AlsakerEunie Alsaker has become an expert in a topic most people spend their lives trying to avoid.

Five years ago, Alsaker because a certified thanatologist, or a grief therapist, through the Association for Death Education and Counseling.

“Counseling people who have lost a loved one has become my passion and focus. Grief is hard anytime, anywhere, but there are unique challenges for young adults away at college,” Alsaker said. “I have tried to bring attention to this overlooked population and to highlight ways we can support these students.

Prior to coming to WSU as a counselor in 2003, Alsaker earned her master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of Wisconsin. She later worked as a family therapist in a community setting in a rural Wisconsin town.

Alsaker presented “A Wellness Approach to Grief,” at Winona Health’s Way to Wellness Expo, in partnership with WSU and other community organizations. In this seminar, Alsaker discussed the impact of grief and importance of self-care, exploring the many myths about grief and how to build bonds with those who have passed.

At WSU, Alsaker has created a series of anxiety management seminars and grief groups to further establish education about mental and emotional health for college students.

“The most rewarding and motivating part of my work is the connections I make with students,” Alsaker said. ”Every day I am grateful for the chance to do meaningful work, which centers on relationships and overcoming obstacles.

For more information on Alsaker contact University Communications at 507-457-5024.