December 9, 2022
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Mindset Mentors return for spring semester

From the left: Mindset Mentors Haley Faber, Christine Kurien, Chris Scheel, Erica Heffez, Emma Bartolazo, Niles Davies, Lydia Richard, Alyssa Wengrofsky and Mekenna Tallman. Missing from the picture is Gracie Schaefer. From the left: Mindset Mentors Haley Faber, Christine Kurien, Chris Scheel, Erica Heffez, Emma Bartolazo, Niles Davies, Lydia Richard, Alyssa Wengrofsky and Mekenna Tallman. Missing from the picture is Gracie Schaefer.
From the left: Mindset Mentors Haley Faber, Christine Kurien, Chris Scheel, Erica Heffez, Emma Bartolazo, Niles Davies, Lydia Richard, Alyssa Wengrofsky and Mekenna Tallman. Missing from the picture is Gracie Schaefer. Image Credit: Provided.

The Mindset Mentors are back! Last fall, Jennifer Wegmann, a health and wellness studies lecturer in the Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences, created an internship experience for students called Mindset Mentors. The goal was to provide tools and strategies to help students become resilient by developing a powerful and positive mindset.

What started as a small group of health and wellness minors grew into a group of 10 — three students who continued from last semester and seven new mentors.

This semester, the mentors are focusing on expanding their efforts to connect directly with students, including through social media by creating new content featuring students and faculty on their Instagram account, including President Harvey Stenger! Stenger recently shared all the ways in which he personally participates in self-care. The mentors have also been growing their outreach to students by presenting in classes and hosting safe, in-person events in conjunction with Residential Life.

Additionally, they have implemented new ways to help students in isolation or quarantine due to the pandemic to feel less alone. Last fall, mentors began writing letters and uplifting notes to students in isolation and quarantine housing to help them remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In addition to letters and notes, this semester the mentors are delivering candy and snacks to the isolation halls.

The letters and snacks are making a huge impact.

“The letters are encouraging and supportive,” said one student in response to an anonymous survey. “It shows that I am not alone and can always reach out for help whenever I need it.”

“It really made my day when I read the letter, and it brought a smile to my face,” wrote another student. “I underestimated how draining it would be in isolation. Every day seemed the same, but it was nice knowing there were people looking out for me.”

Wegmann attributes the effectiveness of this group to the mentors themselves. “I see the students flourishing because they are experiencing the benefits of what they teach and what they talk about [regarding resilience],” she said. “I have a group of students who are passionate, they’re inspiring and they practice what they preach, and I think that’s why their message comes across so well, because they believe in what they’re teaching their peers.”

Wegmann’s mission with the Mindset Mentors is to build a resilient community, especially as the pandemic hits the one-year mark, with a “return to normal” date still uncertain. “Resilience is coming through stress, trauma, adversity and returning to normal,” she said. “We don’t want anybody to come through all of this and just be where they were. We want everybody to transcend and learn to grow and change in positive ways.”

The Mindset Mentors program was recently recognized as a top innovative program by the National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities.

Students must be a health and wellness minor to participate in the internship. Current health and wellness minors can expect an upcoming post about applying for next semester’s internship on the Department of Health and Wellness Studies website.

Also, be on the lookout for all of the big things that the mentors still have in store, including presenting at Binghamton High School about stress management in April and more on-campus events to connect with students in person as well.

Follow them on Instagram @bu_mindsetmentors or TikTok @bingmindsetmentors and check out all of their tips!

Posted in: Health, Campus News, Decker