Holistic Huskies

The Holistic Huskies is a podcast created by UConn Students Serena Verma (CLAS ‘21), Roger Watrous (CAHNR ‘21) and Victoria DeTrolio (CAHNR ‘20) that brings light to real mental health stories of students and faculty at UConn. This project began as a way to showcase stories of those without a voice, fight stigma against conversation around mental health, and build genuine support and connection among students. By the end of the challenge, the team’s hard work, determination, and honest storytelling won them first place in the competition. Since then, Serena and Roger have been appointed student interns at Student Health and Wellness and have recruited two new students, Zayin Roe and Alyssa Pelletier.

Since the beginning of the Spring of 2021, the Holistic Huskies have begun a new recruitment process, published an eighth episode, presented at a UConn Podcast Symposium, and is participating in Fresh Check Week. The team has aspirations of featuring more diverse stories from students and faculty this semester while expanding their reach on campus and beyond.

Check out the episodes and apply to be on our show below:

Check out our previous engagements:

Holistic Huskies photo

EPISODE 8

    New Perspectives, Neuroscience, and the NFL: Spencer’s Growth from Grief

      Guest: Spencer Low

      Welcome back to another episode of the Holistic Huskies! Today we have Spencer Low, a recent UConn graduate, to speak to the hardship of losing a loved one. Four years ago, Spencer lost his father to suicide. This blow, though devastating, taught him the value of empathy, honesty, and preventative mental health. Join us as Spencer shares his journey through grief, and how he finally found his passion for mental health and cognitive science. Also stay tuned for our take on the NFL controversy of Dak Prescott's transparency on his mental health.

      EPISODE 7

        Finding Ways to Give: Craig’s UConn Experience as a Single Parent

          Guest: Craig Alejos

          Hi everyone! We hope that everyone is staying safe, finding ways to cope with today's uncertainties, and staying strong in the fight for justice. This episode, recorded on April 13th 2020, is a window into the life of Craig Alejos, a UConn alumnus from the class of 2019. After serving in the military for 5 years, Craig enrolled as a Human Development and Family Science major at UConn at age 27. As if that wasn't unconventional enough, he also was the sole caretaker of his 5 year old daughter. Fighting through stigma, past relationship trauma, and depression, Craig's resilience grew as well as his unrelenting capacity for empathy and kindness. He tells his story on what his hardships have taught him, and how others can use their pain to grow and give back to others.

          EPISODE 6

            Mindfulness: The Windover Wellness Hack

              Guest: Catherine Windover

              Hi everyone, and welcome back to another installment of the Holistic Huskies! Today we have mental health superstar and my personal friend, Catherine Windover! Catherine details her journey about discovering her anxiety disorder in high school, and the steps she took to take control of her negative thoughts even in the midst of the suicide of a loved one and the onset of her depression. This strong, talented and intelligent individual is here to tell you how mindfulness might just save you from the dark places of your mind.

              EPISODE 5

               Lauren’s Guide to Excelling in Exile

                Guest: Lauren Granville

                Welcome back Huskies! Today’s episode is about how to succeed academically at Zoom University™. Lauren Granville, a psychology major at UConn, is here to show you how to utilize the Academic Achievement Center and the Center for Students with Disabilities remotely, and also how to keep up with clubs and activities at home. And as always, check us out on Instagram @holistic_huskies!
                Stay well everyone.

                EPISODE 4

                Prescribing Prayer: How Faith Helped this Student Grow From Trauma

                Guest: Anonymous Guest

                  Hi everyone! Welcome back to the Holistic Huskies. Ever wondered how religion could play a role in one’s mental health? In times of hardship or trauma it is not uncommon to look to a higher power for guidance and reassurance. In this episode, a UConn senior opens up about a traumatic life event and how she processed it using some aspects of her Catholic faith and by learning how to seize control by relinquishing it altogether. And remember to follow us on Instagram @holistic_huskies for resources, episode updates, and guest spotlights. Stay healthy huskies.

                  EPISODE 3

                  Corona Control Freaks: Psychologist Dr. Park’s Pandemic Wellness Tips

                  Guest: Dr. Crystal Park

                    Welcome back to another installment of the Holistic Huskies! Today we have the special honor of being joined by UConn’s distinguished professor in spiritual and wellness psychology, Dr. Crystal Park! She shares her current research, tips on starting a quarantine routine, and advice on letting go of life’s uncontrollable factors. Be sure to check out her website, plus UConn SHaW’s tips on staying well during the pandemic. SHAW is still offering individual psychotherapy, medication management, and their emergency mental health hotline, so don’t be afraid to reach out! For updates and more resources, give us a follow on Instagram @holistic_huskies, and as always, stay well!

                    EPISODE 2

                    From Binging to Believing: Jackie’s Journey to Reclaim Her Life

                      Guest: Jackie Snow

                      Welcome back Huskies! Our guest today is my friend Jackie, a girl who exudes confidence but actually opens up about her complicated history with eating disorders, depression, marijuana usage, and her eventual triumphs using a growth mindset. Stick with us to the end for some -off topic- bloopers! And don’t forget to stay updated with us on Instagram @holistic_huskies.

                      EPISODE 1

                      Disabilities, Depression, and Dysphoria - Robyn's Quest for Support at UConn

                      Guest: Robyn

                        Hi everyone! Thank you so much for tuning in to our very first episode! Have you ever wondered what's like going into college with not just one, or two, but three disabilities on top of depression, a panic disorder, anxiety, and the prejudice of being a transgender non-binary individual? Robyn, our inspiring speaker, walks us through their journey with mental health, opening up about the help they received through SHaW, how to get medication, and what it's like being part of the LGBTQ community on campus.

                        JOB DESCRIPTION:

                        Holistic Huskies Podcast Production Assistant - Promote Mental Health Awareness on an Award - Winning Project

                        Accepting applications 02/02 - 02/15

                        Become an intern at Student Health and Wellness as a member of the Holistic Huskies Podcast, a brand new platform that interviews students on their journeys through mental health. The project aims to foster a community, fight the stigma around mental health, and guide students towards resources. We are specifically looking for someone who is able to learn skills quickly, meet deadlines, and edit audio files effectively and efficiently. This is a great opportunity to build connections with other students and faculty who are passionate about health and wellness, learn about mental health barriers for college students, and enjoy a highly creative, meaningful internship with flexible hours!

                        • Open to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors of any major and background.
                        • Expected to commit up to 8 hours of independent or group work weekly 
                        • Preferred qualifications:
                          • Demonstrates proficiency in audio recording and editing
                          • Sensitive and culturally competent towards people of all backgrounds
                          • Demonstrates initiative and creativity
                          • Excellent time management skills
                          • Able to solve problems independently or in a group
                          • Demonstrates positive attitude, adaptability to shifting goals, and a growth mindset
                          • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
                        • Responsibilities may include:
                          • Edit audio files
                          • Perform duties independently and meet deadlines
                          • Communicate with students and faculty on campus to arrange interviews
                          • Contribute novel ideas for interviews and promotion
                          • Assist with and prepare questions for virtual interviews 
                          • Attend weekly meetings with supervisors and fellow interns
                        • Please apply ASAP, the deadline for applications is Monday, February 15th at 11:59 pm!

                        The application will close on February 15th at 11:59pm. Invitations for interviews will be sent out on a rolling basis, and will be held between 02/08 - 02/19. We recommend completion and submission of the application as soon as possible. Thank you for your consideration and interest in this internship opportunity!