The Yale Trail comes to an end…for now.

Members of the winning team, We will walk you.
May 9, 2019

The first ever “Yale Trail” comes to an end…

Being Well at Yale is proud to announce the successful completion of their seventh annual online wellness challenge with its highest participation rate ever! While past wellness challenges highlighted trails around the world, this was the first home-grown challenge with a spotlight on Yale’s beautiful campus.

A record breaking 2160 participants registered for the six week online wellness challenge which included faculty, staff, graduate and professional students, and for the first time ever, Yale College students! The Yale Trail took individuals and teams on a virtual tour of the Yale campus and highlighted many famous landmarks. Some participants even visited the landmarks in person, sharing their photos on the Yale Trail Wellness Wall. Several participants who posted regularly on the Wellness Wall were acknowledged as champions for the support and encouragement they provided to others.  They were awarded self-care swag bags filled with Being Well at Yale items that help make wellness at work a little easier.  

Over 700 participants completed the entire trail by logging their health behaviors each day, earning points and reaching all 42 landmarks! As participants recorded their health behaviors they earned Handsome Dan icons and learned “bet-you-didn’t-know” facts about each location with fun trivia questions.  The Yale Trail goal was to accumulate 25 or more points per week by recording three daily health habits: exercise minutes or steps, sharing a meal, and using your character strengths. To help participants learn about their character strengths, a link to the free VIA character survey just for Yale affiliates was provided and is still open. So far, over 400 Yale Trail participants have taken the survey to learn more about their unique constellation of character strengths so they can better use them each day of the challenge and beyond!

The winning teams are being awarded Yale-branded prizes from Campus Customs. And for the first time ever, there was a tie for second place! All of the top scores were very close and several teams were neck in neck for the last week of the challenge but We Will We Will Walk You managed to pull ahead strong and stay there! Great job! Congratulations!

The winning teams are:

First placeWe Will We Will Walk You: Donna Lee Slater, Sandy Chang, Joel Silverman, Martin Platt, Teresa Corato, Robert Villani, Allan DeSantis, and Deborah Pallock.

Second place- Yale Transplant: Sukru Emre, Dani Haakinson, Uyen To, Annmarie Liapakis, Susan Rubman, Kara Ventura, Chiara Palumbo, and Elizabeth Cohen.

Tied for second place - The Basement People: Bartosz Migalski, Denise Kent, Trang Diep, Angeline Rodriguez, Jessica Wing, Mark Kennedy, Jessica Bavin, and Patricia Cirillo.

Third place - The Winning Team: Michael W. Harris, Michelle Morgan, Caitlin Thompson, Bliss Massaro, Vincent Massaro, Sarah Lynch, Sylvia Perez, and Heather White. 

Random drawing winner - The A-Team: Alyssa Mirabella, Amrit Dhawan, Angela Gambaccini-May, Deirdre Eichner, Jennifer Gambaccini-Denillo, Jessica Serrano, Khadijeh Alnajjar, and Olivia Johnson. 

And congratulations to all of the teams and individuals who completed the Yale Trail!    

Participant feedback: 

“The Yale Trail helped renew my interest [in walking daily] and I’m in a good place now… in fact I just returned from an early lunchtime walk and have already made my 10K for today! I had a lot of fun with the program - learned a lot too - thanks!” - James Surprenant, James M. Surprenant, MBA, Post Award Manager, Faculty Research Management Services, Yale University Business Operations

“It was a pleasure for me to post [on the Wellness Wall], because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE sharing recipes with folks…I love to cook fun, healthy, vibrant, easy-to-prepare food. My top strength is gratitude and I’m so very grateful, I can’t believe we’re at the end already. It was fun - thanks!” - Suzanne al-Labban, Senior Administrative Assistant, Yale Law School

“It was rewarding to be the team leader and send out motivational messages weekly to everyone. Not only did it help the team, but it was a reminder of another strength I had to share. As a result, we all made new and diverse friends across campus. It has encouraged me to become more involved in groups with Yale and I will definitely participate in the Yale Trail again next year.” - Jennifer Gambaccini-Denillo, Credentialing & Licensing Coordinator, Department of Pediatrics

“This was a lot of fun. Thanks!” - Danielle H. Speller, Postdoctoral Associate, Wright Laboratory, Department of Physics

“I learned so much about Yale! Thank you!!” - Linda M. Jackson, Data Architect, Institutional Analytics & Reporting, Yale Information Technology Services

“The VIA character strengths survey was a great assessment! My top 5 were creativity, perspective, prudence, judgment, and honesty! I enjoy taking personality assessments. This one in particular helped put descriptions to my everyday behaviors. I liked that Yale Trail encouraged me to be mindful about using my character strengths. I assumed that Yale Trail would just be a fitness challenge, but I’m glad that there was a mental health component as well. Using our top skills becomes second nature to us, so it’s important to take a step back and look at our exhibition of skills from an outside perspective. Using these strengths is a victory, even on days when it feels like we accomplish nothing.” - Jamie Perry, Training Coordinator, Environmental Health & Safety

It’s the end of the Yale Trail for now…until next year!

 Would you like to see your building, college, or favorite landmark featured on the next Yale Trail map? For the 2020 Yale Trail, Being Well at Yale would like to extend an invitation to anyone interested in submitting a location suggestion to please do so using our online form. If your location is selected, you will be contacted with further instructions on image requirements, etc. Until then, keep up the healthy habits and happy trails!