Arcadia Counseling Services Launches Four Weekly Student Support Groups

By Ryan Hiemenz | February 16, 2024

Arcadia University’s Counseling Services kicked off February with four new student support groups: Queer Space, the College Survival Squad, Voices of Resilience, and the Physician Assistant School group. Each group is led by a different staff member from Counseling Services specializing in the topic of their respective group.

The Queer Space support group, which meets on Fridays at 11 a.m. in the Heinz Hall Conference Room, is a space dedicated to conversations to help students explore and discuss topics related to LGBTQIA+ identities and gender with queer counselors. The group is led by Kris Burke, a counseling intern with Counseling Services who is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling psychology at Temple University.

“As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I feel that it is important to create an intentional space for students to discuss topics related to their identity,” said Burke. “I joined with Cynthia Rutherford, one of the staff therapists, to work on this group because we wanted to have a space for LGBTQIA+ students to meet with queer counselors. I hope that this group will be a positive, safe space for conversations about LGBTQIA+ identity and that it will help students on campus find connections and community.”

The College Survival Squad support group meets at 3 p.m. on Mondays in the Heinz Hall Conference Room. This group assists students in navigating the pressures of college life and provides them with strategies for handling stress and managing their time. The group is led by counseling intern, Evelyn Sidelinker, MS, who is in the fourth year of her doctorate in clinical psychology at Chestnut Hill College. 

The Voices of Resilience support group is a space dedicated to victims of sexual harassment and assault. The group provides a safe, confidential environment for healing, self-care, and connection with others with similar experiences. The Voices of Resilience group meets on Fridays from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Heinz Hall Conference Room and is led by assistant director of counseling/training coordinator, Erica Warshawer, LCSW. Warshawer has extensive training in trauma-informed interventions and supporting people who have experienced childhood trauma and adults and young adults who have experienced trauma such as sexual violence and assault.

“Unfortunately, there is always a need, regardless of age or location, for there to be support services for those who have experienced sexual assault and/or violence,” said Warshawer. “The purpose of the group is to cultivate a sense of connectedness by sharing resources and exploring experiences of challenge and resilience to support participants as they process and move through this experience.”

The PA School support group, led by Anastasia Checchio, MS, is a supportive space for students to learn to thrive while in PA school at Arcadia. Checchio is a pre-doctoral intern completing the fourth year of her doctorate program at Chestnut Hill College. Students who are interested in attending the PA School support group should email Checchio for more details.