Mental Health and Wellness in Teaching and Learning

Resilience: The art and science of thriving

It is inevitable that we will all experience transition and adversity at some point in our lives. Resiliency refers to our capacity to adapt or bounce back in the face of transition and adversity. Resiliency also captures a community’s capacity to provide the appropriate supports and resources to community members to help them successfully navigate through difficult times. In this workshop, we will explore the personal and social factors associated with resiliency and practiced evidence-based strategies to enhance personal resiliency.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
Identify factors associated with personal resiliency
- Describe and apply four strategies for enhancing personal resiliency and
- Consider their role in shaping a resilient campus community

Facilitators: Jennifer Thannhauser
Date: Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Locations: TayIor Institute Learning Studio E


We will engage experientially in several mindfulness practices, including sitting, walking and stretching. There will be a ample time for mindful inquiry and informal didactic discussion on the roots mindfulness. We will explore why mindfulness is beneficial for your everyday life and relationships, and how small doses of mindfulness practice can be helpful for both your professional and personal life. No previous experience with either Mindfulness or meditation is required. An open heart/mind, curiosity, gentility and kindness will serve you well. The workshop is intentionally placed over the lunch hour, so if you can only come for 1 hour of the two-hour workshop, that's also OK - but please do not bring food into the session (water is fine).

Learning outcomes

By the end of the session participants will have:
An introductory understanding of the roots mindfulness
- An understanding of what Mindfulness is and is not. Especially that it is much more than relaxation
- Experienced several mindfulness-based practices for reducing stress and cultivating present moment awareness, curiosity, and kindness
- Several practical mindfulness-based applications with handouts to use in the classroom and at home for personal wellbeing

Facilitators: Allan Donsky
Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Time: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Locations: TayIor Institute Learning Studio E

Teaching controversial issues

At the heart of any university is a mandate to create the appropriate conditions in which exploration, debate, and research on a wide variety of topics, including those that may be controversial, can be realized. The teaching of controversial subjects presents an opportunity to expose students to a wide variety of perspectives, and to provide them with tools to analyze issues and communicate across differences.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this interactive session you will be able to maximize student learning on controversial issues by:
- Ensuring an inclusive learning environment
- Preparing for and leading respectful, engaged discussions
- Implementing strategies for handling challenges should they arise

Facilitators: Carol Berenson and Valerie Pruegger
Date: Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Time: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Locations: TayIor Institute Learning Studio E

Supporting students in distress

In your role as a teaching assistant or instructor, you may be in a position to interact with students who are feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed. This workshop provides a framework to recognize and respond to students in distress. Strategies to produce a supportive learning environment will also be discussed and practiced.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this session you will be able to: 
Recognize common signs and/or indicators of students in distress
- Implement strategies for responding to students in distress, including a) When to respond, b) How to respond and/or refer the student to resources, c) How and when to follow-up
- Identify campus resources that are available to assist students

Facilitators: Kevin Wiens
Date: Thursday, November 14, 2019
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Locations: TayIor Institute Learning Studio F