Being Well - Berea College Magazine

Being Well - Berea College Magazine
WINTER 2021 Volume 91 Number 3


                                 Being Well
                                     TRAUMA    &
Being Well - Berea College Magazine

                                                                                                                                                                                                 6 | Tasked to Respond
                                                                                                                                                                                                		    As mental-health concerns rise across the nation, Berea College has chosen to face
                                                                                                                                                                                                		        the challenges of students’ emotional and mental health head-on by developing a
                                                                                                                                                                                                		        Task Force on Trauma and Resilience.
Abbie Tanyhill Darst ‘03, Editor
Kim Brown, Associate Vice President for Marketing                                                                                                                                               8 | Opening the Conversation
   and Communications                                                                                                                                                                           		 Professional development for faculty and staff about recognizing mental-health
Chad Berry Hon. ‘20, Vice President for Alumni,
Communications and Philanthropy                                                                                                                                                                           issues and educating them on trauma and resilience became a starting point for
Jackie Collier ‘80, Associate Vice President for                                                                                                                                                          conversations on creating a campus that can help put students on the path toward
   Alumni Relations
Emily A. Parrish, Senior Graphic Designer
                                                                                                                                                                                                          optimal health and well-being.
Crystal Wylie ‘05, Director of Photography and
Digital Engagement                                                                                                                                                                              12 | Power Plants
JoJo Wray ‘04 Content Contributor                                                                                                                                                               		  With increased stress and feelings of isolation that accompany the COVID-19 global
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS:                                                                                                                                                                                     pandemic, tending to lush, green plants is helping people through these challenging
Cora Allison ’22, Kim Brown, Abbie Tanyhill Darst ’03,                                                                                                                                                    times.
Katie Grindstaff ‘15, Jill Gurtatowski, Evan Harrell,
Libby Falk Jones, Tim Jordan ’76, Kim Kobersmith                                                                                                                                                14 | Meeting Them Where They Are
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS:                                                                                                                                                                     		  Whether students come to Counseling Services struggling with anxiety or the effects
Gaston Jarju ’23, Brittany Lakes, Jennifer Lance ’20,                                                                                                                                                     of extreme trauma in their lives, Berea’s experienced therapists are ready to meet them
Justin Skeens, Crystal Wylie ’05
                                                                                                                                                                                                          where they are, help them navigate their situation and successfully get them through
COLLEGE ADMINISTRATION                                                                                                                                                                                    to graduation.
Lyle D. Roelofs, President
Jeffrey S. Amburgey Hon. ’10, Vice President for Finance
Sylvia Asante, Dean of Labor
                                                                                                                                                                                                18 | A Beacon of Help
Channell Barbour ‘91, Vice President for Student Life                                                                                                                                           		  Senior Willow Rodriguez relates how childhood struggles with her mother’s health
Chad Berry Hon. ‘20, Vice President for Alumni,                                                                                                                                                           created mental-health issues for her entering college and how she has used Berea’s
    Communications and Philanthropy
Steve Gowler, Interim Associate Provost                                                                                                                                                                   resources to foster resilience.
Phillip Logsdon, Chief Information Officer
Dwayne Mack, Vice President for Diversity,                                                                                                                                                      20 | Home Away from Home
    Equity and Inclusion
Matthew Saderholm ‘92, Dean of the Faculty
                                                                                                                                                                                                		  First-year student Rashana Temple was displaced from her home at the beginning
Derrick Singleton, Vice President for Operations                                                                                                                                                          of the COVID-19 pandemic. Discover how coming to Berea has helped her find
    and Sustainability                                                                                                                                                                                    community in the midst of quarantine.
Scott Steele, Interim Provost
Teri E. Thompson, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Judge B. Wilson II ‘78, General Counsel and Secretary
                                                                                                                                                                                                22 | Managing the Pain
                                                                                                                                                                                                		  After losing his mother to cancer, junior Obinna Ilochonwu learned how to navigate
CORRESPONDENCE AND REPRINTS                                                                                                                                                                               rising stress from family expectations and future career direction by reaching out to
If you have comments, questions or suggestions
for the Berea College Magazine or would like                                                                                                                                                              Berea’s Counseling Services.
information about reprinting any article appearing
in the magazine, please contact:                                                                                                                                                                24 | In the Face of Crisis
   Editor, Berea College Magazine                                                                                                                                                               		  Berenice Davila’s senior year has been a mixture of challenges and persistence in the
   Berea College                                                                                                                                                                                          face of unmet expectations. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic rearranging her plans,
   CPO 2142                                                                                                                                                                                               Davila has persevered toward successful completion of her last year at Berea.
   Berea, KY 40404
                                                                                                                                                                                                26 | Living Mindfully
AT YOUR SERVICE                                                                                                                                                                                 		  Courses and programming across campus teach students, faculty and staff how to
Mail:     CPO 2142, Berea, KY 40404                                                                                                                                                                       cope by practicing mindfulness.
Phone:    859.985.3104
          Toll free: 1.866.804.3018                                                                                                                                                             29 | Exceptional Students in an Exceptional Time
Magazine:                                                                                                                                                            		   With a worldwide pandemic affecting so many, Berea’s student chaplains answered
                                                             Obinna Ilochonwu ’22 is studying to be a nurse anesthetist so he                                                                   		        the call of supporting the student body.
                                                             can help patients with pain management. Ilochonwu is one of                                                                        30 | Tackling Trauma Together
                                                             many Berea students who face stress and anxiety throughout their                                                                   		  The student population Berea was founded to serve raises the likelihood students will
              @bereacollege                                  college careers. In this issue you can read more about Ilochonwu’s                                                                           have encountered trauma, adverse childhood experiences and other negative impacts
                                                             story, along with those of other Berea College students who have                                                                             on their mental, physical and emotional health. Learn how the College is raising

                                                                                                                                                                 Crystal Wylie ‘05
              @bereacollege                                  made use of College resources to overcome challenges that might
                                                                                                                                                                                                          awareness for and addressing these issues across campus.
                                                             have prevented them from graduating.                                                           22
Berea College Magazine (ISSN 1539-7394) is published                                                                                                                                            34 | Helping Bereans Thrive!
quarterly for Berea College alumni and friends by
the Berea College Marketing and Communications
                                                                                                                                                                                                		  The College’s Thrive! program teaches that wellness involves actively engaging in and
Department. Periodicals postage pending at Berea, KY,                                                                                                                                                     nurturing all aspects of the whole person.
and additional mailing offices.

Postmaster: Send address corrections to the Berea                                                                                                                                               DEPARTMENTS
College Office of Alumni Relations, CPO 2203,
Berea, KY 40404.                                                                                                                                                                                36 | In the News
Berea College is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization
                                                                                                                                                                                                39 | Class Notes
under federal guidelines.                                                                                                                                                                       45 | Passages
                                                                                                                                       Jennifer Lance ‘20
                                                                                                      Crystal Wylie ‘05

                                                                                                  6                               26                        34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    WINTER 2021                   3
Being Well - Berea College Magazine
What Do Berea Students Need to Succeed?                                                                                                                                           LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

In many ways, the Berea College student          the current Berea College student has                                  are working hard in this area and are                     Dear Berea
                                                                                                                                                                                         Alumni and Friends,
experience of today is the same as it was        changed. The reasons for the changes are                               having a great deal of impact. A prime
in the past. Learning in the classroom,          much debated, but a partial list would                                 indicator of our success is that graduation
                        through the Labor        include changes to the nature of rural                                 rates are rising steadily, even as the
                        Program and from         poverty from subsistence to dependency;                                challenges students must overcome have
                                                                                                                                                                                  We have finally made it through 2020 and are anxious to start fresh
                        each other are           degradation of family support structures                               also been increasing.                                     with a new year that, I hope, feels very different than the last. Yet, as I
                        hallmarks of the         and increased substance abuse; an                                           This issue of Berea College Magazine                 write this message, the landscape of our nation and the circumstances
                        present experience       increasing wealth gap that presents greater                            offers a close-up, real-life view of the                  of the global pandemic don’t seem to be easing. The stress, worry and
                        and of the experience    challenges to the impoverished than it did                             current student experience, focusing on                   uncertainty that permeated 2020 mentally and emotionally fatigued
                                                                                                                                                                                  many, bringing to light an uptick in mental-health issues and the
                        of generations of        in earlier decades; and resulting greater                              student mental health and the support
                                                                                                                                                                                  shortcomings in recognizing and understanding them. Right at a year
                        Bereans. But today’s     pressure to succeed in four short years.                               the College offers. The theme is especially               ago, when Berea’s Task Force on Trauma and Resilience released its
                        students come to         Additionally, the rise of social media has                             significant for these times of COVID-19                   findings and recommendations, the idea formed to focus this issue of
                        campus with experi-      been shown to be quite toxic to the mental                             and the related challenges students have                  the Berea College Magazine on mental and emotional health. Today,
                        ences that require a     health of young people.                                                faced and overcome. You will meet several                 the topic couldn’t be more timely. As you will read in the pages of this
                        sharper focus on their        Berea students in 2020, ever as                                   wonderful faculty and staff members
                                                                                                                                                                                  publication, mental health among college students is on the decline
                                                                                                                                                                                  nationally. And since the COVID-19 pandemic, the issues have only
mental health and well-being.                    deserving of education and opportunity as                              whose work with our amazing students                      become more pronounced. A report released by the Centers for Disease
     It is true that every generation of         past generations, are still learning so much                           is making such an important difference.                   Control and Prevention in August 2020 about the pandemic’s effect on
Berea students has overcome challenges           in the classroom, at their jobs and from                                    Our discerning friends and alumni                    mental health identified that about one-quarter of surveyed 18 to 24 year
and learned resilience through them, and         one another. But for some, more support                                will understand that all of our efforts                   olds had “seriously considered suicide” in the past 30 days. A separate
some may think that opportunities for            is needed. The challenge is not unique to                              require College resources. We are grateful,               study by the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU)
                                                                                                                                                                                  consortium found the rate of major depressive disorder among graduate
learning, labor and service were sufficient      Berea. I do not know of a single college,                              as always, for your support as we continue                and professional students is two times higher compared to 2019.
to overcoming obstacles. Alumni accom-           regardless of the populations served, that                             to offer the best education money can’t
plishments over time might confirm that,         isn’t finding it necessary to offer more                               buy—and I do mean the best!                               Because of the population Berea College serves, many of our students tend
                                                                                                                                                                                  to fall into high-risk categories for dealing with mental and emotional
but it is important to recognize that many       mental-health support for its students.
                                                                                                                                                                                  health issues. Interviewing our professional therapists for the profile on
Bereans in the past did not finish their              Fortunately, at Berea, we have                                                                                              Counseling Services you can read on page 14 was incredibly eye-opening
degree. Today, a focus on mental health          accepted the challenge of figuring out                                                                                           to me. I was unfamiliar with the effects of trauma and adverse childhood
improves success and graduation rates.           how to meet that need in our students.                                                                         Lyle D. Roelofs   experiences (ACEs), but being a Berea graduate, I keenly understand
     In many ways, the environment of            A number of dedicated, expert Bereans                                                                                President   the background and challenges many of our students have faced. My
                                                                                                                                                                                  childhood was thwarted by parental substance abuse and divorce.
                                                                                                                                                                                  My mother unsuccessfully attempted to take her life. I was homeless for
Trustees and Councils                                                                                                                                                             a month in high school, sleeping in a dingy motel while my mom
                                                                                                                                                                                  worked nights and searched for a house during the day. These ACEs
Lyle D. Roelofs, President
                                                                                                                                                                                  dictate the lens through which our minds and bodies react to just about
BOARD OF TRUSTEES                                   Tyler S. Thompson ‘83                                                 AEC MEMBERS-AT-LARGE                                    everything. This magazine delves more deeply into ACEs and their effects
Robert T. Yahng ‘63, Chairman of the Board          Rocky S. Tuan ‘72                                                     Alonzo (Lonnie) Allen, Jr. ’84, Kentucky
Stephanie B. Zeigler, Vice Chair of the Board       Emmanuel A. Tuffuor ‘88                                               V. Eldon Ball ’70, Virginia                             on page 30.
Vicki E. Allums ‘79                                 Diane Artist Wallace ‘80                                              Dr. Geoffrey Bartlett ’93, New York
Celeste P. Armstrong ‘90                                                                                                  Raymond Crenshaw ’12, Washington, D.C.
Charlotte F. Beason ‘70                             HONORARY TRUSTEES                                                     Dr. Donna J. Dean ’69, West Virginia                    But what I am most excited about in this issue are the stories of resilience
Vance Blade ‘82
Anne Berry Bonnyman
                                                    James T. Bartlett
                                                    Martin A. Coyle
                                                                                                                          Ethan Hamblin ’14, North Carolina
                                                                                                                          Vallorie Henderson ’79, Kentucky
                                                                                                                                                                                  shared by four of our students on pages 18 through 25. Though just
Joseph John Bridy                                   Elissa May-Plattner                                                   Jane Miller Hutchens ’71, Kentucky                      a sampling of the human experience, these young people have dealt
Stephen Campbell                                    Harold L. Moses ‘58                                                   Dr. Randy Johnson ’91, Kentucky
David H. Chow                                       Thomas H. Oliver                                                      Zack Johnson ’17, Kentucky                              with difficulty, stress and pain and yet have risen. They have sought
M. Elizabeth Culbreth ‘64
Bill Daugherty ‘76
                                                    Douglas M. Orr
                                                    David S. Swanson
                                                                                                                          Elle Keys ’18, Kentucky
                                                                                                                          Angie Li ’16, Tennessee
                                                                                                                                                                                  out resources and relationships to counteract their hardships, and they
Samantha S. Earp ‘86                                R. Elton White ’65                                                    Elizabeth (Libby) McCord, Esq. ’73, Ohio                are learning to thrive. Berea met them where they were, and will
John E. Fleming ‘66                                 Dawneda F. Williams                                                   Tran Nguyen ’17, Indiana
Michael D. Flowers                                                                                                        Robert Phillips ’90, Virginia                           help them navigate their way to completing their degrees and living
Scott M. Jenkins
Glenn R. Jennings ‘82
                                                    ALUMNI EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (AEC) 2020-21
                                                    Sherry McCulley-Hall ’81, President, North Carolina
                                                                                                                          Mahjabeen Rafiuddin ’97, Florida
                                                                                                                          Carlos Verdecchia ’91, Kentucky
                                                                                                                                                                                  full lives.
Shawn C.D. Johnson                                  Joe Saleem ’08, Past-President, Kentucky
Ken Koh                                             Dr. Dwayne Compton ’01, President-Elect, Kentucky
Nancy “Nana” Lampton                                Dr. Lyle D. Roelofs, President of Berea College
Eugene Y. Lowe Jr.                                  Jackie Collier ’80, Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations
Betty H. Olinger ‘69                                Dr. Chad Berry Hon. ’20, Vice President for Alumni,
Thomas W. Phillips ‘65                                  Communications and Philanthropy
Miriam “Mim” Pride
William B. Richardson                               ALUMNI TRUSTEES                                                                                                                                                                Abbie Tanyhill Darst ’03
Dennis R. Roop ‘69
Charles Ward Seabury II
                                                    Celeste Patton Armstrong ’90, Alabama
                                                    Bill Daugherty ’76, Kentucky
David E. Shelton ‘69                                Dr. Betty Hyatt Olinger ’69, Kentucky
David B. Sloan ‘72                                  Diane Artist Wallace ’80, Kentucky

4               WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                    WINTER 2021       5
Being Well - Berea College Magazine
Tasked to Respond                                                                                                 C
                                                                                                                                  oncerned with the national

                                                                                                                                  among students entering
                                                                                                                         colleges and universities, President Lyle
                                                                                                                                                                       resilience; structural or positional
                                                                                                                                  trend in declining mental health changes; and continued oversight,
                                                                                                                                                                       review and data sharing. With a full list
                                                                                                                                                                       of recommendations, the task force
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       played a caregiver role for a grandparent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       or siblings,” Lakes said. “They are not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       able to provide in ways that they would
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       like, and there are feelings of shame,
                          Facing the challenges of mental                                                                Roelofs and then-Academic Vice                began conversations about implementa-
                                                                                                                         President and Dean of the Faculty Chad tion. However, as with all facets of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       guilt and frustration that can lead to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       disparities in those students.”
                           and emotional health head-on                                                                  Berry convened a Task Force on Trauma Berea’s operations, the COVID-19                             In addition, the stress levels Berea
                                                                                                                         and Resilience in fall 2018. The task         pandemic presented a significant                College students report are higher than
By Katie Grindstaff ‘15                                                                                                  force was charged with examining Berea challenge.                                             their national peers, as revealed in a 2010
                                                                                                                         students and their risk factors as well as          Some of the recommendations               American College Health
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Dr. LorettaAssociation
                                                                                                                         making recommendations for taking a           were able to gain real traction before          National College Health Assessment

                                                                                                                         holistic and proactive approach for           staff and students left to work remotely        survey. Sixty-six percent of Berea males
                                                                                                                         responding to student trauma and              in March 2020, Lakes said. “We’ve               and 49 percent of Berea females reported
                                                                                                                         increasing student resilience.                implemented a few recommendations               “more than average” or “tremendous
                                                                                                                              “Student                                                         that have had           stress” compared nationally to 56 percent
                                                                                                                                                  Student   trauma  and mental   health
                                                                                                                         trauma and mental

                                                                                                                         and universities

                                                                                                                         said Chris Lakes,
                                                                                                                         director of the
                                                                                                                         Office of Student
                                                                                                                         Success and
                                                                                                                         health issues are on issues are on the rise at colleges
                                                                                                                         the rise at colleges     and universities across the country.
                                                                                                                                                  It’s very well documented and
                                                                                                                         across the country,” happening at all institutions. At
                                                                                                                                                  Berea College, a place where we
                                                                                                                                                  serve students from low-income
                                                                                                                                                  backgrounds,    poverty is one of  the
                                                                                                                                                                                               positive results, but
                                                                                                                                                                                               some of the others
                                                                                                                                                                                               have obviously
                                                                                                                                                                                               landed on the back
                                                                                                                                                                                               burner,” he said.
                                                                                                                                                                                               The College ended
                                                                                                                                                                                               in-person instruc-
                                                                                                                                                                                               tion in March
                                                                                                                                                                                               2020 and in fall
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       of males and 42 percent of females.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            “One source of stress is the pressure
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       to succeed at Berea given students’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       limited options for high-quality
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       education that is affordable,” said Sue
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Reimondo, director of Counseling
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Services. “Because Berea College charges
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       no tuition, students are encouraged to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       graduate in four years to enable as many
                                                                                                                         Transition. “It’s        primary indicators of negative               2020 implemented        students as possible to receive a degree at
                                                                                                                         very well docu-          outcomes in student mental health.           a learning environ-     the College who may not otherwise have
                                                                                                                         mented and               –Chris Lakes                                 ment that includes      the opportunity to earn one.”
                                                                                                                         happening at all                                                      in-person or                 Individual recommendations from
                                                                                                                         institutions. At Berea College, a place       distance learning as chosen by the              the task force are continuing, including
                                                                                                                         where we serve students from low-in-          student.                                        what is referred to as “gatekeeper
                                                                                                                         come backgrounds, poverty is one of the             One recommendation for faculty            training for natural helpers.” The
                                                                                                                         primary indicators of negative outcomes reading groups already has offered                    training for faculty and staff who
                                                                                                                         in student mental health.”                    participants insight into challenges facing     interact with students on a regular
                                                                                                                              The student population served by         Berea students. To date, three different        basis will help prepare them for how
                                                                                                                         the College is at risk of higher levels of    groups have convened, reading and               to support students’ mental health.
                                                                                                                         stress, anxiety and mental fatigue.           discussing books that offer guidance on              Throughout this issue, the specifics
                                                                                                                         Acknowledging these obstacles, the goal addressing particular challenges Berea’s              of many of the task force recommenda-
                                                                                                                         of the task force was to develop a more       students face. There also has been a group      tions are explored and their impact and
                                                                                                                         comprehensive, cohesive response to the review of a short film related to adverse             implementation explained in greater
                                                                                                                         experiences and challenges students           childhood experiences. The recommenda-          detail. The work of the task force is
                                                                                                                         bring with them into higher education.        tion for training faculty and staff on how      happening across campus in a number
                                                                                                                              The 16-member task force repre-          to respond directly to students who are         of areas, with facilitation and coordina-
                                                                                                                         sented various academic departments,          experiencing emotional stress also has          tion from the wellness program, Student
                                                                                                                         Student Life, the Willis D. Weatherford resulted in helpful conversations.                    Life and the Office of Student Success
                                                                                                                         Jr. Campus Christian Center, Counsel-               Berea students experience similar         and Transition, among others.
                                                                                                                         ing Services and Institutional Research       issues to students across the country,               “Part of my job in the spring,” Lakes
                                                                                                                         and Assessment. It identified 21 recom- but because many are coming out of                    said, “will be to pull people back together
                                                                                                                         mendations, separated into five broader challenging backgrounds, they struggle                and focus on what we have been able to
                                                                                                                         categories: increasing resilience and         disproportionately with things like food        accomplish during the COVID-19 pan-
                                                    Many students like Kaela Davis ‘23 found                             reducing stress on campus; professional       insecurity, feeling supported by their          demic, and how to get momentum back
                                                    ways to deal with the added stress COVID-19                          development for faculty and staff;            family, divorce and separation, and             in 2021, when a lot of people will return
                                                                                                     Crystal Wylie ‘05

                                                    safety protocols placed on Berea’s residential
                                                    students by moving outside to study.                                 increasing campus awareness of traumas, housing insecurity.                                   to campus and engage in a world that is
                                                                                                                         adverse childhood experiences and                   “So many of our students have             very different since the shutdown.” B

6          WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                   WINTER 2021            7
Being Well - Berea College Magazine
Opening the
      Faculty and staff crucial to campus mental well-being

By Kim Kobersmith

       or some students, taking tests         changed a lot,” she said. “We didn’t even    the student, provide insight and support,
       can evoke fear and anxiety.            talk about depression or anxiety. Now        and share the experience.”
       Dr. Monica Kennison, Susan V.          we are much more open about it, and               Dr. Amanda Wyrick, associate
Clayton Nursing Chair at Berea, knows         more students are identifying as experi-     professor of psychology, helped develop
how common and incapacitating test            encing it.”                                  a manual for staff on how to walk beside
anxiety can be. She developed a strategy           Last June, the College offered a        students who express feelings of depres-
that’s been particularly helpful. Together,   training for labor supervisors, a staff      sion, anxiety and suicidal ideation. One
she and the student enter the computer        group that works closely with students.      special area of concern for her is bound-
testing room, sit in front of a computer      The Trauma and Resilience Basics             aries for faculty and staff. Part of that
and walk through a progressive relax-         training was led by Karen Newton, a          is knowing when a student needs more
ation exercise. She then encourages the       Koru mindfulness trainer and adjunct         help than a faculty or staff member can
student to return to the testing room         faculty member at the University of          offer.
and practice the relaxation alone. This       Louisville and the parent of a Berea              “I ask myself, ‘Can I maintain my
builds a link between the room and a          graduate. She introduced the impact of       role right now, or am I moving into the
sense of calm that the student can draw       adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)         role of friend or parent?’” she explained.
on during testing.                            on students and the benefits of protec-      “The answer to that question provides a
     This is just one way faculty and staff   tive factors. The Centers for Disease        clue as to whether my interaction with a
at Berea are attuned to the mental            Control and Prevention defines ACEs          student can remain healthy for the both
well-being of their students and actively     as potentially traumatic events that         of us.”
intervene on their behalf.                    occur in childhood up until the age of
     “Faculty play a crucial role,”           17. Protective factors such as a caring
Kennison said. “It is not unusual for         relationship with a parent or caregiver      A resilience toolkit
students to confide in us because we          can shield children from ACEs.               Campus-wide, there is an emphasis on
work so closely with them. We often                Understanding these concepts            not just handling crises but creating
are cognizant of subtle changes in            helped participants shift mindsets from      opportunities to nurture students’
student behavior and can initiate a           “what is wrong with you?” to “what           resilience. This is of particular concern
conversation.”                                happened to you?” This broader context       for Kennison. “Nationally, there is a
                                              fosters empathy when working with            silent but real problem of an increased
                                              students who are struggling with             incidence of suicide among nurses
Walk beside                                   work-performance issues. The training        compared to the general population,”
In recognition of this crucial role, one of   also included a reminder that all people     she explained. “Nurses are the largest
the emerging themes of the Task Force         have healing potential.                      healthcare workforce on the front lines
on Trauma and Resilience, convened in              “As a faculty member, it is import-     of caring for individuals who are
fall 2018, was professional development       ant for me to be aware of potential          violently injured. Students need a
for faculty and staff who work directly       trauma students have experienced, like       resilience toolkit.”
with students. Dr. Stephanie Woodie,          the long-term impacts of [racism] and             Kennison and the rest of the nursing
associate professor of health and human       poverty,” Woodie said. “We can learn to      department have made this toolkit a
performance, sees its importance. “I          see ourselves, not as a person who can fix   top priority. The Martha Fox Memorial
began teaching in 1988, and things have       it, but as someone who can walk beside       Psychiatric Nursing Lecture series

8         WINTER 2021                                                                                                                   WINTER 2021   9
Being Well - Berea College Magazine
sponsored a virtual seminar about                school year on sabbatical. Her research         communities. One text was “The Upside

                                                                                                                                              Berea’s Students
mental health for nurses and students in topic emerged from her work with the                    of Stress,” by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.,
October. Dr. Susan Painter and Dr.               task force; she is exploring creating a         which focuses on strategies for embrac-

Karen Cheeseman from Case Western                learning community focused on faculty           ing the benefits of this much-maligned
Reserve University shared about risk             and staff resilience. The first component       aspect of human experience. The impact
                                                                                                                                              Need You and Your
factors, coping and self-care strategies,
and the importance
of creating support-
ive dialogue among
     The nursing
faculty incorporate
other practices for
well-being. They
                                                 will be grounded in psychoeducation

                             My vision is to establish a
                             space of safe connection where
                             individuals can risk vulnerability.
                             I want to encourage our campus
                             community    to slow  down   and
                                                                         as members explore
                                                                         aspects of burn-out
                                                                         and stress. The
                                                                         second element will
                                                                         focus on building
                                                                               “The goal is
                                                                         not a list of things
                                                                                                 of stress depends on the mindset we
                                                                                                 have about it, according to McGonigal,
                                                                                                 and we can use it to actually increase our
                                                                                                      Participants recognized the material
                                                                                                 was not just about students, but for their
                                                                                                 own well-being. “Book groups were a
                                                                                                 start to building a really great connec-
                                                                                                 tion with faculty and staff,” Wyrick said.
                                                                                                                                              Generous Support
                                                                                                                                              More Than Ever
serve healthy snacks         listen to each other.                       to do, which can             Woodie, Kennison and Wyrick
during finals week.          –Dr. Amanda    Wyrick                       be guilt-inducing,”     have helped lay the groundwork for a
They practice Dr.                                                        she said. “It will be   healthier Berea College campus commu-
Amy Cuddy’s                                                              about tools we can      nity. “The work of the task force makes
“power pose” with students. Cuddy, a             practice together in community.”                Berea more proactive, with a self-care
social psychologist, says standing for two            The final component focuses on             and resiliency mindset,” Kennison said.
minutes with your feet apart and your            the community aspect of the experience.         “It opens the conversation, decreases
hands on your hips (think the famous             “My vision is to establish a space of           the stigma around mental health and
Wonder Woman stance) is linked to                 safe connection where individuals can          leverages students’ strengths. During
improved confidence and performance              risk vulnerability,” she added. “I want         COVID-19, we have been focused on
in stressful situations, as well as de-          to encourage our campus community               physical well-being, but the pandemic
creased stress. They introduce a struc-          to slow down and listen to each other.”         is exacerbating mental-health concerns.
tured mindful pause, which in some                    Wyrick says book studies that              The work of the task force has proven
clinical situations is linked to fewer           emerged from task force recommenda-             to be relevant, timely and essential.” B
errors in practice. It is all in the pursuit     tions gave a taste of these kinds of
of instilling resilience tools and improv-                                                                                                    The pandemic continues to loom large, particularly
ing mental health in their future nurses.                                                                                                     on low-income households—exactly the population
                                                                                                                                              Berea serves.
A space of safe connection
While there is a growing national                                                                                                             In addition to their economic status, the pandemic
recognition of the mental-health needs                                                                                                        has been another challenge in our students’ lives.
of college students, Wyrick is concen-                                                                                                        Now more than ever, the promise of a high-quality
trating her work on a less-discussed                                                                                                          education without the burden of student debt
topic: how schools like Berea are                                                                                                             is needed. Without the No-Tuition Promise
handling compassion fatigue and                                                                                                               Scholarship that Berea awards to each one of its
burn-out of the staff and faculty who
                                                                                                                                              admitted students, they would have few higher
work with students.
     “We can’t just focus on wellness                                                                                                         educational options that match the quality of a
of students without faculty and staff,”                                                                                                       Berea degree.
she said. “Other institutions are dealing
with heightened stress in students, but                                                                                                       Please make your gift at, or
not a lot of colleagues tell me they are                                                                                                      by sending a check in the enclosed envelope.                                        Amber ’23
getting support for their well-being.
Berea College has said we believe this is                                                                                                                                                                               Photo by Desiree Dunn ‘20
important, and there is a lot of support
for the task force work.”
     Wyrick is spending the 2020-21

                                                                                                                                              CPO 2216 • Berea, KY 40404 • 800-457-9846 •
10          WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                        WINTER 2021         11
Being Well - Berea College Magazine
By Kim Brown
                                             Power Plants
                           educed stress levels. Cleaner air.        guidelines and rules established by Sir             “Plants have kept me (mostly) sane
                           Sharpened attentiveness. In-              Isaac Newton in 1666 and applied by           throughout 2020,” said Brittany “Bee”
                           creased productivity. A number            designers to communicate through the          Lakes, social media coordinator at Berea
                 of university and medical studies show              use of color—green is associated with         College. “My collection definitely grew
                 that a simple element found in many                 tranquility, growth, renewal and com-         during this time, likely because we have
                 homes and offices produces these bene-              passion. Designers use a color wheel and      been unable to go anywhere, which led
                 fits: plants. With increased stress and             research that connects color to mood,         to more online plant shopping. I enjoy
                 feelings of isolation that accompany the            emotion and feelings, and throughout          caring for my plants; watching them
                 COVID-19 global pandemic, tending to                the pandemic Kentucky Gov. Andy               grow and thrive is very rewarding and
                 lush, green plants is helping people                Beshear encouraged residents to light         allows me to focus on something
                 through these challenging times.                    their homes in green to show support          positive rather than being weighed down
                       In color theory—a collection of               to those who have suffered losses.            by the challenges of 2020.”
                                                                                                                         Lakes, whose collection of house-
                                                                                                                   plants stands at 75, said she used the
                                                                                                                   months of isolation to connect with
                                                                                                                   other “plant people” online through
                                                                                                                   Instagram. She has made friends with
                                                                                                                   plant lovers in neighboring Lexington,

                                                                                                                                                               Crystal Wylie ‘05
                                                                                                                   Ky., and as far away as Sweden, with
                                                                                                                   whom she chats almost daily.
                                                                                                                         These online friendships started by
                                                                                                                                                               Dr. Dawn Anderson, Berea biology professor, describes her office as a little ecosystem. It is filled with plants she has added throughout her 28 years at Berea,
                                                                                                                   sharing plant photos, discussing plant      some of which are orphaned plants that were rescued and given to her. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Anderson says her plants have helped “soothe and
                                                                                                                   care, giving advice and sending one         calm [her] jangled nerves.”
                                                                                                                   another interesting products, Lakes
                                                                                                                   recalls. Over time, those online connec-    them for their majors (nursing, biology
                                                                                                                   tions with new friends have evolved into    and chemistry-biochemistry concentra-
                                                                                                                   meaningful relationships.                   tion).” Anderson, in her 28th year
                                                                                                                         “We now ask how the other person      teaching at Berea, took a course redesign
                                                                                                                   is coping with all the stresses of 2020     workshop in May offered by the Col-
                                                                                                                   and have worthwhile conversations,” she     lege’s Center for Teaching and Learning
                                                                                                                   explains. “Building these connections       that guided her in redesigning her three
                                                                                                                   through social media has meant a lot to     courses to an online format. “Huge
                                                                                                                   me throughout the pandemic, and I           change. Huge amount of work, but I
                                                                                                                   know [it] has been impactful for them as    wanted all students who needed my
                                                                                                                   well, especially those who live alone.”     courses to be able to take them,”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Crystal Wylie ‘05
                                                                                                                         Childhood weekends spent tending      Anderson said.
                                                                                                                   a vegetable garden with her paternal             Anderson, whose research focuses
                                                                                                                   grandparents had a lasting impact on        on infectious disease and antibiotic                   In mid-March 2020, just after the campus closed to in-person instruction due to COVID-19, Berea’s
                                                                                                                   Dr. Dawn Anderson, instilling in her a      resistance in bacteria, said the drastic               greenhouse workers continued tending to campus greenery. In the spring and summer months, plant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sales increased as people turned to plants as a stress reliever during quarantine.
                                                                                                                   life-long love of plants. A professor in    change in her approach to teaching left
                                                                                                                   the Biology department at Berea,            her feeling frazzled. She found relief in
                                                                                                                   Anderson says plants have always played     the 22 plants in her office.                           on with the pandemic and how it has                    a great coping strategy for Lakes and
Brittany Lakes

                                                                                                                   a big part in her life. Their role became        “During this COVID pandemic,                      really upended everyone’s life. I find                 Anderson. The benefits derived from their
                                                                                                                   more significant during the pandemic.       I think all my plants have done much                   comfort from the plants in my office,                  potted friends confirm the color theory
                 Bee Lakes has more than 75 potted plants in her home. Her collection helped her cope with the
                                                                                                                         “The pandemic totally shifted my      to soothe and calm my jangled nerves,”                 which would be a very sterile and                      association of green with tranquility,
                 challenges of 2020 while allowing her to connect to other plant lovers around the world through   teaching,” she said. “I am doing all my     she said. “It is easy to get anxious and               soul-deadening place without them.”                    growth and renewal—feelings each hopes
                 social media.                                                                                     courses online as many students need        depressed with all that has been going                      Caring for plants has proven to be                to find on the other side of this pandemic. B

                 12           WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       WINTER 2021                 13
Being Well - Berea College Magazine
Meeting Them                                                                                                                                                “Berea’s students are unique because up and continuing on to graduation.
                                                                                                                                                                        Berea College itself is unique with the             “Meeting them where they are is
                                                                                                                                                                        demands our students are under,” Berea important,” Reimondo said. “It is a real
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Athletics, Disability and Accessibility
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Services and academic departments such
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     as Child and Family Studies, Women’s

                 Where They Are
                                                                                                                                                                        counselor Tricia Isenstein said. “Sched-       dance; they have to function, so we don’t     and Gender Studies, and Sociology,
                                                                                                                                                                        ules at Berea are very rigid with the addi- want them to move too quickly in                 allows counseling to be holistic and

                                                                                                                                                                        tion of labor, and students often are          dealing with painful issues because it        touch all the areas that make up a
                                                                                                                                                                        committed from before 8 a.m. into the          may interfere with their ability to go to     student’s experience.
                                                                                                                                                                        late evening. Berea students put high          class and labor or meet other obliga-              “It’s helpful to have experts in all
                                                                                                                                                                        expectations on                                                        tions. So, it is OK   areas because I’m not an expert in

By Abbie Tanyhill Darst ’03

                                 Berea College Counseling Services

           ver the past decade, rates of
           anxiety, depression and suicidal
           thoughts among college
                                                     pandemic caused the institution to end
                                                     in-person instruction and send students
                                                     home last March. On average, counsel-
                                                                                                                          see us in everyday settings…it normaliz-
                                                                                                                          es us and shows we are warm, compas-
                                                                                                                          sionate and approachable.
                                                                                                                                                                        themselves, often
                                                                                                                                                                        prioritizing aca-
                                                                                                                                                                        demics over their
                                                                                                                                                                        own well-being. In
                                                                                                                                                                        addition, many are
                                                                                                                                                                        dealing with a
                                                                                                                                                                        background of
                                                                                                                                                                        trauma or adverse
                                                                                                                                                                        childhood experi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                   a  background   of
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Berea students put high
                                                                                                                                                                                                   expectations on themselves,
                                                                                                                                                                                                   often prioritizing academics
                                                                                                                                                                                                   over their own well-being. In
                                                                                                                                                                                                   addition, many are dealing with

                                                                                                                                                                                                   leading one to be prone to
                                                                                                                                                                                                   adverse childhood experiences,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               if they come in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               wanting help in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               addressing an
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               immediate prob-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               lem but aren’t yet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ready or wanting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               to address deeper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               issues. We meet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               them where they
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     everything,” Johnston said. “So, we refer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     to these experts to utilize resources to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     help students make those connections.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          “I really value our colleagues in all
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     those areas,” Reimondo added. “Some-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     times when practical issues come up,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I can just pick up the phone and work
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     together with a colleague to resolve a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     problem that is causing a student
students have risen significantly, leading           ing services at colleges with populations                                 “Counseling is different than talking    ences, leading one         anxiety, depression and even                are.”                 distress. And, we work hard not to over
more students to seek help at counseling             similar to Berea’s only see 17.4 percent                             to an aunt, grandma or mom,” Reimon-          to be prone to             PTSD. –Tricia Isenstein                          “Some stu-       program or duplicate services. I think we
centers. Intense pressure to perform                 of the student population, according to                              do continued. “We have no agenda, we          anxiety, depression                                                    dents wait until      get better every year at understanding
academically, social media expectations              the 2018 survey of Association for                                   are not vested in the choices they make       and even PTSD.”                                their last term in college to seek counsel-   how to use our partnerships to create the
and influence, and home and environ-                 University and College Counseling                                    in the same way a family member might              “When I ask students why they             ing services,” Isenstein added. “They’ll      best outcomes for the students we serve.”
mental issues contribute significantly to            Center Directors.                                                    be, so we can be objective. The student       came to Berea, nine out of 10 say              say, ‘I have been putting this off, and I          At the core of everything Berea’s
this rise. Berea College Counseling                       “Our student usage is super high,”                              is the expert in their life, and we offer     because it was free,” added counselor          have one more semester.’ They begin to        counseling team does is the desire to see
Services saw 551 students in the 2019-               said Sue Reimondo, director of Counsel-                              them expertise and skills to get through      Josh Johnston. “So students feel internal realize the value of therapy and mental            Berea’s students succeed. Therapy reso-
20 academic year—35 percent of the                   ing Services. “We do a lot of outreach,                              their stuck points.”                          pressure to take advantage of this             health. Other students may be seen            nates in relationship and understanding
student body—before the COVID-19                     so students get to know us. When they                                     In the 18 years Reimondo has             opportunity, which is going to increase        consistently throughout their years at        people in general, Johnston said. Listen-
                                                                                                                          directed Berea’s Counseling Services          their anxiety. They feel family pressures      Berea College. Progress can look differ-      ing to students, building rapport with
                                                                                                                          office, the staff has grown considerably.     because they are the first to go to college ent for each student. Some are able to           them, and helping them discover and
                                                                                                                          When she came to Berea, the counseling        or they need to send money back home. process their trauma effectively in                    increase their resilience allows counselors
                                                                                                                          department consisted of her and one           Plus, with the time demands of being           therapy, while others work on develop-        to find fulfilment in their roles.
                                                                                                                          part-time therapist. Today, the staff has     a student, having a labor position,            ing skills needed to tolerate the present          “When I think of resilience and how
                                                                                                                          grown to include one part-time and four       convocations and clubs—because they            moment. Both represent significant            it emanates in my sessions with clients, I
                                                                                                                          full-time therapists, in addition to          like to be involved—they are piling            healing.”                                     often try to reassure our students, ‘You
                                                                                                                          Reimondo, who carries a sizeable client       all these stressors on top of what they             In seeking to meet each student’s        are not what happened; you are not
                                                                                                                          load as well as serving as director.          were already bringing in from their            needs, Counseling Services partners with      anything you have done,’” counselor Joel
                                                                                                                               This enlarged staff stays busy serving   past experiences. What made them               other campus resources and entities to        Wilson said. “Then I affirm them to
                                                                                                                          Berea’s unique student body. Often, the       really resilient and remarkable students       ensure a well-rounded approach.               know that who and or what they are is
                                                                                                                          factors that make Berea students perfect      in high school also adds to their stress            “It is important to me to build          indescribable. Words fail to truly
                                                                                                                          candidates for acceptance—strong              while they’re in college because they          collaboration because I want Counseling       articulate who we are at our core, in our
                                                                                                                          academic performance and high financial       are trying to excel.”                          Services to be embedded in the College        soul and spirit. Every time you overcome
                                                                                                                          need—add to their challenges in adapting           Whether a student comes to                and be part of the educational mission,”      a challenge, you affirm for yourself that
                                                                                                                          to college life. Reimondo notes that many     Counseling Services struggling with            Reimondo said. “We want to support            you’re braver than you think.”
                                                                                                                          Berea students have overcome significant      anxiety and looking for coping mecha-          students succeeding here and becoming              “Students have a longing to be
                                                                                                                          obstacles prior to arriving at Berea          nisms or because they are troubled by          their personal best while they experience     heard, understood, appreciated and
                                                                                                                          College, and many arrive with unmet           the continuing effects of extreme,             all the developmental milestones              accepted,” Reimondo added. “Our
                                                                                                     Jennifer Lance ’20

                                                                                                                          psychosocial needs. Families with limited     unacknowledged trauma in their lives,          students go through in their college          students are remarkably resilient. And
                                                                                                                          financial resources often lack access to      Berea’s experienced and caring therapists careers.”                                          I have stayed [at Berea] a long time
                                                                                                                          services that help to address psychosocial    are there for them. They meet the                   Collaboration with the Willis D.         because of the students. You feel like
Sue Reimondo (left), director of Counseling Services, and Elaine Adams, Ecovillage coordinator, handed
                                                                                                                          and health crises due to limited transpor-    students where they are and help them          Weatherford Jr. Campus Christian              you make a difference and that what you
out candy to attendees at the Fall Festival in October 2020. Events like this help make Counseling                        tation, limited funds and communities         navigate their situation, sometimes            Center, various other centers on campus,      do matters.” B
Services more visible and approachable for students.                                                                      that lack sufficient resources.               making the difference between giving           Student Life, Academic Services,

14           WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             WINTER 2021            15
Being Well - Berea College Magazine
Sue Reimondo                                                       substance abuse, trauma and couples counsel-       Josh Johnston                                                                                   body and spirit. She has been at Berea College
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 HEALTHY MINDS STUDY FINDINGS*
                    Director and Therapist                                             ing. She has been at Berea since February 2019     Therapist                                                                                       for four years, and she says she has never
                    B.S. in Business Administration,                                   and says she is inspired by the culture of the     B.S. in Psychology, Purdue University                                                           worked in a therapist position where students            The Healthy Minds Study (HMS) is an annual web-based survey examining mental
                    Rochester Institute of Technology                                  College and thoroughly enjoys working with         M.S. in Family Studies with a concen-                                                           were as receptive and hungry for knowledge as             health, service utilization and related issues among undergraduate and graduate
                    M.S. in Student Affairs in Higher                                  the students, faculty and staff. Horton believes   tration in Marriage and Family Therapy,                                                         Berea’s students.                                      students nationally. HMS is approved by the Health Sciences and Behavioral Sciences
                    Education, Colorado State University                               therapy is a collaborative process with the goal   University of Kentucky                                                                                                                               Institutional Review Board at the University of Michigan and provides a detailed picture
                    Ph.D. in Counseling and Career                                     being for people to experience the maximum         Johnston began his                                                                                                                                               of mental health and related issues in college student populations.
                    Development, Colorado State University                             benefits within the least amount of time.          career working in                                                                               Joel Wilson ’02
                                                Reimondo began her                                                                        community mental                                                                                Psychotherapist                                                        Selected Measures                                 Percentage
                                                career working for                                                                        health before earning                                                                           B.S. in Industrial Technology                                                                                            of Students
                                                                                       Tricia Isenstein
                                                IBM in the Federal                                                                        his independent licen-                                                                          Management, Berea College
                                                Systems Division.                      Therapist                                          sure in Kentucky as a                                                                           M.A. in Professional Counseling,                     Major depression
                                                After 12 years, she                    B.A. in Political Science and English,             marriage and family                                                                             University of the Cumberlands
                                                chose to further her
                                                education so she
                                                                                       University of Kentucky
                                                                                       M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from
                                                                                                                                          therapist. Johnston’s in-
                                                                                                                                          quisitive and analytical
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          M.A. in Addictions Counseling,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          University of the Cumberlands                        Depression overall, including major and moderate                     36%

                                                                                                                                                                                                Crystal Wylie ‘05
                                                could engage in                        Eastern Kentucky University                        nature, combined with                                                                           Wilson began his career as a carpenter and
                                                work she found more                    Isenstein began her career working with            his training in family                                                                          a substitute teacher. After he and his four          Elevated level of depression
                                                meaningful. While                      student services at the University of Kentucky.    systems frameworks,                                                                                                      children experienced a

                                                working directly                       While there, she began volunteering at the         serves as the basis of                                                                                                   life-changing event in
Crystal Wylie ‘05

                                                with students as a                     then-YWCA Spouse Abuse Center, where she           his therapeutic work. His innate desire to help                                                                          2010, Wilson decided        Anxiety disorder
                                                residence hall super-                  became a crisis counselor and family advocate,     people is accompanied by a deep interest in                                                                              to further his educa-
                                                visor and later as a
                                                graduate assistant,
                    she decided she wanted to work as a counselor.
                                                                                                                      discovered her
                                                                                                                      calling to work
                                                                                                                      as a profession-
                                                                                                                                          understanding them fully. He has been at Berea
                                                                                                                                          College for nine years and is helping develop
                                                                                                                                          substance-abuse programming on campus and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   tion and seek a career
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   helping others deal with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   suffering and ultimately
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Elevated level of generalized anxiety                                31%
                    In 2002, Reimondo was hired as the director of
                    Counseling Services at Berea College. She says
                                                                                                                      al counselor
                                                                                                                      and decided to
                                                                                                                      pursue a degree
                                                                                                                                          partnering with the Athletics department to
                                                                                                                                          bring mental-health awareness, advocacy and
                                                                                                                                          resources to student athletes. He said he firmly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   find healing. He has
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   worked in college
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   counseling and as a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Eating disorder                                                      10%

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Crystal Wylie ‘05
                    she always has been fascinated by psychology
                    and why people do the things they do. In her
                    early 20s, she began working with a therapist
                    and found it tremendously helpful—an experi-
                                                                                                                      in mental health
                                                                                                                      Since then, she
                                                                                                                                          believes that influencing the life of one student
                                                                                                                                          can subsequently impact multiple generations
                                                                                                                                          of a family system through the intergeneration-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   counselor, as well as run
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   his own private coun-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Elevated level of eating concerns                                    34%
                    ence she says led to her career change from the                                                   has worked for      al transmission of values and beliefs.                                                          seling practice, Fresh Start Therapy, LLC. Wilson
                                                                                                                Crystal Wylie ‘05

                    corporate world to counseling. She has earned                                                     Greenhouse 17,                                                                                                      is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)     Non-suicidal self-injury (past year)
                    certifications as a cognitive behavioral therapist                                                The Nest—Cen-                                                                                                       and in African American multigenerational
                    and is both a yoga and Pilates instructor.
                    Reimondo says her work at Berea College has
                    been tremendously satisfying, and the students
                                                                                                                      ter for Women,
                                                                                                                      Children and
                                                                                       Families in Lexington and as the only ther-
                                                                                                                                          Julie LeBrun
                                                                                                                                          M.A., Eastern Kentucky University
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          trauma. He has been at Berea College since
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2019, and his clinical focus areas are trau-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ma, psychosomatic therapy, anxiety, children
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Suicidal ideation (past year)                                        14%
                    have taught her much about resiliency and the
                    strength of the human spirit.
                                                                                       apist at Kentucky State University. She also
                                                                                       has maintained a solo private practice since
                                                                                       2011. Isenstein has been at Berea since 2015.
                                                                                                                                          Licensed professional clinical counselor
                                                                                                                                          LeBrun began her career working with children,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          with behavioral issues, families with domestic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          violence, substance abuse, medical assisted
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          treatment, test anxiety and suicidal ideation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Lifetime diagnoses of mental disorders                               37%
                                                                                       She has focused the majority of continuing         adolescents and adults in the nonprofit sector.
                    Kathryn Horton                                                     education and professional development on the      She has been trained                                                                                                                                 Psychiatric medication (past year)
                    Therapist                                                          treatment of trauma. She began Healing Circle,     in trauma-focused                                                                               Angela Taylor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Administrative Assistant
                    B.S.W. in Social Work,                                             a support group for Berea students, along with     cognitive behavioral
                    Ohio University                                                    many other creative programs. She says she is      therapy, parent-child                                                                                                   Taylor worked in the         Mental health therapy/counseling (past year)
                                                            M.S. in Social Work,       most proud of being part of the journey toward     interaction therapy,                                                                                                    education field for 12
                                                            University of              healing for her clients.                           and Eye Movement                                                                                                        years, most recently in

                                                            Cincinnati                                                                    Desensitization and                                                                                                     early childhood educa-       Any mental-health therapy/counseling and/or psychiatric
                                                            Horton began her                                                              Reprocessing (EMDR)                                                                                                     tion. She has been with      medication among students with positive depression or anxiety
                                                                                                                                          therapy. At Berea, she                                                                                                  Berea College Counsel-       screens (past year)
                                                            career as an out-
                                                            patient therapist in                                                          works collaboratively                                                                                                   ing Services since 2013.
                                                            therapeutic foster                                                            with students and staff                                                                                                 In 2017, she was award-      Personal stigma: agrees with “I would think less of someone
                                                                                                                                                                                              Crystal Wylie ‘05

                                                            care and community                                                            to develop programs                                                                                                     ed Berea’s Staff Member      who has received mental-health treatment.”
                                                            mental health. She is a                                                       in substance abuse,                                                                                                     of the Year award. She

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Crystal Wylie ‘05

                                                            licensed clinical social                                                      groups for anxiety,                                                                                                     says she loves meet-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Perceived public stigma: agrees with “Most people would think
                                        Crystal Wylie ‘05

                                                            worker (LCSW) with                                                            and suicide prevention.                                                                                                 ing and working with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               less of someone who has received mental-health treatment.”
                                                            professional interest                                                         LeBrun promotes an integrative approach to                                                                              Berea’s students.
                                                                                                                                          mental health wellness that includes the mind,                                                                                                                                                                                      *2018-19
                                                            in anxiety, depression,

                    16           WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   WINTER 2021         17
Being Well - Berea College Magazine
A Beacon of Help:
     Willow Rodriguez ’21
By Kim Kobersmith

       enior Willow Rodriguez had a                                    influence. Her mother was not very            sense of self and my independence,” she
       rough time as a teen, and she                                   present to Rodriguez in those childhood       said.
       brought those challenges with her                               years, and they did not have much of a              Rodriguez is a team leader and
when she came to college. “I knew about                                connection or relationship. “I had to         works directly with six other students.
depression and anxiety and PTSD but                                    navigate a lot of things on my own,” she      It is a role she takes seriously. At first,
didn’t see them working in my own life,”                               added.                                        she said it was nerve-wracking. Because
she said. “They very much were.”                                            Looking back, Rodriguez realizes         of her past, she doubted her ability to
     Rodriguez is the only child of a                                  she didn’t have healthy coping mecha-         make solid decisions.
single mom. One thing she feels shaped                                 nisms as a teen. “I was trying to take              “The job forced me to be smart
her life the most was a misdiagnosis her                               care of myself and my mom and be there        about how I do things,” she said. “I
mother received when Rodriguez was 6                                   for her emotionally,” Rodriguez said.         really want to open myself up and be
years old. Her mother had a thyroid                                    “I wanted to fix her and make it better.      there for my students, offer a beacon of
tumor; doctors determined she had                                      My issues grew from that.”                    help and make sure I do the job with the
bipolar disorder. That diagnosis meant                                      That reality hit her when she arrived    best interest of everybody at heart.”
prescriptions for seven different psychi-                              at college. At a talk during orientation,           An integral part of being a beacon
atric medications.                                                     aspects of the conversation triggered         of help involves modeling her own well-
     “The meds took a toll,” Rodriguez                                 some of the trauma of her past. Berea         being. She supervises mostly first-year
remembered, noting how challenging it                                  College counselor Josh Johnston was           students, and she knows how important
was for her mother to be a single parent                               there and encouraged her to seek              it is for them to incorporate self-care.
and go to work and school under their                                  therapy. She met with him for a month               “I strive to be more transparent
                                                                       or two.                                       about my mental health and encourage
                                                                            “Speaking with him was the first         my students to be,” she said. “If neces-
                                                                       time I was super open with a counselor,”      sary, I can take my own experiences to
                                                                       she said. “I felt very comfortable.”          help others figure out next steps.”
                                                                            Rodriguez found those conversa-                Rodriguez is poised to graduate in
                                                                       tions helpful, and she followed up with       2021 with a psychology degree and
                                                                       additional counseling a year later with       plans to continue this mental wellness
                                                                       counselor Tricia Isenstein. With the staff    advocacy work in her career. “Doing
                                                                       at Counseling Services, Rodriguez found       something where I am able to help
                                                                       she was able to open up about things          people and be a resource for them, that
                                                                       that had been really difficult to talk        is really my goal,” she said.
                                                                       about before.                                       Right now she is drawn to neurolo-
                                                                            Her labor position in Student Life       gy and how brain science can illuminate
                                                                       was another important piece of her            the causes of depression and anxiety.
                                                                       journey toward emotional wholeness.                 No matter where she ends up in her
                                                                       Rodriguez has worked as a facilities          career, there is a piece of her college
                                                  Jennifer Lance ‘20

                                                                       assistant for four years and feels like she   experience that Rodriguez wants to take
                                                                       is part of a family. The staff are encour-    with her. “The spirit of community that
                                                                       aging and have been positive role             Berea gives to students and staff made a
Willow Rodriguez ’21 carving a pumpkin during

                                                                                                                                                                                    Crystal Wylie ‘05
                                                                       models.                                       difference,” she said. “It’s the idea that we
Berea’s Fall Festival. The socially-distanced event
allowed students to enjoy some fun and down                                 “The team provides a support             are all in this together, that I will help you
time in an otherwise hectic fall schedule.                             system that has definitely nurtured my        if I can or help you find who can help.” B

18            WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                             WINTER 2021   19
Home Away from Home:
       Rashana Temple ’24
By Cora Allison ’22

          cross the world this past spring,
          people’s lives were thrown into
          disarray as they were asked or
forced to quarantine in their homes at
the onset of a global pandemic. Rashana
Temple ’24, however, was faced with a
particularly unique obstacle: home was
no longer an option.
     Temple’s experience at home in
Louisville had been really tough, and at
the beginning of 2020, she moved into a
domestic violence shelter for women and
children in eastern Kentucky. While states

                                                                                                                                             Gaston Jarju ‘23
across the country began to close down,
she continued working long shifts at the
local Walmart and acting as a tutor for
                                              Relaxing outside while doing Sudoku and crossword puzzles helps Rashana Temple ’24 to unwind from
the children at the shelter.                  the busyness of college life. It is just one way she keeps her mental health in balance.
     “My days were long,” Temple said,
“but I didn’t mind.”
     Temple kept her pending acceptance       she works remotely with the Bonner                by online classes and virtual resources,
to Berea College in the back of her mind      Scholars program to implement enrich-             it also has proven to be very difficult
and looked forward to being on campus         ment programs for middle school                   for her existing health conditions. She
in fall 2020. She remembers receiving         students in Madison County.                       experiences seizures that often are
her acceptance letter at the post office           Temple admits wearing a mask and             triggered by too much screen time.
with her mom.                                 staying socially distant all the time can               “It’s challenging, but I have confi-
     “As soon as I saw the envelope           feel isolating, which makes it easy to lose       dence it will get better one way or
with the Berea College stamp, I started       focus on her goals, but there still is            another,” Temple said.
crying,” she recalled. “I’d been blessed      community to be found at Berea, even                    Temple intends to continue to chip
to get this chance.”                          in quarantine. Living in a residence hall         away at her double major in psychology
     The transition from the shelter to       and sharing a room with another                   and computer science, and she hopes to
the College residence hall went smoothly,     student has certainly created social              implement her studies in the military.
and Temple thinks the worst mental-           opportunity. She also regularly attends a         “I want to use [artificial intelligence] to
health challenges of the pandemic are         healing circle facilitated by counseling          design programs to support veterans
behind her, deliberately left behind at       services, which provides a safe space for         with post-traumatic stress disorder
the shelter. “I got really depressed and      students with adverse childhood experi-           (PTSD) and other disorders,” she said.
angry at the beginning,” she said. “I had     ences.                                                  Like everyone else, Temple doesn’t
to remind myself that it’s not forever.”           “It’s nice to know I’m not the only          know when or if things will go back to
     Rather than feeling isolated on          one suffering from past experiences and           normal, but she no longer feels intimi-
campus, Temple says she feels like she is     that not everyone wants to stay on the            dated by that. “I’ve adapted to it,” she

                                                                                                                                                                              Gaston Jarju ‘23
gaining extra time to focus and reflect       same level,” she said. “They want to              said. “I’m proud of how far I’ve come.
on herself more deeply. She is taking a       grow.”                                            I’m in a great place, along with my
mix of classes in person and online, and           While Temple has been supported              peers.” B

20         WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                          WINTER 2021   21
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