Presentation Title

Graduate Student Wellness

Presenter's Name(s)

Lauren Wynkoop AshlockFollow

Project Collaborators

Lori Stevens, Melissa Pespeni

Abstract

As a fifth-year graduate student at UVM, I struggle to maintain my wellness. Studies show this experience is not unique, with graduate students experiencing a higher prevalence of mental health issues than the general public. Knowing this motivated me to create and lead the 1 credit colloquium, Graduate Student Wellness. This course provided graduate students with dedicated time to focus on their mental, physical, intellectual, and financial wellness. It also created a safe space for graduate students to discuss shared challenges. Graduate Student Wellness hosted guest speakers from the Center for Health and Wellbeing, Student Accessibility Services, and Student Financial Services. These speakers shared information about available services and student rights, while also leaving time to listen to graduate students discuss their individual needs. Student feedback demonstrated the value of creating a safe space to openly discuss issues that aren’t typically talked about in an academic setting. Of these issues, intellectual wellness and avoiding burnout were particularly popular with students. This reveals a need at UVM for a consistent and structured avenue for graduate students to safely talk to each other about their experiences. Students also appreciated the use of breakout rooms for small group discussions, demonstrating the importance of small interactive groups in virtual classrooms, even in relatively small colloquia. As the instructor of the course, I appreciated the online community students created, and the relationships I formed with UVM staff members.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Melissa Pespeni

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Biology

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Graduate Student Wellness

As a fifth-year graduate student at UVM, I struggle to maintain my wellness. Studies show this experience is not unique, with graduate students experiencing a higher prevalence of mental health issues than the general public. Knowing this motivated me to create and lead the 1 credit colloquium, Graduate Student Wellness. This course provided graduate students with dedicated time to focus on their mental, physical, intellectual, and financial wellness. It also created a safe space for graduate students to discuss shared challenges. Graduate Student Wellness hosted guest speakers from the Center for Health and Wellbeing, Student Accessibility Services, and Student Financial Services. These speakers shared information about available services and student rights, while also leaving time to listen to graduate students discuss their individual needs. Student feedback demonstrated the value of creating a safe space to openly discuss issues that aren’t typically talked about in an academic setting. Of these issues, intellectual wellness and avoiding burnout were particularly popular with students. This reveals a need at UVM for a consistent and structured avenue for graduate students to safely talk to each other about their experiences. Students also appreciated the use of breakout rooms for small group discussions, demonstrating the importance of small interactive groups in virtual classrooms, even in relatively small colloquia. As the instructor of the course, I appreciated the online community students created, and the relationships I formed with UVM staff members.