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Rutgers Employees First Initiative – Webinar Series

University Human Resources recognizes that the physical, financial, mental and social well-being of our employees is the very foundation for the success of our university community.

This initiative is intended to provide you with tools and resources to support and promote employee wellness and build communities of interest around topics relevant to your needs and interests.

This webinar series is one of many ways we will support your well-being and we encourage you all to join us in building a strong and caring virtual employee community. Below is a list of the webinars with each presenter’s bio and links to register.

TIAA Financial Wellness: https://www.tiaa.org/public/land/rutgersfinancialwellness 


Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield Webinars:

Join experts from Horizon to help you towards a healthier mind, body, and soul; topics will cover ways to calm your mind, keep active at home, and navigate nutrition.

VOYA Financial Wellness Webinars:

Setting Retirement Goals if You're Under 40:
Job Update? What to do With Your Retirement Savings:
Navigate Uncertainty with the Ups and Downs of the Market:
Basics of Social Security:
Retirement Income Planning:

Prudential Financial Wellness Webinars:

Deferred Compensation Overview 101:

Previously Recorded Sessions:

Parenting During a Pandemic - How to Keep Your Sanity – hosted by Dr. Maurice Elias

Advice on the best ways to cope with and make the best of the new way of life—and the new stressors caused by the global health crisis.

Dr. Maurice Elias

Dr. Maurice Elias is a Professor of Psychology, Rutgers; Director, Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab; Co-Director, Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service; Co-Director, Academy for SEL in Schools.

He is Past President of the Society for Community Research and Action/Division of Community Psychology (27) of APA and has received the SCRA Distinguished Contribution to Practice and Ethnic Minority Mentoring Awards, as well as APA’s National Psychological Consultants to Management Award, the Joseph E. Zins Memorial Senior Scholar Award for Social-Emotional Learning from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the John P. McGovern Medal from the American School Health Association, and the Sanford McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education.

Dr. Elias lectures nationally and internationally to educators and parents about students’ emotional intelligence, school success, and social-emotional and character development. Dr. Elias writes a blog for the George Lucas Educational Foundation’s Edutopia Website.


Stress & Coping – hosted by Dr. Kristen Riley

In these stressful times during the COVID-19 pandemic and racism pandemic and social movement, coping strategies are important.

Dr. Riley will present about stress and coping during a pandemic, will conduct two relaxation coping exercises (progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing), and will help participants create SMART goals for coping strategies.

Dr. Kristen Riley

Kristen E. Riley is an Assistant Professor at GSAPP. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a certificate in health psychology is from the University of Connecticut, and completed a health psychology internship at the Miami VA Medical Center and postdoctoral fellowship in cancer prevention at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Her program of research decreases unhealthy behaviors and increases access to care, with a focus on health disparities. Specifically, she studies stigma, rumination, superstition, mindfulness, tobacco, and sleep, and she uses dissemination and implementation science to integrate behavioral medicine into medical settings to improve access to care and get interventions to those who need them most.

Dr. Riley is the chief of the Health Policy Council at the Society for Health Psychology at the American Psychological Association. She promotes integrated care teamwork as a member of the Interprofessional Education Faculty Advisory Council. She is an affiliate member of the Department of Psychology, Center for Alcohol & Substance Use Studies, and the Center for Tobacco Studies at the School of Public Health, is a member of Women’s Health and Psychiatry at RWJBarnabas Health, and is an associate member of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey in Cancer Prevention and Control. She is fluent in Spanish.

Dr. Riley is currently working on several lines of research GSAPP, including:

  • LGBTQ+ smoking cessation
  • Lung cancer stigma and anti-tobacco public health campaigns
  • Integrating psychology into primary care and medical settings
  • Spanish speaking insomnia treatment
  • Ultra-brief mindfulness interventions
  • Maternal mortality and morbidity in Black women

The Growing Challenge of Suicide in America – hosted by Dr. Edward Selby and Dr. Evan Kleiman

Discussing trends in suicidal behavior and personal clinical factors such as suicide risk assessment and self-care.

Dr. Evan Kleiman

Evan Kleiman is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Dr. Kleiman was a Postdoctoral Fellow (2014-2017) and Research Associate at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at George Mason University (2014), completed his clinical psychology internship at Temple University (2014), and received his BA in Psychology from Temple University (2008). Dr. Kleiman’s work focuses on understanding the everyday occurrence of factors of interest to clinical psychological scientists. He has a specific focus on the everyday lives of individuals at risk for suicide using smartphone and wearable monitoring technology. His work has been published in over 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts and is currently funded by several NIMH grants. He has been the recipient of several awards for his research and was named a “rising star” in 2020 by the Association for Psychological Science.

Dr. Edward Selby

Dr. Edward Selby specializes in the research and treatment of suicidal and self-injurious behavior, personality disorders, and eating disorders. A major focus of his research on these disorders involves emotion dysregulation and the use of self-sabotaging behaviors, such as binging and purging, self-injury, alcohol and substance use, fighting or reckless driving, to distract from upsetting emotions. Dr. Selby completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at The Florida State University in 2011, following completion of his psychology residency at Brown University – Warren Alpert Medical School in 2011. He previously earned his M.S. in clinical psychology from The Florida State University in 2007, and he completed a B.S. in Physiology and Neuroscience and a B.A. in Psychology at the University of Wyoming in 2005. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters. He was the recipient of a predoctoral National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, and he has received several national awards for his research including the Neil S. Jacobson Award for Outstanding and Innovative Clinical Research from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the American Psychological Association Division 12 Distinguished Student Research Award. In his free time, Dr. Selby enjoys running, learning new languages, and spending time with his family.


Increasing Valued Living During COVID-19 – hosted by Dr. Samantha Farris

Describe common psychological reactions during COVID-19 and introduce valued living as a strategy to improve mood and well-being.

Dr. Samantha Farris

Dr. Farris is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, a licensed clinical psychologist, and is the Director of The Rutgers Emotion, Health and Behavior (REHAB) Laboratory. Dr. Farris’ research focuses on understanding the link between how and why fear and anxiety contribute to problem health behaviors and chronic disease and developing novel behavioral interventions that target anxiety to improve both physical and mental health.


Mindfulness – hosted by Dr. Kristen Riley

Mindfulness has been shown to confer benefits to mental and physical health, which are especially important during the coronavirus pandemic and the racism pandemic. Didactics about mindfulness, discussion of mindfulness interventions and apps, and two mindfulness practices will be incorporated in this presentation.

Dr. Kristen Riley

Kristen E. Riley is an Assistant Professor at GSAPP. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a certificate in health psychology is from the University of Connecticut, and completed a health psychology internship at the Miami VA Medical Center and postdoctoral fellowship in cancer prevention at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Her program of research decreases unhealthy behaviors and increases access to care, with a focus on health disparities. Specifically, she studies stigma, rumination, superstition, mindfulness, tobacco, and sleep, and she uses dissemination and implementation science to integrate behavioral medicine into medical settings to improve access to care and get interventions to those who need them most.

Dr. Riley is the chief of the Health Policy Council at the Society for Health Psychology at the American Psychological Association. She promotes integrated care teamwork as a member of the Interprofessional Education Faculty Advisory Council. She is an affiliate member of the Department of Psychology, Center for Alcohol & Substance Use Studies, and the Center for Tobacco Studies at the School of Public Health, is a member of Women’s Health and Psychiatry at RWJBarnabas Health, and is an associate member of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey in Cancer Prevention and Control. She is fluent in Spanish.

Dr. Riley is currently working on several lines of research GSAPP, including:

  • LGBTQ+ smoking cessation
  • Lung cancer stigma and anti-tobacco public health campaigns
  • Integrating psychology into primary care and medical settings
  • Spanish speaking insomnia treatment
  • Ultra-brief mindfulness interventions
  • Maternal mortality and morbidity in Black women

Mindfulness Meditation – hosted by Dr. Siobhán Gibbons

Mindfulness is the caring, compassionate, non-judgmental, non-reactive awareness of our own experiences, our thoughts, our emotions, our physical sensations, and the world around us. Meditation practices are exercises we do in order to build the skill of mindfulness awareness.