Frances Mantak (she/her) began working at Olin during Family Weekend. She is our new Director of Wellness (as you may have guessed by the title of this article).
Her main role in our community is to be a resource to support the physical and mental health of our student body. Her job involves both supporting us directly as well as educating us on how to support ourselves. She is what one could call a “Public Health Nerd.”
She was drawn to our community because of the features that make the school different from others she had worked at. Features such as the small size, the solely undergraduate focus, the sense that someone could really get to know people here. Moreover, she was attracted by the potential for a single person to have a large positive impact.
Since coming here, Frances has confirmed a lot of her expectations, and in a concrete and tangible way. She’s excited to learn what else this community contains.
On any college campus, relationships and friendships can be challenging. “That must be especially hard at Olin,” she says, “so I want to help students navigate relationships in healthy ways.” One way to do that is to have compassion for yourself. Self-compassion is an effective method of helping with all kinds of stress, conflict and mental health concerns. Frances enjoys giving presentations on this topic and wants everyone to know that you can find lots of resources at www.self-compassion.org. Simply put, self-compassion means “giving ourselves the same care we would a close friend.”
Frances’ dog Max wants you to know that if some snuggling would lower your stress levels, he’s here for you. Her foster-fail kitten, Dr. Marmalade, isn’t available for visits because of her busy medical practice, but she’ll gladly share some of the Dr.’s gorgeous photos to make you smile.
Stay in school!