Francesca M. Maresca, Ph.D.

Francesca M. Maresca, Ph.D., is the Director of Health Outreach, Promotion and Education (H.O.P.E.) for Rutgers Health Services, responsible for the dissemination of health and wellness information to the entire Rutgers community. Dr. Maresca coordinates peer education, assesses the health and wellness of students, sits on a number of University-wide committees including Community Approaches to Suicide Prevention (co-chair), LGBTQ Task Force, Diversity Council and Alcohol Policy, and is adjunct faculty for the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.


Elizabeth Amaya-Fernandez, MPH

Elizabeth Amaya-Fernandez, MPH, is a health education specialist at Rutgers Health Services – Health Outreach, Promotion, and Education (H.O.P.E.) serving the New Brunswick and Piscataway campuses. Liz is responsible for alcohol and other drug education and other health and wellness promotion at the University; she advises the alcohol and other drug peer educators and other student organizations. She also teaches undergraduate courses for the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Prior to joining Rutgers University, Liz was the Director of Health Education at the National Latina Health Network. She is especially proud that she has been able to work with young people committed to improving the health of their communities in the United States, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Cuba.

Christopher Gunning

Christopher R. Gunning, RDN

Christopher is the Clinical Nutritionist for Rutgers Health Services and the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health. Chris holds a B.S. Nutritional Sciences from Rutgers University and completed his Dietetic Internship at the Rutgers School of Health Related Professions. He provides clinical assessment, evaluation, and treatment of the nutritional needs of the university’s student population: oversees the Nutrition Advocate peer educator program; and is a member of the Rutgers multidisciplinary eating disorder and disordered eating treatment team. Chris is also involved in multiple new and ongoing projects with the Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health.


Brenda Malchuk

Brenda Malchuk is H.O.P.E. Secretary. When she is not out with friends, Brenda enjoys reading and spending time with her pets – two dogs and three parrots.