Following a national search, Ashleigh Hala, MSW, LCSW, has been named director of the Office of Wellbeing at Wake Forest University. Hala, a licensed clinical social worker, has most recently served as director of Wellness & Prevention Services at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
While at Babson, Hala also served as associate director of wellness and director of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services. Hala brings to Wake Forest institutional leadership experience and service. She holds certifications in Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students as well as restorative practices, leadership in prevention, peer education and sexual violence prevention.
Hala is active in both the American College Health Association (ACHA) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and was recently elected co-chair of the NASPA Wellness Knowledge Community. In the last year, she has presented nationally on an array of topics including health equity, sexual abuse, restorative practices, prevention work with student athletes and alcohol amnesty policy development.
“As I think about the next decade in campus life at Wake Forest, attention to health equity, sexual and relationship violence, and the held trauma of our community members will be critical,” said Assistant Vice President for Health and Wellbeing James Raper. “Ashleigh is exceptionally positioned to lead and partner in this work.”
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Wake Forest’s public health efforts,” said Hala. “With my exceptional team, I am excited to holistically advance the health and wellbeing of our students.”
Following a national search, Dr. Warrenetta Mann has been named director of the Wake Forest University Counseling Center. A licensed psychologist, Dr. Mann comes to Wake Forest from the University of South Carolina, where she was the director of Counseling and Psychiatry.
Mann is a leader in the field of collegiate mental health, previously serving as director of counseling at the College of William and Mary, multicultural coordinator and staff psychologist at the University of Virginia, and as coordinator of clinical services and coordinator of multi-ethnic/cross-cultural services and women’s services at the University of Cincinnati Counseling Center. She is also an active member of the Governing Board of the Association of University and College Counseling Directors (AUCCCD).
“Dr. Mann officially joined the Wake Forest community on April 19 and has made an immediate impact on the student community, her staff and university colleagues,” said Associate Vice President for Health and Wellbeing Dr. James Raper. “Along with her 30-years of experience in the mental health field, Warrenetta’s current service on the Governing Board of the AUCCCD allows her to stay connected with the most current thinking around best practices in collegiate mental health. I look forward to supporting her as she helps the University Counseling Center evolve in response to our community’s needs.”
Mann brings a wealth of clinical and professional expertise and service to Wake Forest, with experience teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels and consulting at a wide range of colleges and universities. She is a small business owner and co-founder of Cuts and Conversations, an initiative that brings together Black men for in-depth discussions around mental health and wellbeing.
“I am excited to become a part of a community that has wholeheartedly taken on the challenge of integrating wellbeing into every aspect of campus life with a goal of lifting the humanity in all of us,” Mann said.
The next Staff Advisory Council (SAC) meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 10, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Staff joining information was shared in the February SAC newsletter.
James Raper, assistant vice president of health & wellbeing, will provide an update on new hires and open searches.
Bethany Fay, assistant vice president of total rewards & HR solutions, will provide an update regarding COVID-19 vaccination planning.
James D. Raper has been appointed Assistant Vice President, Health & Wellbeing for the Division of Campus Life effective July 1. In this new role, he will oversee departments related to Health & Wellbeing within the division of Campus Life, including Campus Recreation, Office of the Chaplain, Learning Assistance Center & Disability Services, Safe Office, Student Health Service, University Counseling Center, and the Office of Wellbeing.
Raper joined the University Counseling Center as a staff counselor in 2002. Since 2014, he has served as its Director, where he has provided strategic implementation of mental health promotion and outreach, counseling to students, clinical supervision, and crisis response. As the Chief Mental Health Officer for the University, Raper has provided counsel to the Wake Forest University administration, faculty, and staff around mental health and related strategic planning.
As the Assistant Vice President for Campus Life, he will be responsible for oversight of, and collaboration between, the related departments. This role reflects a strategic reorganization of the division in an effort to more fully address comprehensive wellbeing for members of the Wake Forest community. He will participate in the Campus Life executive leadership team and provides counsel on matters related to the health and wellbeing of students and the campus community.
“Given the challenges facing our students, helping them develop greater resilience is a high priority for Campus Life and the University,” said Penny Rue, Vice President for Campus Life. “Further integrating the great prevention work going on with the support services we offer will help us deliver on that goal and James is especially suited to lead this effort. As Director of the Counseling Center, he has been able to collect and analyze data to determine students’ highest needs and then align services to address those needs most effectively. James is a gifted leader who fosters collaboration and brings out the best in his team members. And, as the leader of this new focus area, he will be able to build on existing strong relationships among colleagues and partners across the university to scale prevention efforts to serve more students, while also directing student support where it is needed the most.”
This fall marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of Thrive, the innovative campus-wide wellbeing initiative promoting multi-dimensional comprehensive wellbeing for all members of the Wake Forest community.
“I see this role as a continuation of Wake Forest’s – and Penny Rue’s – implementation of cutting-edge vision for university wellbeing. Five years into Thrive, it’s inspiring that Wake Forest is doubling-down on its commitment to ensuring our community is supported in the practice of holistic wellbeing, “ said Raper. “The creation of this position seeks to leverage the existing collaborative efforts of the Health & Wellbeing Offices and provide even greater penetration of wellbeing principles and practice across our evolving and growing campus community.”
Raper will continue his clinical and administrative oversight of the Wake Forest University Counseling Center.
“Truly one of the top reasons I have stayed at Wake is because of my colleagues in and out of the University Counseling Center. The fact that I get to become even more intimately involved in their work is really a gift.”
Raper is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor in North Carolina, has a Ph.D. in Counseling and Clinical Supervision from Syracuse University, and additional degrees from Wake Forest University (MA.Ed., Community Counseling) and Colgate University (B.A., Religion). He has held adjunct teaching positions in graduate programs at Wake Forest University and Syracuse University, and has been asked to share his expertise in both suicide assessment and intervention and clinical supervision at the national and international level.
Wake Forest University is among 56 colleges and universities that have joined The Jed & Clinton Health Matters Campus Program in support of wellbeing and mental health.
The program is designed to help schools prevent the two leading causes of death in young adults — accidents, including those caused by prescription drug overdoses or alcohol poisoning, and suicide.
The Campus Program, which launched in June 2014, is designed to help colleges and universities assess and enhance mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programming.
“We’re proud to be a part of The Jed & Clinton Health Matters Campus Program’s efforts to reduce risk while at the same time improving student emotional wellbeing,” said James Raper, interim director of the University Counseling Center. “Denisha Champion, one of our staff counselors, has been spearheading our efforts to become a Jed Foundation certified campus, which has required a thorough self assessment of our campus’s strengths and areas of growth.”
Categories: University Announcement