University News

CWB Board Member Sartaj Alag Works to Help People Grow through Well-Being

by Whitney Hopler, Communications Manager

Sartaj Alag joined our center’s board with growth in mind. “I’ve always been intrigued by human growth. When and how do we grow?” he said. Alag, a self-employed business leader who was the Chief Operating Officer for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said he sees great potential for our center’s well-being work to grow to impact people worldwide.

“Mason is recognized as a place where they have proven this well-being experiment,” said Alag. “Mason has shown that students who learn how to practice well-being do well for themselves and do well serving others in meaningful ways. Now other organizations want to learn from what Mason has done. I want our center to be recognized worldwide for our well-being work. The vision is for young people to graduate from universities all over the world with creativity, faith, hope, and confidence in themselves and their ability to contribute their strengths to the world.”

Alag is enthusiastic about empowering college students through well-being. “I’m very excited to learn how to help young people prepare for the ups and downs of life and to be able to find their purpose and to contribute to others,” he said.

He is also passionate about empowering professionals, such as those who develop their careers through our center’s leadership programs. Throughout his own career, Alag has found that prioritizing his own well-being has made it possible for him to achieve more than he could have otherwise. Alag takes periodic work sabbaticals for travel, reflection, and time with family and friends. “That openness to possibilities strengthens my work” upon returning, he said.

His favorite regular well-being practices are prayer and yoga. “Prayer pushes me back from my small thinking and gives me inspiration that broadens my perspective and makes me more creative. Yoga brings me mindfully into the present moment.”

Alag encourages professionals to overcome any fear of prioritizing their well-being in the workplace. “We tend to exaggerate the fear of what might happen if we ask for flexibility so we can pursue greater well-being. Many people value well-being but don’t talk about it openly. If we talk about it with them, we’ll often see positive responses. Also, we can confuse activity with results. Results are most important. Let’s talk about what the deliverables are as opposed to the hours we’re in the office. We can find managers who genuinely care about our well-being and work together in a trusting relationship to help each other and our organization.”