Nichole Bernier

Nichole Bernier writes for a range of magazines about subjects including education, politics, medicine, food, travel, and wellness. She was previously an editor with Conde Nast Traveler and Boston Magazine, and authored the novel THE UNFINISHED WORK OF ELIZABETH D. (Random House, 2012). She lives with her family west of Boston, where she keeps bees, chickens, and is a wildlife rehabilitator.

Mental and Behavioral Health, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Student Activism in the Age of Covid

The pandemic wreaked havoc on the favored tactics used by student organizers — but also created pockets of innovation A month before COVID descended, early 2020 was already a time of acute upheaval at Brigham Young University. In February, the administration had decided to erase the edict against “homosexual behavior”…

MCQ. Issue 23
Mental and Behavioral Health

The Art of Being Well

Tami Chalom (UCLA ’19) had always enjoyed painting and used it as a way to express herself. So when she was choosing a final project for her class “Social Justice and Political Commentary,” painting was her medium of choice, and mental health was very much on her mind. The year…

MCQ. Issue 20
Mental and Behavioral Health, Physical Health

Owning your Wellness: Self Care in the age of COVID-19

Rachel Walker realizes she has it better than most college students whose 2019-2020 academic year was disrupted by COVID-19. As much as she likes Florida A&M University, she often felt a bit homesick for Atlanta. She has a close relationship with her family, so when COVID sent students packing mid-March,…

MCQ. Issue 18
Mental and Behavioral Health

Voices from the Survey

After we received the results of our parents’ survey on student mental health, we wanted to talk to parents further about their concerns and their expectations. Using videoconference software, we gathered five parents of current college students — diverse by geography, ethnicity, and gender orientation — in a virtual roundtable…

MCQ. Issue 15
Physical Health, Mental and Behavioral Health


Outdoor programming could be key to student wellness It was at the end of outdoor orientation at the University of New Hampshire—a five-day wilderness immersion of incoming first-year students—that a young woman on the program learned her younger brother had just died. He was 17, and there had been a…

MCQ. Issue 14
Mental and Behavioral Health

Taking the Lead

Student groups aren’t just waiting for change in college mental health policy—they’re driving it Last summer, when Northwestern University junior Allison Zanolli was mourning the loss of a sorority sister who’d taken her own life on graduation day, she turned to Facebook with her grief. Then she turned her sights…

MCQ. Issue 13

Experiential Learning in Higher Education

Getting outside the classroom can be the best lesson When Zack McCabe applied to college four years ago, he was looking to become the next Steven Spielberg or Spike Lee. The high school senior from North Andover, Massachusetts liked sports and social media, and had a knack for shooting videos…

MCQ. Issue 12
Mental and Behavioral Health, Physical Health

Starting Young

Supporting wellness before college Twenty-five years ago, when Head of School Rick Melvoin joined the staff of Belmont Hill, an independent boys’ school west of Boston, the school’s wellness landscape looked something like this. There was one part-time counselor who was also the crew coach and resident director for the…

MCQ. Issue 10