduced to psychology and the foundations of mental health. Since then, I have learned many forms of yoga, alternative medicines, spiritual and earth wellness practices. I continue my commitment to evolve into new ways of being that engage the mind, nurture the spirit, and fuel the body. Wellness necessitates self-stewardship to serve others and to realize what we want to bring into our lives. This makes health and wellness the ideal career choice for me.