SCSD Faculty Member Recognized at CAPCSD Conference

As the Director of the FSU Distance Learning (DL) Master’s Program, Jinger Deason strives to make DL students feel connected and heard with her weekly “Wellness Weigh-ins.” These check-ins aim to share mental-health resources and promote the services provided by FSU.

Deason’s weekly “Wellness Weigh-ins” have positively impacted her DL students by giving them the courage to ask for help and to practice self-care when needed.

“I have had countless students tell me in individual emails and during class discussions just how much they appreciate and value that we see them as individuals with complex lives and that we encourage them to live well and balanced lives,” Deason said.

At the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders conference, Deason’s weekly Wellness Weigh-ins were recognized and highlighted in the President’s address.

“The President of CAPCSD (Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders) requested nominations of stories that ‘show the never-ending dedication and commitment of Faculty, Staff, and Clinical Educators alike, determined to support and meet the goals of our students and fellow colleagues’ especially considering the difficulties associated with the pandemic,” Deason said.

Dr. Tricia Montgomery, a member of the CAPSCD Board of Directors, nominated Deason after seeing her dedication to the well-being of students and the positive effects the check-ins had on them.

“Our students have responded positively to this check-in and have communicated that they feel supported not only academically and clinically but also as a human,” Montgomery said. “With this small gesture, she has impacted the mental well-being of our students and empowered them to practice self-care.”

Deason transitioned to her role as the Director of the DL Program amidst a global pandemic. In an effort to help combat the extra stressors students were taking on at this time, Deason created the “Wellness Weigh-ins” as a part of her “Dish on DL” news announcement that would go out on Canvas every Monday.

“Witnessing the increase in stressors brought on by the pandemic and the resulting decline in the mental well-being of several of our graduate students, I felt a strong need to be more proactive in promoting the mental health services provided to students by FSU and highlight the need for students to prioritize their health and find a sustainable balance in their academic and personal lives,” Deason said.

Deason, Montgomery, and the entire SCSD hope that other institutions will implement something similar to the “Wellness Weigh-ins” as a consideration of all aspects of a student’s life, not just their academic needs.

“We knew if it was a struggle at times for us, our students surely needed additional support during grad school. I receive great joy in helping bridge gaps for the many facets of a grad student’s journey, especially in an area like mental health which is all-encompassing.”