Wellness advocates experienced, independent confidantes

Drs. Crouse and Schumaker are wellness advocates for graduate students and postdocs.

Drs. Crouse and Schumaker are wellness advocates for graduate students and postdocs.

Emeritus faculty David Crouse, PhD, and Alice Schumaker, PhD, will serve as wellness advocates for UNMC Graduate Studies and postdocs. They hold regular office hours in the Graduate Student Wellness Hub, located on the ground floor of Durham Research Center I.

Dr. Crouse, a former interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and interim dean for graduate studies, among other numerous roles at the medical center, is available for walk-in or appointment visits on Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m.-noon. Dr. Schumaker’s office hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdays 1-4 p.m.

Wellness advocates hold office hours in the Graduate Student Wellness Hub, in DRC1. Dr. Davies welcomed students to the hub at its ribbon cutting ceremony last spring.

Dr. Schumaker is former associate dean of the College of Public Health and herself a Graduate Studies alumnus.

The position of wellness advocate was created when Graduate Student Association (GSA) leadership brought the idea to Dele Davies, MD, dean for Graduate Studies and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, who lent his support. Terry Donohue, PhD, retired professor of internal medicine and graduate studies alumnus, served as inaugural wellness advocate.

Dr. Davies said the part-time volunteer position is modeled after the role filled by UNMC College of Medicine wellness advocate Kimberly Schenarts, PhD.

Dr. Schumaker said the pair is mindful that graduate school is “a stressful time, and the stresses can come from several directions.” A wellness advocate should be a good listener, she said, who can help graduate students navigate the resources available to help them deal with these stresses.

Dr. Crouse concurred: “Our role is to be an intermediary; to listen to the students and get them to where they need to go.”

They can offer general advice on self-care, career development and academic management, but are not therapists. They are independent, experienced confidantes with the student’s best interests at heart. Stop by if you are worried about something … or if you just want to check in with someone who wants to see you succeed.

Drs. Crouse and Schumaker had each met with only one student as of the interview for this story, so they are eager to let people know they are here and available. Dr. Crouse said he keeps tabs on GSA activities, but also has enjoyed the informal interaction he has had with students by being in the wellness hub.

1 comment

  1. George a Zieg, MD says:

    Do you have any openings as a student wellness advocate? I am a retired community allergist. I heard about your program and found it to be intriguing. Desire part time work. I have been interested in medical students as they navigate their way into a whole new world.

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