Marlboro College

NewsPress Release: 11/19/01Local Educational Professionals Participate in National Live TeleconferenceFocusing on "Crisis on Campus: Trauma and Recovery"

BRATTLEBORO, VT - On November 12, the University of Vermont Continuing Education Division and Marlboro College joined forces to offer local educational professionals a live, two-hour satellite teleconference focusing on "Crisis on Campus: Trauma and Recovery."

Participants included 11 educational professionals from Marlboro College and the School for International Training, representing the fields of student services, health services, counseling, and communications.

Since the tragedies of September 11 and the subsequent events and concerns facing the United States and the world at large, many educational institutions are re-evaluating their crisis preparedness plans. The teleconference explored ways for campuses to effectively prepare for a wide variety of psychological responses to a crisis, and focused on teams and systems that promote a proactive approach to healing and recovery.

With more than 100 sites nationwide tuning in to the teleconference, participants were able to discuss and compare notes on a variety of topics, including how to: implement proactive, campus-wide, post-crisis counseling support; coordinate with local mental health and services volunteers; integrate counseling support into crisis teams and plans; coordinate crisis management and psychological needs; handle confidentiality, liability, and intervention; and implement nontraditional counseling roles.

Produced by the Professional Programs group within the UVM Division of Continuing Education, the teleconference featured moderator Chris Graff of the Vermont bureau of the Associated Press and expert panelists Gail Pakalns, director of health/counseling at Seton Hall University; Anna Satterfield, manager of employee assistance at Texas A&M University (TAMU); and Eddie Knowles, vice president of student life at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

According to Linda Rice, the coordinator of health services at Marlboro College, participating in the teleconference provided an opportunity for validation "in the sense that, on our own smaller scale, we do what they [the expert panelists] were advocating."

Pakalns is a licensed psychologist who previously served as director of counseling at the State University of New York, Purchase College. She has served as an expert guest speaker at several conferences including the Association of University and College Counseling Center Directors, the American College Health Association, the American Association of Suicidology, and the Metropolitan College Counseling Association of the New York City Metropolitan area.

Satterfield is a licensed psychologist and certified employee assistance professional. She has provided clinical services related to trauma for many years, both in her private practice and through her work at TAMU. Her work has included counseling for victims of traumatic events as well as providing critical incident stress management (CISM) services for individuals and groups.

Knowles has served at Rensselaer for the past 23 years in the following
positions: assistant dean of students and foreign student advisor; dean of minority affairs; dean of students; adjunct associate professor in the arts department; and interim vice president of student life. He is also the co-chair of the Investigatory Committee of Rensselaer's crisis management team. Prior to Rensselaer, Knowles worked at the City University of New York, Hostos Community College, Bronx Community College, and College Discovery Program.

Graff has moderated numerous panels and television programs on a variety of subjects, including UVM's previous teleconference on campus crime. Graff has worked with the Vermont bureau of The Associated Press since 1978. He also produces and hosts "Vermont This Week" on Vermont Public Television and hosts several other public affairs and news programs for the station.

Attendees had the opportunity to interact with each other and the panel of experts, sharing thoughts and ideas on how to help manage the impact of recent events on members of their respective campus communities.

The UVM Continuing Education Division offers a wide variety of credit and noncredit courses and programs to residents or employees in the greater Brattleboro area via the web and UVM's distance learning network. For more information on this or other program offerings, please contact The University of Vermont Continuing Education Division in Brattleboro at (802) 257-3004 or Marlboro College at (802) 257-4333.

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