April 11, 2016 | Student Success
On April 12, Harding will host its last HU Hacks seminar on stress management. Director of academic resources and licensed therapist Stephanie O’Brian will lead the seminar.
“I love leading the stress management seminar because it is something so many of our students struggle with,” O’Brian said. “I get to channel the counselor in me and really get to be vulnerable on this very necessary topic. College is stressful, and a lot of students do not yet know how to juggle all of the expectations. I truly enjoy getting to be a catalyst for better health in that area.”
Throughout the semester, there have been six seminars that address different topics relevant to college students such as technology, University resources, time and stress management and study skills. The seminars are open to all students but are especially aimed at freshmen as a continuation of college orientation.
“Many universities have a College 101 type of course, and because Harding does not, we think it is important to address a lot of the skills and things freshmen need that they may not have been equipped with in high school,” O’Brian said.
The topics for each seminar are determined by Dean of Student Success Kevin Kehl, O’Brian, and the Impact co-directors Paige Whitman and Nathan Enix.
Until two years ago, these seminars were called Learning Enhancement Seminars and all occurred within the same week. O’Brian and Kehl decided to change the name and spread the seminars throughout the semester.
“When you pack everything in a week, you face certain challenges,” Kehl said. So we asked, ‘Is this the most effective way to do this? Is there a way to capitalize on a seminar format and place them at more appropriate times in the semester when students are dealing with more stress around midterms and finals?’ That was the impetus to spread the seminars over a semester.”
Other universities have a mandatory freshmen first-year course that explores many of the same topics covered in HU Hacks. The goal of HU Hacks is to contribute to the student’s success.
“We see students every day in our office who simply don’t know various aspects of being a college student here,” O’Brian said. “We love working with them on an individual basis. The Hacks give us the opportunity to spread the knowledge on a wider scale, but they also serve as advertisement for the services we provide in the center.”