Dr. Alex F. Howard
Alex is a native of Sampson County, North Carolina and a proud graduate of Clinton High School. Following his high school graduation Alex completed a Bachelor's of Science in Athletic Training/Sports Medicine at High Point University, and both a Master's and Doctorate of Public Health at the University of Kentucky. Alex considers his work in the Department of Wellness and Prevention Services to be his ideal setup, because the work unites his commitment to education and educational settings with his passion for public health. When Alex is not engaging students through his work on campus, he can be found enjoying time with his family at a nearby park, or attempting to fly fish in the local streams and rivers.
Assistant Director and Substance Abuse Counselor
Ben was born in Asheville, NC and raised in nearby Haywood County prior to moving to Virginia where he graduated from Alleghany High School. After high school, Ben attended James Madison University and graduated with a bachelor of science in Psychology and a minor in Biology. He then returned to North Carolina and enrolled at Appalachian State University where he completed a master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with post-master's certificates in Addiction Counseling and Expressive Arts Therapy. Ben views his work in the Department of Wellness and Prevention Services as his perfect job, working with his favorite population—students, and environment--the university setting, in efforts to promote, create and sustain holistic well-being during a significant developmental period of life. When Ben is not providing counseling and wellness services, he enjoys spending time and playing with his family and dog, Blue, as well as listening to music, watching football (Go App!) and Formula 1 racing, or trying his hand at woodworking.
Coordinator for Student Mental Wellness
Elisabeth was raised in Jacksonville, Florida and graduated with a Bachelor's in Psychology from Florida State University and a Master's of Public Health from University of North Florida. She loves being able to apply a truly public health approach to improving the mental health of the students on campus, especially since improving mental health through public health techniques is such a new practice in the mental health world. Making a difference with students and working with the great team in Wellness and Prevention keep her excited to come into work every day. In her off-time, Elisabeth is usually playing with her dog or cat, enjoying all that Boone has to offer with her friends, contra-dancing, or reading a good book
Janna is a native of Watauga Co. and an alumni of Appalachian State University, having completed both an undergraduate and graduate degree in Nutrition. Janna enjoys her work with students through the Department of Wellness and Prevention Services. When Janna is not engaging students through her work on campus, she enjoys spending time with her family, bouldering, and being outside in general.
Wellness Coordinator for Student Programs
Saray Smalls is a native of Charleston, South Carolina where she received her high school diploma from Charleston County School of the Arts. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Queens University of Charlotte. It was during her time at Queens that she developed an overwhelming interest in changing health behaviors as a means to decrease the risk of preventable illnesses. With that, Saray sought her Master's in Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior from the University of South Carolina. In the Department of Wellness and Prevention Services, Saray provides leadership for evidence-based health educational initiatives for the university's student community. What excites Saray the most about her work is having the ability to encourage students to have ownership over their health behaviors. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with friends. Saray is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Administrative Support Specialist
Renee was born in Fort Knox, Kentucky but raised in Canton/Magnolia, OH. She later moved to the Lake Norman/Charlotte area before falling in love with the North Carolina Mountains. In 2001 she and her husband built their home in West Jefferson and became residents of the High Country. Renee has worked in a variety of administrative support, training facilitation, and supervision related roles within the health and medical fields. Through these experiences Renee developed a passion for working with the public, particularly emerging adults and the students of Appalachian. In her free time, Renee enjoys camping, spending time with her family, crafting, and enjoying time with her two cats. All-in-all, Renee's love of her family, the outdoors and her love of animals are her idea of a truly fulfilling life!
Post-graduate Trainee, Mental and Social Well-being and Prevention Education
Yasmin is a native of Nashville, Tennessee where she received her high school diploma from Hume-Fogg Academic High School. After high school, she received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Wofford College. She then completed her master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy with a certificate in Addiction Counseling at Appalachian State University. Specifically, Yasmin's clinical and research interests include underrepresented children and families, as well as addictions. This interest is rooted in the experiences of those from her Ethiopian community. Various groups of underrepresented populations lack awareness concerning therapeutic services and believe that there is a stigma attached to receiving therapy -- which Yasmin seeks to change. She is excited to use the academic training she has obtained at Appalachian to her work in Wellness and Prevention Services. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling the world, and practicing self-care.