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Peregrine Parents - News from the Nest, January 2010

Veterans Day Celebrated at Purdue University Calumet

Counseling Center Provides Valuable Services Veterans Day honors men and women who have sacrificed their time and lives for our country and the values we hold dear.

On November 11, 2009, From Boots to Books: Veterans and Student Service Members Academic Support Program, along with VESA (Veterans Enlisted Student Association), the student organization that represents veterans and enlisted persons, hosted their first annual Veterans Day Convocation.

The celebration brought together members of the campus community and the community at large with active and nonactive duty members representing every military branch of the armed forces. Those individuals who have served our country in peace time as well as in times of war were acknowledged.

Former Tuskegee Airman Quentin P. Smith of Gary was one of the highly noted veterans in attendance. He provided powerful insight as to how African-Americans fought segregation within the military in order to be allowed to fight and defend our country.

Guest speaker (Ret) Command Sergeant Major Jimmie B. Chess and current Vice President at J.P. Morgan Chase, encouraged veterans and enlisted soldiers to utilize the skills they acquired in the military and use them to achieve their academic goals. He reminded them that because of their training and discipline, they would be the only ones who stood in the way of their success. He encouraged them to seek help if needed and assured them that Purdue University Calumet had all the resources they would need to be successful.

This event marked a new tradition for PUC and proved to be a major success! It provided one hundred plus veterans and enlisted students with another reason to be proud of their service to our country and inspired them to achieve their goals.

Counseling Center Provides Valuable Services

The PUC Counseling Center (219-989-2366, Gyte-5, http://webs.purduecal.edu/counseling/) provides both personal and career counseling services to PUC students coping with the challenges of college life. With an increase in enrollment during the fall 2009 semester, the Counseling Center has also seen an increase in students seeking mental health services. In addition to personal counseling, outreach efforts continue to provide our students with useful information to foster psychological well-being. Information/education on a variety of topics is provided through programs such as National Depression & Alcohol Screening Days, Domestic Violence Month, National Coming Out Days, and National Suicide Prevention Week.

One of the greatest challenges students face during their college years is how to develop mature relationships with others. Relational problems with friends, colleagues, romantic partners, or family are experienced by a large number of individuals seeking services. In many cases, ineffective communication is the underlying factor contributing to these difficulties. The following tips are geared to assist you understand some of the developmental challenges typically faced by college students as well as to improve the effectiveness of your communication with them.

First, it is helpful to recognize that a student’s identity formation is entering its final stages during this time. Questions such as: Who am I? What do I want to do with my life? Where does family end and “self” begin? are very common at this point in one’s life, as exposure to new worldviews encourages young people to take a closer look at themselves. Many of their core family values including views on religion, politics, culture, sex, and relationships may be challenged by new perspectives acquired through the college experience. You can nurture the healthy development of your student’s identity by discussing potential worldview-related differences in a warm, accepting, and non-confrontational manner.

Next, it is helpful to establish or revise existing boundaries with your student. Already established household rules such as curfew, having friends over, watching television, or completing household chores should be revisited. Open communication distinguished by mutual respect is paramount to negotiating such rules. Asking your student to actively participate in the process and recognize their expectations may fortify their sense of independence and simultaneously increase their likelihood of compliance with newly established or renegotiated rules.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that effective communication entails good listening skills. Thus, being open to your student’s opinions and views and accepting them in a non-judgmental manner paves the way to building trust and mutual respect. The effectiveness of your feedback and advice will greatly depend on your ability to hear your student accurately and to relate to his/her concerns using empathy – the ability to emotionally put yourself in the place of others.