SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Dr. John Lefebvre, professor of psychology, and Dr. Patrick Whitfill, assistant professor of English, wanted to capture the different ways resilience is found on Wofford College’s campus, and once captured, they wanted to share.
This fall, Lefebvre and Whitfill and their team shared with first-year students the results of the Resilience Project — a book of stories collected from students, faculty and alumni during the spring semester. The anonymous stories from the Wofford community focused on facing and overcoming challenges.
“What we want students to get from this collection is the knowledge that they are not alone,” Whitfill says.
To gather the stories and complete the work, Lefebvre and Whitfill assembled a team of four students (two from the English department and two from the psychology department) as project coordinators.
“With their insights and ability to break down certain barriers with their peers, we were able to get more students to share their stories,” says Lefebvre. “Ultimately, it’s about students helping students.”
Megan Dempsey, project coordinator and a senior psychology major from Travelers Rest, S.C., and Brazil, always has been intrigued about how individual experiences are defining. “I am passionate about this project because our unique stories are what make us different, but sharing those stories also can bring us together,” she says. “When you read about someone getting through a challenging time, you know that you can, too.”
Project coordinator Abby Logue agrees. “Obstacles come in every walk of life. Students, alumni, faculty … we can all relate to each other and our struggles. Abby Logue, a senior English major with a minor in studio art from Birmingham, Ala., working on the Resilience Project is a way to give back to the Wofford community. “This project is an honest response to difficult issues that college students face, big and small. It gives people who feel silenced a voice.”
Students who worked on the initial project and book include 2019 graduates Abbey Brasington and Cam Jackson. Other members of the 2019-20 Resilience Project team are Margaret Roach, a junior psychology major from Concord, N.C., and Alisa Rogers, a sophomore English major from Pomaria, S.C.
The Resilience Project team is working on a second volume and is looking for additions to the collection. To submit a story, visit Wofford.edu/resilience.