Promoting Mental Health and Wellness in Undergraduate Engineers

Title: Promoting Mental Health and Wellness in Undergraduate Engineers

When: February 26, 2021 2:00 PM (Eastern Time)

Facilitators: Dr. Karin Jensen, Dr. Andrew Danowitz, Dr. Sarah Wilson, Melanie Miller, Courtney Wright


  1. Slides
  2. Sign up for the Mental Health and Wellness in Engineering Slack Group


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, higher education was facing a “mental health crisis.” The rapid onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced countless additional stressors, and faculty concern over student well-being has increased. In this workshop, we will share the current state of research on mental health in undergraduate engineering students, including ongoing research to understand the impact of COVID-19 on student well-being.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  1. Define the current state of research in engineering student mental health
  2. Recognize the impact of online learning on student mental health
  3. Develop and discuss practices for supporting student well-being
  4. Understanding research based practices for supporting student mental health


Dr. Karin Jensen

Karin Jensen, Ph.D. is a Teaching Assistant Professor in bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Her research interests include student mental health and wellness, engineering student career pathways, and engagement of engineering faculty in engineering education research. She was awarded a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation for her research on undergraduate mental health in engineering programs. Before joining UIUC she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Sanofi Oncology in Cambridge, MA.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in biological engineering from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia.

Dr. Andrew Danowitz Dr. Andrew Danowitz

Andrew Danowitz is an Associate Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He is passionate about engineering education and particularly about mental health and wellness of students. His interests also include student motivation and improving inclusivity and accessibility in the classroom.

Dr. Sarah Wilson Dr. Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson is a lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Kentucky. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Rowan University in New Jersey before attending graduate school for her PhD at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. Her research interests include engineering communication, process safety and undergraduate student mental health. Recently, she was awarded an NSF RIEF grant to student mental health related help-seeking in undergraduate engineering students. She is completing this project in collaboration with faculty members from educational and counseling psychology. With this work, they aim to better understand the help-seeking beliefs of undergraduate engineering students and develop interventions to improve mental health related help-seeking.

Melanie Miller Melanie Miller, M.S.

Melanie Miller, M.S. (she/her/hers) is currently a PhD student in Counseling Psychology. She is currently a doctoral practicum counselor at the University of Kentucky as well as an Student Success Coach. In all areas of her work as a researcher, clinician, teacher, and advocate she specialized in access to satisfactory education, employment, and mental health treatment for underserved groups. She can be reached at or on LinkedIn at

Courtney Wright Courtney Wright

Courtney is in her first-year as a Counseling Psychology PhD student at the University of Kentucky, after completing both her BA and MA at Boston College. Courtney is now a member of the RISE^2 Research Team and advised by Dr. Candice Hargons. Broadly, her research interests include: the intersections of race, culture, gender, and their impact on health; mental health seeking behaviors in marginalized communities; and trauma, healing, & resilience among Black people. Courtney is currently completing practicum at the University of Kentucky Counseling Center. She is also the research assistant for the NSF funded Research Initiation in Engineering Formation team.