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Old Gold & Black

What’s up at Wofford’s Wellness Center?

Caroline Parker

Tiara Woney: Wofford College saw many new changes in 2020, the most obvious of them being the coronavirus pandemic. However, it also brought some positive and beneficial changes. A significant change was the addition of the Wellness Center’s new counselor, Tiara Woney.

Just as Woney began her position in April of 2020, the college sent students home because of the pandemic. However, with eight years of experience in therapy, this obstacle never hindered her from supporting students and doing what she loves.

“Although I work primarily with individuals, a lot of the philosophy behind how I approach the individual is how their relationships and their environment impact them,” Woney said. “My experience here at Wofford has been good.”

Woney is passionate about supporting college students who struggle with mental health, which she believes is not uncommon.

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“My hope is that students recognize that they have a safe place on campus (and) that they are supported, and I think the biggest thing is knowing that they are not alone,” Woney said. “I think sometimes students come in with issues and feel like they’re the only ones going through it, when the reality is it’s a lot more common than they realize, so knowing that they are not alone, and knowing that there is a way for healing.”

Not only does Woney enjoy the student focus of her job, but her work environment as well. Her teammates complement her deep passion for helping students. She is especially delighted by the addition of Tye Tindal.

She expressed that Tindal is great when helping to manage the number of appointments they have and adding a level of diversity as the college’s first male counselor.

Woney also cherishes the positive impact she gets to have on the students. When the counseling staff is helpful for a student, they are more likely to recommend counseling services to a friend.

Woney and the team look forward to another exciting year of encouragement and growth both in the office and with one another. Few things bring this department more joy than a student who takes interest and pleasure in their mental health.

Perry Henson: From counseling to working with accessibility services, Perry Henson has dedicated a great deal of her time and energy into the Wofford student body. Filling the large shoes that Beth Wallace left for her, Henson has been quite involved with counseling young adults since grad school. She passionately fulfills her role as Director of Counseling and Accessibility Services.

The demand for therapy is not to be taken lightly, and, in the early 2000s when the demand significantly increased, the Wellness Center realized they needed more counselors and additional help reaching students in need.

Caroline Parker

Prior to Wofford hiring for a counselor position, they contracted with local therapists in the area. They hired the first counselor in 2006, and the department has exponentially grown from there.

Henson explained that the increasing demand for mental health services in college is understandable, especially as many teenagers face the largest transition of their young adulthood.

“For most of us, college is the only time that everything changes: from where we live, to who we’re around, to what we eat, when we wash our clothes, our responsibilities for ourselves and our surroundings, etc,” Hension said. “Change, even when it’s a really good change, it’s a hard adjustment… and it creates instability.”

This is where many of Wofford’s counselors come in to assist Wofford students.

Henson, along with the rest of the counseling department, expressed her gratitude for the addition of Tiara Woney and Tye Tindal, Wofford’s newest counselors. Not only have they helped distribute the counselor’s time with the students, but they serve as more options for those seeking mental health support.

“I think that anytime you can provide diversity in choice, any time you can give students the ability to choose, then that is good for everybody,” Henson said.

Henson emphasized the resource that is the department’s 24/7 mental health support line and is delighted by the recent addition of the “Solution Session,” which is further explained in “Counselor spotlight: Kellie Buckner ‘01.”

The team encourages students to note the 24/7 mental health support line on the back of all student ID cards.

“There should be three phone numbers (printed) on the back of your ID that say mental health support services, and one is campus safety, one is our 24/7 mental health support line, which we’re calling the ‘Terrier Care Line’, and one is the national suicide hotline,” Henson said. “We want to make sure that all students know they have help and support in the moment whenever they need it.”

“If anyone needs to talk to someone at any time of day they can call and talk with a mental health professional, and they have access to our Wofford processes and procedures, and they can help students get the support they need.”

Tye Tindal: As a new school year rolls around, so do new stresses. Students can begin to feel overwhelmed with the feeling of nowhere to turn to look for help. That is where the Wellness Center Counseling staff wants to step in.

Tye Tindal ‘08 was hired as the newest counselor at the Wellness Center last Spring and is excited for the upcoming school year and all things that going from student to faculty member has in store.

“To see what the dynamics look like for a whole academic calendar year I think will be a good new perspective for me because I don’t have that experience yet,” Tindal said. “Being able to see where students start because that’s kind of the rockier transition part, seeing where you are midway through and also seeing how they end up at the end…Being able to see that full scope of progress I think will be a really cool thing to experience.”

His passion for helping others through the field of counseling started during his time studying at Wofford, creating a full circle moment when he decided to come back.

Caroline Parker

“I got involved in psychology and sociology, double major, going to the psychology classes: I got interested and introduced to counseling that way,” Tindal said. “But also some family stuff too. My father suffered from PTSD for a good little bit so when I saw him go through counseling and therapy and show some improvements, that motivated me to want to pursue that.”

Though Tindal had thought about returning to Wofford following graduate school, it wasn’t because he wanted to relive his glory days. His priority was helping the students through their undergraduate years in ways he had been helped, to go back to his roots.

“It was always a goal or dream of mine. When I graduated from Wofford, I went to Clemson for (graduate) school. Right after (graduate) school at Clemson, I got employed in the Spartanburg School District Seven and I was doing counseling therapy. But I always told my family and my wife too that if something were to open up at Wofford that I would be interested in at least applying,” Tindal said. “I enjoyed my time here, it was a good experience overall for me so if I could help students make that adjustment and get where they need to be, I would love that challenge and opportunity.”

The Wellness Center’s counseling expansions have made great impacts on campus, expanding from two counselors to four since 2020. The Wellness Center hopes to see even more growth in the coming years.

Tindal expressed that he was glad that being on staff allowed for more students to have the opportunity to make counseling appointments.

“I see the difference that it makes,” Tindal said.

Kellie Buckner: From first attending counseling herself here at Wofford to becoming the Wellness Center’s Assistant Director of Counseling, Kellie Buckner’s main goal is to help students that are in the same position she was.

The Wellness Center has seen a lot of staff growth recently, but Buckner ‘01 has been at Wofford as a faculty member since 2011.

“Wofford was a place where I had a lot of growing experiences,” Buckner said. “It was actually the first time I ever attended counseling and I knew how important it was for me then, so I was looking forward to the opportunity to provide that support for people who needed it.”

College is widely regarded as the time when people find themselves, though it’s not always easy to do that. While balancing classes and homework and figuring out the rest of one’s life, there is a lot of pressure to figure oneself out as well. Bucker recognizes this struggle and regards this as one of the main reasons she likes working with college kids.

“I really like working with this age group because it’s the time where people are learning so much more about themselves,” Buckner said. “They’re becoming more independent- it’s just a really important time in people’s lives so I think it’s a great time for people to have an experience with therapy and it was meaningful to me when I had it in college so I wanted to help to provide that”

Because Buckner is not new to Wofford, she can understand and relate to some of the highs and lows that students face. Being an alum gives her an insider perspective to everything.

“As a Wofford alum, I understand a lot about the Wofford culture and some things unique to Wofford that students might encounter. That being said, Wofford has grown and changed since I’ve been a student,” Buckner said. “It [also] helps me to be more passionate.”

When she first started at the Wellness Center, Buckner was only working a few hours a week to help with the surplus of students who sought out services. Since then, she’s been promoted to the Assistant Director of Counseling and is now one of four counselors in the Wellness Center.

“I was first brought on to provide a little coverage and contracted to provide just a few hours a week when Perry Henson, who was our only counselor really at the time, couldn’t see those people…Over time, I came on part-time and then full-time,” Buckner said.

The Wellness Center counseling is open to everyone, and all students are encouraged to make an appointment during those tough times. Buckner boasts about new one-time counseling sessions that allow everyone to get the help they need.

This one-time session gives students the opportunity to “work something through within a confidential space.”

“I think it’s a really great opportunity for people to get the support they need even if they don’t want ongoing continuous support,” Buckner said.

Students are encouraged to schedule their counseling appointments in advance through their MyWofford accounts.

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About the Contributors
Catherine Lesesne
Catherine Lesesne, Staff Writer
English Major from Greensboro, NC
Madison Tolomea
Madison Tolomea, Staff Writer
Humanities Major from Charleston, SC
Blythe Jowers, Contributing Writer
Addie Porter
Addie Porter, Staff Photographer
Sophomore from Lexington, SC
Caroline Parker
Caroline Parker, Visual Media Editor
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