COBE Welcome Address


COBE student volunteers promote the group at the 2016 Ram Spirit Walk during Welcome Week.


We’re so excited to start our first academic school year with COBE recognized as an official VCU Institute!

COBE emphasizes well-being as the foundation of student success. We aim to create opportunities for collaboration among researchers, for dissemination of research in creative ways and for translation of the research into coursework and programming for our students in collaboration with divisions across the university.

We are here to keep you informed, and to invite you to be a part of initiatives that interest you.  

Here’s a quick run-down of some of the exciting COBE initiatives.


The Science of Happiness (SoH):  Faculty from multiple departments with expertise in substance use and mental health challenges, as well as the promotion of well-being, came together to develop and team teach a new class last Spring.  The SoH course introduces students to the science and research behind well-being practices and teaches them skills they can apply to their own lives.  This fall we will offer a 3 credit version, as well as a new 1 credit version in partnership with the Honors college as a required course for incoming honors freshmen. You can still sign up today!  (CRN 34272)

COBE Connect Lunch Series:  Please join us the first Tuesday of every month at noon in the Student Commons for FREE LUNCH and a speaker related to health and well-being, ranging from faculty researchers to other members of the university and surrounding community doing innovative work in this area.  The first COBE Connect Lunch is Sept 6 with Glen Moriarty founder and CEO of 7 Cups of Tea in the Alumni Board Room of the Student Commons at noon. Find out more about the event by following COBE on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or signing up for our newsletter in the footer of our website.


COBE Director Dr. Danielle Dick addresses students at the Thrive Launch Party.


THRIVE Living-Learning Community:  THRIVE is a partnership with Residential Life and Housing to create research-backed, health and wellness themed living-learning experience for freshmen.   Students in THRIVE (two designated floors in Rhoads Hall) will take the Science of Happiness course and have programming in their residence hall themed around the promotion of well-being in collaboration with the Wellness Resource Center.  You can still join THRIVE! Email Tom Bannard at for more info.

Why Science? Podcast:   Developed by our COBE Digital Media Specialist Craig Zirpolo, these bi-monthly podcasts available through spotlight research on behavioral health going on at the university.

1 Group Photo

Attendees and instructors at the Spit for Science Research Boot-Camp.


Spit for Science Research Class and Boot-Camp:   We continue to offer the Spit for Science research class each semester for undergraduates to learn about the research process and develop a team project using Spit for Science data under the mentorship of graduate students and postdocs.  Additionally, we ran a week-long intensive “research bootcamp” for 21 students this summer.  These undergraduate students are trained to use the S4S codebook and in basic analytic skills.

COBE Annual Symposium:  Last year’s theme “Substance Use in Young People: From Research to Recovery” drew more than 300 people for two days of presentations from faculty, practitioners, and students.  This year we are partnering with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to grow this event even further.  Mark your calendar for April 18-19!

If you would like to be involved in any of these initiatives, or if you have other ideas about ways we can grow behavioral health research and translational applications, please let us know!