Joint Meeting

Navigating, Surviving, and Thriving in the Challenging Landscape of Academia

Academia can be an isolating and emotionally turbulent environment, and this is only compounded by the COVID crisis. How can we support ourselves, each other and our communities? Join us for a series of speakers and small-group reflections on mental health literacy, stressors faced by academics—especially by members of marginalized communities—and creating cultural change, while learning tools and strategies for empowerment, well-being and self-care.

Watch a recording of the event on YouTube »

Monday, November 30
11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Coping with Stress in Academia—Strategies to cope with the pandemic and create support structures

In this webinar presentation, Yvette Flores, professor of Chicana/o studies and research psychologist, will address the challenges and stressors faced by early career and senior faculty, graduate students, and academic staff as we navigate our careers. Many of these stressors have been exacerbated by the pandemic. We will then discuss institutional, interpersonal, and personal strategies to address these challenges while continuing to fulfill our academic tasks.

Simranjit Grewal

Simranjit Grewal, Moderator
University of California, Merced

Yvette Flores

Yvette Flores
University of California, Davis


Tuesday, December 1
11:30 am – 1:30 pm

The International Academic Experience—Relocation, isolation and adapting to change

In this panel presentation, four panelists will address the international academic experience. The discussion will range from sharing personal experiences such as facing difficult barriers (e.g. culture and language) in addition to normal academic stressors, to international student advocacy and rights (particularly during the COVID pandemic), to coping strategies for the tough transition of moving to a new country to pursue a STEM career. This program will include a Q&A session, share strategies for improving difficult situations, and connect students to appropriate resources.

Araceli Hernandez Grandos

Araceli Hernández Granados, Moderator
Instituto de Ciencias Físicas-UNAM

Alondra Hermoso Diaz

Alondra Hermoso-Diaz
University of Toronto

Anh Diep

Anh Diep
University of California, Merced

Abdoulaye Djire

Abdoulaye Djire
Texas A&M University


Thursday, December 3
11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Mental Health Literacy and Creating Community Culture Change in STEM

How can we all work together to crowdsource and actively create a more supportive research environment?

This interactive workshop will start with a primer on mental health in academia, a contextualization of the impacts of COVID, and an overview of effective strategies to change the culture, led by Dr. Wendy Ingram of Dragonfly Mental Health.

Next, we'll break into small groups to reflect on a set of questions (e.g. how to redefine success? how to create a supportive research group culture? how to advocate for your needs?). We'll use these ideas to create a roadmap moving forwards to empower ourselves and catalyze healthier research culture.

Rachel Woods-Robinson

Rachel Woods-Robinson, Moderator
University of California, Berkeley

Wendy Ingram

Wendy Ingram
Dragonfly Mental Health


Organized by members of the Student Engagement Subcommittee

  • Julia Bernard, University of Ottawa
  • Edy Cardona, University of California, Berkeley
  • Simranjit Grewal, University of California, Merced
  • Duanduan Han, Texas A&M University
  • Araceli Hernández Granados, Instituto de Ciencias Físicas-UNAM
  • Daniel Stadler, Quantum Technologies
  • Rachel Woods-Robinson, University of California, Berkeley
  • Eva Hemmer (Chair), University of Ottawa

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MRS publishes with Springer Nature


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