Community Wellness

Division of Student Services


Peer Health Advocates

The Peer Health Advocates (PHAs) are student staff in the Community Wellness Office who offer peer-driven health promotion programming. The PHAs consider health as something we are all engaged in and striving towards, rather than something that can be achieved or lost. We strive to create engaging, relevant, and inclusive programming for the student community. If you're interested in connecting with peers or other student groups with a passion for wellness, check out our events calendar or contact us directly!

Student Staff

Liat Kastner

photo of Liat Kastner

Hi there! My name is Liat Yael Kastner and I am a senior, studying Environmental Studies and Political Science. I was a PHA last year and I loved it! It was great helping my community and building bonds with my coworkers. I have worked for the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability for the City of Portland and the NJ branch of the League of Conservation Voters. I grew up in NJ but I feel really at home in the Pacific Northwest. Ever since I was little, I loved the outdoors, and I try to take advantage of the beautiful hiking trails around here as much as possible! In my free time, I enjoy running, doing yoga, knitting, cooking, and reading. My favorite authors are Vladimir Nabokov and Jonathan Safran Foer. And, admittedly, my favorite TV show is Seinfeld. I believe that we can all contribute to the wellbeing of this community, and we each have a unique set of strengths to help out one another. I am excited to get to know more people, and help my peers feel safe, welcome, and happy!

Tessa Verbal

photo of tessa verbalHey! My name is Tessa Verbal and I am a sophomore political science major from Detroit, Michigan. I am really looking forward to bursting the "Reed bubble" and taking more Reed students out to explore the city of Portland. One of my favorite ways to de-stress is to hangout with friends off campus either eating or trying a new activity. I love wearing cardigans and hanging out in the MRC either with a good book or good people. I enjoy bringing my community together through one-on-one interactions and inclusive events. I am looking forward to this new school year where I can get to know you!

Olivia Kilgore

photo of Olivia KilgoreHi, I’m Olivia and I am a senior sociology major. I am very excited to be working with Community Wellness as both a Peer Health Advocate and a Program Intern! I take a particular interest in finding creative ways of getting exercise (such as dance fitness classes), as well as sexual health and harm reduction. I also value inclusivity and diversity in all conversations surrounding health. Outside of this, I enjoy space, film, flowers and spending time with my wonderful dog. Feel free to email me if you have any questions, concerns or ideas about wellness at Reed!

Anneleissa Coen

photo of anneleissa coenHello lovelies, I am Anneleissa (they/them/theirs) and I am a transfer sophomore Sociology major. I was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon and absolutely adore the West Coast, so some of my favorite hobbies are backpacking, bicycling, capoeira, and hacky sack. During the school year I like to relax by knitting, watching Netflix, swing dancing, playing video games, or curling up with tea while I read. I also adore turtles. I am super excited to serve as both a Peer Health Advocate and Community Wellness Intern here at Reed because I love creating more supportive and positive spaces wherever I go! I am particularly passionate about fostering greater inclusivity across campus so that students from all backgrounds feel as though their wellbeing is cared for equally. If you have any fun ideas, questions about campus resources, or just want to see a smiling face, please feel free to hit me up!

Farhan Hasan

photo of farhan hasanHiya! I’m Farhan, a sophomore Physics major hailing from several thousand miles away (Bangladesh) and I prefer he/him/his pronouns. I’m very nerdy about music – everything from discovering new artists and genres to goofing around on the keyboard and ukulele to hastily scribbling down unfinished lyrics and compositions to writing a music column on The Quest makes me happy. I also enjoy playing soccer, going hiking, reading (I’m currently trying to finish up the Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy series, aside from discovering a whole world of non-fiction literature), and frequenting record stores. I strongly believe that inclusivity and empathy are quintessential for our community to cohere and as such, I try my best to uphold them no matter what the circumstances are. I also have tremendous compassion for all those who’ve felt lost in the very unique fabric of Reed and want to say that we’re overcoming this challenge every day and bringing out the best in ourselves by embracing it.

Trevor Soucy

photo of trevor soucyHi, my name is Trevor! I am a sophomore Biochemistry/Molecular Biology major from Eugene, Oregon. In my spare time, I love to play video games, do long-distance running, and to practice meditation. I also love the outdoors and am always looking to go running, hiking, or biking around Portland. I believe that there is no singular "right" way to be healthy and that we can all find a set of habits that work for us. I also think taking care of the mind is just as important as taking care of the body. Through our community, we can help share ideas and learn from each other. I am really looking forward to getting to know more of the Reed community as I work with Community Wellness!

Zeus Smith

photo of zeus smithHi all! My name is Zeus, and I will be one of your lovely PHAs for the academic year of 2015-2016. I’m a male-identified senior political science major. I’m really excited to help you all in any way possible. Reed is an amazing place, and one of the principal reasons to love our school is that we have one of the most magnificent, munificent student bodies around. So just remember, that no matter how lonely you feel after your 40-hour sojourn to the very belly of the Library, that you have plenty of friends, and even more potential friends, of which I am one. I was born in Hawaii, have lived in over ten states and visited many, many more, from Wisconsin to Arizona. I love to read, write and can often be seen long boarding around campus. Come talk to me about anything!