PITTSBURGH (April 4, 2019) — Cheryl Paul, director of
engineering student services at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of
Engineering, was named the recipient of a 2019 Provost’s Personalized Education
Grant. The award includes up to $15,000 toward the implementation of her
project, “Inclusive Dialogue: Inviting Mental Wellness Understanding &
Planning into Everyday Academics.”
The project will help to educate faculty and staff about
mental health and guide students toward the resources available through Pitt’s Disability
Resource Services, Student Health Services and Student Affairs. U.S. Steel Dean
of Engineering James Martin has embraced this project as a signature initiative
for Swanson and pledged that the school will match two-thirds of the grant.
“For years, discussions around mental disorders and their
impact on a student’s ability to pursue a college degree has been spoken about
in hushed tones or in private,” says Ms. Paul. “This program aims to bring those
conversations into the light, ensure students have access to the resources they
need, and help faculty and staff recognize when a student is struggling and respond
Research shows that reported rates of mental health
disorders on college campuses are increasing, with one
in three college freshmen worldwide reporting a mental health disorder like
anxiety or depression.
In addition to increasing understanding and awareness of
this issue, Ms. Paul’s project will train faculty and staff in “Mental Health
First Aid,” which will help them to identify and respond to mental health
concerns for students in the Swanson School.
The Provost’s Personalized
Education Grant Program awards grants for ideas that bring advances in
technology and novel approaches to teaching, advising and mentoring to Pitt. Provost
and Senior Vice Chancellor Ann Cudd recognized the recipients at a reception on
Ms. Paul’s grant began on March 1 and will extend through
June 30, 2020.
Maggie Pavlick, 4/3/2019
Contact: Maggie Pavlick