A message from Dean Louis Martin-Vega
Last Sunday, in his Message of Grief and Support, Chancellor Woodson shared with the Wolfpack community the tragic news that we lost an engineering student last weekend in an apparent suicide. This marked the eighth student that the University has lost this year, five of whom were students in our College of Engineering. Regardless of the cause, these losses are felt heavily across campus and especially within our college.
Finding the right words to share during a year of such unprecedented loss is never easy so at this point I just want to echo the sentiments shared by the Chancellor in his message and to assure you that my leadership team and I are very concerned about the well-being and mental health of our students, faculty, and staff. With this in mind, I want to share with you information about University resources as well as specific actions that our College has taken to assist anyone who should need help.
In his message, Chancellor Woodson shared resources available should you need help. I urge you to utilize these resources. The Counseling Center and AcademicLiveCare are available to students needing support. There is also a large network of off-campus mental health care providers who partner with the university. Faculty and staff can access confidential counseling through the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program.
In addition to these university resources, I want to highlight what we are doing in the college to address the mental health of students. The college now has two embedded counselors housed on Centennial Campus to support students. Students can make appointments by reaching out directly to schedule. Students can also connect with the embedded counselors every Tuesday in the Drop-In Space located at EBII, room 3001, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The first drop-in is scheduled for today, February 14, 2023. The COE-embedded counselors are Hannah Lavasque, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Miranda Liu, email@example.com.
Additionally, the Share Your Heart Campaign allows students to let us know how you are doing and if they need support. Students are asked to put “Share Your Heart” in the subject line of your email and send it to the staff/faculty listed, and someone will connect with you.
Finally, the Safe With Each Other/Safety Pin Crew is staff and faculty volunteers who wear a gold safety pin that signals they are safe to talk if you are struggling, feeling alone, feeling ignored or unheard, having trouble with a class, or simply want to chat with another College of Engineering family member. The Safety Pin Crew will deploy across our campuses during the semester to do in-person check-ins, offer a snack, and encouragement as students navigate their day.
Please remember that a Wellness Day is coming up this Thursday, February 16. I encourage everyone in COE to use the day to do something that allows you to take a deep breath, recalibrate and unwind. We will be seeking feedback in the future about the effectiveness of Wellness Days, hoping that they will allow everyone the opportunity to focus on self-care.
Finally, with so many things happening around us, we know that some of our Engineering family can find it hard to cope. Please don’t struggle alone. I implore you to reach out and talk to someone you trust, be it a friend, family member, professor, or staff member, remembering that we care about you, and we are here for you. Please take care of yourself and each other.
Dean Louis Martin-Vega