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Communications and Marketing

Mary Grigar joins Health and Wellness

New Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Health and Wellness Mary Grigar loves working with college-age students and helping them through their journey of self-discovery.

“College is a time that students are starting to expand their critical-thinking skills and looking at the world in a different way,” Grigar said. “It’s a time of freedom and exploration where students realize that, even though they were raised one way to believe certain things, they can change their ideas and become who they really are.”

A first-generation college student herself, the Chicago native said she finds the traditional college age a “fascinating” time in peoples’ lives and enjoys participating in “the journey of self-discovery.”

The newest member of the Health and Wellness team is a Forester you should know:

What is your experience working in a college counseling setting?

I’m a licensed clinical psychologist—I earned my PhD in counseling psychology at Indiana State University and have worked in college counseling for almost my entire career. For the past 15 years, I worked at Roosevelt University in Chicago in increasingly responsibile positions in the college counseling center. 

What brought you to Lake Forest College?

The idea of working in a center that has health integrated with counseling was something that I was looking forward to. Having the opportunity to understand individuals holistically—biologically, psychologically, socially—and collaborating with the medical side is great. Lake Forest College is a solid institution with a wonderful reputation for the liberal arts. Here, it really is about investing in a student: It’s putting students first and focusing on developing well-rounded individuals. I already can see that and feel in my interactions.

Do you have a favorite spot on campus?

I love the breezeway between the chapel and Reid Hall—the way it looks, but the new Writing Center and Quantitative Resource Center in the basement of Hotchkiss Hall might be my favorite spot. It was transformed into a very thoughtful space for students. I’m amazed that they have tutoring every night of the week and students can just sign up online. It’s a neat place.