Paul Byrne receives Living Well Award

Employee Wellness recognizes Paul Byrne.

Ryan Thompson

The Washburn Employee Wellness Program selected Paul Byrne to win the Living Well Award on Feb. 19.

The Employee Wellness Program seeks to promote physical, emotional, intellectual and social wellness among faculty and staff. The Living Well Award is the program’s way of recognizing individual’s who exemplify wellness in either their everyday lives or in special events and activities. Employee Wellness presented Byrne this award by sending him a certificate in the mail.

Byrne has taught at Washburn University since 2003 and has held the title of associate professor of economics since 2008. His scholarly interests include economic development incentives and tax increment financing.

Byrne is thankful for the award and to his nominator. He generally works out by himself and appreciates knowing that other people are trying to stay in shape.

“For me it always helps to hear what other people are doing,” Byrne said.

Byrne has valued fitness for most of his life and has played sports since he was young.

“I enjoy it,” Byrne said. “I ran track in high school through college, so it’s something I’ve always done.”

Byrne’s go-to form of exercise is running. Unfortunately, injuries have kept him from running for much of the past year and a half. This has not deterred him, however, because he has found other ways to work out, such as lifting weights at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

“When everything’s good, I’m probably not in the gym that much. I’m out running,” Byrne said. ”When I can’t run I try to do something else. I do what my body lets me do.“

Byrne tries to work out at least twice a week and claims the most important part of fitness is perseverance.

“You always run into setbacks,” Byrne said. “There’s a lot of times that you can’t do as much you want to, but persevere and do as much as you can … even if it doesn’t seem like much.”

This dedication is why Byrne was nominated for the award. His nominator often saw him exercising in 2006. Upon returning to Washburn University for post-graduate work in 2016, his nominator still sees Byrne working out just as intensely as ever.

Byrne also encourages students to take advantage of their youth.

“Enjoy being young, because it’s a lot easier when you’re younger,” he said.

The nomination form for the Living Well Award can be found online at Washburn’s website and delivered to Coletta J. Meyer, employee wellness coordinator, at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.