Counseling & Educational Psychology : The entire College of Education collected donations and supplies for Dr. Ivelisse Torres-Fernandez to take to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, as she traveled home this last winter break. Dr. Torres traveled to Puerto Rico over winter break, taking many boxes of supplies with her on the plane. In addition, many boxes were shipped ahead, including batteries and other heavy items. She also used monetary donations to purchase Christmas dinner boxes for families in line with Puerto Rican tradition. This idea arose because FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) assumed that Puerto Ricans are similar to Mexicans and provided them with meals that are too spicy for many of them to eat.
During winter break, Dr. Torres began a qualitative study of mental health professionals in Puerto Rico, who were both affected by the hurricane themselves and also were involved in helping others who have been affected by this overwhelming natural disaster. In addition, she will continue lining up an opportunity for a small group of students from programs in the CEP Department to travel to Puerto Rico in the near future to help provide counseling services and mental health support in conjunction with Counselors without Borders. Dr. Torres already has several students committed to this trip, and the development office has begun fundraising efforts soon to help them with airfare.
If you are interested in making a contribution with donations or supplies, please contact Denise Tafoya, the development officer for the College of Education (firstname.lastname@example.org).