A Healing Experience
For Worldwide graduate Tiffany Mosher (’20), volunteering for natural disaster response efforts helped improve her mental health. She shares her story in her memoir “Beauty Beyond the Threshold.”
With her background in anthropology, M.S. in Human Security and Resilience graduate Tiffany Mosher (’20) has a keen interest in the study of society and individuals. While she was working with a prior employer, a coworker told her about the need for anthropology in the natural disaster response field.
“During the time, I was overcoming depression. So I decided to travel to Puerto Rico by myself after Hurricane Maria to volunteer in disaster response,” said Mosher, 38. “It was life changing to see how people were still so happy despite losing everything. They were very grateful for the help we were giving them, and that’s what sparked the desire to study the field further.”
While on the hunt for the right school and program to further her education, she discovered the M.S. in Human Security and Resilience degree offered online at Embry-Riddle.
“I was actually really surprised that ERAU had this program, since it’s mostly known for aviation and engineering,” she said.
Graduate Tiffany Mosher has always had a keen interest in the study of society and individuals. (Photo: Tiffany Mosher)
As a single mother of three children, she also found the flexibility of the Worldwide Campus was perfect for her busy lifestyle and decided to apply right away.
One of her favorite aspects of the program was the Foundations of Resilience course. Instead of the traditional research paper at the end of the class, this course required a volunteer experience with an organization focused on international outreach or an organization helping refugees in students’ local areas.
Since there were no opportunities that fit the criteria near her home in Virginia, Mosher decided to travel to North Carolina to volunteer in disaster response after Hurricane Florence.
“I was able to incorporate my love for volunteering in disaster response into the final project,” said Mosher.
Through volunteer trips like this one, as well as international trips to Nepal and Mexico, she worked on a variety of efforts ranging from concrete roof repair to planning a school restoration project. These experiences allowed her to gain more confidence, boost her self-esteem and ultimately overcome a severe depression.
“When I would come back from these trips, my family and friends would see this shift in my personality and how I was handling things,” Mosher said. “They encouraged me to share my story, so I decided to write about it and make it into a memoir.”
In her book, “Beauty Beyond the Threshold,” she talks about what led to her depression and explains how pushing herself outside of her comfort zone through volunteering helped improve her mental health.
As a professional technical writer, Mosher had writing experience prior to completing her book but had never written anything like it before. She hopes to one day transition her career into something involving research and natural disasters.
Interested in reading her memoir? “Beauty Beyond the Threshold” is available here.