News from Active Minds

Introducing the 2017-2018 Active Minds Student Advisory Committee!

Each spring, Active Minds welcomes new members to the Student Advisory Committee (SAC), comprised of up to 20 students across the country who have shown extraordinary leadership and dedication to Active Minds. The SAC serves as an advisory body to the national office staff and brings the student perspective to organizational decision-making.

Read on to meet the 2017-2018 Student Advisory Committee (including their favorite quotes/slogans!):

Maura Barrett

School: Pennsylvania State University (State College, PA)

Studies: Psychology (concentration: Life Sciences)

About Maura: Outside of Active Minds, she is a student ambassador for the sexual violence bystander intervention initiative on campus. In Maura’s free time, she loves to golf, bake, cook, and volunteer at a local dog shelter.

Favorite Quote: “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invisible summer.”


Christy Benedict

School: Jefferson College (Hillsboro, MO)

Studies: Liberal Arts and Computer Science

About Christy: Christy is working on bringing Active Minds to UMSL. Two of her other passions are fixing things and crafting, which she tries to do regularly as she finds them almost meditative.

Favorite Quote: “Smile, it’s contagious.”


Elizabeth “Liz” Dugas

School: Worcester State University (Worcester, MA)

Studies: Nursing

About Liz: When she can get a break between Active Minds and nursing, Liz loves to watch Disney, anime, and play video games.

Favorite Quote: “Though she be small, she be fierce.”

Russell Fascione

School: University of Maine (Orono, ME)

Studies: Psychology, Disability Studies

About Russell: Russell has been active in UMaine’s LGBTQ community, and he is a huge nerd for educational trainings, workshops, and presentations of all kinds. This is Russell’s second term with the SAC.

Favorite Quote: “Inhale the good sh**. Exhale the bullsh**.”


Nycole Fassbender

School: Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI)

Studies: Criminology and Psychology

About Nycole: When she isn’t advocating or doing school work, Nycole loves to explore new places, enjoy a run, and get her caffeine coffee fix. This is Nycole’s second term on the SAC.

Favorite Quote: “Espresso Yourself.” (I am a huge coffee fan, worked at Starbucks, and believe in being the real you.)


Gopika Hari

School: Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA)

Studies: Biology (minors: Chemistry & Spanish, certificate in Community Engagement)

About Gopika: Outside of school, she loves working with kids, exploring Richmond, and trying out great new food places in the city.

Favorite Quote: “The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle.”


Brooke Hubbard

School: Denison University (Granville, OH)

Studies: Political Science (concentration: Arabic)

About Brooke: Outside of Active Minds, Brooke is a proud member of Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Denison University Gospel Choir and Kappa Alpha Theta on her campus. In her free time she loves spending time in the mountains, seeing family and friends, Parks and Recreation re-runs, and eating excessive amounts of Swedish Fish.

Favorite Quote: “You are the sky, everything else is just the weather.”


Amna Ijaz

School: Collin College (McKinney, TX)

Studies: International Relations and Global Studies

About Amna: Having lived in four out of the seven continents, she has been able to perceive the lingering stigma that surrounds mental health around the globe, and in different cultures. She is an avid painter in her free time.


Megan Larson

School: UCLA (Los Angeles, CA)

Studies: Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics with a minor in Study of Religion

About Megan: When she’s not advocating for mental health awareness, you can find Megan practicing archery to defend her national title, knitting in her Stitch onesie, and speaking in the British accent she picked up while studying abroad. This is Megan’s second term.


Tara Maestas

School: Colorado School of Mines (Golden, CO)

Studies: Biochemical Engineering

About Tara: When she is not studying or participating in soccer, archery, or school clubs, she volunteers at elementary schools and develops recycling programs. This is Tara’s second term.

Favorite Quote: “Keep Moving Forward.”

Tylor Martin

School: Elkhorn South High School (Omaha, NE) (attending University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2017-2018)

Studies: Plans to major in Psychology (minor: Communications)

About Tylor: Tylor founded her chapter with her twin brother, Skylor. She has a chocolate colored dachshund named Willy Wonka.

Favorite Quote: “When you have a bad day, a really bad day, try and treat the world better than it treated you.”


Shawn Pham

School: George Mason University (Fairfax, VA)

Studies: Social work

About Shawn: Shawn is an Information HelpLine Specialist at NAMI. He hopes to incorporate his passion for social work with his love for art by getting his certification in art therapy.

Favorite Quote: “View the world through pastel tinted eyes, yet paint it with vivid colors.”


Sabrina Rowley

School: Creighton University (Omaha, NE)

Studies: Marketing

About Sabrina: Sabrina is the Vice President of Education for her chapter and helps run and advertise for events on campus.

Favorite Quote: “Your setback is the platform for your comeback.”


Dana Sauro

School: Loyola University Maryland (Baltimore, MD)

Studies: Psychology (minor: Gender Studies)

About Dana: Along with being the president of her chapter, Dana is also a resident assistant at her university and a community contributor for Wish Dish. In her free time, Dana loves to watch food network, drink chai tea lattes (preferably over ice), and bake for friends.

Favorite Quote: “Have courage, and be kind.”


Raquel Sosa

School: East Stroudsburg University (East Stroudsburg, PA)

Studies: Counseling Psychology and Applied Statistics

About Raquel: Raquel is not only the Vice President of her Active Minds chapter but she is also a mentor for First Year Experience students, a part of her professor’s research team and a member of Psychology Association.

Favorite Quote: “Live life as if you will die tomorrow, dream as if you will live forever.”


Anaclare Sullivan

School: University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)

Studies: Epidemiology and Brain & Cognitive Sciences

About Anaclare: Anaclare is passionate about challenging the stereotypes that surround mental health conditions, especially PTSD and OCD, fighting the stigma of hospitalization, and teaching others about the intersection of mental illness and physical disability.

Favorite Quote: from Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock: “For the lighthouse keepers- past, present, and future” and “…Man the great light. Even when no one is looking.”


Jessica York

School: University of Missouri (Columbia, MO)

Studies: Nursing

About Jessica: Jessica participates in Mizzou’s student government and alternative spring break program. She also enjoys binge-watching shows on Netflix, hiking, and spending time with her golden retriever. This is Jessica’s second term.

Favorite Quote: “Do not go gentle into that good night.”

The 2017-2018 SAC term begins in April. For more information about the SAC and to read the bios of our current members, visit