Meet Our Team

Jordan Perry


Jordan (they or she pronouns) was born and raised in Iredell County, NC, got their bachelors degree in sociology from UNC Asheville, and masters degree in public health from UNC Chapel Hill. They are working to complete their doctorate in Educational Leadership and are excited to be both a staff member and a student at Appalachian State University.

Prior to taking on this position, Jordan worked in health promotion at UNC Asheville, for a violence prevention non-profit in Washington, DC, and for several East Coast colleges and universities. Jordan is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist, a Certified Worksite Wellness Specialist, and has completed professional trainings on racial justice, social justice, sexual health, bystander intervention, peer education, restorative justice, smoking cessation, harm reduction, suicide prevention, mental health, and more. They taught as an adjunct lecturer for UNC Asheville and UNC Chapel Hill and have served on several WNC nonprofit boards. They work with the American College Health Associations Healthy Campus Leadership Team at the national level and are excited to be part of the future of health promotion on campus.

When they arent working, Jordan plays roller derby, cooks, and crafts.


Associate Director / Coordinator for Alcohol & Other Drug Services

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 in his favorite 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.

Janna Lyons

Nutrition Specialist

Janna is a native of Watauga County and an alum 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 & 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.

Jordan Kessler

Mountaineer Recovery Community Coordinator

Jordan (she/they) was raised in Jacksonville, Florida and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology along with a minor in Philosophy from the University of North Florida. After serving time in the military, Jordan enrolled at Appalachian State where they completed a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy. Prior to taking on this position, Jordan worked in community mental health and non-profits serving people experiencing addiction, mental health concerns and domestic and sexual violence. When Jordan isn't working, they can be found lounging with their dog, Richard, creating art or playing roller derby.

Justin Parks

Coordinator for Wellness Promotion

Justin (any pronouns) is originally from Wilkesboro, just down the mountain from Boone! He attended Appalachian for both his BS and MS in nutrition, working as a peer educator with Wellness and Prevention Services from his junior year onward. After early mentoring work in the community, he was excited to get back to working with students on campus, and functioned as a counseling dietitian and adjunct instructor at Virginia Tech, before returning to App to work with WPS. He has a passion for all elements of wellness, and enjoys brainstorming different ways to make healthier habits more fun. Outside of work, Justin spends time playing games, singing and dancing, and chatting with friends, his partner, and their two dogs.

Dina Critcher

Administrative Support Specialist

Dina was raised in a close-knit community in Davidson County, North Carolina, and graduated from Appalachian State University with a bachelor's degree in Sociology, along with a minor in Psychology. Although not the career path she had intended, she worked for 23 happy years in private medical practices. Managing the Office of Wellness & Prevention Services combines her administrative skills with her desire to work in public health. When she is not working, she loves to spend time with her family, travel, and have dinner with friends.