In addition to the opportunities and challenges we experience by working in higher education, for the past two-plus years, we have collectively experienced a global pandemic that changed the way we work and live, often blurring the lines between work and "not work." The workshop facilitator, a behavioral neuroscientist and community college administrator, begins the workshop with an introduction to the origins of stress research and how the underlying biological mechanisms of stress impact our behaviors, moods, and health. Participants explore strategies for disrupting the maladaptive results of chronic stress by understanding that our bodies have evolved to deal with threats acutely and that we have found ways to activate the same systems chronically. They also explore ways to adapt to successive Zoom meetings and sedentary work environments, engage in relaxation techniques and exercise, and plan their days to include self-care.
By the end of this workshop, participants know or be able to:
Plans for Audience Participation and Interaction:
Create an action plan for your work week to turn off the stress response. Reflect on short videos about our hierarchical organizations and related stress. Think, pair, and share about the causes of stress in life. Practice selected breathing and relaxation techniques.
All workshop participants can obtain, at no additional cost:
Dr. Russell Frohardt currently serves as the dean for academic success at Northwest Vista College (NVC), overseeing the Science and Technology and Health and Biosciences Institutes. He previously served as the dean of arts and sciences at NVC for two years. Prior to his time at NVC, Dr. Frohardt served as interim dean of the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences and professor of psychology and behavioral neuroscience at St. Edward's University (SEU) in Austin, Texas, where he held various faculty and administrative positions since joining the community in 2003. Before becoming a dean at SEU, Dr. Frohardt was an American Council on Education fellow, hosted by Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he learned about administrative, curricular, and co-curricular practices across the country. Dr. Frohardt received his B.A. in psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, his M.A. and Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Vermont, and he completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship studying the electrophysiology of head direction cells and their role in spatial navigation at Dartmouth College before coming to Texas. Dr. Frohardt’s research interests include the neurobiology of learning and memory, spatial navigation, sexual behavior, and models of relapse and addiction.