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

  • Malika Roman Isler, PhD, MPH ('99) - Director of Wellbeing

    Malika by THRIVE leavesMalika is the inaugural Director of Wellbeing at Wake Forest University. As a Wake Forest alumnna, Malika has a Bachelor of Science in Health and Exercise Science.  She continued her studies and completed a Master of Public Health (Health Promotion) at the University of South Carolina and a PhD in Public Health (Health Behavior and Health Education) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Malika has over 10 years of experience integrating research and programming, developing health and wellbeing programs and interventions, developing strategic plans that guide health and wellbeing initiatives, and defining assessment tools to ensure research and program effectiveness.  Malika has prevention research and programmatic experience in several areas, including cancer and HIV. Prior to returning to Wake Forest, she served on the faculty of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, as an administrator and faculty lead with the NC Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS), and faculty investigator with the Center for Genomics and Society.   In these capacities, Malika was on the investigative team for 10 federally and institutionally funded projects and centers, serving as principal investigator for 3 projects.  With her training and outreach expertise, she provided consultation and technical assistance to collaborative efforts in health and wellbeing among students, community members, clinicians, researchers, and public health practitioners.  In addition to her role as Director of Wellbeing, she has an appointment in the Department of Health and Exercise Science.

  • 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) - Assistant Director of Wellbeing, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention

    Peter RivesPeter Rives is the Assistant Director of Wellbeing – Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention. 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.

  • Marian Trattner (she/her), MSW, serves as the 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.

  • Ashley Hawkins Parham, MA ('12) - Program Manager of Wellbeing
  • Michelle Ford ('10) - Program Coordinator

    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.

  • Daniella Feijoo - Wake Forest Fellow, Campus Life

    Daniella Feijoo ('18), Wake Forest FellowFamily means everything to Daniella and this campus is where she found her second family and home. Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Daniella ventured to Winston-Salem to visit WFU, inspired by the University’s close-knit community, remarkable faculty, and Pro Humanitate spirit. She earned her dual BA degree in Politics and International Affairs and Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies. Daniella is a proud Magnolia Scholar and Kappa Kappa Psi brother. Daniella played in the Spirit of the Old Gold and Black Marching Band for four years and served as the recruitment coordinator for two years. She was an inaugural member of the Wake the Vote cohort, as well as the inaugural class of Pro Humanitate Scholars, focusing on civic engagement. Daniella was also involved in Volunteer Service Corps as the Co-Chair for Education. In this role she volunteered with the Kids Cooking Coalition and Latino Community Services. She also planned the 2017 Pro Humanitate Day of Service and launched the Network for Education and Resource Development. Daniella studied in the Southern Cone study abroad program in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago, Chile, where she had the opportunity to live with two host families and intern for Ministerio de la Mujer y la Equidad de Género. Daniella worked in the Office of Personal and Career Development as a career assistant, where she discovered a passion for community building and connecting students to resources. Daniella is honored to serve the University by advocating for the wellbeing of all members of the community.

     

  • Regina McCoy, MPH - Wellbeing Coach

    Regina McCoy, MPH, MCHES, NBC – HWC

    I’ve been hooked on being a health educator since the 7th grade when I began the Good Samaritan Club with concern about health and safety after a tragic injury that resulted from the fall of a classmate. I found my way to receive two academic degrees in Public Health Education and spent my early professional career partnering with the community to address maternal and child health issues, especially within under-resourced communities. Currently I am a Professor in The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) – Department of Public Health Education, gratefully giving over 20-years of academic scholarship in community engagement and health coaching. I’ve coached clients with self-identified chronic health conditions (e.g., such as obesity, depression, stress, and multiple sclerosis), and lead the department’s efforts to train and certify lay and professional health coaching practitioners. Wellbeing Coaching is my heart-time job because I can dream with my clients as they discover their path to personal fulfillment and confidently strive to make their dreams a reality.

    As a co-Director of the UNCG Health Coach Training Center I provide consultation and training on evidence-based person-centered care and competency-based assessment of health educators and coach practitioners. In addition to receiving national recognition for making significant contributions to the health education field, I’ve also earned the credential of Master Certified Health Education Specialist and Certified Health & Wellness Coach. Several of my invited presentations and papers have focused on my CBPR efforts to partner with communities to focus on issues that impact the health of mothers, emerging youth, and minority populations.

  • Holly Martin, MEd - Wellbeing Coach

    Holly Martin, MEd, CDE, CHC

    I can’t remember when I was not involved in the wellbeing of friends and the community where I lived. Whether it was participating in a walk to combat heart disease or juvenile diabetes, walking with a friend who is a cancer survivor or volunteering at a local free medical clinic, for me the concept of wellness is more than one’s health status.

    I graduated from Trinity University in Texas with a major in Biology and received a Master’s degree from UNC-Greensboro with an emphasis in Health Education. I am a Certified Health Coach (UNC-Greensboro 2014) and have been a Certified Diabetes Educator since 2003.

    I have been working in health education for over 25 years. I began my career as the first health educator with the Bladen County Health department in Elizabethtown, N.C. where I developed and implemented family planning program for the community and pioneered the county’s first family life education program. I then became a regional health educator with a responsibility for 17 county health departments in the southeastern part of the state. My role was to work with the local health educators to develop and implement family planning programs for individual, group and community settings.

    After moving to Winston Salem, I transitioned back into direct patient care when I took the position of Lead Health Educator with Winston Salem Health Care (now Novant Health). For a number of years my primary responsibility was working with RJR employees and their families on the prevention and control of their chronic diseases and in their health/wellness journey. While employed at WSHC I became the first Health and Wellness Coach for the Allegacy Credit Union, working with over 300 employees.

    I have worked with Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company as an Interactive Diabetes Educator and with Merck as an educator for the Journey for Control programs. Have been past president and am presently president of the Piedmont Area Association of Diabetes Educators, PARADE.

    I have also worked with the Research Department at Winston Salem State University as an instructor in 2 research intervention studies. The “Hosea Project,” a 12-week diabetes prevention program based in African American churches and “Weight Matters” an 18-week weight loss intervention program with a focus of reducing the likelihood of developing high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

    I look at myself as a change agent in an effort to assist individuals in improving their health status and work /life balance. You will find that I am very passionate, dedicated and enthusiastic.

  • Brenda Smith - Wellbeing Coach

    Brenda Smith, CHWC

    After graduating from college my journey into working with individuals in the health and fitness industry started as a part time job as a fitness trainer at Gold’s Gym. My passion grew and continued to grow from this experience. After 28 years in a corporate job, I resigned to follow my purpose and passion in fitness and wellbeing. I have 20 years’ experience as a personal trainer and 12 years’ experience as a yoga instructor. During my nine years working as Associate Wellness Director managing HanesBrand’s headquarters on-site fitness center, I discovered Wellcoaches and got my Wellness Coach certification. I observed people’s needs in and out of the corporate world were becoming more and more holistic. Also from my Wellcoaches certification I have the training in helping individuals in the areas of: life satisfaction, work-life-balance, nutrition, weight management, alcohol intake, tobacco, stress management, sleep and physical activity.
    I am committed to counseling and guiding people holistically in becoming aware of how to live healthier lives through proactive and preventive measures. One of my favorite quotes is “Give a person a fish and he will eat fish for a day. Teach him how to fish and he can eat fish whenever he want.”

  • 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.