MTSU students on their way to careers in “helping” professions have enhanced portfolios thanks to the employees of Murfreesboro’s two General Mills plants.
Undergraduate and graduate students taking classes in the Department of Health and Human Performance and the Department of Social Work handed out research-based stress management advice at job fairs late last month at the Pillsbury factory at 200 Butler Drive and the Yoplait facility at 2695 Stevenson Drive.
“It showed them … how to apply their coursework of planning programs (to) interacting with people,” said Dr. Chandra Russell Story, an associate professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance.
Undergraduates and graduate students manned the booths after graduate students from the Health Education Research Organization, a graduate student group advised by HHP professor Andrew Owusu, did the planning and coordination with faculty guidance.
Story said the students provided the employees with evidence-based stress management tips and referral sheets for mental health services available in Rutherford County.
“We also got to have fun with them because some of the tips on stress reduction were things like singing or dancing or taking deep breaths or taking a moment to think,” said Story.
In addition, Story said, the students learned the value of tailoring their messages to individuals’ particular concerns and interacting with people who work in shifts on a timetable that accommodated the employees.
The professor said she believed the experience energized her students and enabled them to “see themselves beyond graduation.”
For more information about the project, contact Story at 615-898-2812 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Cathy McElderry, chair of the Department of Social Work, at 615-898-5673 or email@example.com.
— Gina Logue (firstname.lastname@example.org)