Date: Thu, Feb 24th, 2022

Academic Wellness will get spotlight in March thanks to Great Falls College graduate

Alyssa Myhre, a Great Falls College graduate who is finishing up her doctoral occupational therapy degree at the University of Mary, will be highlighting Academic Wellness outside the tutoring center in March.

Alyssa Myhre is right back where she started, and that’s just fine with her.

Myhre graduated Great Falls College MSU with an associate of science degree in 2016 before getting a bachelor of science in exercise science from the University of Montana.

Now, she is completing the University of Mary’s doctorate of occupational therapy program, but she is back on Great Falls College’s campus working in the Academic Success Center to complete her dissertation. She is observing and talking to Great Falls College students about issues such as stress, sleep, nutrition and how best to manage those.

And in March, she will hold eight workshops to help share her findings and help give tips and guides on wellness issues.

The sessions will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Academic Success Center on the following days:

March 1 and March 3: Organization

March 15 and March 17: Physical activity and nutrition

March 22 and March 24: Mindset and emotion

March 29 and March 31: Mindfulness and sleep

Myhre said the sessions will be fast-paced and interactive, and students should walk out of the sessions with concrete ways to improve their academic wellness.

For Myhre, being back on Great Falls College’s campus is a return to home of sorts. She is grateful for what the college offered her and is pleased to be giving back.

“I really enjoyed the interactions with the professors because I realized once I left Great Falls College and moved on to the four-year institutions, your relationship with the instructors was going to be completely different,” she said. “You go from having a relationship with your instructor to not having a relationship with your instructors. So that small classroom size, I really enjoyed at this college.”

Myhre came to Great Falls originally with the intention of becoming a nurse.

“I came here thinking I would be a nurse, but once I got here and started looking at what nursing entails, I decided that wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to work with blood and puke and any other bodily fluids,” she said with a laugh.

Soon, she started doing job shadows and learned therapy was what she enjoyed.

She said Great Falls College prepared her well for the classes ahead at UM and the University of Mary in Bismarck.

And because she so enjoyed her time at Great Falls College, she thought of it when it was time for her capstone project focusing on Academic Wellness.

“I am a student, so I know how important it is to take care of yourself, so you can do well,” she said. “Since I can relate to these students, I felt this is where I was drawn. I’m here interacting, seeing what is going on and getting feedback from students who come into the Academic Success Center and the tutors.”

She spends about 20 hours a week in the tutoring center and another 20-plus hours a week writing her manuscript.

At her presentations, she will be giving out treats, preparing handouts and facilitating activities around each of the themes so that participants can evaluate how they are faring in each of the areas and find ways to improve.

Myhre already has a job lined up after graduating from Mary in April. Starting in August, she will work for the Bitterroot Valley Education Cooperative in Stevensville providing occupational therapy for five school districts.

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Record Number: 773