Frank Shushok, Jr.
“The best news of all is that hopefulness is a starting point we can all embrace; it’s a path out of anywhere we don’t wish to be; it’s an exit plan for whatever we don’t need to be anymore. All of us can become hopeful if we’re not already, and the results of this internal change will have immediate external consequences. After a few hopeful educators get loose on our campuses, we become factories where students emerge hopeful, and their trajectories change, and so goes the future of the whole world. .”
Alan Schwitzer and John Vaughn
Although college counseling centers reach about 2,000,000 students a year, Alan M. “Woody” Schwitzer and John A. Vaughn suggest that all of us on college campuses need to be aware of students’ mental health needs, even though it can be a challenge to know when to intervene. They remind us that many of us are in an excellent position to recognize potentially worrying student behaviors (such as those that cause distress or disrupt school work or relationships) and support our students in getting the help they need to be successful.
Christopher Kilmartin notes the lack of improvement in the past 30 years regarding masculine social pressure to be strong, independent, and stoic – gender expectations that lead to the mortality gap, violence, suicide, and the use/abuse of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. But he believes men can have better life experiences if they become aware of the pressure of male gender expectations.
Laura H. Choate shares stories of young women who are over-whelmed by superhuman expectations of intellectual, social, and physical perfection. She notes that even highly successful young women often feel like they are not enough. The difficulty is that social pressures that feed such insecurity impact young women far before they get to college.
Taking the Pulse
In this Taking the Pulse, Rishi Sriram questions the accepted differences between research and assessment and rejects the common understanding of them as different activities. He reframes assessment as a type of research and deﬁnes both as the search for truth. Thinking about assess-ment this way changes the way we interpret the results of our investigations. Instead of attempting to show that our programs are effective, we will move closer to ﬁnding out how to best serve our students, which Sriram argues should clearly be the goal of all educators.