The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Cochran retires, new psychologist hired

Karen Cochran poses for a last portrait for the S&B outside of the South Forum. - Cait De Mott Grady

Russell K. Osgood is not the only important figure to leave our midst at the end of this school year—after serving the Grinnell community for 22 years, Director of Health Services Karen Cochran will be retiring at the end of this school year.

“I think it’s a good time in my life to retire,” Cochran said. “I do a lot of things outside of work and it feels like the right time.”

Cochran announced her retirement to the college on August 10, 2009, prior to the start of the new academic year. Though Cochran and her caring demeanor will be missed, the administration decided to utilize this opportunity to implement some changes to the College’s Health Center. Starting next year, the Health Center will not only acquire a replacement for Cochran, but will also add new position as well.

The College has hired Stephanie Brown to take on the responsibility of being the Director and Lead Psychologist of Health Services.
“It’s the model they decided to set up now because of Grinnell [College] getting its own Mental Health Services instead of staying in the contract with Powesheik [County],” Cochran said.

According to the media releases emailed to the Grinnell student body in late April, Brown hails from the University of Arlington at Texas, and wields a Ph.D. in Adult Clinical Psychology from the University of Georgia. She additionally holds a B.S. and M.S. in General Psychology from the University of Illinois and California State University, Los Angeles.

As stated in the press release, Brown believes that “growing the program will allow us to tailor the services we provide to meet the specific needs of Grinnell students.”

Alongside the arrival of Brown, there will be newly established mental health counseling that will be offered directly from the Health Center itself.

Some students strongly believe the campus would directly benefit from having a fully-staffed mental health services.

“I think that [mental health services] is a valuable resource,” said Scott Klas ’13. “It should be here.”

Klas was not the only Grinnellian who believed that mental health services should already be incorporated in the health services of the College.

“That would be amazing,” said Hanan Romodan ’13. “Especially since a lot of first years need this kind of resource.”
Romodan addressed the fact that the transition to academic and social culture of Grinnell can be intimidating. By hiring a lead psychologist, the Health Center can start to more effectively address this issue in the coming years.

“All of [the students] need someone to talk to, to talk about their classes,” Romodan said. “A lot of [them are] frustrated and lonely.”
Cochran has frequently been asked why she has chosen to stay at Grinnell for such a large part of her career.

“Whenever someone asks me why I’ve been here so long, I always say ‘I love the students,’” Cochran said. “The students are wonderful here. It has always been the students.”

In light of Cochran’s retirement, all of the nurses and administration within the Health Center will be organizing a retirement party for Cochran. The reception will be open to all students and will be held on May 17 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Stephanie Brown could not be reached for comment.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *