Contributors

Tyler Achilles, B.A., is the Product Coordinator for MyStudentBody, a position in which he talks with professionals  in the higher education and college health communities to determine barriers and successful avenues for promoting healthy behaviors to college students. He is also the primary moderator and editor of this blog, which seeks to start the conversation about health promotion and student affairs in higher education. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University in public relations and political science. Throughout the almost four years he has worked at MyStudentBody, he has gained an amazing appreciation for the work of college health professionals and seeks to help them in their cause. Tyler is also a social media enthusiast and his interests include using new media and blogging. If you have any feedback about this blog or would like to be a contributor, email Tyler at tachilles@mystudentbody.com.

Beau Dooley, M.S., M.P.H., is the Associate Director of the University Health Center’s Student Wellness and Outreach Office at James Madison University. He holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a Master of Public Health in health education and communication from Tulane University, and a Master of Science in higher education leadership from Northwest Missouri State University.  After serving as a Health Education Specialist in the U.S. Peace Corps in Mali, West Africa promoting nutrition in schools and HIV/AIDS prevention, Beau began his career in the field of college health.  Over the past several years, he has served in various health promotion and administrative positions at three institutions of higher education across the nation and continues to be an active member of the American College Health Association and its regional affiliates.

Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, Psy.D., M.N.M., is a clinical psychologist, mental health advocate, faculty member, and survivor of her brother’s suicide. She is the Executive Director for the Carson J Spencer Foundation, the Executive Secretary for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (a program of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center) and a professional speaker for CAMPUSPEAK. Dr. Spencer-Thomas worked as a therapist in a college counseling center and private practice for over a decade before getting involved in suicide prevention. She has presented nationally and internationally on the topics of mental health promotion and suicide prevention including speaking engagements for the FBI Academy, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the American College Personnel Association, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, the American Association of Suicidology, and the International Association of Suicide Prevention. She currently serves on the board for the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado and as the Survivor Division Chair for the American Association of Suicidology. While at Regis University, she was the Project Director for the Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant and developed a comprehensive suicide prevention program for campuses called “People Prevent Suicide.” As an affiliate faculty member for Regis’ Division of Business, she taught leadership students about wellness, social change, and leading with differences in mind.

Laurie Davidson, M.A., manages campus programs at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) at Education Development Center, Inc. She has worked for more than a decade to help campus administrators and staff across the country develop and implement effective health promotion and prevention programs. In her present role at SPRC, she manages the consultation and support being given to 50 campuses receiving suicide prevention grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has presented at state and national conferences and in webinars on a variety of topics, including the public health approach to campus health problem prevention, best practices in suicide prevention, and principles for sustaining prevention programs. Before joining SPRC in 2005, Laurie directed the Campus Alcohol Prevention and Intervention project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, aimed at organizing statewide approaches to alcohol, other drug, and violence prevention in higher education. She also served as an associate director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention and an associate director of the Center for College Health and Safety. Before joining EDC, Ms. Davidson served a variety of organizations in the business, higher education, and nonprofit sectors. She has an M.A. in counseling and worked for eight years as a clinician in community mental health centers.

Daniel Gittins, M.A., coordinates the drug and alcohol programs at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He has worked in a university setting for approximately five years. Prior to this, he was the Chief Operating Officer of a community behavioral health agency for approximately 10 years, being the lead clinician, clinical supervisor, and day-to-day administrator for programs including substance abuse, mental health, anger management, sexual assault counseling, rape crisis response, sexual perpetrators, and educational programs for at risk adolescents. He has completed risk assessments for county court systems, and has been a trainer/consultant for the Pennsylvania child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Additionally, he has presented at many state and national conferences, and does speaking engagements for universities and community agencies on the topics of drugs and alcohol, violence and sexual assault.  Daniel is also the founder for the Center for Anger, Behavior and Conflict Management, LLC.

Amy Cavender, M.Ed., serves as the Human Sexuality Educator for Community Action’s Community Health Services, a family planning program in central Texas. She has nine years of experience in sexuality education and outreach and currently is a member of the Primary Prevention Advisory Council for the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center. Her areas of interest are primary sexual assault prevention, sexual health for people with substance abuse issues, and the epidemiology of sexually-transmitted infections. She is also the Implementation Specialist for MyStudentBody. Prior to her work for MyStudentBody, she worked at Louisiana State University, where she served as a Wellness Education Coordinator, and oversaw one of the first large-scale MyStudentBody first-year requirements.

Amanda Anastasio, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., is a clinician at AllOne Health Resources. She is a licensed mental health counselor and has a master’s degree in social work from Simmons College. She specializes in mental health in college, work-related stress, and matters relating to social/relational problems. She is passionate about collaborating with students to use their own skills and insights to move their lives in the direction desired. She has learned that college relationships and experiences truly impact the rest of your life so knowledge and skills gained during this time are crucial to personal growth and contentment. In her spare time, she enjoys bikram yoga, tweeting about food and trying new recipes.

Michelle Cohen, M.P.H., C.H.E.S., is a Health Educator in Health Promotion, a unit of Stamps Health Services at Georgia Institute of Technology. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in health science education at University of Florida and her Master of Public Health degree at Emory University. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist. She previously worked as the Sexual Health Coordinator at University of Georgia.  Her areas of specialization include student development, sexual health, stress management, and body image issues.

Rebecca Smith, M.A., L.C.P.C., C.S.A.T., is a counselor at Aurora University’s Counseling Center. She received her bachelor’s degree in business as well as her master’s degree in counseling at Bradley University. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist.  She has worked as a counselor for several years in a community agency specializing in emotional disorders in children and also in a private practice focusing on work with teenagers, college students, and young couples. Her professional interests include anxiety, addictions, relationship issues, and eating disorders.

Lisa Salazar, M.P.H, A.C.E.-C.P.T., serves as the Director of the Wellness Center at Idaho State University and is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the health education department. In addition to her experience in healthcare and health program development and promotion, she is certified as a personal trainer through American Council on Exercise and as a rape aggression defense instructor. Lisa serves as co-chair on the Idaho College Health Coalition, an organization founded to promote healthy lifestyles among college students. Areas of research include folk medicine, alternative medicine, and policy and program development. Current research is focused on working with children to facilitate play that increases activity levels and reduced diabetes risks in high-risk populations, eating disorders in males, and developing positive body image and self-acceptance in college populations.

Sabrina Petusevsky, M.S., C.H.E.S., joined the Wellness Center team at Kennesaw State University as the full time Peer Health Educator Coordinator in July 2009. After graduating from the University of Florida with her bachelor’s degree in business administration and a concentration in marketing, she completed her master’s degree degree at the University of Florida in health education and behavior.  She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and has an extensive background and a wide array of knowledge in a variety of health areas. She is very passionate about helping others to obtain their optimal level of wellness, both physically and emotionally.  She strongly believes that the years spent in college are the best time to learn and build healthy habits that will last well beyond the years spent in school.

Dr. Chris S. Hayes, M.D., is a board-certified family physician who entered the challenging and exciting field of college health in 2004 after eleven years of private practice. She is a full-time staff physician at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Student Health Services, a university health clinic serving a study body of 16,000. She holds a bachelor’s degree in French Language from St. Mary’s Dominican College and a Doctor of Medicine from Louisiana State University Medical School at New Orleans.  Dr. Hayes is an active member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the American College Health Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Louisiana State Medical Society.  She likes that her patients are generally young, healthy, open-minded, and intelligent and feels blessed by the opportunity to make a difference in lives of college students. She has three children, two of which are college students and enjoys Shotokan karate, music, and science fiction.

Brooke Vanevenhoven, R.N., M.S.N., A.P.N.P., is a certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who currently treats students at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Student Health Center.  She is also employed by Winnebago County, where she treats indigent adults with a wide variety of mental health problems.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a Master of Nursing with an emphasis in psychiatric practice from the State University of New York-Stony Brook.  With twelve years of practice in mental health nursing, she is experienced in prescribing medications related to psychiatric illness but she also places a strong emphasis on psychotherapeutic interventions.

Melissa Kelley, M.S., C.H.E.S., is the Health Educator at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY.  Melissa has a Bachelor of Science in health science and community health education from the State University of New York College at Cortland and a Master of Science in human service administration from St. John Fisher College.  Melissa is currently a doctoral student in the human development program at the Warner School at the University of Rochester. Before working for the University of Rochester, Melissa was the Area Coordinator for Outreach and Education at Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region and a Training Specialist for Unity Health System in Rochester, NY. Melissa is a Certified Health Education Specialist and currently serves as a member on Answer’s Sexual Health Review Board.

Amma Marfo, M.Ed., is a second year graduate student at the University of South Florida, in her final semester of a master’s degree in college student affairs. She is the graduate advisor to the University Lecture Series in USF’s Center for Student Involvement. Her areas of research include men’s development, commuter student life, and student health and wellness. Prior to her time at USF, she worked as the Student Activities Advisor at Hillsborough Community College, after completing her undergraduate career at the University of Rhode Island. Amma was also an avid gymnast for much of her life and now enjoys distance running. She hopes to share what’s she’s learned about proper fitness levels and nutrition with others.

C. Claire Armagnac, B.A., is a recent graduate of Stetson University, where she majored in psychology and Spanish Language. She is a certified peer educator and an intern at Stetson University’s Office of Health and Wellness. Passionate about health and helping others on campus, she also enjoys working as a Tobacco Peer Educator as part of a grant-funded program. She recently became certified as a spinning instructor and teaches indoor cycling classes. She is also involved in several academic honor societies and is active in the community. She plans to enter law school to study health care law after receiving her bachelor’s degree. Her hobbies include cooking, hiking, swimming, traveling, and working out.

Erin Kaufmann, B.S., is a first year M.P.H. student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham studying health behavior. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in health promotion and behavior where she served as a peer educator in a sexual health student group. She enjoys being an active volunteer in her community, especially when working with children and young adults. Her career interests lie in community health education, focusing on adolescent and women’s health. Some of her interests include baking, bluegrass, and baseball.