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Transcript - Holistic wellness and mental health in research careers

A conversation with Wangari Joyce Ngugi

Published onFeb 09, 2023
Transcript - Holistic wellness and mental health in research careers
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Jo: Hello and welcome, everybody, to another episode of Access to Perspective Conversations. Here with me today we have Joyce Wangari, who is a consultant psychologist and research mentor, with a strong focus and interest in diversity and disability inclusion and especially on the Nexus between deafness and mental health.

She completed her doctorate in psychology and clinical psychology at the United States International University Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, and we are very keen on hearing from her. And thank you so much for joining, Joyce.

Joyce Wangari: Thank you for having me.

Jo: About your expertise, your findings, why you're passionate about mental health and academia in particular, and also, of course, about your work including hearing impaired or deaf scholars, and to make their academic journey more joyful and more easy. And what also we as non here , impaired people, can contribute to make that happen. Welcome again, Joyce. Thank you for joining us.

Joyce Wangari: Asante Sana, thank you so much.

Jo: So, yeah, to get started, would you like to tell us a little bit where your interest is coming from? How did you get into the topic of mental health or psychology studies in general? And then later on, if you could explain your experiences with deaf people and why that led now to your research focus and your professional focus and consulting in these areas.

Joyce Wangari: Oh, thank you so much for the question. So growing up, I was in a family of healers and teachers and preachers and medicine men, and therefore, I realized that my family had a big influence on who I became as a little girl. A lot of times my parents and siblings noticed that I was compassionate, and I had all these ideas around justice equality, fairness and compassion. And out of these things, my mother thought that I was going to become a medical doctor, but my father thought I was more like a vet because I also really like pet animals.

 I actually defied both of those two alliance ideas and went ahead. And I'm working with human beings, but a lot in the capacity like that of a doctor or a vet would do. So I find that healing is a strength or a value that just came down to my family, but it was also based on needs that I saw in my family and community and trying to transform those things. One beauty about professional psychology is that I get to work on my own personal needs, problems, and concerns as I go ahead with helping other people around the world.

So I like the profession because of that sense of personal fulfillment that you can actually work on yourself and also ensuring the wellbeing of others psychology, the study of the brain and human behavior. And I was fascinated by all the things going on around me in my community, my family, and in myself. So I wanted a way, a framework to understand how to better support people who have psychological or emotional problems. And so I got here and of course, after 15 years now going on to 16 years or lots of hard work and study, I'm happy that I'm now able to see that the more you know, the less you know. You know what I mean, the irony of the more you know, the more you know that you don't know. But I basically work in the field of mental health, as you said, which is about people's conditions with regard to their psychological and emotional wellbeing. That's my mainstay profession. I'm also very much inside of research work, which has to do with finding out things and how to do things better. And so I find that my mental health career as well as my research career go in tandem. They go hand in hand, and I'm able to make a contribution in both of these fields at the same time.

Jo: Yeah. And your research career was also on topic, isn't it?

Joyce Wangari: Yeah.

Jo: So that makes a lot of sense. Like, you might think that selfcare and also psychology as a profession and then the research on psychology can be disconnected, but there very much was intertwined. Did you feel that there was a mismatch in the way research sometimes approaches human brain matters or mental health matters in the sense of that it seems too technical, or was it all inclusive also of the ideas that were transferred to you by your family and by your ancestors at large, what you learned in the community context?


Joyce Wangari: That's a very brilliant question. Unfortunately, the curriculum on mental health across the world has been quite white over the years. In other words, there's not been enough contribution from a cultural perspective. And yes, I would say that that's a gap. Currently, psychology does not even go into spirituality, which we know is also another dimension of being human. I mean, we delve into thoughts and feelings and behaviors pretty much, but maybe a little into body sensations, which we are now finding is a big deal. We now have to really go into what's going on so magically in the body as well as spiritually in order to totally understand the human being. So there are gaps in the curriculum which actually resulted in me joining a movement of Africans who are inside of our profession of mental health. And we are now trying to relook under the chapter that I lead called Forum of African Psychology.

We are trying to relook what is it that we missed? There's a saying from West Africa a San Kofa Proverb that says that it is not wrong to go back for that which we forgot. So we are going back into our roots to see that which we forgot. That actually has made our social fabric disintegrate. A lot of cultural mixing has happened because of influences of colonialism. There's also a lot of it because of generational shifts with globalization and movement of people. We find that a lot of people actually are not aware of what contributions their heritage brings to the table. And so a lot of it is currently important and we are working on that under that platform that I mentioned, the forum of African psychology. We are working to recenter our own theories and ways of thinking about mental health that are more customized to our uniquely diverse communities.


Jo: That's really uplifting and encouraging to hear because as much as I think it also makes sense to streamline certain disciplines and research. But also I think any research topic has a very distinct local and regional context that cannot be or shouldn't be overlooked. Otherwise we miss a lot of information. Would you want to share one example of how traditional or community knowledge can inform psychological research?

Joyce Wangari: Yeah. One of the very profound cultural phenomena in our side of the world is during loss, grief, bereavement and death. And our communities are excellent in the fields, acceptance, letting go and coming together as a community. If someone dies in my family, my entire extended family will troop in basically, and I will not have to worry about logistics on burial costs and things like that. It's a very big community strength. We may not be very well equipped, for instance, people who have terminal illnesses like cancer, doing diagnosis and testing. That may be a gap in our communities, but in terms of late stage care, palliative care, we excel in that space. However, mainstream psychology has been quite individualistic and has not focused on what role the communities play in mental well being. I actually remember when I've had people close to me die. I remember that it was because of the contribution of other people into my life that the stress levels could be managed and I could realize better abilities to cope with that loss and to still be a contribution in my community, even with very devastating news. So there's an aspect of communal well being that seems to be relegated in favor of a more individualistic view of how to just on my own fix my thoughts and feelings. That individualistic versus collective way of looking at things is actually something that needs to be researched and highlighted more in our settings.

Jo: Yeah. I'm encouraged that it's okay to ask for help but I feel in my own experience, despite my willingness to be of support, like in Western context or in my context of Germany, when I hear that a close one or a friend dies, we seem to be paralyzed and not knowing how we should react. And the simplest thing that's of need is just to reach out and say, hey, I'm here for you. Let me know if you need anything. I can help you get the necessities and organize the burial or you can cry on my shoulder or anything like that. But most people seem to shy away because death, which is inevitable, will come to us, to our families. No matter what, sooner or later we have unlearned to trust in the community for all the individualism. As you said, that's also what I experienced during my visits to various African countries and cities that the community support is still very much alive. I think you can also see, like in the bigger cities, you see that there's a competitiveness as well. And in terms of this, probably going to follow some assumptions for this conversation to have. But it's an interesting observation to make. And thanks for pointing this out. I think humans are social animals. We need our communities no matter what.

Joyce Wangari: And I agree it could be a broad generalization. And there are definitely many incidents and instances of individualism in our center. As I said, with globalization, there's been a lot of movement and mixing of cultures. But I would say to a large extent, yes, we do have a lot of phenomena in our settings that are not in the mainstream research in my field. So that's one of them. It's a point we need to go and look into more.

Jo: Thanks for bringing us back to the research aspect, not to look at individuals, how's an individual coping, but what community context does an individual live in? And is there anyone who actually has the capacity to support that person and how that's happening? And I think that's when the community effect is kicking in and also, in my experience, like mental health issues, I think are quite normal for people to experience. The question is, is there a support system in place to mitigate the effects of these issues? It's basically a coping mechanism, and it's okay to grieve and to be under pressure for some time and then to draw back. And sometimes our bodies force us to in terms of depression, they force us to calm down for some days, some weeks, some months, in some cases. But then if the individuals are being left to themselves, that's when the issue starts, really. 


Jo: You've looked a lot from what I've seen and heard of you into mental health issues inside the academic system. Could you say a few words about what you've observed and where you see we can be better as scholars with each other and where we treat each other.

Joyce Wangari: Yeah. A definition is a good place to start. Mental health is misunderstood, and many people associate it with mental institutions, unfortunately. But actually mental health just refers to our wellbeing; how we are coping emotionally, psychologically and cognitively. And there is a high pressure environment in academia, generally speaking. This could be across the globe and in many settings. But there are also contextual factors that make it particularly difficult for certain groups of people to go through academia, people who are differently able, though with different disabilities. There are gender differences. There's quite a number of pressures that affect people differently at different stages of, for instance, the research journey. And in academia, well being is also relegated to something not so important. And when people are talking about making a contribution in academia, they will do it at all costs. I mean, students know not to sleep. It's a common practice across the world before an exam, while actually sleep is the most important thing you need in order to have a good memory of all the things that you need to pass your tests the following day. So as I said earlier, academia is a high pressure environment and in a high performance environment you have to have the mind like that of an athlete. Now Kenya is a great athletics country. We have quite a number of long distance runners and now a few upcoming short distance runners too. But we know that what you take to a marathon is not the same thing you take to a sprint. And what I'm talking about here is aspects of coping over the long haul and many students will enter a postgraduate program with a more fantastical or pollyanna idea of what it would be like, but may not be with the reality of what it really entails to be inside of a postgraduate program. And so they are met with a high performance environment. They may not be ready for the rigorous demanding day to day tasks or completing assignments and handling them in good time and with high grades, doing them well, basically. And aside from that, there are other things that impact day to day living that have nothing to do with school such as family life and social life. And these different scenarios could create some conditions in some students such as stress which may impair functioning, affect relationships with people. I remember during the middle of my doctorate I asked myself whether I had a social life. It did not occur to me that I have one. I try to recall if I have any friends and I could not recall for a moment whether I had any because the demands of just being in school itself were quite heavy and I had to also balance that with work. Now if somebody does not have any outlets for relaxation, rest, rejuvenation, then it becomes quite a high strength affair and most people will drop out. There has been high attrition rates out of the higher degrees. For instance, doctorate degrees have quite considerable attrition rates because of these factors of wellbeing that are actually not intervened for. Most universities have a counseling center, but most students will not connect that they may need to speak to somebody in order to perform better at school. They'll probably misunderstand the reasons, the causes, and what they need to do is just a matter of willpower, if I just decide I should just do it. But they may not realize that actually it's a lot and when you have more loads to carry, you actually may need more support and it's okay to ask for help, as you said earlier. So I would say the other dimension of academia is there's quite a lot of toxicity. I think there has been big championing for the publish or perish and that phenomenon is good as far as productivity is concerned, but may not always work for everybody at every stage. And so the publish or perish is this phenomenon in academia that you always have to be highly productive, you always have to produce papers and if you don't, then you do not get promotions, job, maybe pay rise in your job and things like that. And so people are actually really stressed just trying to meet the metric in order to maintain their tenure. For instance, those who have scholars and teaching in the academic institutions and now with covid, of course, everything is upstanding. There's been quite a heavy load. Just a few weeks ago we welcomed 2022 with the hopes of putting covid 19 behind us. But there's still rocketing cases. Numbers are rising and there's a lot of tension, anxiety and fear and reentry. There's always an in and out of activities in academia which is making it more difficult. In other words, we are moving from a pandemic to an endemic situation. Everybody knows now what lockdown and things like that are. There's been a lot of cancellations and postponements, so there's just been a whole upheaval and there's a change definitely in how we are functioning. And you see, we are now re entering into academia in light of all the above, what I just spoke about. So what I could urge everyone is to continue taking care of your mental health and of those around you. It's very important for us to tend to our well being now just as it was during the peak of the pandemic then, we also have to really relook into things like professional and social boundaries because we've now all trooped into the online space. There's been an increase in online activities and now we've got to negotiate for work hours and also how much contact we have and based on what we perceive as our health risks or the health risk of other people. So now we even have to kind of think about how many days per week do I need to work from home or work from the office. And there's a lot of anxiety about who are the people who are still alive. Okay, let's first of all look around who's still here. We don't know who's there. Are we going to be in the same class with the same students, or how will we get along now after all the deaths around us? I also think of spaces for voicing. These anxieties are not enough. So students or learners or anybody going through academia has to ensure that they create for themselves the opportunity to assess whether they may need some extra support and where they may need to go and just talk. And some people are venting on social media, but venting, we know, is not therapy and venting is good. It has its function. But people are seeking help.




Joyce Wangari: Yes. Now, there's a lot of hashtags like toxic academia, cover this, cover that. But people are seeking help in whichever way that is beneficial to them, whether it's a professional, community service, friends, family, even anonymous helplines are now jammed. For instance, in Kenya, the government set up helplines recently. Actually, there's been an increase of those. And we know that there is an uncertainty that covid has impacted in many aspects of our lives. So that's like the most recent thing. But academia in itself has always been quite protectionist and quite toxic in that sense of requiring productivity above humanity. And so there's a shift we need to turn the tide. And one of the things I do is I train people in academia. I do lots of webinars. I'll share some links later on how we can move from linear time to nonlinear time where you can actually give yourself a break. Because even sometimes when we give people an off and they should go on vacation, they actually do not rest. They're still on. You see, you can be on vacation. But there has to be spaces where people actually get unhooked and just relax. And people doing their best is when they are at their most relaxed and in the best element, when they're actually feeling good. If they're feeling great, then they will actually perform. So this kind of space that we are now creating, our spaces that are inter institutional, that's a new dimension, too. So now students from different institutions across the globe are meeting in their hundreds and thousands. So there's a new crowd, there's a new community there where people can begin to speak about. There's a beauty and an advantage to that, because people can begin to see the similarity. That is not something personal or it's not in your Department only or in your school only or your University. It's something in academia that we all need to look at, which is that toxic academic space.


Jo: Right. So to nail it down to the toxicity, you briefly touched on the publish or perish syndrome. And my observation on the term is also pointed out by others has turned into a publish and perish. It doesn't matter how much and how often and where you publish, you might still perish unless you keep a constant flow of communicating about your research one way or the other. With access to perspectives specializing in open science, I believe personally that it can bring back joy and also mitigate or even prevent many of the mental health issues that we've described and observed in the sense that it's more collaborative rather than competitive. Share your results and your research achievements early in the process and not wait. Don't wait until instead of waiting until you publish a research article three years after you started your graduation process, or longer because some topics or some research projects just take their time to get to completion. There's a whole lot of factors that go into that equation. But I personally believe and I've also observed that working in an open science way is more fun and more productive and more efficient. And it doesn't mean that everything that we do has to be put online. Any point of view of the process really. But it's a way to approach our own research and to find allies and supporters and partners for the project and to communicate about it in a reasonable and feasible open way. Yeah. Also purpose driven, also solution oriented, and also exchanging about the hurdles and barriers and bottlenecks that we experience in terms of methodology or research equipment that we have or don't have. And then it will be easy to find ways to mitigate or to circumvent the challenges for everybody and everybody wins. It's, of course, easier said than done, but that's what we do at access to perspectives to some degree.


Joyce Wangari: I really like that you've introduced the concept of open science and the idea that we can all begin to look in a solution oriented way in a purpose driven way. I think that for me points to solidarity. So in a sense, we can even begin to create Intercontinental types of research like we did the other day with a huge workshop where we have researchers all across Africa doing a peer review on a single paper. At the same time, it was so exciting to have a live interaction on Zoom. I think with technology we now have quite a good platform to be responsive to each other, which actually improves our research capabilities together. So I like that. I would say more on the toxicity, aside from publish or perish from the perspective of students, if I could summarize all what the toxicity is about, it's about minimal support. So a typical postgraduate student in my setting will actually not receive adequate supervision. They'll be very lucky if they get a supervisor who has integrity, enough to actually design timelines and meet the timelines. But you'll find that students are drawn into the world of research with an assumption that they have the foundational knowledge, which in most cases there are major gaps because the training of researchers by the people training actually has gaps. And then throughout the process of supervision, there are two main problems, the systemic overload. So you'll find that professors do not have enough time to actually spend with students because they are also just trying to get through loads and loads of marking. They're dealing with classes of 500 plus students, basically capacity shortages in the system. So I would say that that's one and the other one is an individual factor. Students coming in, like I said earlier, with different predispositions are likely to be stressed at different times by different things. And these individual factors may or may not have anything to do with the academic environment. And so throughout the supervision journey, they'll say I did not get enough supervision, just enough structure to support me and when I needed somebody just to show me a set of options, I picked one. I did not get that so many students will experience being alone. And it's quite a lonely journey trying to create a collaborative research project of which when the supervisors are supposed to endorse it, they may most likely come and actually decline to endorse it. And therefore the student is left bewildered like, oh, I thought you were supposed to assist me on my side and now you're saying I should basically start all over again. And so having supervisors may need a lot more support to also be supportive and how to give feedback and to also use some mentorship skills. So that creates a lot of toxicity on the part of students and what they experience, in a nutshell, is minimal support.


Jo: I want to add what you just said, and my observation is also that the supervisors and eyes are often also overloaded with their own workloads and we don't have the capacity and or the awareness. It's either or both that mentorship requires more than just being present for certain times in the week or in the day. It's actually a skill that you can also learn if you're not sure how to go about it, but then of workload or the expectations that accumulate as you move up your career ladder as a researcher and then eventually be a supervisor to one or two or several PhD students and master students and technicians. It's a lot of responsibility many scholars have never learned how to handle. And I think maybe that's also something that we can collect as a scholarly community on the management level to provide resources. And you mentioned mentorship guidelines that everybody can embrace and look at and see how they can implement it in their routines to be good leaders and good supervisors and be approachable and supportive of their students. Have you seen it?

Joyce Wangari: I think they are definitely good. They're what you would call the poster child of supervisors. They're definitely great supervisors. I've been lucky to have some of the best. And I would say it's good to also look at the supervisor. As you've said, as an aspiring scholar, they are also trying to make do with whatever capacity shortages are in our universities. And they're trying to write and they're trying to publish and teach. And sometimes some faculty also have another responsibility like community service. So they attend lots of administrative meetings. So it's a lot to juggle. But that actually still has no integrity when it comes to supervision needs. And some people will distinguish supervision from mentorship as two separate and distinct fields. But I would say a lot of mentorship skills can greatly assist supervisors in order to help them have a more humane interface with students and for students to actually feel like the supervisor believes in them. I've had quite a number of extreme instances that have been very devastating of students trying to get their attention from the supervisor and have been to pay for flights and run around to where the supervisor is, for instance, at conferences and things like that. And accost the supervisor and confront the supervisor. That is really sad. I've also had quite a number of cases of students who are suicidal because they feel trapped between a rock and a hard place. They've tried everything. I've received calls from hotel rooms, from students who are running after their supervisors. And I'm not sure that supervisors really get the impact of their position of power on a student who's doing everything to survive to also graduate. And they probably have paid up with their last penny. Students are always broke and they're just trying to get to the end of their program. So I've intervened in suicidal cases. Those are some of the extreme cases. And overall, I would say it results to quite a lot of trauma in students when students cannot get a good audience and everything comes down to the Department level. So if they try to report it to a higher office like the Dean or the Vice Chancellor or the Chancellor's office, they are sent back to the Department. And it's good that at the Department level is where everybody is really overwhelmed and there's no audience. So basically the student is left with no other option other than to go outside of the University and pay somebody to write for them. Now that's a very unethical practice, but I found that a lot of students in our setting who are quite disenfranchised decide to do that. And in my mentorship, I have to be very clear that I do not engage in that practice of writing research for other people. But currently in this setting, it is seen as the only mentorship that's useful. But that is actually not true. And that is quite erroneous because aside from paying somebody to do your work, you are breaching Copyright as well as it's plain stealing, it's plain plagiarism. Somebody else is doing your work for you. So we have to deal with students who are coming from a very broken place, and they may not even know that all that can result to trauma or that they could be facing trauma themselves. So that's the thing. Sometimes we also really just have to bring it to their awareness that potentially these are trauma reactions. Like if a student says, I'm having nightmares, I cannot sleep, we really have to get them to see that. They now need to get to look at their wellbeing and to begin to drop some of the unhealthy coping strategies they've done. And that is quite some work to undo the toxicity takes a whole bunch of work. We have to think about how students can begin to advocate for their own space and so that they can progress. I've seen students recently requesting their universities to have professors from different universities if there is a capacity shortage at their University and that has been a healthy way to cope with the capacity shortages in the system and that also helps them to cope better. So for me, I look at it as systemic as well as individual factors, but all coming together. And currently there is a crisis, especially postgraduate research programs.

Jo: Maybe to have a circle or to close the circle towards the end of the conversation, what would you recommend scholars that find themselves in a crisis to do as a first aid or first top aid strategy to get out of that trap? Are there any steps they can take which don't feel overwhelming and vulnerable that they can take to ease their situation?

Joyce Wangari: I would say the ABCs, A for awareness, B for balance, and C for Connect. I think the first thing is to actually be aware of what's going on. Get to learn, get online. If you get online, there are now millions of resources on mental health in academia and you're not alone. So just to understand that tension, anxiety and fear is part of the process of being in a high performance environment and you're like an athlete in a race. And yes, there is a time limit and there are performance standards and so all of that is really anxiety provoking. That is the first step. Once you are aware of the situation, then you are more readily going to accept what you can do about it. And then the two are balanced. I would say, as I said earlier, considering professional and social boundaries, who do you need to put up a wall against and who do you need to open a door for? And seeing a friend once a week, even doing a phone call for ten minutes, it really balances out all the negativity that can be building up inside of your academic journey. And then I would say, number for C, connect. It's really encouraging to see people connecting with strangers, potentially strangers online. But being in open communication with a trusted friend really has been found to work. So it's just about identifying how you can use your wisdom in order to connect and communicate. And I found that in a few instances in my own journey, when I was not able to be in contact with my supervisor, when I connected with the right people, they were able to even help me reframe a lot of the concerns I had. So that when I eventually went back to my University, I was actually leading conversations in a constructive way in order to create solutions. So everybody needs support and it's okay to ask for help. I would say that it is very beneficial for you to seek a professional if you would like to really delve into what's going on. And you see the beauty about a professional is that they are balanced and quite anonymous in the sense that they don't know you personally so that they can have an objective view of what's going on and potential strategies that you could try, like tricks of the trade and tips and tools. And therefore, if you inserted some of the new strategies in your routine, then you'll see better and you'll succeed. I think we can stem the tide of attrition and the poor quality and the toxicity in academia, as well as those bad, unethical practices. If we all play our parts by protecting ourselves and others in the ways we do best, as we've continued to do, protecting your own well being by knowing what you're supposed to do at what time that way, and then creating that balance and then, of course, being in communication. So the ABC awareness, balance and connect.

Jo: Yeah, that's very good. And also, it brings us back to what we talked about at the beginning of this episode, that we are social animals, so we need our peers. We need other people in our lives. We cannot work in an isolated setting which academia sometimes tricks us into. We need to be in connection with other scholars. And if the people in our research team and the supervisors are not available because they have their own struggles, we can still reach out to other people through open science practices, by joining communities, by seeking professional help. And that's sometimes considered or sometimes people who know they need help feel ashamed and seek that help. And it's actually a strength. And like you said, being aware of the deficiency you're currently experiencing is not your fault. And it's not our fault. But there are professionals who have these professions in order to help us get out of it. So it's a strength to take up that opportunity and to reach out to experts who can help us get on track again. Like the community factor. And thank you so much for this conversation. I think we touched on quite a variety of topics that we can very much also dive deeper into in future episodes. We work together also in a setting through Africa Archive (AfricArxiv) and in collaboration with Eider Africa, where you also mentor in a community that helps scholars to look at their writing skills, scientific writing skills, and also peer support. And I'm really amazed and happy about the work that you do with your Aurelia colleague and the director of Africa and other people on the team. So we're very much looking forward. We're hearing more about that. But we're also together with Australia and more about your work. And as we said in the beginning, you have focused also on working with deaf people, especially in academia and also other work contexts. And you're very passionate about inclusive environments and professional settings in society. And I think that will be excellent to have the opportunity to look into these topics that you've specialized in. Thank you so much. Sure.

Joyce Wangari: Thank you. Can I say one last word, of course, or several what institutions can do. So at Ada Africa, we develop responsive online and offline research mentorship programs for researchers in Kenya and Africa and it's now gotten global and then by doing so we are bringing together researchers. I would really like to add institutions, be it universities at the department level as well as other research institutions to create spaces for students to talk in a more informal setting, that way the students can begin to find solutions for what's going on. I feel like empowering the students will be one major way that we can turn the tide on mental health struggles in academia but the other way would be to also work with providers of academia such as professors, research leaders, research mentors, aspiring scholars, faculty lecturers. These transformations that are taking place in Africa today, we cannot leave these people behind because we take a lot from them and their knowledge and their wisdom is important. So how to shift around the contemporary academic landscape will depend on how we can overcome the system ourselves. All of us, every person. We are all part of the play, but I think that is the biggest gap. I would say our institutions do not have spaces for people to just talk to, just talk about the entire experience. And I know some universities in the world where people even have a 360 degree evaluation of their entire experience Because going to post graduate school is an experience. So I think that institutions need to come up with that.

Jo: Yeah. We will put the links for our listeners in the show notes and give references for further investigation by you. Can we also leave a contact for people interested to learn more about the work of  Eider Africa? Maybe email the organization?

Joyce Wangari: Sure. So is the website and I'll send you all of this

Jo: Thank you, so you will have a link in the description for this episode and feel free to reach out to us and Wangari directly to learn more and if you have any questions about today's topic, just reach out and we will be happy to answer anything. Thank you so much and speak to you soon. 

Joyce Wangari: Thank you, the pleasure is all mine.

Jo: The pleasure is all mine and ours.

Joyce Wangari: Bye.

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