Elizabeth Grasher: Highlighting the Health
Sophia Kobernusz-Gibbs, Staff Writer
Saint Martin’s University is a lush campus with so many amazing staff and faculty, creating a wonderful and sustainable learning environment. With so many departments to choose from, we will be focusing this issue on an individual from the Psychology department. That one such staff member is Elizabeth Grasher M.S., LMHC, LMFT.
Ms. Grasher has been with the university for four and a half years. She is an adjunct Psychology professor here at the university. She teaches many classes here at Saint Martin’s, one of them including PSY215: Lifespan Development. Ms. Grasher explained that in this class, which she teaches consistently, “you may find yourself interested in topics like nature versus nurture, language acquisition, or physical challenges we encounter as we age.” Ms. Grasher talks about her love for psychology and the community environment with the students. “I teach because I love psychology and sharing with students, not just knowledge from the classroom or the textbook, but I work to provide a sense of community in the classes. I want students to feel empowered and know that they are capable of learning both inside and outside of my classroom as they each bring different talents,” Grasher said. She always gives opportunities if students need help.
Ms. Grasher received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Troy State University Dothan in Alabama and her Master’s degree at Tarleton State University-Killen in Texas. When asked about getting her degree, Ms. Grasher said “attending universities outside of my home state of Washington allowed me the opportunity to see other states, focus on my studies, and make lifelong friendships across the country.” Even after moving around for her education, she found herself back in Washington. Ms. Grasher also works as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Mental Health counselor for Joint Base Lewis McChord. Ms. Grasher was drawn to psychology from her personal family experiences, from her grandmother and her parents, and her desire to take the opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives.
Ms. Grasher is involved both in the classroom and across campus. She is the faculty advisor for NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness, a new club on campus that started this past fall. Ms. Grasher said her work here, “focuses on improving the lives of those impacted by mental illness, both personally and among family members and friends. We advocate, educate, and listen to improve people’s lives.” This club also focuses on creating space for BIPOC students to talk about barriers within the mental health field. You can reach out to a club member or Grasher if you are interested!
When she is not teaching about the human lifespan, you may find her on Lewis McChord, or advocating for mental health with NAMI, or you’ll find Ms. Grasher on the yoga mat. She is a 200 RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) and almost a 300 RYT with an emphasis on trauma and social justice. When asked about her tech degree in yoga, Grasher explained, believing in yoga’s mind-body connection, and the benefits this type of movement provides, “Multiple peer-reviewed studies indicate that yoga, especially trauma sensitive-yoga, can help modulate the stress response and can be a great adjunct to talk therapy. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program.”