Page 1

Gamecock Health

Spring/Summer 2011

Smart travel abroad begins at home

Published by the University of South Carolina Student Health Services

Safe Zone Allies Losing sleep Alcohol myopia Choosing to lose it Cyberstalking Stress

Need to refill a prescription or make an appointment? Refill your prescriptions from the campus pharmacy online by using

MyRxSpace Make appointments online with healthcare providers at the Thomson Student Health Center by using


Links to both are at

Gamecock Health

Spring/Summer 2011

In this issue... 3

From the Executive Director


Choose to Lose


Can I Stalk You?


Reaching All Corners of the Globe

10 Alcohol Myopia: Quick Fix or Recipe for Disaster? 12 Don’t Let Stress Get the Best of You 14 Straight But Not Narrow


16 Don’t Spoil Your BreakBe Safe! 18 Falling Asleep In Class? You’re Not the Only One

Traveling abroad? Visit the Allergy, Immunization & Travel Clinic first Gamecock Health is published for the campus community of the University of South Carolina.

Student Health Services Executive Director Deborah Beck, RRT, MPA, Ed.D.

20 Employee Spotlight: Karla Buru and Drew Newton 22 A Welcome to Our New Healthcare Providers 23 Want to be in Gamecock Health? 24 Sexual Health 101

Written and Edited by Nicole Carrico, Public Relations and Quality Assurance Coordinator Student Health Services is Kayla Hildreth, Public Relations committed to improving student Graduate Assistant success through healthy learning.

On the cover: Olga Levin, senior Accounting and International Business major, in Tanzania, Africa as part of her study abroad

Is there a health topic you would like to see discussed in a future issue of Gamecock Health? Let us know by sharing your ideas on the discussion board of our Facebook page.

Gamecock Health


Spring/Summer 2011

Campus Wellness

Don’t Let Stress Get the Best of You.................12

Sexual Health 101...............................................24

Choose to Lose......................................................4

Counseling & Human Development Center

Don’t Let Stress Get the Best of You.................12

Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention

Can I Stalk You?.....................................................6

Alcohol Myopia....................................................10

Straight But Not Narrow.....................................14

Thomson Student Health Center

University of South Carolina Student Health Services 2

Spring/Summer 2011 • Gamecock Health

Reaching All Corners of the Globe......................6

Don’t Spoil Your Break........................................16

Falling Asleep in Class?......................................18

Employee Spotlights...........................................20

Student Health Services

New Healthcare Providers Welcome.................22

Want to be in Gamecock Health?......................23

From the Executive Director As a college student, what you experience day-to-day will shape the rest of your life. The people you befriend, the experiences you have and the places you visit will define your core values, mold your personality, and help chart the course that is uniquely yours. With Student Health Services, you can be assured that your journey through college is supported by many caring and skilled people who understand the connection between health and academic performance. We provide a holistic approach to health through comprehensive primary healthcare, disease prevention and wellness programs, and mental health and violence prevention services. Take advantage of all the programs and services we offer. You can learn about many of of them by reading Gamecock Health every semester. Make sure you visit us at to explore what we offer in depth— everything from general medicine, support groups, exercise programs, and affordable prescription drugs to travel consultations and immunization services. Student Health Services is here to not only help you build a solid foundation of health while you are in college, but also to help you become an empowered health consumer for life. We are here for you and dedicated to your success as a student at the University of South Carolina, wherever that journey may take you. Yours in health, Deborah Beck, RRT, MPA, Ed.D. Executive Director, Student Health Services University of South Carolina

Gamecock Health • Spring/Summer 2011


Campus Wellness

Choose to Lose with Student Health Services

Late night pizza deliveries, vending machine meals in the library, and sleeping until just enough time is left to throw on sweats and rush to class are rites of passage for many college students. Because of these challenges, Campus Wellness offers a variety of effective programs to help with weight control and healthy behaviors. Choose to Lose is a weight management program conducted by Campus Wellness staff throughout the year. The program incorporates weight and body composition monitoring, nutrition counseling with registered dietitians, and weekly exercise sessions. Kristine Henry, a Public Health graduate student from Columbia, and Brittany Sykes, a Criminal Justice major from Greenwood, South Carolina, both report great success with Choose to Lose. Kristine joined the program due to the exercise rut she was in. “I wanted to try something new … to feel healthier,” she said. “The program challenged me to be my best – physically and emotionally. I am grateful to have had this opportunity,” she continued.


Kristine is a four-time participant in the program and reports that the support and encouragement from the staff kept Spring/Summer 2011 • Gamecock Health

Campus Wellness her coming back, as did the variety of exercises and ability to modify them to her level of skill without judgment from others. “If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you won’t do it,” said Kristine. Brittany’s motivation to join the program was related to gradual weight gain during college due to poor food choices and lack of focus on weight management. When she saw the program advertised in the Daily Gamecock, she convinced her roommates to join with her for support. “It is easier to keep up a workout regimen when you’re working out with a group,” said Brittany. After losing 15 pounds through Choose to Lose this past semester, Brittany plans to participate in the program again for continued support in reaching her weight loss goal. Both Kristine and Brittany reported their long-term eating behavior has also changed as a result of the program’s nutrition component. “I make an effort to eat something green, orange and red daily, and I have become a pescatarian (a vegetarian who eats fish) in my efforts to eat healthier,” said Brittany. “My eating habits have changed a lot,” agreed Kristine. “I definitely eat more vegetables, and I cook my food in a healthier way. Recipes provided by the dietitian were helpful. I also eat fewer sweets, but when I do choose to have dessert, I eat a smaller portion.” Both women have learned to make better nutritional decisions and have expressed an increased awareness of portion control as a result of participating in the Choose to Lose program. Choose to Lose is just one of many programs Campus Wellness oversees, but the success its participants have seen has made it the most popular program offered.

Want to know more? Call (803) 576-9393 or visit to learn all about Campus Wellness programs and services. Gamecock Health • Spring/Summer 2011


Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention

Can I Stalk You?

With technological advancements breaching all aspects of society, what we consider “personal privacy” is becoming obsolete. The framework in which we share our life experiences today has been molded by lap tops, smart phones, and other electronic devices. Social networks like MySpace, Twitter, Facebook and even Google have been major contributors to our family and friends being able to access the most detailed information about who we are, what we do, and what our daily routine is. While these tools may be great for relationship building, when a perfect stranger or someone wanting to do you harm has access to your personal life, the outcome can be quite dangerous. The National Center for the Victims of Crime defines cyberstalking as “threatening behavior or unwanted advances directed at another using the Internet and other forms of online and computer communications.” Cyberstalking is real, and it can result in actual harm if not taken seriously. So how is it that cyberstalkers actually figure out all this private information by looking at your Facebook profile or checking out pictures you posted last weekend? The answer lies in two words: metadata, which is information gathered from images that details things like where the photo was taken, and geotagging, which is the actual tagging of your photos with latitude and longitude coordinates. If you’ve got a smart phone, your photos are likely geotagged.

According to, after analyzing your photos, a cyberstalker can determine: • • • • • •

Where you live Who else lives there Your commuting patterns Where you go for lunch each day Who you go to lunch with Your favorite restaurant in town

If you’ve wondered why you should be concerned about cyberstalking, you should know that approximately one in four stalking victims report some form of cyberstalking through e-mail (83 percent) or instant messaging (35 percent). Although measures have been taken by our government to protect our privacy, the laws are out-of-date and cannot keep up with technology. Cyberstalking and the unauthorized access of private information has not only resulted in bullying and peer pressure, but also contributes to the cycle of violence. People between the ages 18 and 19 and 20 and 24 experience the highest rates of stalking victimization. These individuals are also more likely to be stalked by offenders of the same or similar age. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention considers “electronic aggression” as an “emerging adolescent health issue.” Even web browsing, which is usually


Spring/Summer 2011 • Gamecock Health

Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention considered anonymous, is often tracked to document human behavioral patterns. Whether or not stronger laws are being written to address privacy protection, there are a few things you can do to avoid cyberstalking and protect your privacy. University of Tennessee professor David Dupper, who has studied cyberstalking and Facebook, Skype and other forms of social media, provides these tips:


Don’t put anything online that you wouldn’t want others to see—even in e-mail.

2. Never give out personal information online,

whether in instant message profiles, chat rooms, blogs or personal websites.

3. Never open e-mail from someone you don’t know or from someone who has been harassing you.

4. If someone sends you a mean or threatening

message, do not respond. Save it or print it out and show it to an authority figure or police.

5. Never tell anyone—even friends—your

passwords. Keep your cell phone keypad locked.

6. Do NOT send texts, photos or videos on your cell phone that you would not feel comfortable

sharing with the world. All texts, photos and videos are stored on servers permanently and can be used as digital evidence.

Want to know more? Visit, or call Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention at (803) 777-8248.

If you experience a breach in privacy to the extent that you feel that your life is in jeopardy and your daily activities have been altered as a result, seek appropriate resources for your own health and safety. The office of Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention not only offers educational presentations on stalking and harassment, but also provides an array of resources and support for any individual experiencing stalking, harassment, relationship violence, hate crimes, or sexual assault. Don’t hesitate to stop a cyberstalker. It will make you safer in the end. Gamecock Health • Spring/Summer 2011


Thomson Student Health Center

Reaching All Corners of the Globe As you are preparing for classes, you go through a routine check-list: print your syllabi, buy your books, and double check to make sure you know where all of your classes are going to be (you don’t want to walk into the wrong class again like you did last semester). However, as you start to check off your list, your phone rings. It’s your best friend. She is packing for her semester abroad in Italy, leaving in a week, and doesn’t know where to begin or what to pack. Being the helpful friend that you are, you suggest she just buy all new clothes while in Italy. You both laugh at the thought of buying a completely new Italian wardrobe, and she continues the conversation, clamoring on about how excited she is, the weekend excursions to Rome and Venice she has already planned, and how this will be the first time she has ever been to Europe. You entertain her excitement, commenting on how jealous and thrilled you are for her. Although you’ve had several friends study abroad, you’ve never really thought about traveling yourself. You’ve looked at friends’ pictures on Facebook and heard all their amazing stories. You realize that maybe you should seriously consider studying abroad, too. After all, you have always wanted to go Australia, and maybe then you could even take a side trip to New Zealand. After you hang up with your friend, you begin researching the logistics of studying aboard. You discover that one of the main requirements is maintaining an up-to-date immunization record. You also learn that to travel to some countries, like Africa, additional immunizations are necessary. Senior Accounting and International Business major Olga Levin was in this exact position one year ago. Olga decided to study abroad in the summer of 2010 to Tanzania with the Moore School of Business. However, before she could begin her adventure, she had to make sure that all of her immunizations were up to date and that she could get the additional required immunizations.


To travel to Africa, Olga had to get Malaria pills and Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever and Rabies vaccines. “I did a lot of research before deciding where to get each vaccine,” Olga said. Spring/Summer 2011 • Gamecock Health

Thomson Student Health Center

“Different places offered different prices.” However, after some research, Olga decided to get the vaccines through the Allergy, Immunization & Travel Clinic, located in the Thomson Student Health Center. Olga described her overall experience at the clinic as very pleasant. “They were helpful and worked with me throughout the process,” she said. “And the location was also convenient.” The process took Olga a little less than two months, which was the amount of time the immunizations needed to be in her body to become fully effective. Although somewhat lengthy, Olga described the immunization process as being easy because of the Allergy, Immunization & Travel Clinic. “They had all the pills and vaccines needed for a trip abroad and were very helpful and welcoming,” she said. Since so many students share in Olga’s desire to travel abroad, the Allergy, Immunization & Travel Clinic provides immunizations and information about healthcare needs and risks in other countries. If you are interested in studying abroad, or are anticipating travel, you should make an appointment at the clinic no later than eight weeks before your expected departure date. This allows for the consultation and administration of all the required immunizations. So you have to plan ahead if you’re going abroad to properly protect yourself from infection and disease. “Studying abroad in Africa was one of the best experiences of my life,” said Olga. I strongly encourage students to take advantage of the opportunity to do so while in college.” If you want to follow Olga’s advice, or have considered studying abroad, start the process today. After deciding when and where you want to go, make an appointment at the Allergy, Immunization & Travel Clinic.

Want to know more? Call the Allergy, Immunization & Travel Clinic at (803) 777-9511 for more information about how the clinic can help you with your trip abroad. Gamecock Health • Spring/Summer 2011


Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention

Alcohol Myopia: Quick Fix or Recipe for Disaster? Sometimes, having an alcoholic drink can feel like a quick fix in a bad situation, or seem to take the edge off of a rough day. However, the reality is that using alcohol as a “quick fix” is like placing multiple band aids over a bleeding artery— eventually, things are going to get messy. Being a college student, life can be very stressful, and almost seem like a roller coaster ride. However, turning to alcohol to relieve stress is no solution. And unfortunately, when alcohol comes into play in social situations, bad things can happen. In fact, they’re more likely to happen. Most alcohol-related sexual assaults begin in a social situation or setting. This is an important fact to know, since 90 percent of all reported sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone the survivor knows. Alcohol-related sexual assault occurs a lot more often on college and university campuses than most people know. Sexual assault is defined as “the full range of forced sexual acts, including forced touching or kissing; verbally coerced intercourse; and physically-forced penetration.” A national study found that while the majority of college students drink, approximately half of all students participate in binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as “five or more drinks in a row for men and four or more drinks in a row for women.” Alcohol “myopia” is the common result of excessive alcohol consumption where an individual’s ability to identifying potential threats in social situations becomes non-existent. In addition to lowered inhibitions, there are many other reasons why the alcohol abuse can have a lasting effect. According to the American College Health Association’s 2010 National College Health Assessment (NCHA), almost 20 percent of students who drank alcohol reported physically injuring themselves or another person as a result of their own drinking. Also, when drinking alcohol in excess, men tend to misinterpret women’s alcohol use as a sign that they are interested in sex or are open to sexual propositions. Alcohol enhances men’s perceptions of individual sexuality as well as that of their partners. For women, they are less likely to recognize warning signs or risk cues in their environment. Women are also less likely to plan and implement effective strategies to escape dangerous situations. Alcohol has been a problem at colleges and universities for a long time. The combination of lowered inhibitions and the complex social situations college students can find themselves in can be a recipe for disaster. One way to put a stop to what could become a bad or dangerous situation is to intervene in a situation that appears to be going south. This is called “bystander accountability,” and there are strategies on how to do it effectively and without getting in harm’s way. There are three types of accountability strategies you can use: Intervening in any situation • Gather details about the situation. • Ask for help from other bystanders or friends. • Be sensitive and understanding. Non-emergency intervention • Don’t make assumptions about the people involved or the situation. • Keep your eyes open for red flags. • Set a goal or a plan. • In conversations, keep in mind that it is about mutual respect and mutual purpose.


Spring/Summer 2011 • Gamecock Health

Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention Campus Resources Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention (SAVIP) (803) 777-8248 USC Police Department: (803) 777-4215

Emergency intervention • Try to keep everyone calm. • Know your exit strategies. • Understand that situations can escalate quickly. • Be clear and concise when asking for help. • Keep yourself and others safe. • Tell whoever involved that you are committed to helping them. • Encourage value-based decisions.

Counseling and Human Development Center: (803) 777-5223 General Medical Center: (803) 777-3175 Women's Care: (803) 777-3175 Office of Student Judicial Programs:

The Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention office serves as a resource for any student experiencing stalking, harassment, relationship violence, hate crimes, or sexual assault. It also manages the bystander accountability initiative at Student Health Services. If you need resources, support, or just want to get involved in the bystander accountability project, contact the SAVIP office at (803) 777-8248. The Counseling & Human Development Center is also a great resource for students suffering from alcohol and/or substance abuse issues. All students who pay the student health fee included in the tuition bill get 12 one-onone counseling sessions each calendar year. The department encourages students to make appointments when they first realize they are having problems. Waiting until addictive behaviors are firmly established not only compromises health and safety, it also makes the recovery process much more intensive. The Counseling Center also offers group workshops each semester. Topics are broad and include alcohol and substance abuse, self esteem, sexual assault and abuse, stress management, anxiety and sexuality and gender identity issues. All group workshops are free and unlimited to students. Visit the Counseling Center online at to learn about all the workshops offered. Call the Counseling and Human Development Center at (803) 777-5223. It is unfortunate that alcohol is a major contributor to sexual assault and interpersonal violence on college campuses, but it is a fact. If you drink, be aware of your limits, look after your friends and intervene in a situation if you think you can do so safely—you may be averting a potential disastrous situation and doing someone a tremendous favor.

(803) 777-4333 University Housing: (803) 777-4219 Multicultural Student Affairs: (803) 777-7716 Student Disability Services: (803) 777-6142 International Programs for Students: (803) 777-7461 Substance Abuse Prevention & Education: (803) 777-7130 APO Escort Services: (803) 777-DUCK For information about off-campus resources and referrals, contact SAVIP staff at Thomson Student Health Center, 1st floor Columbia, SC 29208 (803) 777-8248

Gamecock Health • Spring/Summer 2011


Counseling & Human Development Center

Don’t Let Stress Get the Best of You Have you ever felt overwhelmed by school work? Besieged by your “to do” list? If so, then take a deep breath, calm down and relax. What you are feeling is your body’s natural response to stress, and as a college student, the stress you feel is very common. Stress is the way our bodies react physically, emotionally, cognitively and behaviorally to any change, and it can be caused by a variety of things. Worries about things ranging from academics and financial issues, to family and relationships can all cause stress. According to the American College Health Association’s 2010 National College Health Assessment (NCHA), 42 percent of students reported what they consider “more than average” stress, and 8.3 percent of students reported what they consider “tremendous stress.” Also, 22.9 percent of USC students reported that stress has impacted their studies—more so than any other factor. Stress can have a great impact on your life as a student. Students suffering from stress often feel overwhelmed, and struggle with issues such as balancing academic and social time, maintaining a healthy weight and may even experience depression or anxiety. According to the NCHA, 22.9 percent of USC students reported that stress has impacted their studies. However, although stress is very common during college, Student Health Services offers several programs and services through the Counseling &Human Development Center and Campus Wellness that can help students handle stress in a healthy way, and help prevent the impact stress can have.

According to the 2010 NCHA findings, within the past 12 months of the survey period, students reported the following factors affecting their individual performance:


Stress 22.9% Sleep difficulties 18.4% Cold/flu/sore throat 17.7% Anxiety 14.8% Internet use/computer gaming 9.8% Spring/Summer 2011 • Gamecock Health

Relationship difficulties 8.7% Depression 8.6% Work 8.1% Concern for family/friend 7.7% Extracurricular activities 7.3%

Campus Wellness A popular resource offered by Campus Wellness is massage therapy, which helps promote relaxation and relieves stress. During a massage, the brain is triggered to produce endorphins, which helps promote relaxation. Appointments for seated chair massages can be made by calling (803) 576-9393. The massage therapist is located on the first floor of the Thomson Student Health Center. Another resource offered to students is relaxation podcasts, which are available on the Student Health Services website. The podcasts range from ten to twenty-five minutes in length and are a great resource to reduce stress. Podcasts are located at Go ahead and bookmark them so you’ll have them at your fingertips when you need them most. Self-hypnosis is available at the Counseling and Human Development Center, and is primarily used to assist students with stress reduction and relaxation. Self-hypnosis sessions are held in a dimly lit, bean bag room at the Counseling Center, and apply the principals of hypnosis to relaxation. This is a very popular resource that many students take advantage of each semester. It’s a fun way to relax and unwind, and can help you manage your workload and life. Group therapy is another great resource offered to students through the Counseling Center. A wide variety of groups are available to students, including groups that teach effective coping, self esteem, time management and organizational skills—all of which can contribute to stress if you aren’t managing them well in your life. Group therapy is free, confidential, and is a great way to get issues off your chest and deal with them before they become problematic and affect your studies. The Counseling Center also offers biofeedback training, which helps clients learn to control and manage stress. During the sessions, the Counseling Center uses biofeedback equipment to collect information about the body’s autonomic bodily functions. After the information is collected, it is used to help teach the client how to regulate, control, and manage stress and anxiety. Techniques taught during biofeedback training include diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle tension and relaxation, guided imagery and visualization, and the use of relaxation scripts and mindfulness or meditation techniques. By learning these techniques, clients can prevent cumulative stress, increase energy levels and productivity, and improve concentration and productivity. Biofeedback is offered to students at no cost, and does not count toward the 12 annual individual counseling sessions available to USC students. Biofeedback training is held on the seventh floor of the Byrnes Building. To make an appointment, call (803) 777-5223. As a college student, stress is almost inevitable. However, this does not mean that it has to take over your life. By taking advantage of the resources offered by Student Health Services, you can learn to prevent, control and manage stress so that it doesn’t get the best of you or derail your academic performance.

Want to know more? Visit Student Health Services department websites to learn about programs and services to help you avoid and beat stress. Counseling & Human Development Center Campus Wellness at Gamecock Health • Spring/Summer 2011


Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention

Straight But Not Narrow USC students have countless opportunities to become involved in a variety of clubs and organizations on campus. With such a diverse student body, USC provides its students with the chance to get involved in almost anything they want from skydiving and scuba diving to yoga and cooking clubs. Among these clubs and organization is a unique group of students working to promote the acceptance of others and encouraging everyone on campus to embrace individuality. This organization is called Safe Zone. Safe Zone is committed to fighting homophobia and heterosexism, and encourages its members to offer visible support to members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ) population. The program is designed to provide all students with information, resources, and guidance regarding the GLBTQ community, as well as the opportunity to support its members. To become a Safe Zone Ally you do not have to be a member of the GLBTQ community—you simply take a class. What does an Ally do? Allies are ready and available to provide assistance to anyone who is seeking support or resources. If a GLBTQ student needs someone to talk to, Allies are there for them. If a student is looking for information about the GLBTQ community, an Ally is a great person to approach. Allies are not counselors. They are simply people that are available to listen and offer their time. Allies are not required to attend any type of regular group meeting. Instead, all Allies receive a weekly update of campus and community events regarding GLBTQ issues. Becoming an Ally: To become an Ally, any student, faculty and staff member participates in a Safe Zone training session. Training is a comprehensive class that lasts just under two hours. Generally, four Safe Zone training sessions are offered per semester. All are listed on the Student Health Services website. During the session, discussion topics include defining what an Ally is, understanding terminology and symbols connected with the GLBTQ community, understanding gender and gender roles, and homophobia and heterosexism. At the end of the training session, individuals can choose whether or not they would like to become Allies. USC currently has more than 400 Allies. Why Should You Become an Ally? Now that you know what an Ally is, and how you can become one, you may be wondering why you should take the time to go through the training. The research will convince you. A recent report conducted by Campus Pride, the leading national organization for GLBTQ college students and their allies, provides reasons why it is important to support the GLBTQ community. • One quarter (23%) of GLBTQ staff, faculty, and students reported experiencing harassment (defined as any conduct that has interfered with the ability to work or learn). Almost all identified sexual identity as the basis of the harassment (83%). An even greater percentage of transgender students, faculty, and staff reported experiencing harassment (39%), with 87% identifying their gender identity/expression as the basis.


Spring/Summer 2011 • Gamecock Health

Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention • One-third of GLBTQ (33%) and transgender (38%) students, faculty, and staff have seriously considered leaving their institution due to the challenging climate. • More than half of all GLBTQ faculty, students, and staff hide their sexual identity (43%) or gender identity (63%) to avoid intimidation. • More than a third of all transgender students, faculty, & staff (43%) and 13% of GLBTQ respondents feared for their physical safety. This finding was more salient for GLBTQ students and for GLBTQ and/or transgender people of color. If you think becoming an Ally sounds like the responsible thing to do, go ahead and sign up for training. In addition to becoming a vital resource for the GLBTQ community, you will meet like-minded people, learn about events, programs and services going on around campus that are designed to address intolerance. Safe Zone participates in, supports and hosts many large-scale events each year. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in these events, which include the following:

National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day consists of a series of activities held on October 11 each year that celebrate the GLBTQ community. Resources are publicized and made available to students, faculty or staff who wish to come out and present their true self. The campus community has the opportunity to literally sign their support for the GLBTQ community at these events by signing petitions, promise cards, and walls constructed especially for that purpose. In addition, a Safe Zone training session is always hosted on National Coming Out Day.

Homophobia Awareness Week

Homophobia Awareness week is five full days of activities in April designed to bring homophobia, its negative effects, and information about how it can be addressed to the campus community.

“Speak OUT Loud” Lecture Series

The “Speak OUT Loud” lecture series is Safe Zone’s annual lecture series at which community leaders, students, faculty and staff discuss the GLBTQ experience in college and/ or South Carolina, and often include personal stories of coming out, serving as a Safe Zone Ally, writings or research about the GLBTQ community, or profiles of significant events or people in the GLBTQ movement in our state. If you like what you’ve read about Safe Zone, e-mail the program coordinator at or call (803) 777-8283. The more people who become Safe Zone Allies, the closer we come to combating hate and intolerance. Please join us.

Gamecock Health • Spring/Summer 2011


Thomson Student Health Center

Don’t spoil your break! Whether it’s spring, summer or winter break, many students take any opportunity to get away from school and take a trip somewhere. Trips to popular places like Hilton Head Island, the Bahamas, the mountains or even Mexico are always in the works during breaks from school. Although most students focus on how much fun they are going to have on break, it is also important to remember safety during these trips. Decisions you make while on break could ultimately affect your academic performance, so it’s important that you take all necessary precautions to ensure you make it home with nothing but great memories to share.

1. When driving to your destination, make sure that everyone buckles up. Also,

if you plan on going on a long road trip, make sure to take turns driving, and plan to have at least one other person in the car stay awake with you if you are driving. Drive the speed limit, and make sure you bring your license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. Also remember to bring a first aid kit.

2. When making hotel reservations, try to reserve a room that isn’t on the first

floor. First floor rooms can be easier to break into, so you want to make sure to avoid this potential risk. Also, if there is a safe in the room, use it to secure any valuables you may have with you. As tempting as it is to wear it, leave your good jewelry at home. In some countries, wearing expensive-looking jewelry—whether it’s real or not— can endanger your life. When you leave the room, make sure all the doors and window are locked. Always travel in a group. If your groups splits up, remember to always check where everyone else is going and ask how long they plan to stay there.

3. Although trips during breaks are generally full of sun, fun and parties,

be smart about it. If you are 21 or older and choose to drink, try to avoid high alcohol content drinks. Keep in mind what type and how many drinks you are consuming, and remember to always stay with a group of people. Also, if you choose to go out and drink, discuss with your friends how you will get back to your hotel at the end of your evening.

4. Many people want to come back to school from the beach with a

“golden glow.” Don’t get burnt in an attempt to get the perfect tan. When in the sun, use a sunscreen with at least an SPF-15 and reapply it frequently. Avoid sun exposure during the peak hours the sun is out—10 a.m. to 2 p.m.— and remember, even if it ‘s cloudy, you can still burn. If you’re fair-skinned, wear sunglasses, a hat, or a T-shirt over your swimsuit. Keep hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. Sunburn is not only bad for your skin, but can take weeks to recover from if severe enough.



When you need to make a transaction at an ATM, try to do so during the day. Also, go with at least one other person. Always pay attention to your surroundings before and while you are at an ATM machine. Cover the keypad when entering your PIN number, and have your friend keep a watchful eye on your surroundings. Spring/Summer 2011 • Gamecock Health

Thomson Student Health

6. You will be safer in numbers. Whenever you decide to go out,

make sure you do so in a group. Not only are you likely to have more fun if you are together, but you can all keep an eye on each other, too. If one friend becomes intoxicated, or you feel that they may be in an unsafe situation, make sure to get that friend home as soon as possible or seek medical care if necessary.

7. Be aware of your environment. Although the light blue ocean

may seem calm and welcoming, it could be hiding dangerous risks like an undertow, jellyfish or even sharks. If you are not an experienced swimmer, do not try to over exert yourself in the water just to keep up with everyone else. If you are not as comfortable in the water as some of your friends, play a game on the beach like volleyball or frisbee, and invite others to join. It’s a great way to stay safe and make new friends.

8. Although it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of taking a trip, know your limits before you leave. Have a discussion with your boundaries regarding becoming intimate with someone. Even if you meet someone that you really like, or your friends are “hooking up” with people, it does not mean that you must also. However, if you do choose to become intimate with someone, make sure you communicate, exercise consent and use condoms. Just remember that abstinence is the only way to completely protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections and diseases.


If you and your friends decide that you want to travel somewhere outside of the United States during break, you will likely have to get a passport. Not only is your passport required to gain entry into other countries, but it is proof that you are an American citizen, which you will need if you ever need help from an American Embassy. Lock your passport in your hotel safe, or carry it on your body in a passport pouch designed to be worn under your shirt. Never carry your passport in a purse, your luggage, backpack or back pocket. It’s also a good idea to carry your money along with your passport in your passport pouch.

10. Going on a cruise during your break can often provide great

memories for you and your friends. However, when on the cruise, make sure that you stay with your friends. Cruise ships vary in size, and some larger ships can be easy to get lost on. Always be aware of your surroundings and secure your valuables in your cabin. Remember there could be thousands of people on board with you, and just because they’re on a cruise ship doesn’t mean they’re harmless. Never invite people back to your cabin—arrange to meet them in an open, public area. Spring, summer and winter breaks from school should be full of memories, fun and friends. If you keep safety in mind when planning your trip and while at your destination, the better your well-deserved break will be.

Gamecock Health • Spring/Summer 2011


Thomson Student Health Center

Falling Asleep In Class? You’re Not the Only One We are all guilty of it. Whether it was 8 a.m. or 3 p.m., at some point in your college career, you have dozed off in class. Perhaps you stayed up all night studying for a huge midterm. Or maybe you decided to go out with your friends the night before. Or it might have simply been because you could not fall asleep the night before. According to the American College Health Association’s 2010 National College Health Assessment, 46.1 percent of students reported feeling tired, dragged out, or sleepy between three and five days a week. Thirteen percent of students reported having a big problem with sleepiness during daytime activities. And with only 12.1 percent of students reporting they get enough sleep to feel rested in the morning, it is safe to say that you are not the only one who has trouble keeping your eyes open in class every now and then. Sleep deprivation is a common problem among college students. Coursework, late-night studying, part-time jobs and your social life all place demands on your time. If you don’t get enough sleep, all aspects of your life will suffer. It is imperative to get not only enough, but also a good night’s sleep. Whenever you get a good night’s sleep, you wake up feeling rested and more energetic. When you don’t get enough sleep, you end up with low energy levels and can be more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and pain, which will all affect your academics. If you think you’re suffering from sleep deprivation, following the tips may help you improve your sleep habits.

1. Avoid caffeine after noon

Avoid coffee, soda, tea, chocolate or energy drinks in evening—especially after 2 p.m. Caffeine is a stimulant and can keep you awake for many hours after you have it.


Spring/Summer 2011 • Gamecock Health

2. Avoid eating heavy meals

Try not to eat heavy meals in the late evening. Also, try to avoid very spicy or sugary food for four to six hours before bed. However, hunger may disrupt your sleep, so try a light snack or milk before bedtime.

3. Develop a bedtime routine

Wind down before going to sleep by doing relaxing activities. Try practicing relaxation techniques such as reading, meditating, self hypnosis, deep breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, or even taking a warm bath before going to bed.

4. Use your bed for sleep only

Avoid watching television, doing paper work or being on the computer right before going to bed. If you spend time doing stimulating activities right before bedtime, you may begin to associate your bed with activities other than relaxation, which certainly won’t help you doze off.

5. Avoid daytime napping

Taking naps during the day, especially long naps, can make it harder for you to fall asleep at night. If you have to nap, try limiting them to no longer than 30 to 45 minutes, and do your napping before 3 p.m.

Thomson Student Health Center 6. Don’t watch the clock

If you can’t fall asleep after 15 to 30 minutes of trying, get up and engage in a relaxing activity. Take a slow walk around the house or try reading a book.

7. Avoid late night drinking

Restrict fluids in the evening. By doing this, you will avoid having to get up frequently during the night to visit the restroom.

8. Keep the same sleep schedule

When you develop a sleep schedule, your body gets used to falling asleep and waking up at the same time every day. Try to keep your sleep schedule the same, even on vacation or the weekend.

9. Exercise early in the day

Exercising early can help you sleep better. Also, exercising in the evening can make it harder to sleep. Therefore, try avoiding exercise after 4 p.m.

10. Make sure you are comfy

Make sure that your mattress and room are comfortable. Try to keep your room dark and cool, and block out distracting noises. However, don’t keep your room too cold, because this can also disrupt sleep.

11. Quit bad habits

Smoking, drinking and drugs can have serious effects on your sleep. Alcohol may make you fall asleep easily right after drinking, but it’s likely to make you wake up two to three hours later.

12. Deal with worry early

Try to confront your worries several hours before going to bed. Remember, it’s hard for an active mind to relax enough to fall asleep.

Want to know more? If you’re having serious issues with you sleep habits, it may be time to seek professional help. Call the Thomson Student Health Center at (803) 777- 3175 or Counseling & Human Development Center at (803) 777-5223 to schedule an appointment. Gamecock Health • Spring/Summer 2011


Employee Spotlight

Karla Buru

Quality Assurance Graduate Assistant, Student Health Services After graduating from USC with a Bachelors degree in Journalism and Mass Communications, Karla Buru wanted to expand her experience and skills by helping those in need abroad. After graduation, she joined the Peace Corps because she believed in its mission and knew it would be a great way to serve others in a culture much different from her own. Karla did not know where she would be assigned for her 27 months of service, but was excited about the opportunity. When her assignment arrived, Karla recalled the sense of exhilaration she had when she found out where she was going—to serve in Romania as an Institutional Development Volunteer. Although Karla knew very little about the country, and was uncertain of what her duties would be, she never doubted the tremendous opportunity she was given to live, grow, and serve in a different part of the world. As a Peace Corps volunteer, Karla worked in the Jiu Valley with three non-governmental agencies (NGOs): Caritas, Salvaţi Copiii (Save the Children) and the Herepeia Foundation. “I immediately fell in love with the community and knew it was only the beginning of a life-long relationship,” said Karla. During her time in Romania, Karla did everything from teaching community English classes to organizing summer camps and coordinating national and international volunteers. While living in Romania,she became fluent in Romanian and served as an interpreter for English speaking people, hosted official site visits and assisted with writing monthly reports. Karla said that her time in the Peace Corps made her realize her desire to further her education. In 2009, she began the dual Masters degree program in Social Work and Public Health at USC with a focus on Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior. While pursing her dual Masters degrees, Karla is employed as the Quality Assurance Graduate Assistant at Student Health Services. “Because the department encompasses so many different types of programs, I knew I would gain experience in a variety of areas. I enjoy being able to help monitor and evaluate our services and programs to improve the quality of care provided. I’ve seen how much Student Health Services values input from members of the Carolina community, and I hope that I can play a small part in improving the health and wellness of that community,” she explained. However, Karla’s accomplishments do not stop there. Recently, she was awarded a Fulbright research grant to study cross-cultural collaborations in the Jiu Valley for the 2011-2012 academic year. Her research will explore the relationships between local NGO workers and foreign volunteers in Romania. “The data I collect will be used to develop educational experiences for students that emphasize the need for crosscultural sensitivity, and create a learning environment that fosters cross-cultural collaborations,” said Karla. “My work will also include creating a Maymester class for USC students.” Karla hopes that the Maymester course will provide students, both Romanian and American, the opportunity to experience learning in a cross-cultural environment. “They will be able to share their knowledge and experiences, discuss social work practices in their respective countries, and plan collaborative projects in the future.


All of these things will better prepare the students for their future work with individuals from countries other than their own,” she noted. Spring/Summer 2011 • Gamecock Health

Thomson Student Health Center

Drew Newton

Safe Zone Coordinator, Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention Farmville isn’t just a fun application on Facebook. It is also a small town in Virginia, and the hometown of Student Health Services Safe Zone graduate assistant Drew Newton. Drew, who is currently working towards his Masters degree in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs at USC, has known from a young age that he wanted to work in education. “Education has always been at my core. From my first days of kindergarten, I can remember anxiously returning home to teach a lesson to my pretend class. I would grill them with quizzes, offer countless notes on my little blackboard in my bedroom, and even make some “phone calls home” to some rowdy students’ parents. I always knew that I wanted to educate people in some way,” said Drew. Once Drew finished his Bachelor’s degree at James Madison University, life suddenly took him down a different path than he had originally planned. Instead of entering K-12 education as he had imagined, Drew accepted a position at a university as the Assistant Director for Conference Services. However after a year, he decided that he really wanted to teach. For two years, Drew taught eighth grade English at a school in Virginia. “The experience was exhilarating,” Drew said. “It was the thrill of lifetime for them and for me.” However, he realized that there was something missing. “As I reflected on my years of teaching, I found that I was educating test-takers, not lifelong learners.” Drew recognized that higher education offered more holistic development opportunities. This is what brought Drew to USC. Drew joined Student Health Services as the Safe Zone Graduate Assistant in August 2010. He was excited for the opportunity to “join a program that had achieved so much, yet had such rich opportunities to increase its impact.” Drew has expanded the Safe Zone program by training Allies, coordinating special events and raising awareness on campus. “From our students to our faculty and staff, to our administrators, and even to our community partners, so many people are positive about making progress and change to ensure every Carolinian has a safe, supportive environment in which to live and learn. The momentum is growing every day—making it by far the best program I’ve ever had the honor to work with,” said Drew. Drew looks forward to the future and said, “I want to make the most of my experiences at USC so that I may one day become a university president or vice president. Big dreams lie ahead, but I know that Carolina will prepare me well.”

Gamecock Health • Spring/Summer 2011


Student Health Services

A Welcome to Our New Healthcare Providers As part of our commitment to provide high quality healthcare to our campus community, Student Health Services welcomes these new providers to our team. ROBERT “BOB” RODGERS, PhD Director, Counseling & Human Development Center Licensed Psychologist PhD/Psychology: Southern Illinois University, 1999 MS/Psychology: Southern Illinois University, 1996 BA/Psychology: New College of the University of South Florida, 1994 Focus areas: men's issues, emerging adulthood developmental concerns, identity development, spiritual concerns, couples therapy and group therapy

DIANA COLLINS, MD, PhD Physician, Women’s Care MD: Bowman Gray School of Medicine PhD: UNC-Greensboro Residency: Brown University School of Medicine • Obstetrics and Gynecology • Child Development and Family Relations Board Certifications: American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Affiliations: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ERIC WILLIAMS, MD Psychiatrist, Thomson Student Health Center MD: Wake Forest University BA/Psychology: Wake Forest University Specialty Boards and Certifications: American Board of Psychiatry/Neurology, ABPN-Child & Adolescent Psychiatry


Spring/Summer 2011 • Gamecock Health

Student Health Services

Want to be in Gamecock Health? Gamecock Health is looking for feature stories for the fall/winter 2011 edition. If you have a success story, an idea for a feature story, or would like a certain topic covered, let us know! Email and tell us your story today! Have you participated in selfhypnosis through the Counseling & Human Development Center? Has Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention helped you broaden your understanding of a healthy relationship? Have you had a good experience at our pharmacy? Are you a Choose to Lose success story? Did you visit the Allergy, Immunization & Travel Clinic before a big trip abroad? Has one of our registered dietitians helped you improve your eating habits?

WE WANT TO KNOW! Gamecock Health • Spring/Summer 2011


Campus Wellness

1 0 1 h t l a e H l a Sexu Big Decisions!

College students are often faced with many tough decisions. One decision that is not unfamiliar to many students is whether or not to participate in sexual activity. According to the 2010 National College Health Assessment about 72 percent of the students at the University of South Carolina have had at least one sexual partner. With sexual activity also comes a responsibility to protect your and your partner’s health. Approximately 9.5 million teens and young adults ages 15 to 24 contract a sexually transmitted disease or infection each year. There are a lot of myths about who gets STDs and STIs, but despite what you have heard, anyone participating in any sexual activity is at risk. As college students, pregnancy is also something to think about when engaging in sexual activity. In the state of South Carolina, two-thirds of the unplanned teen pregnancies are among adolescents between the ages of 18 and 19 years old.

How can you protect yourself? To guard yourself from STDs and unwanted pregnancies, latex condoms offer the best protection. Polyurethane condoms can also be used if you have latex allergies. Although they do not offer a 100% guarantee, condoms do offer protection from most STDs and pregnancy if used consistently and correctly. The only 100% effective method is abstinence. Other contraceptive methods can be used to prevent pregnancy, such as oral contraceptives, NuvaRing, Depo-Provera, and many others. However, these methods only protect against pregnancy if used correctly and do not offer and protection against STDs. A combination of birth control along with another barrier method (such as condoms) should be used for the best protection. Student Health Services offers free condoms in the Thomson Student Health Center. The department also does presentations about sexual health for campus groups. To speak with the sexual health coordinator, call (803) 777-1835. Student Health Services Women’s Care offers a full range of contraceptive methods. To schedule an appointment, call (803) 777-3175.

A Cool Resource... If you ever find you need answers to tough sex questions after hours, the South Carolina Contraceptive Access Campaign has a resource designed for young adults. Text the word “SEXT” to 74574 to receive answers to questions about testing, STDs, contraception and other sexual health information.


Spring/Summer 2011 • Gamecock Health

Want to be featured in Gamecock Health? Has one of our services helped you? Are you a Student Health Services success story? We are looking for students who are willing to be photographed or share their experience with Student Health Services programs. E-mail your story to

You “like” staying healthy and you “like” the Gamecocks, but have you “liked” Student Health Services?

Find us on Facebook at

University of South Carolina Student Health Services and “Like” our page to stay up-to-date on what is happening on campus to help you stay healthy.

Student Health Services

Improving student success through healthy learning

Campus Wellness (803) 576-9393 (Students)/(803) 777-6518 (Staff) Counseling & Human Development Center (803) 777-5223 General Medicine Center (803) 777-3175 Allergy, Immunization & Travel Clinic (803) 777-9511 Pharmacy (803) 777-4890 Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention (803) 777-8248 Women’s Care (803) 777-3175

Student Health Services Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support The University of South Carolina is an equal opportunity institution.

Gamecock Health Spring Summer 2011  

Gamecock Health Spring Summer 2011

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you