The Support Network’s Ambassadors help engage and expand The Support Network community, and extend operational capabilities. Ambassadors are appointed to strengthen the organization’s capacity to transform student mental health and well-being.
Katherine Connolly is a current student at the University Of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work. Katherine began her career in mental health advocacy at Kenyon College as a leading officer of the Peer Counselors, a grassroots collective of students that provided a 24/7 peer-run crisis line, weekly groups, freshman programming, all-campus events, and one-on-one peer support. Inspired by the power of community care, Katherine went on to serve as an AmeriCorps member in Oregon teaching Youth Mental Health First Aid to organizations in the Portland metro area. She currently volunteers as an Ending the Silence presenter and coach with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and is a trained crisis counselor with Crisis Text Line.
In the summer of 2021, Katherine served as a Program Evaluator for The Support Network, utilizing her experience with collegiate mental health initiatives to provide feedback on areas of growth for The Support Network operations. Katherine advocates for intersectional disability justice and trauma-informed crisis response. Her perspective is rooted in lived experience, and the firm belief that students with mental illnesses are not liabilities, but assets to their college communities who are deserving of autonomy, compassion, and respect. She believes that peer support is the past, present, and future of mental health care.
Bobby Dishell is a student at the University of Colorado Law School in the Tax Emphasis Program. Upon graduation, he hopes to work on public-private partnerships, real estate, and public financing. Bobby co-founded the Wolverine Support Network during his time as Student Body President at the University of Michigan. After his time at Michigan, Bobby spent two years in Baltimore as a Teach for America Corps Member where he was a founding member of Happy Teacher Revolution and currently serves on their advisory board.
Bobby is passionate about mental health, peer support, and community development. Bobby's leadership and work have been featured in Endzone (#6 NY Times Best Selling Book), Wall Street Journal, ESPN, Education Week, Detroit Free Press, GQ, Forward, and other publications.
Kelly Davis is the Director of Peer Advocacy, Supports, and Services at Mental Health America (MHA) where she works to promote the expansion of peer support throughout health care. She also leads MHA’s Collegiate Mental Health Innovation Council, which is dedicated to highlighting and expanding student-led programs that fill gaps in traditional services and supports on campus.
Kelly is passionate about empowerment, civil rights, positive psychology, peer support, and trauma-informed care. She has spoken about her lived experience at the Obama White House and on NBC Nightly News and has been featured in the Mighty, Mashable, University Business, Recovery Campus, and Yes! Magazine. She is a member of the advisory council for the Well Being Trust and is on the National Youth Advisory Council for Doors to Wellbeing, where she helped lead the first national youth-run, youth-focused mental health conference and developed a three-day youth empowerment training curriculum.
Caylin is serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA in North Carolina before beginning her Masters in Public Health with a focus on health equity, social justice, and human rights. In her current role, she is an advocate for families who have recently experienced homelessness. As a VISTA she connects families to community resources such as mental health workshops, art therapy, single parent support groups, nutrition classes, and conversations on the unique experiences of this population. In the future, Caylin is interested in exploring the relationship between social determinants of health such as housing, the environment, and education level on a person’s overall well-being.
In the past Caylin has worked in development for several organizations including The Ecology Center, The Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, and The Community Enrichment Project. Each of these nonprofits seeks to amplify the voices of those not often heard, whether it be environmental activists in Detroit or students in the often-overlooked Wards of the District of Columbia. Caylin is interested in holding space for those who are typically overlooked or silenced which has led her to The Wolverine Support Network.
In this role she is excited to research new ways to bring mental health to the forefront of people’s minds, to engage in conversations on how to advocate for students in college and to learn more about others’ college experiences.
Lizzy is a Privacy and Data Public Policy Manager at Facebook. She previously was a Product Manager at Facebook and a data scientist prior to that. Lizzy was a founding director of Wolverine Support Network at the University of Michigan, focusing on leader development. She also served as Chief Programming Officer for the Central Student Government and on the Panhellenic Association's Executive Board. In high school, Lizzy served as a Leader in Harvard-Westlake's Peer Support program.
Having suffered from a major depressive episode upon entering college, Lizzy's focus is on making sure all students have a community from their first day on campus to after graduation. She has focused on community building in both her personal and professional career, being involved with program development for the Facebook Rotational Product Manager program and serving on culture committees to improve mental wellbeing in the workplace.
Sam is an Associate Principal on the Business Operations team at Via, a transportation technology company aiming to enable accessible and sustainable transit across the world. Previously, he worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Citi and also spent a short time at UT Southwestern Medical Center, working in clinical research for the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care. Sam has been passionate about mental health from a young age and is inspired by his mother, who is a psychiatric social worker. He studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and had the opportunity to complete research on anxiety disorders as an undergrad.
Having experienced his own mental health issues and seen too many friends struggle with similar challenges, Sam is committed to eliminating stigma surrounding mental health and improving peer support. He is passionate about growing The Support Network’s reach and ensuring that all students have the resources to overcome their struggles with mental health.
Max Rothman is a Relationship Manager at Wells Fargo in their Commercial Real Estate Banking group. He graduated from The University of Michigan with a BA in Economics and a minor in Business. He spent the majority of his undergraduate career working on mental health advocacy through the Wolverine Support Network (WSN), serving as a director for three years and as a leader in the organization’s inaugural semester. Following graduation, Max co-founded and sat on the board of directors for TSN where he worked to expand the organizations model to schools nationwide.
Max has served as a member of various mental health organizations including Athletes Connected, Mental Health America’s Collegiate Mental Health Innovation Council (CMHIC), and Co-Chair of the Central Student Government Mental Health Task Force (MHTF). He helped identify problems related to campus climate and resources at Michigan, and co-authored a report that made 13 recommendations towards holistic mental health improvements. For his work, Max received the 2018 Jed Foundation’s Student Voice of Mental Health Award.
Ben Lowenstein is currently a Product Manager at Instacart. He previously held roles in Business Operations at the same company working on building out the subscription program. Prior to Instacart, Ben worked as a Data Scientist at Facebook, helping build products to curb the spread of misinformation on the platform. He also worked at Analysis Group as a consultant for 2 years after graduating from University of Michigan in 2016.
Ben is passionate about improving the mental health of his community. Having struggled with episodic periods of anxiety and depression starting in high school through the present day, Ben is committed to de-stigmatizing discussions around mental health, as well as helping others build support systems that are so vital to dealing with life's challenges. Ben embodies TSN's values in his professional experiences and has stood-up safe spaces for discussions around mental health with colleagues and leaders at both Facebook and Instacart. Ben is committed to growing TSN's footprint at campuses across the country, as well as developing processes and programs to ensure the efficacy of the network's impact.
Courtney Fortin is a User Experience Designer at Indeed. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a BS in Information Science and minors in Business and Digital Studies. Serving on the Wolverine Support Network (WSN) director team for two years, she strategized marketing and design efforts to increase digital engagement and brand recognition.
Courtney is passionate about promoting mental health in all facets of her life and the lives of those around her. Her passion for mental health allows her to practice empathy and hone in on vulnerability in her personal and professional relationships. She hopes to combine her passion for technology and design to use digital technologies as a way to promote the importance of mental health and support systems. As someone who has struggled with mental health issues throughout her life, Courtney is devoted to continuing TSN's mission and creating a world where no college student ever feels alone.
Nick Brdar (he/him) is a recent graduate of University of Michigan, where he received a B.S. in Neuroscience and Psychology. He joined Wolverine Support Network his first semester, and since then has served as a group leader, Director of Program Development, and Executive Director. During his time, he presented at the 2022 NASPA Strategies Conference and the Depression on College Campuses Conference on behalf of WSN. Additionally, Nick chaired UM’s Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and executed one of the nation’s largest Out of the Darkness Campus Walks. He currently works as a Support Group Facilitator for Garrett’s Space, an Ann Arbor nonprofit supporting young adults with mental illness.
His passion areas focus on suicide prevention, men’s mental health, and trauma-informed care. During his time with WSN, he witnessed the power of peer support in college student mental health and is excited to continue that work with TSN. These passions are rooted in his experience with depression and suicidality and hopes his story serves as a reminder that there is hope in everyone’s story. In the future, he plans to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology, working at the intersection of clinical research and suicide prevention advocacy.