Integrating Resilient Mindsets into International Student Advising

In this webinar, Dr. Diana Brecher, Scholar in Residence of Ryerson Student Affairs and Arif Abu, Coordinator and DLI-R of Ryerson Student Support will present how ThriveRU seeks to encourage student excellence by fostering mental wellbeing. This webinar will also discuss how Ryerson ISS is infusing the 5 factors models of thriving in international student advising.

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Ryerson International Student Support has introduced a personal development framework of advising to ensure international students have intentional, developmental interactions with their International Student Advisor (ISA). The Personal Development framework of Advising allows the advisors to get to know all new international students within the first six weeks of class. Using Bloom and Martin’s Appreciative Advising model, Martin Seligman’s PERMA- positive psychology, and Ryerson’s ThriveRU model, ISAs ask positive, open ended questions to assist students in identifying and clarifying their goals. Discussing the five core elements of psychological well-being and happiness, students are empowered to thrive, especially when they experience challenges in achieving their goals. In a recent study, 90 percent of respondents reported that they were very satisfied with their appointments with their ISAs and interested in incorporating at least some of the five factors of resilience that are central to the ThriveRU model in their lives.

About the Presenters

Dr. Diana Brecher is a clinical psychologist who has been with Ryerson’s Centre for Student Development and Counselling (CSDC) since 1991. In addition to her clinical work, Diana has been supervising interns in the CSDC Practicum and Internship Training program since its inception twenty years ago. As adjunct faculty in the Ryerson Psychology Department she is currently teaching a graduate course CBT for Masters level students.

Diana’s long-standing interest and certification in Positive Psychology led to a year-long secondment to the ThriveRU program within Student Affairs. Her current role is to train students, faculty, and staff in her 5 Factor Model of Resilience. Diana’s long term goal is to infuse Ryerson University’s programming, services and curriculum with principles of resilience and flourishing and to help facilitate a cultural change within the university.

Arif Abu is the Coordinator of International Student Support office of Ryerson University. Arif oversaw the completion of the Speaking Your Language program, funded by the Ontario government, a tri-campus initiative intended to learn more about how to address the unique mental health needs of our international students

His knowledge on the experience of international students comes from firsthand experience as well as his academic studies at the University of Windsor (MA in Political Science and BA with honors in International Relations and Development Studies). In 2013, Arif was awarded North Star Emerging Leader in International Education by the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE).

Arif is the Co-Chair of Internationalization of Student Affairs CoP of CACUSS and the founder of INTL a professional network of CBIE dedicated in building next generation of international educators.