A chatbot named Stella checks in with Tulane University (LA) students to support their well-being, reported The Tulane Hulabaloo. It checks in with students once every two weeks when they open Canvas, asking, “How are you?” and “What makes you feel that way?”

Once students have answered, Stella provides them with campus resources from Success Coaching to Campus Health and beyond, based on their responses. Students can also use the chatbot to reach out to support staff members, if they choose. First, they’re asked if they consent to sharing their information and, once they do, a trained staffer will reach out.

“We brought Stella to Tulane in alignment with Wave of Support’s mission which is to just help every Tulane student better care for themselves and for each other,” program manager Samantha Bruce told the publication. “And one key component of that is kind of redefining how we ask the question, how are you?” Bruce said she has had good interactions with students who have reached out and “I really take that part of my job seriously to support our students.”

She told the paper that, “With Wave of Support, we take a holistic approach to student support through the eight dimensions of wellness. So, we have everything from the [Academic Tutoring and Learning Center] to Success [Coaching] to Campus Health. It just depends on how the student responds.”

Stella Chatbot Co-founder Sebastian Thomas explained, “We wanted to kind of fix a problem that we saw during our studies, which is that students, a lot of them, feel really badly, despite putting on a brave face.”

Source: The Tulane Hulabaloo, 10/20/23

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