Meet our Wellness Intern, Mikaela

This past fall, the DECC Project Wellness program offered an internship to help grow our reach. We couldn’t think of a better resource to cultivate fresh ideas, new content, and employee engagement strategies than from a Public Health major. Meet Mikaela, a Rochester native and driven student that immensely impacted our wellness program throughout the year of her internship.

We asked Mikaela to tell us a bit about herself and her time at the DECC.


Tell us your story!

My name is Mikaela Sarran. I am from Rochester, MN. I graduated from UMD with a degree in Public Health and a minor in Dance. Throughout my years at UMD I was an active member of the Dance Team. I also worked at a dance studio when I wasn’t dancing myself.


What was your favorite project interning with DECC Wellness?

My favorite project interning with the DECC was creating workout cards for the gym. I worked with Lucy (Wellness Committee Member) on creating full body, leg, arm and ab workouts.


How would you define wellness?

Wellness is being aware of making good, healthy choices to live a healthy life.


What do you look forward to most after graduation?

I am honestly looking forward to not having to do homework all the time. I am also looking forward to getting started on a career that I am interested in. I plan to find a job I love so I don’t have to “work” a day in my life.


Name one fun fact about you:

A fun fact about me is that I have a pet bird. She is a blue and gold macaw. Her name is Savannah and she is 19 years old.


You interned with the DECC for nearly the entire school year. Did any of your personal health/wellness habits change as a result?

Yes, what was fun was when I created the workout cards, I tested them out in the gym myself. I think overall doing that helped create good gym habits for me. I felt like when I went to the gym, I was more prepared and knew what I was going to do with my time in there.



The DECC Project Wellness is a comprehensive program for DECC employees to encourage overall wellness. The program consists of health-related challenges with incentives, team-building events, educational seminars, fitness classes, and an on-site gym. DECC Wellness is run by Wellness Coordinator Renae Matt, and powered by a committee of volunteers. Mikaela’s duties as Wellness Intern included planning fitness workouts, creating online stretch and flexibility video series, organizing and teaching dance classes to employees, and creating signage for employee events.


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