Resources for Alumni Volunteers

Speakers: Health

To request a speaker, please complete the Speaker Request Form.

*Please note, making a request does not guarantee your speaker will be available. Please wait for confirmation from the Alumni Association before advertising your event.

View full speaker list for additional speech topics.


Megan Amaya, Asst. Professor of Clinical Practice and Director of Health Promotion and Wellness 

Bio and Topics

Megan Amaya, PhD, previous to her current role at Ohio State, she worked as the wellness coordinator for the City of Dublin (OH). Megan was an adjunct instructor at several Columbus area universities for several years, teaching students tools and skills for healthy behavior change. Megan currently serves as President for the National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities, Past-President for the Society of Public Health Educators Ohio Chapter, and member for the central region Healthy Ohio Business Council. She is a certified health education specialist.

Watch Video >>

Topics: Health & Wellness; Exercise; Nutrition; Stress Management; Weight; Energy

Dr. Ian Davis, BSVSc, PhD, ATSF, Asst. Professor College of Veterinary Medicine

Bio and Topics

I received both my Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences degrees (the latter the British equivalent to the D.V.M.) from the University of Bristol, England, in 1989 and 1992, respectively. I went on to receive my Ph.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in July of 2000. In 2006 I moved to The Ohio State University (OSU), where I am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Biosciences.  My studies since joining OSU have been oriented towards improving our understanding of the impact of viral infections (primarily influenza A) on lung function. The goal of these studies is to identify novel host determinants of influenza, which can be targeted therapeutically, and I have recently filed a patent for a novel influenza treatment, which is in the process of being licensed for further clinical development.

Watch Video >>

Topics: How far have we come since the great influenza pandemic of 1918? When Vaccines and Drugs don’t work, what’s next for Influenza? Your tax dollars at work, how science gets done in the 21st century.

Untitled-1Debra A. Goff, Clinical Associate Professor, Pharmacy

Bio and Topics

Debra A. Goff, PharmD, FCCP, is an Infectious Disease Specialist and past program director of the Infectious Diseases Residency at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Dr. Goff is a founding member of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program and leads the research program for the Department of Pharmacy.  She is a faculty member and international advisor to the Federation of Infectious Diseases Society of South Africa educating and mentoring South African health care providers.   She is the 2014-2016 recipient of an OSU Outreach and Engagement grant to provide training and mentoring to South African pharmacists. She received the 2016 OSU Emerging International Outreach Award for her work in South Africa. Her research interest includes antimicrobial resistance, application of rapid diagnostic tests, clinical outcomes, and innovative ways to educate using technology.

Watch Video >>

Topics: How Dangerous is Giving Antibiotics Just in Case?; Infectious Diseases Specialist

Blake Haxton, Para-rower, Paralympian 

Bio and Topics

After contracting necrotizing fasciitis more commonly known as “flesh-eating disease” and losing both of his legs, Blake Haxton had to make new plans for his future. He found his starting point at Ohio State.  It’s amazing how much time I’ve spent on this campus the last six years between getting sick and recovering here and going to school.   He states, “The university is incredibly friendly to disabled students. No question. And that’s been great. But on a personal level, it’s the people at Ohio State who have made this experience tremendous.

Watch Video >>

Topics: Men’s Rowing; Ohio State; Overcoming Adversity

Casey Hoy, Faculty Director, InFACT, the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation; Kellogg Endowed Chair in Agricultural Ecosystems Management

Bio and Topics

Casey Hoy, has held the Kellogg Endowed Chair in Agricultural Ecosystems Management and provided leadership to the Agroecosystems Management Program of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center since 2006.  He is the Faculty Director of the Ohio State University Discovery Themes Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation, InFACT, an investment of more than $100 million over the next 10 years in resilient and sustainable food security, including 30 new faculty hires across the University.   The program seeks balance between prosperous farms, sustainable communities and healthy environments and to build local and regional economies across the rural to urban continuum, starting with food systems. This Center brings together needed expertise across the food system value chain. It brings current science and technology to bear on relocalization of food systems to support healthy communities and healthy ecosystems.

Watch Video >>

Topics: Food Security; Sustainable Agriculture; Healthy Agroecosystems

Susan Jones, Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Extension Pest Specialist

Bio and Topics

Dr. Jones has spent 35 years as an urban entomologist, and her primary research interests include bed bugs, termites, and other household and structural insects. After 14 years as a research entomologist with the USDA Forest Service, Dr. Jones’ expertise on termite biology and control brought her to The Ohio State University in 2000. Soon thereafter, bed bugs began to re-emerge as an important pest of humans. Since 2004, Dr. Jones has worked extensively to educate the public and pest management industry about bed bugs, and she was a founding member of the Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force. She has published >100 papers in scientific journals, proceedings, and trade magazines. Dr. Jones is frequently interviewed by the news media. Each year, she speaks at numerous scientific seminars and outreach events. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Entomology from Louisiana State University and her Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Arizona.

Watch Video >>

Topics: Control of Bed Bugs; Termites; Other Household Pests

KaedingChris Kaeding, Executive Director Sports Medicine, Ohio State Jameson Crane Sports Medicine Institute 

Bio and Topic

Dr. Kaeding did his undergraduate, medical school and orthopedic training at Northwestern University and a fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic.  He currently serves as the Judson Wilson Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Executive Director of the Sports Medicine Center.  He has authored over 120 peer publications, 24 book chapters and over 200 national and international presentations.

Topic: Ohio State Sports Medicine: What is it and What It Means to You!

Karl Koon, Director of Rider Recruitment, Team Buckeye and Pelotonia

Bio and Topics

Karl Koon is a Director of Development for The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and the Director of Rider Recruitment for Team Buckeye, the super-peloton representing The Ohio State University in Pelotonia each year.  Team Buckeye members include students, faculty, staff and alumni of Ohio State who wish to represent Buckeye nation in this annual cycling tour which since its inception in 2009 has raised over $141M for cancer research at Ohio State. Prior to joining The James, Karl was the Personal Assistant to Abigail S. Wexner for 18 years where he was responsible for organizing major philanthropic events hosted by the Wexners which benefited local, regional and national organizations. Karl is an Ohio native and an Ohio State alumnus.

Read More >>

Topics: Team Buckeye and Pelotonia; Community Involvement through Philanthropy

Bill Marras, Honda Chair Professor of Integrated Systems Engineering and Director, Spine Research Institute, Executive Director for the Institute of Ergonomics

Bio and Topic

Back pain and your brain.  His research is centered on understanding pathways for spine disorders.  He was recently featured on NPR’s All Things Considered as well has writing a book entitled, ‘The Working Back:  A Systems View.’  Professor Marras has been active in the National Research Council and served on over a dozen boards and committees.  International awards include two Volvo Awards for Low Back Pain Research.

Watch Video >>

Topic: Assessment of Low Back Disorders:  Risk Factors and Improving Treatment Effectiveness

Bella Mehta, Professor Clinical Pharmacy, Director Continuing Professional Development

Bio and Topic

Dr. Mehta is a nationally sought speaker in the area of complementary and alternative medicines and herbs and dietary supplements.  She has developed direct patient care services and educational experiences in this area.  She is a past recipient of the ASHP Foundation Best Practices in Health Systems Pharmacy Award, American Pharmacists Association and OSU’s Josephine S Failer Award.  Dr. Mehta has been actively involved in pharmacy leadership.  She received her BS in Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from The Ohio State University.

Topic: Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Bernadette Melnyk, VP Health Promotion, University Chief Wellness Officer, Dean College of Nursing, Professor of Pediatrics & Psychiatry

Bio and Topics

Dean Melnyk is a nationally/internationally expert and researcher in intervention research, child & adolescent mental health and health and wellness.  She is a frequent keynote speaker on these topics. She is co-editor of five books and over 300 publications, including two American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year award winner.  Dr. Melnyk is founder and Executive Director of the Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-based Practice in Nursing & Healthcare.  It is housed at The Ohio State University College of Nursing.

Topics: Personal Health and Wellbeing; Strategies for Reducing Stress

Peter Mohler PhotoPeter Mohler, Sr. Assoc. Dean for Research, Director Dorothy M. Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute, Chair-Dept. of Physiology & Cell Biology

Bio and Topic

Dr. Mohler joined the Ohio State staff in 2011 as the Director of the Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute – a group of over 500 faculty, staff and trainees in eight different colleges fighting to understand the mechanisms and treatments for a host of complex human diseases ranging from heart failure, arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death, to pulmonary and cystic fibrosis, diabetes and kidney disease.  His research program focuses on solving the pathways underlying potentially fatal diseases including cardiac arrhythmia, diabetes, and neurological dysfunction.

Watch Video >>

Topic: Heart Arrhythmia

Don MuttiDonald Mutti, PEF Wildermuth Foundation Professor of Optometry 

Bio and Topic

Dr. Mutti’s research career began in the contact lens industry with CooperVision Ophthalmic Products where he evaluated lens design and product performance during in-house clinical trials. He co-holds a patent in soft contact lens design.  Dr. Mutti’s current research interest are in the emmetropization of infants and the development of myopia in children. His current research project is the Bifocal Lenses In Nearsighted Kids (BLINK) study, an NEI-funded clinical trial evaluating myopia progression with reduced peripheral defocus using multifocal soft contact lenses. Dr. Mutti has taught visual optics to optometry students for over 15 years. Dr. Mutti received in 1996 the Glenn A. Fry Award from the American Optometric Foundation in 2006 in recognition of his contributions to research.

Topic: Myopia (nearsigthedness) in Children

Sarah Nerad, Associate Director Community Relations, Ohio, Alkermes, Inc.

Bio and Topics

As an addiction treatment and recovery advocate, Sarah Nerad is dedicated to advancing behavioral health systems to ensure successful long-term outcomes for Ohioans. Sarah currently serves as the Associate Director of Community Relations in Ohio for Alkermes, Inc. In this role, she works with all levels of community leaders to promote practices and policies that advance systemic and lasting change to end the opioid epidemic. Prior to her work at Alkermes Inc., Sarah worked at The Ohio State University for over four years where she created the Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC), a support program designed to help students in recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. In her time at Ohio State she also helped create the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery at Ohio State and served as its Director of Recovery.

Watch Video >>

Topics: Addiction and Recovery; Collegiate, High School, Personal Recovery

J. Nwando Olayiwola,  Chief Clinical Transformation Officer & Associate Clinical Professor, University of California San Francisco

Bio and Topics

Dr. Nwando Olayiwola is a double graduate of The Ohio State University.  She was the Ohio State University Homecoming Queen in 1996-97.  In 2011, she was named one of the Top 100 Buckeyes You Should Know by the Ohio State University Alumni Association. In October 2012, she received the Early Career Achievement Award from the Ohio State University College of Medicine, which is presented “to an alumnus who has made significant contributions in the community, scientific or academic achievement before the age of 40.”  She is currently serving in her second term as the Health Sciences representative for the Ohio State Alumni Advisory Council.  Dr. Olayiwola has been a leader in harnessing technology to increase access to care for underserved and disenfranchised populations and is an expert in the areas of health systems reform, practice transformation, health information technology and primary care redesign.  Since 2007, Dr. Olayiwola has been named one of America’s Top Family Doctors by the Consumers Research Council of America annually.

Topics: Diversity and Inclusion; Charting your own career; Leadership with Grace; Healthcare Redesign;  Minority Women’s Empowerment

Kelsey Schmuhl,  PharmD Fellow, Behavioral Health and Addiction 

Bio and Topics

“I remember the day so clearly. I was sitting in Dr. Ken Hale’s Introduction to Pharmacy course as an undergraduate student. He started talking about the opioid epidemic and told the class that more Ohioans died from accidental overdose than in car accidents every day. I let that sink in for a moment, then stayed after class to find out how I could get involved. I knew right then that I wanted to be a pharmacist and that I wanted to help this cause. In 2017, Schmuhl graduated from the college’s PharmD program. At the hooding ceremony, Schmuhl received the Faculty Award, the highest honor for a graduating PharmD student. Schmuhl is a great example of a student finding their passion and turning it into action. She hopes other students will follow her lead.ht then that I wanted to be a pharmacist and that I wanted to help this cause.”

Topics: The Opioid Epidemic, Naloxone, Harm Reduction, Substance use disorder, Generation Rx

Full speaker list