By Sarah Griffin
D’Amani Bowan, a University graduate student working toward a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, has been named one of six national Rural Scholars.
According to a university press release the award is presented by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) Foundation to students committed to serving rural populations.
Along with all the other recipients of the award, Bowman received financial support, access to NBCC webinars and opportunities to network with other rural scholars with her awarded title.
During her time at Rider, she worked in the Counseling Center as an outreach intern. Her position informed students of the Counseling Center and encouraged them to use it.
Bowman worked alongside Kathy Stratton, a former Counseling Services staff psychologist at Rider. Stratton was able to witness Bowman’s work ethic and desire to help other students.
According to Stratton, Bowman “had a good ability to connect with students,” which she felt could be attributed to Bowman’s nonjudgmental demeanor and her ability to make people “feel safe to talk about mental health.”
In a time where the Counseling Center was challenged to keep students connected through the pandemic, Stratton said Bowman’s stronger assists was her talent for working with social media, specifically when she designed the Counseling Center’s newsletter.
“When I was there, it was pretty much at the height of the pandemic, so, unfortunately, we couldn’t really do anything in person. There were some things that we got to do, like, for example, we did ‘Food And Your Mood’, which was pretty much a discussion of how food affects your mood and pretty much advocacy for making sure that students are eating in the morning— especially with college students that’s one thing, I think, we always neglect,” said Bowman.
An event was held on March 21, “Food And Your Mood” invited students to talk with Rider’s dietician about “eating properly and how it can affect your mood throughout the day.”
Bowman said that during the virtual year, the Counseling Center connected with Rider students through virtual drop-in spaces, where students could check in with the center.
If Bowman was to add something to the center, it would be an increase in social media presence: “that is the best way to get in touch with students.”