Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to sub-navigation

Get to Know ... Heather Horton, Director of the Wellness Resource Center

Get to Know ... Heather Horton, Director of the Wellness Resource Center

It’s appropriate that there’s an art to Heather Horton’s psychology – after all, Horton, the newly named director of CC’s Wellness Resource Center, majored in psychology but was one class shy of also being an art major.

Horton, who joined CC in 2005 as the college’s sexual assault response coordinator and therapist at the Colorado College Counseling Center, became the director of CC’s newly created Wellness Resource Center on July 1. She holds B.A. in psychology, magna cum laude, from the University of California, Davis, and a master’s and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Kent State University.

Horton has a talent for seeing the larger picture, a skill that will be useful in her new role. The nascent Wellness Resource Center will be the nucleus of a variety of interconnected health and wellness programs and will serve as the hub of campus-wide efforts to promote health and prevent health problems.

If that sounds like a broad canvas, it is. Among the areas the center will focus on are healthy relationships, healthy sexual engagement, alcohol and other substance use and abuse, mental health, stress management, and life balance – all important issues on a college campus. Her message to students and others: “We all have a responsibility to create the community we want to live in.”

More Heather Horton facts:

  • Husband Kyle works in the environmental remediation division of Shell Oil; son Spencer, 12, is a seventh-grader at Challenger Middle School
  • Enjoys camping and backpacking
  • Also enjoys home improvement projects and working in the yard
  • The almost-art degree comes into play often; Horton loves art and art projects, and currently is making a mosaic tabletop with glass tiles. “It’s a fun, creative outlet,” she says. “I like to do things; make things.”
  • Reading interests: Mysteries; also recently finished “Empires of Ice,” a book about Antarctica
  • Is a self-described “language nerd” and keeps the Oxford English Directory (the OED, to those in the know), close at hand
Show the long version of this story »

Full Story

“We want the program to serve as a holistic model of wellness,” Horton said. “We want there to be a connected, integrated program around wellness, where students can examine the choices they make and see how those choices impact their mental health.”

She emphasizes that the center is a collaborative effort across many areas of campus, from outdoor education and intramural sports – both great stress reducers, to the chaplains’ office, counseling center, and office of minority and international students. It involves working with residential life and R.A.s in the residence halls and creating bridges between academic classes and extra-curricular activities. She hopes to involve faculty members and tie in programming with their coursework.

Among the areas Horton hopes to focus on are mental health and the reduction of stigma about mental health issues. There are two new groups on campus that also offer support in this area, SPILL (Supporting Peers in Laidback Listening), an anonymous, online service (more information at www.studentspill.com or info@studentspill.com); and GROW, which deals with mental health, depression, eating disorders, and addiction issues, and meets at 8 p.m. Mondays in Sacred Grounds in Shove Memorial Chapel. “Both groups provide opportunities for students to see that they are not alone; that they can get support and referrals,” Horton said.

Horton also wants to focus on substance abuse, an area she dealt with in her previous position. Studies show that nationwide alcohol is involved in 50 to 90 percent of sexual assaults on college campuses, with use by the victim, the perpetuator, or both, she says. In her role as sexual assault response coordinator, Horton conducted trainings on sexual consent – and how alcohol plays into that. Her office helped host one wine and two beer dinners for students of age, in an effort to model healthy, responsible drinking.

Horton, like her peers on college campuses across the country, says that prevention messages, as well as health and wellness messages, must be consistent. “We need to promote the fact that interpersonal wellness is tied to community wellness,” she said.

More Heather Horton facts:

  • Husband Kyle works in the environmental remediation division of Shell Oil; son Spencer, 12, is a seventh-grader at Challenger Middle School
  • Enjoys camping and backpacking
  • Also enjoys home improvement projects and working in the yard
  • The almost-art degree comes into play often; Horton loves art and art projects, and currently is making a mosaic tabletop with glass tiles. “It’s a fun, creative outlet,” she says. “I like to do things; make things.”
  • Reading interests: Mysteries; also recently finished “Empires of Ice,” a book about Antarctica
  • Is a self-described “language nerd” and keeps the Oxford English Directory (the OED, to those in the know), close at hand