On Thursday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. Wiley College will open its doors to the greater Marshall area for its first ever TEDx event. Coordinated by Kemisha Roston, Esq. to help bring ideas to campus, the event will showcase the thoughts of speakers both near and far. One of those speakers is Dr. Rae Lundy, Wiley College’s Associate Vice President within Student Affairs.
“This is another opportunity for me to share with the Wiley community and even a broader community on what it means to… integrate this idea of self care into our daily lives,” said Lundy when addressing her upcoming TED talk. Dr. Lundy, a graduate of the University of New Orleans and the University of Notre Dame, will use her talk to leave the audience with strategies to help them take better care of themselves daily.
As the leader in mental health and wellness on Wiley’s campus, Lundy feels that the conversation on self-care is an important one. “There are opportunities for us to thrive and not just making it Monday to Friday…” said Lundy, an idea that she sees often displayed in her interactions with students on campus.
“Our students trend significantly with anxiety. Part of my mission is to provide outreach, education and one on one counseling to help students develop coping skills,” answered Lundy when asked about her objectives at Wiley.
Dr. Lundy’s observations stem from her passion and research in clinical mental health. Early in her career, she found that African-Americans faced greater risk factors for developing poor mental health. Although the stakes were higher, Lundy was intrigued and inquisitive about how African-Americans continued to thrive socially and otherwise.
Through battling her own feelings of not being good enough to researching the factors that impacted her community the most, Dr. Lundy found her passion for mental health and helping others become healthy in the holistic sense of the word.
At Wiley, Dr. Lundy provides clinical counseling for students, oversees student health and wellness, works toward providing equitable support for all students including underrepresented students at Wiley from those in the LGBTQIA+ community and international students. She is passionate about supporting students and creating a more equitable culture on campus working closely with the Dean of Chapel, Rev. Dr. Dominique Robinson to create a culture that is “holistic”.
Her work on campus can be seen on Wellness Wednesdays and with the Wellness Ambassador initiatives. Each Wednesday, a new mental health topic is introduced to the campus in the student union to help students learn on a peer-to-peer level. Students are also able to participate in a fitness class on Wednesdays as well.
The mental health education initiatives are not limited to students. Dr. Lundy brought an 8-hour training course on mental health first aid to Wiley for faculty and staff participation. This course helped faculty and staff members better identify the signs of at-risk students and proceed effectively in ensuring that those individuals received proper care.
Dr. Lundy has found her calling here at Wiley. When first introduced to the campus “I got a standing ovation from the students clapping and indicating they were grateful that the President responded to their need,” she shared. “People who are being called to Wiley have the ability to impact our students.”
Throughout the rest of the fall semester, Dr. Lundy’s departments will host a variety of programs to help the Wiley campus learn coping strategies to shift the trend from being in crisis mode to being more proactive. On Saturday, Oct. 19 the Department of Student Health, Counseling and Wellness partnered with student organizations to host a Color Run for students.
A special event is planned for the campus to help educate students, faculty and staff on the impact of alcohol abuse in today’s society during the month of October.
On Tuesday, Oct. 29 the department in collaboration with the Dean of Chapel will host a Wellness Fair open to the community. Providers from Urgent Care, East Texas Women’s Center and others will provide services and information for Wiley faculty, staff and students and the Marshall community. Attendees can also participate in glucose blood screenings as well as getting a flu shot.
During finals week, the department will also host a destress event to help students relax and cope with the stress of studying for their final exams. A support group meets every week on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the basement of the student union and is a safe space for students to address their feelings and emotions.
“Wiley is a great place to be. I absolutely love to support our students and faculty and staff. It’s my honor to serve and to help!” said Dr. Lundy.
You can learn more about Dr. Lundy’s self-care coping strategies at the TEDx Wiley College event. Visit www.wileyc.edu/tedx-wiley-college for more information.