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SCS DEI Update

Feb. 17, 2022

Student Well-Being and the Pandemic

There has clearly been a substantial impact on student well-being during the pandemic. Student well-being has been linked to engagement and performance in curricular and extracurricular activities, and in student motivation, satisfaction and overall mental health.

There have been a number of studies to explore the nature of this impact, along with possible impact to lifelong success. Results show that university support played, and continues to play, a role in how students manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and maintain their well-being. They suggest a future where universities might increase student well-being by making visible, accessible support for student studies a priority, especially for undergraduates.

To help, here are some wellness resources.


From 1 to 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 21, Sera Linardi, associate professor of economics in the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Pittsburgh, will lead a virtual Lunch and Learn Session entitled “Lessons From Imperfect Attempts To Serve (Out of Academia)," a discussion about incubating student-driven social justice projects across classrooms, and the benefits and challenges of this tech-for-good production model.

After George Floyd’s murder in May 2020, Linardi started Grief to Action, a student-and-community driven incubator of web projects to support the efforts of local racial justice organizations, as an initiative at a fledging center that she had just founded, the Center for Analytical Approaches to Social Innovation (CAASI). After a year and half of weekly open meetings and participation from more than 180 volunteers, Grief to Action launched two platforms: the Allegheny County Policing Project and 412Connect — a Black-Owned Business scavenger hunt for university students. This talk will cover what it is like as a faculty member to put students in the driver's seat of data science for social justice while collaborating with local communities and partners, and the benefits and challenges of sustaining such a movement in an academic setting.

In addition, Metro21 will provide $10 credit from GrubHub for each registrant who 1) submits a question for the speaker to prior to the event and 2) attends the event to ask their question live. Register using this form.

Are you wondering if your course page, website, blog, academic paper or other communications are accessible to all? Are you looking to elevate your CV and personal website ahead of career fair and job search season? SCS4A11y will hold a meeting at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 1, in GHC 4405 to form a working group to help the SCS community with accessibility audits. We can also assist with your job search materials. If you are interested in helping with the audits or learning more, consider attending. For questions, contact Fern.

More on Black History Month

MasterClass is offering a free streaming course on Black History, Black Freedom and Black Love for the month of February.


Jetten, J. (2020). Together apart: The psychology of COVID-19. Sage.

Plakhotnik, M. S., Volkova, N. V., Jiang, C., Yahiaoui, D., Pheiffer, G., McKay, K., ... & Reißig-Thust, S. (2021). The Perceived Impact of COVID-19 on Student Well-Being and the Mediating Role of the University Support: Evidence from France, Germany, Russia and the UK. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 2663.

Thank you,
The DEI Team