Follow-Up to Our September GSC Webinar
During this highly chaotic and unprecedented year, many graduate students are facing additional stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. Minoritized members of the academic community may be particularly affected by the challenges 2020 has created. To support these students, we decided to share the recording of our first GSC webinar entitled "Navigating and Thriving in Graduate School.” The event planning sub-committee has kindly agreed to provide a short synopsis of the webinar contents. You can find it, along with some basic information about our panelists, below.
On September 28th, 2020, the AAAL GSC event planning sub-committee held their first webinar, entitled “Navigating and Thriving in Graduate School.” This webinar addressed graduate students’ existing challenges during the pandemic. Three panelists participated in this event: Dr. Ann Collier from Northern Arizona University, Dr. Krishna Bista from Morgan State University, and Dr. Aya Matsuda from Arizona State University.
The first panelist, Dr. Collier, discussed the webinar’s topic from a psychologist’s perspective. She first listed common negative emotions caused by the pandemic and explained why graduate students tended to have such feelings. To further the conversation, Dr. Collier introduced the concept of “resilience” and provided detailed ways of developing “resilience” and maintaining mental health.
The second panelist, Dr. Bista, focused on navigating the difficult relationship with advisors and colleagues. At the beginning of the talk, he interacted with participants by encouraging them to think about their current relationship with their advisors. He then identified the most common problems between advisors and graduate students, and proposed some useful strategies for effective communication.
The third panelist, Dr. Aya Matsuda, addressed the importance of self-care for graduate students in her talk. She started the discussion by sharing a recent conversation with her doctoral advisees which involved different aspects of self-care and mental well-being. Dr. Matsuda invited attendees to reflect on their own experiences and encouraged them to be more open-minded with the difficulties and frustrations that they face.
During the Q&A session, attendees actively asked the panelists questions regarding effective strategies for maintaining one’s mental health and well-being. The panelists provided more inspiring ideas, which many attendees found helpful.