Wellness Center has new interim director


Agathe Fredette

Kate McCarthy

As its interim director, Kate McCarthy wants you to know all about the Wellness Center.

A clinical counselor from the Wellness Center last semester, she is now serving as interim director of the Wellness Center while Cynthia Hennard takes a leave of absence for the spring semester.

The director is responsible for the overall operations of the center, including “providing supervision and oversight for our now full-time counselor [Jackie Berkowitz],” said McCarthy.

In addition to supervising full- and part-time counselors, McCarthy will also supervise the three clinical interns from graduate school – Samantha Agricola, Kali Brgant and Darlene Wilson, one of whom is starting this semester.

“I also, as the director, go to student concerns meetings and work with Residence Life and other offices to provide outreach to students and education around wellness topics,” said McCarthy.

There is one aspect of her job that McCarthy said she is looking forward to the most, continuing to work one-on-one with students. “Last semester I was doing individual counseling with students. Now I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to do a little more outreach with students,” she said. “I’m meeting with fewer clients than I was last semester, but still doing some individual counseling.”

McCarthy has a masters in social work and another in public health. “With that training, I think in a very holistic way about the person I’m sitting with, so I really consider all the factors that are affecting them,” said McCarthy.

Her outreach efforts include educating students about just what exactly the Wellness Center does and raising awareness on campus of the importance of good mental health and the various ways to improve it.

“It’s come to my attention, through talking to different offices and people on campus, that self-esteem and body image is an issue for college students,” she said. “So I’m trying to think creatively about different campaigns we could do around that.”

Another issue on which McCarthy said she wants to focus is student stress, something she became more aware of last semester. “At the end of last semester, we did a stress-free zone during finals week, outside Stearns in the fireplace lounge, and we had a great response from students,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy noted that she welcomes suggestions from students. “If any students are interested in wellness topics, stop in and set up a time to meet with me to talk about the topics you’re interested in,” said McCarthy. “Maybe we can collaborate and create some kind of campaign for campus, or a training for a class.”