Wellness Series

Recreation & Wellness has created a monthly Wellness Speaker Series to take a dive into wellness beyond the basics. Come explore wellness topics with a lens of intersectionality, health equity and diversity. Our hope is to create a space for students to learn from a wide array of speakers with diverse lived-experiences in well-being; opening eyes and minds to experiences beyond their own.

*Please register so we can confirm we have enough seating or send a Zoom link for virtual participation.

Presentation Topic


Date & Time


Community Care

Catalina Burrillo

January 19, 2022

5:00-6:00 pm

Kirkhof Center, Room 1142

or Online

Sexpert Panel

Heather Alberda, Beck Lukins, and Gleason

February 9, 2022

5:00-6:00 pm

Kirkhof Center, Room 1142

or Online

Body Neutrality: Acceptance of Your Body As It Is

Camryn Lane

March 16, 2022

5:00-6:00 pm

Online Only

The Intersectional Environmentalist

Leah Thomas

April 13, 2022

8:00-9:00 pm

Online Only

January 19

Community Care - Cancelled due to illness

As humans, we need more than just self-care to be well. We need others to support us. Join us to learn about the importance of community care and how it works to promote health!

Catalina Burrillo

Community Health Improvement Coordinator at Health Project - A Community Benefit Ministry of Mercy Health

February 9 (INT100/201 Approved)

Sexpert Panel

Sexual health has been a hot topic for years and yet so many people are left with unanswered questions and a gap in knowledge. This panel of experts in the field of sexual health will discuss a variety of topics and help close this gap.

Our guests include:

  • Heather Alberda, an AASECT Sexuality Educator with 20 years of experience in Ottawa County
  • Beck Lukins, a WIT Sexual Health Peer Educator
  • Gleason, Director of Education at The Diatribe
Heather Alberda

Heather Alberda (she/her)

Heather has been a sexuality educator with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health for 20 years. She received her BA in criminal justice from Grand Valley State University and completed the University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program. Heather received her AASECT certification as a sexuality educator in 2014. She is one of seven certified sexuality educators in Michigan. Her passion for the community, youth, and sexual health has taken on many facets throughout the years. In August 2017, Heather was recognized for her work in expanding Wear One, a condom distribution program, at the Michigan STD Conference with an Outstanding Innovations Award. Wear One is now available in 46 counties in Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula, providing access to more than 42% of Michigan’s population. She has written for Juicebox, a sexual health app, was featured in Bustle highlighting STI testing, and most recently in Michigan Bridge Watch magazine.

Beck smiling

Beck Lukins (they/them)

Beck is a sophomore majoring in Ethical Communications & Advocacy, and they have spent most of their primary and secondary education focusing on human rights and social justice issues. They are super passionate about helping and educating others and they hope to do their part to make the world a happier and safer place for all people, one person at a time. They have been teaching sex ed and diversity/inclusion trainings through Planned Parenthood for about 5 years now, so their background is in sexual health, diversity and equity, and gender-based violence prevention. 

Gleason smiling

Gleason (they/them)

Gleason is the Director of Education of The Diatribe, a nonprofit organization dedicated to uniting, inspiring, and empowering the youth through poetry. In 2020, they created a free downloadable spoken word unit rooted in mental health and wellness that has been used to serve thousands of educators and young people across the country. They are passionate about providing platforms for young people to speak their truths and be heard by their community. Gleason received the Young Nonprofit Professional Network “Unsung Hero” 2021 Leadership Award and was a 2021 Grand Rapids Business Journal 40 Under 40 Business Leader Honoree. They were a 2021 Steelcase Social Innovation Lab Fellow where they worked on a prototype for (and are now leading the creation of) an inclusive and comprehensive sex education program for eighth graders rooted in the belief that informed decisions are empowered decisions.

March 16 - Online Only - INT100/201 Approved

Body Neutrality: Acceptance of Your Body As It Is

We hear a lot about body positivity, but having this mindset can be difficult for some. This presentation discusses the topic of body neutrality: what it is, why it's important and how to implement it into your everyday life.

Camryn Lane smiling with short hair and a pink shirt

Camryn Lane (she/her)

Camryn is a senior at Grand Valley State University this year, majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Biology. She has always been passionate about helping others, which is is why she applied to be a Peer Educator with WIT back in 2020. Since then, she has worked alongside the other Peer Educators to give presentations and promote health and wellness across campus, while specializing in sexual health.

April 13 - Online Only - INT100/201 Approved

The Intersectional Environmentalist

Leah Thomas, author of The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet will be joining us for her community based book tour with the goals of building community + creating space for dialogue around intersectional environmentalism.

We will have 8 copies of her book available and will be giving them away at the event.

Image of woman sitting looking to her left, smiling at the camera.

Leah Thomas (she/her)

Leah Thomas is a celebrated environmentalist based in Santa Barbara, CA. Coining the term ‘eco-communicator’ to describe her style of environmental activism, Leah uses her passion for writing and creativity to explore and advocate for the critical yet often overlooked relationship between social justice and environmentalism. With this intersection in mind, Leah founded and launched Intersectional Environmentalist in 2020, a resource hub and platform that aims to advocate for environmental justice, provide educational resources surrounding intersectional environmentalism, and promote inclusivity and accessibility within environmental education and movements.

Leah, who is also the founder of eco-lifestyle blog @greengirlleah, uses her multiple years of eco-focused educational and work experience to inform her ever-expanding list of projects, as well as her audience of more than 350k followers. A graduate of Chapman University with a B.S. in Environmental Science & Policy and a cluster in Comparative World Religions, Leah has interned twice with the National Park Service and has worked at leading green companies, including eco-friendly soap company Ecos and most recently, Patagonia. A fundamental optimist and opportunity-maker, Leah used her time after being furloughed during the pandemic to create Intersectional Environmentalist.

Leah’s writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and Highsnobiety, and she has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, W Magazine, Domino, GOOP, and numerous podcasts.

Logo for WIT: Wellness Information Team in black and white with the logo for Recreation & Wellness: Division of Student Affairs

Can't make it to the events? Check out our WIT Peer Education programming to learn more about wellness at GVSU.

Page last modified April 7, 2022