Interview: Nadine Commenges-Bernole, Grenoble Institute of Technology-Phelma faculty
Categorie(s) : Education, Interviews, News
Published : 2 December 2019
Grenoble Institute of Technology-Phelma faculty member Nadine Commenges-Bernole is a certified Non-violent Communication coach. She coordinates a student support center at the school.
“Our mission is to provide emotional support to the students who need it.”
Tell us about the student support center Phelma opened at the beginning of the academic year.
As faculty, we often encounter students dealing with emotional challenges. The idea is to support them by giving them a safe space to talk about whatever they are struggling with. Often, they also need to gain clarity on what is really going on for them. The school encouraged this initiative, which is complementary to what is already offered in terms of academic guidance and support.
How does it work?
I gave a presentation to each class at the beginning of the school year. We also provided information on the school’s website. Students can request an appointment by sending an email to a dedicated address. When the academic dean meets with a student struggling academically, he can also recommend that the student contact us. Appointments are held on campus and last around 90 minutes.
You have met with around ten students since the beginning of the year. What kinds of issues are they dealing with?
The students come in because they are feeling lonely or disconnected, or because of personal, family, or money problems. The fact that I am a “neutral” party makes it easier for them to open up. I am neither a school administrator nor a “shrink.” I am just there to listen, and everything we talk about is confidential. Of course, if I feel that the student could benefit from more personalized support, I tell them where they can find it.