Helping students big reward for new Director of Health and Wellness

Story by: TINA GONZALEZ

Christopher Straface is looking forward to a change in his new role of Director of Health and Wellness.

Straface has been a counselor for six years. Graduating from Lubbock Christian University with a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in counseling from Wayland Baptist University, he has a lot of experience in both fields.

“I just want to be a help and feel like it was time for a little bit of a change,” says Straface. “But I am still in my field of work doing what I usually do.”

Straface started out in ministry, but life had other plans for him. After talking to others about how helping others was important to him, he began to look at counseling.

Chris Straface“It just kind of unfolded,” Straface reflected. “I really didn’t even plan it.”

As a teenager, Straface went through hard times that also guided him into the world of counseling. His background has helped him help others.

“Once I looked back and thought about what helped me get through those times,” Straface recalls, “and it was other people that helped.”

Straface’s experience at SPC has been nothing less than great, he explains. At SPC, they really care about the students, he says.

“I enjoy working here with good people,” said Straface, who says he is passionate about helping students at SPC.

“My focus gets to be helping students daily with daily life issues that would keep them from being successful and achieving their life goals,” adds Straface.

There is a lot of support coming from Straface’s fellow coworkers to help him learn more about the Health and Wellness Office. Rebecca Sturgeon, an intern, and Linda Young, with Disability Services, have helped Straface with the transition.

  Both agreed that Straface has great experience in the counseling area and administration.

Straface says that he has many plans for the Health and Wellness Office and for students at SPC to ensure that SPC is following the laws that govern providing health services and disability services. He wants to make sure that policy lines up with those laws to make sure SPC is doing the right thing for students.

Straface has two main roles as director of Health and Wellness. One is managing the counseling services and the health services. Another role he has deals with sexual assault prevention and services for students with disabilities. He explains that the sexual assault prevention and disability services is where his main focus is.

“Specifically, we feel that the population of students really struggle coming through college,” said Straface. “We are trying to see what else we can offer and what else can be done to help students with disabilities be more successful.”

Straface explained that he takes his job and responsibilities seriously.

“They have unique needs,” said Straface, “and so we are trying to make sure that we are offering things to help them be more successful coming in and leaving college.”

For sexual assault prevention, Straface is pushing for more awareness on campus if something like that occurs and what to do. About a year ago, the Counseling Office started an intervention program to help those who need the steps to take if one was to witness sexual misconduct and to also help faculty and staff identify when a student has been through depression or sexual misconduct.

Author: Plainsman Press Staff

The student newspaper of South Plains College.

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