student advisory committee, 2020-21

Keeping it relevant and real

Each spring, we welcome new members to the Student Advisory Committee, comprised of up to 20 students from across the country who show extraordinary leadership and dedication to Active Minds. The committee is an advisory body to the national office that brings the student perspective to organizational decision making. We are so grateful for their time and talents.

Meet the SAC Members!

T. J. Annerino

President, Active Minds National Student Advisory Committee

School: Auburn University

About: TJ is a senior at Auburn University majoring in Political Science and minoring in Communications and Sociology. Upon graduation, she plans to attend law school. As President of her Auburn Active Minds chapter, she enjoys planning and helping execute their fall event, Mental Wealth Week, where an entire week is spent helping students learn about Active Minds and their own mental wellbeing. She also worked on a committee to bring all of Auburn’s mental health resources into one easy location for students to access. Within her friends and family, she has witnessed first-hand how mental illnesses can impact one’s life, and she has utilized therapy and counseling to improve her mental health. TJ wants to eventually work in politics and the US government to bring more healthcare bills surrounding mental health to the Congress floor.

student mental health leaders

Raisa Alam

School: Columbia University

About: Raisa is a senior at Columbia University studying Neuroscience and Behavior on the pre-medical track. Raisa is passionate about mental health and disability advocacy, research, and teaching. She has served as the President of Active Minds and the Vice President of Synapse to advocate for support and resources for individuals with mental illnesses and disabilities. Raisa has co-launched Unmasked: a mental health peer support community app. She is also an Educator for the Lang Youth Medical Program and teaches FGLI BIPOC 7th grade students in health sciences. Raisa is currently working on an independent project to develop a discussion and reflection forum about the impact of COVID-19 on racism, xenophobia, and health disparities. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and comics, brush lettering, watching Netflix and anime, taking photos, and trying new food.

David Atash

School: University of Southern California

About: David is a junior transfer student at the University of Southern California, where he is majoring in Public Policy. As a non-traditional and first-generation college student, David continues to work towards bridging the gap between underserved communities and the resources available to them, be it online, on campus, or within the community. David is excited for the opportunity of working within a new academic community at USC and pledges to continue to look for new ways to expand the voice of non-traditional students within higher education. When he is not advocating for mental health, David enjoys traveling to his hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to visit his family and spending time with loved ones over a home-cooked meal.

student mental health leaders

Lydia Borsi

School: University of Rochester

About: Lydia is a senior at the University of Rochester pursuing a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A. in Psychology. She has been part of Active Minds since her freshman year at UR, was President of her chapter during her sophomore and junior year, and this is her second year as a SAC member. Lydia joined Active Minds because she was inspired by the resilience of its members and felt welcomed in a space where mental health was discussed openly and without shame. With Active Minds, she has been part of efforts to improve access to mental healthcare and increase help-seeking behavior on campus. Outside of school, she loves finding the time to enjoy virtual chess with her little brother or learn about her little sister’s latest paintings.

Gregory Carnesi

School: Arizona State University

About: Gregory is a junior at Arizona State University studying Psychology. His passion for mental health stems from his own struggles with mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, among others. He joined Active Minds at the end of his freshman year after being told about it by fellow mental health advocates in the community, and, since then, has served as Vice President before becoming President this year. Through his involvement in Active Minds, he has worked to bridge the gaps between student organizations and university leadership, as well as come to understand the power of his own story in fighting stigma. Outside of school, he enjoys working out, listening to music, and hanging out with friends whenever he can.

student mental health leaders

Kaitlin Chau

School: San Diego State University

About: Kaitlin is entering her last year at San Diego State University studying Psychology with minors in Counseling and Social Change and Cultural Proficiency. Kaitlin is thrilled to be stepping into the role of SDSU’s Active Minds President this fall and to be part of the SAC. Kaitlin is a Peer Advisor in the Psychology Undergraduate Advising Office, a Peer Educator in Counseling and Psychological Services, and a member of SDSU Rotaract. As an Asian American young woman, these leadership roles allow Kaitlin to exercise her passion for advocating for wellness. Active Minds further inspires her commitment to destigmatizing conversations about mental health in underrepresented populations. She hopes to continue these conversations and work toward building a positive mental health culture in her community as a high school counselor. Kaitlin practices self-care by water coloring, hammocking, going to concerts, and blogging about books.

Delia Drake

School: Ramapo College of New Jersey

About: Delia is a student at Ramapo College of New Jersey with a major in Social Work and a double minor in Psychology and Crime and Justice Studies. She will be serving as President of her college’s chapter for the 2020-21 school year. As she completes her senior year of undergrad, Delia is excited to continue her education and pursue her MSW degree. Delia joined Active Minds as a general member when she transferred to Ramapo in her sophomore year. From there, she found that the chapter’s goal to fight the stigma surrounding mental health and be as inclusive and diverse as possible resonated with her personal values. In her role as President, she looks forward to continuing to normalize the conversation about mental health on her campus and can’t wait to take the lessons she has learned throughout her time in Active Minds and apply them to her career as a social worker. After graduation, Delia would like to work with sexual assault and domestic violence survivors as well as focus on policy change surrounding women, children, and immigrant rights.

student mental health leaders

Macy Faust

School: The University of North Texas

About: Macy is a junior at The University of North Texas majoring in Rehabilitation Studies and double minoring in Addictions and Counseling. Through her experience as an Active Minds Leader on her campus, Macy has helped in fostering genuine friendships, organization collaborations, and a resilient student community. With support from her E-Board, programs such as residence hall self-care stations and campus-wide mental health forums came to life. Macy loves her position as a peer mentor for UNT’s Collegiate Recovery Program where she leads an LGBTQ+ student peer support group and mentors students in recovery from mental health, substance use, and other quality-of-life concerns. Whenever Macy is not involved with school, she volunteers as a Crisis Counselor for Crisis Text Line and enjoys learning American Sign Language.

Liz Frissell

School: Occidental College

About: Liz is a student at Occidental College studying Philosophy and Pre-Law. Liz joined Active Minds during her first week of college, where she became a part of the chapter’s Fundraising Committee. A semester later, she became a Cohort Ambassador for Active Mind for Every Mind. Through the Cohort, Liz researched how LGBTQ+ students struggle with mental health nationally and at Occidental College. She then planned self-care events for her LGBTQ+ peers in addition to her fundraising events. Liz will start her sophomore year as the Fundraising Chair of her chapter. She is also the President of Law Society, Treasurer of Greek Council, and works for the non-profit, Environment California. She is extremely grateful to the upperclassman members of Active Minds who welcomed her and encouraged her to take on responsibilities in her first year.

Dominick Gray

School: West Virginia Wesleyan College

About: Dominick is a student at West Virginia Wesleyan College with a major in Musical Theatre. He comes from Charleston, West Virginia, and is a member of the fraternity Alpha Sigma Phi. Dominick holds the position of Vice President of Service and Philanthropy within the chapter. He loves to sing and is heavily involved with his local community theatre any chance he gets. Being honest and open about his struggles with PTSD and depression has helped him grow and prepare for any challenge he might face.

Anushka Gupta

School: John L. Miller Great Neck North High School

About: Anushka is a senior at Great Neck North High, and she is the Co-President and Co-Founder of the Active Minds chapter at her school. After her personal experience with mental illness, Anushka has realized the importance of educating and advocating for mental health in her community. She loves to plan interactive meetings for her Active Mind’s club at school to engage her peers and spark a discussion amongst them. One of her favorite hobbies is creative writing because she enjoys conveying important messages regarding mental health and other topics through her stories. In her free time, Anushka also enjoys playing tennis with her friends, listening to music, and reading.

Benjamin Heim

School: Lenox Memorial High School

About: Benjamin is a junior at Lenox Memorial High School who is interested in the interplay of neuroscience and psychological disorders. After discovering the prevalence of mental health issues, specifically among students, he sought out Active Minds and founded a chapter at his school. Benjamin is an advocate for education to understand the power of one’s words and seeks to aid others in finding the resources they need to receive help. Benjamin enjoys reading, being with friends, and, most importantly, learning.

student mental health leaders

Kali Hill

School: Morningside College

About: Kali is a senior at Morningside College with a  major in Nursing and a minor in Psychology. Upon graduation, she plans to work in advance care as a Registered Nurse. In October 2018, Kali became one of the founders of Morningside’s Active Minds chapter and has served as the Co-President for going on three years. She has enjoyed the positive, friendly, and supportive atmosphere that Active Minds has brought to campus through educating and advocating for mental health awareness and reducing stigma. Kali became involved in Active Minds to help educate and support individuals struggling due to her experience in high school of being by her sister’s side as she fought through depression and suicidal ideations. Kali realized that she did not want others to feel alone and scared of not knowing what to do in these difficult situations. Kali would eventually love to work in the healthcare field to continue mental health advocacy. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and participating in game nights with friends.

Kelly Maguire

School: Florida Gulf Coast University

About: Kelly is a student at Florida Gulf Coast University with a major in Psychology. She is involved in Active Minds because, through overcoming her own struggles with mental illness, she has found that advocating and educating others about mental health has become her greatest passion. Active Minds gave her the strength and courage to reach out and ask for help. Just one week following the 2019 National Conference, she was inspired to prioritize her own mental health and took a leave of absence from school to attend a residential treatment center. Now, more than ever before, she is driven to help others who may also be going through similar struggles. When she is not pursuing her greatest passion of mental health, she loves discovering new hiking trails with her dog, playing tennis, and painting anything except portraits of people.

student mental health leaders

Da’Trevion (Tre) Moss

School: University of Dubuque

About: Tre is a senior at the University of Dubuque with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. He plans to attend St. Ambrose University in the fall of 2021, with a plan to obtain his master’s degree in Social Work. Tre is the President of his Active Minds Chapter. Being a part of Active Minds has helped Tre realize that people around the world are passionate about spreading mental health. He is also a representative at his school’s Psychology Club. Tre loves meeting and connecting with people daily, spreading positivity wherever he goes. Outside of school, he looks to give back and find volunteer work to pick up in his free time. He also enjoys going on walks, playing volleyball, and working out.

Kelsey Pacetti

School: University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

About: Kelsey is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater studying Social Work, Special Education, and Theatre Arts. Kelsey has been a part of Active Minds since her first year of college and she is now in her second year serving as President of her chapter. During the 2020 Active Minds National Conference, Kelsey was awarded the Active Minds Adam Carlson Student Leader of the Year. She has taken her traumas and turned them into a success story. After struggling with her depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, she found hope and passion within Active Minds. Kelsey has brought The Mental Health Monologues, The Bandana Project, AFSP Out of the Darkness Walk, and more to the Whitewater community. Kelsey enjoys volunteering within the community to support individuals with disabilities, snuggling her cat, and watching The Office. Kelsey is very excited about this opportunity to be on the SAC and for SSP to return to campus.

student mental health leaders

Kamakashi Sharma

School: University of Pittsburgh

About: 

Kamakashi is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Neuroscience, Psychology, and French with a pre-medical track. After undergrad, she plans to complete her MD/PhD with a specialization in psychopathology. Kamakashi initially joined the University of Pittsburgh Active Minds chapter her freshman year when searching for a space to be able to actively engage in discussions about mental health. Through her experience in the chapter, she has been involved in many facets of mental health advocacy, from larger-scale discussions to peer-education to student-led efforts of raising awareness and increasing access to resources on her campus. As the current President of her chapter and a member of the SAC, Kamakashi hopes to be able to continue contributing to this growth of the conversation about mental health. Other than her involvement with her degree and with Active Minds, Kamakashi enjoys spending time at coffee shops, drinking coffee, working out, and writing.

Sophia Shieh

School: Boston College

About: Sophia is a student at Boston College studying in the combined Applied Psychology and Human Development and Master of Social Work degree program and minors in Medical Humanities, Health, and Culture. She now serves as Co-President of her Active Minds chapter, the Head of Outreach and Partnerships of the Lean on Me peer text line, a member of the To Write Love On Her Arms chapter. She’s interested in intersectional issues related to mental health and is passionate about accessibility, cultural-competency, and trauma-informed care in higher education institutions and medical settings. Outside of the classroom, you can find her working at a psychiatric hospital, volunteering for Crisis Text Line, Prison Art Outreach Program, and other Campus Ministry service programs, interpreting/translating for multiple organizations. She believes in the notion that “the wounded healer can truly heal” and sees her personal experience as a gift that inspires her passion in the helping profession. Some fun facts about her are that she loves her hedgehog and has lived in 10+ cities across several countries.

student mental health leaders

Cayla Vertreese

School: Northwest Missouri State University

About: Cayla is a junior at Northwest Missouri State University with a major in Human Services and a minor in Psychology. She founded the Active Minds chapter at Northwest Missouri State University at the start of her sophomore year on campus. Through both her personal experiences and conversations held with her peers, she saw a need to improve the resources available on her campus regarding mental health. She recognized the similarities between many of their experiences and believed that a mental health awareness organization would allow students to come together and support one another and also provide a platform where they could demand the resources that they need. Outside of school, she has developed a passion for community advocacy. As Maryville is a small town in rural Northwest Missouri, she is currently working on projects to bridge the gap between her university and the community.

Audrey Vint

School: Kirkwood Community College

About: Audrey is a sophomore at Kirkwood Community College as a Liberal Arts major. She is planning to transfer to the University of Northern Iowa to pursue a degree in Elementary Education. She got involved in volunteering in mental health-related clubs in high school and now runs the Active Minds club at Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids, IA, including planning events and hosting the Green Bandana Project on campus. Additionally, she works to make sure that students know what mental health resources there are on campus and in the community. Outside of school, Audrey works at a local family-owned bakery and volunteers for the National Weather Service as part of the Skywarn team for her area.

student mental health leaders

Cameron Zohoury

School: Santa Monica College

About: Cameron is a student at Santa Monica College studying Psychology while also fulfilling pre-medical requirements. He has been involved with the Active Minds chapter on his campus for the last two years and will be serving as the Co-President this upcoming school year. What fascinates him is the underlying connection between mental and physical health, which has influenced his decision to pursue a career in the medical field. His time spent advocating for mental health in his community has been extremely gratifying, and he plans on spreading further awareness by serving as a medical professional in the future. Outside of academics, he enjoys spending time with his dog named Ferris. Together, they explore the great outdoors until they inevitably have to find some shade to rest under.