About

Thrive is a campus-wide initiative – owned by every member of the Wake Forest University community.  The Office of Wellbeing leads the campus in making wellbeing a part of every experience in the lives of our students, faculty, and staff.

Our Staff

  • Ashleigh Hala, MSW, LCSW - Director, Office of Wellbeing

    ashleigh hala headshotAshleigh Hala, MSW, LCSW is the Director for the Office of Wellbeing. Previously, Hala was the founding director for Wellness & Prevention Services at Babson College, leading Babson’s community health, health promotion, and prevention efforts. Hala previously served as the founding Director of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Services at Babson College and as the Title IX Coordinator/Associate Director of Residence Life at Wheelock College. Hala has also worked in substance use and addiction services with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and in legislative advocacy, fundraising, and research with the LGBT Aging Project. Hala holds both Master of Social Work (Boston University) and Bachelor of Social Work (Wheelock College) degrees and is a licensed certified social worker (LCSW). She is also trained and certified in rape crisis counseling, motivational interviewing, prevention leadership, Title IX investigation, and basic restorative practices. Hala is an engaged member of NASPA – Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education, the American College Health Association (ACHA), the New England College Health Association (NECHA), and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Currently, Hala serves as the Co-Chair Elect for the Wellness and Health Promotion Knowledge Community (NASPA), the Mentorship Coordinator for the Sexual and Relationship Violence Prevention, Education, and Response Knowledge Community (NASPA), and the Region I State Coordinator for the Peer Education initiatives of NASPA. Hala is also a member of the Restorative Practices in Higher Education Learning Collaborative organized by the International Institute of Restorative Practices (IIRP). Outside of the office, Hala is passionately active in the sexual and relationship violence prevention community and is frequently featured as a keynote speaker for such organizations as The Office of the Attorney General, and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). Hala is also currently appointed to the Board of Directors for local non-profit organization REACH Beyond Domestic Violence.

  • Marian Trattner (she/her), MSW - Assistant Director of Wellbeing, Health Promotion

    Marian TrattnerMarian provides strategic leadership for our health promotion portfolio which includes peer education initiatives, bystander intervention, Sleepin’ Deacon Program and Signs of Stress. Marian brings 13 years of experience working in college student health promotion to our office. Prior to coming to Wake Forest, Marian served as the inaugural Bystander Intervention Specialist for The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). In this role, she managed their campus wide multi-issue bystander intervention initiative called BeVocal. The mission of BeVocal is to enhance bystanders’ confidence and motivation to intervene in order to prevent and reduce harm. Prior to that role, she served for as the inaugural Suicide Prevention Coordinator for UT Austin where she worked with campus stakeholders and students to create the Be That One Suicide Prevention Program (Be That One), a program of the Longhorn Wellness Center. Be That One utilizes a public health approach to implement suicide prevention strategies by peer outreach, education, and support. During this time she also served as the instructor and adviser to the Mental Health Promotion Peer Education at UT Austin. Marian is the founder of the National College Student Suicide Prevention Listserv. She is currently serving as the NASPA Region III Knowledge Chair for Wellness and Health Promotion.  Marian is passionate about empowering students to thrive both inside and outside of the classroom. For self-care Marian enjoys spending time with her family and friends, spending time outside, and exploring local coffee shops.

  • Tomma Guastaferro - Office Manager

    Tomma Guastaferro joined the Office of Wellbeing in 2015, bringing with her 11 years’ experience in administrative support. Tomma’s role includes assisting the Director in managing the day to day operations of the Office of Wellbeing, budget reporting, and assisting with coordinating and implementing programs and workshops. Prior to joining the Office of Wellbeing Tomma was Coordinator, for the Professional Development Center (PDC). The PDC is a collective resource between the Human Resources Department and the Office of the Provost. Tomma’s work included marketing, conference registration, and organizing classes and workshop series focusing on health and wellbeing. In the fall of 2009, Tomma was instrumental in the implementation of the Gatekeepers program, which emphasizes the value of diversity, inclusion, and the understanding of cultural similarities, differences, and perceptions.

  • Peter E. Rives ('98) (he/him) - Assistant Director of Wellbeing, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention

    Peter Rives is the Assistant Director of Wellbeing – Substance Use. Upon graduating from Wake Forest with a major in Psychology in 1998, Peter attended the University of Delaware where he completed 4 years of doctoral study in Social Psychology as well as undergraduate teaching and research. In 2001 Peter began work in community-based public mental health, substance use and intellectual/developmental disabilities services. Over the next 15 years Peter developed as a leader and expert in evidence-based program development, implementation and management within the North Carolina public behavioral health and healthcare systems. Peter has recognized expertise in and has served as a consultant and presenter in the area integrated healthcare. He also has a passion for Motivational Interviewing (MI) and is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). Peter was recognized in 2013 as one of the “Top 40 Under 40 Business Leaders” by the Business Journal and completed a Jim Bernstein Rural Healthcare Leadership Fellowship in 2014 at the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation.

    At Wake Forest, Peter leads the campus-wide alcohol and other drug (AOD) prevention efforts in collaboration with students and campus and community partners. He serves as chair of the Alcohol and Other Drug Coalition, an interdisciplinary workgroup with 40 members including students, faculty, and staff with 4 active sub-committees meeting monthly. Peter also oversees the AOD intervention programs for students referred by both medical services and conduct as well as for self-referrals and coordinates recovery supports on campus for students in long-term recovery from drugs and alcohol.

  • Ashley Hawkins Parham, MA ('12) - Program Manager of Wellbeing

    ashley hawkins parham headshotAshley’s journey to health and wellbeing promotion began early in college, where she fell in love with the study of psychology with questions like: How do our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors develop and change over time? How much control do we really have over our thoughts, feelings and behaviors, anyway? How can we be content with who we are and what we have in life while still striving to get better each day? How can we be best prepared for the hard parts of life and be sure to savor the good parts? What is good mental health?

    Ashley dedicated time as a student, researcher, practitioner, and student affairs professional over the last 15 years to understanding the science of behavior change and motivation, addiction, risky health behaviors in college students, personality and personality change, character development, wellbeing in the workplace, post-traumatic growth, mindfulness and meditation, the mind-body connection, and resilience.

    Ashley creates and manages initiatives and services for the entire Wake Forest community – students, faculty, and staff – to build resilience, to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in all we do, to increase our daily, joyful movement, and to elevate wellbeing in our workplaces.

    Ashley graduated from the College of Charleston’s Honors College with a BS in Psychology and Wake Forest University’s Master’s in Experimental Psychology Program. She is a certified Health and Wellness Coach, Koru Mindfulness teacher, and Community Resiliency Model guide.

  • Michelle Ford ('10) - Program Coordinator

    headshot image of Michelle Ford Michelle is the Program Coordinator for the Office of Wellbeing.  She manages the day to day operation of the massage therapy, aromatherapy, and nutrition counseling services.  Michelle graduated from Wake Forest in 2010 with a degree in Health and Exercise Science.  Shen went on to work as a physical therapy technician and then in sales where she honed her customer services skills.  She returned to Wake Forest in 2017 as an administrative assistant for the Department of Biology and transitioned to the Office of Wellbeing in late 2018.  Michelle enjoys connecting people with the services they need to enhance their overall wellbeing and is excited to be a part of providing that to the Wake Forest community.

  • Zoe Stuckey ('21) - Wake Forest Fellow, Campus Life

    zoe stuckey headshotDuring her time as an undergraduate, Zoe was heavily involved in service, one of the qualities which drew her to Wake Forest as a senior in high school. While at Wake, Zoe joined the international service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, serving as an executive member in multiple positions and helping coordinate social and service events for the chapter of over 200 people during the global pandemic. Through Alpha Phi Omega, Zoe discovered the organization Take the Fight to Cancer at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital and held executive roles. There, she advocated and promoted patient care efficiency through numerous methods, such as facilitating the exchange of medical information between cancer patients and doctors. She further realized the importance of mental health, vulnerability, and building impactful relationships

  • Brenda Smith - Wellbeing Coach

    Brenda Smith, CHWC

    Brenda began her journey in the health and wellness industry by starting as a fitness trainer after graduating college. Her passion grew and continued to expand from this experience. After 28 years of corporate experience, Brenda decided to pursue her passion to fully dedicate her skills to fitness and wellbeing. Brenda has 20 years of experience as a Certified Personal Trainer, and 13 years of experience as a Certified Yoga Instructor. While working as an Associate Wellness Director managing an on-site fitness center for Hanesbrands headquarters, Brenda became a Certified Wellness Coach through Wellcoaches. Brenda’s vast experience provides her with a foundation to coach individuals around stress management, physical activity, smoking cessation, nutrition, weight management through body positivity, work life balance, and holistic wellbeing for life satisfaction. Brenda is committed to coaching and guiding people holistically to empower them to become aware of how to live healthier lives through proactive and preventative measures. Brenda’s experience includes coaching clients from a variety of ages, backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. Her motto is, “give a person a fish and he will eat fish for a day. Teach him how to fish and he can eat whenever he wants.”

    As a fellow navigator on this journey called life, Brenda is passionate about traveling alongside others as a wellbeing coach. Her goal is to inspire others to not just survive the hard times and challenges, but to learn, grow, and THRIVE!

  • Karin Reese, MA -Wellbeing Coach

    Karin Reese, MA

    Karin ReeseKarin is passionate about walking alongside people through life, working together to solve problems holistically, and learning to live wholeheartedly. As a wellness coach, she works to encourage and empower clients, using each person’s unique set of strengths to facilitate achieving their goals.

    Karin earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1988, then returned to school as a non-traditional student in 2011. She completed a BS degree in psychology from University of Alaska/Kenai Peninsula College in 2014 and graduated in 2017 with an MA in counseling and human services from University of Colorado – Colorado Springs. Her professional background includes helping with goal setting and boundaries, stress management, special dietary needs, multi-cultural/international adjustments, grief, chronic illness, anxiety, sexuality, personal values, spiritual concerns, and relationship issues.

  • Kristen Batista - Massage Therapist

    Kristen is a North Carolina board licensed massage and bodywork therapist. Her professional massage therapy sessions are designed personally for the need and outcomes of every individual client. Many clients are seen for pain management, as part of a rehabilitation plan, or to help ease symptoms of certain medical diagnoses. She blends her Swedish and Deep Tissue techniques to give a relaxed and therapeutic experience. Kristen’s friendly nature and genuine desire to help others resonates through her bodywork.

  • Curtis Edmunds - Message Therapist

    Curtis Edmunds is a graduate of Living Arts Institute in Winston Salem, NC.  Curtis is trained in a variety of massage modalities including relaxation, deep tissue, and sports massage.  He is a health and fitness enthusiast, who understands the importance of maintaining a healthy body.  And he leverages his physical strength and understanding of the human body to help clients reduce stress and alleviate pain.  As a therapist, he ensures that clients are comfortable and that every treatment is customized to meet their specific needs.