Responding to Exhaustion: A Mental Bandwidth Approach to Increasing Learning and Success
AuthorBhargava, Tina D.
AffiliationKent State University
TitleResponding to Exhaustion: A Mental Bandwidth Approach to Increasing Learning and Success
MetadataShow full item record
In the dregs of the COVID-19 pandemic, our students show up to our colleges with extremely depleted “mental bandwidth” from constantly changing expectations, persistent uncertainties, and disheartening mental and physical health strain. Low-income, non-traditional, and non-majority students often struggle with additional burdens of unrelenting financial insecurity, insufficient institutional supports, and systemic discrimination. This severe deficit of mental bandwidth—a resource critical to learning, creativity, and nuanced thinking—leads to disengagement, demoralization, and poorer outcomes, not just for students, but for faculty, staff, and institutions as a whole.
In this presentation, Dr. Tina Bhargava will discuss mental bandwidth and its impact on success and satisfaction in higher education. Many common classroom and institutional practices can unintentionally contribute to mental bandwidth drains. Dr. Bhargava will share some simple principles and practices that can protect and prevent the loss of mental bandwidth, and streamline bandwidth demands to increase opportunities for learning, success, and revitalization.
About the Keynote Speaker
Dr. Tina D. Bhargava is an Associate Professor in the College of Public Health at Kent State University (KSU). Her interests in combining brain science, education, psychology, public health, and public policy surfaced during her undergraduate and Masters studies at Stanford University, and were solidified during her doctoral work at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
Dr. Bhargava is a thought leader in the application of dual-process theories of cognition to the field of public health and beyond. Her “mental bandwidth” research started in 2009 and was initially focused on the cognitive resource availability issues that influenced individuals’ success with the Diabetes Prevention Program, as implemented virtually with a wide diversity of participants, ranging from primary care patients in Pittsburgh, to active-duty Air Force members and their families in Texas.
Dr. Bhargava's current work focuses on developing mental-bandwidth informed actions for improving effectiveness and increasing equity in health services, higher education, workplaces, and everyday life. You can explore some of her work at http://everydaybandwidth.com.