Tiffin, Ohio — When thinking about a dean of students’ duties, we usually think of student conduct, student safety, school policies and procedures. However, many people don’t reflect on how those aspects may be affected when students cope with mental illness.
Michael Herdlick, Dean of Students and Director of Physical Plant at Tiffin University, prioritizes a student’s mental health and emotional well-being. In recognition of his tireless efforts and advocacy for students, the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot counties has selected Herdlick as the Ray of Hope Award recipient.
The Ray of Hope Award honors those dedicated to serving the needs of those affected by mental health conditions. The awardees have made an outstanding commitment to bettering the lives and giving hope to individuals, families or the community.
“We are extremely honored to present this year’s Ray of Hope Award to Michael Herdlick,” said Julie Richards, Director of Counseling and Wellness at Tiffin University and NAMI board member. “Michael always puts students first and makes himself available for whatever they need. He is known to drop everything for a student in crisis and make sure they receive the appropriate care. He always prioritizes mental well-being and understands the impact of mental illness on a student’s life, especially during COVID-19.”
In March 2020, like many schools across the country, Tiffin University dealt with the challenges of COVID-19. Classes went virtual, and some students returned home as others stayed on campus in a safer environment. Through it all, Tiffin University, and particularly Herdlick, took care of their students.
“Michael worked tirelessly to ensure that students who needed to remain on campus could do so safely and comfortably,” said Sean Durocher, TU’s Director of Campus Safety and Security and NAMI board member. “In some of the scariest and most uncertain times in our students’ lives, Mike instills hope. He provides a safe-haven amidst a dark storm.”