meet our team

We asked everyone: "What's your favorite way to unplug and recharge?”

Alison Malmon

Flying through the air with the greatest of ease, 23 feet in the air on the flying trapeze

Alison Malmon

Founder & Executive Director

Alison Malmon

Alison Malmon

Founder & Executive Director

Alison Malmon is the founder and Executive Director of Active Minds, and a sought after mental health expert. Alison formed the organization in 2003 as a 21-year-old, following the suicide of her brother and only sibling Brian. Wanting to end the silence that caused her brother to suffer alone and ultimately take his own life, Alison created a group on her campus at the University of Pennsylvania to promote open dialogue around mental health. Since then, Active Minds has grown into the country’s foremost mental health organization for the next generation, with a vibrant network of chapters and award-winning programs at more than 1,000 colleges and universities, K-12 schools, workplaces, and communities nationwide.

Alison lives in Boulder, Colorado, and is a wife and mother of three young girls. In her spare time, she loves flying 23 feet in the air at the Trapeze School in Washington, DC.

See Alison’s full bio »

Jason Allen

Either binge watching a show or adventuring through the zoo with my family.

Jason Allen

Director of Chapters

Jason Allen

Jason Allen

Director of Chapters

Jason (he/his), an Indiana resident and NY native, joins Active Minds with just over a decade working in higher education and adjacent industries. Previously working for fraternal organizations and most recently serving as the Chief Operating Officer for a fraternity, Jason understands what it means to be a national organization with thousands of volunteers who are always willing to do purposeful, life changing work. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Oneonta State College and a master’s degree in student affairs administration from Binghamton University.

Outside of work, Jason enjoys spending time with his family adventuring through zoos and aquariums, and trying and eating all the foods he can.

Maddie Baker

I love spending time with my family, trying new restaurants, and watching any kind of Bravo programming!

Maddie Baker

Program Associate, K-12 Initiatives

Maddie Baker

Maddie Baker

Program Associate, K-12 Initiatives

Maddie is a Texas native and 2019 graduate of the University of Virginia where she studied English and history. During her time at UVA, she worked at the University of Virginia Women’s Center and spent her summers interning in various service and youth development roles. After moving to DC, Maddie spent a year working as an AmeriCorps Member with City Year and volunteering with 826DC, a creative writing and literacy initiative for students in the DCPS system. Her passion for mental health stems from her work in education and youth advocacy. On the weekends you can find her enjoying a bagel on the Georgetown waterfront or taking one of her many family dogs for a walk through Rock Creek Park.

Keaton Van Beveren

Reading a book out on our porch with a cup of coffee in hand and my dog Topher snuggled up next to me!

Keaton Van Beveren

Visual Brand Manager

Keaton Van Beveren

Keaton Van Beveren

Visual Brand Manager

Keaton joined Active Minds as their Visual Brand Manager to marry her passion for graphic design with her background in both education and nonprofit. With master’s degrees in Secondary Education (Notre Dame) and Public Administration (American), she brings an abiding love of learning to everything she does.

Though she will always consider herself an Oregonian at heart, Keaton currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and beloved rescue dog Topher. Some of her favorite pastimes include watching outdoor movies, drawing, running Ragnars, and baking up more sweets than she could ever possibly eat.

Errika Brooks

A trip to Starbucks, stroll through Target and/or attending a Pilates class.

Errika Brooks

Manager, Chapter Partnerships

Errika Brooks

Errika Brooks

Manager, Chapter Partnerships

Errika, a New York native, comes to Active Minds with over 5 years of higher education experience. The Buffalo State College alum earned a B.S. in Communications/Public Relations in 2016 and completed a Master’s in 2019 at Nazareth College of Rochester in Higher Education Student Affairs Administration. Prior to her work in higher education, Errika worked in the nonprofit world managing a college experience program for students with intellectual disabilities where she co-established the program’s accreditation.

Upon graduating from her graduate program, Errika landed roles in many functional areas of higher education such as Admissions, Student Leadership, Academic Advising, Campus Life/Orientation and Marketing. Errika began her career in Higher Education at Monroe Community College where she led a Success Scholar program assisting students with food and housing insecurities. In this role, Errika was proud to write and receive a grant on behalf of the college from State University of New York (SUNY) to expand the food pantry initiatives across campuses.

Errika has worked with both public and private/small and large institutions throughout her career. She brings valuable expertise in supporting the whole student. Her work leading student clubs and organizations, advising students academically in STEM fields, supporting student needs, large scale event planning and developing college-wide marketing/communications has led her to where she is today. In her spare time, Errika enjoys attending restaurants/coffee shops, traveling, meeting new people and spending time with family.

Krista Cantrell

Listening to music, watching film and tv (while cuddling with my cat, Bootsie), and cooking for loved ones

Krista Cantrell

Send Silence Packing Outreach Manager

Krista Cantrell

Krista Cantrell

Send Silence Packing Outreach Manager

Krista is based in the Washington, D.C. area. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Global Studies and considers Vermont her second home. Krista started her career in higher education at UVM where she co-founded the Citizen Scholar Award and continued her work in undergraduate admissions as an Assistant Director at Villanova University recruiting students domestically and internationally. She is currently completing her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies at Villanova with a concentration on Peace and Justice studies. Krista’s personal and professional passion focuses on addressing the inequities that underrepresented populations face in all aspects of life. As the daughter of a war refugee, Krista credits her Nicaraguan family for instilling a strong sense of love, justice, and rootedness in her identity. Krista herself is a native of the Washington, D.C. area and enjoys every opportunity she gets to reconnect with the community there.

Lauren Cikara

Backyard hangouts with my partner and friends, hiking in the Colorado mountains, and trying to master new baking recipes

Lauren Cikara

Director, K-12 Initiatives

Lauren Cikara

Lauren Cikara

Director, K-12 Initiatives

Lauren has spent her entire career advocating for youth and young adult programming in K-12 education, higher education, and community spaces. Most recently, she worked for the Colorado School of Public Health School recruiting schools to participate in the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS), Colorado’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), and Smart Source. In this role, Lauren supported schools in administering the surveys and provided technical support to schools and community partners as they navigated using results to inform school and adolescent health work across Colorado. She is a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusive school board policies and ensures the work she is a part of has an equitable and intersectional lens. Lauren’s background is in student leadership, health education and equity, policy and advocacy, and equity and inclusion. She enjoys hiking, baking, and exploring the Denver art and music scene.

Margo Collins

Sitting poolside, lakeside, on a beach or on a boat

Margo Collins

Chief Development & Marketing Officer

Margo Collins

Margo Collins

Chief Development & Marketing Officer

Margo (she/her) has spent her 16-year career helping worthy causes realize the resources needed to continue their important work. With Active Minds Margo leads the organization’s brand awareness and resource development. Most recently, Margo served as the Vice President, Development & Communications for Grameen Foundation. Prior to that role she served as Director of Development, Campaigns for the United Nations Foundation, guiding the fundraising and donor communication programs of the Shot@Life, Girl Up, and Nothing But Nets campaigns of the UN Foundation, which cumulatively represent more than 1 million supporters and advocates of global development. The first half of Margo’s career was spent as a Vice President at CCS, one of the largest strategic development consulting firms in the industry, where she directed multi-million dollar campaigns and assisted clients in enhancing their fundraising program efficiency. Originally a Midwesterner, Margo has lived in 13 cities across 9 states, and has toured 6 continents since graduating from Lehigh University. She and her family now happily reside in Washington, DC.

Dani Gomez Convey

Going hiking, rock climbing or traveling. Anything that gets me out in the sun or in a new environment!

Dani Gomez Convey

Senior Manager, People & Culture

Dani Gomez Convey

Dani Gomez Convey

Senior Manager, People & Culture

Dani Gomez Convey (They/Them) has a deep passion for people and considers their life purpose to be ‘helping others unlock their full potential’. They come to Active Minds with 10 years of experience in human capital management, organizational development, and HR. They attended the University of Illinois at Chicago where they received their BA in Criminology, Law, and Justice with a minor in Gender & Women’s Studies. Previously, they served as the Senior Director of People over 3 Restaurants in Downtown Chicago. Dani is from Chicago, IL and now resides in sunny Las Vegas, NV with their partner and 3 cats.

Rita DeBate

My favorite ways to unplug are to take walks and listen to books on tape, travel, and hike.

Rita DeBate

Research & Evaluation Advisor

Rita DeBate

Rita DeBate

Research & Evaluation Advisor

Rita is a Professor of Public Health and an accomplished NIH researcher focusing on mental health and college student health & well-being. With over 26 years of experience, she has over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and 6 book chapters. Rita holds a Master of Public Health and PhD in Public Health from the University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from SUNY Geneseo. As a lifelong learner, she is also earning her MA in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling.

Caitlin DeLaurentis

Reading, taking a long walk, and doing a SoulCycle ride

Caitlin DeLaurentis

Special Assistant to the COO

Caitlin DeLaurentis

Caitlin DeLaurentis

Special Assistant to the COO

Caitlin serves as the Special Assistant to the COO at Active Minds where she helps to project manage organization-wide strategic initiatives and evolve operations. She has a background in education, having worked at organizations dedicated to ensuring equity in educational access and opportunity. Most recently, Caitlin worked at the Washington Jesuit Academy where she helped drive impact through institutional fundraising, strategic project management, and communications. Prior to that she held various positions in development, operations, and student life at Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School, first as an AmeriCorps volunteer and then a full-time staff member. A Kensington, MD native, Caitlin earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Georgetown University and a Master of Nonprofit Administration from the University of Notre Dame.  
Janie Egan

Knitting or crocheting! I love that I can make something beautiful out of string.

Janie Egan

Manager, Chapter Membership

Janie Egan

Janie Egan

Manager, Chapter Membership

Janie Egan (she / her) uses a public health approach to promote mental health and well-being. Janie is a first generation college graduate, earning her bachelor’s and masters’ degrees in public health from Temple University (2015 and 2017, respectively). She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and led mental health promotion strategy at Temple University for 5 years. During that time, Janie advised the university’s chapter of Active Minds and, in 2022, was honored to receive Active Minds’ Chapter Advisor of the Year Award. She is dedicated to supporting young people as they create positive change, bringing a human-centered approach and love of learning to the work.
Janie enjoys knitting and crocheting, listening to podcasts, and spending time with her dog, Benji. She works from Pennsylvania.
Alicia Elms

I love going on long walks, listening to music or a podcast, and cooking!

Alicia Elms

Manager, NextGen Initiatives

Alicia Elms

Alicia Elms

Manager, NextGen Initiatives

Alicia Elms (she/her) is a native of Chicago. She comes to Active Minds with eight years of experience in Student Affairs and Higher Education. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies and a Master’s degree in Student Affairs & Higher Education from Indiana State University. Currently, Alicia will serve as the Manager of NextGen Initiatives for Active Minds where she will provide oversight to the Emerging Scholars Fellowship, Nash Family Scholarship, and workforce development. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, enjoying nature’s beauty, or trying out a new recipe.

Tess England

Anything creative like painting, drawing, or embroidering.

Tess England

Development Manager, Mid-Level Giving

Tess England

Tess England

Development Manager, Mid-Level Giving

Tess (she/her) has over five years experience working in nonprofits in various roles. Prior to Active Minds, Tess worked on the marketing and branded staff at a nonprofit specializing in exporting agricultural products abroad. She also worked on the development team at a nonprofit news organization specializing in food, agriculture, and the environment.

Francis Escaler

Music! Finding, listening, or sharing music always puts me in a good mood.

Francis Escaler

Salesforce Manager

Francis Escaler

Francis Escaler

Salesforce Manager

Francis was born and raised in the Philippines and has been a DC resident since 2012. Previously working at the Capital Area Food Bank whose mission was to solve hunger where he learned all about Salesforce and the power of data and automation. He jumped at the opportunity to work at Active Minds understanding that people need to take care of their minds just as much as their physical body. Outside of work, Francis loves to travel to new places and enjoys going to music events. He’s also a DJ who likes to mix deep and melodic tracks together for anyone who will listen.

Becky Fein

Hiking in the redwoods with my favorite four-legged friend, Daisy

Becky Fein

VP, Community Initiatives

Becky Fein

Becky Fein

VP, Community Initiatives

Becky (she/her) leads the development and implementation of innovative public-health, peer-empowerment-based mental health community initiatives geared towards young adults, students, and professionals. She is a professional public speaker and trainer with the Active Minds Speakers team. Becky holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Davis, and a Master’s of Public Health from Columbia University. Becky co-founded the Powerful Voices Project, a documentary film series highlighting the stories of resilience and recovery from people who have experienced sexual assault. In her spare time, you can find Becky hiking among the oak trees and redwoods, spending time with her friends and family, or hula hooping next to the river. Becky works remotely from Northern California.

Amy Gatto

Spending time on the boat or taking a long walk

Amy Gatto

Director, Research & Evaluation

Amy Gatto

Amy Gatto

Director, Research & Evaluation

Amy is interested in the relationship between health and education. Blending together her experiences as a former high school teacher, higher education health educator, and young adult health researcher, she has found a niche in working to improve adolescent and young adult mental health. Amy is a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida in the College of Public Health, holds a Master in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from Elon University. To find balance, Amy seeks out new adventures, teaches and practices yoga, and is usually working through a new DIY home project.

Ashley Hill

Hiking with my 10 year old Blue Heeler rescue, antiquing, and trying new coffee shops and lipsticks.

Ashley Hill

Senior Manager, K-12 Partnerships

Ashley Hill

Ashley Hill

Senior Manager, K-12 Partnerships

Ashley Hill is a human development professional with national and international experience building social and emotional competencies in adults, youth, and organizational processes. Her expertise lies in facilitating safe physical and emotional learning spaces by building cultural and self awareness that lead to the examination of implicit biases. She is joyful trainer of youth and adults in a range of content including sexual and behavioral health. She is most proud of her work designing partnerships, programs, and training content that moves youth serving organizations forward for Black, brown, and LGBTQ youth.

Annie Hobson

Binge-watching Netflix shows with a nice spread of junk food.

Annie Hobson

Senior Manager, K-12 Student Leadership

Annie Hobson

Annie Hobson

Senior Manager, K-12 Student Leadership

Annie Hobson (she/her) is no stranger to youth development. She has dedicated her entire career to youth programming, youth leadership, K-12 social-emotional learning, and community and human services. She believes that the encouragement and growth of young leaders are the responsibility of everyone who surrounds them. In her recent role, Annie served as the Youth Services Manager for the City of Rockford, IL-Mayor’s Office-Family Peace Center where she developed and implemented inclusive programs for youth survivors of domestic and sexual violence. She comes to the Active Mind’s team with over 10 years of experience. Hobson graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Human Services from Capella University. Annie will serve as the Senior Manager of K-12 Student Leadership. In this capacity, she will assist in leading the development of student-led initiatives for high school and middle school students, which will be used to equip youth with the resources needed to become mental health advocates. Her self-care regimen includes cooking, going fishing, and spending time with her loved ones. 

Amanda Horn

Taking my dog, Blu, on a walk and binge watching trash TV

Amanda Horn

Senior Manager of Marketing & PR

Amanda Horn

Amanda Horn

Senior Manager of Marketing & PR

Laura Horne

Read, run (either on the treadmill or after my girls), and disconnect from social media

Laura Horne

Chief Program Officer

Laura Horne

Laura Horne

Chief Program Officer

Laura (she/her) develops innovative strategies and unique partnerships to empower students to help schools and society embrace a comprehensive, public health approach to mental health. Prior to Active Minds, Laura led public health initiatives at the National Association of County and City Health Officials and Tulane University. Laura earned her Master of Public Health degree in community health sciences from Tulane University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Loyola University New Orleans. She enjoys running, reading, finding adventure with her husband and three girls, and following the Washington Nationals and New Orleans Saints. Laura works from Philadelphia.

See Laura’s full bio »

Chloe Isaac

Taking as long a walk as possible around my neighborhood

Chloe Isaac

Social Media Manager

Chloe Isaac

Chloe Isaac

Social Media Manager

For as long as she can remember, Chloe has loved to connect with others on a personal level and find connections among the things that make us all unique. This interest led her to pursue degrees in Communication Studies and Graphic Design while at the University of Maryland and inspired her to pursue a career in social media, a field she doesn’t think she’ll ever get bored of. Chloe believes good content is made with integrity, good humor, and honesty, and she’s thrilled that this aligns with the work Active Minds does through their online presence.

Chloe makes sure she spends a good amount of time offline as well, usually via a walk to the local gelato shop or a movie night with friends.

Nicole Jessel

Hiking with my puppy, writing poetry, trying new foods, attending live music events, and spending time with loved ones.

Nicole Jessel

K-12 Fellow (MN)

Nicole Jessel

Nicole Jessel

K-12 Fellow (MN)

Nicole grew up in northeast Wisconsin and has resided in St.Paul Minnesota since 2015. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a bachelor’s degree in Child Psychology and Development and a minor in Social Justice. Nicole was involved in Habitat for Humanity and America Reads in college. From there Nicole worked at Minneapolis Public Schools as a special education assistant, and at Minneapolis Parks and Recreation as an inclusion specialist. Her commitment to a just world and empowering youth deepened and she decided to complete a certificate in Therapeutic Recreation. Nicole’s passion for youth advocacy centers around individuals’ strengths and overall well being, specifically using a trauma informed approach. Nicole now serves as Active Minds Minnesota K-12 state fellow. She is part of the newly designed Middle School Initiative. She hopes to influence mental health awareness and equip students with the knowledge, resources, and language to compassionately and effectively support one another, in and out of the classroom.

Dena Keeling

Shopping, laying on the beach, and binge watching shows while I play games on my phone

Dena Keeling

VP, Equity & Inclusion

Dena Keeling

Dena Keeling

VP, Equity & Inclusion

Dr. Dena Keeling comes to Active Minds with a background in educational leadership, counseling, and equity, diversity and inclusion. She has worked in community mental health, has 16 years of experience as a school counselor, and most recently, served as the first Chief Equity Officer for Orange County Schools in Hillsborough, NC. Dr. Keeling has spent her career working to transform the educational system in order to ensure that all students have access to academic programming, college and career preparation, and social and emotional support. Her approach to facilitating systemic equity transformation includes supporting staff with critically examining organizational culture, policies, practices and decisions; building the skills, awareness, and knowledge to create, lead and sustain anti-racist and inclusive environments and programming; and developing strategic partnerships that center the needs, experiences and voices of those who are currently and have historically been pushed to the margins.

Dr. Keeling earned both her doctorate in Educational Leadership and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Master of Science in Counselor Education from North Carolina A&T State University. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Dr. Keeling is originally from New York and now lives in North Carolina with her three children. In her free time, she and her children like to find new things to experience, like taking cooking classes, traveling, and accomplishing their goal of going to every coffee shop and bakery in Greensboro.

Sheina Koolik

My favorite way to unplug and recharge is by cooking and baking vegan food, as well as spending time outside!

Sheina Koolik

K-12 Florida Engagement Fellow

Sheina Koolik

Sheina Koolik

K-12 Florida Engagement Fellow

Sheina (she/her) was born and raised in South Florida where she began her work in the nonprofit world. As a child, Sheina‘s family instilled the values of community, hard work, and helping others, where she began her passion for advocacy. She attended the University of Central Florida and got her Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration with a minor in Human Services. At UCF, Sheina was the Chief Justice of UCF Student Government and worked to advocate for and uphold the rights of UCF’s 70,00 students, where she first came in contact with Active Minds. As the Florida K-12 Engagement Fellow, Sheina is excited to work with local and statewide outreach efforts to recruit schools to participate in the newly developed Active Minds Middle School network. In her free time, Sheina enjoys spending time with her family, baking, and being active.

Ivy Lee

Listening to music with a cozy candle and a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle!

Ivy Lee

Manager, Chapter Mobilization

Ivy Lee

Ivy Lee

Manager, Chapter Mobilization

Ivy (she/her/hers), a Bostonian living in New York, comes to Active Minds with a non-profit and mental health background. As an undergraduate student, she co-founded The Every Voice Coalition, a non-profit working to reduce rates of gender-based violence on college and university campuses, and, since then, has worked in psychiatric research and as a therapist who specialized in trauma informed and intersectional therapy. Ivy fully believes in the importance of prioritizing accessible and inclusive mental health care and discussions. She is a big supporter of holistic advocacy for others, and for the self, and is looking forward to supporting student advocates. Ivy holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northeastern University and a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine from Boston University. In her spare time, Ivy can typically be found cuddling on the couch with her cat.

Carin Levine

Talking on the phone and hosting friends and family for meals

Carin Levine

Chief Operating Officer

Carin Levine

Carin Levine

Chief Operating Officer

Carin, a Bethesda, MD native and resident, comes to Active Minds with a background in entrepreneurship, business development, and management. She owned Hitched, a bridal boutique in Georgetown, for almost ten years and is also the co-founder and owner of the start-up, FONBOOTH. Prior to starting her own businesses, she worked as a consultant and large scale event producer for non-profits and national corporations. Carin received a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from Yale School of Management. Carin loves spending time with her husband and two elementary school age children and hosting friends.

DeHaven Sawyer Mays

Listening to audiobooks while running around with my bouncy pitbull.

DeHaven Sawyer Mays

Manager, K-8 Engagement

DeHaven Sawyer Mays

DeHaven Sawyer Mays

Manager, K-8 Engagement

DeHaven Mays (pronouns: they/them) is a non-binary educator and youth advocate who has dedicated their career to creating education and coaching to empower youth voices. They hold an undergraduate and graduate degree in sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University and a graduate degree in education from Widener University. DeHaven has created LGBTQ specific outreach, education, and support group programming across Virginia where they live to change K-12 school culture to be safer for all students to thrive and be their full selves. DeHaven will use all of their past experiences and education to help create the middle school program to serve highly impacted youth and their stories to create lasting change.

Emily Meeks

Working out or playing the trumpet

Emily Meeks

Manager, Evaluation

Emily Meeks

Emily Meeks

Manager, Evaluation

Emily supports the evaluation of Active Minds’ programs. Emily was a member of an Active Minds chapter as a college student, and her involvement in Active Minds led to a passion for student mental health. She has a background in public health programming and has supported health education initiatives related to stress management, chronic disease treatment, overdose prevention, and more in higher education and nonprofit settings. A Rocky Mount, Virginia native, Emily graduated from Virginia Tech with B.S. degrees in biology and psychology and a Master of Public Health. In her free time, she enjoys doing yoga, hiking, playing the trumpet, and spending quality time with her cats and family.

Randy Moore

YouTube videos on social and political history, stargazing, and playing the dulcimer or harmonica

Randy Moore

Policy Manager

Randy Moore

Randy Moore

Policy Manager

Randy is a proud macro social worker. Following his time at the University of South Carolina, he has worked as a community organizer, policy and advocacy director, researcher, event planner, and program manager. Randy comes to Active Minds from the office of US Senator Mark Warner, where he served as Outreach Representative for the Richmond Regional Office—organizing the senior Virginia senator’s regional outreach and engagements, while also standing in as a representative for the senator where needed. An active music lover, Randy spends much of his free time writing, producing, and performing music as a vocalist, guitarist, pianist, and harpist. He originally hails from rural South Carolina but maintains his identity as a son of Southwest Virginia by frequently spending time unwinding with his family there in the Cumberland Mountains. Randy brings to Active Minds a unique personal story of his own journey seeking emotional wellness which very much informs his work with the organization. In his free time, you can find him with his Springer Spaniel Boyd, who enjoys water, squirrels, and donuts.

Matthew Newell

My favorite way to recharge is reading books about neuroscience and social behavior while the discography of Detroit DJ and producer Moodymann fills the air.

Matthew Newell

Senior Director, Marketing

Matthew Newell

Matthew Newell

Senior Director, Marketing

Matthew is a marketing and creative veteran, having worked on iconic brands like State Farm, NBC, Foo Fighters and Wu Tang Clan before joining Active Minds. His work tries to strike the delicate balance of strategic innovation, consumer insight, and quantifiable results.

Emelyne Ndikumasabo

Cooking from scratch and without recipes

Emelyne Ndikumasabo

Office Manager

Emelyne Ndikumasabo

Emelyne Ndikumasabo

Office Manager

Emelyne comes to Active minds with a background in international programs and operations, and has worked in conflict zones for the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Previous to Active Minds, Emelyne served as the Procurement staff at the United Nations office in Ivory Coast. She has over 10 years providing operational support and program/project management support in the nonprofit realm. In her spare time, Emelyne enjoys cooking, spending time with family and friends, and being outdoors with her daughter.

Garrett O’Day

Going for walks, reading psychology books, lounging in a hammock, watching shows, and playing games with friends.

Garrett O’Day

Senior Manager, Research

Garrett O’Day

Garrett O’Day

Senior Manager, Research

Garrett works remotely from Indianapolis, Indiana and comes to Active Minds with 8 years of research experience. He graduated from the University of California, Davis with a B.S. in psychology with an emphasis in mathematics and a minor in education. He then earned a M.S. and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Purdue University. His previous research focused on creating, evaluating, and refining evidence-based interventions that promoted effective self-regulated learning. Garrett is now excited to apply his experience toward overseeing Active Minds’ growing research portfolio.

Markie Pasternak

Skating some laps at my local ice rink

Markie Pasternak

Senior Manager, Higher Education

Markie Pasternak

Markie Pasternak

Senior Manager, Higher Education

Markie oversees Active Minds’ work in higher education, focusing on mental health support for college and university students, staff, and faculty. Markie is originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, and received her bachelor’s in psychology from Marquette University. During her time at Marquette, Markie served as the Active Minds’ chapter president and was the president of the Student Advisory Committee from 2015 to 2016. Markie received her Master’s of Science in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University-Bloomington. Before joining the Active Minds Staff, Markie worked at Auburn University focusing on mental health programming and peer health education, and was the co-advisor for the campus’s Active Minds chapter. In her spare time, you can find Markie coaching figure skating at her local ice rink, cheering on her hometown team, the Green Bay Packers, or playing with her dog, Brooks. Markie works remotely from both Georgia and Alabama.

Chad Pendleton

Favorite way to unplug is to listen to music or podcasts while chilling with my cats, walking outside while meditating, or creating something

Chad Pendleton

Marketing Manager

Chad Pendleton

Chad Pendleton

Marketing Manager

With over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit and educational fields, Chad is honored to serve the Active Minds team as Marketing Manager. He finds nothing more fulfilling than to put his skill set and background towards an impactful cause, like mental health awareness and suicide prevention. He graduated from Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma City with a B.A. in Communications. Chad has a passion for all things creative like film, writing, theatre, music, etc. – even once serving as a freelance culture critic and commentator better known as “Pompous Geek”. He also loves to travel and cheer for his favorite sports teams like the Jayhawks, Royals, and Chiefs from Kansas City and the Bruins and Celtics from Boston. He has also jumped on the bandwagon of American fans obsessed with Formula 1.
Chad lives in the Kansas City Area with his two cats, Beaker and Bergy. He is also close with and spends time with his family, especially his nephews Charlie, Bryce, Spencer, and Levi.
Sam Piraneo

Riding my bike around the district

Sam Piraneo

Senior Development Associate, Community Fundraising

Sam Piraneo

Sam Piraneo

Senior Development Associate, Community Fundraising

Originally from New Jersey, Sam studied psychology at Ithaca College and was involved in IC’s Active Minds chapter. During his time at IC, Sam interned with the local Department of Social Services and worked at a summer camp for youth experiencing mental health struggles. Since moving to D.C., Sam worked as a barista and local LGBTQ event producer before joining the Active Minds team. Outside of work, you can find Sam riding his bike, exploring new coffee shops, or eating ice cream with his boyfriend.

Andrea Priehs

Nothing beats reading a book on the beach!

Andrea Priehs

Development Manager, Annual Fund

Andrea Priehs

Andrea Priehs

Development Manager, Annual Fund

After working in the medical field for more than 10 years I discovered my true passion resided in the nonprofit sector. I love having the opportunity to gently teach others the joy of giving and doing my small part to make the world a better place.
I have been lucky enough to have experienced growing up on both coasts, and seemed to find myself settling in the middle.
I live in the midwest with my husband and four children. We enjoy taking in all four seasons in their unique beauty, but summer is, of course, our favorite.
Luis Ramirez

Getting my hands dirty and working in the garden

Luis Ramirez

Senior Development Manager

Luis Ramirez

Luis Ramirez

Senior Development Manager

After interning with Active Minds in his college days, Luis was thrilled to return initially as Active Minds’ Development Manager, and to now work as the Senior Development Manager as he continues to help change the conversation about mental health. Previously, Luis has had the opportunity to work for two incredible organizations: Food & Friends, a DC based nonprofit providing medically tailored meals to people living with serious illnesses, and Rebuilding Together, a leading home repair nonprofit focused on revitalizing communities and rebuilding lives across the country. Luis is a firm believer that donors should be celebrated at every opportunity and works to build relationships based on trust, transparency and a culture of philanthropy.

Luis holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Health from the University of Maryland. He and his partner live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with their cat and two dogs.

Lawson Roberts

In his spare time, Lawson enjoys spending time with his dog, traveling, or binge watching a new show!

Lawson Roberts

Director of Operations

Lawson Roberts

Lawson Roberts

Director of Operations

Lawson is originally from SC. He moved to the DC area after graduating from Benedict College in 2010. Lawson majored in Business Administration with a concentration in management.  Lawson has over 10 years of experience in HR that includes private sector and non-profit organizations.

Maribeth Savoie

Yoga or traveling to the ocean

Maribeth Savoie

Senior Manager, Workplace Mental Health

Maribeth Savoie

Maribeth Savoie

Senior Manager, Workplace Mental Health

Maribeth spearheads the strategy behind Active Minds’ workplace mental health programs, including initiating strategic partnerships, creating and piloting comprehensive workplace programming, and championing mental health culture change. A Certified Health Education Specialist® Candidate, Maribeth received her M.S. in Health Promotion and M.S. in Clinical Nutrition from Maryland University of Integrative Health in 2021 and 2022 where she focused her work on workplace wellness and nutrition for mental health. She has nearly five years of experience supporting young adults and workplaces in achieving improved mental health outcomes and enjoys cultivating relationships and implementing impact-driven health promotion programs. Originally from Maryland, Maribeth is based out of Reno, NV where she enjoys exploring the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Lake Tahoe with her husband, baby girl, and two pups.

Joy Sheppard

Traveling to a beach, experiencing new foods and culture, and going to live concerts

Joy Sheppard

Director, Community Programs

Joy Sheppard

Joy Sheppard

Director, Community Programs

Joy Sheppard, a Maryland resident and Pennsylvania native, joins Active Minds with a background in live entertainment, event production, and sponsorship sales. Joy has over ten years of specialized experience in building relationships and has spent much of her professional career managing high profile people and events with a wide range of corporate, government and non-profit clientele. She received her Bachelors of Science degree from George Mason University and enjoys traveling, tasting new cuisines, and living up to her name.

Simone Sparrow

Mastering new baking recipes and watching early 2000s TV shows

Simone Sparrow

Program Associate, Active Minds Speakers

Simone Sparrow

Simone Sparrow

Program Associate, Active Minds Speakers

Simone’s, a Boston native, desire to build relationships with people led her to pursue a B.A. in Communication Studies with a double minor in Health and Society and African American Studies from Loyola Marymount University. Simone’s love for creating unforgettable experiences and passion for serving others drew her to non-profit work. Throughout her time in college, she gained experience working in both fundraising and planning special events. In her free time, Simone loves relaxing at the beach with a good book and is always on the lookout for new ice cream spots.

Matt Stokes

Social time with friends, I always feel better after a great conversation.

Matt Stokes

Development Associate, Stewardship & Operations

Matt Stokes

Matt Stokes

Development Associate, Stewardship & Operations

Matt Stokes (he/him) is originally from Atlanta. Matt moved to DC after college in Boulder, Colorado. He studied philosophy and is very passionate about incorporating what he’s learned into work and daily life! Matt is always up to head to a happy hour and chat, and he loves making new friends and talking about anything – though if you can talk about aviation he’ll have a lot more to say.

Jazmine Taylor

Art, mediation, and concert hopping.

Jazmine Taylor

Sales Manager, Speakers

Jazmine Taylor

Jazmine Taylor

Sales Manager, Speakers

Jazmine is originally from Alexandria, Virginia where she enjoyed event planning, local farmers markets, and visiting music venues within the D.M.V. area. Before departing for Richmond, Virginia, she received her Associates Degree in Social Sciences. She then found her passion for non-profit work in behavioral health within the Richmond area. Inspired to continue her impact in mental health, she joyously accepted an offer from Active Minds for the Sale Manager, Speakers role in Washington, D.C.

Lindsey Tullman

Watching coming-of-age movies, seeing live music, practicing yoga, and having deep conversations over a cheese plate with my partner.

Lindsey Tullman

Sr. Director, Corporate & Strategic Partnerships

Lindsey Tullman

Lindsey Tullman

Sr. Director, Corporate & Strategic Partnerships

Lindsey (she/her) leads corporate and strategic partnerships to help expand Active Minds’ reach and programming and change the conversation around mental health. Prior to Active Minds, she held various marketing and business development roles at consumer brands, media companies, advertising agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Most recently, she transitioned into the social impact space, combining her passion for partnerships and purpose, and is committed to doing work that makes a difference for individuals, families, and communities.
Lindsey lives in Brooklyn, NY and enjoys seeing live music, practicing yoga, traveling to new places, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the dynamic NYC restaurant scene.
Hannah Williams

Watching a comfort movie or sitting outside and reading

Hannah Williams

Senior Associate, Communications & Storytelling

Hannah Williams

Hannah Williams

Senior Associate, Communications & Storytelling

Hannah is originally from Chesapeake, Virginia, and loved growing up at the beach, going camping, and spending time outside. She then decided to trade the ocean for mountains, and attended college in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the University of Virginia, where she received a degree in politics with a minor in public policy and leadership. Throughout her time in college, she developed a passion for communications, through various internships in marketing, public relations, and social media. Mental health has always been a part of her and her loved ones’ stories, so when Active Minds presented a chance to combine her love of advocacy and communications, she was all-in. In her spare time, she enjoys enthusiastically cheering on her favorite sports teams, adding to her “Best Movies Ever” list, and reading new books.

Karim Williams

Listening to music, maintaining self care through fitness, and creating art

Karim Williams

Web & Digital Content Associate

Karim Williams

Karim Williams

Web & Digital Content Associate

Karim is a Washington D.C. native with over 5 years of creative engagement experience. While pursuing his B.S. in economics at St. John’s University’s Tobin School in 2016, Karim remained active throughout organizational life on-campus. For professional collaborations, Karim helped to developed brands along creative projects off-campus. In 2016, he co-founded TEDx St. John’s University, the first student and faculty-led TED platform for continuing conversations around local and global community issues. Developed during his entrepreneurship starting at the beginning of the global pandemic in 2019, he continues to study applied concepts for optimized user experiences. In his free time, Karim can be found cooking, playing video games, or out hiking Maryland’s mountains and parks.

Gabrielle Yaptinchay

Tending to the garden and cooking all the homegrown veggies!

Gabrielle Yaptinchay

Evaluation Program Associate

Gabrielle Yaptinchay

Gabrielle Yaptinchay

Evaluation Program Associate

Gabby is excited to support Active Minds programs through evaluation. She has a background in working with special populations and has an interest in research and advocacy for these groups. She holds a Master in Public Health from Tulane University and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland. In her free time, you can find Gabby traveling across oceans and states, spending time with friends and family, and hiking with her husband and Bernese Mountain Dog.

Celia Zevon

Turning off my phone, reading a good book, and getting outside!

Celia Zevon

Social Media Content Producer

Celia Zevon

Celia Zevon

Social Media Content Producer

Celia (she/her), a Rhode Island native, followed her passions for mental health, non-profit work, and social media to Washington D.C. to serve as Active Mind’s Social Media Content Producer. In college, Celia pursued a B.A. in Communications Studies on an Advertising and PR track with a double minor in Digital Marketing and Creative/Professional Writing. However, it was Celia’s creativity, curiosity, and desire for progress in the mental health field that led her to her involvement with Active Minds. In her free time, Celia enjoys traveling, reading, getting outside, and spending time with loved ones. Celia is eager to grow Active Mind’s impact through social media efforts and change the conversation around mental health!

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