How the SMU community can cope and help with holiday stress

Students in Fondren Science BuildingThe holiday season traditionally brings warm memories, shared friendship and a significant amount of stress for members of a university community. The pressures of exams, travel plans and preparations for family gatherings can overwhelm faculty, staff and students alike – especially new undergraduates facing their first college finals.

The Office of the Provost asks that all SMU community members be aware of signs of stress in themselves and those around them.

“In particular, I ask that you be aware of signs of stress among students, especially first-year students as they enter into their first set of final examinations,” wrote Provost Paul Ludden in an annual e-mail to SMU faculty and staff dated Nov. 15, 2011.

Any faculty or staff member who has concerns about a student and is not sure what to do is urged to refer to the University publication A Guide For Faculty and Staff for Recognizing and Responding to Students in Distress (PDF format) or to contact Dean of Student Life Lisa Webb, 214-768-4564. Students who feel overwhelmed by the stress of the season and finals can get help at the Memorial Health Center.

Faculty and staff members can share information securely and confidentially through the Dean of Students’ Caring Community Connections website (SMU ID and password required for access).

In addition, regular physical exercise at the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports can help individuals stay fit for the season while relieving the stress it can bring.

Ludden also encouraged all SMU community members to “reach out to an individual who is separated from family and friends at this time and invite them to share some of your traditions and goodwill.”

Check in with these campus resources for referral information:

In addition, SMU Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) offers a variety of online resources for faculty, staff, students and parents in dealing with stresses ranging from anxiety and trauma to insomnia and homesickness.

Welcome reception for Lisa Webb Sept. 23

Lisa WebbSMU welcomes Lisa Webb, the University’s new associate vice president for student affairs and dean of student life, with a reception 4-6 p.m. Sept. 23 in the Umphrey Lee Center Ballroom. Webb, the former associate dean of students and director of multicultural affairs at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, began her SMU duties Sept. 1.

Lisa Webb joins SMU as Dean of Students

Lisa WebbLisa Webb, whose experience in higher education spans more than 25 years, is SMU’s new Associate Vice President Of Student Affairs and Dean Of Students. She begins her duties Sept. 1.

In her role at SMU, Webb will oversee the offices of Student Conduct and Community Standards, Services for Students with Disabilities and Parent and Family Programs. She comes to the Hilltop from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where she was Associate Dean of Students and Director of Multicultural Affairs. Her prior appointments have included positions at the University of California-Davis and Stanford University.

Webb earned her B.A. from Wheaton College, M.Ed. from Harvard, and an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco. She also received a higher education administrative Fulbright Scholar Award to study higher education in Germany.

Learn more about Lisa Webb from SMU News.