Alia Crum, PhD, encouraged the Gladstone community to explore how stress impacts their work and personal life.


Managing a balance between work and life is a challenge that many people face. In a robust research environment, such as at the Gladstone Institutes, scientists are charged with finding cures to some of the most devastating diseases, creating unique hurdles for them to overcome to maintain work-life balance. Gladstone recognizes these challenges and strives to cultivate an atmosphere that improves the quality of that balance among its community.  

On April 15, 2016, Alia Crum, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Stanford University, visited Gladstone to shed light on how a person’s mindset is directly linked to their stress. In a similar fashion as her previous TEDx talk, Crum encouraged the Gladstone community to explore how stress impacts their work and personal life.

During her interactive workshop, Crum described how a change in mindset can help people cope with stress. Stress is often portrayed by the media and healthcare industry in a contradictory way, simultaneously being called a motivator and damaging to one’s health. To Crum, how a person views stress dramatically influences their response to it.

“Understanding and utilizing our daily individual stressors is so important to an individual’s success and well-being,” said Crum, who holds a PhD in clinical psychology from Yale University. “A shift in mindset changes the game.”

Crum’s workshop was part of an ongoing series of events in Gladstone’s Empower & Disrupt program. The program is designed to provide a forum to help evolve Gladstone’s culture toward one of open-mindedness and inclusion by introducing unique topics, speakers, and event formats. This series is led by Michael Penn, MD, PhD, vice president of Gladstone’s Office of Diversity, Outreach, and Mentoring.

“I am so pleased with the level of participation during Alia’s workshop,” shared Penn. “I was profoundly impressed by the people who came together to really listen and think about how stress impacts them, especially within a community so dedicated to their work.”

“Gladstone values high performance—our mission demands it—and some degree of stress is inevitable for everyone within an organization with these values. However, at Gladstone, we care deeply that everyone working here can turn that stress to advantage rather than to hurtful outcomes” said R. Sanders “Sandy” Williams, MD, president of Gladstone. “We constantly seek opportunities to help all of us to accomplish that and to achieve a healthy work-life balance."

Watch Crum's Full Presentation Below

[Video: Gladstone Institutes]