New Colonels create, connect

Lauren Kelley, an 18-year old freshman studying communication disorders, applies her creativity during a Colonels Create session on Sept. 30.

Travis Martin, director of the Kentucky Center for Veteran Studies, started Colonels Create with the assistance of practicum students Holdyn Morrow and Hannah Wiggins. Colonels Create gives freshman students mindful ways to adjust to a new environment or deal with college anxiety.

Techniques taught in Colonels Create include breathing exercises and art therapy. Each Colonels Create session is designed for a specific group of students. The first Colonels Create was designed for freshmen. This semester, sessions are designed for students who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Morrow, 21, junior brain and cognitive psychology major from Morehead, Kentucky, said her role as co-director included scheduling a location for the event, brainstorming activities, reaching out to students, and making sure participants were accounted for. 

Morrow said her plan is to have multiple Colonels Create events every semester but emphasized that it would ultimately depend on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic. Morrow and Wiggins will both be responsible for Colonels Create this semester but hope to continue working with the program. 

“My hope is that Colonels Create continues to grow long after myself and Hannah are no longer part of the program,” Morrow said. 

Going forward, Morrow hopes that their numbers continue to grow with each event and include more groups. Colonels Create is important to Morrow because attending EKU has always been her dream.

Morrow views Colonels Create as a one-of-a-kind event where people from all walks of life can come together, make new bonds and new friendships. Morrow said Colonels Create is a place where students can learn new ways to cope and make friendships that will last a lifetime. Colonels Create is also important to her because she loves to help people and see them thrive. 

Wiggins, 24, senior psychology major from Louisville, Kentucky, also assists in setting up Colonels Create and reaching out to interested students.  

Wiggins hopes students develop tools they can use while at EKU and in the future. 

Colonels Create is important to Wiggins because it lets students have the opportunity to meet one another, realize they are not alone and teach them techniques to cope with daily stress. 

Sarah Alvarez, 18, freshman studio art major from Louisville, Kentucky, said she heard about Colonels Create through emails that Wiggins and Morrow sent to students. This was her first ever Colonels Create event. She was interested in Colonels Create because it was a chance to meet people and learn about art.

Her favorite part of Colonels Create was learning about art therapy. The biggest thing that Alvarez took away from Colonels Create was learning breathing and mindfulness exercises. 

Martin, Wiggins and Morrow have not yet decided what the next event will cover. The other session dates are Oct. 28, Nov. 9 and Dec. 2. In the spring semester, Colonels Create events will involve the Latino/a community.

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