PLU Students Visit FTJ Residents For Conversation and Learning

PLU Students meet residents

Recently undergraduate students from the Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) Psychology Department put their academic course and listening skills to practice when they met with FTJ residents. 

“This semester my students are taking an undergraduate course called Counseling Theory and Practice where students learn about the skills and strategies counselors use to help others, says Tiffany Artime, Professor in the Psychology Department at PLU.  “As part of the curriculum, the students will be developing their ability to listen to others and respond with empathy and understanding.” 

FTJ residents were paired off one-on-one with a student and became their conversation partners.  Residents were asked questions and could discuss anything they wanted including life experiences and family stories.  At the end of the conversations, the residents were asked to briefly rate the extent that they felt listened to and understood by the students.

“It was a big hit!” commented Terry Allman, FTJ Admissions Team Member who coordinated the event.  “Our residents seemed to be very energized by the experience.”  Marcia Kuska, FTJ resident, said “I thoroughly enjoyed the time with my student.  We talked about art, Senior University, my kids and family.  He asked me what I do all day and I stepped him through some of the activities that are available to us on campus.”

Terry overheard a few of the students commenting: “I wish I’d had 3 hours instead of 45 minutes – can I come back and meet my resident for coffee?”  “I was moved to tears listening to my resident’s life story.  What an incredibly full and interesting life they’ve had!”  In the brief time they had, both the residents and students were enriched to have shared a meaningful afternoon together.

Joy Drewfs, an FTJ resident participant said, “I had a delightful young woman, Julia, and she told me she’d just been accepted into a Master’s program at Western States University.  Her mom was the first to get the news and I was second, I felt honored.  We seemed to have a number of things in common, both left-handed, I’m a retired massage therapist, and she’s studying kinesiology as part of the sports-psych program she’ll be doing.  My feeling is that it was good for the students to spend some time with older folk who were not their grandparents and see how well we do.”

“It was delightful,” says Nancy Cook, FTJ resident participant.  “So nice to have the joyous enthusiasm of young college students on campus.  The experience with my student partner was great.  She was very good showing empathy as we talked.  As an African American young woman, she will be a much needed addition to the mental health field as a therapist.  This was definitely a good event and I hope we continue to support our local universities in similar ways.”“

Categories: Meet Our Residents