Meet Your Peer Advisors

Peer Advising Drop-In Center Schedule

Peer Advising Drop-In Center
330 Arnold House
(413)545-3816
E-mail: peeradvising@schoolph.umass.edu

Welcome to the Peer Advising Center, the home-base to peer advisors who are experienced students dedicated to supporting you and your academic needs. We are here to help you understand the field of public health and the nature of the Public Health Sciences major. While we will not tell you which classes to take or avoid, we will offer insight to help you make the best informed decision about your own academic career.

While there's no need to make an appointment, if you drop in, please bring an updated copy of your tracking form. Being well prepared will help us help you.

Meet Your Peer Advisors!

Bridget Aumais
Ryan Barry
Nicolas Dundas
Kristen Fraser
Annie Hickey
Derek Luthi
MaryKate McLoughlin
Bolanle Odusanya
Renee Williams-Sinclair


Bridget Aumais
Graduation Year: 2015
Track: Social Science
Hours: Monday 9:00am-12:30pm

Hi everyone! I’m Bridget, and I’m so excited to be back for my second year of Peer Advising! As a freshman, I chose to be a Public Health major because I wanted to make a difference in people’s health without being in the medical field. What I love about public health is learning how ingenuity and thinking outside the box can lead to creative ways to improve a population’s health before they become sick or injured. After taking different courses and changing my mind many times, I decided to build my own collateral field and call it “The Health and Development of Women and Children.” After graduating this spring, I plan to earn my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Public Health has given me a thorough understanding of how critical education is to young children and individuals at any age, and I am excited to bring that well-rounded knowledge to my career in education.

One of my favorite Public Health memories from my time at UMass is the first day of National Public Health Week last spring. We set up a large board in the Campus Center and asked students to write why they love public health on sticky notes to add to the board. At the end of the day, we had an amazing collection of all the reasons our students love public health. It was so cool to see how the answers varied but how public health is such an important aspect of all of our lives!


Ryan Barry
Graduation Year: 2016
Track: Social Science
Hours: Monday 12:30pm-3:30pm, Wednesday 3:30pm-4pm

Hello! My name is Ryan Barry, a junior from Methuen, Massachusetts. I chose this major because I wanted to have a career that made a difference. I knew that Public Health could grant me this opportunity and teach me the skills I need to go out in the real world and create positive change. I’m minoring in Economics and pursuing a Certificate in Public Policy and Administration, with my Collateral Field in Healthcare Management. Some other things I do on campus include being a member on the Public Health Student Advisory Board, University Tour Guide, Trumpet Player in the Minuteman Marching Band, and a Brother of the band service organization Kappa Kappa Psi. One of my favorite memories at UMass was marching in the 2013 Macy’s Day Parade. My favorite course is Public Health 390CT: Intro to Health Services Management. My future goal in life is to be a Hospital Administrator, or some kind of management position within the healthcare field.  It would be an honor to work at any of the New England’s top hospitals making real decisions to increase the quality of care. Real dream job though? Red Sox PA Announcer!


Nicolas Dundas
Graduation year: 2016
Track: Social Sciences
Office Hours: Tuesday 12:30pm-2pm, Friday 11:30pm-1:30pm

I am interested in pursuing a career through the public health major because it is so expansive and interdisciplinary. It continuously provides me with options to discover my passions and learn from a variety of subjects. The students and faculty I have met through the public health major have been more than welcoming and eager to learn alongside me. Along with my major, I plan on creating a collateral field that encompasses comparative lifestyles through coursework in psychology, comparative literature, and comparative politics. In doing so, I will learn about government, economic, and social norms in other countries in regards to the United States. I am excited to be in the 4+1 program with a concentration in Policy and Management.

I am a proud member of the Umass Water Polo Team, the Outing Club, the Ski and Board Club and the Sport Parachuting Club here on campus. I am also a Residential Assistant in Kennedy Tower for the fall 2014/spring 2015 academic year. In juggling my academics with my extracurriculars and live-in job, I have learned that time management is key to success at school. Always keep a planner handy to write down useful information and To Do lists that save you from stressful situations. It is also important to reach out to faculty members and foster and out-of-the classroom learning experience and a resourceful attitude: doing so can open doors for a multitude of opportunity. Additionally, making sure that you aware of the many resources and clubs on campus is essential to a successful school year.

As a public health major, my favorite project was working in the Real Food Challenge Practicum, which leverages the power of youth and universities to create a healthy, fair and green food system. We analyze data and configure statistics while working with local farmers and business owners to track our progress. Our goal is to have 20% real food in our dining commons by 2020, along with a more sustainable, local, organic, and ecologically sound food economy here in the Pioneer Valley.


Kristen Fraser
Graduation Year: 2016
Track: Social Science
Office Hours: Thursday 1pm-4:30pm

Hi everyone! My name is Kristen Fraser, and I am a member of the class of 2016 from East Longmeadow, MA. I always knew I wanted to go into a health-related field, as many of my family members are doctors and nurses. Public Health was a perfect fit for me; the major is highly interdisciplinary, and allowed me to explore my academic interests while becoming involved in the field outside of the classroom. I am on the social science track, and will be completing the Population Studies certificate as my collateral field, as well as a minor in Psychology. In the future, I plan to get my master’s degree in epidemiology, and hope to work in diabetes research someday.

In addition to being a Peer Advisor and being involved in the public health club, I am a member of the UMASS chapter of the College Diabetes Network. I currently hold a dual role as secretary/treasurer, and will be taking over as president in January 2015. In my free time, I enjoy practicing yoga, and hope to become a certified teacher someday. My best advice for success is to remember that it’s okay to change your mind! College is a time to discover and pursue your passions, while also becoming an advocate for yourself and your happiness.


Annie Hickey
Graduation Year: 2015
Track: Social Science
Hours: Tuesday 10:30am-12:30pm, Thursday 11:00am-1:00pm

Hello! My name is Annie Hickey, and I am a senior from Westford, Mass. I absolutely love being a public health major because I have the ability to work with diverse and driven classmates and professors. I chose public health because I have a strong desire to promote a healthy lifestyle to middle and high schoolers. I will be completing an Education minor to use toward my collateral field requirement. A minor in education will give me the background I need to effectively deliver health information.

My favorite experience at UMass (so far) has been working with the New Students Orientation staff. I was able to work closely with administration and all of UMass’ class of 2018! Working for NSO was hectic and crazy, but it was amazing to be able to meet so many people from all walks of life. I also had the chance to work with public health students and staff to bring a warm welcome to them from the School of Public Health and Health Sciences.

In addition to being a peer advisor for a second year, I have been an undergraduate teaching assistant for Public Health 160: My Body, My Health, a Peer Health Educator, an active member of Public Health club, and I am interning with Tapestry Health in Northampton this semester. Being in the public health major has opened so many doors and has allowed me to surround myself with talented and experienced people.

My best advice for success is to get involved and take advantage of the million and one opportunities UMass has for you! Broaden your horizons and meet new people, network with professors and peers, and have FUN! You’ll have plenty of time to work when you leave UMass, so have a great time here while you still can!

I can’t wait to meet you in 330 Arnold House this year!


Derek Luthi
Graduation year: 2015
Track: Science
Office Hours: Monday 3:30pm-5pm, Tuesday 2:30pm-4:30pm

Hey there! My name is Derek, and I am a UMass senior from Raynham, MA. I am in the Commonwealth Honors College and chose to major in public health because it was a good fit for overlapping with my Pre-Med requirements. I also believe I will be a well-rounded medical school applicant because the science track of the public health major has provided me with an educational background in not only the hard sciences but also in the health care field itself. I love this major because of the broad spectrum of opportunities it provides to students, and because of the plethora of practical knowledge we learn in the classroom every day.

Being actively involved within the public health major has opened up many doors for me and has even helped me learn how to better serve my community as a leader and role model. As a member of the Not Ready for Bedtime Players, I have cultivated a passion for sexual health education, LGBTQ rights, and the utilization of theater and comedy as a vessel for primary prevention within public health. I was able to further foster and develop these interests through my participation in the Peer Health Education Internship.

My best advice for de-stressing during even the most hectic moments of college is to always reserve time to spend with friends! Having a close-knit group of friends has been one of the most therapeutic aspects of my undergrad career, and it is important to surround yourself with people you can truly be yourself around.


MaryKate McLoughlin
Graduation Year: 2016
Track: Social Science
Office Hours: Wednesday 12pm-3:30pm

Hi everyone! My name is MaryKate McLoughlin, and I’m from North Attleboro, MA. I am on the social science track with a focus in healthcare management. I chose to be a Public Health major because I’m passionate about health, making a difference, and helping others.  When I took Public Health 129: Healthcare For All during my freshman year, I was fascinated by the challenges and complexities the current U.S. healthcare system is faced with.

What I love about Public Health is that it’s such a broad field, so there is something for everyone. No matter which discipline you choose within public health, the mission of our work is the same, to improve the health and well being of people in the community, the country, and make the world a better place.

In addition to being part of the peer advising team, I’m involved in the Public Health Club, the Club Gymnastics team, and Peer Health Educators at the Center for Health Promotion at University Health Services starting in the fall. I am thrilled to begin my internship at Boston Children’s Hospital this summer where I will work as an administrative intern in the Cardiology department.

My advice for success is to always ask questions and most importantly, take initiative in exposing yourself to as many different areas of interest as possible to help assess your likes and dislikes. You never know until you try and you’ll be surprised to find how certain experiences might shape your career path!


Bolanle Odusanya
Graduation year: 2015
Track: Science Track
Office Hours: Thursday 8am-11:30pm

I chose to major in Public Health because I am passionate about tackling different issues that affect the health of the general public. I absolutely love public health because it is all about prevention and solution.

Other majors/minors/certificates that you are completing: Secondary major is Psychology. I am also on the Pre-Med track, and pursuing a minor in African American Studies.

Other UMass affiliations: I am President for Brothers And Sisters In Christ (B.A.S.I.C), an on-campus Christian ministry. I am also an RA in the Mary Lyon/ Dwight Cluster in Northeast. I am also a Research Assistant in Dr. Dasgupta’s lab in the Psychology Department.

Hometown: Lynn, MA

Favorite class at Umass: Public Health 320 with Nene Okunna; she is wonderful.


Renee Williams-Sinclair
Graduation Year: 2015
Track: Social Science
Office Hours: Wednesday 8:30am-12pm

Hello Everyone! My name is Renee Sinclair and I am a senior from New York, NY. I am a Public Health major interested in both the policy and management side of the field. Additionally I am also pursuing a certificate in Culture, Health and Sciences. I was always interested in health administration but I learned about Public Health upon entry into the university. My introduction to the major was through a course that I took my freshman year entitled, “A Citizen’s Guide to Public Health”, led by Undergraduate Program Advisor Megan Griffin.

My future pursuits and ultimate goal is to work in hospital management or end of life care management to regulate as well as facilitate quality level care at a fair cost for all individuals. My interest remains in altering health care in America through policy change and enacting methods to move towards that progressive direction.

The best advice I can offer for success is to try to get involved sooner than later. There are plenty of opportunities to get connected, volunteer, work and broaden your experience here at the University of Massachusetts. It is also extremely important to pick a course and extracurricular plan and stick to it in order to commit to a great college experience.