Graduate and Professional PWC

Stephanie Bahniuk's picture Stephanie Bahniuk School of Drama '20

Stephanie is a third year student in the School of Drama and this is her second year as a PWC. She is working towards an MFA in Design with a focus on Costume Design. Stephanie was a professional dancer for seven years and she toured internationally with the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers. Stephanie is interested in incorporating healthy eating into her daily routine as well as spin, ballet and hot yoga. She is hoping to help change the culture of YSD by promoting guilt free wellness and the free therapy services offered on campus.

Yiqiao Bao's picture Yiqiao Bao Graduate School of Arts & Sciences '20

Yiqiao was born and raised in mainland China. She did her undergraduate in neuroscience at Colorado College and now studies the gut microbiome. As an amateur harpist, she performs with the CT Harp Ensemble in New England area. 

Mariah Baril-Dore's picture Mariah Baril-Dore Nursing '20

My name is Mariah, I am an RN and going into my final year at Yale School of Nursing studying to be an advanced practice nurse. When I graduate in May 2020 I hope to provide comprehensive primary care to vulnerable populations with a focus on holistic preventative care. I am an advocate of moving the body in whatever way is possible yet challenging for each individual. Working through engrained habits, fostering healthy communication skills and addressing fears are my favorite ways to work on wellness.

Gabriela Bosque Ortiz's picture Gabriela Bosque Ortiz Biological & Biomedical Sciences, PhD '22

Gabriela was born and raised in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico and completed her bachelor degree in Biological Sciences at Cornell University. Her current research focuses on learning the mechanisms behind infant vocalization in relation to maternal care in mice. Outside of work, she likes to get involved in science outreach and communication. For fun, she enjoys spending time on the phone or with friends. 

Chelsea Brett Public Health '20

Chelsea Brett is a Master of Public Health candidate in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health. Her research focuses on mental health and health communications, with an emphasis on promoting wellness through public campaigns. She most recently worked with American Public Media’s Call to Mind initiative ( Contact:

Casey Chu's picture Casey Chu Public Health '20

Casey is a second-year MPH student at the School of Public Health specializing in Health Policy with a Global Health Concentration. Her main passion is in mental health policy and health systems strengthening. She hopes to pursue a career in improving how mental health care in integrated into primary care and non-clinical settings. For Casey, wellness is understanding yourself and what your wellness needs are in each situation. It is important to not ‘box’ yourself into a category and accept that we are all dynamic and constantly-changing beings. In her case, wellness practices can range from a light jog in the park, to writing her thoughts in a journal, to watching her favourite sitcom.

June Criscione's picture June Criscione School of Medicine

June Criscione lived her entire life in Albany, New York until attending college at Harvard University where she majored in developmental biology with a minor in psychology. She is now a second year student at the school of medicine where she works to support student wellness as a representative to the school’s Committee on the Well-being of Students and as a Peer Advocate. She is looking forward to using her experience in the Peer Wellness Champion program to learn new skills and gather new ideas for promoting wellness among health professional students. To support her own wellness, she enjoys reading, journaling, running, cooking, and spending as much time as possible with friends!

Pei-Tzu Huang's picture Pei-Tzu Huang Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry, PhD '20

Ivy is a graduate student in biological sciences, and her research focuses on the interaction between viral and the host proteins and the cytoskeleton system. She is interested in learning how to eat well and exercise well, and this would be her third year as a peer wellness champion. She tries to include veggies and fruits in her meals, and go to the gym at least three times per week. Besides research, she enjoys participating in science outreach and also organizing fun events for grad students. In her free time, she loves reading, making handcrafts, and hiking.

Tara Humphries's picture Tara Humphries Divinity '21

Tara is in her second year at YDS studying pastoral care and ministry. Tara grew up playing outside in the cold waters and thick woods of Maine where she stayed for college. Prior to beginning seminary, she worked in homeless teen services and taught yoga for folks in addiction recovery. She is a former x-c ski racer, a runner, a coffee lover, and a yoga teacher. Tara’s wellness passions include practicing and promoting joyful movement, joyful eating (she is passionately anti-diet), self-acceptance and body image, and embodied spiritual practice. Her interest is in how to approach wellness not from a place of individualism but of interdependence and community.

Prerak Juthani's picture Prerak Juthani Medicine

Prerak Juthani is an incoming third year student at the Yale School of Medicine. Prior to medical school, he attended UC Berkeley - where he majored in Molecular Biology and Public Health. When he isn’t in the hospital, you can find him playing basketball with friends or creating fun Youtube videos. Prerak is an advocate for wellness because he believes that everyone should put in a conscious effort to promote their physical and mental wellbeing. Most recently, Prerak’s wellness interests have motivated him to start meditating, and it’s something he still does every day. He is excited to share his passion for wellness with the rest of the Yale community!

Nitya Kanuri's picture Nitya Kanuri Public Health '20

I’m pursuing an MBA/MPH in the School of Management and School of Public Health. While I’ve just joined as a PWC, my interest in wellness extends several years back, with experiences across health coaching, volunteer suicide hotline counseling, and peer mentoring. I’ve also spent the last 6 years of my career working in the digital mental healthcare sector. You can reach me at

Danh Lai's picture Danh Lai Public Health '20

Danh is a second-year MPH student at the Yale School of Public Health and is specializing in Environmental Health Sciences. After graduation, he plans on pursuing a career in sustainable food systems, particularly exploring opportunities with clean meat. His embraces wellness by being outside whether it’s biking or hiking with friends or staying in to tend to with his plant collection and watching Kim’s Convenience.

Shelby Meckstroth's picture Shelby Meckstroth Public Health '20

Hi, I am Shelby Meckstroth and I am a Masters of Public Health Student. I am a graduate affiliate in Jonathan Edwards College and a member of the Yale Cycling Team. This is my first year as a PWC, and my interests in wellness stem from being a lifelong athlete. I played soccer in college and now race in triathlons and cycling races.  I am also studying Chronic Disease Epidemiology, so my interest in wellness stems from a more scientific and applied background as well.

Phu Khat Nwe's picture Phu Khat Nwe Graduate School '21

I am a 5th year PhD student in Chemical Biology. I am originally from Burma (Myanmar), and my name actually sounds like an island in Thailand called Phuket. I grew up in a culture focused on meditation and mindfulness, so I strive to be self-aware and be mindful of others everyday. I love hiking, yoga, high intensity cardio, weight-lifting (pretty much any form of exercise), healthy eating, and painting.

Racquel Ray's picture Racquel Ray Divinity School

Racquel Ray is enrolled in the Yale Divinity School Masters of Divinity program in preparation for the Priesthood in the Episcopal Church. She lives in RI with her husband of 25 years Von and their four children ages 3-23.  She is a USAF Veteran and Certified Herbalist. She is currently serving as Campus Minister at Albertus Magnus College for the 2018-2019 academic year. She is an avid fan of exquisite coffee, Birkenstocks, and crunchy co-ops.

Racquel’s areas of focus are advocacy for veterans and those who are differently abled, using natural remedies for wellness, and building wholeness of being. She believes in the praxis of awareness, acceptance, action and advocacy to manage illness and disease to increase quality of life.

Milind Singh's picture Milind Singh Graduate School '23

I am a third year PhD student in Cell Biology and this is my first year as a PWC which I am really excited about! I am very passionate about wellness of the mind and the different practices that enable one to do so. For me this ranges from mindfulness to physical exercise and I am a staunch advocate of combining both these techniques. Feel free to reach out to me at and I will be happy to talk more!  

Emily Sorensen's picture Emily Sorensen School of Drama '20

Emily is in her second year at the School of Drama, where she studies Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism. When not stuck in a theatre, she loves anything outdoors, yoga, Crossfit, running, bookstores, bananagrams, and farmer’s markets. She tries to avoid chairs and is particularly passionate about eating real, unprocessed food, especially in the form of homemade guacamole.

Jon West's picture Jon West School of Drama '20

Jon is a second year student in the School of Drama working towards an MFA in Technical Design & Production. Jon has been working in the technical side of entertainment for over a decade and loves art and working with designers to make their dreams come true! Jon practices wellness every day in addition to playing squash, riding bicycles, and encouraging wellness in all of its many forms! Fun fact – Jon is an award-winning homebrewer who is looking to try making his own kombucha.