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How are college students coping in a time of pandemic?


University at Albany Distinguished Professor Dr. Jeffrey Berman helps students express, discuss grief, trauma and loss in his English class.

We spoke with a colleague and friend of the NYS Writers Institute, Dr. Jeffrey Berman, Distinguished Teaching Professor in the English Department at UAlbany, where he has taught for 46 years. Berman shared thoughts about how students are struggling with mental health issues during the coronavirus pandemic and how his writing course served as therapy for students who described a high level of anxiety and depression even before the COVID-19 outbreak.


Berman is a beloved professor, whose students voted him one of the 22 best English professors in America among 300 Best Professors in a book published in 2012 by the Princeton Review. The ranking project was done in collaboration with the popular RateMyProfessors.com site.

Professor Berman is the author of numerous books, including Death Education in the Writing Classroom, based on an undergraduate writing course on love and loss he taught at UAlbany in 2008.


He also had a remarkable year in 2019, with four published books, including Writing the Talking Cure: Irvin D. Yalom and the Literature of Psychotherapy and Mad Muse: The Mental Illness Memoir in a Writer’s Life and Work.


You can find his books at SUNY Press, and here is a link to his website at the UAlbany English department.

Click the link below to hear NYS Writers Institute director Paul Grondahl’s discussion with Dr. Jeffrey Berman.



NYS Writers Institute

Science Library 320

University at Albany

1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222

(518) 442-5620

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