2015 Summit

2015 Building Healthy Academic Communities National Summit

The 2015 Building Healthy Academic Communities National Summit was held at UC Irvine, Thursday and Friday April 23-24.

The Summit convened leaders and nationally recognized authorities in health and wellness to highlight and share best practices in promoting and sustaining wellness, with tracks focused on best practices and evidence-based programming, creating cultures of wellness, marketing and communication for engagement, and mental and emotional well-being


Dr. David Agus of University of Southern California - Dr. David B. Agus is one of the world’s leading cancer doctors and pioneering biomedical researchers. Over the past 20 years, he has received acclaim for his innovations in medicine and contributions to new technologies, which continue to change the perception of health and empower people around the world to maintain healthy lives longer. Dr. Agus has built a reputation for his unique way of viewing the body’s relationship to health and disease. He is a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and Viterbi School of Engineering, where he leads USC’s Westside Cancer Center and Center for Applied Molecular Medicine. Dr. Agus also serves as a CBS News contributor. Dr. Agus’ first book, The End of Illness, was published in 2012 and is a New York Times #1 and international best seller, as well as the subject of a PBS special. His new book, New York Times best-selling A Short Guide to a Long Life, was published in January 2014.


Dr. Dan Cooper of University of California, Irvine - Dr. Dan M. Cooper is Professor and Chair of Pediatrics at UC Irvine, and serves as Founding    Director of the UC Irvine Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, and the UCI Pediatric Exercise Research Center. His research seeks to identify how exercise can best be used to prevent asthma and obesity in children. Dr. Cooper is particularly interested in new therapies involving both pharmacologic and lifestyle interventions.


Dr. Peter Jensen of the REACH Institute - Dr. Peter Jensen is President & CEO of the REACH Institute (Resource for Advancing Children’s Health).  In December, 2014, he was appointed Acting Director, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. Prior to his current duties, he served in Mayo Clinic’s Department of Psychiatry & Psychology, which he joined in 2009 to co-lead the Division of Child Psychiatry & Psychology, later becoming the Vice-Chair of the Department (Research) until his retirement in 2013. He previously served as the Ruane Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University and founding Director of the Center for the Advancement of Children’s Mental Health at Columbia University in New York, and Associate Director for Child & Adolescent Mental Disorders Research, National Institute of Mental Health.


Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky of UC Riverside - Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. Originally from Russia, she received her A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from Stanford University. Lyubomirsky currently teaches courses in social psychology and positive psychology. Her research on the possibility of permanently increasing happiness has been honored with Fellow status from three different scientific societies, a Science of Generosity grant, a John Templeton Foundation Grant, a Templeton Positive Psychology Prize, and (with Sheldon) a million-dollar grant from NIMH. Lyubomirsky’s The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want was published in 2008. Her most recent book is titled The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, But Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, But Does.


Dr. Bernadette Melnyk of The Ohio State University - Dr. Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk is currently the Associate Vice President for Health Promotion, University Chief Wellness Officer, and Professor and Dean of the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University. She also is a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Ohio State’s College of Medicine. She is a nationally/internationally recognized expert in evidence-based practice, intervention research and child and adolescent mental health, and is a frequent keynote speaker at national and international conferences on these topics. Her record includes over 19 million dollars of sponsored funding from federal agencies as principal investigator and over 250 publications. Dr. Melnyk is co-editor of four books and is an elected fellow of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Nursing, the National Academies of Practice, and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She served a four-year term on the 16-member United States Preventive Services Task Force and currently serves as a member of the National Quality Forum’s (NQF) Behavioral Health Steering Committee, the National Institutes of Health’s National Advisory Council for Nursing Research, and the Centers for Disease Control Laboratory Best Practices Workgroup.


Dr. Marion Nestle, New York University - Marion Nestle is a consumer advocate, nutritionist, award-winning author and academic who specializes in the politics of food and dietary choice. Her research examines scientific, economic, and social influences on food choice and obesity, with an emphasis on the influence of food industry marketing. Her books explore issues like the effects of food production on dietary intake, food safety and access to food and nutrition. She is the author of the classic Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, now in its third edition. In 2003, Food Politics won awards from the Association of American Publishers, the James Beard Foundation and World Hunger Year. Her second book, Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety won the Steinhardt School of Education’s Griffiths Research Award in 2004.