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Wine Wednesday: Fayedra Mumme on mental health, moving around and southern hospitality

Wine Wednesday: Fayedra Mumme

Every Wednesday, Shannon Kelly will sit down with a coach's wife, a former Wolf Pack athlete or a woman in the Northern Nevada community to have a conversation over a glass of wine (or whatever drink they choose). This week, she sat down with Fayedra Mumme, wife of Nevada football offensive coordinator, Matt Mumme. They talked about her career, living in seven states (majority in the south), the best and worst parts of being a football wife and some of Fayedra's favorite things about Northern Nevada.

Making an impact on others

Fayedra is a licensed professional mental health therapist for the Counseling Services center at the University of Nevada. When counseling services shifted online shortly after spring break, Fayedra was unsure how the change would impact how she helps others.

“Part of counseling is the face-to-face interaction," she said. "It's so huge. The connection is so important. I wasn’t sure. I thought it might be really awkward. I thought students might be canceling and not calling in for appointments, but it’s really been quite the opposite. Things have gone smoothly, sessions have been productive, we’ve had people calling in for urgent care. In one sense, I shouldn’t be surprised. With the pandemic, people’s anxiety and depression from being isolated has been increasing. It’s gone smoother than I thought it would.

"I feel blessed I can still work. I have friends that haven’t been able to do so. I’m feeling blessed that I can continue to do what I do because I really am passionate and love it. I try to recognize I’m making an impact and providing support, but I’ve really noticed that during this time because some students live alone or have roommates that have gone back home. They are in their apartment and by themselves. They look forward to this face-to-face interaction. I feel like it’s been good for the students and I’m glad that we’ve been able to function at least in this capacity.”

Fayedra was a counselor in Georgia when her husband was the head coach at LaGrange College, a Division III school, before he accepted the job at Nevada.

"In Georgia, before we moved here, I was a school counselor for K-12 and I did a private practice in the evening where I worked with mostly children," Fayedra said. "So the differences in being in the counseling services center on campus, which is a really special place, and being in a private practice, you have a little more control and flexibility over your schedule. But, honestly, with counseling services I do have a lot of say in my schedule. I currently just work during the spring semester and fall semester, and I don’t work during the winter break, so that has been nice.

"In high school, I was very interested in psychology and majored in psychology in college and at the end of college I thought about going to physician assistant school, and then Matt and I got married and we moved. But just from working after getting my undergrad it solidified what I wanted to do. On our other western stop, New Mexico State University, that’s where I got my graduate degree in counseling and educational psychology. I just want to help people. I feel like we’ve all had challenges, and we learn to overcome them and it’s just nice to be there as a sounding board for someone and help them through difficult times."

You can find out more about the Counseling Services at Nevada here.

Born and raised in the South

Fayedra was born and raised in Kentucky and has lived in six states with her husband since leaving the Bluegrass State. She met Matt at the University of Kentucky, then moved to Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia and now Nevada, all part of her husband's football journey.

"We met at a country and western bar in Lexington, Kentucky, the Austin City Saloon," Fayedra said. "I remember meeting him there and then the second time meeting him was at the Music City Bowl in Nashville when UK went to a bowl game. He actually told me he was going to marry me the first time that we talked to each other. I probably could have diagnosed him way back then. Our very first date was on a family dinner on a Sunday evening, so our very first date I met his entire family, which was very nerve wracking.”

The Mumme’s got married in 2002 and have been married for 18 years.

"I’m a girl who I never thought I would leave Kentucky," Fayedra said. "Our first move was to Louisiana and that was about a 10-hour drive, and I would do it way more than I ever should have. The next move was New Mexico and that was a 24-hour drive, so there was no more driving home to see family at that point. It was only flying. I got so homesick, but I enjoyed New Mexico because that’s where I got my graduate degree and I made some really great friends there. But, for me, the difference between living out West and in the South is I have my three F’s, my family, my friends and the food. It’s a lot different out here to me.

"My Mom doesn’t fly, so she has never been out here to visit, and my Dad has been out once, so to see my family I have to go back home. There’s positives about either place. We love it here, too. I’ve never been to Lake Tahoe until we came here, which is absolutely amazing. The South, because of my family, feels like home."

I had to ask about the food in the South, something I’ve never really experienced. She said you can’t really find good southern food here. She said Kentucky is also well known for Kentucky Hot Browns. That looks delicious.

Living in Nevada

Fayedra moved to Reno in the spring of 2017. Her first trip to the Biggest Little City was for Nevada athletics' annual Blue Tie Ball. After one stop out west at New Mexico State, Fayedra didn't know what to expect when making the move to Reno.

"I had a preconceived notion that it was going to be a total casino town, which has not been the case at all," Fayedra said. "We live in Somersett, so most days I don’t even see the lights of casinos. It’s so beautiful, the mountains and snow on the mountains is beautiful. I was a little nervous because of my experience before living out west and feeling so homesick, but at this point in my marriage, I don’t feel the homesickness as much anymore.

"I try to go home twice a year, once in the summer and once around Christmas, which luckily it has been after Christmas because of our bowl games the last two years. It’s gorgeous out here and I’m so glad that we’ve had the opportunity to see Lake Tahoe, because I don’t know if we would have ever gone. It’s just breathtaking, God’s creation is just beautiful. In the summer, you feel like you’re at the Caribbean, the water is turquoise, you go to Sand Harbor and you can just be on the beach, and then it’s beautiful in the winter, too, because you can go skiing and still enjoy the lake scenery. It’s amazing."

Fayedra said moving from state to state can be difficult because she has to reapply for new counseling licences at each stop. But she continues to do so because she wants to make an impact on her community. She's found a new group of friends in Reno.

"I love my job," she said. "I feel like we make friends wherever we go. We had a neighbor that lived five houses down, and she's been awesome. Her parents invite us over to every holiday and we get together and they are huge Wolf Pack fans. They're at every game, tailgating, so I have to say my favorite thing (about Reno) is the people, and we've done more hiking more than anywhere else we've lived getting out to see the beautiful scenery out here."

Wine Wednesday topics with Fayedra Mumme

  • Quarantine life in the Mumme household - 0:00
  • Not having spring football - 4:25
  • Being a counselor - 5:08
  • First time meeting Matt/the proposal - 11:08
  • Living in seven different states - 17:50
  • Best and worst thing about being a football wife - 21:09
  • Wife of head coach and coordinator 22:49
  • First coming to Reno - 24:38
  • Favorite things about living in Northern Nevada - 26:23
  • Some of Fayedra’s favorite things - 27:33

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