HEALTHY MINDS NETWORK
Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health

The Healthy Minds Network team

Daniel Eisenberg, PhD
Director, Healthy Minds Network
Principal Investigator, Healthy Minds Study

Daniel is a professor of Health Management and Policy and a Faculty Associate at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan.  He completed a B.A. and Ph.D. in Economics at Stanford University and a postdoctoral traineeship in mental health services and policy research at UC-Berkeley.  His broad research goal is to improve understanding of how to invest effectively in the mental health of young people.  In recognition of his early career research, in 2010 he was awarded the Thompson Prize for Young Investigators by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration.  He is the program director for his department’s Ph.D. program in Health Services Organization and Policy.  His hobbies include tennis and telling jokes with his young daughters. 

Sarah Ketchen Lipson, Ph.D., M.Ed.
Associate Director, Healthy Minds Network
Principal Investigator, Healthy Minds Study

Sarah Ketchen Lipson, PhD, EdM is the Associate Director of the Healthy Minds Network for Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Mental health and co-Principal Investigator of the Healthy Minds Study.  She is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Law Policy and Management at the Boston University-School of Public Health, where she teaches a range of graduate-level courses.  Sarah completed a dual-PhD at University of Michigan in Health Services Organization and Policy at the School of Public Health and Higher Education at the School of Education. She received her bachelor’s degree from Tufts University, her master’s from Harvard University, and was a Fulbright scholar. 

Justin Heinze, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Healthy Minds Network
Principal Investigator, Healthy Minds Study
Principal Investigator, Healthy Minds Study for Secondary Schools
Director, National Center for School Safety

Dr. Heinze is an educational psychologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.  His research investigates how schools influence disparities in violence and other risk outcomes from an ecological perspective that includes individual, interpersonal, and contextual influences on development.  He is particularly interested in structural features of school context and policy that perpetuate inequity in violence and firearm outcomes, but also how these institutions can serve as a setting for intervention. 

Peter Ceglarek, M.P.H.
Project Manager and Research Specialist

Peter is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychology and School of Public Health, with a career focusing on mental health research and promotion among youth.  He has worked in clinical, programmatic, and research settings in mental health, leading work such as researching the mental health impacts of youth’s social networking site use, creating web-apps and educational seminars on sexual and mental health of marginalized populations, and advising and producing media projects focusing on youth empowerment.  As a projects manager for the Healthy Minds Network, he helps strategize how the Network’s research may be translated into impactful programs, education, and tools for youth across the nation. Peter is thrilled about the Healthy Minds Network’s growing scope, and is available to talk about building partnerships with Healthy Minds!

Megan Phillips, M.A.
Budget and Development Manager

Megan earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of New Mexico and her Master’s degree in Counseling from New Mexico Highlands University. As a therapist, she has worked with adults and adolescents at the New Mexico Office of Medical Investigator, as well as with undergraduate and graduate students at the University of New Mexico.  She manage suicide prevention and veteran behavioral health programs at the New Mexico Human Services Department, Behavioral Health Services Division. During her time in this position she coordinated a statewide Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) suicide prevention grant, and contributed to the creation of a veteran-specific behavioral health support training curriculum.  She appreciates the public health approach the Healthy Minds Network takes to research, and is committed to bring mental health knowledge into practice. 


Sasha Zhou, PhD, MHSA

Co-Investigator, Healthy Minds Study

Sasha is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Health Management and Policy. She received her MHA in Health Management and Policy and her MPH in Health Behavior and Health Education in 2013, as well as her BS in 2008 from the University of Michigan.  She previously worked for the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, UNICEF in Beijing and the National Centre for Mental Health in China.   Sasha’s research is broadly on the mental health status, barriers to treatment, and utilization of mental health services of vulnerable populations.  She is particularly interested in investigating ways to improve mental health outcomes for Asian American and international college students.  Other research projects include racial and ethnic disparities in experiences of stigma, help-seeking and treatment barriers, as well as experiences of discrimination and mental health among sexual and gender minorities in Eastern Europe. 

Akilah PattersonAkilah Patterson, M.P.H.
Healthy Minds Study Coordinator

Akilah is a graduate of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.  Prior to pursuing her graduate studies, Akilah worked extensively in various student affairs roles guided by her passion for improving the health and well-being of college students.  Her previous experiences working in student affairs led to her passion for contributing to public health research to better understand and address the health concerns that impact college students across the United States.  Akilah also received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Bachelor of Science in Health Education from the University of Cincinnati. 

Amber Talaski, M.P.H.
Healthy Minds Study Coordinator

Amber received her Master’s in Public Health at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, concentrating on Health Behavior and Health Education in 2020.  She graduated with a Bachelor’s in International Studies, Communications, and History from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 2017.  She previously worked with a grassroots public health research and outreach team in Kasoa, Ghana that focused on expanding reproductive health access and education. Amber also has been coaching gymnastics for 8 years and loves getting to help children discover strategies for maintaining emotional and physical well-being. 

Adam Wheeler, M.P.H.
Project Coordinator

Adam is a graduate of the University of Michigan-School of Public Health (2020) where he studied Health Behavior and Health Education.  He graduated from Mars Hill University (NC, 2011) with a BA in Sociology as a Bonner Scholar, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Bailey Mountain Clogger alum. 

His primary public health interests include youth mental health and well-being, the intersect of spirituality and health, and social determinants of food-related and eating behaviors.  Adam also enjoys contemplative and transpersonal studies, health communications, and public health history. 

Hannah ConnorsHannah Connors, B.A.
Research Assistant

Hannah is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where she studied Public Policy at the Ford School with a focus area in mental health issues and policy.  She worked as a course facilitator for the U-M mini-course critical Issues in Mental Health, and collaborated with Wolverine Wellness to launch a Wellness tab on the U-M online academic platform, Canvas.  She served as the Executive Director of Wolverine Support Network, a student organization that runs 30+ peer support groups every week.  Hannah is particularly interested in mindfulness, youth wellness programing, and the link between exposure to nature and mental health. She loves to hike and write. 

Matthew Jirsa, B.A.
Graduate Research Assistant

Matthew is a first year graduate student pursuing a Master in Health Services Administration in the School of Public Health at University of Michigan.  In undergrad, Matthew was deeply involved in mental health activism, he serves as President of Cornell Minds Matter and founded a student-run mental health policy task force that implemented mental health reform with the administration. Matthew has previously worked for Stanford Healthcare as an administrative intern and served on the Board of Directors for the Mental Health Association of Tompkins County.  Currently, Matthew is a Class Representative for the Health Management and Policy Department and serves as Professional Development Chair for the Public Health Student Assembly.  He enjoys running, lifting, hiking, and listening to music. 

Meghna Singh
Research Assistant

Meghna is currently an undergraduate student in the Literature Science and Arts (LSA) Honors Program at the University of Michigan.  Her passion for mental health advocacy and suicide prevention efforts was sparked after her high school community faced two youth suicide clusters.  She is involved in various organizations on campus, such as PULSE: The Heart of Campus Wellness and Out of the Darkness to promote, educate, and raise awareness about student well-being.  She enjoys watching football, teaching, and baking. 

Afra Kamal
Research Assistant

Afra is an undergraduate student pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Public Health Sciences at the University of Michigan.  She is primarily interested in improving the health outcomes of pediatric and adolescent populations through a public health-informed, preventive approach to healthcare.  Her campus involvement includes leading the student organization Project Healthy Schools Global, a team that works to provide preventive health education to students in urbanized developing countries. In her free time she enjoys reading, running, cooking, and listening to podcasts. 

Ellen (Ellie) Toth
Graduate Research Assistant

Ellie is current pursuing her Master of Arts in Higher Education with a concentration in Management and Organization at the University of Michigan.  Prior to starting the program, she was a Talent Development Coordinator for Arnold & Porter, a law firm in Washington, D.C.  She received her B.A. in English from Denison University in 2016. 
In addition to her work with the Healthy Minds Network, she is currently an intern in the Office of Student Affairs for the School of Education and an Instructional Design Intern in the University of Human Resources – Strategy and Planning Office at the University of Michigan.  She loves to run and cook in her free time. 

Divya Manikandan
Research Assistant

Divya is currently a undergraduate student in the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), studying Biology, Health, and Society with a minor in English.  She hopes to go to medical school and focus on public health and social justice.  She is interested in mental health outcomes and working on the application of research to the real lives of individuals.  
On-campus, she is a member of the Student Health Advisory Committee and the LSA Student Government.  In her free time, she enjoys writing stories, watching new Netflix shows, and spending time with her family. 

External Collaborators

Jasmine Morigney, B.A.
Research Collaborator

Jasmine graduated from the University of Michigan in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience.  She is a Doctoral Fellow in Clinical Psychology at Eastern Michigan University.  Currently, she is studying how stereotypes influence group interactions among racial minorities, women, and athletes.  She hopes to one day produce research that inspires systemic change within athletic organizations to improve mental health outcomes among athlete populations. 

Sara Abelson, M.P.H.
Co-Investigator and Lead for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Projects

Sarah has worked in higher education for more than a decade to improve mental health outcomes at colleges and universities across the US.  She is a PhD candidate, Rackham Merit Fellow, and Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health Scholar at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.  Sara’s research addresses student mental health broadly, with a particular focus on marginalized student populations.  Her dissertation employs causal methods to investigate the effects of higher education policies on student mental health.  Through her research, work with Healthy Minds, and diverse collaborations nationally, Sara is helping colleges identify how they may intervene to improve mental health and mental health equity through changing policies, structures, and practices.  Sara is formerly the Vice President for Student Health & Wellness at the national nonprofit, Active Minds.  She completed her MPH at University of Michigan and her BA at Cornell University. 

John Miller, Ph.D.
Web Developer, Healthy Minds Network

John is a web applications developer for the Healthy Minds Network. He is currently employed at Michigan Medicine’s Center for Health Communications Research. John has developed sites for various organizations, including the Interactive Communications and Simulations research group in the UM School of Education, the Accelerated Learning Foundation, the Center for Health Communications Research, and the Center for Collegiate Mental Health. Before embarking on web development, he was an English as a Second Language teacher in California followed by his degree in Educational Technology at the University of Michigan. 

Kendrin Sonneville
Research Collaborator, Healthy Minds Network

Kendrin Sonneville is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.  Dr.  Sonneville his a registered dietitian, behavioral scientist, and public health researcher whose research is focused on the prevention of eating disorders.  The goal of her research program is to understand how to best promote health among adolescents and young adults without inadvertently increasing body dissatisfaction, weight stigma, preoccupation with food and weight, and disordered eating. Dr. Sonneville received a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences and a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Michigan State University, a Master of Science in Human Nutrition from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and Doctor of Science in Public Health Nutrition form the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 

Blake Wagner III
Creative Director, tinyshifts/inkblots

Blake has been active in designing student outreach programs and motivational speaking.  The inkblots (“Tiny shifts can lead to big changes”) short film series grew out of his passion to merge often esoteric yet helpful evidence-based coping skills with a hip and digestible 2-to-4 minute film format.  “It’s like turning a pair of bellbottoms into skinny jeans — same material just re-crafted in a chic and student-friendly fashion.”  The overarching goal is to promote a culture of positive coping, resiliency, and appropriate help-seeking.