There's a new professor at the University of Southern California (USC), and he's quickly becoming the most popular.
That's because Professor Beauregard Tirebiter is a dog—a two-year-old black goldendoodle to be exact.
"Beau," as USC students call the fluffy "faculty" member, is one of a handful of full-time university wellness dogs in the United States.
As an official wellness dog, Beau provides affection and comfort to stressed-out students. According to Olga Solomon, assistant professor at the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, research suggests that positive interactions with dogs can create a sense of calm and well-being.
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Professor Tirebiter, who resides at USC's Engemann Student Health Center, earned his credentials from the Canine Angels Service Teams in Oregon. He has his own business cards, Twitter account, and proper office hours for students to come visit.
In addition to comforting students, Beau also has the potential to encourage hesitant students to access the resources.
"We wanted to do something that would change our culture," says Paula Lee Swinford, director of the Office of Wellness and Health Promotion at USC. "What Beau brings is a consistent relationship for students... he will remember them" (Clay, USC News 9/14; Tan, ABC News, 9/20; Inside Higher Ed 9/21).
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