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Work In-Progress: Mental Health Initiatives and TAO at the University of Windsor

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Conference

2020 First-Year Engineering Experience

Location

East Lansing, Michigan

Publication Date

July 26, 2020

Start Date

July 26, 2020

End Date

July 28, 2020

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

4

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35790

Download Count

75

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Paper Authors

biography

Jacqueline Ann Stagner P.Eng. University of Windsor

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Dr. Stagner is the Undergraduate Programs Coordinator in the Faculty of Engineering, at the University of Windsor.

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biography

Jennifer Sears University of Windsor

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Jennifer Sears
PhD. Candidate
Research & Graduate Assistant
BASc. Mechanical Engineering, EIT
Department of Mechanical, Automotive & Materials Engineering
University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Professional Experience:
10 + years with General Motors of Canada
4T40E automatic transmission (Supervision/Mainline assembly/Test-stand/Dynamometer/Production control & Quality engineering)

Education:
BASc. Mechanical Engineering (Oct 2016)
Capstone: SAE BAJA (front suspension)
PhD. Candidate (2018-current)

Research: Automotive composites/Neural networks

Associations: PEO/SAE/OSPE/ASME/CSME

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biography

Giselle St Louis University of Windsor

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I act as the clinical therapist for students in the engineering department.

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biography

Jennifer L Johrendt University of Windsor

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Dr. Johrendt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering and the Assistant Dean - Student Affairs at the University of Windsor. She holds degrees in Mathematics and Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston (B.Sc., M.A.Sc.) and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Windsor (Ph.D.). She began a career in automotive research as a product development engineer at the University of Windsor/Chrysler Canada Automotive Research and Development Centre (ARDC). In 2005, Dr. Johrendt joined the University of Windsor as an Experiential Learning Specialist, focusing on teaching and educational research in hands-on learning and cooperative education as it relates to undergraduate engineering. She currently heads the WINONE Office for First-Year Engineering with a focus on supporting first-year undergraduate students as well as recruiting and outreach activities for the Faculty of Engineering.

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Abstract

This paper documents a work in progress at the University of Windsor to expose our first-year students to mental health supports available on campus. The University of Windsor prides itself on being a leader in providing wellness and mental health services to its students as part of the institution’s comprehensive, multi-year Mental Health Strategy (http://www.uwindsor.ca/studentexperience/322/mental-health-strategy). As well, within the Faculty of Engineering, many new initiatives have been implemented to provide mental health services to our students, especially first-year students who are transitioning to university and, for some, to Canada. One such initiative is Therapy Assistance Online (TAO). TAO is an online library of interactive modules that helps students learn skills to handle challenges in their lives (http://www.uwindsor.ca/engineering/831/tao). TAO is available to all University of Windsor students; however, not all students use the service. In order to encourage Engineering students to use it, first-year students are introduced to TAO in their second-semester Technical Communications course. A course assignment asks students to complete four of the five modules within the Communication and Interpersonal Relationships TAO pathway. The five modules are: Managing Anger, Communication Strategies, Communication Styles, Problem Solving, and Relationships (this fifth module is available to students, but they are not required to complete it). At the time of writing, this initiative had only been completed over the course of one academic year; the second academic year was in progress. This paper will discuss how the initiative was implemented, changes that were made as it was developed, and instructor recommendations for further development. It is anticipated that additional undergraduate engineering courses will incorporate TAO pathways into their course requirements. Specific pathways include “Calming Your Worry” and “Let Go and Be Well”, which address topics like anxiety and resilience, respectively. As well, this paper will discuss additional wellness and mental health initiatives that are being implemented to support our first-year Engineering students such as mental health counselling, drop-in counselling, weekly therapy dog drop-in sessions, international student support services, and the creation of a new space within the Faculty of Engineering: the Engineering Student Support Services Centre in conjunction with the services currently offered at the WINONE office (First Year Engineering Office), making a home for incoming local and international students alike.

Stagner, J. A., & Sears, J., & St Louis, G., & Johrendt, J. L. (2020, July), Work In-Progress: Mental Health Initiatives and TAO at the University of Windsor Paper presented at 2020 First-Year Engineering Experience, East Lansing, Michigan. https://peer.asee.org/35790

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