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A joint research project between Aalto University School of Business, in Finland and

Center for the Studies of Information Resources, in China explored the impact of smartphone use on a number of indicators: academic performance, sleep, nomophobia (fear of being unavailable to mobile phones), and behaviour.

In celebration of International Hummus Day (May 13, 2024) we are honouring the amazing chickpea (also called garbanzo beans).  

Chickpeas are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also high in protein, making them an excellent option for vegan and vegetarian dishes. One can of ready-to-use chickpeas usually costs under $2.00, and a bag of dried chickpeas (enough for several meals) is around $3.00.

There are close to 5 billion smartphone users worldwide (Statista, 2024). The average person spends 4 hours a day on their phone (Statista, 2023), and almost half of all smartphone users describe themselves as having a smartphone addiction (Ratan et al., 2022). Unsurprisingly, almost all university students have a smartphone (Huey & Giguere, 2023). In people aged 25 and under, 25% of them meet the criteria for problematic smartphone usage (Sohn et al., 2019).

It’s March and the sounds of Spring are in the air. By sounds of Spring, we mean the excessive honking of geese as they return from their winter vacays. Watch your step. 

As we head into the weekend and one of the most celebrated holidays around the world (St Patrick’s Day), it is a great time to talk about substance use health. 

Whether it’s green beer, regular beer, tobacco, caffeine, cannabis, or illicit drugs, substances are a fact of life.  In Canada, it is estimated that 78% of people over the age of 15 regularly use substances of some kind. With substances playing a consistent role in our lives, it’s important that we develop healthy relationships with them.

Substance use and mental health concerns among graduate students has been growing for some time. Allen, et al. (2017) explored how mental health symptoms and substance use varies between professional doctoral (engineering and business), academic doctoral (arts and behavioral science), and master’s students. 

Concerns about the impacts of imposter phenomenon on students and employees in higher education has been the focus of concern (and research) for some time. In recent years, the narrative around imposter phenomenon has begun to change. In this month’s newsletter, we will explore historical perspectives as well as the changing narrative around imposter phenomenon.

It’s Valentine's Day -- the perfect time to talk about sexual health! No this isn’t your cringe high school health class; however, most of us feel somewhat bashful about discussing sexual health. Because of the embarrassment and stigma about sexual health, many people delay seeking treatment resulting in larger and more impactful problems. 

This month, our spotlight shines on a pivotal piece of research that delves into the sexual and reproductive health experiences of international students in Western universities. Authored by a dedicated team from the College of Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, the study presents a critical literature review spanning over two decades of research. It uncovers the challenges international students face, from language barriers to navigating healthcare systems and cultural differences, highlighting the gap in comprehensive sexual health knowledge and the reliance on informal sources for information.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Employee Burnout in Higher Education

"Here’s a quote I once heard from a priest: If you don’t want to burn out, stop living like you’re on fire.” -Brene Brown

The term “burnout” was first introduced in 1974 by American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger to describe the consequences of severe stress and high ideals in human professions (social workers, teachers, nurses, police officers, physicians, etc.). Freudenberger defined burnout as “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one's devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results” (1974). In 1989, Byrne and Hall explored the impacts of the three dimensions of burnout (exhaustion, depersonalization/cynicism, and reduced personal accomplishment) on teachers, including university instructors, as well as the work-related stress factors that contribute to burnout. Byrne and Hall found that a combination of personal traits and organizational factors directly contributed to feelings of burnout.  

Research dating back to 1989 (possibly further) identified concerns about increasing employee stress levels occurring in higher education. As a result of the pandemic, numerous new studies on faculty burn-out have been initiated. A recent qualitive study by Koster and McHenry (2023) analyzed narrative comments on a survey assessing burnout and well-being to identify factors that contributed to faculty feelings of disengagement and exhaustion.