Team

Meet the amazing people behind Operation Happy Nurse!

We’re always looking for more people to lend a hand! If you would like to join the movement to improve mental health in nursing, send us a note at [email protected].

 

Shannon McPeek,BSN, RN

 

President and Founder
[email protected]

Founder. Shannon graduated from Purdue University in 2016 with her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. She started her career at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in the Neonatal ICU, but then sought out a career in travel nursing. Shannon experienced serious anxiety associated with the nursing profession, which inspired her to create Operation Happy Nurse. She’s thankful for all the amazing people who’ve helped her create this stress-relief haven, as well as those who’ve supported her along the way.

 

Kiley McPeek

 

Kiley McPeek graduated from Cornell University in 2018 with a degree in Applied Economics and Management before taking her professional skills into a career in finance. When she’s not talking about the economy, she loves playing volleyball, traveling, and baking. She is so excited to be a part of the OHN family.

 

Samantha Reene,BSN, RN, CPAN

 

Samantha graduated from Purdue University in 2016 with her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. She started her career in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. After two years she started travel nursing. She has worked in New York City, Seattle, Los Angeles, Sydney, and is now located in San Diego. She loves the coastal life, but hopes to eventually live in her happy place: the mountains.

 

Julie McPeek

 

Board Member
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A master innovator with 33+ years of experience in sales and marketing, Julie gets a thrill from crafting unique brand business models from nothing but a blank sheet of paper. She’s a big-picture thinker who thrives in a challenge and excels at bringing companies together to make every opportunity win/win. Julie is a graduate of Cornell University, and owns her own marketing company Provisor Marketing.

Julia Kivistik

Board Member

Julia has a diverse background in nonprofit leadership, strategy, fundraising, cause branding, cause marketing, shopper marketing, and consumer behavior and insights. Her career has been a 25+ year journey to develop mutually beneficial long-term partnerships with companies with a specific focus on retailers, consumer brands and nonprofit organizations. Her integrated approach synergizes multi-level business objectives to drive sustainable partnerships. The result is all stakeholders grow their business while making an impact on people’s lives and communities. Julia has served on the Board of Directors of several nonprofits, including the Executive Board of America’s Charities and the Harvard Women’s Leadership Board.

Dr. Pamela Karagory,DNP, MBA, MSB, RN, CNE

Board Member

Dr. Karagory is the interim Head of the Purdue School of Nursing. Her focus area is nursing leadership, innovations in quality improvement, patient safety and health care systems. She is committed to creating opportunities and experiences for student learning to occur in contextual clinical environments is key in developing knowledge and skills that are relevant to today’s authentic health care environment. She received her DNP from Rush University, MBA from Husson University, MSN from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, MSB from Husson University, BSN from University of Maine at Fort Kent, and RN Diploma from Saint John School of Nursing.

Mallori Walker,MSN, RN, CPNP

Board Member

Mallori Walker is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at IU Health Arnett in Lafayette, IN. She is also an instructor in the Purdue University School of Nursing. She leads Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work at both IU Health Arnett and the Purdue University School of Nursing. Outside of work, Mallori coaches the Purdue University Dance Team and teaches group fitness classes.

 

Brenna McPeek,MFA

 

Copywriter, Book Club Moderator
[email protected]

Brenna is a writer, editor, and content creator based in New York City. She holds an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University and a BA in English and Film from Cornell University. She has a particular passion for literature and culture—evident by the fact that she spends most of her free time and money at the bookstore. Brenna is the co-founder and editor of the literary magazine Fatal Flaw and is currently completing her first novel.

 

Sarah Rudasics

 

Social Media
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Sarah graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Psychology and Human Development. Her desire to understand and help people from diverse populations and developmental stages led her to take an internship with Make-A-Wish Foundation, work a few years in child care, and embark on multiple adventures around the globe. Sarah lived in a small French village outside of Geneva, Switzerland for a year, followed by 7 months in Sydney, Australia. She is now finding peace in a more permanent home of San Diego, CA where she works full time in sales and as Social Media Designer for Operation Happy Nurse.

Jennifer Patrick-Doig

Chef

Jennifer (Jenni) first started her culinary journey in her grandmother’s kitchen. She attended the cooking and hospitality institute of Chicago. After many different gigs, Jenni found herself at Oprah’s studios working for Work of Art Corp. In addition, Jennifer has been an Executive Chef at a hotel, RidgePointe Country Club, and Embassy Suites and Red Wolf Convention Center on Arkansas State University’s Campus. In support of her husband, her family recently made another multiple state move to South Carolina. After nearly 20 years in the culinary industry Jenni is now returning to college to obtain a bachelor’s degree to be able to teach her craft in the future.

Jim Cullen

Culinary Advisor

Jim Cullen is a Harlem based home cook. Raised in an Italian-American household, he learned all of his cooking skills from his Mom and Nonna. Jim is the founder of Cullenary Delights, a Facebook page where he provides guidance to home cooks to eliminate stress and fear in the kitchen. In his other professional life, Jim is a Sales, Brand and Business Development Manager always looking for the ultimate way to merge his professional passion with his love of cooking and food. Jim resides in Harlem, NYC with his husband, artist Geoffrey Doig-Marx (GDM) and their furbabies.

 

Katlyn Zirkelbach,MS, RD, CPT

 

Katlyn is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer in the Denver, Colorado area. She created Evolution Fitness and Nutrition as a way to help individuals meet their health and wellness goals. Katlyn provides nutrition counseling to individuals in a one-on-one setting and has been successful working with healthy lifestyle changes, weight management, gut health, food sensitivities, autoimmune conditions, and thyroid disorders. Katlyn completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Indiana University – Bloomington, where she studied nutrition and dietetics. She completed her graduate work and dietetic internship at Eastern Illinois University. You can find her work and client success stories at www.evolutionfn.com, or on Facebook at Evolution Fitness & Nutrition.

Jade Alexis Timol, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, CPT, MBA

Meditation Instructor

Jade is a yoga and meditation instructor based in New York City, she leads classes for Aaptiv, Pure Yoga, Equinox, Variis and Mercedes House. Her instruction can also be found on Amazon’s Audible, HaloFit, Shine, iTunes and Spotify. Jade has over 15 years of experience working with individuals to help them grow, heal and evolve in health, fitness and life. Jade has worked with several television and film personalities, and has been published in WebMD, Shape, Marie Claire, as well as several online publications. She has been featured on Dr. Oz, Exercise TV, Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, and NY1. She is a former Fitness Magazine Advisory Board member & Reebok Global Ambassador.

Kirsty O’Brien,DIPLC, RM, C-MMT

Meditation Instructor
[email protected]

Kirsty O’Brien is a corporate well-being coach and meditation mentor, living in Sydney, Australia. Kirsty is passionate about sharing simple strategies and tools that will empower you to make mindful choices for your BRAIN and your BODY. Kirsty’s podcast, MINDFUL AS F*CK, shares insightful and open conversations around mental and physical health, creating a space for you to take breaths and take charge of your mental and emotional health so you can truly thrive. LINKS: www.teamko.com.au; Social media: @meditatewithkirsty; Podcast: MINDFUL AS F*CK (itunes, google podcasts, spotify, anchor).

Ali Castriano, BBA, MSNE, CPTA

Fitness Instructor
[email protected]

Ali is a Tier X Coach at Equinox in downtown Chicago. Tier X is the highest level of personal training offered at Equinox that brings an integrated behavioral approach to training. They work with clients to develop their skills within the three pillars of health: movement, nutrition, and regeneration. Ali has been working at Equinox as a Personal Trainer and Coach for almost four years now and has gone through over 250 hours of in-house education. She has earned a multitude of certifications: National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, Functional Movement Screen Level 1 certified, Kettlebell Athletics Level 1 certified, Pre and Post Natal training certified, Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified, CPR AED and First Aid infant and adult certified.

Kyle Russ, CSCS

Fitness Instructor

Kyle is a strength and conditioning coach from Illinois. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Sports Performance from Grand Canyon University. He is currently working on his Masters degree in Nutrition and Functional Medicine. Kyle loves fitness and strongly believes it is one of the key missing links in so many people’s lives today. Nurses are some of Kyle’s favorite clients to work with, and he is so grateful for the opportunity to give back to those who dedicate their lives to saving lives.

Dr. Jake Changelon,B.S, D.C

Fitness Instructor

Jake recently graduated with his Doctorate of Chiropractic Medicine Degree from National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL. In 2011, he attended the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, majoring in Chemistry with a minor in biology. His goal as a coach for Operation Happy Nurse is to allow the trainees to get a great pump in with lots of sweat, in a functional and correct manner. To reduce the chances of injury, whether a patient is moving with proper body mechanics or hiking in the woods, he wants you to be able to move through the world pain-free. His area of focus in the Chiropractic medicine world is adjustments with a heavy emphasis on rehab.

Michael Boyd, ISSA CPT

Fitness Instructor

Michael Boyd hails from Chicago, Illinois, but currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona. For the last 9 years, he’s run a basketball skills training organization called Training With Purpose. He is also a ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and high school P.E. Teacher at Desert Heights Prep Academy. He attended Roosevelt University in Chicago where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2017.

Ashton Baaeler, NASM, PN Level 1

Fitness Instructor

Ashton is a Certified Personal Trainer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. With four years of experience, Ashton has worked at Lifetime Fitness and also started The Mind Muscle Hustle. He got into fitness and nutrition initially for only one reason: to look good. After 7 years in the industry, his perspective has completely changed and he has now focused his approach on FEELING GOOD. Once he learned how to train and eat for health, being fit was so much easier to sustain and MUCH more fun. Ashton teaches people how to Hustle 4 Health!

Dr. Ryan Cullen,PT, DPT, OCS, CPT

Fitness Instructor

Ryan has been working as a Doctor of Physical Therapy since 2017. Ryan graduated from Upstate Medical University in Syracuse NY with his DPT and SUNY Oneonta (NY) with a Bachelor’s in Biology. He currently lives in Charlotte, NC and specializes in working with fitness athletes, high school/college athletes and active individuals looking to take their performance to the next level. Ryan has been a certified personal trainer since 2014, and is passionate about helping people become stronger, healthier, and more resilient. He is a Co-Founder of Catalyze Performance, helping people get to the next level of fitness and performance. Website: https://www.catalyzeperformance.com/

Dr. Joseph Villecco, PT, DPT, OCS, CPT

Fitness Instructor

Joe graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and received his Personal Training Certification while he was still a student there. Joe then went on to SUNY Upstate Medical University to receive his Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Finally, he went on to become a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy through Evidence in Motion. Joe has been working with clients to optimize their performance since 2014. He is a Co-Founder of Catalyze Performance, helping people get to the next level of fitness and performance. Website: https://www.catalyzeperformance.com/

Eric Brown, CSCS

Fitness Instructor

Eric is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and currently a 3rd year Doctor of Physical Therapy student at the University of Southern California. As a former Collegiate Rugby player at Arizona State University, he fostered an interest in human recovery and fitness that led him to the field of physical therapy. In his free time (pre-COVID), Eric enjoys skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, and swimming at the beach.

Jeanne Reilly, NCPT

Pilates Instructor

Jeanne Reilly is a proactive movement specialist, promoting self awareness, empowerment, and skill development. Her goal is to assist others in achieving their personal health and fitness goals. Jeanne is a Fletcher Pilates Professional Teacher, as well as a Yamuna Body Rolling Practitioner. She is a Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher under the umbrella of the Pilates Method Alliance. Jeanne actively pursues continuing education to remain up to date, and is always growing in her skills and what she can offer to others in her teachings.

Alyssa Guerrieri

Fitness Instructor

Alyssa grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has been dancing and performing for over twenty years. A former Miss Dance of America, Alyssa has studied all forms of dance movement and has worked and performed on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance and in The Greatest Showman, as well as in many commercial videos and live performances. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California and hopes to work with athletes and dancers as a Physical Therapist and movement specialist.

Tiana Pollari, CPT, RHN

Fitness Instructor

Tiana is a Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer who specializes in the integration of functional strength training and holistic living. She is also the founder of the Get Right Method, a 12 week weight loss program for women who want to lose weight, build strength, and feel confident and sexy in their bodies again. You will likely find her in the kitchen creating nutritious and guilt free treats.

Tyler Ho, CSCS

Fitness Instructor

Tyler is in the last year of earning his Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) at the University of Southern California after earning his BS in Kinesiology at Purdue University. Prior to physical therapy school, Tyler worked as a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) and found passion working with individuals at all levels. He has developed training programs at an elite baseball academy, worked with Olympic Athletes in China, and provided personal training services to caregivers. Tyler is incredibly humbled at the opportunity to be a part of the OHN team and is looking forward to making a difference!

Brittany Ugolini BscH, RYT 300

Yoga Instructor

In 2010, Brittany stepped onto the yoga mat for the first time and has continued to fall in love with the practice ever since. In 2017, she completed her 200hr Vinyasa training and has been teaching creative and mindful classes ever since. In addition to her initial training, Brittany has also completed 50 hours of pre and post-natal training, 8 hours of Hands on Adjustments and 80 hours of Advanced Sequencing. In her own personal practice and also in her classes, Brittany tries to encompass a yogic lifestyle with a big focus on taking what is learned on the mat, off of it into the real world.

Hien Hong, RYT 500

Yoga Instructor

Hien Hong (she/her) is a yoga and meditation teacher from the Seattle-Tacoma area. She started practicing when she was a stressed and anxious high schooler and credits yoga for leading her toward a healing journey. Hien teaches from a trauma-informed lens and strives to make her classes and spaces accessible and inclusive. Creating spaces for black, indigenous, and people of color to practice is especially important in her work. Her teaching style can be described as mindful, gentle, and relaxing. Website: www.HienHong.com

Jenna Melkonian, M. ED, E-RYT 200, RYT 500

Yoga Instructor

Jenna’s life experiences have often gravitated toward a passion for wellbeing, instruction, and education. This prompted her to develop her yoga practice by completing a yoga teacher-training course in 2013. She now holds professional teacher certifications in hatha, vinyasa, and therapeutic yoga, as well as experience teaching in the U.S., New Zealand, and Costa Rica. In over 10 years of consistent practice, Jenna has experienced a deeper connection within which cultivates feelings of equanimity and understanding. She wishes to extend these benefits to others by creating a warm and open environment where anyone can feel safe to explore their body-mind-soul connection.

Jessica Perri RYT 500

Yoga Instructor

In 2010, Brittany stepped onto the yoga mat for the first time and has continued to fall in love with the practice ever since. In 2017, she completed her 200hr Vinyasa training and has been teaching creative and mindful classes ever since. In addition to her initial training, Brittany has also completed 50 hours of pre and post-natal training, 8 hours of Hands on Adjustments and 80 hours of Advanced Sequencing. In her own personal practice and also in her classes, Brittany tries to encompass a yogic lifestyle with a big focus on taking what is learned on the mat, off of it into the real world.

Keris Timol, Maternal Wellness Coach, E-RYT

Yoga Instructor

Keris completed her yoga and meditation certifications in Bali and New York City. She teaches for YogaWorks, The Woodlands Yoga Studio and the YMCA. She also has Meditations on Insight Timer. With years of experience, she continues to teach and motivate others to live with more joy and ease. Keris studied yoga with Zuna Yoga, Katherine Girling & Everett Newell, and Yogi Charu. Following a lineage of many; T.Krishnamacharya, Swami Rama, Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, Shri K. Patta, and Saraswati lineage.

Molly Leonard, RYT 500

Yoga Instructor

Molly began practicing yoga in 2010 and completed her 200 Hour Yoga Alliance Certification through Corepower in Chicago in 2017. After completing her 300 hour training in India, Molly relocated to San Diego where she currently teaches Power Vinyasa, Hot, and Yoga Sculpt classes. She aims to help students build strength and awareness within their physical bodies, and become more connected to their inner wants and needs through yoga.

Paige Thatcher RYT 500, Meditation Coach

Yoga Instructor

Paige found her love for yoga over 10 years ago in Knoxville, TN. In November of 2019 she became an RYT 200 and Ayurvedic Health Educator. Her Ayurvedic studies allow her to merge two of her loves: healthy eating and yoga. In July of 2020 Paige completed her 300RYT training and in October of 2020 she completed her Meditation Teacher training.

Rory McCarthy, RYT 200

Yoga Instructor

Rory gained her 200 hour certification with Y7 in New York City. She is certified to teach yoga for depression and anxiety. Rory has been practicing yoga for ten years. She loves pairing hip-hop music to a power flow. Her party trick is a headstand.

Jennifer Barrish, RYT 200

Yoga Instructor

Jennifer is a licensed yoga teacher with a 200RYT (registered yoga teacher) training with an emphasis in Ayurveda. She is currently studying advanced yoga in a 300RYT program. Jennifer is also an Astrologer and Reiki I Healer. Check out her website at www.seeingstarsastrology.com.

 

Tatum Powell, RYT 500

 

Yoga Instructor and Graphic Designer
[email protected]

Tatum completed her 200hr in San Diego and 300hr in Rishikesh, India. Tatum leads her classes with a calm, intentional & non-judgmental voice. She incorporates creative sequencing & thought provoking meditations at the beginning of her classes. Her focus is on inspiring growth of the mental, spiritual and physical self through practice. ~ All levels welcome 🙂

Abigail Wessel

Book Club Moderator

Abigail Wessel is a writer and editor based in NYC. A graduate of Cornell University, she is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Fatal Flaw Literary Magazine. Her work has been featured in Quip Literary Review, Prometheus Dreaming, and Ember Chasm Review.

Olivia Ingram

Podcast Host

Olivia graduated from Krannert School of Business at Purdue University, West Lafayette in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Business Management. Although she enjoyed the managerial and analytical aspect of her career, Olivia quickly realized that her heart was ultimately meant to help others in ways that she was not able to sitting behind a desk. Olivia enrolled in the accelerated nursing program for second degree students at Indiana University Northwest. She will graduate this month and looks forward to pursuing a nursing career within the pediatric population.

Carley Baker, BSN, RN

Podcast Host

Carley graduated from Purdue University in 2015 with a Bachelors in Kinesiology. After being a personal trainer for a year, she decided to attend nursing school at Marian University, and graduated in 2017 with her BSN. After passing the NCLEX, Carley moved to Southern California to further her career and obtained her first nursing job working for Mission Hospital in their Medical-Surgical, Trauma, and Ortho unit. Currently, she also works for University of California-Irvine in their Trauma/Neuro unit.

 

Dr. Lauren Ashenbrener, PT, DPT

 

Podcast Editor
[email protected]

Lauren is a Purdue University graduate, where she received her B.S. in Movement & Sports Sciences. In 2017, she graduated from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Since graduation, she has practiced Physical Therapy in multiple clinical settings and gained valuable clinical experience and insight into the healthcare industry at large. In early 2020, she started a business to put her knowledge of the healthcare industry and her creative passions to use. Lauren is the founder of Optimize Digital Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency aimed at enhancing small-businesses’ online presence through their specializations in digital marketing and web design services for healthcare related businesses.

Will Sarmiento

Video Editor

Will lives and works in Washington DC. His work in videography started in 2014, when he picked up his first video camera in college. Since then, he has been lucky enough to capture weddings for some amazing couples, as well as partner with global brands such as National Geographic, Toyota and REI for a variety of online and social content. He is all about dancing, laughing and getting to know people—just bringing positive vibes to whatever situation he is in!

Aaron Peters

Technical Advisor

Aaron graduated from Purdue University in 2016 with a Computer Science degree. He then moved to Washington, D.C. where he currently works as a lead data scientist for a consulting firm. Some of Aaron’s closest friends—including his sister—are nurses, and he wanted to donate some of his time to help Operation Happy Nurse get started. Aaron built OHN’s first, static website as a landing page while the dynamic site was built. He now serves as a technical advisor as OHN continues to grow. In his free time, Aaron loves to ski, climb, camp, and watch his favorite sports teams lose.