VIDEO: Professor Profile: Dr. Birdie Barr brings wellness to SMU
PROFESSOR PROFILE from Alexandra Spitzer on Vimeo.
The wellness program is a core aspect of SMU’s GEC curriculum. And what many might not know is that it’s thanks to one woman, who brought wellness to SMU.
Dr. Birdie Barr has served as a senior lecturer of SMU’s wellness department for 35 years.
“I’ve been teaching here at SMU since 1980 and was only supposed to be here for two years but it’s turned into 35 so far,” said Barr.
After earning her doctorate from Texas Woman’s University, Dr. Barr started working at SMU as a health educator.
“So after two years the concerned faculty, staff and students met when health education was gone and wanted to have something on campus health wise and this is when the wellness thing was really a big buzzword and so I started the wellness program,” said Dr. Barr.
Dr. Barr teaches her wellness courses both in the classroom and the gym and weaves her own life story into her teaching.
“She incorporated a lot of her own personal story into her teaching, which was really great and I got a lot out of the class and she really encouraged us to open up,” said Senior Alexa Horner.
The most important thing Dr. Barr wants her students to take away from her class? It is not a health education course.
“If you leave here thinking wellness was a health education class I have failed. So I hope they take away that it was not a health class because health is not wellness,” said Barr.
“She’s just a really inspirational woman and I’m really glad I took a class from her at SMU,” said Horner.
Dr. Barr teaches Wellness One: Concepts of Wellness and Wellness Two: Individual Fitness at SMU.