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Rogers State University Associate Professor of Psychology and Sociology Dr. Sonya Munsell has actively led RSU’s chapter of the National Eating Disorder Association. Her passion for wellness has helped RSU initiate a Campus Warrior team, a student group raising awareness for eating disorders on campuses across the country. RSU is the first university in Oklahoma to become a Warrior Campus.

“This is an exciting achievement for our university. Our student Campus Warriors will gain valuable leadership experience and play a central role in raising awareness for eating disorders on campus and in our Claremore community,” Munsell said.

NEDA is a non-profit organization devoted to preventing eating disorders, providing treatment referrals, and increasing the education and understanding of eating disorders, weight and body image.

Eating disorders among college-age students across the globe has more than doubled. The pandemic has also brought new challenges for people who have eating disorders and for the treatment providers as well. Each year RSU students, faculty and staff take part in the NEDA walk to raise money for education, prevention, advocacy and support programs.

“Thirty million Americans struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Through NEDA walks, critical funds are being raised, hope is being restored and the conversation is changing in a positive way,” Munsell said.

Autumn Rosenthal, a senior psychology and sociology major from Owasso, said it’s crucial for a college campus to have resources and a support system available for the health and wellness of all students.

“Eating disorders often begin in high school and early college. This program fills a need for the student body and raises awareness for our campus community,” Rosenthal said.

Last year Dr. Munsell introduced NEDA’s scale smashing event, which was a moving demonstration for participants.

“The scale smash was very symbolic. It was emotional seeing the relief on people's faces after smashing the scale,” Rosenthal said. “Each participant was able to get rid of something that so many people associate with negativity. It was absolutely beautiful and inspiring.”

Any RSU student can register to join the Campus Warrior team. A Campus Warrior kick-off event will be held on September 27 at 5:30 p.m. on the Claremore campus.

To sign up as an RSU Campus Warrior, email Dr. Munsell at smunsell@rsu.edu. For more information about the psychology and sociology department or its programs and events, visit www.rsu.edu/ps.

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