Recently, we held our first “Colonels Create” session. Each begins with a series of mindfulness meditation exercises to help relax the participants and get them in a creative mood. After that, students engage in an expressive arts workshop led by Julie Anne Struck. The students, mostly freshmen or peer-mentors in our First-Year Leader program, will complete a mural over four sessions that we hope to display in a public space on campus. Our theme this semester is “resilience” and our mission is to “teach first-year students the art of self-care.” Colonels Create is a collaboration between First-Year Courses, the Department of Psychology, the EKU Counseling Center, and the Noel Studio. Julie is an amazing artist and teacher. It was a pleasure to watch her in action. Special thanks to Theresa Botts, Melinda Moore, Hogan Gagle, Trenia Napier, Nick Rogell, Natalie Deering, and Gabriella Martin for making this new offering possible. I can’t wait to see the final product!
EKU Stories did a feature on the work we are doing if you’d like to read more.
Travis L. Martin, PhD, is founding director of the Kentucky Center for Veterans Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. He has established several nationally recognized programs to support returning veterans in higher education and the non-profit sector. A scholar of American literature, psychoanalytic trauma theory, and social theory, Dr. Martin presents frequently at conferences and universities. He has published dozens of research articles and creative short works on veterans’ issues. A former sergeant in the U.S. Army, he served during two deployments in the Iraq War (2003-04 & 2005). His book War and Homecoming: Veteran Identity and the Post-9/11 Generation is slated for publication with the University Press of Kentucky in 2022. He resides in Richmond, KY.