Skip to content

Our People

 Headshot of Amy McDonaldAmy McDonald, MS, CHWP
Director, Health Promotion
Pronouns: she/her/hers
(585) 273-5770 
UHS Building, room 430

As the Director of the Health Promotion Office, Amy strives to create a thriving culture of well-being for our campus community. During the past fifteen years, she has created, developed, implemented, and evaluated health education and health promotion programs for the corporate and higher education sectors. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning and program development, as well as the topics of mental well-being and mindfulness meditation. Amy is passionate about advancing a comprehensive, inclusive, and progressive student well-being model which creates the conditions for students to flourish.  Her work moves beyond traditional approaches of influencing individual behavior towards systems level and environmental strategies that influence the well-being of the whole campus culture. She believes that utilizing a public health approaches to improve well-being is how we can truly become ever-better

Amy has a BA in Brain and Cognitive Science from the University of Rochester and an MS in Leadership in Healthcare Systems with a focus on Health Promotion and Education from the University of Rochester’s School of Nursing. She is a trained mindfulness teacher, Level II Reiki practitioner, completed her College Health and Wellness Professional certificate from the American College Health Association (ACHA), and completed a certificate program for Executive Women in Leadership from Cornell University.

Headshot of Rebecca BlockRebecca Block, MS, CHES, RYT 200
Health Promotion Specialist, Student Well-Being
Pronouns: she/her/hers
(585) 273-5772
UHS Building, room 428

As the Health Promotion Specialist – Student Well-Being, Rebecca plays an integral part the planning, implementation, and evaluation of theory- and evidence-informed health promotion strategies, programs, and services to enhance student well-being with a primary emphasis on student mental health / flourishing and graduate student well-being. Other than student-facing programs, she directs trainings to faculty and staff that offer practical skills which allow them to support the well-being of the students they serve. She also serves as the Program Director of the Mindful University Project, working closely with the 7 schools of the University, as well as a variety of administrative departments, to integrate a culture of mindfulness across the campus.

Rebecca has a BA in Health, Behavior and Society from the University of Rochester and an MS in Community Health Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Instructor (RYT 200), Certified Koru Mindfulness Teacher, and completed her College Health and Wellness Professional certificate from the American College Health Association (ACHA).

Headshot of Zoe BlackZoe Black
Health Promotion Specialist, Health Equity
Pronouns: she/her/hers
(585) 273-5774
UHS Building, room 432

As the Health Promotion Specialist – Health Equity, Zoe is responsible for planning, implementation, and evaluation of the sexual health and health equity programming and services offered by the UHS Health Promotion Office. Some specific populations that Zoe focuses on are LGBTQ+ students and First-Generation Students. Zoe also supervises our Peer Health Advocate team of students. Aside from student-facing programming, Zoe also leads the UHS Employee Wellness Committee to provide wellness programming and efforts to UHS staff.

Zoe has a BA in Health, Behavior, and Society, as well as  BA in Business from the University of Rochester. She is a certified SafeZone Facilitator and has completed her College Health and Wellness Professional certificate from the American College Health Association (ACHA).

Portrait of Gaelen McCormick

Gaelen McCormick, M. Mus
Eastman Performing Arts Medicine
Pronouns: she/her/hers
(585) 274-1233

Gaelen is the Manager of Eastman Performing Arts Medicine and works with Health Promotion to create wellness programming tailored to the Eastman School’s campus of performing artists. As a professional classical musician who is deaf/hard-of-hearing, she is passionate about educating performing artists in wellness that will help them have long and healthy careers. She teaches a practical course in managing performance anxiety, Strategies for Audition Success and a new course exploring the use of arts in healthcare, Music and Medicine through the Eastman School of Music. Gaelen is also a certified Kripalu Mindful Outdoor Guide and enjoys guiding in local parks and urban spaces.

Portrait of Ian Briffa holding a saxophone

Ian Briffa
Graduate Assistant, Eastman School of Music Wellness
Pronouns: he/him/his
Major: Master’s in Saxophone Performance and Literature

Ian Briffa is a First-year master’s student studying Saxophone Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music. He is the Health Promotion Program Assistant for Eastman Performing Arts Medicine and UHS. Passionate about both Music and Wellness, Ian aims to foster a deeper connection between the two and find ways to create a happier and healthier future for Eastman students. He received a Bachelor’s in Saxophone Performance and a certificate in Arts Leadership from Eastman in the Spring of 2022.

Side profile of Ezra.Ezra Shneyderman
Program Assistant, Mindful University Project
Pronouns: they/them/theirs
Major: Psychology and Music

Ezra is the current Undergraduate Program Assistant of the Mindful University Project and is studying psychology and music. Introduced to mindfulness at an early age by their parents, Ezra has continued to deepen their understanding through a consistent practice of meditation, yoga, and the study of Eastern religions.

As a member of the Rochester Zen Center, Ezra aims to highlight the spiritual aspect of mindfulness that is often lost in modern-day wellness culture. Their goal is to demystify mindful practices while staying true to their rich history and roots. Ezra’s work is fueled by the firm belief that mindfulness and meditation are much more than mere stress-reduction tactics. Ezra is excited to continue expanding their knowledge of mindfulness and eagerly sharing it with the community at U of R.

Portrait of Irene Choi

Irene Choi
Senior Peer Health Advocate
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Irene is a senior majoring in International Relations with a minor in Epidemiology. As an international student from Korea, Irene is passionate about addressing international students’ needs and mental well-being. She hopes to work together to improve student life on campus. Irene is also a partnership committee co-director in Globemed and a social chair in Meliora figure skating club!

Summer Koltay sitting in a swing in front of a sunflower fieldSummer Koltay
Senior Peer Health Advocate
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Major: Health Behavior and Society and Anthropology

Summer is a junior majoring in Health, Behavior, and Society & Anthropology. She is primarily focused on promoting mental wellness and health equity on campus. As a first generation student she is passionate about encouraging the use of resources on campus and working on programs specifically for first generation students, especially first years. Summer is also Publicity Chair of SUPHS and is local to the Rochester area.

Megan posing outdoors on a city street.Megan Arnett
Peer Health Advocate
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Megan is a senior majoring in Epidemiology with minors in Biology and Classic Civilization. As a peer health advocate Megan is focused on sexual health and destigmatization. She is passionate about rock climbing, reading, and her favorite Premier league team, Arsenal. Megan is also the Executive chair for URSHAC and has lived in five different states across the US.

Headshot of Elia.Elia Cuautle
Peer Health Advocate
Pronouns: she/they

Elia is a senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in creative writing. As a Peer Health Advocate, she primarily focuses on Sexual Health Education. Outside of HPO, Elia spends her time helping her two organizations; S.A.L.S.A and Pride Network.

Neha sitting cross-legged on the hood of a car smiling.Neha Iyer
Peer Health Advocate
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Neha is a junior majoring in political science and history with a minor in health policy. As a peer health advocate, she is primarily focused on mental wellness and stress and sleep management. Outside of the HPO, Neha works as an intern for the NYS Office of the Attorney General.

Headshot of Avery.Avery Prescott
Peer Health Advocate
Pronouns: he/him/his

Avery is a senior majoring in public health. As a Peer Health Advocate, he is focusing on improving mental health and healthy sleep practices for students. very is a multi-instrumentalist, with the main instruments he plays being guitar, piano, and cello.

Simrun sitting at a table with food on it, smiling.Simrun Rao
Peer Health Advocate
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Simrun is a junior majoring in Health, Behavior, and Society. Simrun is predominantly focused on promoting nourishment and body image on campus. She hopes to reduce stress levels around campus, promote self-acceptance, and mindful eating through accessible care such as mindfulness and yoga. Simrun is also the vice president of SUPHS and a public health research assistant with a hometown of Bay Area, California.

Chaired by UR undergraduate students, URSHAC offers an opportunity for students to have a direct impact on the healthcare services offered to them on campus. The committee meets with representatives of the University Health Service, University Counseling Center, and Health Promotions Office to share ideas, offer suggestions, and discuss concerns of the student body. Our meetings are every three weeks and open to all students, with regular participation and mediation by committee members.

Attending URSHAC meetings is a great way to cultivate change on the services offered and concerns pertaining to UR students. We actively participate in change on campus by structuring subcommittees around topics such as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, understanding UHS, and understanding UCC. In the past our subcommittees have created and supplied materials to the student body to aid our understanding of the resources at hand. As a committee we also work with HPO to run programs to help disseminate information about resources as well.

URSHAC is chaired by:

Portrait of Megan Arnett


Megan Arnett (she/her)
Executive Chair




Head shot of Wilson Peng


Wilson Peng (he/him)
Administrative Chair



Portrait of Medha Pan



Medha Pan (she/they)
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair




Portrait of Grace Rico


Grace Rico (she/her)
Publicity and Outreach Chair



How can I join?

Fill out this form, we’ll review your application, and email you with a decision for appointment.

When and where are meetings?

Every three weeks on 9/21, 10/12, 11/2, and 11/23 at 5:30 in Wilson Commons 104.

Who can attend meetings?

Everyone! Meetings are mediated by the executive board, with committee members and any other attending students welcome to participate in conversations with UHS, UCC, and HPO administration.

Who can I contact with questions?

You can reach us through our email, or our instagram @ur.shac. Feel free to reach out with any comments, questions, or concerns.

How can I leave feedback for the committee or UHS Primary Care/UCC?

You may provide feedback to URSHAC using our feedback form. Through this form you can offer up any feedback for us to address as a committee, or any feedback/comments you would like us to address with UHS/UCC/HPO administration in an upcoming committee meeting. You may provide feedback to UHS Primary Care or the University Counseling Center using their feedback forms for UHS Primary Care and UCC. These concerns will go directly to UHS Primary Care and UCC, respectively.

Return to the top of the page