Natalie Anderson (Women’s Cross Country/Track), Katelynn Martinez (Women’s Basketball), Benjamin Price (Men’s Wrestling), David Traynor (Men’s Wrestling), Pete Kadushin, Ph.D. (assistant professor of Exercise & Sport Science) and Kim Miller, Ph.D. (associate director of Athletics) made the trip to the APPLE Training Institute.
Educating and promoting student athlete health and wellness and drug use prevention were the main topics of this event.
“My position in the Exercise & Sport Science Department is that I teach the performance psychology classes and a lot of what we talk about in those classes is wellness and coping strategies and how folks can be happier and healthier more consistently,” Kadushin said. “I’ve worked with some of the teams on campus so it was a bridge between academics and athletics.”
Seventeen other schools attended this event, including Regis University in Denver, along with other DII schools from Hawaii to Massachusetts. It was a diverse conference with a wide range of schools, student athletes and faculty members.
Guest speakers talked about their personal experiences with drug and alcohol abuse and mental health.
“We had a guest speaker, Ross Szabo, who shared his experience as a mental health advocate who had written a book (“Behind Happy Faces: Taking Charge of Your Mental Health – A Guide for Young Adults”) about his experience with bipolar disorder.
"He shared his struggles in high school and college, and he used drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. He really pushed everyone in the room to think about mental health in a different way,” Kadushin said.
This four-day conference was an insightful, beneficial way to teach student athletes about the dangers of dealing with your problems drugs and alcohol and how to deal with mental health issues.
“My contribution to the meeting was making sure that we talked about mental health, and how we can continue to help student athletes on campus. Hopefully by helping student athletes it helps shift the tone of the culture for the general student body,” Kadushin said. “We all can benefit from something like that.”
Story by Caitlin Gleason