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Rice lectures on nurturing resilience

Kathleen Rice delivers a lecture about nurturing and resiliency in Valders 206.

Kathleen Rice delivers a lecture about nurturing and resiliency in Valders 206.

Piper Wood (‘21) | Chips

Piper Wood (‘21) | Chips

Kathleen Rice delivers a lecture about nurturing and resiliency in Valders 206.

Piper Wood, Staff Writer

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University of South Dakota Division Chair of Counseling and Psychology in Education and Associate Professor of Counselor Education Kathleen Brown Rice delivered the lecture “Understanding and Nurturing Resiliency” in Valders 206 on March 13. The neuroscience and social work departments sponsored the lecture.

Rice’s lecture focused on the neuroscience of stress, resiliency in adolescents, and how those functions are affected by cross-generational trauma and substance abuse. Rice discussed factors that negatively influence resilience in adolescents such as poverty and discrimination. In her lecture, Rice offered strategies to enhance adolescent resiliency through external factors like self-care and authentic interest.

“When we marginalize people and we make them feel less than us, [we] affect their health — it affects their resiliency,” Rice said. “When you want to hear their story, that fosters resilience.”

Piper Wood (‘21) | Chips
Kathleen Rice talks with Madi Brauer (’19) during a dinner organized for biology and social work majors.

According to Rice, internal factors that positively affect resiliency include encouraging uniqueness, self-regulating, and understanding adolescent triggers.

“Sometimes we have to think outside of the box,” Rice said. “What’s the best way to help them?”

Carina Hansen (‘21) appreciated the learning opportunities that Rice provided.

Hansen also thought the information was  applicable across disciplines and hopes to see an adoption of Rice’s external strategies in the education department at Luther.

“Since Rice was talking about specifically building resilience in children, I think it would be really cool to take this forward into teaching,” Hansen said. “The lecture had good material to help kids who are struggling.”

The lecture brought together students and faculty across major disciplines. Assistant Professor of Biology Stephanie J.B. Fretham said she wanted to bring Rice to campus after listening to a lecture by Rice at a neuroscience conference.

Rice also delivered guest lectures in social work courses at Luther during her visit, and hosted a dinner with biology and social work majors before her lecture.

Social work major Jana Mueller (‘19) attended classes and the dinner discussion with Rice. She is looking forward to applying Rice’s research methods in her own social work research.

“It was a different way of looking at social work,” Mueller said. “[Rice] incorporates different elements with the brain. She talked a lot in our class about cultural competence in research and that is something we are trying to focus on more in our research methods class. It gave me things to think about for my own research this semester.” 

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