Group of Peer Advocates outside the Drop In Center on a sunny day

Meet the Staff

Professional Staff

Marie Cascarano, EdD, MCHES
Health Promotion Coordinator
cascaranom@montclair.edu
973-655-7397

Dr. Marie Cascarano received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. There she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and art. She went on to receive a master’s degree and doctoral degree from Columbia University – Teachers College in Health Education.

Marie has worked for several non-profit organizations including the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence of Hudson County, Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey and Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey.

With over 20 years of experience in group facilitation and program development, Marie oversees a comprehensive, award-winning education and prevention program that addresses various health issues including alcohol and other drugs, safer sex, sexuality, body image, stress and sleep. Awards include The U.S. Department of Education’s Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Models on College Campuses (2006), The Bacchus Network Outstanding Program for Body Acceptance Week (2014), and The Bacchus Network Outstanding Program for Safer Spring Break (2015).

When Marie is not fighting stigma and preventing college health disasters, she is chauffeuring her daughter to various sports and activities, attending spin classes, and practicing self-care through art.


Carissa Ruf, MPH, CHES, RYT
Health Promotion Specialist
rufc@montclair.edu
973-655-3460

Carissa received her undergraduate degree in theatre with a minor in health education from Longwood University and a Master of Public Health from Emory University in Behavioral Science and Health Education with a Mental Health Certificate. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and her past work includes curriculum development and health education/promotion on topics such as stress reduction, sexual assault prevention, sexual health, alcohol & other drug awareness, mental health, social marketing campaigns and CDC health communication projects.

Carissa is a Registered Yoga Teacher with over seven years of teaching experience and a Board Certified Massage Therapist. She is passionate about guiding students towards establishing a fulfilling and flourishing life. She hopes to help students engage in mind/body wellness to find purpose and meaning through compassion, happiness and service.

She enjoys traveling, running around after her two cats (Jade & Tohru), and having adventures (anything from literary to lifelong). Her personal motto is to be happy, healthy and helpful.


Health Promotion Supervisors


Elena Lymbouras
Health Promotion Graduate Coordinator

Bio Coming Soon


Breon Boseman-Sims
Health Promotion Graduate Coordinator

Breon Boseman-Sims is a second year MPH student in Montclair with a concentration in Community Health Education. She received her undergraduate degree at University of Delaware in Applied Nutrition and has worked 5 years within the healthcare space in various positions that range from health insurance enrollment specialist to administrative work within healthcare facilities to working for a school food/nutrition company. Once she graduates with her MPH, Breon hopes to use the knowledge and skills obtained to work in the holistic health and wellness space, particularly regarding holistic nutrition and how mindful, sustainable food choices and consumption affect most aspects of life. Her personal interests include listening to music, painting, traveling, and trying to new places to eat.


Nagiyan Sulejmanovski
Health Promotion Graduate Coordinator

Bio Coming Soon

Health Promotion Assistants


Brittany Dorta
Health Promotion Assistant

Brittany Dorta is a senior, majoring in Biology and minoring in Public Health. She began her journey with the Office of Health Promotion sophomore year when she applied to become a Peer Advocate and has been a proponent of health ever since. She hopes to utilize the knowledge gained here to help her patients in the medical field as she is aspiring to become a Physicians’ Assistant. During her free time, Brittany volunteers as an emergency medical technician for her town. Her interests include painting, kickboxing, reading fictional novels, and trying new All-You-Can-Eat sushi spots.


Brenna Fitzmaurice
Health Promotion Assistant

Brenna Fitzmaurice is a senior, majoring in Public Health and minoring in Computer Science. They originally came to Montclair State as a Computer Science major, but after working as a Peer Advocate, they discovered their passion for community health and changed majors. After graduation, they hope to obtain a masters degree in Public Health, become a Certified Health Education Specialist, and pursue a career in either sexual health education or LGBTQ+ health advocacy. Outside of the Office of Health Promotion, Brenna enjoys exercising via the aerial arts, playing tabletop role-playing games, attending conventions and conferences, and drawing.


Tiamera Rasmussen – Ellen
Health Promotion Assistant

Tiamera Rasmussen-Ellen is a junior, majoring in Visual Communication Design and minoring in Public and Professional Writing. As a freshman, she wanted to be involved on campus and thought becoming a Peer Advocate was the perfect way to do so. Now she is continuing her efforts to spread health education as a Health Promotion Assistant. After she graduates, she would like to continuing working in the world of design and marketing. In her free time, Tiamera loves to read, write, design, and learn new things (usually through YouTube).


Rian Weinstein
Health Promotion Assistant

Rian is a senior, majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. After she graduates in May 2020, she hopes to work at a media or marketing agency and may go for her MBA within the next few years. Prior to becoming a Health Promotion Assistant, she worked as a Peer Advocate for three years and loved it. When Rian isn’t in class or working at the Office of Health Promotion, she is at the gym, listening to a new podcast, or spending time with friends.


Makena Wolcott
Health Promotion Assistant

Makena Wolcott is a senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Leadership Through Civic Engagement. She has been a Peer Advocate since her freshman year, and has loved working for The Office Of Health Promotion during her time at Montclair State University. She aspires to work on the Disney Parks Live Entertainment team in the future, helping to make magic from behind-the-scenes. She is very active on campus, as she is a part of the Montclair State Dance Company and Team Rocky. She also enjoys Disney, video games, and musical theatre.