SAC 2023-2024

supporting the next generation of mental health advocates

The Active Minds Student Advisory Committee (SAC) is an advisory group comprised of college and university student leaders from chapters in the Active Minds National Chapter Network across the United States and Canada. The SAC is a national student leadership body that provides a youth perspective to our work in collaboration with the Active Minds national staff, Board of Directors, and National Advisory Committee. SAC members primarily advise national staff in student engagement, program planning, Chapter engagement and management, National Conference planning, and program promotion, representing the Active Minds’ student voice nationally through media and other student forums.

 

Meet the SAC Members!

Anushka Gupta

President of the Active Minds Student Advisory Committee

Pronouns: she/her/hers

School: New York University

About: Anushka is a student at New York University studying Psychology and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies (CAMS) on the pre-med track. As a former Active Mind’s Student Advisory Council (SAC) member and student ambassador, Anushka is passionate about normalizing conversations about mental health in her community through storytelling. During her freshman year, she spoke at her campus’s TED x NYU event on the topic of “Destigmatizing Mental Health and Illness” amongst college students by sharing her own mental health journey. She currently serves as co-President of the Active Mind’s chapter at NYU. Other than her work as a mental health advocate, she also volunteers as a research assistant at the Social Cognitive Affective Neurodevelopment (SCAN) lab at NYU Langone which aims to study the impact of the pandemic on child neurodevelopment. In her free time, Anushka enjoys exploring different cafes and bookstores around the city.

Zoe Tait

Vice President, Active Minds National Student Advisory Committee

Pronouns: she/her/hers

School: University of California, San Diego

About: Zoe is a student majoring in Cognitive Behavioral Neuroscience and minoring in Spanish Language Studies at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Zoe formerly served as an Active Minds Student Ambassador and has been involved in Active Minds since her sophomore year of high school, currently serving as the co-president of the Active Minds chapter at UCSD. She believes it is vital to continue to destigmatize mental health by promoting mental health awareness and education. In addition to her involvement in mental health advocacy, Zoe is currently the head research assistant at the Computational Psychology & Well-Being Lab at Stanford University. Zoe is particularly interested in leveraging computational methods to understand the behavioral factors that drive well-being and mental health, and to use them to develop a new generation of effective treatments. In her free time, Zoe enjoys singing, dancing, hiking, and exploring new places around the world.

Emma Lamoreaux

Secretary, Active Minds National Student Advisory Committee

Pronouns: she/her/hers

School: Temple University

About: Emma Lamoreaux, currently in her senior year at Temple University in Philadelphia, is pursuing a major in Health Studies alongside a minor in Public Health. Her unwavering passion and dedication to mental health have propelled her into her second consecutive year as the president of the university’s Active Minds chapter. After finding Active Minds during her sophomore year, Emma recognized the power of sharing stories to create impact, motivating her to contribute further, joining the Student Advisory Committee, for which this will be her second year on. In addition to her Active Minds involvement, Emma is an active participant in various campus initiatives, such as serving on Temple’s Student Mental Health Advisory Board, as well as the board of her school’s medical journal, “CommonHealth.” Emma’s commitment to improving mental health and healthcare accessibility is evident in her advocacy for equal care opportunities. As she approaches graduation, she looks forward to attending law school with a focus on health law.

Rachna Edalur

Pronouns: she/her/hers

School: Texas A&M University

Southeast Community Organizer

About: Rachna is an Applied Mathematics major with a concentration in Biological Sciences at Texas A&M University. Growing up in a small East Texas area where mental health is seen as an unspeakable topic, Rachna wants to expand the idea of openness and ending the silence surrounding mental health. As a member of the SAC, Rachna hopes to create a community of acceptance and safety by uniting mental health advocates from across the country. In her free time, Rachna enjoys reading and watching reality TV (especially Survivor).

 

Adia Fadaei

Pronouns: she/her/hers

School: Point Loma Nazarene University

Southwest Community Organizer

About: Adia is a senior Psychology major at Point Loma Nazarene University and one of the co-founders of her Active Minds chapter, having introduced the organization to her school shortly after participating in the MTV & Biden-Harris Administration’s first Mental Health Youth Action Forum at the White House. Active Minds has been an integral part of her college experience; bringing individuals together premised upon authenticity and action-based support has been uniquely special. She is deeply passionate about the peer support approach for mental health and has witnessed the invaluable impact of having a safe, supportive place on campus through Active Minds. Outside of Active Minds, Adia is a crisis counselor for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, a Policy Advocate with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a Rare Beauty Mental Health Ambassador for Selena Gomez’s Rare Impact Fund, an Advisory Board Member for Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, and a Youth Council Member for Love is Respect. She aspires to become a clinical psychologist while engaging in continued systemic advocacy and focusing on youth mental illness and suicidology. In her free time, she loves trying out new coffee shops, being in the ocean, reading books, kickboxing, and going to concerts!

Oliver Halliwell

Pronouns: he/him/his

School: Creighton University

Central Community Organizer

About: Oliver is a first year law student studying Business Law and Wealth Management at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. In undergrad, Oliver served as Vice President of Creighton’s Active Minds chapter, where he helped plan events and initiatives on mental health advocacy. Through successful student leadership, Oliver was asked upon graduation to step in as the Interim Assistant Director of Creighton’s Violence Intervention and Prevention Center where he oversaw all of their prevention education. Oliver’s passion for mental health is rooted in his struggle of growing up openly LGBTQ+ in rural Nebraska. He experienced bullying and harassment from his peers and his mental health suffered, but finding an affirming therapist made a huge difference in his ability to thrive. He hopes to connect students struggling with their mental health to resources that help them thrive in the same way. Outside of school, Oliver works as a songwriter and is restoring a 150 year old Victorian house full of antiques, bats, and ghosts.

Naomi Hines

Pronouns: she/her/hers

School: Bowie State University

New York/New Jersey Community Organizer

About: Naomi is a sophomore at Bowie State University and is a native of Prince George’s County MD. She is majoring in Psychology and has a strong passion for mental health advocacy. Her interests in Active Minds peaked after dealing with her own personal hardships with mental health. She is excited to be involved in Active Minds SAC as she hopes to help in changing the conversation. On campus, she is involved with clubs and organizations that serve as a platform to make a difference.  Outside of school, she enjoys crafting, binge watching shows and having Self Care Sunday!

D’Aubre’ Lewis

Pronouns: she/her/hers

School: North Carolina A&T State University

Central High Schools Community Organizer

About: D’Aubre’ is a rising sophomore at North Carolina A&T State University, majoring in psychology, hailing from Baltimore, MD. She is a youth mentor, mental health advocate, and entrepreneur. She is interested in Active Minds because she wants to change the stigmas surrounding mental health and how African Americans feel towards mental health and mental health resources. When she is feeling low and needs a reset, some things that she enjoys doing for self care are reading, journaling, taking walks, meditation, yoga and writing poetry.

Blake Matthews

Pronouns: he/him/his

School: Ithaca College ​​

Northeast Community Organizer

About: As a current Senior in psychology major with a minor in counseling, and a future licensed marriage and family therapist at Ithaca College, Blake joined Active Minds because he wholeheartedly believes in changing the conversation. He learned about Active Minds through Arizona State University and quickly became the advocacy coordinator and social media head for the 2021-2022 school year, before joining the Student Advisory Committee in 2022 and being awarded the 2023 Sue Cimbricz Spirit Award. Outside of Active Minds, Blake can be found volunteering for the Crisis Text Line, being a Student Advisor for Flourish Labs, working as an Orientation Leader, and Youtube Content Creator at Ithaca College, or enjoying music. He loves taking photos, traveling, knitting, and being active in his community. He is V-A-R® certified and believes that no one should be alone when they are hurting.

Emily Muench

Pronouns: she/her/hers

School: Baldwin Wallace University

Great Lakes Community Organizer

About: Emily is a graduate student pursuing a one year MBA with a Business Analytics focus at Baldwin Wallace University. Five weeks into her first year of undergrad, she started an Active Minds branch on her campus. She is involved with Active Minds because of her struggles with mental health and her passion for mental health advocacy. In her free time, she enjoys painting and singing in her family band.

Zafir Naseem

Pronouns: he/him/his

School: University of Maryland – College Park

Delaware Valley Community Organizer

About: Zafir is a senior Neuroscience major and is a member of the QUEST Honors Program at the University of Maryland, College Park. His passion for mental health advocacy began in high school, where, driven by the circumstances of his peers, he helped establish an Active Minds Chapter to promote mental health awareness and action-based support for students. Zafir continued his involvement with Active Minds in college, where he is currently the president of the Active Minds Chapter at the University of Maryland. Outside Active Minds, Zafir supports children with neurobehavioral challenges and volunteers at his local emergency department. With his background in mental health awareness and program development, neuroscience, and leadership, Zafir aspires to become a psychiatrist to advance and expand mental health care services to as many people as possible. In his free time, Zafir finds pleasure soaking in the great outdoors through hiking and fishing and enjoys working on cars.

Joanna Oommen

Pronouns: she/her/hers

School: University of California, Riverside

Western High Schools Community Organizer

About: Joanna is a junior at the University of California, Riverside, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. After graduating, she aspires to become a Clinical Psychologist who helps individuals that struggle with mental health and neurodevelopmental disorders. During her first year, she wanted to meet like-minded individuals passionate about mental health advocacy and eliminating mental health stigma, so she joined her university’s Active Minds Chapter as a peer health educator. She loves how Active Minds allows students to advocate for mental health awareness on campus and equips them with the tools necessary to impact someone’s life positively. She is currently one of the Active Minds Student Directors of her Chapter. She loves seeing the joy and relief among students when creating a nonjudgmental space for them to be vulnerable, providing them with mental health educational resources, and encouraging them to seek help. On the side, she works as a Well-being Peer Coach who listens and works one-on-one with students to set wellness goals and connect them to campus resources. She is ecstatic to continue to help students struggling with their mental health and advocate accessibility on campus and beyond as part of the SAC. Outside of Active Minds, she loves any form of artmaking, especially painting, to shed light on mental health awareness. You will also find her animating and designing webcomics during her spare time. She also loves gaming, creative writing, and spending quality time with close friends as a form of self-care.

Hannah Rabbani

Pronouns: she/her/hers

School: De Anza College

Northwest Community Organizer

About: Hannah has consistently immersed herself in conversations centered around mental health both in her personal life and during her studies at De Anza College, where she is pursuing a degree in Political Economy. This keen interest has driven her to take on leadership roles in advocating for mental health awareness, starting from her earlier school years. She facilitated workshops in high school and college, focusing on raising awareness about mental health. Additionally, she delivered a TED Talk addressing the issue of romanticizing mental illnesses. Hannah also held the position of head girl at her school, using her platform to destigmatize mental health conversations and prioritize well-being. At De Anza, she served as the college’s Active Mind chapter president at the college level. In her leisure time, Hannah finds joy in reading, discovering new facets of the Bay Area where she currently resides as an international student, and experimenting with various cuisines!

Fiona Wu

Pronouns: she/her/hers

School: Vanderbilt University

Mid-Atlantic Community Organizer

About: Fiona is a rising senior at Vanderbilt University, double majoring in Neuroscience and Medicine, Health, and Society. Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, she grew up in a not-yet-mature mental health system, and her journey of caring for herself and her mother inspired her passion for mental healthcare. Most of her time is spent on clinical research, such as ASD, anxiety traits, and child emotional development, and advocacy, which spans youth mental health policies in Tennessee, DEI in college, and FGLI education— including starting her own nonprofit, Beyond Taiwan. These experiences reaffirm her belief that advocacy for equality is vital for youth well-being, and she hopes to dedicate her career to studying the Social Determinants of mental health. During her free time, Fiona loves to travel, read, try new recipes, explore farmers’ markets, and look for the best-flavored latte in town.

Stephanie Yau

Pronouns: she/her/hers

School: University of Pittsburgh

Eastern High Schools Community Organizer

About: Stephanie is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh, studying neuroscience and global health on the pre-medical track. She is the Outreach Chair of her school’s Active Minds chapter. She found a passion for mental health advocacy during the pandemic and has been looking into breaking the stigma especially for children and teengers. Outside of Active Minds, she is involved in many on-campus organizations like the Heinz Chapel Choir, Student Health Advisory Board and Student Government Board. She is hoping to pursue a Master’s in Public Health and go into medical school.