Collaborative Approach to Mental Health Access


College student mental health and well-being continues to be a major source of concern for higher education administrators, faculty, and staff. As the need for services is only expected to increase, UNYCC members are working to optimize our collective resources to better support our students.

Join with health and wellness colleagues, and other student affairs professionals, from across UNYCC to learn more about Mantra Health’s after hours solutions for higher education.


July 28, 2020

2:00-3:00


  • Learn about Mantra’s Higher Ed Psychiatry and Therapy Solutions
  • Check out the Collaborative Portal
  • Explore opportunities to share solutions with UNYCC colleagues

Featured Speakers

Dr. Harry Rockland-Miller, currently a clinical advisor for Mantra Health, will offer key guidance on the landscape of higher education and its respective mental health climate. He was formerly the Director of Counseling and Psychological Health and Executive Director of Wellness at UMass Amherst for over 20 years focusing on working with students in a university setting. He is a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Association of University and College Counseling Center Directors’ (AUCCCD) from his contribution to campus mental health “at the highest national levels.”

Ed Gaussen, co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Mantra Health, began his career at White Star Capital, an international investment firm investing in high potential technology and healthcare companies in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Ed completed his BSc at McGill University. He was inspired to start Mantra after watching a teenage family member struggle to find quality mental healthcare for years. At Mantra, he is responsible for forming partnerships with higher education institutes and health insurance plans across the United States to improve students’ access to quality mental health services while concurrently increasing on-campus collaboration with counseling and health service center staff through the Mantra Collaboration Portal.

Matt Kennedy is a co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer of Mantra Health. He started his career at Google and completed his MBA from Columbia Business School and BSc at the London School of Economics. He was inspired to start Mantra through a life changing experience he had with a college counselor after his brother almost died. At Mantra he is responsible for product development and clinical operations. Under his leadership, the company launched the Mantra Collaboration portal, a software platform enabling counseling and health service centers on university and college campuses to co-manage student patients with a dedicated psychiatry or therapy provider Mantra staffs through its provider group.


Attendance is free but registration is required.

Small Teaching Online: A Discussion with Flower Darby


Friday, May 29th

2:00-3:00 pm


Seating Limited: Register on or before May 26th

Flower Darby, Assistant Dean,
Online and Innovative Pedagogies, Norther Arizona University

Flower Darby celebrates and promotes excellent teaching for the sake of our students and their learning. She’s the Assistant Dean of Online and Innovative Pedagogies at Northern Arizona University, where she’s taught for over 23 years in English, Educational Technology, Leadership, Dance and Pilates. Flower teaches face-to-face, blended and online classes at NAU, and she also teaches online classes at Estrella Mountain Community College. She loves to apply effective teaching principles and practices across the disciplines and to help others do the same. Flower speaks, writes, presents and consults on teaching and learning theory and practice both nationally and internationally. She’s the author, with James M. Lang, of Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes (2019).

One lucky registrant from a member institution will win a copy of Flower’s recent book, Small Teaching Online


While attendance is free, registration is required.

Supporting Campus Well-being for All

The American Council on Education (ACE) brought together Active Minds, the JED Foundation, the Steve Fund and several others organizations to prepare Mental Health, Higher Education and COVID-19, a special report focusing on strategies for leaders to support campus well-being for students, staff and faculty. This special report lends insights into institutional planning including communication, the well-being of all campus stakeholders and the need for assessment.

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive the latest on UNYC’s strategic priority areas: student success, resource optimization, and leadership development.

You’re Invited: Empowering Women to Lead in Higher Ed

Women of higher education, higher education adjacent fields, or those contemplating a life in academia are invited to join colleagues from the Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts (PCLA) at a professional development webinar for women. This virtual “Inspire” panel and Q/A, offered in collaboration with Wisrwill take place from 11am – 12:30pm EDT on April 21st.

Join with others from around the nation to learn about senior leaders’ experiences persevering within, and adjacent to, the academy. In addition to Kate Volzer, co-founder and CEO of Wisr, three senior leaders from the PCLA membership will be sharing their career/life trajectories:

  • Barbara K. Altmann, PhD, president of Franklin & Marshall College,
  • Brontè Burleigh-Jones, PhD, vice president for Finance and Administration at Dickinson College, and
  • Jesse Gale, PhD, chief communications officer at Bryn Mawr College.

The goal of the panel is to highlight stories of perseverance within and adjacent to the academy including practical advice related to successful negotiation (for one’s self and on behalf of an institution), being true to one’s self in male dominated environments. While the speakers are drawn from small liberal arts institutions, the presentations are broadly scoped to all higher education sectors and higher education adjacent fields (consortia, K-12, foundations, consultants, etc.)

Interested women may register for the webinar  by clicking on the button below.

This event is being made possible by generous support from the Booth Ferris Foundation.


Access & the Internet: Providers Giving Students a Break

On March 13th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its  Keep Americans Connected Pledge, calling on broadband and telephone service providers to maintain and improve connectivity as the US confronts COVID-19.  To date, more than 500 companies have signed on agreeing to waive late fees and to maintain service.

Students who find themselves working off-campus with limited internet access can take advantage of opportunities that range from lifted data restrictions, some number of free months of service for new customers, waived overages and/or broadly available hotspots. 

Charter Spectrum is offering 60 days of free broadband.

Xfinity will make WiFi hotspots across the country available to anyone who needs them at no cost. 

Comcast, owned by Xfinity, will make it easier for low-income families in a Comcast service area to sign up by offering new customers 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service.

AT&T will keep public WiFi hotspots open for anyone who needs them. It has also pledged to waive all wireless data overage fees and will not cancel service for non-payment over the next 60 days.

Check out this list to find your current provider, or another, get connected!

Better Together Thursdays

Have you seen the recent informational campaigns sponsored by UNYCC? Check out our most recently Better Together Thursday edition (3/19) Instructional Resources for Virtual Environments (rollover for link). (.pdf)

If you would like to contribute to the next issue, please let us know. We would love to feature your proven practices, innovative ideas, and collaborative spirit.

Tips for Teaching Virtually

I’m an instructional designer specializing in higher education and online instruction, and here is my offer of help. I have a little bandwidth to spare at the moment and I never imagined there would be such a thing as a “national instructional design emergency.” But here we are, and here I am.

 If you’re an instructor who has just found out that all of your teaching for the rest of the semester is moving online and you have no idea where to go or what to do, these are my tips.

Steve Weidner, Senior Instructional Technologist at UNYCC’s New York Chiropractic College

First off, look locally. Look and see what resources your institution has posted. If you’ve never sought out their help, find your campus’s support staff. We call them variations on the same theme: “Academy for Teaching Excellence”, “Center for Learning and Teaching”, “Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning”, “Office of Digital Learning”, “Innovative Learning”. They may or may not be the same folks that do your Blackboard/Canvas/D2L/other LMS support. They’ve likely sent you a bunch of emails about emergency seminars that they’ll be running about moving online that you’ve missed in the panic. Breathe. Take a moment. Go to one of their seminars.

Buy a USB microphone. Now. Seriously. If there is one easily identifiable potential failure point in live teaching or recording lectures, it’s your audio. I like the Blue Snowball (Amazon link). It’s been in production for 15 years or so. It’s a solid mic. But pretty much any USB lavalier, microphone, or headset is likely better than what’s on your laptop.

If your campus doesn’t have local resources up and running yet, check out this site from Indiana University.  I and a number of my colleagues are shamelessly cribbing from it while we create our own localized versions. It’s a good ‘un. Mad props to the IU team.

If you’re looking for broader tips about teaching online from people who actually do it, here are a couple of twitter threads and articles I recommend:

Dr. Ryan Straight’s advice; more on the technical side of things. The three links I pulled from his thread are:

AND THIS. READ THIS The title is a bit inflammatory, but the advice might be some of the most important you get.

If this isn’t doing it for you, or if your local resources are overwhelmed, or you have some weird academic need that you can’t imagine how in the world to migrate it online, there is the Instructional Design Emergency Response Network where you can request help and other IDs who have available time can offer their assistance. Their signup sheet is here. You can find them on Twitter at @id_erNet.

If we’ve ever met or worked together before, or you even recognize my name, reach out to me and I’ll be happy to help. If you know people who could use this information, please share it. If you happen to be an ID who needs to burn off some caffeine after you’ve already covered your local needs, sign up with the IDERN. And to everyone dealing with this, I’ll close with the following: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aB2yqeD0Nus