Covenant BodyMind Initiative

Meet the Team

Sara Dodd, Ph.D. and Assistant Professor

Director, CAR

Brooke Balentine

Dr. Sara Dodd became the Director of the Center for Adolescent Resiliency effective July 1, 2012. She is an assistant professor in the College of Human Sciences and is jointly appointed to Texas AgriLife Extension of the Texas A&M University as a state specialist in 4-H and Youth Development. Prior to her faculty appointment, she worked at Texas Tech as a research associate and project director for an NIH grant studying the effects of frequent work travel upon families (Dr. Anisa Zvonkovic, principal investigator). Prior to graduate studies, Dr. Dodd worked as an analyst in the IT industry and as a legislative staff member for a Texas state senator. She earned her bachelor's degree (government) from Abilene Christian University and her MBA (management) and PhD (family/consumer Sciences) from Texas Tech. Dr. Dodd's primary research interests lie in the area of leadership theory and development, organization processes, and consumer/behavioral economics.

Linn Walker RN, CWPC

Director, CBMI

Mandy Pham

Linn is a registered nurse with experience in critical care nursing as well as public health nursing, specifically school nursing, having spent thirteen years with the public school system. She is also a Certified Wellness Program Coordinator.  Presently, she is Director of The Covenant BodyMind Initiative, collaboration with the Texas Tech University Center for Adolescent Resiliency and the Covenant Health System, to address the issues of weight related disorders. Linn helped write the Texas Education Agency innovative course, Comprehensive Wellness, and is a regular presenter at school staff development programs and professional conferences.

Greg Johnston, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, CBMI

Debanik Das

Dr. Gregory D. Johnston is the associate director of the Covenant BodyMind Initiative.  His responsibilities include curriculum development, program delivery and grant and conference submissions.  Dr. Johnston writes and presents extensively on comprehensive wellness issues, specifically in an adolescent student population.  He proudly helped write the first Texas Education Agency approved wellness course in Texas education history.  His research interests include wellness development in adolescents and emerging adults, as well as a holistic approach to reducing childhood obesity. Prior to working at Texas Tech University, Dr. Johnston served as a legislative assistant for a Member of Congress in Washington, D.C.  His legislative responsibilities included health and education issues.

Amy Onofre, BA

Graduate Research Assistant

Alex Garcia

Amy is a research assistant for Covenant BodyMind Initiative. She graduated from Texas Tech with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She is currently working towards receiving her master's degree in Counseling Education with a focus on comprehensive wellness through the College of Education. After earning her master's degree, Amy plans to become a licensed professional counselor. She believes that practicing self-care is key to living a fulfilling life. The Covenant BodyMind Initiative provides the skills to begin this process.

Emmy Lu Trammell, MS, RD, LD

Graduate Research Assistant

Noe Lopez

Emmy Lu is a registered and licensed dietitian who is presently a doctoral student in Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University. She completed her bachelor's degree (nutrition) at the University of Texas at Austin and her master's (nutrition) along with her dietetic internship at Lamar University. She worked in the clinical setting for several years before she began to pursue her PhD with a research focus in eating disorders and dietetic education. Emmy Lu believes that self-empowerment and care of self are central to preventing disordered eating behaviors and promoting wellness. She currently provides weekly nutrition counseling to students within the Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery who have, at some point in their lives, struggled with an eating disorder. She is also the lead graduate research assistant for the Covenant BodyMind Initiative.