The Ethic of Care in the Academy: Practical Tips on How to Be Compassion Advocates (Part I)

Title: The Ethic of Care in the Academy: Practical Tips on How to Be Compassion Advocates (Part I)

Moderator:   Dr. Tahira Reid Smith  Panelists:  Dr. Cesunica Ivey, Dr. Rosie Hunter, Dr. Shawanee’ Patrick, Dr. Odest Chadwicke Jenkins, Vanessa Kwarteng, JulieMango (Juliet Angelique Bodley), Anitra L. Rice


In light of the recent suicides of 2 Black Chemistry academics (both graduate students) within the last week (Samantha “Sammy” Mensah and Nic Watkins), the founders of Black in Engineering recognize the need for an ethic of care in academia. In the first of a two-part panel series, mental health professionals, survivors, engineering students, and faculty will discuss Practical Tips on How to Be Compassion Advocates for members of the community.

Learning objectives

Participants will learn signs that may indicate when people are struggling mentally, they will learn productive ways to normalize and open “touch-points” of communication about mental health in academic environments increasing compassion and productivity, and they will learn how to respond to individuals in intense moments of crisis, such as when someone has intentions to self-harm or attempt suicide. 

Learning outcomes

Attendees should know the answers to these questions: What are some signs that people may be struggling mentally? How do we normalize regular “touch points” in academic environments? What are some ways to normalize compassion AND productivity? How do we respond if someone tells you something intense like they’re experiencing suicidal ideations?


  2. Psypactmap
  3. Mindful U


  1. Feeling Great
  2. The Worry Cure 
  3. “Managing your Mental Health during your PhD: A Survival Guide



Reid Smith, Tahira

Dr. Tahira Reid Smith is a Professor at Penn State Univ. in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Design and the Associate Department Head for Inclusive Research and Education. She is also a co-founder of Black in Engineering. Her research involves the quantification and integration of human-centered considerations in engineering systems and/or the design process. Funded by the NSF, Procter & Gamble, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, her projects involving the intersection of diversity and mechanical engineering have been featured in National Geographic, NBC’s Today Show, Essence Magazine, Reuters, and National Public Radio. Her story about her double dutch jump rope invention is featured in two children’s books and was on the 2017 New York State Common Core Exam. Dr. Reid Smith obtained BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Ph.D. in Design Science from the Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and a postdoc at Iowa State Univ. LinkedInTwitter


Ivey, Cesunica

Dr. Cesunica Ivey is an award-winning assistant professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the Univ. of California-Berkeley, and the principal investigator of the Air Quality Modeling and Exposure Lab, where she is an emerging leader in the areas of air quality modeling & applications and community-scale air pollution exposure assessment. She earned her Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics at the Univ. of Nevada-Reno, and was a visiting scientist at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. Her research interests lie at the nexus of air pollution science and engineering and environmental justice and she partners with community organizations to prevent the over-industrialization of already overburdened neighborhoods.  LinkedIn 

Hunter, Rosie

Dr. Rosie Hunter is a psychologist with over 15 years specializing in anxiety and performance under pressure in varied and challenging environments. As a psychologist in the US Army, Rosie was responsible for ensuring elite Army pilots, commanders, and soldiers could perform under pressure when it mattered most. After the Army, Rosie shifted to business consulting and founded Test Wolf to reduce test anxiety and transform adversity into mindsets and behaviors for a more confident, courageous future. Rosie received a BA in psychology from Emory Univ. and an MS and PhD in clinical psychology from Florida State Univ. She was awarded the Bronze Star for her service on deployment to Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division, Combat Aviation Brigade. Rosie is a former White House Intern, a Presidential Leadership Scholar, and a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology. LinkedIn
Panelist:Odest Chadwicke Jenkins Dr. Odest Chadwicke Jenkins is a Professor of Robotics at the University of Michigan. Prof. Jenkins earned his B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics at Alma College (1996), M.S. in Computer Science at Georgia Tech (1998), and Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Southern California (2003). He previously served on the faculty of Brown University in Computer Science (2004-15). His research addresses problems in interactive robotics and human-robot interaction, primarily focused on mobile manipulation, robot perception, and robot learning from demonstration. His research often intersects topics in computer vision, machine learning, and computer animation. Prof. Jenkins has been recognized as a Sloan Research Fellow and is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). His work has also been supported by Young Investigator awards from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Prof. Jenkins is currently serving as Editor-in-Chief for the ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), and Senior Member of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is an alumnus of the Defense Science Study Group (2018-19). LinkedIn
Panelist:Shawanee’ Patrick Dr. Shawanee’ Patrick is currently a Legacy Postdoctoral Scholar in the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Ohio State. She received a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University. She later went on to receive a Master of Science degree, and PhD also at Texas A&M University, in Mechanical Engineering. Her doctoral work focused on the design methods and analysis of walking assistive devices. More specifically, she is interested in creating uniform methods utilizing biomechanics to create optimal walking assistive devices for multiple population groups. Her research interests include biomechanics of human motion, rehabilitation, design of mobility assistive devices, and engineering education.  Her primary goal in her research is to aid in mobility improvement. She has a passion for teaching and engineering education. Shawanee’ has been published in several research journals and has been rewarded for her teaching efforts.
Panelist:Vaness Kwarteng Vanessa Kwarteng is a doctoral candidate and NSF GRP Fellow in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. She was the President of the Black Graduate Students Association from 2020-2022. Her research focuses on game-theoretical modeling to incentivize energy-conserving behaviors in smart and connected communities.



Panelist:Julie Mango

JulieMango (Juliet Angelique Bodley) is an Actress, Structural Engineer, Certified Life Coach, Mental Health Advocate, and Singer/Songwriter.  Julie’s academic qualifications comprise: John Maxwell Certification and License as a Certified Life Coach Teacher, Trainer and Speaker; Bachelor of Engineering in Structural Engineering; Master of Science in Engineering Management; Toastmaster competent communicator.  With years of successful Coaching Experience, and Coaching Certifications, against a background in Structural Engineering, and Military Training, She specializes in healing from suicidal tendencies, relationship coaching, self reformation and reinvention, healing from self mutilation and self harm practices, and family and group coaching.  Julie professes Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior and is a mixture of sugar and spice and everything Christ.  LinkedIn | TwitterInstagram

Panelist: Anitra Rice, M.Ed. LLMFT is the mother of 3 amazing sons, Josiah, Jaden and Nicholas. She lost Josiah and Jaden to depression by way of suicide in 2019 and 2021. With her greatest pain comes her greatest joy being an advocate for the destigmatization of mental health in the Black community. Anitra is very passionate in her work as a licensed marriage and family therapist, educator and mindfulness practitioner. Anitra began her nonprofit The FOL Foundation, in honor of her sons. She also runs a small private practice while teaching parent workshops, and working as a therapist in Detroit public schools community district. But her greatest passion is raising her youngest and earth-side son, Nicholas.  LinkedInInstagram