MGCB & BISB Student Wellness Advisory Committee

Background: Based on the feedback received from the current MGCB and BISB graduate students and respective program directors, Dr. Vimla Band, chairperson of the Genetics, Cell Biology, and Anatomy (GCBA) Department, has formed a Student Wellness Advisory Committee to provide appropriate wellness related support to MGCB and BISB graduate students. The chairperson and faculty of the GCBA department are committed to further developing a compassionate workplace where graduate/ professional students feel valued and supported with multilevel assistance to meet individual needs.
Student Wellness Advisory Committee Request Form

To facilitate student well-being, members of the Student Wellness Advisory Committee serve as on-call advocates to support, advise, and provide resources to manage work and personal life. Wellness advocates are best utilized as a starting point to discuss wellness issues/problems and guide effective strategies. Each member can provide referrals to other resources if the situation requires it. Other resources include direct communication with the Graduate Student Wellness Advocate (Dr. Terry Donohue), GCBA Department Chair (Dr. Vimla Band), MGCB Program Directors (Drs. Andy Dudley and Kyle Hewitt), and BISB Program Directors (Dr. M. Jordan Rowley and Dario Ghersi). All students are protected by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs receiving Federal financial assistance (

Student Wellness Advisory Committee Objectives:

  1. Provide timely, appropriate, confidential, and individualized support to students of the MGCB and BISB graduate programs who are facing a wide range of wellness challenges, including those related to academics, lab/research, personal matters, work-life balance, physical and mental health, time management, family and personal relationships, professional relationships, personal finances, etc.
  2. Regularly assess the results of the wellness management strategies, analyzing their effectiveness, identifying successes and failures, understanding the reasons behind them, and adapting the strategies accordingly to ensure ongoing success.

Brief Description of the Process:

  1. The student provides information in person or completes the Student Wellness Advisory Committee Request Form. The nature of the wellness issue(s)/ problem(s) and the kind of help needed (with rationale) will be presented to the Wellness Advisory Committee Chair and Wellness Advisory Committee. The committee's contact information will be available on the GCBA department website, in the GCBA Newsletter, and on the BISB/MGCB Handbook/Canvas site.
  2. The committee will then provide the needed support based on the situation or type/context of issues(s)/problem(s) associated with wellness.
  3. If needed based on the specific problem, students will be referred to appropriate other resources (e.g., Student wellness advocate, counselor, Title IX office, Department Chair, and Program Directors).

Student Wellness Advisory Committee Members:

Dr. Jennifer Black
Dr. Shantaram Joshi (Chair)
Dr. J. Graham Sharp
Ms. Hannah Harris (Student Representative)
Mr. Jordan Hernandez (Student Representative)