Peers Educating Peers and Advancing Health (PEPAH) Internship

Through genuine peer education UNC Asheville’s PEPAH interns seeks to empower, inspire, and support fellow students as they take charge of their mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, social, and sexual wellness. We are advocates for healthy lifestyle choices by providing resources to cultivate a diverse, all-inclusive and safe learning environment.

PEPAH interns are UNC Asheville students who have joined PEPAH Crew and are ready to commit a year to educate and empower other students to make healthy life choices. Interns are chosen each spring by Health & Counseling Center staff after completing a formal application/interview process.

Each PEPAH intern completes a four-day training that includes the Certified Peer Educator with the BACCHUS initiatives within NASPA. In addition to this, they have advanced leadership and training opportunities, as well as resume-building experiences in program development and outreach. The internship lasts the academic year and starts with a weekend of training prior to the start of the fall semester.

PEPAH Focus Groups

  • Healthy Relationships
  • General Wellness
  • Sexual Assault/Prevention and Education
  • Opioids and Substance Misuse and Abuse
  • Mental Health

Current students who are interested or who have questions should email Kenda Mullert at

Wellness Coaches

Wellness Coaches are available to meet with students one on one for a one-time session or a few sessions. Typically, students talk about issues that they need a little help with – things like:

  • figuring out how to incorporate more personal time/non-school time into schedules
  • how to sleep more/better
  • learning how to find the easy way to add exercise and more outside time to life
  • stress and anxiety management (a biggie!)

Whatever you are going through, wellness coaches are available to listen and help you come up with the best solution that fits your schedule and time.

Bystander Intervention

This semester the UNC Asheville Health and Counseling Center will continue its Stand Up, Speak Out (SUSO) bystander intervention workshops. These trainings are offered by PEPAH and seek to raise awareness about how to avoid The Bystander Effect, a phenomenon in which the presence of others deters individuals from taking action in a potentially threatening or emergency situation.

More importantly, SUSO seeks to provide students with perspective and empowerment. The overall goal of the SUSO program is to promote and educate our UNC Asheville community on skills necessary for engaging in healthy, respectful and appropriate interactions.

Therapy Dogs

It’s well-known (and scientifically proven) that interaction with a gentle, friendly pet has significant benefits. We bring therapy dogs to campus during exam weeks and other stressful times of the semester to help students improve their physical and mental health. Therapy dog visits will be announced in the UNCA Now app.

Self-Defense Courses

The Health & Counseling Center joins with the Department of Public Safety to sponsor a Women’s Empowerment and Self-Defense Course.

We offer two types of workshops: the full R.A.D. training and a short personal safety workshop.

The full R.A.D. workshop empowers women to find and effectively use their voice, increase assertiveness skills, and to take personal responsibility for their own safety. We will be teaching through the nationally recognized R.A.D. Systems of Self-Defense program that goes beyond teaching women physical movements to protect themselves, enabling women to realize their own power and act on instincts we often ignore.

The Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) System is a program of realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques. It is a comprehensive course for women that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training. RAD is not a martial arts program. Our courses are taught by certified RAD instructors and provide you with a workbook/reference manual.

Counseling Practicum & Internship Program

The counseling practicum and internship program at UNC Asheville is a comprehensive experience in college counseling. Students will have the opportunity to work one-on-one and in groups with clients experiencing a range of clinical issues typical of a college or community mental health setting. They will carry their own client caseload, develop and conduct groups (e.g., DBT group), provide outreach programming to the university community, conduct intake assessments, and participate in group and individual supervision weekly with our Clinical Director, Sue Lipiec, LPC. They will also gain experience with electronic medical records and knowledge of higher education processes.

Our interns are an integral part of our treatment team, and we look forward to working with you during your tenure here. We value the strengths, energy, and knowledge that our interns bring to the table and to their work with our student-clients. More important, we recognize that as an intern, your time with us is a vital part of your counseling education, and we want to ensure that you get what you need out of this experience. We strive to create a culture where you can feel safe to find your way–a culture that encourages “not knowing” and the seeking that comes from being in such a place.

Current students can find program requirements and application instructions at