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Welcome to Mat-Su College!

You have chosen to embark on an exciting and challenging educational journey. There are many rewards and wonderful experiences just waiting for you along the way. At the same time, this journey can often be hectic, and sometimes you may feel a little lost, but there are many resources available to help you reach your destination – you’re not travelling alone!

Sophia, the Mat-Su College Arctic Dragon, is dedicated to the well-being of Mat-Su College students, staff, and faculty. In this passport, you will find a number of Dragon-approved events and activities specifically designed to help you cope with stress, rise to challenges, and take good care of yourself along the way. If you are preparing for a health-related career, many of these events will round out your academic preparation for working with clients or patients in the future.

So travel along with Sophia to the four destinations for well-being:

  • Awareness of good mental health for yourself and others
  • Balance between school, work, family, and self-care
  • Connection to campus, community, friends, and family
  • Off the Beaten Path, expanding your horizons by trying something new

Mat-Su College Journey activities and behavioral care services for students are supported by a Healthy Impact Grant from the Mat-Su Health Foundation.

Check the Journey website weekly for full activity descriptions and updates. All events are free.

Passports will be available in Academic Affairs, Student Services,  around campus, and at events. Good luck on your journey and best wishes for a happy and healthy semester!

Start Your Journey!

It’s easy to win: attend events, collect stamps, and then drop by the Academic Affairs Office with your passport after reaching each level for your next prize!

Limit one Passport per person.

Remember, when you attend a Dragon-approved event, make sure you get your passport stamped. Passports will not be stamped retroactively: You must collect your stamp at the event.


Dragon Approved Activities

 Click on the name of each month to see upcoming events.

August

August 25: Alaska Recovery Summit

  • 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Glenn Massay Theater (Awareness)

Alaskans face significant challenges in addressing substance abuse in their communities and providing support for recovery.  The summit will feature speakers, panel discussions, and a screening of the documentary Anonymous People. Attend all or part of the day as community members work together to improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities statewide affected by addiction.

Sponsored by THRIVE Mat-Su, Fiend 2 Clean, and Cook Inlet Tribal Council.

August 30: Community Drumming

  • Noon – 1:00 pm, Atrium (Connection)

Group drumming can reduce stress, rejuvenate, calm, and help develop right brain creativity. Drumming alone has healing power, but in a group, healing expands exponentially. For thousands of years, people have used the drum as a means of coming together to heal individuals and build communities. Drums provided and no musical ability required.

August 31: Community Drumming

  • Noon – 1:00 pm, Atrium (Connection)

Group drumming can reduce stress, rejuvenate, calm, and help develop right brain creativity. Drumming alone has healing power, but in a group, healing expands exponentially. For thousands of years, people have used the drum as a means of coming together to heal individuals and build communities. Drums provided and no musical ability required.

September

September 6: Start Now: Bones for Life

  • 9:00 – 10:15 am; or, 10:30 – 11:45 am, FSM 204 (Off the Beaten Path)

Whether you are 16 or 60, start today to build strong bones for the future. Learn safe, gentle, weight-bearing movements that will challenge your bones to be strong and sturdy while improving balance, coordination, posture, ease, and power in movement!

September 7: Mid-Day Meditations: Body Scan Meditation

  • Noon – 12:50 pm, FSM 200 (Balance)

Regular meditation practice can bring balance into a busy life by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression; improving focus and attention; and, reducing high blood pressure and risk of heart disease. Take a 50-minute meditation break and learn a new meditation technique each week.

September 8: Onward and Upward! – Outdoor Leadership & Expedition Behavior

  • 2:00 – 4:00 pm, FSM 112A (Off the Beaten Path)

Are you planning any big outdoor expeditions around Alaska or a simple overnight camping trip or even small day hike? Come out and join us to learn about basic outdoor leadership and expedition behavior. We’ll cover the essentials of how to effectively plan and carry out a fun, safe outing with a managed risk approach.

Equipment will be provided.  These are outdoor activities.  Participants should dress appropriately for the weather and bring water and snacks.

September 12: Community Drumming

  • Noon – 1:00 pm, Atrium (Connection)

Group drumming can reduce stress, rejuvenate, calm, and help develop right brain creativity. Drumming alone has healing power, but in a group, healing expands exponentially. For thousands of years, people have used the drum as a means of coming together to heal individuals and build communities. Drums provided and no musical ability required.

September 13: Start Now: Bones for Life

  • 9:00 – 10:15 am; or, 10:30 – 11:45 am, FSM 204 (Off the Beaten Path)

Whether you are 16 or 60, start today to build strong bones for the future. Learn safe, gentle, weight-bearing movements that will challenge your bones to be strong and sturdy while improving balance, coordination, posture, ease, and power in movement!

September 13: Mid-Day Meditations: Mindful Breathing Meditation

  • Noon – 12:50 pm, FSM 200 (Balance)

Regular meditation practice can bring balance into a busy life by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression; improving focus and attention; and, reducing high blood pressure and risk of heart disease. Take a 50-minute meditation break and learn a new meditation technique each week!

September 14: Community Drumming

  • Noon – 1:00 pm, Atrium (Connection)

Group drumming can reduce stress, rejuvenate, calm, and help develop right brain creativity. Drumming alone has healing power, but in a group, healing expands exponentially. For thousands of years, people have used the drum as a means of coming together to heal individuals and build communities. Drums provided and no musical ability required.

September 15: Research-Based Learning Skills

  • Noon – 2:00 pm, SNOD 117 (Balance)

Do you read and re-read the textbook and still not remember what it says?  Come and learn effective, research-based strategies to make learning stick!

September 18: Mid-Day Meditations: Guided Meditation

  • Noon – 12:50 pm, FSM 200 (Balance)

Regular meditation practice can bring balance into a busy life by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression; improving focus and attention; and, reducing high blood pressure and risk of heart disease. Take a 50-minute meditation break and learn a new meditation technique each week!

September 20: Start Now: Bones for Life

  • 9:00 – 10:15 am; or, 10:30 – 11:45 am, FSM 204 (Off the Beaten Path)

Whether you are 16 or 60, start today to build strong bones for the future. Learn safe, gentle, weight-bearing movements that will challenge your bones to be strong and sturdy while improving balance, coordination, posture, ease, and power in movement!

September 20: Break for Art! – Alcohol Ink Painting

  • 10:00 am – 5:00 pm , FSM 208 (Off the Beaten Path)

It’s true: 45 minutes of creative activity significantly lessens stress in the body, regardless of artistic experience or talent.  Making art is good for the body, mind and soul.   Drop into the art studio to make a small project and take a stress break.

September 27: Let’s Talk: Strategies for Engaging in Difficult Conversations

  • 10:30 – 11:45 am or 1:00 – 2:15 pm, FSM 205 (Awareness)

How do we talk about critical issues like race, class, and gender relations with those who have differing opinions? How d we respectfully grapple with issues such as gun control, gay marriage, institutional racism, and climate change? Join us to learn several strategies to engage in civil, but effective dialogue – even when others don’t agree.

September 28: Thoughtful Thursdays – Parenting: Parenting with a plan

  • Noon – 1:00 pm, FSM 200 (Awareness)

Being a parent is tough work, especially when you aren’t sure how to best address difficulties that arise.  For problematic behavior, poor grades, unhealthy use of technology (or anything else), you can have a plan! come learn some foundational guidelines to build a positive, practical system in your home.

September 29: Farm to Table Cooking Classes, Asian-Inspired

  • 11:30 am – 1:00 pm, MSC Cafe, (Off the Beaten Path)

We all know that Alaskan vegetables and other farm products are just fresher and taste better, but when we buy local, we’re also keeping jobs and money in our community. The Mat-Su is currently at the center of the locally-grown food movement, and here’s your chance to learn how to cook some delicious and nutritious dishes using fresh ingredients from right here in the Valley. Join us to cook (and eat) a new theme each class!

September 29: Onward and Upward! – Navigation

  • 2:00 – 4:00 pm, FSM 112A (Off the Beaten Path)

Have you ever been lost in the woods? If you have, you know it isn’t a fun experience. If you haven’t, we don’t recommend it. Please join us for a fun way to learn the essentials of navigation in the Alaska outdoors.

Equipment will be provided.  These are outdoor activities.  Participants should dress appropriately for the weather and bring water and snacks.

October

October 3: Take a Stand

  • 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, FSM 208 (Awareness)

October is Domestic Violence Month. Drop into the art studio and take a few minutes to make a statement about respect and non-violence on a shirt! Then, hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of domestic violence.  Supplies, including t-shirts, provided.

October 5: National Depression Screening Day-Take the BDI

  • 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, or 4:00 – 5:00 pm, Atrium  (Balance)

Depression is one of the most common mental health diagnoses in America. Many individuals may be experiencing depression and not realize the help that is available to relieve the symptoms and address underlying causes. Have you ever wondered if you could be experiencing symptoms of depression? Evaluate depression in your life by taking a five-minute, completely confidential survey.

October 9: Community Drumming

  • Noon – 1:00 pm, Atrium (Connection)

Group drumming can reduce stress, rejuvenate, calm, and help develop right brain creativity. Drumming alone has healing power, but in a group, healing expands exponentially. For thousands of years, people have used the drum as a means of coming together to heal individuals and build communities. Drums provided and no musical ability required.

October 12: Community Drumming

  • Noon – 1:00 pm, Atrium (Connection)

Group drumming can reduce stress, rejuvenate, calm, and help develop right brain creativity. Drumming alone has healing power, but in a group, healing expands exponentially. For thousands of years, people have used the drum as a means of coming together to heal individuals and build communities. Drums provided and no musical ability required.

October 13: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Training

  • 9:00 – 10:30 am, FSM 204 (Awareness)

According to the CDC, childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on lifelong health and opportunity. Learn about the research and implications for individuals, parents, health care providers, and educators.

October 18: Break for Art! – Finger Painting for Grown Ups

  • 10:00 am – 5:00 pm , FSM 208 (Off the Beaten Path)

It’s true: 45 minutes of creative activity significantly lessens stress in the body, regardless of artistic experience or talent.  Making art is good for the body, mind and soul.   Drop into the art studio to make a small project and take a stress break.

October 20: Trauma-Informed Practice

  • 9:00 – 10:30 am, FSM 204 (Awareness)

Many adults have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience (ACES). In this workshop, you will learn basic techniques for working from a trauma-sensitive framework that can improve your effectiveness and improve client outcomes.

October 23: Tai Chi

  • Noon – 12:50 PM, Glenn Massay Theater (Balance)

Tai Chi has been referred to as “meditation in motion”. It is a noncompetitive martial art known for both its defense techniques and its health benefits. The regular practice of Tai Chi can strengthen muscles, improve balance, and reduce stress.

October 25: Healthy Relationships Panel Discussion

  • 6:00 pm, FSM 202 (Awareness)

Can you identify characteristics of a healthy relationship? Do you know how to set boundaries? Join us in a discussion to understand what healthy and unhealthy relationships look like. Gain new tools to foster healthy relationships and a healthy you!

October 26: Thoughtful Thursdays – Health Relationships: Principles that make relationships work

  • 5:30-6:30 pm, FSM 200 (Awareness)

What does research say are common traits to romantic relationships that last? Does your relationship have some elements that are hindering growth and intimacy? Come and learn some practical, research-based steps to make your relationship even better!

October 27: Farm to Table Cooking Classes, Taste of Mexico

  • 11:30 am – 1:00 pm, MSC Cafe, (Off the Beaten Path)

We all know that Alaskan vegetables and other farm products are just fresher and taste better, but when we buy local, we’re also keeping jobs and money in our community. The Mat-Su is currently at the center of the locally-grown food movement, and here’s your chance to learn how to cook some delicious and nutritious dishes using fresh ingredients from right here in the Valley. Join us to cook (and eat) a new theme each class!

October 27: Onward and Upward! – Geocaching

  • 2:00 – 4:00 pm, FSM 112A (Off the Beaten Path)

Want to learn how to use a GPS? Take your navigation skills to the next level and step outside for a fun GPS class while learning the exciting sport of Geocaching. It’s a fun way to get out, explore, and find little treasures!

Equipment will be provided.  These are outdoor activities.  Participants should dress appropriately for the weather and bring water and snacks.

November

November 1: Tai Chi

  • Noon – 12:50 PM, Glenn Massay Theater (Balance)

Tai Chi has been referred to as “meditation in motion”. It is a noncompetitive martial art known for both its defense techniques and its health benefits. The regular practice of Tai Chi can strengthen muscles, improve balance, and reduce stress.

November 6: Public Health Screenings

  • 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Atrium (Balance)

Nurses from the Mat-Su Public Health Center will provide resources and self-assessment screening tools for identifying behavioral health concerns contributing to Domestic Violence (DV), substance abuse (Alcohol, tobacco, recreational and prescription drug use), STDs, risky behaviors and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)/Resiliency. Confidential consults will be available.

November 7: Heyi Niltu – Alaska Native Heritage Month Celebration

  • 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, Glenn Massay Theater (Connection)

Join us as we celebrate the history, traditions, and many contributions of Alaska Natives and American Indian Cultures.

November 7: Public Health Screenings

  • 3:30 – 5:30 pm, Atrium (Balance)

Nurses from the Mat-Su Public Health Center will provide resources and self-assessment screening tools for identifying behavioral health concerns contributing to Domestic Violence (DV), substance abuse (Alcohol, tobacco, recreational and prescription drug use), STDs, risky behaviors and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)/Resiliency. Confidential consults will be available.

November 9: Tai Chi

  • Noon – 12:50 PM, Glenn Massay Theater (Balance)

Tai Chi has been referred to as “meditation in motion”. It is a noncompetitive martial art known for both its defense techniques and its health benefits. The regular practice of Tai Chi can strengthen muscles, improve balance, and reduce stress.

November 10: Farm to Table Cooking Classes, Italian Inspired

  • 11:30 am – 1:00 pm, MSC Cafe, (Off the Beaten Path)

We all know that Alaskan vegetables and other farm products are just fresher and taste better, but when we buy local, we’re also keeping jobs and money in our community. The Mat-Su is currently at the center of the locally-grown food movement, and here’s your chance to learn how to cook some delicious and nutritious dishes using fresh ingredients from right here in the Valley. Join us to cook (and eat) a new theme each class!

November 13: Community Drumming

  • Noon – 1:00 pm, Atrium (Connection)

Group drumming can reduce stress, rejuvenate, calm, and help develop right brain creativity. Drumming alone has healing power, but in a group, healing expands exponentially. For thousands of years, people have used the drum as a means of coming together to heal individuals and build communities. Drums provided and no musical ability required.

November 14: Community Drumming

  • Noon – 1:00 pm, Atrium (Connection)

Group drumming can reduce stress, rejuvenate, calm, and help develop right brain creativity. Drumming alone has healing power, but in a group, healing expands exponentially. For thousands of years, people have used the drum as a means of coming together to heal individuals and build communities. Drums provided and no musical ability required.

November 15: Break for Art! – Chinese Brush Painting

  • 10:00 am – 5:00 pm , FSM 208 (Off the Beaten Path)

It’s true: 45 minutes of creative activity significantly lessens stress in the body, regardless of artistic experience or talent.  Making art is good for the body, mind and soul.   Drop into the art studio to make a small project and take a stress break.

November 16: Building Resiliency Panel Discussion

  • 6:00 pm, FSM 202 (Awareness)

Social support, self-care, spirituality. What do these words have in common? They are different forms of resilience. Panelists will discuss creative forms of resilience and teach you ways to bounce back from life’s ups and downs through building up your resiliency.

November 30: Thoughtful Thursdays – Stress & Relaxation: Dealing with unnecessary stress.

  • Noon – 1:00 pm, FSM 200 (Awareness)

Getting rid of, and recovering from, unnecessary stress. Stress is a daily part of life for most of us, but why is that? And does it have to be? Come join us as we review how stress affects the body and learn simple tips to be free from the strain of stress. Everyone is encouraged to bring their best anti-stress tip to share (if you have one)!

December

December 1: Onward and Upward! – Snowshoeing

  • 2:00 – 4:00 pm, FSM 112A (Off the Beaten Path)

Time to crawl out of hibernation mode and get outside to enjoy the fluffy white stuff! Snowshoeing is a great way to explore areas around Alaska you normally can’t get to in summer because it’s too overgrown or there are too many mosquitoes. If you have never tried it, now is the time! If you have done it before, come on out and help others learn to enjoy this fun winter sport.

Equipment will be provided.  These are outdoor activities.  Participants should dress appropriately for the weather and bring water and snacks.

Additional Dragon Approved Activities

In addition to the monthly activities above, you can earn a stamp by:

  • attending a FAFSA Friday or UAA scholarship workshop
  • using MSC math or writing tutoring services, JKB 107
  • attending a Math Cram Jam session
  • attending a library information session
  • meet with a career counselor in Student Services (call 745-9762 for an appointment)

Mat-Su College Student Government Council Meetings

Get involved and let your voice be heard! The Student Government Council is a student-run and administered body which provides a voice for student interests and concerns, with an aim at providing a friendly and healthy environment for any and all students campus-wide.

Wednesdays, 11:50am-12:50pm, FSM 105


Collect Your Prizes

PRIZE CATEGORIES

Bring your Passport to JKB 133 when you have collected:

  • 5 stamps: Get an MSC Breaktime Café Coupon (while supplies last)
  • 6 stamps: Get a MSC Bookstore Gift Card (while supplies last)
  • 7 stamps: Enter the drawing to win a Jan Sport All-Purpose Backpack (Deadline to enter the drawing: November 3, 2017. One entry per person.)
  • 8-10 stamps: Enter the drawing to win a REI Gift Certificate (Deadline to enter the drawing: December 8, 2017. One entry for each stamp 8 or over, limit 3 entries per person.)

PRIZE LIST

30 MSC Breaktime Café Food Coupons ($10 value)

20 MSC Bookstore Gift Cards ($24 value)

5 Jan Sport All Purpose Backpacks

3 REI Gift Certificates ($50 value)

Remember, when you attend a Dragon-approved event, make sure you get your passport stamped. Passports will not be stamped retroactively: You must collect your stamp at the event.