Carnegie Mellon University

Peer Health Advocates

Peer Health Advocates (PHAs) encourage and support holistic student health and well-being by providing culturally responsive peer-to-peer health education programs and services. Goals of the PHA program include:

  • Serve as community liaisons for addressing campus health concerns.
  • Reduce adverse health effects and improve holistic wellbeing by providing harm-reduction centered education and support.
  • Empower students in making informed decisions about their health and wellbeing.
  • Develop collaborations by establishing shared leadership for health and well-being across campus.

Peer Support Meetings

Students can schedule to meet with a Peer Health Advocate. PHAs meet with peers for 30 minutes and offer space to learn about, troubleshoot, and connect with resources. Some examples of how PHAs can offer support include:

  • Setting and practicing communicating boundaries
  • Navigating on and off campus resources 
  • Brainstorming mindfulness and meditation tools
  • Reviewing and demonstrating safer sex tools like condoms, birth control, PrEP.
  • Generating ideas and plans for satisfying and accessible snacks and meals
  • And more!

These casual appointments are offered in-person or on Zoom. PHAs may meet up with you on campus wherever feels most comfortable for you - be it a coffee shop, walking around the track, or in a private room in the Health Promotion and Student Support Resources suit.

Please scroll to find the PHA you'd like to schedule with and use their scheduling link to set up a 1:1 session. You may also email your avaiability to to set up an appointment.

Meet the Undergraduate PHAs

Undergraduate and graduate students can schedule with whomever they prefer. Undergrads can schedule with grads and vice versa!

Amara Vergara Agyakwa bio image
Amara Vergara Agyakwa (she/her)
First-Year, Business Administration
Schedule with Amara

Specialization: Nutrition

Interests: Nutrition, Running, Trading, VC
Jackson Chen bio image
Jackson Chen (he/him)
First-Year, Economics
Schedule with Jackson

Specialization: Mindfulness & Mental Health

Interests: The board game Go, Badminton, Piano
Ash Gelber bio image
Ash Gelber (they/them)
Junior, Psychology
Schedule with Ash

Specialization: Disability Resources

InterestsTheater, Video Games, Cooking, Mental Health Advocacy
Emily Jordan bio image
Emily Jordan
Senior, Psychology & Biological Sciences
Schedule with Emily

Specialization: Mindfulness & Mental Health
Justin Lam bio image
Justin Lam
Senior, Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering

Specialization: Disability Resources
Teresa Lourie bio image
Teresa Lourie
Senior, Design
Schedule with Teresa

Specialization: Recovery & Harm Reduction
Interests: Rock Climbing, Wood Working, Video Game
Vlad Miloserdov bio image
Vlad Miloserdov
First-Year, Undeclared
Schedule with Vlad

Specialization: Sexual Health
Mani Ndukwe-Ajala bio image
Mani Chinesom
Junior, Business Administration

Specialization: Disability Resources
Sofia Cordoba Valencia bio image
Sofia Cordoba Valencia
Senior, Global Studies and Chinese Studies
Schedule with Sofia

Specialization: Nutrition
LanguagesEnglish, Spanish and some Mandarin
Demetria White bio image
Demetria White
Senior, Neuroscience
Schedule with Demetria

Specialization: Sexual Health

Interests: Sci Fi Books, The Sims

Meet the Graduate PHAs

Graduate and undergraduate students can schedule with whomever they prefer. Grads can schedule with undergrads and vice versa!

Sai Ghule bio photo
Sai Ghule
Heinz - Information Systems Management
Schedule with Sai

Specialization: Sexual Health
Krithika Jagannath bio photo
Krithika Jagannath
Tepper - Business Analytics
Schedule with Krithika

Specialization: Nurtition
LanguagesEnglish, Kannada, Hindi
Interests: Baking, DIY Personal Care Products, Travel, Yoga
Siva Komaragigi bio image
Siva Komaragiri (he/him)
Heinz - Health Care Analytics and Information Technology
Schedule with Siva

Specialization: Mental Health, Mindfulness, and Nutrition
LanguagesEnglish, Hindi, Telugu
Anushka Mehta bio photo
Anushka Mehta
Heinz - Information Systems Management
Schedule with Anushka

Specialization: Mindfulness & Mental Health

Interests: Art, History, Bollywood
Harsh Vaibhav Nallanthighal bio photo
Harsh Vaibhav Nallanthighal (he/him)
College of Engineering - Energy Science, Technology and Policy
Schedule with Harsh

Specialization: Mental Health, Mindfulness, Sexual Health, and Disability Resources
Languages: English, Hindi, Telugu
Interests: Reading, Music, Energy, Environment and Sustainability, Baking
Virgile Franck Rapegno bio photo
Virgile Franck Rapegno (he/him)
Information Networking Institute - Mobile and Internet of Things Engineering
Schedule with Virgile

Specialization: Nutrition, Well-Being and Alcohol
Languages: English, French
Interests: Rowing, French cuisine, Outdoors activities
Harshita Rastogi bio photo
Harshita Rastogi (she/her)
Tepper - Management Science
Schedule with Harshita

Specialization: Mental Health, Mindfulness, and Sexual Health

Languages: English, Hindi
Interests: Video games, Sketching, Strength training, Physical, Sexual, & Mental Health Advocacy

Highlights of the PHA Program

The PHA program began as a student organization and has evolved over the years with input from students. PHAs are now paid employees of University Health Services, working as liaisons and a resource for campus health and well-being. 

Additionally, the program has shifted from group education to a one-on-one support model, including text support, drop-in visits, and scheduled consultations.

The PHAs engage in their support of students using a specialist model, including but not limited to the following areas:

  • Disability Resources
  • Sexual Health
  • Mindfulness and Mental Health
  • Nutrition

In addition to the undergraduate program, graduate students are now active in PHA roles to support graduate student health and wellbeing.

The PHA program offers a credited mini-course that teaches the foundations of peer education. Course enrollment is open to all students and required for PHAs.