Anderson, Indiana

AU lends a helping hand to students

Fri, 2012-04-20 07:55 -- univcomm
April 20, 2012

Anderson University is dedicated to helping students discover themselves, both academically and spiritually. Through various on-campus opportunities, AU students are given outlets to overcome challenges and pursue healthy lifestyles. The Kardatzke Wellness Center, the Career Development Center, Counseling Services, and a newly founded organization called the Gap all lend help to students in different ways.

Kardatzke Wellness Center kickboxingAn on-campus facility helping students enhance their overall well-being is the Kardatzke Wellness Center. Ashley Kern, a junior exercise science major with a complementary major in psychology, strongly believes in the programs offered at the Wellness Center. These programs include 15-minute abs, Pilates, Zumba, kickboxing, dance aerobics, and self defense, among others. Kern, a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, is intent on helping both students and faculty gain a better understanding of the benefits of exercise.

[Photo: Students enjoy a kickboxing class at the Kardatzke Wellness Center.]

Whether embarking on a workout routine or healthy diet, there are bound to be hesitations when asking for help. Kern suggests no one should feel they are not welcome in any class or seminar because of their fitness level.

“The KWC is such a great opportunity for students to enroll in a free fitness class or seek out the advice of an inexpensive personal trainer. The guidance of the KWC trainers will give students tools in fitness they can carry with them for the rest of their lives,” said Kern.

Career Development Center

One of the struggles many students encounter when beginning college is the declaration of a major. The Career Development Center offers programs to help prepare students to make life decisions. Along with assisting students with major declaration, the Center also offers assistance in preparing and perfecting résumés.

“When I attended the CDC’s résumé workshop, they walked me through the process of creating a résumé step by step,” said junior Lauren Saenger, a family science major on the track of pre-occupational therapy. “Because of the workshop, I now have a better understanding on how to best present my skills and have used my résumé multiple times.”

Counseling Services

An organization that helps students improve themselves overall is Counseling Services. “In addition to their primary focus of academic success, more students are being intentional about their overall wellness,” said Director of Counseling Services Christal Helvering.

College is a special time where students independently work through issues, and these realizations have sparked the need for Counseling Services to be a safe place for students. “I strongly encourage those students who are struggling and contemplating counseling to not suffer alone, but to take that first step in getting connected with us for the help and support that can truly make a difference in their overall well-being and their academic success,” said Helvering.

The Gap

A newly founded organization distinct from Counseling Services shares its goal to explore truth in the presence of other students. Called the Gap, the organization invites students to worship for the first hour and partake in small group discussion for the second hour.

Lisa Pay, professor of social work, helped create the Gap. With the help of the student leaders directly involved with coordinating the Gap, Pay hopes the time will be transforming for students, while also teaching them to understand their identity in Christ. During small group discussion, students can openly share with student leaders without fear of being reported if they are battling an issue that does not align with the student handbook. This new way of therapy is focused on spiritual support and fully understanding what that means in a community such as AU. “The Gap is truly about being in community with one another and growing through relationships,” said Pay.

Being part of a Christ-centered community is what AU strives to offer each student. These programs provide opportunities for wellness, self-discovery, and support in times of struggle.

— Hannah Schumacher is a junior from Bluffton, Ohio, majoring in communication arts and writing. Schumacher is an associate with Fifth Street Communications, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.