Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Deepa L. Sekhar, MD, MSc

Executive Director

    Deepa serves as executive director for Penn State PRO Wellness and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine. Her responsibilities include leading PRO Wellness; engaging agencies, organizations, schools and community groups; maintaining a team-focused climate which attracts, keeps and motivates a staff of high quality individuals; and ensuring that research and projects further our important work to advance the health and wellness of our communities, both within Pennsylvania and beyond.

    Deepa joined Penn State as an Assistant Professor in 2008. She is a clinician-investigator caring for infants, children and adolescents at Penn State Pediatrics, and using her challenges in primary care to spark research endeavors to improve the health of children and families. Her research has been funded by the Children’s Miracle Network, the Academic Pediatric Association, The Sackler Institute, the Health Resources & Services Administration, and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Her work has been presented at the regional and national levels.
     

    Heather Costigan, BS

    Project Coordinator

      Heather Costigan serves as a Project Coordinator for the PRO Wellness team. With the aid of her background in research development, implementation and evaluation, Heather is able to coordinate projects related to the health and well-being initiatives that encompass PRO Wellness. Currently, she is assisting with a high-school based study centered on mental health and community engagement.
      Heather attained her BS in Health Sciences with a concentration in Community Health and a minor in Psychology from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. She is currently working towards her MS in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management at Penn State. Her thesis focuses on how people engage with protected natural spaces and how that engagement potentially improves their health and well-being. During her spare time, Heather enjoys hiking, backpacking, reading, cooking and spending time with her dog, cat, family and friends.

      Lauren Green, MPH, CHES

      Research Project Associate

        Lauren serves as a part-time research project associate for Penn State PRO Wellness. She uses her background in health education to assist the center with the Healthy Champions program. She also aids in grant writing and program planning, implementation and evaluation.

        Lauren holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion from Liberty University as well as a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Community and Behavioral Health from Penn State University. She has also been a Certified Health Education Specialist for over ten years. She enjoys reading and experimenting with food in her free time.

        Elizabeth Hivner, M.Ed, CHES

        Research Project Manager

          Elizabeth is a Certified Health Education Specialist who serves as a Research Project Manager for PRO Wellness. She utilizes her public health, education and research background to provide educational opportunities for schools and manage research initiatives through the Center. Specifically, she is responsible for implementing a multi-tiered school-based research study to enhance school-aged children’s recommended vaccinations. She also oversees the qualitative component of a school-based depression screening research study funded through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

          Elizabeth holds a degree in Health Sciences with a concentration in Public Health Education from James Madison University and a Master’s of Education in Health Education from Penn State University. Elizabeth also enjoys running, cooking, going to the beach and traveling.

          Alicia Hoke, MPH, CHES

          Senior Project Manager

            Alicia serves as senior project manager for our school-based grants, which create supportive nutrition environments and increase opportunities for physical activity in school districts across the Commonwealth. She utilizes her background in health education to develop educational materials and informational webinars on various school health topics.

            Alicia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in biology from Lycoming College and a Master of Public Health from Penn State University. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist. In her spare time, Alicia enjoys boating and skiing with family and friends.

            Chelsea Keller, BS

            Project Coordinator

              Chelsea serves as a Project Coordinator for PRO Wellness. She utilizes her knowledge and experience in biology, research, education and public health to coordinator evidence-based interventions. Currently, she is helping to implement a multi-tiered community and school-based research study to increase intent to vaccinate school-aged children.

              Chelsea holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Juniata College, and is pursuing her Master of Public Health in Community and Behavioral Health at Penn State University. She is a dog-lover and an avid hiker and biker. Chelsea enjoys exploring new places and foods with her family and friends.

              Abbey Kinard, BA

              Marketing Communications Specialist

                Abbey serves as Marketing Communications Specialist for PRO Wellness. Her responsibilities include the development and design of promotional and educational communications. Utilizing social media, web design and web analytics Abbey manages PRO Wellness’s online presence. She also assists with the implementation of our marketing strategy and brand consistency through digital and print advertising.

                Abbey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication/Journalism, from Shippensburg University. In her spare time, she enjoys diving into creative DIY projects, photographing life’s special moments and making memories with friends and family.

                 

                Alissa Molinari, MPH

                Project Coordinator

                  Alissa serves as a project coordinator for PRO Wellness. She utilizes her knowledge and experience in education, outreach and health promotion to assist with the implementation of a school-based study that focuses on mental health and community engagement.

                  Alissa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from East Stroudsburg University and a Master of Public Health from West Chester University. In her spare time, Alissa enjoys working out, skiing, traveling, and cheering on the Philadelphia sports teams.

                   

                  Andrea Murray, M.P.H.

                  Project Manager

                    Andrea serves a project manager for community-focused projects, including Better Together an initiative that addresses community health needs in both Lebanon County and Derry Township as well as Public Health 3.0: Dauphin County a state-wide initiative started by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) designed to bring together different sectors of communities  to create conditions that support healthy lives.

                    Andrea holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and a Masters of Public Health from West Chester University. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing, days at the beach and spending time with her husband, son and their dog and cat.

                    Krista Pattison, MS

                    Research Project Manager

                      Krista serves as a Project Manager for our school-based grants, which promote obesity prevention efforts for children ages 2-19 across the Commonwealth. She utilizes her background in child development and education to assist schools in planning, implementing and evaluating policy and practice changes in order to work toward sustainable improvement of the wellness environment.  Additionally, Krista works on a randomized control trial examining the benefits of conducting a universal depression screener with high school students.

                      Krista holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Washington and Jefferson College and a Master’s Degree in Applied Developmental Psychology, with a concentration in Program Design and Leadership, from the University of Pittsburgh. In her free time, Krista enjoys cooking, crafting and spending time with friends and family.

                       

                      Amy Rhine, BS

                      Social Media and Events Specialist

                        Amy serves as Social Media and Events Specialist for PRO Wellness. Her responsibilities include the creation, scheduling and monitoring of PRO Wellness social media channels to engage with the community on various wellness initiatives. Amy will also utilize her event planning experience by coordinating various events and outreach activities in community.

                        Amy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management from DeSales University. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, supporting her favorite sports teams, learning to golf and spending time with her husband, golden retreiver Hemi as well as family and friends.

                         

                        Angela Schlegel, RD

                        Project Coordinator

                          Angela is a Registered Dietitian who serves as a Project Coordinator for PRO Wellness. She utilizes her background and knowledge in assessment, counseling and education to help promote a healthy work environment across multiple Penn State campuses through employee wellness programs.

                          Angela holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Penn State University and obtained her Registered Dietitian credential through the Penn State University Dietetic Internship program. In her spare time, Angela enjoys traveling, cooking/baking and outdoor activities such as kayaking and hiking.