About Us

Why start Voices of Academia?

Voices of Academia has been created to bring together the voices of academics across the globe to discuss mental health and well-being in academia. Research has shown that academics – be that undergraduates, PhD researchers, or professors – often struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance and good mental health.

We believe that sharing honest accounts of life in academia, or our ‘voices’, we can help members of our community realise they are not alone.

Our Aims

  • To normalise conversations about mental health and mental illness in academia, and highlight that many people experience mental health concerns, from early career researchers to more senior academic staff.
  • To provide a voice for academics to share their experiences and encourage cultural change based on these experiences.
  • To amplify marginalised voices and support practical changes in higher education to create a culture of inclusivity and equity.
  • To promote wellness, exploring different strategies that work for an improved experience within academia.
  • To create a sense of community through story-telling, vulnerability, and connection.

Who we are

Voices of Academia is currently curated by:

Dr Marissa Edwards

Marissa is an Education-Focused lecturer at the UQ Business School at the University of Queensland. Her major research interests are mental health and mental illness in academia, PhD student well-being, and voice and organisational justice. She is currently lead guest editor of a forthcoming Special Issue of the Journal of Management Education focused on mental health and well-being among management students and educators. In her spare time, Marissa loves travelling, seeing live music and spending time with her rescue dog Ziggy.

Dr Zoë Ayres

Zoë Ayres

Zoë is both an analytical scientist and a mental health advocate, working improving mental health awareness in academia. Her work is on both reducing the stigma around mental health as well as working with universities to improve support available. Zoë is the author of a series of mental health posters – find out more at www.zjayres.com. Outside of work Zoë enjoys gardening, travelling and archery, and likes going for cocktails with friends. You can find her tweeting here.

Emily King

Emily is a part-time biomedical PhD Candidate, sessional Teaching Associate and Mental Health Advocate in Melbourne, Australia. As a result of personal experience during her PhD, Emily was commissioned by Lateral Magazine to write about
considerations when starting a relationship with anti-depressants. She is open about her experience to encourage others to seek support, where needed. She loves meeting new people, dancing to live music and outdoor activities.

Syreeta Nolan

Syreeta is a senior at the University of California San Diego majoring in Psychology with a specialization in Human Health. Her research interest involve a transformation to the US mental health system to utilize comprehensive, preventive strategy similar to the physical health system. Her next academic goal is to get a PhD in Health Policy and Management. Syreeta also serves in many roles as a disability advocate such Underrepresented Student Officer of the University of California Student Association, Co-Chair of the UCSA’s Disability Ad Hoc along with its Basic Needs Subcommittee Communications Student Co-Chair for American Public Health Association Disability section and co-founder of @DisInHigherEd and @DisMHMatters. Syreeta’s first sole authored paper on “The Compounded Burden of being a Black and Disabled Student” was recently accepted by Disability and Society with minor revisions. In her free time, she enjoys watching reality TV to take brain breaks, going to the beach and sleeping.

Sam Strong

Sam is an optics lecturer and neuroscience researcher in the School of Optometry at Aston University, UK. She is a big advocate for promoting the provision of appropriate well-being support in universities, and she’s actively involved in pedagogical research projects that aim to improve equality and inclusion practices for all student groups. In her spare time, she’s a big fan of playing Pokemon Go (because she’s a 90s kid at heart), and she enjoys spending time with friends and loved ones. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @samanthastrong

Interested in blogging for us or becoming a podcast guest?