Over the last several years, the Whisler Center for Student Wellness has made strides towards developing and promoting an integrated approach to wellness on Denison’s campus, focusing on students’ holistic wellness: body, mind and spirit. The Wellness team is welcoming a new member, Jack Wheeler.
He is going to be a counselor for students, helping them pinpoint their stresses and assist with personal hardships and the emotional struggles of college life.
“My hope is to further promote an integrated and holistic approach to counseling, which the Whisler Center for Student Wellness has already begun to implement. As a social worker, I value the diverse types of environments and relationships that define identities and communities. By seeking understanding and dialogue across campus, I hope to progress a culture of congruence amidst the pressures of college life,” says Wheeler, reflecting on his hopes for the position.
Like any other position, the job will have its potential challenges. Students experiencing life on a college campus can become overwhelmed, especially with trying to maintain their academics, social life, extracurricular involvement, and personal health.
Wheeler offers his advice about how to face these potential issues:
“Finding balance is always a challenge in a fast-paced, high-performance environment. I expect that emotional, physiological, and spiritual well-being may sometimes take a backseat to more social or academic pursuits. My challenge is to emphasize the inseparable connection between self-care and achievement.”
A lack of balance between social life and other aspects can lead to a buildup of stress. Wheeler offers some potential advice on how to cope with the stressors of college.
“It’s okay to take a timeout. Timeouts look different for everyone; some people might walk in the woods, work out in the gym, read poetry, or call a trusted mentor. Whatever is your preferred approach, feel confident that you can use it when [not if] your emotional, bodily, or spiritual self gets tested. If that is not enough, then come to Whisler and we can walk beside you in the process.”
Wheeler also discusses his hobbies, life and interests outside of his professional work.
“For all the psychology majors that are reading this, I’m the typical ENTP. I enthusiastically work with people to strategically think outside the box to overcome challenges. Personally, I love being in nature, whether that is by camping, hiking, backpacking, or reading on a park bench.”
Wheeler is originally from Cortland, Ohio. He received his undergraduate degree at Bethany College, and earned his master’s from the MSW program at The Ohio State University. Wheeler is a licensed independent social worker with a supervision designation (LISW-S). Before coming to Denison, he practiced in community mental health in Columbus, Ohio, for nine years and conducted research at Ohio State on reducing chronic stress with green spaces for three years.
Through achieving these personal and professional goals, he talks about what has influenced and led him to his current career.
“I was inspired to become a social worker by model social servants from my childhood, chiefly my parents, my scoutmaster, and Mr. Rogers [I’m a bit obsessed]. I also wanted to work in the outdoors. These influences drew me toward individual and community practice in natural settings.” Wheeler is excited to begin working with students in the fall of 2018.