What does it really mean to be a Husker? Take a look into the experience of our students, faculty and staff.
Global Family Health · Selangor, Malaysia
Huskers are taking the lyrics "we'll all stick together in all kinds of weather" to heart as our community adjusts to our new normal. One of those Huskers is Cassandra, a University of Nebraska–Lincoln Ph.D. student that has created a way for people in the community to get mental health support for their COVID-19-related anxiety and stress. Using her connections to mental health practitioners, Cassandra organized a group of more than 40 therapists to offer free mental health support for those that may be struggling. Cassandra understands that people are going through a lot right now. When people undergo change, especially sudden change, it's likely to leave them feeling overwhelmed. "Even the "adjusting" itself is stressful, because you had a routine of something and suddenly you don't." Cassandra said. As an advocate for mental health, she wanted to make sure that this service was accessible to all — that way whether they live in Nebraska or across the world they can still access a therapist through the virtual Telehealth services. She did this all while balancing her own stresses in life. As a TA she had to quickly adapt to putting her classes online, and as an international student she had to grapple with knowing that her family was thousands of miles away in an uncertain time. Though she had a lot of adjustments herself, she still took the time to find a way to help others. Cassandra is proof that we stick together — in all kinds of weather.
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Assistant Professor ·
For more than 10 years, University of Nebraska–Lincoln professor Jesse Fleming has been teaching others about mindfulness. Jesse describes mindfulness as a practice, an awareness and a state of being that allows people to learn about themselves and the world. Along with providing the benefits of a deeper understanding of oneself and the world, mindfulness and meditation can also have an effect on health, according to Jesse. Clinical proof shows that the practice of meditation can help with stress reduction, anxiety and more. At the new Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, Jesse uses his expertise in the field of mindfulness to aid in his exploration of the constantly-developing world of media creation. He runs the Perceptual Technologies Lab, where he researches and creates immersive perceptual experiences centered on mindfulness. And when he's not stretching his strengths in the lab identifying new technologies, Jesse can be found teaching others about the practice of mindfulness. Every Monday he hosts the Mindfulness Meditation Drop-In Series. The series gives students, faculty and staff the opportunity to learn and practice mindfulness with Jesse and others in an accepting group environment. "I feel very...touched and open to everyone who comes through the door for these sessions," Jesse said, "Because I know that is says, 'we're all going through stuff, we're all looking for a release, and we're willing to give something a try.'"
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Director of the Women's Center · Lincoln
Jan has been the director of the Women's Center since 1998, but that's not where her NEBRASKA story began. She started her undergrad at Nebraska, but at the end of her freshman year, her mother suddenly passed away. When she came back the next fall, no one asked if she was okay. She kept it together for two more years, but eventually flunked her classes and dropped out. After three years, she came back to school and discovered the Women's Center. She felt completely welcomed, and the people there gave her resources and connections to cope with her loss. That experience has shaped how she directs the center today. Now, there are a lot more men interested in violence prevention work, and Jan has even created a men and masculinity class that's being offered this spring. More services have been created, too, like free confidential counseling, 6,000 gender-related books and outreach programs. These programs include UNL Prevent, a relationship violence peer education group that focuses on bystander intervention and sexual assault awareness, and Healthy Outlook Peer Educators, a group that focuses on body image and self esteem. When reflecting on her time so far, Jan is most proud of the alumni that took the center's philosophy of empowerment and collaboration to make real change in the world. One has gone on to be the director of the Women's Fund in Omaha, another works in Denver at a eating disorder recovery center and many more are making a positive impact in our community.
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