Promoting Well-Being in the Classroom

This webpage, co-designed by faculty, for faculty use provides tips, information, and resources on how well-being can be incorporated in learning environments on campus. While this webpage promotes a focus on well-being in the classroom, it is vital that we feel supported before we can support others. Below you can additionally find mental health and well-being resources for faculty and staff members. 
But why is promoting well-being in the classroom important?
Positive well-being is a key predictor for learning and student success. Research indicates that well-being is associated with deep learning, and that teaching practices contribute to experiences of well-being (Adler, 2016; Fernandez et al, 2016, Harward, 2016; Zandvliet, Stanton &  Dhaliwal, 2019).
From the 2022 Missouri Assessment of College Health Behaviors (MACHB), 91% of S&T students reported that one of their main sources of stress is their schoolwork and academics, while only 14% of students indicated that they would go to a professor/faculty member when concerns arise.

Classroom Strategies and Classroom Resources

Learn different strategies that can be used in your classroom or environment and find additional classroom resources.

FAQ's and Concerns

Read through the common questions and concerns related to implementing well-being strategies in learning environments.

Faculty Spotlights

See what our faculty members are doing to support student, and their own, mental health and well-being.

Resources for Students

Find services and resources that you can promote in the classroom and talk to your students about.

Resources for Faculty

Find services and resources that can support employee mental health and well-being.

Faculty Spotlight Submission

Do you or one of your coworkers have a method that works well in supporting student well-being in the classroom? Submit it here to be featured on this webpage.

Become a Faculty Champion

Faculty Champions are faculty members trained to support their own well-being and the well-being of fellow faculty members and students. This is a highly encouraged training for any faculty member on campus. Faculty members are considered Faculty Champions when they have completed STEP UP! for Supporting Student Mental Health and Well-Being and various other trainings that arise. 

Join the Health and Well-Being Campus Committee

Join the Faculty and Staff Engagement Subcommittee to make a positive difference on campus by encouraging faculty and staff members to support their own well-being and the well-being of the students they interact with. Membership can begin at anytime.

Classroom Strategies

While we offer a variety of strategies below, it's important to remember that these are general ideas and are not required in your classroom. We encourage you to find the ones that work for you and your students!

Have strategies that you want to appear here? Email and let us know!

  • No Prep Strategies
  • Short Prep Strategies
  • Long Prep Strategies
  • Additional Classroom Resources

No Prep Strategies


  • Stretching: Take a few moments during class to allow for light stretching as a quick way to allow you and the students to take a break and ensure the students aren't sitting for too long. Pausing from lectures and stretching can also increase student attentiveness!
  • Class Check-In Activities: During class, simply ask the group how they are doing, how stressed they are feeling, etc. If you notice some students say they are not doing well or are struggling in some way, you could then suggest resources or offer time for them to talk to you after class or during office hours.
  • Mindfulness Exercises: At the beginning of class, lead your students in a single or a series of quick mindfulness activities.
    • Breathing Exercises: Have students breath in for four seconds, hold for four seconds, breath out for four seconds, hold for four seconds. Continue as needed.
    • Gratitude: Have students write at the top of their notebooks three things they are grateful for, three things they are excited to do this weekend, or three things that have gone well recently.
  • Resource Reminder: At the beginning of class, simply mention that there are resources available to support their well-being if they need it. Potential places you can reference are if you have resources listed in your syllabus or the health and well-being resource directory.
  • Promotion of Health and Wellness Events and Presentations: If you are aware of any health or wellness related events happening on campus (such as Mental Well-Being Awareness Week, a speaker, or a musical performance), give students a brief plug or reminder of the event. This allows students to stay connected with events and presentations they may not otherwise hear about.


Short Prep Strategies


  • Classroom Comment Cards: At the beginning or end of class, pass around sticky notes or index cards and ask students to write down their thoughts, comments, concerns, or struggles with the course or with school in general. Then later, you can reflect on what was written and respond to the students accordingly. Having this as an opportunity multiple times throughout the semester is very valuable in understanding the changing needs of your students.
  • Adding Syllabus Statement or Other Content to Canvas: In your syllabus or in Canvas, provide information on health and well-being resources that are available to students. Some resources to feature could be Student Well-Being, Student Support and Community Standards, Student Health, Student Diversity Initiatives, and Equity and Title IX. You can find a sample syllabus statement below:

    "Your well-being is important, and it contributes to your success in this course. At S&T, we provide resources to support your mental, physical, and social well-being. Any of us can experience challenges that make learning difficult. If you are struggling, take advantage of the following resources offered by the university:

    Student Well-Being (

    Student Well-Being provides counseling services, health promotion initiatives, and prevention programs to empower the S&T community to thrive and enhance personal, academic, and professional success. Department office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. On the website, you can find information related to confidential individual and group counseling, wellness consultations and trainings, resources for many health and wellness topics, and help for mental health crisis situations.

    For the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call or text 988, or visit

    Health and Well-Being Canvas Course (

    The Health and Well-Being Canvas Course features trainings, presentations, and other health and well-being resources for students. The course is free for all students, is non-credit, and students can enroll at any point in the semester."

  • Resource PowerPoint Slides: Whenever you are planning on using a PowerPoint in your lectures, consider adding slides at the beginning or end that highlight a few health and wellness resources. If you'd prefer not to make them on your own, Student Well-Being will occasionally create some that are housed here that you may find helpful.
  • Presentations instead of Cancelling Class: If you know ahead of time that you will be missing a class, consider requesting a health and wellness presentation through the Student Well-Being office or the Student Diversity Initiatives office instead of cancelling.
  • Add Positive/Fun Details into Your Slides: A quick and easy way that can brighten students' moods is to add fun videos, images, or inspiring quotes to your slides or handouts.
  • Health and Wellness Assignments: Consider fusing mental health and wellness into the classroom by asking students to complete an assignment that is health and wellness related that allows them to focus on their overall well-being. This allows for an emphasis on health and well-being without requiring you to do a lot of the initial work. Some examples of assignments could be:
    • Writing a short reflection paper on how they manage their stress and sharing with other students
    • Leading a class discussion on building healthy coping skills 
    • Giving a short demonstration at the beginning of class on a mindfulness exercise
    • Researching health and wellness related apps to share with the class or add to a document that can be shared
  • Adjusting Your Timeline to Better Support Students: While this might not always be possible, consider adjusting certain assignment deadlines to help promote sleep hygiene and to help alleviate stress during busier times of year.
  • Social Connectedness Activities: At the beginning or end of class, allow time for students to feel connected with their peers. You could provide prompts that require them to socialize with the others around them without it feeling too uncomfortable. Some prompts could be:
    • "Share with the people around you your favorite ways to destress after a long week"
    • "Get into small groups and work to find 5 similarities between you all, outside of being a student at Missouri S&T"
    • "Get into small groups and work to find 3 items that are on everyone's bucket list"
    • You could give prompts as well that both allow for social connection but are also related to class, such as:
      • "Get into small groups and complete the first half of the assignment together, and make sure that everyone fully understands the topic"
  • Health and Wellness Promotional Materials: Reach out to health and well-being departments on campus and ask if they will provide you with small flyers or handouts to give to your students. These could be general resource promotion or information on a specific topic.
  • Incorporate Opportunities for Sharing Personal History and Culture in Class Assignments: Many students, especially international or first generation students, may appreciate being provided with opportunities to share their backgrounds and experiences in ways that showed their perspectives and contributions are valued. This additionally allows students to feel more connection with fellow classmates. 
    • This type of activity would require little preparation on your end, and could need only a few minutes at the beginning or end of class to showcase a student's work.

Long Prep Strategies


  • Avoiding Undue Stress: Despite good intentions, in pursuit to push our students towards academic excellence, we can unintentionally cause undue or unnecessary stress on our students. This undue stress can have the opposite effect of what we're intending, causing students to feel hopeless, out of place, or as though they can never catch up. Try asking yourself these questions to determine whether or not you are causing undue stress:
    • Do you often encourage competition between students, especially if there is no valuable reason or purpose for the competition?
    • When you have to turn down a student’s request, do you offer alternatives or leave them to figure out next steps on their own?
    • Are you quick to hand out criticism, or are you extremely thoughtful about giving negative feedback?
    • Has a student ever told you they were afraid to come to your office hours or that you seem unapproachable?
    • Do you find yourself feeling impatient or even annoyed when communicating with students?
    • If you found yourself answering yes to any of these questions, you may be contributing to additional and unnecessary stress of students. Learn more and find information to help here (starting at page 139)
  • Creating A Safe Space: Creating a safe space in your classroom, or making yourself the safe space, requires long term and ongoing preparations, and ideally starts at the beginning of the semester when students are first getting to know you. Creating a safe space doesn't necessarily mean altering the physical space, but more creating an environment around you and the students that allows for the students to feel comfortable and a sense of belonging. Some ideas for creating a safe space are below.
    • Valuable introductions: Start of by sharing your name, pronouns, and maybe relevant personal information about yourself, showing the students that you are a person and not just their professor. If you feel uncomfortable sharing personal information, that's okay! Consider passing around notecards for students to share their pronouns, preferred name, and any considerations they want made for that class (such as certain non-mandated accommodations, preferred learning styles, things they are struggling with, etc). This allows them to open up to you and share what they need without doing so in front of the entire class.
    • Choosing your language carefully: Maintaining a safe space requires work over time, not just a few small gestures spread throughout the semester. Ensure that you are using students' proper names and pronouns, not using outdated language, and are showing empathy when student concerns arise.
    • Person first focus: When students come to you with personal or academic concerns, think of them as a person first, and not just someone who is falling behind in your class. Ask them if they would like to talk more about what they are struggling with and how you can help. 
    • VAR Method: Consistently using the VAR method can enhance your ability to act as a safe space for your students. This means "Validate, Appreciate, and Refer". If a student comes to you with a personal or academic concern, first validate ("I'm so sorry you've been feeling this way/dealing with this concern, that sounds really stressful!"), appreciate them coming to you for support ("I really appreciate you trusting me enough to bring this up, I know how hard it can be to ask for help."), and refer them to any appropriate resources ("You mentioned you are struggling in your personal life. I'm not really an expert in that area but I know the Student Well-Being office offers group and individual counseling, that could be really helpful for this. Can I give you their contact information?" or "I understand that you've been struggling with the coursework, I'd love to get you connected to tutoring because they can be really helpful in explaining topics in different ways that can be valuable. Here is the information to get set up with that and let me what else I can do to support you!")
  • Alternative Format Assignments: While this will not work for all assignments, it can be very valuable to work to learn your students' different preferred learning styles and adjust your assignments to allow for them to work on it in that way (ie instead of requiring a paper as the only submission format, give the options for students to instead prepare a presentation, work with a group, create a video or podcast, etc). 
  • Plan for In-Class Work and Relaxation Time: When preparing your class outlines for the semester, consider scheduling set time in (some or all) classes to allow for stretching, mindfulness exercises, a break in long lectures or labs, or time for students to work on their assignments. Having a predictable and scheduled time allows for this to be a consistently valuable asset to students, instead of having time randomly left over here and there. This can also help you build connections with students as that free time can allow them to talk with you if they need support. Additionally, scheduled time such as this can make a big impact in signifying you as a safe space.
  • Integrate Career, Educational, and Well-Being Goal Exploration in Class and Assignments: Giving students an opportunity for exploration in the classroom can help students draw connections between their educational, career, and well-being goals and coursework, and in turn, find greater relevance in course content. This also allows them to find other students in class that have similar goals.

Additional Classroom Resources

Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence (CAFE)

The Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence empowers and educates faculty/instructors to become the most effective educators possible. Some specific resources that may be helpful for your classroom are:


National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD)

The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) is an independent faculty development center that offers live and recorded webinars, courses, mentoring, and workshops. The UM System has an institutional membership to NCFDD, meaning any faculty member, post-doctoral fellow, graduate, or professional student at a UM System university can access the breadth of NCFDD resources at any time.


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FAQ's and Concerns

Want to support well-being, diversity, and/or inclusion in the classroom but don't know how? Submit your question and we will answer it anonymously below!

Submit Here

This is a common barrier for offering support to a student who is asking about what support or alternative options might be available, and there are many ways to prevent this type of "snowball" effect:

  • At the beginning of the semester, encourage students to come to you in office hours or individually in class with concerns they are having, whether it be personal or academic. That way you can allow for reasonable support based on the concerns they share in a way that keeps your conversation private.
  • One common concern under this umbrella is providing an assignment extension to one student and being wary that more students will now ask for an extension. One way to combat this is to start off each semester allowing all students one or two "no questions asked" extensions, where they can get a pre-set extension period for qualified assignments with no questions asked, as long as they notify you before the class period in which it is due. This way, students know they have the option available when they need it, but know that it is a limited resource and would not "abuse" it. Some students may ask for more extensions besides these, but those could be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
    • Additionally, if you find that a majority of students are requesting an extension on the same assignment, this could signify a struggle to keep up with course material and/or a specifically busy period in the semester; a next possible step could be to consider making adjustments in the syllabus. 

If this is a topic you struggle with, we encourage you first to turn to your colleagues and ask how they handle this type of situation. 

The promotion of mental health and well-being in the classroom is relevant in all courses from the perspective that mental health concerns are prevalent among students and can affect a student’s energy level, concentration, dependability, mental ability, and optimism, hindering their academic performance (Suicide Prevention Resource Center). Additionally, the cause of mental health concerns may stem from assignment overloads and unrealistic expectations in the courses, pushing students to the point of incapacitation and nonperformance. Working with your department chair may be valuable for setting course expectations and assignment type/frequency, as well as tips on incorporating well-being in the classroom.

There are a few ways to remedy this concern, though it’s important to remember that saying something is almost always better than saying nothing and letting a situation get worse.

  1. Work to become a safe space for your students. Learn more in the Classroom Strategies section under “Long Prep Strategies”
  2. Practice empathy when speaking to students and use the VAR method (Validate Appreciate Refer) when bringing up or responding to student concerns. Learn more in the Classroom Strategies section under “Long Prep Strategies”
  3. Showcasing the resources and support services to students: If having direct conversations with students regarding their mental health is difficult or makes you uncomfortable, make sure to highlight the resources that are available to students so they know where to get the additional support. A large list of resources can be found in the Student Well-Being Resource Directory as well as on the urgent/crisis resource page.

While there is no direct data to support either way, many students have suggested that it was a positive experience and gave them a sort of “wake up call” to readjust or to get help in finding the resources they needed. Overall, regardless of student response, it is encouraged to fill out a UCARE referral as an active member of our campus community with student safety in mind.

Please note that UCARE referrals can be filed anonymously if you are worried about classroom repercussions. Additionally, students can choose whether they follow up with a referral, receive help, or not respond at all. For more detailed information about the UCARE process and all it entails, visit 

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Faculty Spotlight

Kelly Tate, MFA

Associate Teaching Professor, English and Technical Communication

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Promoting well-being in my classroom is a priority for me. To me, the foundation of teaching is connection, and I’ve always believed that creating a safe and warm classroom environment is the first step toward promoting well-being. Students are under a great deal of pressure, and the pandemic only exacerbated students’ stress levels. Many of my students are also freshmen, so they are navigating the transition to college as well.

To promote well-being in my classroom, I aim to connect with my students as individuals, encouraging them to meet with me during office hours to discuss assignments as well as possible barriers to success. I often share information on the Student Well-Being resources on campus if our conversations indicate that a student could benefit from some support. Additionally, I make use of the UCARE referral system, submitting referrals for students who may benefit from outreach from a Care Manager.

In Fall 2022, Professor Goldberg and I partnered with Student Well-Being to design a narrative assignment with an emphasis on cognitive reframing. This assignment was very meaningful, and it provided an opportunity to add a beneficial component to the narrative assignment, with the goal of helping students learn skills to deal with difficult situations in the future, as well as learning to use cognitive reframing when examining past experiences. We are grateful to Senior Counselor, Amber Johnston, for visiting our classes to promote these skills.

After completing the narrative-based cognitive reframing essay, my student, Drew Appleman said, “Cognitive reframing helped me to understand and be able to describe the way that I was feeling at the time of the event that I used for my narrative. It was a good way to take a step back and think about the emotions and how they affected me on that day and moving forward. I think that I will use cognitive reframing in the future if I have very bad or very good days. I will reflect on them after and "reframe" the feelings that I was having.”

Another one of my students, Evan Boydston said, “[The assignment] was a good mental check for me because it gave me reassurance that I can do a lot more than I think I'm capable of at times. It will help me in my future because no matter what I will come across I know that I can overcome it. It will give me confidence to push through adversity. I'm glad I had the opportunity to write this narrative to be able to reflect on what I overcame.”

It is not unusual for me to tell my students that their well-being more important than a grade. I believe that once a student receives proper support and is connected to helpful resources, then the student can focus more effectively on assignments. I’ve learned some excellent strategies for talking to students in distress via the Mental Well-Being Champion training sessions that I’ve completed as my department’s Mental Well-Being Champion. I have reminded students that how they feel right now will not be how they feel forever, and I also employ the technique of mirroring, reflecting back what I hear a student saying. Being heard and seen is powerful.

Amber Henslee, PhD

Associate Professor, Psychological Science

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I support student well-being in the classroom and learning environment by talking about the resources available to students on and off campus and by uploading well-being resources in Canvas. I also offer extra credit to students who complete some of the well-being online trainings such as Ask, Listen, Refer and Collegiate Recovery Ally Training. Most importantly, I try to create an inclusive and belonging environment by encouraging students to engage in discussions about sensitive topics, such as mental health and substance use, while using respectful language that recognizes our collective diversity.

Robin Verble, PhD

Director, Environmental Science Program

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I let students know that they can be their authentic selves in my classroom, lab, and office by being myself around them and to any extent that I can, flattening the hierarchical structure of academia. I remember what it was like to be 18, new to college, and from a very rural background, and I channel that empathy into my interactions: My students' experiences aren't identical to mine, but I can relate to the experience of being unsure, or of needing an advocate or advice, or of just wanting to talk about something with someone who will listen.

I also manage my classroom through mutual respect and trust. For example, if we want healthy students, we have to understand that sometimes their mental health or well-being requires that they miss class, much as we all occasionally miss work sometimes. We also have to understand that diverse people have diverse needs that may require them to miss class occasionally. Policies like requiring a doctor's note or proof of a death create inaccessible situations for many students and encourage deceit. I let my students know that I respect them and understand that sometimes they need to miss class-- I ask them to let me know that they won't be in class as soon as they are able and to make a plan with me to get the material they have missed. I ask them to not abuse this policy, because mutual respect fosters mutual trust, and they rarely do.

Karen Head, PhD

Director of Arts & Innovation

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I begin every syllabus with this note:

"First and foremost, I care about each of you as human beings. I hope you will think of me that way, too. I'm here to support you however I can. Take care of yourself and your family. Whatever happens, we will work it out."

Later, when I talk about the importance of attending class (and, yes, 75% of success in life is about showing up and engaging), I add another key statement:

"If you begin missing class time, I’m going start looking for you—because, here’s the thing, I’m not going to leave anyone behind."

While I give lots of information about the various ways to get help at S&T, I want my students to know that I am part of that help. Too often students think that their professors are adversaries. We aren't. Much of my philosophy comes from the many years I worked in and directed writing centers. I always want students to know they can talk to me. If I can't help, I'm not going to shrug them off; I'm going to find someone who can help them.

Ultimately, actions speak louder than any words on my syllabus, but I think, even in my short time at S&T, students know I mean what I say. I'm not leaving anyone behind--no matter what.

Michelle Schwartze, EdD

Assistant Teaching Professor, Teacher Education and Certification

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In my own teaching I like to follow the ideas of Nel Noddings in her ethics of care philosophy. When we show students we care, and spend time actually listening to them, they are more likely to learn and, as instructors, our pedagogy will get stronger (Noddings, 2005). By learning about my students, their hobbies as well as how they learn best, I can create lessons that engage students in those topics they like or change up how I teach the content to address various learning styles.

If students don’t feel like a teacher cares about them then they are less likely to participate in class. I show my students that I care by showing up to class a few minutes early each time to engage with those students who also show up early and see how their week has been. I also incorporate a lot of discussion in my classes which helps increase students’ critical thinking, but also allows time for me to learn more about my students and their beliefs and thoughts about the content of the course.

As professors, it’s important to remember that our students are often juggling many different things and have stresses outside of our classes, so having compassion at times is important. If a student has something come up and misses a deadline once in my class I don’t penalize them, but rather listen to their situation and modify the deadline if necessary. I tend to think about it as how I would want someone to treat me if I was in that situation at that time. I want my students to feel comfortable coming to me when they feel overwhelmed and just need to talk. My office has many times become the “safe space” where my students just come to chill if they need a break from life. Providing that safe space, wherever it ends up being, can help students see you care.

These are just some of the ways that I support my students, along with sharing the many resources on campus with them. I still have more to learn about the resources available, but being a Mental Well-Being Champion for my department has given me the opportunity to learn more about these and have the knowledge to share with students who can benefit from them. I will continue learning about these resources because I know they are helpful to students, and the students are my main priority!

Klaus Woelk, PhD

Associate Professor, Chemistry

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Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I first encountered this well-known phrase during a keynote lecture at a teaching and learning conference, and it left a lasting impression on my perception of my students, both in and outside the classroom. Striking the right balance of teaching and learning can be difficult, especially when dealing with students who have diverse backgrounds, abilities, and interests. My goal is to create engaging, thought-provoking, and challenging courses that encourage active learning and collaboration among all students. Thus, addressing the individual needs of each student is critical for their overall well-being and success. For instance, by letting students know that there are no silly questions in my class and that all inquiries will be treated with respect and answered truthfully, creates a positive and supportive environment. Individual student needs can also be met through additional learning opportunities, such as LEAD sessions (Learning Enhancement Across Disciplines,, and ample opportunities for one-on-one meetings with faculty members.

During my term as department chair of chemistry, I followed the advice of Dr. Scott Miller (Materials Science and Engineering) and relocated my office hours to the Student Success Center at 198 Toomey Hall. This change allowed me to avoid frequent interruptions from individuals just seeking signatures or the completion of other quick administrational tasks. However, the Student Success Center offered much more than a distraction-free environment. In addition to giving students my full attention, it also created the welcoming and non-threatening atmosphere that promotes student well-being outside the normal classroom time. The number of students attending my office hours has significantly increased and at times, students will drop in for a casual conversation about their academic progress or just to have a chat over a cup of coffee.

B.J. Shrestha, PhD

Associate Teaching Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

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Wellbeing happens in different layers. Many people interpret wellbeing usually as physical wellbeing, such as staying healthy in physical terms. So, it is perceived as not having sickness or disease. However, it is much more than that.

We could think of wellbeing at different levels such as physical, mental, academic, social, financial, psychological, emotional, professional, and spiritual well-being.

Human beings have many sides and many aspects to them, so a perfect wellbeing means not just being physically healthy, although that is the first thought that comes to our mind. Staying healthy in any of the above classifications does start with a great deal of understanding and practice via education and adopting a dose of prevention as much as possible.

Since I am a firm believer of prevention, I lay it out in front of the students at the outset. Right at the beginning of the semester, I describe myself to my students as their well-wisher and that I will offer them my advice and perspectives on various subjects dealing with wellbeing. I tell them how I wish all of them to be healthy not just in body but also in mind and soul.

Regarding physical wellness, I explain to them how important it is to have a good sleep of around 8 to 9 hours every night and how important it is for them not to stay up late till wee hours especially the night before the exam.

A well-planned study habit such as studying for certain amount of time for certain subjects if done regularly bears a more productive result. I also talk about my own formula of “triple R” to them which is what I discovered when I was a student myself. This consists of a set of (r, R, r) where the upper-case letter has more value than the lower-case. (r R, r) = (redo, REFLECT, recap)

I tell my students to redo or copy the lecture note neat and clean to a notebook (writing neat and clean is becoming a lost or almost a lost art in our society today), then REFLECT on each line of the note thoughtfully, recap the idea by rewriting the material contained in the lecture note and then finally, comparing the recapped note to the original lecture note. Any student who applies this process regularly to each subject will not only excel in the study but will also enjoy the whole process. The best thing about it is that when we enjoy what we do, we end up doing it great.

When I offer such advice to any and all of my students, usually they receive it gracefully and take it home to think about it some more. However, once in a while, I smell a little bit off-putting. Some 14 or 15 years ago, there was a student named Thomas (for the sake of making it near anonymous, I am not using his last name). Once I was telling my students to have a good night’s sleep and have a good breakfast before they go to take a test, Thomas came to me and said, “Dr. Shrestha, you sound like my Dad”. I smiled and said, “Nice” Then he came a little closer and said, “Do you know, I hate him!” Ouch, I didn’t see that coming. Anyway, I thought 99% if not 100% of my students did take my advice with grace and I hope they will maul over it.

I also said, “… just before you go to sleep, think about the whole day’s activities, see if you are happy and at peace with what you did; if yes, continue doing so the next day, but if you think, gosh I should have done this, I should have done that, tell yourself that next time around, you will do what your conscience told you to do. Today is just about gone, tomorrow is a new day.”

I remind my students about the various resources available here at S&T and that they are available free of cost. Here, it is not just me, but everybody wants you all to be the very best in everything. So, our slogan is “Learn Well. Be Well. Stay Well”. We focus on learning, then applying the knowledge thus learned to stay well.

This is a whole bunch of items of support that proves to be godsend for some of our students.

Kathryn Dolan, PhD

Associate Professor, English and Technical Communication

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I thrive on the variety of disciplines and kinds of students that attend my literature courses. One of the strengths of my literature courses is that they are relatively small--15-40 students on average. This allows me to give more personalized attention to all of my students. My concern with inclusion and accessibility drives my teaching, and I always appreciate students from diverse backgrounds and work to make them feel welcome.

I have students form small groups during the first week of class. These groups will have a shared presentation assignment together. In addition, I tell them that group is a resource for them--somewhere to go to check-in about class information that isn't the instructor. I regularly encourage them to check-in with these peer groups. In addition, small group work in class allows me to spend more individual time with each student.

I also vary my teaching style. While I focus on discussion throughout my teaching, I arrange specific class sessions to get us moving. We break into small groups, form a large circle, take class outside--whatever helps. I find these strategies help engage students.

I give a variety of writing assignments in order to engage students fully in the creative process of the literature they are studying. This assignments also allow the students to bring their outside strengths into the literature classroom. For example, I have designed a multi-media assignment in which students transform one of the stories read in class into another form of media and write a response paper analyzing what that experience taught them. I want students to study their media choices. Some examples of finished projects have been paintings, video recordings, performance art pieces, and interactive games.

Mostly, I care about the students. I tell them I care about them and about their success. I want them to care about each other. These small touches make a difference!

Matthew Thimgan, PhD

Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

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I try to approach my interactions with students from the perspective that we are both educating the students as well as helping them to mature in a way that they can meet the expectations that will be set at their next position. Thus, each student will be at a different place in that process and will be handling the stresses of how they got there and how what the future holds differently.

I talk to them about how stress is part of the maturing process because they are moving into areas that are unfamiliar. In addition, while the future is extremely promising for our students, it is typically wholly unsettled. Everything from relationships, to the job they might have, their future careers, and even what city they will live in are yet to be determined. I feel this uncertainty as an extra layer of stress that is not directly accounted for in our typical assessment.

More traditionally, I ask them about extracurricular activities. Many of our students are interested in so many things. College is also about being mature, understanding that you can’t do everything, and beginning to narrow one’s interests to do the best job they can at the things they really care about.

Lastly, there are those that are overwhelmed by all of these factors. They often have the typical indicators, such as poor/declining grades or not showing up to class. For these students, I try to provide the support to talk to the right people. A university is nothing if not a bureaucratic beast. Finding the right person can be an intimidating and discouraging process. I try to provide the support so that they can get to that person that can help them find and execute the solution that is best for them. 

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Faculty Resources

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

The UM System's two Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are a confidential, professional service provided to all employees, their families, retirees, and organizational work units. The EAPs provide a variety of services to help employees influenced by a range of personal concerns or stressors. The EAPs also assist work units and the larger organization to improve quality and productivity. Learn more from the website using the link below.



Ask.Listen.Refer Suicide Prevention Training

The Missouri S&T Ask.Listen.Refer Suicide Prevention Training Program was designed to help faculty, staff, and students prevent suicide by teaching you to:

  • identify people at risk for suicide
  • recognize the risk factors, protective factors, and warning signs of suicide
  • respond to and get help for people at risk
This program takes about 20 minutes to complete and is intended for educational use, not therapeutic use.



Employee Benefits and Perks

Learn more about the benefits and perks that are available to you as a staff member.



Health and Well-Being Publications from Student Well-Being

Student Well-Being has published newsletters and other publications that were created to support the mental health and well-being of faculty members, as well as for faculty to support their students. Publications include newsletters, resource spotlights, and more.


Show Me Hope Missouri Helpline

Show Me Hope Helpline is a free, confidential, crisis counseling program designed to help individuals and the community cope with disasters. Some of the services offered are crisis counseling, resources, and referrals to local agencies for various types of assistance.



BetterHelp makes professional therapy accessible, affordable, and convenient — so anyone who struggles with life’s challenges can get help, anytime and anywhere. BetterHelp offers access to licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and board licensed professional counselors.




BodyU is an initiative funded by the Missouri Eating Disorders Council based on over 30 years of research at Mashington University School of Medicine in St.Louis and Stanford University. The online survey is programmed to understand your behaviors and self-image. Based on the results, you'll be assigned a custom-tailored online or mobile program that fits your unique responses. NOTE: you will not receive an official diagnosis of an eating disorder or any other mental health disorder. Programs are not meant to replace in-person counseling. 



Gaelle Chapon Wellness Coaching

Work with Gaelle, a certified Solution-focused Coach, with a mission is to support people in creating the life they really want, aligned with their values and with the balance they need. Wellness and well-being are key elements in her holistic approach. Work with Gaelle in Rolla or virtually.



LiveHealth Online

LiveHealth Online allows you to see a licensed therapist or psychiatrist online from the comfort and privacy of your own space, and can help with a variety of concerns such as anxiety, life transitions, stress, relationship troubles, depression, grief, coping with illness, and panic attacks. Pricing for this service depends on insurance and services desired- learn more on their website.



MACRO Collegiate Recovery Ally Training

This training was  designed to help faculty, staff, and students support individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. The training covers: (1) substance use disorders and recovery, (2) myths and stigmas about substance use disorders, (3) using person first, recovery friendly language, and (4) how to support someone seeking, or already in, recovery. The training takes about 30 minutes to complete, and is intended to be completed in one session.




MindWise offers brief mental and behavioral health screenings that are the quickest way to determine if you or someone you care about should connect with a counselor or other professional. Some screening topics include generalized anxiety, depression, alcohol use, disordered eating, and more.



Psychology Today

The Psychology Today website is a great first step in looking for an off-campus mental health professional,  featuring therapy and health professionals directories where you can filter by insurance, location, and even  “issues”. The website also features hundreds of blogs written by a wide variety of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, medical doctorsanthropologistssociologists, and science journalists.



Talk Space

Talkspace is a convenient and affordable way to improve your mental health. Get matched with a licensed therapist in your state from the comfort of your device, and message via text, audio, and video. Tell us your preferences for therapy, and match with one of our therapists in your state the same day. Send your therapist unlimited text, audio, picture, or video messages from anywhere, at any time — you’ll hear back at least once a day, 5 days per week.


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