By TENA L. COOK, MARKETING COORDINATOR
Students enrolled in Event Planning and Leadership (CA 239) taught by Katelyn Lambert were able to practice what they learned in two campus wellness events during the spring semester. Lambert said students in one section organized the Stairs to Success while students in another section planned Hunt Your Health.
“It’s pretty important to have some sort of practical application of what we’re learning. I think it helps students understand the content we talk about in class by doing it. Until you’ve done it, you don’t really understand all the moving parts,” Lambert said.
Lambert worked with Dr. Britt Helmbrecht to create events similar to those fostered in the past by Dr. Shaunda French-Collins, who taught the class previously. Lambert taught the course while French-Collins served as Interim Dean of Business, Math, and Science.
“We wanted some sort of wellness event to help students on campus realize the resources they have available and understand there are little things they can do to help their own mental and physical wellness,” Lambert said. “Both events were truly student-led and both were successful based on the positive feedback we received from participants.”
The April 11 event, Stairs to Success, was co-sponsored by CSC Wellness, Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN) Panhandle, and the Residence Life Association.
Students from Lambert’s class staged activities in the lobbies of seven floors of High Rise focused on dimensions of wellness such as social, environmental, occupational, and physical. Participants were encouraged to take the stairs to the next event based on the name of the event.
Dr. Tara Wilson, Director of BHECN Panhandle, said Lambert did a fantastic job.
“The events, which highlighted the importance of mental health and wellness, took a lot of time and energy from the instructor and students and their efforts showed,” she said.
Alex Waxler of Montrose, Colorado, said the event allowed her to apply what she learned in class.
“It showed me how to actually be a leader and not just what one looks like on paper, and was super fun. This class allowed me to work with others and get to know the students in my class as well as build a relationship with Ms. Lambert. I would say our event was successful in large part due to Ms. Lambert who did a great job of guiding us, but also allowing us the freedom to learn,” Waxler said.
Lambert said the event was inspired by a past activity called Tower of Power. Lambert estimates between 30 and 40 students completed all seven activities.
CSC Wellness and BHECN Panhandle also helped fund a scavenger hunt in late April.
“These partnerships helped our students understand how a budget works which is part of what we talked about in class,” Lambert said.
After checking in at the Student Center, participants followed clues and collected giveaway items at stations across campus. In Memorial Hall, a word search game featuring the names of CSC clubs helped make students aware of social opportunities on campus. At the Nelson Physical Activity Center, students were able to make their own trail mix and learn about healthy choices. A station in Crites Hall provided resources for on-campus counseling services.
Megan Hodgson of McCook, Nebraska, said planning and executing the scavenger hunt was time-intensive but rewarding.
“I think the students that participated learned a lot while also getting their steps in and having a good time. I hope this class keeps putting on events in the future and I will be sure to attend,” Hodgson said.
Savannah Dudley of Rapid City, South Dakota, said the event planning course helped her realize how much time and effort is involved in planning campus events.
“It meant a lot to be able to establish a focus on mental health and be told how well thought through our event was. Looking at the feedback of the participants, I hope to see either Hunt Your Health again or similar events in the future,” Dudley said.