Behind the Mind: Stories of Hope
By Zach Maizel '04
Institutional Advancement Associate
Kevin Meiselman ‘16 graduated from Quinnipiac University in May with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Public Relations. While attending Quinnipiac, Kevin’s journey in the Journalism program took him through the normal college course track, but it was an Art of the Podcast course in the Communications department and a sports talk radio show on the University’s radio station that really started the ball rolling towards a successful career within the ever-growing podcast world. In January 2019, after many podcasts regarding his beloved New York Rangers, Kevin delved into a more serious and important subject matter, mental health. With his confidence from hours on the air with the radio station and an understanding of podcast content, Kevin produced “Behind The Mind,” a show which features guests from all walks of life who have experienced mental health struggles such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and more, as he states in his opening monologue of the show. “If you’re in a tough place right now, hopefully, these stories give you some hope that you can overcome whatever is in your way and give you some tools to help manage those tough times,” Kevin discusses in his introduction. To date, Kevin has produced 16 episodes of “Behind The Mind” and has featured Quinnipiac University students and professors, former NBA, NHL, and NFL players, nationally recognized professional mental health speakers, advocates, and authors, as well as two members of the Marvelwood community. In episode 3, Kevin talks with former Director of Learning Support, Dr. Liz Radday, who is now the Research Specialist at Skills21 at EdAdvance. He also talked with his former classmate, close friend, alum, and now professional basketball player for Hapoel Zefat Galil, Charlie Reznikoff ‘15 in episode 14.
Kevin reflected on the influence that Marvelwood culture had on his continued success and motivation to help others with issues he has faced:
Marvelwood is forever linked to my mental health journey because all of my progress started there. To say that many faculty members had a life-altering impact on me would be an understatement. I recall having difficult days in college and getting by it by thinking about conversations I had with the teachers I viewed as mentors. Reflecting on what I learned at Marvelwood has always kept me on track. I was challenged in so many ways at Marvelwood, and I grew up so much because of it. The most amazing thing about my time there is that so many students were fighting their own internal battles and it allowed for a strong, emotionally intelligent, and understanding community. I tried to emulate that sense of community at Quinnipiac University, by normalizing the topic of mental health among the various groups I was involved in. That includes my fraternity, student media organizations and the people I lived with. Because of my openness at Quinnipiac, many students shared their mental health journeys with me, including guys in my fraternity. I thought that was so important because you don’t always hear guys talk about mental health. I tried to break that stigma as much as I could, and I know that others benefited because of it.
Along with his important and influential podcast, Kevin is now working with the JED Foundation, a leading mental health nonprofit with a mission to protect emotional health and prevent suicide by empowering teens and young adults with the skills and support to grow into healthy, thriving adults. Working remotely due to the ongoing pandemic, Kevin will be helping with various media related projects and will be contributing articles to the foundation’s website. Working for JED and continuing his podcast are some of the short term goals Kevin sees for himself; “Long term, my goal is to write my own book and speak publicly about mental health and my journey, at grad schools and colleges throughout the country. I have been networking and getting in touch with people who do that for a living and I am learning how to turn my dream into a reality. I truly believe I can conquer my dreams and create a life that I love as long as I continue to put in the hard work.”
Kevin’s work in the area of mental health has helped him find his true calling and gives him and the Marvelwood community a tremendous amount of pride in the excellent work he has done and continues to do. With so many children and adults around the world struggling with mental health, the work of Kevin and others involved in assisting with the fight and telling their stories, helps more and more people to begin to address their specific issues and hopefully find relief and tools to overcome whatever is in their path. With proper support and people to talk with, everything becomes easier and helps build confidence to overcome and succeed. Kevin echoed those sentiments: “If it weren’t for the students and teachers I felt closest with at Marvelwood, I’m really not sure I’d be the calm, confident, goal-driven person I am today.” “Behind The Mind” is available on all podcast platforms.