Projects of the BT2P Community

Thriving Together: Leveraging Well-Being and Civic Engagement as Pathways to Flourishing for First-Generation College Students


George Mason University has set itself the strategic goal of becoming a “model well-being university,” in which the motto “we thrive together” informs educational goals and the experience of students, faculty, and staff.  In cooperation with Mason’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, Professor Julie Owen received a Well-Being Research grant from Bringing Theory to Practice to assess the efficacy of university programs in promoting student flourishing and success among first-generation students.

Owen’s team was especially focused on the effects of well-being and service-learning program on the personal relationships developed by first-gen students, on their sense of belonging, on their resiliency, and other dimensions associated with flourishing and success.  In addition to survey data, the researchers held focus group discussions–comparing program participants with non-participants and first-gen with non-first-gen students–to understand students’ own experience of the intersections between well-being and civic engagement.

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George Mason University (GMU)

Institutional Type:

  • Doctoral university, high research


  • Civic and community engagement
  • Student well-being
  • Equity and inclusion