Melanie-Anne Atkins is a PhD candidate in Applied Psychology at the Faculty of Education, investigating cooperative ways to decrease the stigma of mental illness in schools. Her research is supported by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS). Melanie-Anne completed a BScH (Life Sciences) at Queen’s University, a BEd (Intermediate/Senior Biology and General Science) at Western University, and a MEd (Educational Psychology & Special Education) at Western University.
During her time as a doctoral student, Melanie-Anne has been involved in a number of curriculum development and student leadership activities. This past summer, she was the lead writer for Student2Scholar, a series of ten e-learning modules developed by library partners from Western University, OISE, and Queen's University to promote academic literacy and research skills for graduate students in the social sciences. Currently, Melanie-Anne works with Dr Angela Borchert's team in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures as an online curriculum developer for intercultural communication. Previously, Melanie-Anne was the Faculty of Education’s first Lead TA, where she developed and presented onsite and online workshops for teaching assistants and other graduate students interested in teaching. One of these online workshops was redeveloped into a graduate student mental health literacy e-learning module for Western’s School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS).
Under the supervision of Dr Susan Rodger, mental health literacy has become a passion of Melanie-Anne’s. Last summer, she worked with Dr Rodger’s team of graduate students and faculty members including Dr Alan Leschied and Dr Jason Brown to develop four mental health literacy e-learning modules for foster families. These modules have recently been included in the Children's Aid Society of London & Middlesex’s training calendar for all new foster parents. Last year, Melanie-Anne partnered with the youth advocacy organization mindyourmind to create guidelines that support youth in telling their story about living with a mental illness. Melanie-Anne also coordinated the team that designed and delivered the curriculum for Mental Health Literacy Day, a mandatory professional development day for Western’s BEd students. She is currently collaborating with a team assembled by Dr Stan Kutcher, Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health, to create and evaluate an online mental health literacy curriculum freely available to all Canadian teacher education students. In addition to Melanie-Anne’s involvement in Faculty of Education activities, she thoroughly enjoys working at Western’s Teaching Support Centre, where she is an instructor, workshop facilitator, and curriculum developer.
Learn more at http://melatkins.weebly.com/