Our Expert Guides

© 2018, Jamie Robbins,  JME Photography

© 2018, Jamie Robbins,
JME Photography

Joyce M. Young, MD, MPH

Managing Director, Advanced Wellness Systems
Lead expert for the High Health Network

Dr. Young is a preventive medicine specialist and curator of innovative practices for vibrant living. She founded Advanced Wellness Systems and created the High Health Network to provide effective, science-based, affordable solutions to high-health leaders seeking greater health and well-being for their teams. She has more than fifteen years of experience developing, implementing, evaluating, and consulting on employee health and wellness programs for large corporations, medium and small businesses, state health plans, and state health and human services departments. Dr. Young is board certified in General Preventive Medicine and Public Health and is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications on wellness program design and outcomes. (MD: Cornell University Medical College. Master of Public Health: Harvard University School of Public Health. Postgraduate training: Johns Hopkins University Medical Center.)

© 2018, Jamie Robbins,  JME Photography

© 2018, Jamie Robbins,
JME Photography

Liza Engstrom, MPH

Curriculum Manager, The High Health Network

Liza Engstrom oversees curricula for the High Health Network and supports Advanced Wellness Systems in their continuous search for new high health practices and relevant research findings. In addition to her experience planning, implementing, and evaluating health interventions, Engstrom has been a classroom teacher abroad and a guest health teacher in California and North Carolina. She is currently a laughter yoga instructor. Passionate about promoting everyday ways to increase energy and well-being, she is excited about bringing high health practices to people who are ready to take their well-being to the next level. (Master of Public Health, Health Behavior: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health.)


Avik Basu, PhD

Lecturer and Research Area Specialist Senior, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan

Dr. Basu is a researcher and lecturer in environmental psychology. His research includes sustainable development in the developing world, understanding the differences between experts and laypeople in environmental decision-making, designing sustainable developments to be more acceptable to rural residents, promoting the adoption of sustainable transportation, and designing environments that simultaneously enhance individual and communal well-being. Over the last decade, he has been part of a collaborative effort to develop a framework, known as the Reasonable Person Model, to help practitioners from various disciplines become better at creating conditions that improve human well-being. He is a co-editor/co-author of a book on these topics called Fostering Reasonableness: Supportive Environments for Bringing Out Our Best. (PhD, Environmental Psychology: University of Michigan. MS, Electrical Engineering: University of Michigan.)


Deborah Douglass, PT

Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Physical Therapist

Meet Deborah

Deborah Douglass is a physical therapist specializing in orthopedics and sports medicine. During the past thirty years, she has worked primarily in sports medicine with a variety of clients, from mildly active people to professional athletes. In order to more comprehensively assist her clients, Douglass specializes in a “whole body” approach to movement. She looks at an individual’s foundational movement patterns and assesses the need for corrective activities that allow the person to move well in their environment, to prevent injury, and to optimize energy and vitality. (BS, Physical Therapy: University of Massachusetts Lowell.)


Jason Duvall, PhD

Lecturer, Program in the Environment, University of Michigan

Dr. Duvall is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Michigan. He is broadly interested in understanding how environments impact people’s ability to function effectively and how health-related beliefs and motivations interact with and influence pro-environmental behavior. His research has focused on the use of nearby nature and environmental engagement to support and encourage more physically active lifestyles. Jason has also worked with the Sierra Club to explore the impact that group-based nature recreation experiences have on military veterans. His work has appeared in academic journals, such as the Journal of Environmental Psychology, and has been referenced in a variety of popular-press articles. (PhD and MS, Natural Resources and Environment: University of Michigan.)


Joseph G. Grzywacz, PhD

Department Chair and Norejane Hendrickson Professor of Family and Child Science, Florida State University

Dr. Grzywacz is an interdisciplinary social scientist who focuses on human health and the health-related implications of everyday work and family life. His research has been continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health for the past thirteen years. Dr. Grzywacz has published over two hundred peer-reviewed articles in the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Science & Medicine, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, and elsewhere. He has specific expertise in assessing “complete health” (the idea that health is more than the absence of illness) and in translating scientific evidence into practical strategies for promoting human health and well-being. (Postdoctoral training: The Social Ecology of Health, University of California, Irvine. PhD, Child and Family Studies: University of Wisconsin. MS, Human and Community Resources: University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. BS, Health Promotion/Wellness: University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.)


Terri McClernon

Founder and CEO, The Food Fairy®

Terri McClernon is creator, CEO, chef, and instructor for The Food Fairy®, a personal-chef company in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. Long before growing and eating whole foods became trendy, McClernon was already passionate and knowledgeable about them, whether she was living off the land, owning a health food store and catering business, or raising three children to healthy adulthood. She created The Food Fairy in 1996 to nurture and nourish people who had little time or ability to cook for themselves. After finding many who needed specialty diets, she and her “fairies” rose easily to the occasion to create delicious meals, even with a myriad of ingredient limitations. McClernon and her staff of six personal chefs create personalized meals and parties in their clients’ homes, while teaching and generally “playing with food” in loving, delicious, and healthful ways!


Nicholas P. Murray, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology, East Carolina University

Meet Nicholas

Dr. Murray is director of the Visual Motor Laboratory at East Carolina University. He has more than twenty years of experience as well as numerous peer-reviewed publications examining antecedents and consequences of environmental factors that affect human physiology. Dr. Murray has expertise in a variety of physiological and behavioral measurements, including heart rate, heart rate variability, electromyography (muscle activity), electroencephalogram (brain activity), eye movement measurement, and electrodermal response. (PhD, Applied Physiology and Kinesiology: University of Florida. MS, Education: Virginia Tech.)


Daniel Rechtschaffen, MA, LMFT

Director, Mindful Education Consulting

Meet Daniel

Daniel Rechtschaffen is the author of The Way of Mindful Education and The Mindful Education Workbook. He is the director of Transformative Educational Leadership and organizes the annual Mindfulness in Education Conference and Teacher Training at the Omega Institute. Daniel offers keynote speeches and mindfulness trainings at conferences, schools, and businesses around the world, such as University of Wisconsin Madison, Google, and the Esalen Institute. Daniel teaches mindfulness through music, sports, storytelling, games, and in other creative and engaging ways. He is inspired to utilize mindfulness to help us become more conscious, compassionate, and committed to taking care of this miraculous world we live in. He is also the director of the Mindful Education Online Training, a mindfulness and social-emotional learning platform for educators. (MA, Counseling Psychology: California Institute of Integral Studies.)


Michael F. Steger, PhD

Director of the Center for Meaning and Purpose and Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology and Applied Social and Health Psychology, Colorado State University

Meet Michael

Dr. Steger has spent more than fifteen years researching the factors that promote human flourishing and ameliorate psychological suffering. His primary line of research focuses on understanding how people find meaning in their lives and in their work. He is the developer of the most widely used measure of meaning and purpose in the world, the Meaning in Life Questionnaire. He has published more than one hundred peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and books, including Designing Positive Psychology and Purpose and Meaning in the Workplace, as well as the forthcoming Handbook of Positivity and Strengths-Based Approaches at Work. He enjoys providing keynote speeches, workshops, trainings, and consulting around the world on the topics of meaning, purpose, meaningful work, calling, and psychological strengths. (PhD, Counseling Psychology and Personality Psychology: University of Minnesota. MS, Counseling: University of Oregon.)


Laurel M. Wentz, PhD, RD, CSSD, LDN

Assistant Professor, Nutrition and Healthcare Management, Appalachian State University (Formerly at East Carolina University)

Meet Laurel

Dr. Wentz is an Assistant Professor in Nutrition at Appalachian State University, a Registered Dietitian, and a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. She has been a dietitian for the Athletic Department at Florida State University and for the U.S. Army 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where she had the opportunity to work with both athletes and elite service members. In her post-doctoral training at Bangor University, UK, Dr. Wentz completed a clinical trial to improve performance and immune function in British military recruits. Her research focuses on nutrition to improve health and performance and examines how nutrition influences metabolism, inflammation, and immune function during exercise. (PhD, Nutrition and Food Science with emphasis on Exercise Science: Florida State University. MS, Food Science and Human Nutrition: University of Florida. BS, Nutritional Sciences: Penn State University.)