Students help make the world a warmer place

A group of UWM students in Educational Psychology spent their winter break making blankets for patients at Rogers Behavioral Health. Rogers treats a number of behavioral and mental health challenges; the blankets went to the eating disorder unit.

Vittoria Sipone

“The patients in our Eating Disorder Recovery program really appreciate the donation of blankets,” said Linda Schieble, Rogers Behavioral Health Foundation special events coordinator. “Clinical staff tells me that patients with an eating disorder can experience low body temp, so they really enjoy the blankets.”

A number of students in the Educational Psychology counseling program complete their practicum hours at Rogers Behavioral Health. So when Jackie Nguyen, associate professor and the Educational Psychology Student Association faculty advisor, became aware of the opportunity, they decided to pitch in and help.

Mikaely Schmitz

A community member donated fleece, and 10 students from different program areas in the department cut and tied them into 20 blankets. Other students joined the project by buying supplies to make the blankets on their own or donated funds to purchase blankets.

“It sounded like a cozy, relaxing activity to do on a cold January day,” said student Vittoria Sipone.

“We cut and tied while we talked and socialized and did dissertation planning,” added Mikaely Schmitz.

Some of the blankets that UWM educational psychology students made.

Both Schmitz and Sipone are working on their doctorates in cognitive and developmental sciences. They are in a cohort together, which has been mostly virtual this year, but because they do regular COVID-19 testing and have been following CDC precautions, they felt safe in getting together in person. They spent the day on Schmitz’s living room floor cutting and tying together 11 blankets and enjoying a few refreshments.

“It was a great way to start the new year,” said Sipone.

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