Prevent Burnout with Self-care Strategies

2nd annual T&L Day, Jan 21, 2022 HHS 204, 1-3:30 pm

– Part 1 in the 2022 Teaching & Learning Day Series

On January 21st, the Coulter Faculty Commons hosted the 2nd Annual Teaching and Learning Day with the theme “Prevent Burnout with Self-Care Strategies.”  The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Julie Harrison-Swartz, DNP, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, an assistant professor in the Department of Nursing at UNC Pembroke (recording available below). Dr. Swartz provided unique insight, as she is both faculty and a health care practitioner. Her research interest lies in ways faculty can support students’ well-being.

View Presentation

Dr.  Harrison-Swartz discussed stressors and how each individual’s perception of them is going to determine how they react physically and psychologically. Burnout occurs when individuals experience stress without relief. Burnout manifests itself as exhaustion, disengagement, loss of motivation, and depression. The pandemic has exposed us all to internal and external stressors for two years and it is taking its toll.

Strategies to Combat Burnout

Mindfulness is important as it makes us acknowledge our inner selves and be better prepared to take steps to better cope with the stressors in our lives: “Mindfulness is a non-judgmental way of paying attention to the present moment” (Centre for Mindfulness Studies).

Below we highlight how to practice mindfulness. WCU also has an institutional subscription to the mindfulness app Calm.  Use this link to subscribe for free. logo



Types of Mindfulness Practice:

  1. Seatedwalking, standing, and moving meditation (it’s also possible lying down but often leads to sleep)
  2. Short pauses we insert into everyday life
  3. Merging meditation practice with other activities, such as yoga or sports.(
  4. Can be done anywhere, in your car, at your desk, outside (we have such a beautiful campus!), at home.
  • Set boundaries (time and space) for email, grading, other academic work.
  • Try to not check email at least one of the days of the week, perhaps a weekend day.
  • Find what gives you joy and disconnect long enough to relax, recharge and refresh: playing with your pet, creative outlets such as drawing, crafting, music, creative writing.
  • Most importantly, remind yourself why you are doing this. Have mantras like “We are in the business of changing lives” as Chancellor Belcher used to say. Or our current call “We are fulfilling our Promise”.


Centre for Mindfulness – –

Else-Quest, N., Sathy, V., & Hogan, K. A. (2022, January 18). How to Give Our Students the Grace We All Need. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Imad, M. (2021, July 8). Pedagogy of Healing: Bearing Witness to Trauma and Resilience. Inside Higher Ed.

Prevent Burnout with Self-Care Strategies

2nd annual T&L Day, Jan 21, 2022 HHS 204, 1-3:30 pm

Join us for our 2nd Annual Teaching & Learning Day.  We will meet from 1 – 3:30 to discuss strategies faculty can use to prevent burnout in these demanding times.  We will also discuss ways in which we can encourage and support our freshman and sophomores whose academic preparation was affected by the pandemic. 

We have invited an expert on helping faculty prevent burnout through self-care to give the keynote address.  Dr Julie Harrison-Swartz, DNP, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, is an assistant professor in the Department of Nursing at UNC Pembroke.

In the second hour of the event, we will discuss supporting students to be successful. We had an unprecedented increase in failure rates last semester at WCU.  But we are not alone in this as other institutions across the country are also experiencing this situation. We will discuss what’s happening and brainstorm some ways in which we as instructors can help these students succeed this semester. 

Let us know you are going to attend REGISTRATION LINK

The 2021 Last Lecture

The 2021 LAST LECTURE – Dr. Candy Noltensmeyer, Communication Department

Dr. Candy Noltensmeyer

WCU students vote to determine the Student-Nominated Faculty of the Year Award, the recipient of which delivers a “Last Lecture” of her own during the following academic year. This year’s Last Lecture will be presented by Dr. Candy Noltensmeyer, Associate Professor in Communication.

The “Last Lecture” series began at Carnegie Mellon University with Randy Pausch’s inspirational lecture in 2007 about achieving childhood dreams. Pausch’s last lecture became a reality because he developed pancreatic cancer and passed away. Years later, the “Last Lecture” became a common award to professors on college campuses across the country.

Dr. Noltensmeyer is a relational scholar whose research focuses on communicative dynamics in cultural competence, bias, feedback, social support, stigma, and sexuality.  She teaches a variety of courses in human communication focusing on theory, research methods, health, sexuality, interpersonal and small group concepts.

Recognizing that every classroom is a unique culture, Dr. Noltensmeyer believes that building a positive classroom climate is imperative to fostering engaged learning opportunities.  Students need spaces to learn and talk through their ideas.  She also believes in applied learning, especially when it comes to communication. She uses a variety of activities and focused discussions to engage students with the material to foster a student-centered classroom. She works hard to make her classrooms inclusive and safe for everyone.

Dr. Noltensmeyer will present her “last lecture” on the interconnectedness between our relationships and communication.  Her lecture will take place on Thursday, November 18th at 5:30pm in the University Center (UC) Theatre. It is open to everyone. A reception will follow.

Canvas Quiz Generation Policy

WCU does not have a tool that will translate Word documents into Canvas Quizzes, and we do not have the resources to create or manually transcribe any assessments for instructors.

We recommend and fully support instructors authoring their tests/quizzes/exams inside of Canvas. Canvas questions are edited through the rich content editor, which allows for cut and paste actions from Word documents and other word processing files on a question-by-question basis. Below are links to several resources for creating questions in Canvas.

If an instructor would like assistance in creating an assessment, from a pedagogical perspective, they can make an appointment with one of the faculty partners at the CFC for a consultation. (

Quiz Question Creation Guides

  • Create a Multiple-Choice Question – Link
  • Create a True/False Question – Link
  • Create a Fill-in-the-Blank Question – Link
  • Create a Fill-in-Multiple-Blanks Question – Link
  • Create a Multiple Answers Question – Link
  • Create a Multiple Drop-down Question – Link
  • Create a Matching Question – Link
  • Create a Numerical Answer Question – Link
  • Create a Formula (Simple Formula) Question – Link
  • Create a Formula (Single Variable) Question – Link
  • Create an Essay Question – Link
  • Create a File Upload Question – Link

Deeper Dives

Collected Resources