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Communications and Marketing

Resiliency summit to address growing need on campus

Across the nation, colleges and universities are seeing record increases in student mental health concerns. College students’ level of distress and anxiety, and their ability to manage adversity and stress, has changed dramatically. To address this issue on campus, the College will host an all-day resiliency summit for faculty and staff on May 21.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Isaac Prilleltensky, will start off the summit providing education on the different facets of community well-being and the importance of an interdisciplinary approach. Prilleltensky is an internationally known researcher and author on community psychology and community well-being, and TED Talk speaker.

“The goals for the summit are to emphasize and demonstrate that the adversities our students face intersect and have meaningful impact on their success and well-being,” said Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Health and Wellness Jennifer Fast. “We must come together to create and use a common language and understanding of resiliency work in order to better help our students.”

After Prilleltensky lays the groundwork, faculty and staff will break into sessions during the morning and afternoon tailored to a variety of topics related to resiliency—the ability to bounce back and use obstacles and failures as launching pads to other possibilities—and well-being.

The sessions will focus on the student experience with connections to career, academics, mindset, health and wellness, interpersonal relationships, and advising and mentoring. The talks will be led by faculty and staff who have specific expertise and knowledge on working with students to promote well-being and success.

The day will end with a strategic planning session, led by Prilleltensky, on how faculty and staff can incorporate resiliency objectives into their respective departments that will become part of a broader campus plan. Dr. Fast hopes “that this final session will allow participants to take the information they learned throughout the day and consider how they might apply it in their respective roles and departments. We have an opportunity to use the information we will learn during the summit to make a positive impact on student success.”

Members of the resiliency team are: Associate Dean of Faculty for Student Success Dawn Abt-Perkins, Assistant Professor of Music Scott Edgar, Jennifer Fast, Interim Dean of Students Erin Hoffman, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Phil Hood, Senior Associate Director of Residence Life Stacy Oliver-Sikorski, Dean of the Faculty Michael Orr, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Enrique Treviño, Director of Athletics Jackie Slaats, and Student Government representatives Sandra Khouri ’20 and Charmaine Chung ’18.

In collaboration with Student Government, Health and Wellness is looking for students interested in sharing their stories of overcoming adversity as well as identifying faculty and staff who were instrumental in their success.

The Resilience Survey takes no longer than a couple of minutes to complete.