Episode 39: Dr. Sherrá Watkins - "The Lived Experience"
If you look at the beginning of Dr. Sherrá Watkins’ story, it was unlikely she would be an expat. She and her twin sister were born to a teenage single mother who struggled hard to provide for her children. However, Sherrá and her sister were also surrounded by a large extended family that gave them a close knit community. This is important because it was her family that would reinforce the dreams of going beyond what she had as a kid and a teenager.
Determination, undoubtedly, is most certainly a running theme in her life. Ultimately, both she and her twin would earn Ph.Ds. A psychotherapist by profession, it shouldn’t be surprising that mental wellness is a frequent discussion point in this episode.
Sherrá is currently Director of Wellness and Counseling at the American University of the Caribbean in Sint Maarten, otherwise known as the Netherland Antilles. In this role, she oversees wellness counseling services for medical students and their families and provides oversight, leadership, and supervision to the wellness counselors.
A role she obtained and relocated for — during the pandemic.
As you might imagine, most of her educational community is made up of expats — students and faculty that have come from across the world to either further their education or career. In addition to sharing her own story, Sherrá provides insight on how to adjust to some of the common challenges international students face including homesickness, anxiety and loneliness.
Sherrá’s story starts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina but you will hear the twists and turns that have led her to the life she and her family are building in Sint Maarten.
- The challenges she faced growing up in North Carolina
- How she was able to find the right job abroad for her and move during Covid
- The transition to being the primary wage earner in her household
- The mental health concerns international students face while studying abroad
- Mental wellness resources to support global nomads of color
To hear the full episode, click below or listen wherever you get your podcasts.