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Meet the PHEs

Dedicated to supporting the healthy lifestyle choices of students by providing health and wellness education and resources.

The Peer Health Educators (PHEs) are a group of undergraduate students from across the campuses that are dedicated to promoting and exploring health and wellness among their peers.  They create programs, provide services, and keep HEO running. They also provide Peer Wellness Coaching, which consists of single or multiple one-on-one coaching sessions about health topics such as stress, sleep, nutrition.

Breanna Kim – she/her/hers

“Hi friends! I’m a Junior at Scripps College, studying Biology and Asian American Studies. I’m super excited to start my first year working as a PHE. The health and wellness areas that I’m interested in include sex education, mental health, and environmental health factors. I’m hoping to attend grad school for Epidemiology to study social determinants of health and help make health education more accessible. When I’m not busy with school/clubs, I love ramen, Netflix binges, aerial silk dancing, listening to music, and exploring LA!”

Deve Mehta – he/him/his

My name is Deve and I’m a junior at Pitzer College! I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and now I’m here in sunny California. I’m majoring in Public Health: Sexual & Reproductive Health with a minor in Anthropology. I’ve been a Peer Health Educator since my sophomore year and I love doing outreach events and teaching people about the various aspects of health and wellness. My area of specialty is sexual & reproductive health which encompasses various things like gender, sexuality, HIV/AIDS, STI transmission, etc… When I’m not busy with school, I enjoy hanging out with friends, traveling, watching shows on Netflix, doing henna, or browsing through social media. 

Donnie Denome – they/them/theirs
I am a Pitzer junior and a first-year student at Claremont Graduate University in their accelerated Masters of Public Health program. During my time in Claremont, I have worked at The Student Life as an opinions columnist and editor and served on the Pitzer Student Senate on both the Campus Life and Diversity Committees. I am an alum of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network’s Autism Campus Inclusion program and am on the officer board of the 5C Disability, Illness, and Difference Alliance (DIDA). I have a passion for queer and disability justice and plan to focus on culturally competent healthcare for queer and disabled communities after I graduate. In my spare time, I knit, play QuizBowl, and work on public health-oriented graphic design projects.

Elise VanScoy – she/her/hers

Hi folks! My name is Elise and I’m from Minnesota (you can tell by my accent and my love for the outdoors). I am a senior at Scripps where I study politics, public policy, and German. This is my third year as a proud member of the PHE team and first year as Lead. My health and wellness interests include movement and mindfulness, nutrition and positive body image, beneficial mental health practices, and sex education. I believe in preventive medicine and the power of good conversation. Before studying abroad in Germany, I worked for an LA-based patient engagement company researching health disparity trends and solutions. In my personal time, I enjoy catching up with family and friends, stand-up paddle boarding, and listening to an unlikely assortment of music.

Hanna Shiferaw – she/her/hers

I am a senior at Claremont McKenna College studying Science Management while pursuing the pre-med track. My passions revolve around health and medicine, so I am always looking for ways to get involved in those aspects. I have volunteered in hospitals both in the US and abroad and gained hands-on medical experience in a clinical setting. This is my second year of working at HEO and I love it! Outside of school, I enjoy working out, exploring LA beaches, and attending concerts.

Jamie Castleman – she/her/hers

My name is Jamie and I am a senior at Scripps College! I am from Southern California and in my free time enjoy going to the beach, exploring the city with my friends, and spending time with my family. Last year I was a volunteer at the HEO, and this year I am excited to officially be working as a PHE on campus. On campus, I also volunteer for Scripps Challah for Hunger. I am on the pre-med track and a biology major with a minor in Hispanic Studies. I have interned for hospitals in Los Angeles, New York, and Madrid–so I have really been able to see just how directly social factors are intertwined with the quality of care patients receive. I hope to be an OBGYN one day, and am specifically interested in women’s healthcare and how access to this care impacts their quality of life. As a PHE on campus, I look forward to planning events and educating students on campus about their health resources and ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Johnny Villaseñor – he/him/his

I am a senior at Claremont McKenna College (Class of 2020) majoring in Biology while on the Pre-Med Track! I am going into my third year as a Peer Health Educator. I am also an RA at CMC, involved with Chicano/Latino Student Affairs, CMC’s Mi Gente, intramural soccer, and am always looking to get involved more! Some of my hobbies include making memes, playing guitar, acting, playing soccer, buying shoes, going to concerts, and hanging out with friends. My health and wellness interests include diet/nutrition, mental health in relationship with physical health (mental health in general), public health, sexual barriers and contraception, and sexual health

Maria José Urbina Gonzalez – she/her/hers

My name is Maria José and I’m a sophomore at Pomona originally from Lima, Peru but was raised in Colorado. My decision to work as a Peer Health educator is rooted in my passion for mental health advocacy, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to continue to learn about public health through serving as a resource to the 5C community. Academically, I’m considering a major in International Relations, Economics, and/or Sociology, so I hope that I can extend my value for mental health advocacy into my studies too. Outside of my role as a Peer Health Educator, you can find me on campus as both a CLSA sponsor as well as a coordinator for the Draper Center at Pomona.

Navi Shah – she/hers

I am a fourth year at Scripps with an intended double major in Neuroscience and Interdisciplinary Humanities in Culture and this is my first year as a PHE. I’m most interested in the intersection of public health and identity, and how histories of marginalization inform community health and access to healthcare. I hope to attend med school and complement allopathic training with alternative medicine in practice. I’m most familiar with Ayurveda, but I love to learn about all forms of alternative methods of healing and practices of wellness. I used to dance and swim (separately!) until I left for college, so I enjoy picking those hobbies back up when there’s a break in the flow of work 🙂 In any free time, you can usually find me hanging out with my pupp or trying to save my plants from ending up in her tummy!

Noemí Ruiz – she/her/hers

My name is Noemí and I am a senior at Pomona College! I was raised in Austin, Texas, but I was born in Aguascalientes, MX (shout out to you if you knew where that is) I’m majoring in Chicanx/Latinx Studies & minoring in Psychology. This is my second year as a PHE and I couldn’t be more excited. My health and wellness interests include mental health, nutrition and positive body image & making sex education more accessible. In my personal time, I love cooking, dancing and binge watching series.

Olivia Klein – she/her/hers

Hello! My name is Olivia and I am a sophomore at Scripps College. This is my first year as a PHE, and I am so excited to be a part of the HEO! I am majoring in Environmental Analysis on the Environment and Society track and minoring in Spanish. My public health interests include the intersections of environmental issues and health issues, disparities in health/ healthcare, sexual and reproductive health, and drug and alcohol education. In my free time I can be found purchasing useless trinkets from thrift stores or deep diving into strangers’ Spotify playlists.

Stephanie Montiel – she/her/hers

I am a second year at Pitzer College. I plan on majoring in organizational studies with a focus in marketing and public health. This is my first year as a PHE and I am super excited to help educate my community about nutrition especially! My dream is to open up my own business in the health/ wellness industry- either a Mexican vegetarian restaurant or an inclusive natural cosmetics brand (who knows the possibilities are endless). My hobbies include recreating Latinx dishes into vegetarian friendly options, being on social media, and playing with makeup!

Looking to speak with a Peer Health Educator about a health and wellness topic in a confidential setting? Use the Peer Wellness Coaching Request Form to make an appointment!