View from Cluett photographed by Father Danny Lennox

“Maintaining a connection with each other — faculty to student, faculty to parents, students to students, parents to parents — is a benchmark of the Trinity-Pawling community,” began Katie Allen Berlandi, Dean of Counseling. “The Wellness Task Force allows us to keep these connections in a time of physical separateness.”

Trinity-Pawling’s Wellness Task Force was created at the start of the remote Spring Term, made up of Dean of Counseling Katie Berlandi, School Chaplain Father Danny Lennox, Director of the Center for Learning Achievement Roberta Lidl, Dean of Residential Life Dutch Keel, and Nursing Team Leader Tami Harrah. As a team, the Task Force’s main goal is to provide support, resources, and an open line of communication for students and parents during these uncertain times.

“As a community that studies, eats, plays, and lives together, we rely on connection and daily interactions to fuel our lives. One of the things that is so challenging about the times in which we are living is that those daily check-ins are curtailed by the isolation we are all experiencing,” shared Father Lennox. “The Task Force is a way to keep that sense of community and continue those essential social interactions.”

Roberta Lidl, Director of the Center for Learning Achievement, echoed the mission of the Task Force. “We know that creativity and opportunity can build bridges, especially when things become uncertain. The loss of daily interaction has created a void in our community and collectively, we want to bridge that gap.”

Each week, the Wellness Task Force offers the opportunity to “meet” in the Allen Reading and Writing Lab — virtually on Zoom. Students and parents are able to connect with a member of the Task Force to discuss their concerns, anxieties, and more. Sometimes, the team helps through collaboration and problem solving; other times, the solution is simply listening or celebrating even the smallest of victories. “Just being an ear to listen has been so helpful to several students and parents,” shared Dutch Keel. “Overall, we’re here to listen, reflect, and support. We’re all in this together.”

Although the Wellness Task Force was formally named this year, the concept behind it is certainly a familiar one. “The Task Force is just a new name for something Trinity-Pawling has always done: support one another and try to grow more fully into who we are designed to be,” concluded Father Lennox. “We hope students and parents can consider our team to be part of their extended families and a powerful resource as we navigate this Spring Term and beyond.”

by Emma Christiantelli

Photo by Father Danny Lennox