Image of Megan Ingram

Megan Ingram

Teaching Assistant


Department of Sociology

Megan went above and beyond in our classroom. She was very understanding of everyone and never judged someone based on their academic skills or potential late assignments. Megan personally scheduled a call with me just to check up; followed by multiple emails making sure I was doing okay and helping me with term work.

Megan always includes a break within her classes, incorporates fun social activities, and always stays after tutorials to answer questions or even just to chat. She also always provides mental health resources in her slides, as well as her weekly emails that relates to the content we are learning about. She caters to her student's individual needs and leads by example allowing her students to make mistakes, and encouraging them to use the opportunity to learn.

Megan is more than just a TA, she's a mentor that motivates her students to accomplish great things. She is understanding of everyone's circumstances, ensures any disabilities are accurately accommodated, and always has a smile on her face. Her effort is shown in each of her classes!

Anonymous Students

To me, mental health means community care. It means supporting each other in navigating a world and institutions that are inherently premised not on wellness, but on exploitation and doing our best to carve out spaces of kindness, belonging, and well-being within this context. While mental health sometimes means taking care of yourself in ways that we recognize as wellness practices, to me mental health is also intrinsically linked with a political orientation towards collective liberation from white supremacist, colonial, cisheteropatriachal, and ableist structures that place ultimate value on productivity, sanity, and meeting norms. Mental health is therefore not just a state of being that one can achieve in a linear sense, but an action, an orientation, and an expression of relationality.

Recognizing my students as fully rounded people with expansive lives, of which their academic work is just one part, shifts the entire way that I enter the classroom, seeing it as just one stopping point on their learning journey. This takes the pressure off of the assignments for the course as 'the' most important thing and seeing the classroom within the broader context of rich lived experience allows me to resist the pressure to see academics as the be all end all. Instead, I move towards supporting my students in broader ways. Therefore, accommodations, compassion, and understanding are not scarce resources that students must prove themselves to get, but freely given and ultimately crucial to their learning. By seeing my students as people, they see me as a person too, and that rapport allows us to co-create a classroom space together that understands learning and academia as inherently uncomfortable and pressurized, and therefore move towards making the most of what we can in the institution.

So much of the important work that I do, I feel a genuine moral obligation to do around mental health is constrained by the institution and many educators feeling like accommodations and access are things to be earned. I think we can only move towards adequate support of student mental health when we stop thinking punitively and with inherent suspicion towards "proof" and instead move towards trust, compassion, and an understanding of these resources as abundant, rather than falsely scarce.

--- Megan Ingram