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Large group of students celebrating graduation, Winter 2018

Alexis Rice

Alexis Rice smiling in a black sweater with a white shirt
Coordinator of Campus Prevention Trainings

Counseling and Psychological Services

Rice, Student Affairs Rookie of the Year, is Teaching People How to Care 

By Teagan Welch, Assistant Director of Communications for Student Affairs

In less than two years of working at UNC Charlotte, Alexis Rice is already being recognized for her outstanding contributions to the Health and Wellbeing department.

Rice administers and plans multiple programs for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), including Mental Health First Aid, Play Day, and Suicide Prevention Week. Her efforts in these programs have earned her the 2023-2024 Rookie of the Year Award for the division of student affairs. 

“It feels amazing,” Rice said. “Seeing that gratitude definitely helps me to continue to push the work that I do even further.”

Rice and her team work to plan events at least one semester ahead of their scheduled run time. She said it all starts with an idea, then they connect with students, see their feedback and adjust accordingly. This year, a majority of the programs Rice helped administer had huge turnouts. 

“Suicide Prevention Week was a high engagement program,” she said. “It was much more successful than we expected.”

Another event that received high praise from students was Self Care and Social Connections, which featured Goat Yoga, with students following a guided yoga instructor while goats ran around them and jumped on their backs.

“With the feedback we got from students, the goats could definitely be coming back.” Rice said. 

Rice has always had a passion for mental health. Originally a Charlotte native, Rice attended UNC Greensboro and received her masters in kinesiology with a concentration in sport psychology. After graduating, she stumbled upon a vacant position at Charlotte that aligned perfectly with her interests.

“I fell in love with programming and creating experiences out of a need,” she said.

In her current position as Coordinator of Campus Prevention Trainings for CAPS, she assumes various roles. One of her duties includes teaching others about how to understand the struggles people face day-to-day.

“I teach people how to care,” Rice said. “In the training’s I facilitate, I am giving students and staff the tools they need to understand how to care for others and themselves,” she said. “It’s about giving [them] a new perspective.”

And that’s exactly what Rice plans to do at Charlotte in the near future. She hits her two-year mark in November, and by then, she won’t be a rookie anymore. With the plans she has in store for the University, Rice could be moving right up to pro status. 

“I’m thinking big,” she said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to build community on campus. I see the area of mental health education growing bigger and better. I can even see us expanding outside of the University to provide resources to people within the city of Charlotte.”