On Oct. 22, the S.O.A.R. program featured presentations about two resources in the College of Education that are meant to help students succeed academically and socially, as well as care for their mental and emotional health. Brenda Martinez, a student advocate specialist, spoke about the Office of Education and Social Equity, which “supports students to establish healthy connections within the academic community through resource navigation, providing study space, offering multicultural programming, and student advising.”
In addition, Christy Beck, assistant teaching professor of education and supervisor of the Dr. Edwin L. Herr Clinic, which is run by the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education (EPCSE), gave a presentation. The Herr Clinic serves two purposes: the Counselor Education master's and doctoral programs use the Herr Clinic for clinical practicum in which they serve the University student population; and the School Psychology doctoral program uses the clinic to provide services to children, adolescent and young adult referrals from the community.
The Oct. 29 Restore session was a Penn State and College of Education themed Kahoot (a quiz-based game) with prizes for winners that included Penn State College of Education paraphernalia.
In addition to the formal programming of S.O.A.R. and Restore, Young said there are opportunities for more casual socializing. The Zoom meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. for those who would like to chat informally and bond with peers who are in similar situations.
“We have a consistent group of people who log on to join and eat dinner together,” Young said. “We’ve had some students who’ve had to quarantine, and they said that it’s been helpful to see, ‘Ok, I don’t have to eat alone in my room while I’m quarantining in my room for two weeks … just have human connection.”
Young said she welcomes feedback from College of Education students about the S.O.A.R. and Restore programs since “there’s always room for growth.”
“I genuinely care about my peers’ health, well-being and success, and it’s my goal to be a responsive leader,” she said.
To learn more about the S.O.A.R. and Restore programs, e-mail Young at email@example.com.