Active Minds National Conference 2019

Friday & Saturday, March 22 – 23, 2019 | Washington, DC


Keynote Speakers and Presenters

The Active Minds National Conference features inspiring keynote presentations and breakout sessions led by esteemed mental health, higher education, and other experts. Below is the current list of keynote speakers and presenters, representing top organizations such as It’s On Us, Steve Fund, The Trevor Project, The JED Foundation, Crisis Text Line, NASPA, National Campus Leadership Council, and more. Click here for the conference agenda.

About the presenters


Alfiee Breland-Noble

Steve Fund, Senior Scientific Director

Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble (recognized professionally as Dr. Alfiee) is a sought-after expert in teen, young adult, and family mental health, and known nationally as a gifted scientist, public speaker, author, and media personality. She has numerous television appearances on major networks including NBC, PBS, Fox Sports, and A & E and has lectured internationally on topics related to helping racially diverse young people (and young at heart) improve their lives and achieve optimal mental health. With a primary focus on teens, college students, families, and communities of color, she is recognized for her uncanny ability to motivate and inspire by translating complex scientific concepts (developed via her 20+ years of research leadership in R1 institutions) into everyday language. She consults with numerous organizations including the Steve Fund where she serves as Senior Scientific Director.

Sam Brinton

The Trevor Project, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs

Sam is one of the world’s leading advocates for LGBTQ youth. They are the founder of the 50 Bill 50 States campaign at The Trevor Project to end the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy, first in the United States and then around the globe. As a survivor of conversion therapy, Sam has spearheaded efforts to submit legislation and promote public education in the hopes of ending the practice on minors. They have co-chaired the National Center for Lesbian Rights #BornPerfect Advisory Committee on conversion therapy and have spoken before the United Nations and Congress as well as testified on legislation to protect LGBTQ youth across the country. Sam also serves as an expert in advocacy to support suicide prevention training and LGBTQ youth data collection efforts. They have been featured in numerous media including a recent New York Times op-ed as well as USA TODAY, The Washington Post, TIME, MSNBC, PBS Newshour, Huffington Post, and many others. Sam uses they, them, or theirs as their pronouns as a genderfluid person.

Pablo Campos

Active Minds Speakers Bureau

Pablo Campos shares his mental health and substance use recovery story with schools nationwide as an Active Minds Speaker. He is working on his LCSW and an accelerated master’s program at North Carolina State University. As an undergraduate student at Pensacola State College, he served as a founding member and president of the Active Minds chapter there for three semesters and also worked at the campus Crisis Action Referral Effort for Students (CARES). In May 2018, Pablo celebrated 10 years of sobriety.

Colleen Coffey

Active Minds Speakers Bureau

Colleen Coffey, EdD, is a seasoned speaker and mental health advocate. For over a decade she has been speaking life into audiences and organizations across the country. Colleen currently serves as the Innovation Project Manager at the renowned programming company, Phired Up Productions, with a special interested in organizational recruitment, retention, and relationship focused training. Colleen has a degree in Social Work from Belmont University, a masters degree in student affairs from Eastern Illinois University, and a doctorate in leadership and professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Lisa K. Desai

Screening for Mental Health

Lisa K. Desai, Psy.D., is Director of Mental Health Screening and Research at MindWise Innovations, a division of Riverside Community Care. Dr. Desai has over 20 years of clinical and administrative experience across delivery systems in college counseling centers, community mental health, hospitals and private practice. She received her doctoral degree from Wright State University and completed a pediatric behavioral medicine internship at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Dr. Desai pursued her interest in psychotherapy and neuropsychological evaluation of children, adolescents and adults through a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at McLean Hospital, Harvard School of Medicine. In her role at MindWise, Dr. Desai oversees a robust online screening program which partners with over 400 colleges, as well as a wide range of community partners and workplace sites. She is committed to the ongoing development of new screening tools and innovative programs that explore best practices with the goal of increasing help seeking behaviors particularly in high risk populations.

Becky Fein

Active Minds Speakers Bureau

Becky oversees the Active Minds California Mental Health Services Act (CalMHSA) funded initiative. She has supported the creation of peer-powered student advocacy programs under CalMHSA contracts for five years, beginning in 2012 at Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University. Becky served as Adjunct Faculty at Santa Rosa Junior College, where she taught a course on personal health and issues at the forefront of public health. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from University of California, Davis, and a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University. Becky also co-founded the Powerful Voices Project, a documentary film series highlighting the stories of resilience and recovery from people who have experienced sexual assault.

Cynthia Bissett Germanotta

Born This Way Foundation

Cynthia Bissett Germanotta is President of Born This Way Foundation, which she co-founded with her daughter Lady Gaga in 2012, with the goal of supporting the wellness of young people and empowering them to build a kinder, braver world. Under Cynthia’s leadership, Born This Way Foundation has connected with tens of thousands of young people across the country and around the world, launched innovative youth-focused programming, and conducted cutting edge research to improve the understanding of mental wellness. Cynthia, Lady Gaga, and Born This Way Foundation have been the recipient of numerous honors, including the National Association of School Psychologists Special Friend to Children Award and the President’s Medal of Excellence from the Teachers College, Columbia University. Cynthia is a former telecommunications executive whose career in sales & management spanned twenty-five years.

Sara Goreman

Jed Foundation

Sara Gorman, PhD, MPH is Director of High School Programming at The Jed Foundation (JED). As a public health specialist and author, she has also written extensively about mental health, global health, and the intersection of public health and psychology, among other topics. Sara’s book, Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us, published by Oxford University Press in 2016, explores the psychology behind irrational health beliefs and decisions. Sara’s work has appeared or been reviewed in TIME, The New Yorker, Science, Psychology Today, The Atlantic, BBC, NPR, and Quartz. Sara holds a PhD from Harvard and an MPH from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Lisa Hamp

Active Minds Speakers Bureau

Lisa Hamp is a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting that took place on April 16, 2007. In her raw and powerful presentation, Lisa shares her struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, an eating disorder, and infertility to help others who may be struggling with mental health issues. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, Huffington Post, SELF Magazine and VICE. Lisa has a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Virginia Tech, a Master’s degree in Operations Research from George Mason University, and a Master’s degree in Economics from John Hopkins University.

Megan Larson

California Mental Health Services Authority Fellow

Megan is a self-described musical theatre nerd and tries to live by the saying “no day but today” from Rent (so much so that it’s tattooed on her arm!). Hailing from the Golden State, Megan double-majored in biology and religion at UCLA. During her time on campus, she joined UCLA’s chapter of Active Minds and found her passion for advancing the conversation about mental health.

Kristen Lee

Professor, Clinician, and Author

Dr. Kristen Lee, Ed.D., LICSW, known as “Dr. Kris”, is an internationally recognized, award-winning behavioral science professor, clinician and author from Boston, Massachusetts. As the Lead Faculty for Behavioral Science at Northeastern University, Dr. Kris’s research and teaching interests include individual and organizational well-being and resilience, particularly for marginalized and underserved populations. She operates a clinical and consulting practice devoted to preventing and treating burnout and is the author of RESET: Make the Most of Your Stress, Winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Motivational Book of 2015, and Mentalligence: A New Psychology of Thinking. She is a regular contributor for Thrive Global and Psychology Today. Dr. Kris’s work has been featured on NPR and CBS radio.

Matthew McEvoy

Morneau Shepell

Matthew has worked with Morneau Shepell for the past twelve years. In his current role as Senior Director of Student Support, Matthew is responsible for the continued strategy, development, and execution of the Student Support Programs on a global basis. Matthew and his team work closely with educational institutions and partners in the design, campus integration and management of various student mental health programs. Matthew is a frequent speaker a various higher education conferences and events on the subject of international student mental health, most notably the NAFSA Research Symposium, NAFSA National Conference, Canadian Association of College and University Student Services, and the British Columbia Council on International Education.

Tim Rabolt

Association of Recovery in Higher Education

Tim Rabolt is the Executive Director for the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE). In his role with ARHE, Tim oversees the national conference, membership and external relations, and work with collegiate recovery stakeholders across the country. Prior to joining ARHE, Tim worked in the Washington, D.C. area as a Project Manager with Altarum, a public health research and consulting organization. Tim graduated from The George Washington University in 2015 with his Bachelor’s in Business Administration, and in 2017 with his Master’s of Arts in Education and Human Development.

Kai Roberts

Active Minds Speakers Bureau

Kai shares the story of his battle with anxiety and panic disorder through interactive dialogue and hip-hop music. He experienced chronic mental health issues as an undergraduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, where he began his healing process through music. His resulting album “Carnegie Café” has become a resource for students and others dealing with mental health disorders and ordinary stresses of life. As a previous sufferer of anxiety, Kai Roberts is a spirited performer and speaker, with a passion for uplifting his audience.

Barry A. Schreier

University of Iowa Counseling Center

Barry A. Schreier, Ph.D. is a licensed Counseling Psychologist in Iowa.  He is the Director of The University Counseling Service, the University of Iowa Counseling Center and is a Professor of Counseling Psychology in the Iowa College of Education.  Prior to that he was Director of the Counseling Center at the University of Connecticut and spent a year at Princeton University.  Dr. Schreier has numerous publications on a variety of topics including sexual orientation and transgender identities; training and education in psychology; managing student distress; campus suicide prevention; campus outreach and programming; and the book:  The Handbook of Multicultural Counseling Competency.

April Scott

Associate Director of Mental Health Initiatives, University of South Carolina

April Scott currently serves as the Associate Director of Mental Health Initiatives at the University of South Carolina where she is responsible for reducing stigma of mental health, promoting a positive mental health climate on campus, and increasing awareness of mental health resources such as stress management, Counseling & Psychiatry, and suicide prevention. Ms. Scott also has over five years of instructional experience working with special populations in higher education, such as student-athletes and first-generation college students. Ms. Scott uses her expertise as a therapist of nine years and background in clinical and counseling psychology to inform her work with students in a way that makes her programs, informative, interactive, and exciting.

Raquel Sosa

President, Active Minds Student Advisory Committee

Raquel is a determined mental health advocate who aspires to become a counseling psychologist. She is the President of the Student Advisory Committee and President at the Active Minds ESU chapter in Pennsylvania.

Samantha Stoll

Active Minds, The University of Iowa

Sammy Stoll is currently a senior at The University of Iowa majoring in Psychology with minors in Criminology and Human Relations. She got involved with Active Minds her freshman year at Iowa as a general member, became the chapter’s events coordinator during her sophomore year, and became president of the chapter her junior and senior years. Additionally, she serves as a Resident Assistant in Iowa’s residence halls and as a student government senator, which functions hand-in-hand with her role in Active Minds.

Robyn Suchy

Active Minds

Robyn graduated from Cabrini College with a dual degree in Philosophy and English, and concentrations in Social Justice and Women’s Studies in 2014. He was involved in the Active Minds chapter at Cabrini starting his freshmen year when he took over the presidency. From there, he served on the Active Minds National Student Advisory Committee, the Active Minds Board of Directors, and as a Programs Team intern. Robyn founded a group for transgender men and transmasculine individuals, he is a Crisis Counselor for Crisis Text Line, and he is on the steering committee of a transgender legal advocacy group.

Lindsey Templeton

National Campus Leadership Council

Lindsey coordinates NCLC’s research and training initiatives, most recently leading the organization’s newest endeavor, the Student Voice Index. She is a doctoral student at the University of Maryland, College Park studying women’s leadership development and career paths in higher education. Lindsey has served as an instructor for courses on student leadership and also has experience working with higher education associations and research groups. She has mentored student leaders through professional and volunteer roles in fraternity and sorority life for the last four years. Lindsey received her B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Richmond and her M.A. in Higher Education from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Allison Tombros Korman

Culture of Respect

Allison Tombros Korman, MHS, is the senior director of Culture of Respect, which builds the capacity of educational institutions to end sexual violence through ongoing, expansive organizational change. Allison brings to Culture of Respect more than fifteen years of experience in health policy, programming, and education with an emphasis on sexual and reproductive health and rights. She has provided management, support, and technical assistance to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and served as the Associate Director of Education for the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) in Washington, DC.

Sue Wasiolek

Duke University

Having worked for the past forty years at Duke University, Sue Wasiolek currently serves as an Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, overseeing student health and wellness efforts as well as student conduct, emergency response, parent programs and student veteran services.  She teaches education law and also lives in a freshman residence hall on campus as a faculty-in residence. Sue has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Science Education, a Master of Health and Hospital Administration and a Master of Law degree from Duke. She has also completed a Juris Doctor degree from North Carolina Central University and a Doctor of Education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ashley Womble

Crisis Text Line

Ashley Womble, MPH, is the Head of Communications at Crisis Text Line. She is an award-winning journalist and the author of “Everything Is Going to Be OK: A Real Talk Guide for Living Well with Mental Illness.” She has also led marketing and communications at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Fountain House, and Phoenix House.

Sylvia Zenteno

It’s On Us

Silvia Zenteno is the Director of Educational Programs and Training at It’s On Us, where she works to develop peer-to-peer prevention and intervention programs for campus communities around the country. Previously, Silvia was a Biden Foundation policy fellow, working under the Violence Against Women pillar to identify gaps in services for youth and college/university students. Silvia also worked as a management analyst at the U.S. Justice Department’s Office on Violence against Women, where she worked on the Campus and Consolidated Youth teams to improve the national response to gender-based violence.

Michael Zibilich

Active Minds Speakers Bureau

Over the last four years, Michael has spoken about suicide awareness to thousands of university students throughout the United States. Michael is a commercial real estate executive who resides with his wife, Gayle, in Atlanta, Georgia. Tragically, on April 21, 2012, they lost their only child, Michael “Keller” Zibilich – a second semester Sigma Chi freshman at LSU –  to suicide. Devastated by this inexplicable loss, they have dedicated their time and resources to promoting suicide education and awareness to college students throughout America. Michael and Gayle partnered with the Sigma Chi Foundation to create the “Keller Zibilich Fund” and “The Keller Zibilich Sigma Chi Lifeline Program” – both a suicide prevention hotline and an in-depth suicide education and prevention curriculum (Strong Arms) for all 17,000 active Sigma Chi’s across the nation.

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