Mandy Colbert, LMSW, MPH, has over 8 years of experience working in areas including, health promotion, youth development and education. Mandy's work centers around program development and evaluation, instilling cultural inclusivity into health interventions, grant writing, and aligning needs to program strategies.
She currently serves as a health promotion coordinator at the University of Texas at Austin (UT), where she develops, oversees and evaluates various campus public health initiatives aimed at improving the health and wellness of students, staff and faculty. Her work at UT focuses on healthy sleep promotion, high risk drinking and drug use prevention and sexual assault prevention, as well as peer education. Additionally, Mandy serves as a professional development coordinator for the Healthy Youth Partnership, a community collaboration, managing the planning, logistics and coordination of professional development opportunities for youth-serving professionals in Central Texas.
Mandy earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and her Master of Science in social work degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where she specialized in community and administrative leadership. In her spare time, Mandy provides community mentoring and art lessons to area youth.
Birdie Cunningham, MA is the associate director of health and wellness, and director of operations and programming for the center for college sleep at the University of St. Thomas, where she provides leadership and continuous improvement of programs and services for the health and wellness of the community. During the past fifteen years, she has created, developed, implemented and evaluated health education and promotion programs in the areas of sleep, stress, physical activity, alcohol, tobacco, nutrition, injury and violence prevention. She conducts health surveys to analyze student health behaviors and develops strategic frameworks to support goals identified in the American College Health Association Healthy Campus 2020, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2020. Her work with faculty includes collaboration on grants, research, publications, presentations at national conferences, and co-directing the project for mindfulness and contemplation. She has received numerous grants, including grants from the American College Health Association and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Birdie teaches Introduction to Health Promotion and Wellness as an adjunct instructor for the College of Education, Leadership & Counseling at the University of St. Thomas. She is currently a member of the City of Minneapolis Public Health Advisory Board, and past president of the North Central College Health Association. In June, 2017, Birdie was honored by receiving the Ruth E. Boynton Award for Distinguished Service to the American College Health Association.
Dr. Candice Alfano is professor of psychology, a licensed clinical psychologist, and director of the Sleep and Anxiety Center of Houston (SACH) at the University of Houston. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland at College Park in 2005 and completed a clinical internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Alfano's research program focuses on the role of sleep in the development of anxiety and mood disorders in children and adults, as well evidence-based interventions for these problems/disorders. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Dr. Alfano has served on the scientific council of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), the board of directors for the Society for Behavioral Sleep Medicine (SBSM), and as associate editor for Journal of Anxiety Disorders. She has published more than 70 scientific papers, chapters, and books, including the co-edited the book, Comprehensive Evidence-based Interventions for Children and Adolescents (2014; John Wiley & Sons).