Introducing the Task Force on Mental Health and Wellness

To the Temple community:

One of the many lessons underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic is the importance of protecting and promoting the mental health and wellness of our students, faculty and staff. This is perhaps the most significant student issue confronting higher education today, and it also touches our faculty and staff in profound ways. It is not only reflected in data and research, but also in the stories that we hear each day from members of our community.

In recognition of this national crisis and its impact on our community, President Wingard has asked me to launch a universitywide Task Force on Mental Health and Wellness. Today, I am proud to introduce the members of the task force. These faculty, students and administrators bring not only their varied expertise and experience to the task ahead, but also a deep commitment to addressing this serious concern. The task force will be co-chaired by Dan Berman, vice provost for undergraduate studies, and Melanie Cosby, director of the Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. All of the members of the task force are listed below. I am grateful for their willingness to serve and for the time and energy I know that they will bring to this initiative.

I have asked the task force to examine and assess our existing mental health and wellness infrastructure and programs, evaluate the infrastructure and programs at other peer and aspirational universities, and develop recommendations concerning the mental health and wellness needs of the Temple community. Their focus will be primarily on our students, but I have asked them also to consider our faculty and staff, with respect both to how they can support our students and how the university can support their own mental health and wellness.

The goal of the task force is to help us ensure that our students, faculty and staff can focus on the essential mission of our university, teaching and learning. Their work is crucial and timely. We look forward to their recommendations and to sharing the results with the Temple community in the months ahead.

Please remember to take care of yourselves and those around you.


Gregory Mandel
Senior Vice President and Provost

University Task Force on Mental Health and Wellness


  • Dan Berman, vice provost for undergraduate studies
  • Melanie Cosby, director, Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Lewis Katz School of Medicine


  • Heath Fogg Davis, Political Science, College of Liberal Arts
  • Robert Fauber, Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
  • Lisa Ferretti, Social Work, College of Public Health
  • Van Hellerslia, Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy
  • David Sarwer, Social and Behavioral Sciences, College of Public Health
  • Renée Tobin, Psychological Studies in Education, College of Education and Human Development


  • Stephany Coakley, senior associate athletic director, mental health, Athletics
  • Deirdre Culbreath-Walton, director, labor and employee relations, Human Resources
  • Mark Denys, senior director, Health Services
  • Valerie Dudley, director, multicultural education and training, IDEAL
  • Stephanie Ives, dean of students
  • Andrew Lee, director, Tuttleman Counseling Services
  • Tony Reed, chief medical officer, Temple Health


  • Ava Hutchison, Criminal Justice, College of Liberal Arts
  • Fatema Kitabwalla, Neuroscience, College of Liberal Arts

Counsel to the task force

  • Anna Oppenheim, associate university counsel