Financial issues loomed large among the 60 referrals made to Holstrom’s office last year. In one case, a student couldn’t afford books for a class, and Holstrom was able to funnel scholarship funds her way.
In another case, a professor referred a student to Holstrom after the student missed a morning class for two weeks. Holstrom discovered that the student was working three jobs, one of which extended into the early morning hours.
Other issues have ranged from homelessness and food pantry needs to anxiety issues, she said.
“I haven’t had a student yet say, ‘It’s none of your business,’” she said. “They’ve all been very grateful. They’ve been surprised that somebody cares.”
Holstrom’s office is now distributing the email account for A&S students to use. She realizes doing so could result in a flurry of referral requests, but says the initiative is simply part of the college’s mission of showing students it cares.
“This is one way we can show students that our hearts and heads are aligned,” she said. “Our college truly cares.”