Arts and Living Editor
Professor Neeru Deep sits at the desk in her office, her eyes welcoming above her mask. The office has a comfortable atmosphere that seems to be intended to make her students feel at home.
“It’s like a big family for me. NSU, yes, I call it NSU family,” Deep said. “We have a very supportive and very positive environment here, so that’s what I like about it.”
Dr. Susan Thorson-Barnett, chair for the Department of Psychology and Addiction Studies, has been working with Deep at Northwestern State University for nearly 20 years.
“She’s very involved with the community, she’s very involved with several of the academic sororities on campus, so she is a very dedicated faculty member,” Barnett said. “She’s also working on her doctorate. She’s in her third year, so she has a couple of years to go.”
Deep oversees the General Psychology course at NSU. Dr. Barnett says that Deep monitors anywhere from 20 to 25 sections per semester. On top of that, Deep also teaches classes in the Department of Mathematics.
“Several years ago, she was given Academic Advisor of the Year. So, she has that award, that was just such a strength. She is very focused on her students,” Dr. Barnett said.
While working on her doctorate, the COVID-19 pandemic inspired Deep to create a resource for students to help them maintain a positive outlook.
“She created the Center for Positivity, Well-being and Hope,” Dr. Barnett said. “This whole center, the focus is on our strengths, success, positive psychology.”
Deep spoke to NSU President Dr. Maggio, Dean of Education and Human Development Dr. McAlister, Dr. Barnett and Dean of the Graduate School Dr. Handel about her idea and they supported her. Many faculty members, staff and students helped Deep with this project.
“I was thinking about how our students will feel. They will be lonely, right? They will be in a confined space,” Deep said. “So then, I thought, okay, let me develop something that can help them, so I started working on that.”
The Center for Positivity, Well-being and Hope is an online resource where students can access inspirational and positive art and music, as well as information on physical, mental and spiritual health.
“Her cardinal value, or personality trait, is that she’s passionate about students learning and being successful. She will go the extra mile, two miles, for the student,” Dr. Barnett said.
As Deep continues working on her doctorate, her goal is to further develop the Center for Positivity, Well-being and Hope, as students continue to cope with COVID-19.
“I want to spread the Center for Positivity, Well-being and Hope. That is my immediate goal,” Deep said. “I always say healthy mind, healthy body, so our students can reach their full potential. That is my goal right now.”
Students can access the Center for Positivity, Well-being and Hope at www.nsula.edu/positivity.