Student Wellbeing in Higher Education

Updated: Feb 26

Meet this week's Grad Chat guest, Layne Scherer!


Promotional graphic text reads Student Wellbeing in Higher Education - # Grad Chat from PhD Balance. There is a headshot of our host Fay and this week's special guest Layne Scherer.

Hello! My name is Layne Scherer (she/hers), and I’m the Grad Chat interviewee for 2/13.

I am a senior program officer at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. I work for the Board on Higher Education and Workforce, and I recently led an expert committee on the report Mental Health, Substance Use, and Wellbeing in Higher Education: Supporting the Whole Student. I also had the opportunity to lead a report released in 2018 called Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century. I care deeply about higher education policy, the research enterprise, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Prior to working at the National Academies, I worked the National Science Foundation in their directorate for education and human resources.

In fall 2020, I took a 3-month leave of absence from work to take time to address my mental health issues. I am someone who experiences ADHD, anxiety, depression, and ongoing focus issues related to multiple concussions. If you’re following the timeline, I was working on a mental health report at the same time I was experiencing some of the worst symptoms of my life.

I look forward to chatting about higher education, mental health, and student well-being. I'm also open to talking about taking a leave of absence to address mental health, my professional background, and the importance of interdisciplinary education as the basis for professional life (I have a background in English, history of art, and a master’s in public policy.) I’ve also been in the process of exploring multiple identities in my early 30s: adopted, disabled, and queer. Beyond my professional life, I coach women’s ultimate and have been a facilitator for Time for the Ultimate Talk (Time4UltiTalk), founded by the amazing @AriJade1. It’s a group dedicated to raising awareness and decreasing stigma related to mental health for ultimate players. I have written about how equity issues related to gender, race, and ethnicity in the sport.

Layne will be taking over our Instagram account today!

She will then be our Grad Chat special guest tomorrow to talk about Student Wellbeing in Higher Education. You can join the Youtube Livestream Saturday (02/13) at 3 pm Eastern/12 pm Pacific using this link or catch up on the NEW Grad Chat podcast published the Tuesday after the Youtube Live here!