Along with a new waiting room, improved lighting and a fresh coat of paint, Duke's Counseling and Psychological Services has gained a new face in the past few months.
Gary Glass joined the CAPS staff in early August as senior coordinator of outreach and development programming.
Glass was appointed by a committee, which included Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, and CAPS Director Kathy Hollingsworth, who joined CAPS in July 2005.
Glass will be in charge of overseeing the organization and implementation of group therapy programs within CAPS, along with outside seminars on topics such as eating disorders and relationship problems.
He will also be responsible for serving as a liaison between CAPS and other campus organizations to develop collaborative programs or address concerns.
In his first semester on the job, Glass will focus mostly on evaluating campus culture and the particular mental health problems Duke students face, he explained.
He also hopes to improve and utilize the center's website, which has been neglected as a resource in past years.
Glass said he expects Duke students to face many of the same problems as students at other universities--problems such as isolation, intimacy concerns and community-building across racial and cultural boundaries.
"We have to make sure Duke students know themselves and ways to connect with each other--person to person, across race, gender and class lines," he said.
In the next few weeks, Glass will be meeting with student organizations, such as Healthy Devils. Through these meetings, he hopes to "get arms out in the community"--a strategy he sees as the key to making CAPS more approachable.
"Students have all the tools, they just haven't realized the tools are inside themselves," he said.
In preparation for the year, Glass has spent the past few weeks getting to know the University, analyzing the needs of CAPS and of students and holding regular sessions with patients.
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Glass said he is not overwhelmed with the imposing task before him.
"There's no way the work could kill me because while it takes energy, at the same time it gives me energy," he said.
Prior to moving to Durham, Glass taught at schools such as Tufts University, Georgia State University and Boston College.
He also managed his own practice for a few years in Atlanta but said he longed to be in a university environment again-leading led him to take the position at Duke.
"To me it was just a very alive campus," Glass explained.
He also pointed to the friendly and ambitious CAPS staff as another motivating factor for joining the University's staff.
"I'm amazed at how the vision Kathy Hollingsworth has about CAPS is very broad-based," he said.
"There's this phenomenal connection between CAPS and Student Affairs.... I met Dr. Moneta right away-in other schools I've worked at it would have been three weeks before I met with the vice president."
Glass added that the unique situation of having CAPS under the Division for Student Affairs facilitates this relationship and makes CAPS more than "just an office that helps kids with problems."