Pandemic Perspectives: A Student Speaks About Mental Health


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Welcome to The Academic Life. You are smart and capable, but you aren’t an island, and neither are we. So we reached across our mentor network to bring you podcasts on everything from how to finish that project, to how to take care of your beautiful mind. Wish we’d bring in an expert about something? Email us at or Find us on Twitter: The Academic Life @AcademicLifeNBN.

In this episode you’ll hear about: the challenges Kaylah Marcello, a STEM graduate student at UC Davis, suddenly faced when she was having coffee with a friend in mid-March 2020 and her phone rang telling her that her son’s elementary school was closing down. She quickly realized she couldn’t work in the lab she was assigned to while homeschooling her son. Kaylah shares openly about her personal history, her mental health struggles, and why taking care of herself was crucial to taking care of her family and her own educational goals.

Our guest is: Kaylah Marcello, a Microbiology PhD student at the University of California, Davis. Kaylah is researching cold tolerance genes that support photosynthesis in Antarctic cyanobacteria with Dr. Dawn Sumner. She has been a teaching assistant for in-person microbiology lab courses during the pandemic. Prior to pursuing a graduate education, she was a transfer student from the California Community College system to the UC system. She is passionate about science communication, educational outreach, mental health awareness and making academia more accessible to people who would otherwise not pursue it. She is a mother and an all-around science enthusiast, taking life one minute at a time.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, a historian of women and gender.

Listeners to this episode might be interested in:

Dr. Christina Gessler is a historian of women, gender, and sexuality.

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