WAVE Encourages Female Students to Believe in Themselves
“Be proud of how far you’ve come, and have faith in where you are going.”
Dr. Sherrilyn Bernier of Goodwin College’s Human Services department opened the June meeting of Women Achieving Voices of Empowerment (WAVE) the way she usually does: with words of inspiration. Even though summer meant that turnout was lower than usual, everyone launched enthusiastically into a discussion that ranged from faith to self-doubt to holistic medicine.
WAVE is a women’s empowerment group committed to creating a space for women in the College community to come together and share their experiences, while giving the group a place to unwind and de-stress. Dr. Bernier conducts the meetings monthly in order to offer female students and faculty a place to get away from the hectic school day and relax.
The meetings begin with an inspirational quote and a conversation topic that Dr. Bernier picks, but the conversation is allowed to veer towards whatever is needed at the time — whether it is relationship issues, building self-esteem, or stress management techniques.
Jennifer Budkofsky, the president of WAVE, spoke up about how she changed on the road to achieving her associate degree, which she received this spring from Goodwin. She is now pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Human Services.
“I learned that it’s important to interact with others — that the smallest things make a difference. Like a small act of kindness,” she said.
Dr. Bernier said this about her own personal and educational journey: “I’m proud because when I was in high school, they said I could maybe go to community college. Now I have my doctorate.”
In addition to sharing advice on getting rid of self-doubt, she provided simple stress relief exercises for students who might feel overwhelmed or exhausted. “Before you go to sleep, say ‘I will awake relaxed and refreshed,’” she advised.
Dr. Bernier, who has been a certified consulting hypnotist since 1998 and runs her own private practice, led the group in a guided imagery exercise designed to reduce stress and relax the body, accompanied by soft music. This is how all of the meetings are concluded so that group members may leave feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of the day.
The WAVE meetings may be another resource for female Goodwin students feeling stressed out or seeking a place to unwind and connect with other women. The meetings take place once a month at 2:45 p.m. and 5 p.m., seminar-style, with snacks provided. Female students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend. Contact Dr. Bernier at (860) 913-2153 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.