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Florida Gulf Coast University

Website Directory  

Prevention and Wellness

Our Staff


Department Phone: (239) 590-7733 l Department Email:

Full-Time Staff

 Priya Thomas l Director l Email: 

Priya is originally from Sedalia, MO. She has a B.A. in Psychology and an M.Ed in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri. As an undergraduate, Priya worked as a Community Advisor (CA) for Mizzou’s Department of Residential Life. Next, she served 2 years as the Graduate Assistant for Peer Education at MU’s Wellness Resource Center (WRC), one of the top-three prevention programs in the country. Here, she supervised 2 Peer Education groups and was nominated as Advisor of the Year. Priya has been at FGCU since 2005, starting in a position that encompassed working in CAPS, in Prevention & Wellness and with Housing. Since 2007, she has had primary leadership of Prevention & Wellness, overseeing the department and all its functions.  In 2012, she was recognized by the Office of Housing & Residence Life with the "Friend of Housing Award" and in 2013, she was awarded the honor of "FGCU Employee of the Year." She serves as the Advisor and Faculty Fellow for Sigma Phi Epsilon and as a Trip Leader for FGCU Global Medical Brigades. Her hobbies include traveling, cooking, working-out and finding good, local hole-in-the-wall restaurants.  A few fun facts about Priya are that she used to work in radio, was voted “Nicest Girl” in her high school class and that she met her best friend in college when she was working as a CA--she was Priya's resident and lived two doors down from her. 

 Nikki Kirdahy l Coordinator of Peer Education l Email:

Nikki’s hometown is Cape Coral, FL. She received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Central Florida with a minor in Art History. While she was there, she worked as a Resident Assistant for three years. Nikki has been at FGCU since 2009, where she earned her M.A. in School Counseling. She was named Graduate Student of the Year for 2010-2011. She started working for Prevention & Wellness in 2010 as a Graduate Assistant and now works as a Coordinator overseeing the Peer Education Program. She manages group members and activities, including programming, recruitment, training, and promotion. The group is growing and making an impression on the campus with fun events like Cash Cab, Kindness Week, and the Eagle Wellness Fair. She participated in the New Professionals Institute in 2012-2013, which is a program designed to assist professionals in understanding their roles and responsibilities as Student Affairs Professionals. She is also currently a member of FGCU’s ARISE Committee that focuses on education and bringing awareness to issues concerning sexual assault. Some of Nikki’s hobbies include photography, playing video games (especially Zelda!), and going to theme parks. A few fun facts about Nikki are that she went to Scotland for two weeks in May of 2012 and her favorite movie is Pirates of the Caribbean.

 Diane Odeh l Program Assistant l Email:

Diane’s hometown is Stillwater, Oklahoma. She received her B.A. in Philosophy from Oklahoma State University in 2009 and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Public Administration at Florida Gulf Coast University with a concentration in Public Leadership and Management. After living in Ithaca, New York for two years, Diane moved to Fort Myers in 2011. She has been working at FGCU since January 2012. As the Program Assistant for Prevention & Wellness, Diane is the health promotion, programming and outreach support for the department. Her work includes assisting with coordination of programming and outreach, advertising efforts and website management, as well as the organization of special wellness events throughout the year. Additionally, Diane takes part in managing the requirement for all incoming undergraduate students. She also contributes to the success of Peers CARE with administrative support on a daily basis.  Lastly, Diane works to ensure the department runs smoothly, keeping track of the budget and managing the department's Free Resource Area. In her free time, Diane enjoys learning to cook new things, spending time with her husband and cats, and running. A few fun facts about Diane are that mustard yellow is her favorite color, she met the lead singer of her favorite band (Wilco) at a sandwich shop in New Orleans, and she has seen every episode of "The Golden Girls" at least five times.



Collaborative Staff

Kelly Rubin l Substance Abuse Counselor  

Kelly's hometown is O'Fallon, IL. She graduated with a BS in Sociology from Southeast Missouri State University. There, Kelly became a member of Gamma Phi Beta, serving in the leadership positions of New Member Educator, Membership Education Vice President, and Rho Gamma. Kelly then spent 10 years living in Philadelphia, where she earned her MA in Counseling Psychology from Immaculata University. Kelly has been the Substance Abuse Counselor at FGCU since 2010. Four days a week, she sees clients in CAPS, meeting with students who struggle with substance abuse issues or experience it within their family system, and students with general mental health concerns. One day a week, she works for Prevention & Wellness, developing alcohol and other drug programming educating students on how to “Party Smart.” Kelly is also involved on the Hazing Prevention Team, is the Chapter Advisor for Pi Kappa Phi, and was given the honor of being named Panhellenic’s 2013 "Distinguished Woman of the Year." Some of Kelly’s hobbies are going to beach, training for Tough Mudder events, and traveling.  A few fun facts about Kelly are that she loves peanut butter and eats it almost every day, she has been to 9 New Kids on the Block concerts, and she owns an embarrasing amount of shoes that only get worn once or twice a year.


Graduate Assistants

Alex Sather | Graduate Assistant

Alex's hometown is Gary, MN. He is a graduate student in FGCU's Occupational Therapy program. Alex graduated with a bachelor's in Biology from Concordia College in 2014. Alex's favorite wellness topics are nutrition and fitness. In his free time, Alex enjoys sports, running, cooking, playing cards, and going to the beach. Some fun facts about Alex are that he grew up in a town of less than 200 people and had 30 people in his graduating class, he can't stand cheese, and he just became an uncle/godparent for the first time in April 2014.  




Student Staff

Peers CARE  (click to see them)